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5 Heartwarming Holiday Getaways for Dining and Shopping

by Casey | Posted on November 13th, 2013

Last week we offered you Five Heartwarming Destinations for Your Holidays and this week we continue with five more for you to ponder. If you love the idea of taking a break to get some shopping done or to just break away and enjoy the moment, you might like these.

Christmas in Orange

Christmas in Orange

Getting away to the country is quite relaxing, especially during the Christmas season. Sparkling storefronts and lamp poles induce memories of simpler times. Find such places when you spend a few days in Orange County.

  • Stay: The Inn at Willow Grove, Holladay House Bed and Breakfast, Inn at Westwood Farm
  • Dine: Elmwood at Sparks, Pomme, Stonefire Kitchen, Palladio Restaurant
  • Visit: James Madison’s Montpelier, The Market at Grelen, Four County Players, Barboursville Vineyards
  • See the Entire Getaway

 

The Jefferson Hotel

The Jefferson Hotel

Locally-owned shops reign supreme in Richmond, but if you’re seeking big-name stores, those are nearby, too! You’re going to love the cobblestones, the unique shops and vintage boutiques, and an amazing flare for food that only Richmond can offer.

  • Stay: The Jefferson Hotel, The One Bed and Breakfast, The Berkeley Hotel
  • Dine: Fresca on Addison, Sine Irish Pub & Restaurant, Tobacco Company, Pasture, Comfort, Can Can Brasserie
  • Visit: Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Maymont, Segway of Richmond, Children’s Museum of Richmond, Ice Skating, Carytown
  • See the Entire Getaway

 

Ice Skating in Fairfax County

Ice Skating in Fairfax County

Bring on the glitz and add the cheer when you take in a little shopping and a little history in Fairfax County.

  • Stay: a wide choice of top hotel brands are available
  • Dine: Clyde’s, Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant, Härth
  • Visit: Reston Town Center, Wolf Trap, Mount Vernon, Gunston Hall, Woodlawn Plantation, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope-Leighey House, Workhouse Arts Center, Tysons Corner Center, Tysons Galleria, Fairfax Square
  • See the Entire Getaway

 

Winter in Rappahannock County

Winter in Rappahannock County

If you love the nostalgic feel of Currier & Ives, Little Washington is your destination. A thriving arts community and the world renowned Inn at Little Washington are the claim to fame in this little slice of heaven in Rappahannock County.

  • Stay: Gay Street Inn, Heritage House Bed & Breakfast, Middleton Inn Bed and Breakfast
  • Dine: The Inn at Little Washington, The Blue Rock Inn Restaurant
  • Visit: Geneva Welch Gallery, The Theatre at Washington, Virginia, the five Artisanal Wineries of Rappahannock
  • See the Entire Getaway

 

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Williamsburg is the quintessential holiday destination in Virginia for so many reasons. The shops, the Colonial decor, and a simple but tangible cheer that can’t help but emanate.

 

This is the second post in our Heartwarming Getaways series. Be sure to subscribe to our posts so you don’t miss the next edition. In the mean time, leave a comment to tell us your favorite Virginia destination for the holidays.

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48 Hours, Family, The Holidays, Virginia Destinations | Comments Off

5 Heartwarming Destinations for Your Holidays

by Casey | Posted on November 6th, 2013

As the season of holidays creeps ever closer, find ways to make the most of your time together and make it memorable. Why not consider an overnight or two in a Virginia destination known for its merriment and cheer?

 

The Barter Theatre, Abingdon

The Barter Theatre, Abingdon

Spend the holidays in Abingdon! This picturesque small town will fill your heart with holiday joy. World class art venues, cultural events and historical sites are all wrapped up in Christmas lights.

  • Stay: The Martha Hotel & Spa, Copper Lantern Inn, River Garden Bed and Breakfast
  • Dine: Babycakes Cupcakery and Abingdon Tavern
  • Visit: Barter Theatre, Holston Mountain Artisans, Wolf Hills Brewery, Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway
  • See the Entire Getaway

 

Carriage Rides in Harrisonburg

Carriage Rides in Harrisonburg

Escape to a cozy winter weekend in Harrisonburg, where holiday events on Main Street highlight the beauty of the season.

  • Stay: Joshua Wilton House, Stonewall Jackson Inn, By the Side of the Road Inn & Cottages
  • Dine: Shank’s Bakery, Clementine Cafe, Corgans’ Publick House
  • Visit: You Made It!, Winter Farmers’ Market, Forbes Center for Performing Arts
  • See the Entire Getaway

 

Old Town Alexandria

Old Town Alexandria

From charming King Street in Old Town Alexandria to Mount Vernon, the area presents lively, entertaining holiday opportunities for the whole family.

  • Stay: Morrison House, Lorien Hotel and Spa, Hotel Monaco
  • Dine: Fish Market Restaurant, Hard Times Cafe, Caboose Cafe & Bakery
  • Visit: Torpedo Factory Art Center, Woodlawn, Gadsby’s Tavern, Alexandria Black History Museum
  • See the Entire Getaway

 

Downtown Culpeper

Downtown Culpeper

Enjoy the spirit of a classic Virginia Main Street when you and the girls make it a shopping weekend in Culpeper.

  • Stay: Thyme Inn, Suites at 249, Hazel River Inn B&B
  • Dine: Hazel River Inn Restaurant & Pub, Raven’s Nest Coffee House, Foti’s
  • Visit: Mount Pony Theatre, Belmont Farm Distillery, Old House Vineyards
  • See the Entire Getaway

 

Virginia Living Museum

Virginia Living Museum

Capture the memories as you indulge your senses and rejuvenate your soul in Newport News, the heart of Coastal Virginia, this holiday season.

  • Stay: Newport News Marriott at City Center, Boxwood Inn, The Pequod Inn
  • Dine: Crab Shack on the James, The Lunch Bell
  • Visit: Virginia Living Museum, 100 Miles of Lights, Peninsula Fine Arts Center, Endview Plantation, Lee Hall Mansion
  • See the Entire Getaway

 

Looking for more great holiday getaways? This is the first in a series! Be sure to subscribe to our posts so you don’t miss the next edition. In the mean time, leave a comment to tell us your favorite Virginia destination for the holidays.

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48 Hours, The Holidays, Travel Ideas, Virginia Destinations, Winter | 12 Comments

9 “Must See” Virginia Landmarks

by Casey | Posted on November 4th, 2013

When you’re traveling to or through Virginia, there are places you really must see. A lot of them, actually, but here are nine that rise to the top when considering historic, national and natural significance.  Indeed, I’d call them “bucket list” worthy.

Monticello

Monticello

Monticello was the home of Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and the third president of the United States. Jefferson began construction of Monticello in 1769, but was known to redesign and remodel. One large, final remodeling effort began in 1796 and was completed in 1809.

In 1987 Monticello was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site at the same time the Great Wall of China, the Acropolis in Athens, the city of Venice and its lagoon, and the Roman City of Bath in the United Kingdom were also tapped. That’s quite a distinguished list, and Monticello is the only home in America to be recognized as such.

Colonial Williamsburg Fife and Drums Corp

Colonial Williamsburg Fife and Drums Corp

Colonial Williamsburg was the Capital of Virginia from 1699 to 1780. The 301 acres include 88 original 18th-century structures, and hundreds of reconstructed houses, shops and public outbuildings that stand on their original foundations. Wherever you venture in this historic district, you’ll be greeted by costumed interpreters depicting life at the edge of Revolution.

Mount Vernon was the plantation home of George Washington, the first president of the United States. Considered the most popular historic estate in America, Mount Vernon is comprised of the main mansion, more than a dozen original structures, a working blacksmith shop, and more across nearly 50 acres.

Appomattox Court House is the site of Lee’s surrender to Grant to end the American Civil War in April 1865. In 1930 Congress passed a bill to provide a monument at the site of the old Appomattox courthouse. The monument was never built, but the buildings of the village were either restored or reconstructed. Of note is the actual surrender site, the McLean House, and Clover Hill Tavern, the oldest structure within the park.

More than 200,000 veterans and their dependents are interred at Arlington National Cemetery, a site of more than 612 acres. Every conflict in which the United States has fought is represented by those laid to rest. Memorial sites include the Tomb of the Unknowns and the eternal flame at the grave site of John F. Kennedy.

The Virginia State Capitol was designed by Thomas Jefferson and first occupied in 1788 by Virginia’s General Assembly, America’s oldest English-speaking legislature. It is the first American State Capitol designed after the Revolutionary War and the first public building in the New World to be constructed in the form of a classic Roman temple. Free one-hour guided tours are offered daily or visitors may also tour on their own.

The aptly named Humpback Bridge in Covington is the oldest of Virginia’s surviving covered bridges, and is a rare example of an arched bridge. It was built in 1857 and spans 100 feet. Traffic has not traveled over it since a steel replacement bridge was constructed upstream in 1929.

A natural rock arch, the Natural Bridge serves as a witness to history. It was surveyed by a young, pre-presidential George Washington, and was later owned by Thomas Jefferson. It served as a shot tower during the Revolutionary War, and ammunition was manufactured for both the War of 1812 and the Civil War up the trail from the bridge at Saltpeter Cave and Lost River. Prior to any of that history, however, is Monacan Indian lore that includes the bridge appearing as an escape route when an enemy tribe was in pursuit.

Skyline Drive is a Virginia treasure spanning 105 miles through Shenandoah National Park until it meets the Blue Ridge Parkway. Travelers of the drive can expect to see plenty of wildlife – as many as 200 species, in fact, including black bear, deer, fox, and raccoon.

What other sites would you add to your personal list of “must see” destinations in Virginia? Leave a comment!

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Virginia Destinations | 3 Comments

48 Hour Fall Getaways in Virginia, Part 5 of 8

by Casey | Posted on September 16th, 2013

Let’s go for a scenic drive across Virginia, and take our time doing it. You game? Here, in part 5 of the 48 Hour Fall Getaways in Virginia series, we’ll take a look at a few options that include some of Virginia’s most beautiful scenic drives.

Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway and the Star City of the South ~

Roanoke is often called the “Star City of the South,” thanks, in large part, to the 100-foot-tall lighted beacon on Mill Mountain. The view from up there – just one of hundreds of scenic sites along the Blue Ridge Parkway – is one that might just leave you breathless. In fact, it’s the site of many marriage proposals, if you have something romantic in mind.

See:

Eat:

Stay:

Fall in Fairfax County ~

George Washington Memorial Parkway

George Washington Memorial Parkway

If you’ve never driven the George Washington Memorial Parkway, you must. There are so many beautiful stops along the way, not the least of which is the gorgeous Potomac River and our nation’s capital across the way.

See:

Eat:

Stay:

Tides of History ~

Historic Jamestowne

Historic Jamestowne

Colonial Parkway is the way to travel the Historic Triangle. From the 1607 landing at Jamestown to the colonial seat of government in Colonial Williamsburg, and on to Revolutionary War victory in Yorktown, there’s so much beauty and so much history along this one stretch or road.

See:

Eat:

Stay:

Find more ways to spend 48 hours this fall in Virginia:

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48 Hours, Fall in Virginia, Virginia Destinations | Comments Off

RevQuest at Colonial Williamsburg. What is it?

by Casey | Posted on July 25th, 2013

I’ve heard of RevQuest: Save the Revolution! at Colonial Williamsburg and noticed that it’s presented each year with a different tagline. However, I have never taken the time to learn what it’s all about. What do you say we learn together?

RevQuest at Colonial Williamsburg. Courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg.

RevQuest in action. Courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg.

RevQuest is an online/onsite alternate reality that’s built for families to become immersed in the history of the Revolution. By participating in RevQuest, we can have a new appreciation for our history. Had different choices been made in the 18th century, the direction our nation took could be vastly removed from what we know today.

Each RevQuest player (Quester) is challenged to save the revolution by deciphering codes found throughout the Historic Area … via text message. (THIS is why kids [and their parents] love RevQuest. It’s a 21st century treasure hunt!) Questers must also avert crises along the way that could change the course of history.

RevQuest is now in its second year and third iteration. Prior episodes were Sign of the Rhinoceros and The Lion and the Unicorn. Knowing that the game changes every year (or twice a year) is all the invitation you need to try to save the Revolution again and again.

The current RevQuest challenge is The Black Chambers. The setting is 1781, nearly five years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Join the spy ring – the “Crossbones Club” – to solve the enemy’s secret messages and help save the Revolution.

 

 

What You Need to Know:

  • RevQuest: The Black Chambers is included with your paid admission to Colonial Williamsburg. Buy Tickets
  • RevQuest: The Black Chambers continues through September 1, 2013, so don’t miss out!

Next Steps:

  • After purchasing tickets online or in person, go to the Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center to pick up your orders. 
  • The first mission begins at 9:30 a.m. and the last at 2:30 p.m. Solving the mystery should take around two hours if you play it straight through.
  • Get a head start online to obtain the location of secret instructions for a side mission when you visit.

Need help with making your travel plans? Check out this Kids Stay, Play & Eat Free Offer from Colonial Williamsburg. The deal is valid through August 29 and requires a minimum three nights’ stay. Rates are from $78 per adult per night at the Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel & Suites. You’re welcome!

Reviews about RevQuest:

Stay at Colonial Williamsburg

Stay at Colonial Williamsburg

Now that I’ve explored RevQuest online and am inching ever closer to finding the location for my side mission, I’m ready to pay a visit to Colonial Williamsburg. Not only has this sparked my interest, but it will surely entice my children.

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Family, History, Virginia Destinations | 1 Comment