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Archive for the ‘Virginia Destinations’ Category

See the Sights by Segway

by Casey | Posted on July 24th, 2013

A segway might look intimidating, but it’s actually pretty easy. A little balance and you’re on your way. Touring by segway is faster than touring on foot (of course!) and allows you to cover more ground and thus, see more. Strap on a helmet and sail across cobblestones to enjoy the sights of the following cities.

Richmond – Wherever you want to go, a segway can pretty much get you there. Traverse Richmond’s Shockoe Slip with ease and make it to the canal in no time. Venture up to the hill for monument peeping and then over to Jackson Ward for a history lesson about the Harlem of the South. “Give me liberty or give me death” strike your fancy? Even Church Hill can be navigated on a segway.

Segway of Richmond

Segway of Richmond

  • Segway of Richmond Tours offers two-hour tours with a 15 minute training, or a one-hour micro tour with a 15 minute training. You choose your experience to see the parts of Richmond that just can’t be appreciated from a windshield.
    • Lincoln Walk – 1865: This special tour that follows the route taken by Abraham Lincoln and his son Tad after they disembarked from their boat at 17th and Dock Streets, went to the White House of the Confederacy, then on to Capitol Square before touring much of the city center which lay in embers. Offered daily at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. $65 per person. Ages 14 and older. Reserve
    • Also inquire about these tours:
      • Richmond Landmark Tour
      • Black History Tour
      • Monument Avenue Tour
      • Church Hill Tour
      • Jackson Ward Tour
      • Hollywood Cemetery Tour
      • Downtown Public Art Tour
      • Shockoe Bottom Tour
      • Edgar Allen Poe Tour
  • River City Segs also offers two-hour and one-hour tours with an indoor training course to get you started.
    River City Segs

    River City Segs

    • Lincoln in Richmond: Learn about Lincoln’s time in Richmond, the affects he has had on the city, and about the filming of Steven Spielberg’s LINCOLN while you’re on this tour. Points of interest include the James River, the canal, the Capitol, the White House of the Confederacy, the only statue of Lincoln in the South, and others. $59 per person. Ages 14 and older. Reserve
    • Also inquire about these tours:
      • Capitol Tour
      • Church Hill Tour
      • Hollywood Cemetery Tour
      • Public Art Tour
      • Black History Tour
      • River City Ride

Norfolk boasts plenty of its own history. Skirt around the waterfront and more on a segway with Segway PT. Each tour is 60 minutes and $75 per person. Inquire about the various tours available:

  • First Landing State Park
  • Freemason District Cannonball Trail Tour
  • First Landing State Park Osprey Trail Tour
Patriot Tours and Provisions

Patriot Tours and Provisions

Yorktown is the site of victory in the American Revolutionary War. Glide around the battlefield, Victory Monument and more when you saddle up with Patriot Tours and Provisions. Choose from a two-hour or one-hour tour for $65 and $39 per person, respectively. Inquire about these tours:

  • History Tour
  • Breeze Tour

What say you? Would you tour by segway? Tell us which Virginia city or town you’d like to tour on a segway by leaving a comment.

 

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Virginia Destinations | 2 Comments

8 Virginia Caverns to LOVE

by Casey | Posted on June 18th, 2013

Connect the dots down the Shenandoah Valley this summer when you visit all eight Virginia caverns. Each has very unique features and its own story to tell.

Luray Caverns

Stalacpipe Organ at Luray Caverns

A constant 50-something-degree temperature makes each cavern a welcome reprieve on a hot summer day. Set your course from north to south along US Route 11 or Interstate 81 to hit these in order.

1. Skyline Caverns * Front Royal – Skyline is famous for its rare Anthrodites which radiate spike formations resembling flowers. They’re called the Orchids of the Mineral Kingdom. Other cool formations here are The Shrine and Fairyland Lake.

2. Shenandoah Caverns * Quicksburg – Shenandoah is the only cavern system in Virginia with elevator service to its 17 underground rooms. A can’t-miss is Rainbow Lake with iridescent drip formations of bright colors. Other cool formations are Diamond Cascade, Beyond the Veil and Grotto of the Gods.

Diamond Cascade at Shenandoah Caverns

Diamond Cascade at Shenandoah Caverns

3. Luray Caverns * Luray – Luray is the largest cavern on the East Coast and includes a Stalacpipe Organ. The organ pipes are stalactites stretching 3.5 underground acres. The most impressive structure at Luray is Giant’s Hall – expansive chambers decorated by golden, 10-story-high columns. Other cool formations of Endless are Titania’s Veil, Frozen Fountain and Empress Column.

4. Endless Caverns * New Market – Endless is called endless for a reason. Numerous expeditions have failed to find the end of this cave system, which is already mapped at more than five miles. Another awesome claim to fame? A fossilized woolly mammoth’s tooth resides here. Cool formations here include Fairy Land, the Lodge Room, and Fresh Bacon Slices.

5. Grand Caverns * Grottoes – Grand is indeed grand with breathtaking panoramic subterranean beauty. It is also the oldest show cave in the United States, having originally opened in 1806 as Weyers Cave. Parade ranked Grand Caverns number two in the nation based on physical aspects like room size, paths, ratio of growth formations to dormant formations, and overall beauty. Don’t miss the Rainbow Room.

Anthrodites at Skyline Caverns

Anthrodites at Skyline Caverns

6. Natural Bridge Caverns * Natural Bridge – This cavern is the deepest on the East Coast at 34 stories down. Collosal Dome is the prize formation here, but also look for Flowstone Cascade and Wishing Well.

7. Dixie Caverns * Salem – Dixie was discovered in 1920 by a boy and his dog, just as Endless Caverns were found by boys and a dog in 1879. Dogs have a knack for sniffing out big caves, huh? The Magic Mirror Room is where the magic happens at Dixie. Other cool formation here include the Wedding Bell, Turkey Wing and Fairy Land (fairies sure are popular in the underground world).

8. Gap Caverns * Ewing – Located in Cumberland Gap National Park and west of Interstate 81, Gap Caverns is home to one of the tallest stalagmites in the world – Pillar of Hercules. Tours are given by lantern light here, so expect  a very pioneering, adventurous feel when you enjoy Gap Caverns.

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4 Summer Road Trip Ideas for Families

by Casey | Posted on June 14th, 2013

Do you ever hit the road without a real destination and just make it all up as you go along? My family does. We have a general idea, but no real agenda. If you’re looking to freely travel in the same fashion, I’ve come up with a five summer road trip ideas for just that purpose. Travel on!

Ocean View Fishing Pier

Ocean View Fishing Pier

1. The Beach. Families can enjoy a great, affordable beach vacation when they’re willing to head to a lesser-known beach like Ocean View in Norfolk. The rates are lower and vacancies are more readily available. See the Trip

2. Roadside Wonders. Quirky little things that are probably genuine Roadside America icons are cool for any family road trip. These gems give Dad a reason to stop the car so everyone can stretch.

Trip Idea: Going Old School in Fredericksburg
Trip Idea: Stay, Shop, Dine and Play in Arlington
Trip Idea: Wonders of the World
Trip Idea: Richmond History and Comfort
>> See more trip ideas like this.

Cape Henry Lighthouses

Cape Henry Lighthouses

3. Beacons in the Night. If you have a thing for lighthouses, you’ll be happy to learn that Virginia has five. It will be quite the adventure to enjoy them all, which makes them road trip worthy. You might consider stretching out the three-day idea when smaller ones are in tow.

4. LOVEworks for your family photo ops. Every vacation or weekend getaway should include photo opportunities. They’re great for the scrapbook and these particular photo ops are really endearing, if I do say so myself. Map the LOVEworks across Virginia and set out to find each one, take a photograph with it, and then head on to the next. Don’t forget to share socially and hashtag #loveva!

Trip Idea: Southwest Virginia LOVEworks from Abingdon
Trip Idea: Shenandoah Valley LOVEworks from Waynesboro
>> See all of the LOVEworks locations and create y0ur own trip.

Where will the road take you this summer? Build your own trip on Virginia.org.

LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
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Beaches, Family, Outdoors, Travel Ideas, Virginia Destinations | 2 Comments

5 Hidden Outdoor Gems of Virginia

by Casey | Posted on June 11th, 2013

Sometimes we need to get away to a place that’s kind of magical. If I were you, I’d go to one of these places on a weekday to have a better chance at solitude.

White Rock Falls

White Rock Falls

Below are five hidden outdoor gems of Virginia, not that there are only five, but because five seemed like a good number to get your imagination going. Chime in through the comments below to share your favorite hidden gem (that is, if you don’t mind sharing it!).

1. White Rock Falls should be roaring right along after the amount of rain the Blue Ridge Mountains have experienced in the past week. To get there, take the Blue Ridge Parkway to park at MP 18.5 and look for the White Falls trail marker. Blazed yellow, the trail descends to run alongside White Rock Creek, then crosses it after about 1.4 miles. If it’s a hot day, dip your feet in here! To continue on, carefully rock-hop the creek and continue on the steep switchbacks that run along the 35-foot falls. From here, you can turn back or continue up the trail. If you continue, you’ll cross the Parkway to Slacks Overlook, watching for the blue-blazed Slacks Overlook Trail. Careful, this trail is shared with mountain bikers. Be sure to turn right at White Rock Gap Trail to get back to your vehicle. Turning left will lead you to Sherando Lake Campground.

2. The Channels Natural Area Preserve in Saltville is home to the Great Channels of Virginia, impressive formations of sandstone outcroppings. They’re large enough to play a glorious game of hide-and-seek, if you’re willing to make the trek along the 5.5-mile Channels Trail to get to them. Download the Map

Deer Island Park

Deer Island Park

3. Deer Island Park is located in Philpott Lake in Franklin County. It’s only accessible by boat and you’re welcome to pitch a tent on the island for an overnight stay (first come, first served). A permit is required for camping; no more than six people and two tents per site. Download the Brochure

4. The Devil’s Bathtub sounds ominous, doesn’t it? It’s located in Scott County and considered difficult to get to via the 7.2-mile  Devil’s Fork Loop Trail. Plan to get your feet wet as you criss-cross the water and scramble over boulders. The Devil’s Bathtub is a naturally smooth swimming hole, complete with a water slide rock. See the Map

5. False Cape is a treasure of a Virginia State Park and only accessible by foot, bicycle, beach transporter, tram or boat. Why? It’s one of the few remaining undeveloped areas along the Atlantic and boasts an incredible migratory bird population and variety of wildlife. The park is bordered by Back Bay, Back Bay Wildlife Refuge, the Atlantic Ocean and North Carolina. Campers must hike, bike or boat their supplies in as the transporter and tram are not available to those guests. The pay-off is huge if you’re into complete solitude and six miles of private, pristine beach. Download the Brochure

So where’s your hidden gem? Explore and LOVE Virginia.

LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
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The Trail of the Lonesome Pine Celebrates 50 Years

by Casey | Posted on June 7th, 2013

If you’re looking for a little bit of heritage and nostalgia, as well as a way to be included in something as notable as the 50th anniversary of the longest continually running outdoor drama in Virginia, head to Big Stone Gap this summer.

The Trial of the Lonesome Pine logoThe Trail of the Lonesome Pine is an outdoor drama based on the novel by John Fox, Jr. that tells of a sweet Appalachian girl and a handsome miner. As the brochure puts it,

“This is a musical drama that depicts the story of the great boom in Southwest Virginia when the discovery of coal and iron ore forced the lusty, proud mountain people into making many drastic changes in their way of life.”

Mark one weekend this summer (maybe June 21, opening weekend?) to adventure to the June Tolliver Playhouse for this, the official Outdoor Drama of Virginia.

  • Rates: $15/Adult; $12/Senior 55 and older; $8/child aged 6-12; $8/person in a group of 15 or more
  • Show Times: Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings with the box office opening at 7 p.m. and pre-show performances from 7:15 to 7:45 p.m.

LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
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