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    From late July through early August of 1927, artists such as The Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers and more made musical recordings in a makeshift studio in downtown Bristol. Those recordings became known as the 1927 Bristol Sessions, and they made Bristol the birthplace of #countrymusic. Tomorrow, 87 years later, a museum dedicated to the history of country music, starting with those 1927 Sessions, opens to the public in downtown #Bristol. This is a must-visit for music fanatics and connoisseurs! Photo props to @amandastrav. #bcmm #birthplaceofcountrymusic #oldschoolva #vatravel #loveva #records #virginia #musiclovers @bcmbristol
    If you're in #VirginiaBeach and looking for a killer #breakfast with local gourmet #coffee, you HAVE to check out Zeke's Beans & Bowls. Their #acai bowls, made-to-order with fresh fruit, will knock your socks off! This is their North Pole Bowl, acai topped with granola, banana, mango, blueberries, cocoanut and almonds. The cafe's eclectic, retro-beach vibe is also a #morning mood lifter. #loveva #vafood #goodmorning #wakeup #getinmybelly #freshfruit @visitvabeach @zekesvb
    #Goodmorning from the #VirginiaBeach Fishing #Pier. It looks like another beautiful day is in store for #Virginia. #LoveVA #sunrise #photooftheday #todaysunrise #vatravel #bigsky @visitvabeach #vaoutdoors
    Behind-the-scenes on today's photo shoot in #VirginiaBeach with photographer @meatkinson. We're #paddleboarding in front of the Cape Henry Lighthouse with Tula Adventure Sports. @tulasports #loveva #photoshoot #behindthescenes #photooftheday @visitvabeach
  • Archive for the ‘Wine’ Category

    230 Wineries and Counting

    by Casey | Posted on October 1st, 2013

    There is no shortage of great wine in Virginia with more than 230 wineries. Here are a few ideas to help you kick off your Virginia Wine Month adventure.

    Jefferson Vineyards

    Jefferson Vineyards

    Sip the signature Virginia Viognier and Cabernet Franc from the leaders in its production – Barboursville, Keswick, Jefferson, Pollak, and Veritas – all in the greater Charlottesville area. Within easy driving distance of one another, you can easily make it a two-day excursion or spread it out to three. MAP

    Why not pay a visit to recent recipients of the “Best of Readers’ Choice Awards” by Virginia Wine Lover Magazine to see which wines and wineries Virginians love most?

    Best of … Central Virginia

    • Best Winery – Gray Ghost Vineyards, Amissville
    • Best Dessert Wine - 
    • Peaks of Otter – Pumpkin Pie
    • Best Fruit Wine – Peaks of Otter – Light Sweet Peach
    • Best Red Wine – Gray Ghost – Cabernet Franc 2011
    • Best Sparkling Wine – Barboursville – Brut
    • Best White Wine – Veritas – Viognier

    Best of … Eastern Virginia

    • Best Winery – Chatham Vineyards
    • Best Dessert Wine – Williamsburg – Late Harvest Vidal Blanc 2009
    • Best Fruit Wine – Williamsburg – Raspberry Merlot
    • Best Red Wine – Chatham – Cabernet Franc 2009/2010 blend
    • Best Sparkling Wine – Ingleside – Virginia Brut
    • Best White Wine – Chatham – Church Creek Steel (unoaked) Chardonnay 2010

    Best of … Northern Virginia

    • Best Winery – Sunset Hills Vineyard, Purcellville
    • Best Dessert Wine – Breaux – Nebbiolo Ice 2011
    • Best Fruit Wine – Mattaponi – Pow Wow Chocolate-Covered Strawberry
    • Best Red Wine – Barrel Oak – BOW Norton 2011
    • Best Sparkling Wine – Paradise Springs – Apres Sparkling Viognier
    • Best White Wine – Sunset Hills – Viognier 2011

    Best of … Shenandoah Virginia

    • Best Winery – Cave Ridge Vineyard, Mount Jackson
    • Best Dessert Wine – Cave Ridge – Fandango 2010
    • Best Fruit Wine – Shenandoah – Raspberry Serenade
    • Best Red Wine – Cave Ridge – Red Silk 2007
    • Best White Wine – Bluestone – Beau

    Virginia Wine MapBest of … Southern Virginia

    • Best Winery – Rosemont Vineyards and Winery, La Crosse
    • Best Dessert Wine – Rosemont – Lake Country Sunset
    • Best Fruit Wine – Bright Meadows Farm – BAG Wine (Blackberry, Apple, Grape [Concord])
    • Best Red Wine – Annefield – Cabernet Franc 2010
    • Best White Wine – Annefield – Viognier 2011

    Best of … Western Virginia

    • Best Winery – Chateau Morrisette, Floyd
    • Best Dessert Wine – Chateau Morrisette – Frosty Dog
    • Best Fruit Wine – Attimo – Sweet Berry Sunset
    • Best Red Wine – Attimo – A.D. 325 2011
    • Best Sparkling Wine – Chateau Morrisette – Star Dog 2008
    • Best White Wine – Chateau Morrisette – Our Dog Blue

    Finally, stretch your legs for a few days with a Virginia 48-Hour Fall Getaway that is riddled with wineries and great food.  Our two examples include wineries in Northern Virginia (Berryville to Delaplane) and Coastal Virginia (Eastern Shore to Williamsburg and beyond).

    These are just a few ideas to get you started, but we have a handy-dandy wine map that might generate a few more ideas. Check it out, and use our other friendly tool, the Trip Planner, to make your own custom weekend complete with driving directions.

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

    SEE OUR FIRST FALL FOLIAGE REPORT OF THE SEASON!
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    Couples, Fall in Virginia, Wine | Comments Off

    48 Hour Fall Getaways in Virginia, Part 7 of 8

    by Casey | Posted on September 24th, 2013

    October Virginia Wine Month kicks off next week and we have a few wine-themed getaways that will go perfectly with your leaf peeping!

    A Wine Getaway in Northern Virginia

    Sunset view from the deck at Grandale Farm Restaurant.

    Sunset view from the deck at Grandale Farm Restaurant.

    How about starting in Berryville at Veramar Vineyard? It’s 100 acres of  breathtaking beauty. Upcoming events at Vermar include Chili Day on October 5 and Italiano Pasta Day on October 19. If you’re visiting at another time and are looking for lunch, try Village Square Restaurant in the heart of downtown Winchester. Two recommendations for staying the night are Smithfield Farm Bed & Breakfast in Berryville or Old Waterstreet Inn in Winchester.

    On day two, take Route 7 into Loudoun County to sip more wine at Loudoun Valley Vineyards in Waterford and Dry Mill Vineyards & Winery in Leesburg. For dinner, plan to enjoy a wonderful farm-to-table dish at Grandale Farm Restaurant. This restaurant has been touted by Travel + Leisure among other publications; you won’t go wrong. Want to call it a night here? Book a place at Goodstone Inn & Estate or Red Fox Inn.

    Day three equals more wine! Hit Fauquier County’s Wine Trail to visit Barrel Oak Winery in Delaplane and others along the way. Cheers!

    MAP this trip!

    Paddle Your Glass Off on the Eastern Shore

    The Charlotte Hotel & Restaurant

    The Charlotte Hotel & Restaurant

    The world’s first kayak winery tour was launched by and from SouthEast Expeditions in Onancock to Chatham Vineyards. The idea has been such a hit that Holly Grove Vineyards is now on board, too! If you’re an avid kayaker, both vineyards can be kayaked to and enjoyed in a full-day tour. And at the end of that day? A great dinner and sunset view at Mallards at the Wharf followed by a comfortable, peaceful night’s sleep at either Charlotte Hotel, The Inn at Onancock or Spinning Wheel Bed & Breakfast.

    In the morning, enjoy breakfast in Exmore at Yellow Duck Bakery Cafe or Exmore Diner before heading to Williamsburg. Fall is beautiful across the entire Commonwealth, but to experience some of our nation’s founding history amid the foliage is stunning. Spend some time at Colonial Williamsburg and include lunch at one of the period taverns. Buy yourself a fancy hat and blend right into the 18th century! Then it’s on to Williamsburg Winery for a tasting and tour. Stay the night nearby at Colonial Gardens B&B, Liberty Rose B&B Inn, or A Williamsburg Sampler B&B.

    Ways to Spend Another Day:

    MAP this trip!

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
    Sign up to receive our weekly Fall Foliage Report.

     

     



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

    48 Hour Fall Getaways in Virginia, Part 2 of 8

    by Casey | Posted on September 5th, 2013

    Ready to hit the road for a fun fall weekend? Actually, your 48 hours can be any day of the week you choose. In fact, I’d recommend you try for a mid-week jaunt, as mid-week rates are typically cheaper than weekend. Why not give it a go?

    Explore Natural Tunnel State Park

    Natural Tunnel State Park Cabin and Lodge

    Natural Tunnel State Park

    Deep in the Heart of Appalachia is a state park that boasts a chair lift that’s perfect for foliage peeping – Natural Tunnel State Park. The park’s 10 mountain ridge cabins are welcoming, comfortable, and offer an amazing vantage point for those who love fall’s colors. All you need to bring is your food, condiments, toiletries and clothes; the rest is provided. Plenty of availability! $113-$390 depending on cabin size.  Book Now

    The 10-story natural tunnel is the main attraction here, with the aforementioned chair lift being a great highlight. The eight walking trails are easy; the longest is just over a mile. Two trails are open to cyclists. Of interest is Tunnel Trail to Log Cabin Trail where an original Carter Family Log Cabin sits.

    Read more …

     

    Autumn on the Crooked Road

    It’s a winding road dotted with musical gems and talented artisans. Make Floyd your starting point as it’s the home of the famed Floyd Country Store and its Friday Night Jamboree. If you pick, bring your instrument to join in (it doesn’t have to be a Friday night for a pickin’ session)!

    Aerial view of Abingdon in the fall. Image by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com

    Aerial view of Abingdon in the fall.

    In Galax, partake of the “Best Dessert in the South,” the banana pudding at The Galax Smokehouse. Really. Virginia Living Magazine said so. Then it’s on to an amazing vantage point from on high – A Place By the Parkway. It’s just off the Blue Ridge Parkway near milepost 214.

    If you’re feeling like getting some easy exercise, head to Damascus, the midway point of the Virginia Creeper Trail. You’ll want to go west toward Abingdon and coast down hill. You’re welcome.

    In Abingdon, make Heartwood one of your main destinations. It’s a fantastic place that offers a really great meal and many pretty handmade pieces, including jewelry, quilts, soaps, and more. Maybe they’ll ship some treasures home for you? Then it’s back to Damascus where a well-deserved, Southern Living-praised slice of chocolate cake awaits you at Creeper Trail Cafe.

    What else?

     

    More of Where Those Came From

    Primland Resort

    Primland Resort

    Like the ideas of Natural Tunnel, Abingdon, Floyd and the Blue Ridge Parkway? Expand them a bit these additional places to stay, eat and have fun.

    Southwest Virginia will be quilted in the colors of fall before you know it. Don’t miss it and don’t miss more of our 48 Hour Fall Getaways in Virginia series. Read PART ONE and watch for part three coming soon!

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
    Sign up to receive our weekly Fall Foliage Report.*

    *Fall Foliage Reports will begin on or about September 25.



    48 Hours, Couples, Destinations, Fall in Virginia, Outdoors, Wine | 1 Comment

    48 Hour Fall Getaways in Virginia, Part 1 of 8

    by Casey | Posted on September 3rd, 2013

    Fall in Virginia. What is there to say except that it’s stunning, breathtaking, amazing, vibrant, crisp and that there must be at least one hundred more adjectives that can describe the immense beauty of the season. This fall promises to be especially incredible, as Virginia’s summer was wetter and cooler than usual – the perfect scenario for amazing foliage.

    The Priest OverlookWho would you pick to stand by your side at a Blue Ridge Parkway overlook when the season is near or at peak? Probably your significant other, hand in hand. With that in mind, this is the first of eight posts that will give you grand ideas for ways to spend 48 hours in Virginia this fall. Enjoy!

     

     

    Much Ado About Staunton

    Virginia’s foliage spreads west to east and the Shenandoah Valley is one of the areas to see orange, red and yellow first. If you’re planning multiple fall getaways, start here.

    In Staunton, the food and foliage are as fine as the performing arts and history. With culture and culinary stock rising, you’d better get your foot in the door early to book a room in this neck of the Valley. Choose from quite a few accommodations – an inn such as Frederick House or Inn at Old Virginia, a fine historic hotel like Stonewall Jackson Hotel, or a Shakespeare-influenced stay at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage Bed and Breakfast to round out a visit to Blackfriars Playhouse. You won’t go wrong with any of these.

    I mentioned the food. Food is important and you want to make sure Zynodoa is on your “to eat” list. Zynodoa’s ingredients are locally sourced and esteemed Chef James Harris is at the helm. Harris has kitchen management at the Mobil five-star The Inn at Little Washington under his belt.

    Dive deeper …

     

    Autumn Splendor in the Cabin Capital  of Virginia

    Luray is the Cabin Capital of Virginia. If you’re looking for a sweet, snuggly place for the two of you to be alone, look no further.

    Shenandoah Mountain Escape

    Shenandoah Mountain Escape

    Contact Shadow Mountain Escape to inquire about their luxury Ladybug or Bumblebee cabins. The last I checked, those two still had a Sunday-Monday availability in October. Mid-week stays are possible for the rest of fall.

    Another great option for a fall cabin getaway is to call Shenandoah River Cabins to ask about their Angler, Drifter and Paddler cabins, which all sit riverfront, have a queen bed with fireplace and a private hot tub. Each cabin still has weekend availability for September and October.

    In and around Luray you can enjoy Luray Caverns and a drive through or hike around Shenandoah National Park. Check out Skyland Resort Restaurant (highest elevation and amazing overlook from Shenandoah National Park), Circa ’31 and Triple Crown BBQ for great dining.

    Read more …

     

    Get Out on the Wine Trail of Botetourt County

    The Jackson, Cowpasture and James rivers are your playground this fall in Botetourt County. Or is it the wine that’s calling your name? Either way, a getaway to Buchanan will be a memorable one.

    Cowpasture River, Botetourt County

    Cowpasture River, Botetourt County

    Taste your way along the Wine Trail of Botetourt County, with a check-in at the Fincastle Vineyard Bed and Breakfast as a sure highlight. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you’ll want to get connected with Twin River Outfitters for a kayak or canoe rental to experience the Head Waters of the James and the James River itself.

    There’s more …

     

    Touring and Tasting DC’s Wine Country

    Loving the wine theme? You’re going to LOVE Loudoun County, home to nearly 30 Virginia wineries! With that many to choose from, I can only wish you good luck!

    Choose from an abundant amount of luxury accommodations, the newest being Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg. Also consider Lansdowne Resort in Lansdowne, Norris House Inn in Leesburg or the Briar Patch B&B in Middleburg. Each is unique and renowned in its own right. Then, let the fine dining and wining begin …

    To Eat:

    To Drink:

    Read more …

    The Inn at Little Washington

    The Inn at Little Washington

    Fall in Rappahannock County

    Art thrives in Washington and Rappahannock County. Retreat to The Inn at Little Washington, Gay Street Inn, or one of the other very fine accommodations nearby.

    From the center of this historic town, you’ll encounter several types of art galleries and can also schedule a plein air landscape painting lesson with artist Nora Harrington. Your handcrafted creation will be quite the memento to recall your trip.

    Take a tour into “The Art of Whiskey” at Copper Fox Distillery and then on to the Artisanal Wineries of Rappahannock.

    See what else …

     

    Subscribe to receive our latest blog posts via email so you don’t miss a thing this fall! We have part two of the eight part 48 Hour Fall Getaways in Virginia series coming up Thursday, so keep an eye out.

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



    48 Hours, Couples, Destinations, Fall in Virginia, Food and Wine, Outdoors, Wine | 1 Comment

    More Virginia Wine!

    by Casey | Posted on July 17th, 2013

    When you’re good, you’re good. And Virginia wine is good. And it’s growing! Just this year Loudoun County has welcomed three more wineries to make a well rounded field of 36, and there are promises of more to come. Here’s what’s new for Virginia wine in 2013 …

    New Wineries

    King Family Vineyards

    King Family Vineyards

    Cardamon Family Vineyards * Purcellville * Open Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by appointment.

    Carroll Vineyards * Leesburg * Open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.

    Grace Estate Winery * Crozet * Open Thursday-Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    Leaves of Grass Vineyards * Middleburg * Open by appointment only.

    New Festivals

    August 31 * Epicurience * Leesburg * $95 general admission  * Buy Tickets and be sure to see additional events for August 30-September 2.

    September 21 * Lake Anna Wine Festival * $20 in advance; $25 at the gate * Buy Tickets

    Spreading the LOVE

    Early Mountain Vineyards in Madison has launched a new program called Best of Virginia. What is it? A hand-picked selection of their favorite Virginia wines poured right there in their very own tasting room. As a wise woman once told me, “A rising tide raises all ships,” and the tide of acclaim for Virginia wines continues to rise.

    In the News

    Forbes recently named 12 Exceptional Rosés to Try Now and on the list was none other than King Family Vineyards‘ 2012 Crosé, noted for its “ripe, juicy notes of strawberry, watermelon and orange zest.”

    The Washington Post tapped 10 Mid-Atlantic Wineries Worth Exploring this past spring and five were Virginia wineries: Ankida Ridge Vineyards, Chatham Vineyards, Delaplane Cellars, Granite Heights Winery and Ox-Eye Vineyards.

     

    Which Virginia winery is your favorite and why? Tell us in the comments below.



    Wine | Comments Off