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    Testing out Instagram's new #hyperlapse app at Lewis Ginter #Botanical #Garden in Richmond. What do you think? #loveva #virginia #rva #lewisginter #orchid #vatravel #vaoutdoors @lewisginter @visitrichmondva
    If you haven't notice, fields of #sunflowers are in bloom throughout the state. This one calls Lickinghole Creek Craft #Brewery it's home in Goochland. This is both an awesome photo and tasting op. ūüėČ #loveva #virginia #vabeer #vacraftbeermonth #sunflower #photooftheday #drinklocal #craftbeer Photo creds to @lickingholecreekcraftbrewery
    Here's a view of Damascus Old Mill #Inn. Since 1910 the Old Mill has stood along the South Fork #River, serving the community of Damascus as a grist/saw mill until 1965. Now you can rent rooms overlooking the river and this beautiful man-made #waterfall stretching across the South Fork. The river (and falls) are four to five times wider than what you see here. It's breathtaking to stand in the middle of the riverbed like this with the water roaring past. #LoveVa #Virginia #sunset #swva #southforkriver #vaoutdoors #vais4lovers
    What a beautiful capture of a #foggy #Virginia Blue Ridge #sunrise by @jingram623. These are the #majestic mountains of Tazewell. Keep tagging your #VA photos with #LoveVA for a chance to be featured here. #photooftheday #epic #fog #vablueridge
  • Archive for the ‘Winter’ Category

    Cozy Virginia Wineries

    by Casey | Posted on February 13th, 2013

    Virginia is a Commonwealth of wine with more than 200 wineries statewide, making for great winter getaway spots. If you’re looking for a place to cozy up with a glass of wine, our friends in Loudoun County have identified their 17 wineries with a fireplace.

    Barren Ridge Vineyards

    Following their lead, here are 20 others across Virginia that have an inviting space for you to warm and sip.

    Chateau Morrisette is a mountaintop winery that sits just off the Blue Ridge Parkway in Floyd. The winery boasts a Black Dog concert series, a farm-to-table approach to culinary creations in their restaurant, and of course, premier Virginia wine.

    Delaplane’s¬†Barrel Oak Winery¬†is widely known as one of the most kid and pet friendly Virginia wineries. Additionally, BOW is also certified Virginia Green, making conservation and environmental concerns as a top priority.

    Just 35 minutes outside of Charlottesville, DelFosse Vineyards and Winery in Faber is one of only a few terraced vineyards in Virginia. More than five miles of trails are open for your hiking and/or biking pleasure.

    Paradise Springs Winery and Vineyard¬†can be found in¬†Clifton and is the closest farm winery to Washington, DC. Paradise Springs’ 2009 Chardonnay won the 2010 Governor’s Cup.

    Situated on historic grounds,¬†Barboursville Vineyards¬†in¬†Barboursville is renowned for Octagon, a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, but only in their very best years. The 2009 Octagon, 12th Edition, won the 2013 Governor’s Cup.

    Virginia boasts more than 230 wineries. Make a plan to visit and sample them all. Chances are good you’ll find a fireplace we didn’t!

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
    Request a free Travel Guide.



    Wine, Winter | Comments Off

    Winter Family Fun in Virginia

    by Casey | Posted on January 24th, 2013

    It’s January and the kids are feeling a tinge of cabin fever. Is this true in your house? If so, check out all the great places to sneak a peek at wildlife, burn off energy and reconnect in a fun way during the winter months.

    Wintergreen Resort

    Wintergreen Resort


    Virginia’s ski resorts are hopping with activity after receiving a few rounds of¬†fresh, new powder. Not only are there great ski lanes, but there’s also tubing, boarding and activities for tiny tots. A winter zip line will be enticing to your older kids while spas will hit the spot for mom.

    Fans of ice skating? Don’t miss out on all of the rinks around Virginia. There are plenty of indoor rinks to choose from and a few outdoor rinks, too.

    Virginia Beach is one of our favorite summertime hot spots, but it’s pretty nifty in winter, too.

    The Virginia Aquarium & Marine
    Science Center
     boasts seals, huge turtles, crocodiles, sharks,
    komodo dragons, hedgehogs (so sweet!), sting rays, sea horses, otters and a great deal more. Two buildings are connected by boardwalk through a marsh habitat, plus they have a 3D IMAX theater and
    you can pay for a premium experience with the seals or turtles.

    Make a trip in the next few weeks if you can because the Winter Wildlife Watching boat trips are spotting many humpback whales this year and their migration season won’t last much longer. The Oceanfront Inn has a deal that includes a two-night stay plus tickets for the Aquarium, IMAX and the boat trip.

    Similar:

    Norfolk Botanical Garden¬†is beautiful all 365 days it‚Äôs open and it‚Äôs one of the only botanical gardens that offers tours by foot, tram or boat. To top that, February is ‚ÄúFun Month‚ÄĚ and guests are invited to bring their bikes to tour the gardens.¬†Admission
    will be reduced by $5/person in February
    .

    The¬†Virginia Zoo¬†is located in Norfolk, too, and they have an amazing opportunity for families ‚ÄďZoo Snoozes. It‚Äôs a slumber party with nighttime flashlight tours and more, for just $30/person. Keep an eye on their¬†calendar¬†for the next one.

    Similar:

    Virginia is fortunate to have several great children’s museums. Take your pick for a unique experience at each one:

    Sports fans big and small will want to visit the Virginia Sports Hall of Famein Portsmouth. Not only can you see inductees’ memorabilia, but the interactive stations let you see just how fast your fastball is, shoot some hoops, take the wheel behind a simulated NASCAR engine and more. It’s a great place to burn off some energy, stay warm during the winter and increase your sports trivia knowledge, too.

    Build your trip around an upcoming family fun event. Here are a few of our faves:

    For more inspiration to fill your family’s winter weekends, check out Cool Places for Kids.

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
    Request a free 2013 Virginia Travel Guide. 



    Family, Winter | Comments Off

    Budget-Friendly Winter Travel Packages

    by Casey | Posted on January 23rd, 2013

    Find yourself looking for a quick winter escape that won’t break the bank? Virginia is a great choice for an affordable mountain retreat, historic escape or full-of-fun family excursion.

    The Natural Bridge in Winter

    The Natural Bridge in Winter

    Wintergreen Resort is offering a great skiing deal for you Р$79 per person gets you a night of stay and an eight-hour lift ticket, not to mention unlimited use of the Aquatics & Fitness Center and the resort shuttle. Available through March 17. BOOK NOW

    The Natural Bridge should be on everyone’s bucket list, and here’s a great opportunity to see it as many times as you like for a year. Book one night and visit the Bridge, Cedar Creek Nature Trail, Monacan Indian Village, Drama of Creation, Butterfly Garden, Caverns and Wax Museum for just $99 per couple. Bring the kids for an extra $25-$30 (rates based on age). The annual pass will have you back to see the Natural Bridge in every season and then some! Available through March 7. BOOK NOW

    Couples will enjoy a stay at the 1920s¬†General Francis Marion Hotel in Marion. The package for two includes an award-winning “Song of the Mountains” performance at The Lincoln Theatre and a dinner voucher for the boutique hotel’s The Black Rooster restaurant. $145 for two. Available January 31-February 5 and February 28-March 5. BOOK NOW

    Now paging a party of six for a weekend of fun in Roanoke! Stay at Best Western PLUS Inn at Valley View and enjoy a one-night stay, bowling for six with shoe rental, pizza and soda included, private swimming from 10 to 11pm in the indoor pool and breakfast the next morning. It’s a great value for just $152.36 (taxes included). Available through March 1. BOOK NOW: 540-362-2400 x402

    Richmond is a historical destination ripe with culture. Stay at the luxurious Jefferson Hotel (presidents have stayed there, you know) and enjoy a Southern breakfast and valet parking for just $245 for two. The hotel’s location puts you in the center of art, entertainment and tremendous history. Available weekends through March 3. ¬†BOOK NOW

    Waterparks in January. Yes, you read right. Head to Massanutten Resort to enjoy two nights in a two-bedroom condo and eight one-day waterpark passes for just $600. You’ll also receive $18 off your food and beverage purchases at the waterpark. It’s a fun, wet time in January! BOOK NOW

    A family of four can getaway to America’s Historic Triangle for four nights and five days for just $659 through March 31. The price includes accommodations at Embassy Suites Williamsburg, breakfast and complimentary manager’s reception each day, and the American Historic Triangle Pass for each family member. The pass provides entrance for up to seven consecutive days to Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown Settlement, Jamestowne Island, Yorktown Battlefield and Yorktown Victory Center. Don’t have a family of four? The price adjusts down to $599 for two. BOOK NOW

    Discover more great packages at Virginia.org to help you plan your next affordable getaway.

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
    Request your free 2013 Virginia Travel Guide. 



    Couples, Deals & Discounts, Family, Winter | Comments Off

    Virginia Slope Reports

    by Casey | Posted on January 16th, 2013

    With potential snow in the forecast this week, it’s a great time to think about hitting the slopes on skis, boards or tubes. All of Virginia’s ski resorts make snow, so even if the beautiful white stuff doesn’t fall naturally, you’ll have powder to play in.

    Massanutten Resort

    Massanutten Resort

    Bryce Resort is located in Basye, atop Bryce Mountain and northwest of Harrisonburg. If you’re driving Interstate 81 at night, you’ll see the mountain lit up for night skiing. The seven-day forecast shows snow Thursday night and again on Monday. As of today, four of the eight trails are open and the average snow depth is 22″. Snowmaking will resume tonight and some forecasters have predicted 9-12″ will fall on Bryce Thursday and Friday.
    Get Bryce Updates

    You’ll find The Homestead in Hot Springs, nestled in the Allegheny Mountains. Conde Nast Traveler recently named The Homestead one of the Top 50 Ski Hotels in the United States and Canada. Pack the bags and head out now to see why! The area forecast shows snow tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday, and due to their higher climate, the snow often comes heavier and stays longer. Two trails are open and the base is 16-30″.
    Get Homstead Updates

    Just east of Harrisonburg at a peak elevation of 2,925′ is¬†Massanutten Resort. Six of the 12 trails are open with an average depth of 18″, and 10 snow tube lanes are open. Massanutten boasts the longest vertical slope in Virginia, Maryland or Pennsylvania at 1,110′. If the forecasts prove accurate, that long, fast lane may have an additional 5-10″ on it soon.
    Get Massanutten Updates

    Wintergreen Resort sits on the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains south of Waynesboro. The forecast is looking good for another 6-12″ of snow Thursday and snowmaking will resume tonight to enhance the natural powder. More snow may be in the forecast for Tuesday. Currently seven of the 26 trails are open, as is The Plunge Tubing Park.
    Get Wintergreen Updates

    Bundle up and see what fun you can have at Virginia’s mountain resorts this weekend.

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
    Request a 2013 Virginia Travel Guide. 

     

     



    Outdoors, Winter | Comments Off

    Virginia’s Winter Hikes

    by Casey | Posted on January 8th, 2013

    The leaves are gone and the views are stupendous. Get out and exercise your legs and heart with a brisk hike.

    Beaches

    Just southeast of Virginia Beach, five miles south of Sandbridge, lies False Cape State Park, one of few remaining undeveloped areas along the Atlantic Coast. False Cape offers a chance to experience unspoiled nature with a huge migratory bird population and a variety of wildlife, plants and trees. The park is accessible only by foot, bicycle, beach transporter, tram or boat. Between November 1 and March 31, access to the park is restricted to the beach or via the park’s beach transporter, the Terra-Gator. Call for Terra Gator reservations.

    Humpback Rocks

    Humpback Rocks

    Mountaintops

    Cold Mountain Loop (also called Cole Mountain) is so beautiful at the summit with a wide open meadow on top of the mountain with gorgeous views as far as the eye can see. This hike is considered moderate and is a 5.7-mile loop that intersects with the AT on the mountain above Buena Vista. To get there, drive route 60 east out of Buena Vista, cross the Blue Ridge Parkway and continue about 4.5 miles to a left on route 634, followed by a right on route 755 / Wiggins Spring Rd (unpaved) to Hog Camp Gap. Continue less than half-a-mile to see the Mt. Pleasant Trail Head sign.

    Humpback Rocks encompasses 800 acres along the Blue Ridge Parkway between MP 5 and 9.3 just outside Waynesboro. This area is perhaps the best representation of the varied combination of natural and cultural resources anywhere along the Parkway corridor. The prominent rock outcrop was a landmark guiding wagon trains over the Howardsville Turnpike in the 1840s. A portion of the historic trace still exists. Milepost 5.8 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Download the Trail Map

    The Peaks of Otter – Sharp Top, Flat Top, and Harkening Hill – are amazing peaks that have dominated the landscape of both the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia for centuries. Access Sharp Top and Harkening Hill at MP 86 of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Park at the Visitor Center and take the Sharp Top Trail 1.5 miles. The elevation gain is 1,540′; a strenuous climb. Harkening Hill is accessible from the same parking lot and is a more moderate three-mile loop. Flat Top can be accessed between MP 83 and 84. You’ll see a parking area and the trail picks up to the south, winding upward 1,640′ over the course of about four miles. The trail continues to Abbott Lake or you can turn around and head back to your car.¬†Download the Trail Map

    Shenandoah National Park icecicles

    Courtesy of Shenandoah National Park

    Waterfalls

    A wildly popular Shenandoah National Park trail is the one leading to Whiteoak Canyon. Why so popular? Six waterfalls reward your effort, and we’re confident their icy beauty will be worth the trek (watch your step!). The falls range from 35 to 86 feet. Hike in one mile for the lower falls or on up another two miles (and steeper grade) to the upper falls. Park off route 600 at the Boundary Trailhead.¬†Or, access Whiteoak Canyon from Skyline Drive at milepost 42.6. You’ll encounter the upper falls first on a 4.6-mile out-and-back hike. If you wish to go to the lower falls, know that it’s a steep climb back up and adds another 2.7 miles round trip.¬†Download the Trail Map

    Discover more great Virginia hikes and leave us a comment to tell us yours!

    Virginia is for Lovers.
    Request your free Travel Guide.

     * Updated January 14, 2014.



    Outdoors, Winter | Comments Off