Virginia's Travel Blog http://blog.virginia.org Travel Ideas and Stories Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:37:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.2 http://blog.virginia.org/wp-content/themes/vablog/images/vifl.gifVirginia's Travel Bloghttp://blog.virginia.org Five Culinary Destinations for B&B Travelers http://blog.virginia.org/2014/04/culinary-destinations-bb/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=culinary-destinations-bb http://blog.virginia.org/2014/04/culinary-destinations-bb/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2014 17:37:47 +0000 Casey http://blog.virginia.org/?p=6920 ]]>

Food is not only essential to life, but is often a reason to travel. If your taste buds direct your path more often than the appeal of any other attraction, these destinations known for their culinary greatness should be on your to-do list. How do I know these are great culinary destinations? They each have a food tour, meaning, there’s enough great food to put on tour. Plus, there are beautiful bed and breakfasts nearby that are happy to host you and make your reservations. Good eats, good sleeps, win-win.

Taste of the Town Trolley Tours, Abingdon

Taste of the Town Trolley Tours, Abingdon

Abingdon offers Taste of the Town Trolley Tours once per month. Hop aboard and visit four to five locations that incorporate local ingredients into their menus. Previous locations have included Sisters at The Martha, The Tavern, Wolf Hills Brewery, and Figaredo’s Bistro.

Consider Your Historic District Stay:

 

When on Charlottesville‘s Downtown Mall, look for the orange umbrella. No, it’s not a sign of rain, but a sign of a delicious Charlottesville Food Tour in progress. Buy a ticket for one of two Saturday tours to sample the delights of such places at Hamilton’s at First & Main and Splendora’s Gelato Cafe.

100 South Street Inn, Charlottesville

100 South Street Inn, Charlottesville

Within a Mile of the Downtown Mall:

 

Downtown Harrisonburg is the first recognized “culinary district” in Virginia. Join in the tasty fun when you tag along for the Rocktown Bites! Food Tour in Harrisonburg. Seven sampling locations, such as Clementine, Cuban Burger, Jack Brown’s, and Kline’s Dairy Bar may be on your Saturday or Thursday tour.

Within a Mile of the Culinary District:

 

 

The One Bed and Breakfast, Richmond

The One Bed and Breakfast, Richmond

Real Richmond Food Tours highlights some of the tastiest dishes in Richmond every Saturday, with each tour being a different theme with different flavors. One example is the Spies to Pies Tour in Church Hill that includes The Roosevelt, Proper Pie Co., The Hill Cafe, Alamo BBQ, and other eateries.

Monument and Fan District B&Bs:

  • Grace Manor Inn – This 7500 square foot mansion with a salt water pool is on both the Virginia and National Registries of Historic Places.
  • The One Bed and Breakfast – Another National Registry entry, The One is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the home in 2014.
  • The Museum District Bed and Breakfast – A 1922 home with two luxury suites (one family-sized three bedroom!) and an adorable carriage house for utmost privacy.
  • Maury Place at Monument – This 1916 home has been restored in keeping with more than 100 historic easements protecting it. Featured in Remodel magazine and Small Room Decorating magazine.

 

The promise is that “you’ll never view or taste downtown Roanoke the same again” after you experience the Downtown Food & Cultural Tour. Line up your tickets for a Thursday, Friday or Saturday to taste what’s unique to Roanoke, like Texas Tavern and Hotel Roanoke.

Historic Roanoke B&Bs:

 

Which Virginia town or city is your favorite culinary destination? Leave us a comment to boast and tell us if there’s a fantastic B&B nearby, too!

Related:

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Request a free Virginia Travel Guide.

© Casey for Virginia's Travel Blog, 2014 ]]>
http://blog.virginia.org/2014/04/culinary-destinations-bb/feed/ 1 Taste of the Town Trolley Tours, Abingdon 100 South Street Inn, Charlottesville The One Bed and Breakfast, Richmond
15 Festivals for the Adrenaline Junkie http://blog.virginia.org/2014/04/15-fests-adrenaline/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=15-fests-adrenaline http://blog.virginia.org/2014/04/15-fests-adrenaline/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 18:45:45 +0000 Casey http://blog.virginia.org/?p=6905 ]]>

For some, it’s simply not enough to enjoy a festival atmosphere. Where’s the challenge or fun in that? Festivals must be experiential to really rise to the expectation of dedicated adrenaline junkies, and these 15 Virginia festivals do just that.

Dominion Riverrock

Dominion Riverrock

River Fun The most rigorous, diverse outdoor festival in Virginia is Dominion Riverrock, and it’s held each May in Richmond. Riverrock brings kayaking, biking, bouldering, trail running, slacklining, paddle boarding and more for three days of challenging fun and spectator entertainment. Musical highlights for this year are The Infamous Stringdusters and Matisyahu.

The Annual Smith River Fest in Axton is dedicated to those who live for and love the river life. Held each August, the festival centers around Smith River activities, from the 4.8-mile river race to the 5K mud run.

Henricus Mudstock

Henricus Mudstock

Mud Fun

The Virginia Motorsports Park in Petersburg is the venue for the Rugged Maniac on May 3. A little over three miles of muddy courses with 20 obstacles are yours for the conquering, while the festival area includes mechanical bull riding and music.

Biking Fun

Is it biking that really spins your wheels? Don’t miss the Cap2Cap Bike Event on May 10. The ride can be as long as you wish with quarter-, half-, full-century, and 15-mile fun ride options between Richmond and Williamsburg. Well-stocked rest areas, a delicious lunch and beer are promised.

Appalachian Trail Days

Appalachian Trail Days

Hiking Fun

May 16-18 is Appalachian Trail Days in Damascus, and it’s the place to be if you’re an avid hiker or lover of the AT. There’s lots of food and plenty of family fun available.

Just Plain Fun

XtremeFest of the Blue Ridge will be held May 31 in Waynesboro’s Constitution Park. BMX stunters will give adventure-seeking kids a thrill while the climbing wall lets them work off their energy. Put a kayak in the South River and enjoy the other opportunities of the festival at this family event.

Where will the need for adrenaline take you this spring and summer? Go hard and go get ‘em!

Related:

Virginia is for Lovers.
Request a free Virginia Travel Guide.

© Casey for Virginia's Travel Blog, 2014 ]]>
http://blog.virginia.org/2014/04/15-fests-adrenaline/feed/ 0 Dominion Riverrock Henricus Mudstock Appalachian Trail Days
Eat Local! 16 Dishes with Fresh, Local Flavor http://blog.virginia.org/2014/04/eat-local-16-dishes-fresh-local-flavor/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=eat-local-16-dishes-fresh-local-flavor http://blog.virginia.org/2014/04/eat-local-16-dishes-fresh-local-flavor/#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2014 14:28:36 +0000 Casey http://blog.virginia.org/?p=6895 ]]>

“Fresh, not frozen” is the mantra of many, but you’re invited to really taste the difference when you dine at some of Virginia’s farm-to-table restaurants. Of note are these 16 locally-sourced dishes that were nominated by locals as their favorite meal. Perhaps one sounds palate-pleasing for your next out-and-about Virginia excursion?

Braised Shenandoah Lamb Shoulder. BRABO by Robert Wiedmaier.

Braised Shenandoah Lamb Shoulder. BRABO by Robert Wiedmaier.

1. Traditions, inside the Williamsburg Lodge in Williamsburg, cooks up a Fennel Dusted Virginia Coast Shrimp and Scallop Dish that utilizes Dave and Dee’s Sedley, Virginia-grown oyster mushrooms, local farmers’ produce, and cured Virginia bourbon bacon.

2. BRABO by Robert Wiedmaier is located in beautiful Old Town Alexandria. Just as beautiful is their Braised Shenandoah Lamb Shoulder served with hand-rolled pappardelle, dill, pearl onions, glazed parsnip and a natural jus.

3. In Staunton, try Zynodoa’s locally-sourced Autumn Olive Farm pork entrée, which includes Meadow Creek Dairy’s Mountaineer cheese bruleed cornbread, and Harvest Thyme Herbs’ corn shoot salad.

4. Shrimp is served atop locally-sourced Andouille sausage and stone-ground grits at Wild Wolf Brewing Company in Nellysford. Pair this dish-with-a-kick with one of their homemade brews for a divine lunch on the patio.

Gunness Ayrshire Beef Stew. Hunter's Head Tavern.

Gunness Ayrshire Beef Stew. Hunter’s Head Tavern.

5. Upperville is home to the English pub,  Hunter’s Head Tavern, where Ayrshire Farm’s certified organic, humane, heritage-bred beef is the main ingredient in their Guinness Ayrshire Beef Stew. It’s slow-simmered with red wine, stock and Guinness stout, and finished with carrots, celery, onion, and potatoes.

6. New Leaf Pastry Kitchen in Harrisonburg offers a filling Bruschetta that’s perfect for a quick lunch. House-made rosemary focaccia is split and spread with herbed goat cheese before being filled with roasted Portobella mushrooms, onions, Polyface Farms’ sausage, and shredded smoked Gouda. It’s served hot with a Parmesan crisp and Dijon crème fraiche.

Crispy Skinned Chesapeake Bay Rockfish. Lemaire.

Crispy Skinned Chesapeake Bay Rockfish. Lemaire.

7. Inside the famed Jefferson Hotel in Richmond is Lemaire, where a Crispy Skinned Chesapeake Bay Rockfish is a popular local dish. The Rockfish is served with stewed white beans, semi-dried tomatoes, Manakintowne Specialty Growers’ field arugula, smoked Surry County sausage, and truffled mushroom broth.

8. A historical dessert in honor of Thomas Jefferson, the Jefferson Brandied Peaches & Vanilla Ice Cream dessert that you’ll find at the Old Mill Room at Boar’s Head in Charlottesville includes raspberry sauce, meringue, locally-grown peaches, and Jefferson vanilla ice cream. Dessert first? Yes, please!

9. More dessert? You betcha! The Heartwood Cobbler at Heartwood in Abingdon is simply sugar, self-rising flour, Duchess Dairy milk, butter and fresh fruit from the farmer’s market topped with Homestead Creamery vanilla ice cream. Which type of cobbler you find on the menu depends on which fruit is fresh and in season.

10. Created from all local ingredients, the Bratwurst Pizza with Apples and Onions from Blue Mountain Brewery in Afton includes Double H Farms’ bratwurst and local apples. The dough includes Ashland Farms’ whole wheat flour and is infused with herbs, olive oil and Hungry Hill Farm honey.

The Savory Grain, Richmond.

The Savory Grain, Richmond.

11. Roanoke’s Local Roots Restaurant serves a Hollow Hill Farm’s Bison Pastrami sandwich topped with cheddar cheese, house sauerkraut and house barbecue sauce. It’s served atop a Breadcraft Bakery sesame seed bun.

12. Timbercreek Organics’ beef is slow cooked with whole grain mustard spaetzle, roasted Sharondale Farms’ mushrooms, braised red cabbage, and bleu cheese. You can find this fine dish at Fossett’s at Keswick Hall in Keswick.

13. The Savory Grain in Richmond serves a Roasted Quail stuffed with a nine-grain cranberry pecan medley and finished with Bold Rock Cider roasted red pepper and ginger jus. Beautiful and delicious.

14. A perfect farm-fresh egg is served on garlic-rubbed ciabatta and served with mixed baby greens topped in balsamic vinaigrette, Virginia country ham and Parmesan cheese at Foti’s Restaurant in Culpeper.

15. Fresh catfish is served with creamed farro, Surry County sausage, butter beans, hominy, and mustard cream at The Roosevelt in Richmond.

16. Also in Richmond is Rappahannock, serving a beautiful dish of braised Border Springs Farm lamb with a crispy cake of Arborio rice, fregola sarda and lentils, fermented vegetables, pea tendrils, and a blood orange vinaigrette.

What’s your favorite locally-sourced dish? Tell all about it by leaving a comment!

Virginia is for Lovers.
Request a free Travel Guide.

© Casey for Virginia's Travel Blog, 2014 ]]>
http://blog.virginia.org/2014/04/eat-local-16-dishes-fresh-local-flavor/feed/ 0 Braised Shenandoah Lamb Shoulder. BRABO by Robert Wiedmaier. Gunness Ayrshire Beef Stew. Hunter's Head Tavern. Crispy Skinned Chesapeake Bay Rockfish. Lemaire. The Savory Grain, Richmond.
16 Bed and Breakfasts for Virginia History Explorations http://blog.virginia.org/2014/04/bbs_for_history/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=bbs_for_history http://blog.virginia.org/2014/04/bbs_for_history/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 15:39:13 +0000 Casey http://blog.virginia.org/?p=6869 ]]>

Virginia’s most popular history attractions are always within reach, but come a bit closer. Pair your history jaunt with a stay at the closest bed and breakfasts.

A Williamsburg White House Bed and Breakfast

A Williamsburg White House Bed and Breakfast

Historic Jamestowne is the first permanent English settlement in North America. Colonists arrived here in 1607; John Rolfe and Pocahontas were married here in 1614; and the first representative assembly in America met here in 1619. Archaeology walking tours are available daily and the on-site archaeology museum will give you quite the view and understanding of the important ground you tread upon. Within five miles, choose from these four immaculate bed and breakfasts.

The Powell House Garden at Colonial Williamsburg

The Powell House Garden at Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg’s Revolutionary City takes you inside 1775 and the beginning of the Revolution. Meet the townspeople, tradesmen, shopkeepers, political figures, women, and enslaved that call Williamsburg home. As one can imagine when considering the historic nature of the Williamsburg area, bed and breakfasts are plentiful. Here are a few contenders within walking distance of Colonial Williamsburg.

  • Fife & Drum Inn (.6 mile) – Nine distinctive rooms and suites are decorated in the flavor of the 18th century but with a modern twist.
  • Colonial Capital B&B Inn (.8 mile) – Colonial Revival boasts a rich blend of warmth, style, and comfort.
  • Applewood Colonial B&B (.8 mile) – Stately Georgian modeled after early Colonial Williamsburg restoration efforts.
  • The Williamsburg Manor (.8 mile) – Southern hospitality in a fresh and eclectic setting. Recently updated to combine the spirit of Williamsburg with the most modern of amenities.

Yorktown Victory Center is a museum of the American Revolution chronicling America’s struggles for independence. Exhibits include a rare early broadside printing of the Declaration of Independence dating to July 1776, a predecessor to the handwritten parchment copy signed by members of Congress. Within a mile of the Center are two historic B&Bs to choose from.

Thomas Jefferson's Monticello

Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello

Thomas Jefferson’s mountaintop Monticello in Charlottesville is a must-see historic destination. It’s the only U.S. presidential and private home on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Stay at The Inn at Monticello, just two miles away, to enjoy the home, gardens, and views Jefferson loved so much. It’s an 1850s southern manor with romantic guest rooms and hearty gourmet breakfast.

Mount Vernon, George Washington’s Estate and Gardens are located in northern Virginia right on the banks of the Potomac River. Visit to see the new Ford Orientation Center, the most famous dentures in the world, heritage animal breeds, Washington’s distillery, and so much more.  Just over six miles away is the charming Gatsby’s House Bed and Breakfast in Old Town Alexandria. The proximity to everything in Old Town is reason enough to stay.

Montpelier was James Madison’s lifelong home. Take a guided tour of his and Dolley’s house, the expansive gardens, and other points of interest on the 2,650-acre estate. The closest bed and breakfast for your presidential explorations is Inn at Westwood Farm, just 1.3 miles away. Four beautifully appointed rooms are available in the 1910 farmhouse, and the concierge service is renowned.

James Monroe's Ash Lawn-Highland. Photo by Richard Bronson.

James Monroe’s Ash Lawn-Highland. Photo by Richard Bronson.

James Monroe’s Ash Lawn-Highland will catch you by surprise. It’s far more modest than the aforementioned presidential homes. In fact, Monroe called his home his “cabin castle.” Tours are offered daily, and the working farm adds to the attraction. Only two miles away is a very comfortable b&b, the only one in Charlottesville that also has a working vineyard – Arcady Vineyard Bed & Breakfast. While it’s not a historic home as others mentioned in this post, it’s very well-appointed with no detail overlooked. You can even take their local winery tour with dinner transportation provided.

Of note, Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown, Monticello, Mount Vernon, Montpelier, and Ash Lawn-Highland are sites along the Road to Revolution Heritage Trail.

In Ewing, find Wilderness Road State Park, 310 acres that lie astride the Wilderness Road, a route carved by Daniel Boone in 1775. The route, which followed a buffalo trace, opened America’s first western frontier. Most notable in the park is the Karlan Mansion, built in the 1877. Stay seven miles away at the Wilderness Road Bed and Breakfast, and ask for the master suite. The sweeping views from the balcony will leave you breathless.

Civil War enthusiasts can visit the location of the war’s end in April 1865 – Appomattox Court House and National Historical Park. The highlight is the McLean House where Generals Lee and Grant crafted and signed the terms of surrender, bringing an end to the bloodiest chapter of United States history. Babcock House Bed & Breakfast Inn is just .2 mile away and includes an on-site restaurant. The B&B is a graceful 1893 manor home with its own historical story to tell.

Every corner of Virginia seeps history. Find more historic sites and the lovely accommodations near them when planning your next visit.

Virginia is for Lovers.
Get a free Travel Guide.

© Casey for Virginia's Travel Blog, 2014 ]]>
http://blog.virginia.org/2014/04/bbs_for_history/feed/ 0 A Williamsburg White House Bed and Breakfast The Powell House Garden at Colonial Williamsburg The Powell House Garden at Colonial Williamsburg Thomas Jefferson's Monticello James Monroe's Ash Lawn-Highland. Photo by Richard Bronson.
Make Mine a Double! 12 Virginia Burger Favorites http://blog.virginia.org/2014/04/burgers/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=burgers http://blog.virginia.org/2014/04/burgers/#comments Mon, 14 Apr 2014 19:15:34 +0000 Tom http://blog.virginia.org/?p=6844 ]]>

Virginia has all your top-of-mind hamburgers, from the billion-served chains to the newer class of corporate-run, “gourmet” burger restaurants. But dig a little deeper, and you’ll run across some of the most unique patty places in the Mid-Atlantic, combining the best of Virginia with everything an experienced meat eater has come to expect in their ground sirloin sandwich. Check out the list below (in no particular order) and plan a visit if your travels take you nearby.

1. The Station Burger, aptly named for its home at Smithfield Station, compliments Angus beef with a slice of Smithfield ham and bacon, cheddar cheese, and jumbo lump crab meat. It’s the closest you’ll get to surf and turf on one bun.

The Wagyu Burger

2. The description of the Wagyu Burger from The Trellis Restaurant in Williamsburg reads like a who’s who of exotic ingredients. From Wagyu beef to house-made focaccia and truffle cheese, this masterpiece certainly wasn’t on the menu in Colonial times. Don’t forget the duck fat fries!

3. The Joel Lunchpail from George Bowers Grocery in Staunton was named for Virginia permaculture farmer Joel Salatin, and features grass-fed beef and bacon from his Polyface Farm in nearby Swoope, Virginia.

4. Crafted with local Timbercreek Organic beef and McClure Swiss cheese, The Citizen from Citizen Burger Bar in Charlottesville is topped with black onion, garlic aioli, iceberg lettuce, tomato, fried pickle, and served on house brioche.

5.From classic burger joint the Burger Bar in Bristol comes the Howlin’ at the Moon Chili Cheeseburger – a half pound slab with homemade chili and enough meat to satisfy the wolf in all of us.

6. The Apple Jack Burger at BabyCakes Unique Eats in Abingdon pairs fresh local grass-fed Angus beef with grilled Granny Smith apples, an Old Dominion staple.

7.For the adventurous burger fan, the Bison Burger at the Horseshoe Diner in South Hill might scratch that itch for something completely different. For starters, it’s locally-sourced Bison, but it’s topped with homemade pimento cheese, a house favorite at the Horseshoe.

8. If you’re near Smith Mountain Lake, stop in at Mango’s Bar and Grill in Moneta for the 8 oz cheeseburger topped with bacon, fried egg and chipotle mayonnaise. It’s an all-day burger to satisfy your breakfast, lunch and dinner cravings at one sitting.

9. The Fredericksburger from FOODE restaurant in, where else, Fredericksburg, certainly lives up to its lengthy name. It boasts local organic beef, sharp cheddar cheese, bacon aioli, and organic lettuce all on a freshly-baked Brioche bun. You’ll need a knife (or hinged jaw) for this one.

The Fredericksburger

10. The exotic sounding Wood-Grilled Teriyaki-Swiss Mushroom Burger brings together wide-ranging elements to down-home restaurant  Northern Neck Burger in Kilmarnock. Whether Italian, Swiss, or Japanese, these ingredients make for a distinctly Virginian take on a distinctly American food.

11. Harrisonburg’s Cuban Burger serves up the flavorful El Vaquero, A Burger topped with Vaca Frita (seared, crispy steak with citrus and garlic), rum-caramelized onions, swiss cheese and a house-made smokey aioli.

12. Last but not least, and in honor of all the meat-eaters who have reached the end of this list, is the Double BLT at the Barbecue Exchange in Gordonsville. This monster features bacon, pork belly and baconnaise on a homemade roll. Though this sandwich might be better suited for our 17 barbecue favorites list, it’s fair to say this is the only true ham-burger on the list (sorry – couldn’t resist).

A few of these burgers are still alive in the Virginia is for Lovers Culinary Madness challenge. Go to http://www.virginia.org/culinarymadness/ and VOTE for your favorite Virginia dish.

Each entry above was suggested by a loyal local fan. Leave a comment below in support of your favorite (and its restaurant home) and we’ll compile a list of some of the best nominations during Burger month in May.

 

 

© Tom for Virginia's Travel Blog, 2014 ]]>
http://blog.virginia.org/2014/04/burgers/feed/ 3 The Fredericksburger
Celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month http://blog.virginia.org/2014/04/jazz-month/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=jazz-month http://blog.virginia.org/2014/04/jazz-month/#comments Fri, 11 Apr 2014 17:01:22 +0000 Casey http://blog.virginia.org/?p=6834 ]]>

If you have a love of jazz, you’ll find a lot to love in Virginia. April is Jazz Appreciation Month and as such, we’re shining a spotlight on our most beloved jazz musician, Ella Fitzgerald.

Don't miss the upcoming Hampton Jazz Festival in Hampton, Virginia.

Don’t miss the upcoming Hampton Jazz Festival in Hampton, Virginia.

Ella Fitzgerald, called “The First Lady of Song,” was born in Newport News, Virginia on April 25, 1917. Shortly after birth, she and her mother moved to Yonkers, New York. In 1934 Ella’s name was drawn to compete in Amateur Night at the Apollo. She planned to dance but changed her mind after seeing the dance act that preceded her. Instead, she sang “Judy” by Hoagy Carmichael and was cheered on to perform an encore. Impressed with the natural talent he saw, saxophonist and arranger Benny Carter helped Ella launch her career. Ella became the singer of the Tiny Bradshaw Band in 1935 before recording her first song, “Love and Kisses” in 1936. In 1938, Ella scored her first number one hit with “A-Tisket, A-Tasket.”

Highlights:

  • Worked with Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Count Basie
  • National Medal of Arts Award by President Ronald Reagan, 1987
  • NAACP Image Award for Lifetime Achievement, 1988
  • Recorded more than 200 albums
  • Thirteen-time Grammy Award winner
  • Gave her last concert in 1991 at Carnegie Hall
  • Presidential Medal of Freedom Award by President George H. W. Bush, 1992

Celebrate Ella Fitzgerald with a tour through Newport News to see her birthplace, or take in a show at The Hippodrome Theater in Richmond, a venue Ella played early in her career.

On what would be Ella’s 97th birthday (April 25), The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra will present A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald at the Ferguson Center for the Arts in Newport News. Tickets from $29. Buy Now

Additional Notable Jazz Musicians from Virginia:

  • James Genus of Hampton is a jazz bassist who has played in the Saturday Night Live Band and most recently studio recorded with Grammy Award-winning Daft Punk. His talents are heard on “Giorgio by Moroder,” “Touch,” “Beyond,” “Motherboard,” “Fragments of Time,” and “Contact.”
  • Lonnie Liston Smith of Richmond is a jazz pianist and keyboardist who has recorded with the likes of Pharaoh Sanders and Miles Davis. Smith is noted for mashing jazz with rap in the 1990s.
  • Steve Wilson of Hampton is a jazz instrumentalist best known as a flautist and saxophonist.
  • Don Pullen was a Roanoke native and jazz pianist who was well received in Europe for his avant-garde style.

Upcoming Jazz Events:

Did we miss any jazz musicians in Virginia? If so, let us know by leaving a comment.

Virginia is for Lovers.
Request a free Travel Guide.

© Casey for Virginia's Travel Blog, 2014 ]]>
http://blog.virginia.org/2014/04/jazz-month/feed/ 2 Don't miss the upcoming Hampton Jazz Festival in Hampton, Virginia.
Nine Beautiful B&Bs for State and National Park Explorations http://blog.virginia.org/2014/04/bbs-outdoors/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=bbs-outdoors http://blog.virginia.org/2014/04/bbs-outdoors/#comments Wed, 09 Apr 2014 18:17:31 +0000 Casey http://blog.virginia.org/?p=6817 ]]>

Outdoor adventurers and explorers who enjoy a beautiful place to rest and a delicious breakfast to start their day will want to check out these bed and breakfast options that are in close proximity to state and national parks.

1848 Island Manor House, Chincoteague Island

1848 Island Manor House, Chincoteague Island

Assateague Island National Seashore is 37 miles long and considered one of the best beaches for communing with nature. Unspoiled, this windswept beach is home to wild ponies and many species of migratory birds. The Audubon Society named it a Global Important Bird Area. Relax here, taking in the rarity of it all, and then rest at one of these B&Bs less than four miles away on Chincoteague Island.

  • 1848 Island Manor House – Nine rooms available, each decorated to a high standard; most with private baths. Snack room, game room, beach gear, and concierge service available.
  • Channel Bass Inn Bed and Breakfast – Eight rooms with private baths and sitting area are available. Well-behaved children and pets are welcome. Enjoy afternoon tea with Barbara’s “world-famous” scones.

Just one mile from Kiptopeke State Park in Cape Charles is The Baywood Bed and Breakfast, a reprieve with a private beach and two beautiful bay view rooms with balconies, and one “woodview” room. Kiptopeke is another well-preserved beach destination known for its migratory bird population.

Church Point Manor Bed and Breakfast in Virginia Beach is the closest B&B to Virginia’s most popular state park, First Landing State Park. On April 26, 1607, 100 English settlers landed and established the first elective government in English America before pushing up the James River to establish Jamestown. Church Point Manor is an 1860s farmhouse boasting European and American art and antiques. Nine beautifully appointed rooms and a suite are available. Dining is available on-site at The Cellars, an upscale, well-kept secret.

Cooper's Landing Inn, Clarksville

Cooper’s Landing Inn, Clarksville

Bike or hike High Bridge Trail State Park and stay only a mile away at Longwood B&B in the heart of Farmville. Each of the six rooms has a compelling story to accompany it, such as furniture from the Governor’s Mansion in Richmond, and pieces associated with Ulysses S. Grant during the Civil War.

Just across beautiful Kerr Lake from Occoneechee State Park in Clarksville is Cooper’s Landing Inn, a very comfortable reprieve in Virginia’s only lakeside town.  If you’d care to boat, take a trail ride on horseback or adventure around in other ways, the innkeepers are happy to oblige in making the arrangements. Their pool and hot tub are great places to unwind after a day of exploring.

Six miles of horse trails and fourteen miles of hiking trails make the beautifully rolling 1,862-acre Sky Meadow State Park in Delaplane an attractive getaway not far from Washington, D.C. The Ashby Inn is less than two miles away in Paris. It’s an 1829 inn with six guest rooms in the main house and four suites in an on-site converted schoolhouse. The property also boasts an on-site farm-to-table restaurant.

Bedford Landings Bed & Breakfast, Moneta

Bedford Landings Bed & Breakfast, Moneta

Smith Mountain Lake State Park is a family favorite for its boating, fishing, and swimming opportunities. At a shade over a mile away, Bedford Landings Bed & Breakfast in Moneta is a brand new timber frame accommodation that just opened in December 2013. It boasts four large guest rooms, some with a fireplace or a jetted tub. Flying in? They’re on the Smith Mountain Lake Airport (W91) and offer tie downs, too.

The glistening Potomac River and Westmoreland State Park are less than five miles from the Inn at Montross, a 1790s Colonial Inn that has served as a tavern, hotel, restaurant, boarding house, apartments, and even as a school. You’ll find the five guestrooms to be quite comfortable and the fine dining exquisite after spending the day hunting for shark’s teeth and watching the Bald Eagles soar along the river.

 

Find your own little slice of B&B heaven when you search our directory.

Locate a state or national park near your destination.

Virginia is for Lovers.
Request a free Travel Guide.

© Casey for Virginia's Travel Blog, 2014 ]]>
http://blog.virginia.org/2014/04/bbs-outdoors/feed/ 1 1848 Island Manor House, Chincoteague Island Cooper's Landing Inn, Clarksville Bedford Landings Bed & Breakfast, Moneta
10 Festivals Kids Will LOVE http://blog.virginia.org/2014/04/kids-fests/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=kids-fests http://blog.virginia.org/2014/04/kids-fests/#comments Tue, 08 Apr 2014 15:51:03 +0000 Casey http://blog.virginia.org/?p=6806 ]]>

It’s warm and you’re ready to get moving on the weekends. Festivals should be top-of-mind, of course, but when kids are in tow, look to these great opportunities they’re sure to love.

Annual International Children's Festival, Hampton.

Annual International Children’s Festival, Hampton.

April 13 – The Rockfish Valley Foundation Kite Flying Festival in Nellysford includes demos with Richmond Air Force, instruction, games, a duck race, a kite store, and free kites to the first 150 kids. It’s all free and you’re welcome to bring a picnic and stay a while.

April 19 – The Annual International Children’s Festival in Hampton is like traveling the world, from a kid’s point of view. More than 35 countries will be represented with cultural arts and performances, foods, and activities. Be sure to pick up your passport and have it stamped at each country to be entered to win a prize. Festival Map

April 26 – RIVERFest is held at Colonial Place in Norfolk and is a free outdoor celebration that promotes the restoration of Lafayette River. Kids will enjoy fireboat rides, and can create treasures with Indian beads, ECO arts, or “build a buoy.” Older kids even might join in the embellished craft race with a parent (requirements).

Jamestown Day

Jamestown Day

May 3 – Waynesboro Riverfest is a day of fun built to reach kids and adults for the purpose of emphasizing commitment and responsibility to conservation. Kids will love the canoe rides, arts and crafts, reptile and animal shows, and the fish and fun rodeo, not to mention the South River duck race!

May 10 – Jamestown Day is bucket list worthy for kids and their parents. If you’ve never been to Jamestown, you’re in for a real treat. The ships will be sailing and there are demonstrations, music and activities everywhere you turn. Get to know all about the 1607 founding of America’s first permanent English colony.

May 17 – Fundango Festival is called the #1 family fun festival in Virginia Beach and you’re invited to find out why. Meet Olympians and participate in the Olympic Experience, enjoy amazing entertaining acts, make faces in the photo booth, toss some corn hole, get your crafting on, and tons more.

May 24 – Delaplane Strawberry Festival in Delaplane is all about strawberries, of course. Bring your little ones out for old fashioned games, petting zoo, arts and crafts, hayrides, and more.

Celebrate Fairfax!

Celebrate Fairfax!

June 6-9 – Celebrate Fairfax! is 25 acres of family fun, including the ExxonMobil Children’s Avenue! Expect to find interactive activities, petting zoo, children’s entertainment stage, Inova Trackless Train, crafts, and so much more. This area is designed for kids 12 and younger.

June 7 – Manassas Heritage Railway Festival in Manassas offers a children’s stage of entertainment to go with the kids rides and Thomas the Tank Engine Kiddie Train. Load the whole family into the VRE Excursion Train for a ride to Clifton and back for just $6 each.

June 13-14 – The Annual Massanutten Antique Tractor & Gasoline Engine Club Show is celebrating 25 years. Dads will love checking out the equipment while kids check out the farm toy show, participate in the pedal races, or cheer on the tractor pulls.

These aren’t even the tip of the iceberg when it comes to festivals in Virginia. See the whole list!

Related: 10 Spring Festivals You Don’t Want to Miss

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http://blog.virginia.org/2014/04/kids-fests/feed/ 0 Annual International Children's Festival, Hampton. Jamestown Day Celebrate Fairfax!
25 Beautiful B&Bs with a Winery Just a Mile Away http://blog.virginia.org/2014/04/25-bbs-wine/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=25-bbs-wine http://blog.virginia.org/2014/04/25-bbs-wine/#comments Wed, 02 Apr 2014 20:15:27 +0000 Casey http://blog.virginia.org/?p=6780 ]]>

Vineyards are stunning with rolling hills of green vines. If you love the feeling you have when you visit a winery tasting room and walk the grounds, stay nearby so you don’t lose it. We’ve identified 25 beautiful Virginia bed and breakfasts that are a mile or less away from a Virginia winery. Stay close, sip close.

Le Bleu Ridge Bed and Breakfast, Afton

Le Bleu Ridge Bed and Breakfast, Afton

Central Virginia

The Farmhouse at Veritas is located in Afton and has two wineries nearby. On site is Veritas Vineyard & WineryAfton Mountain Vineyard is .9 mile southwest. The Farmhouse is a comfortable reflection of its 19th century history.

Also in Afton is Le Bleu Ridge Bed and Breakfast and Cottage, a Civil War-era landmark on the grounds of Flying Fox Vineyard. In fact, the tasting room is just 30 feet away from the main house!

When you visit Democracy Vineyards in Lovingston you can stay at Orchard House Bed & Breakfast, less than a half-mile away. The home dates to 1874 and boasts a beautiful front porch for rocking and relaxation.

Check into one of the guestrooms or suites at The Mark Addy Inn in Nellysford to sample the best of Hill Top Berry Farm and Winery just about a half-mile away. Hill Top offers “true to the fruit” wines and honey mead; pick blackberries seasonally, if you wish. One of five porches is awaiting your return.

Pool at Glass House Winery Bed and Breakfast, Free Union

Pool at Glass House Winery Bed and Breakfast, Free Union

Overlooking the vines of Glass House Winery in Free Union is the Glass House Winery Bed and Breakfast. A two-bedroom suite on the upper level affords amazing views of the property and pool. Three lower-level rooms with private baths boast radiant heated bamboo floors; two have private entrances.

Inn at Crossroads in North Garden is on the National Register of Historic Places and located next door to Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards. Hundreds of rolling acres steal your breath while you spend time on the front porch of this Federal style gem.

If you happen to love horses in addition to wine, stay at Reba Farm Inn in Bedford where you can saddle up and find great wine just a mile away at Peaks of Otter Winery.

A visit to Barboursville Vineyards near Charlottesville offers you a choice of two B&Bs. The 1804 Inn at Barboursville Vineyards is on the grounds of the vineyard and features bits and pieces of England, Italy, France and Virginia. Just .9 mile east in Gordonsville is Uphill House Bed & Breakfast, a relatively new home and B&B with English flair. Even closer to Uphill than Barboursville is Horton Vineyards and Winery at .7 mile away.

Blue Ridge Highlands

In Blacksburg you’ll find a luxurious retreat at Beliveau Estate Bed and Breakfast, plus Beliveau Winery is right there with it. Each spacious room has a cozy fireplace and private bath. Some have a private entrance and yet others have air jet tubs. Get comfortable with your wine!

Shenandoah Valley

In the southern Shenandoah Valley is Fincastle Vineyard & Winery and the vineyard’s bed and breakfast, too. The beauty of 80 acres of woodlands, pasture and vineyards will sweep you away; stay a while.

Back in Thyme Bed and Breakfast in Raphine is just down the road from Rockbridge Vineyard. The beautiful Victorian is comfortable with three bedrooms and private baths, plus a hearty country breakfast. Sample the wines at Rockbridge and bring a bottle out to enjoy on the swing below the vineyards.

Villa Veramar B&B sits among the grapes of Veramar Vineyards in Berryville and has romantic rooms with whirlpool tubs, evening wine and cheese platters, and of course, a fine breakfast.

Northern Virginia

Forgotten Creek Bed and Breakfast in Amissville is less than a half-mile from Gray Ghost Vineyards and Winery, a winery boasting an extensive list of national and international awards for their blends. Forgotten Creek B&B offers two suites and a farm-fresh quiche for breakfast.

Hillsborogh B&B, Hillsboro

Hillsborogh B&B, Hillsboro

The rustic, country-style retreat of Hillsborough B&B is just about a half-mile away from Hillsborough Vineyards in Hillsboro. A pool with waterfall offer a tranquil setting to enjoy a glass of something beautiful.

The Briar Patch Bed & Breakfast in Middleburg welcomes you to enjoy their 47 rolling acres from their 1805 historic country inn. It can be home base for visiting Leaves of Grass Vineyards, a very small operation that is open by reservation only, guaranteeing your own personal wine experience.

Spread your wings a little on the 138-acre Belle Meade Farm in Sperryville, home to Belle Meade Inn, a restored Victorian farmhouse. Practically a stone’s throw away at .2 mile is Sharp Rock Vineyards, which also has its own B&B cottages.

Settle in at The Blue Rock Inn in Washington. An on-site pub and restaurant make your dining choices easy while Little Washington Winery is just a hop, skip and a jump away.

The Barns at Hamilton Station, Hamilton

The Barns at Hamilton Station, Hamilton

In Hamilton you’ll fall in love with your surroundings, and Zion Springs Bed & Breakfast is just the beginning. The incredibly spacious suites will leave you asking, “Do we have to go home?” Less than a mile away is The Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards, a welcoming wood and stone dairy barn-turned-tasting room.

The folks at Gadino Cellars in Washington are fortunate to have a number of nearby bed and breakfasts for you to choose from. Specifically, take a look at these beauties less than a mile away:

Chesapeake Bay

In Irvington, the renowned Hope & Glory Inn, a Top 100 in the World and Top 10 in the US, is less than a half-mile from The Dog and Oyster, a refreshingly unique winery that teams up with Ingleside Vineyard to offer premium and reserve labels alongside their own wines for a one-of-a-kind tasting experience. Hope & Glory offers 25 rooms as well as cottages. National publications are known to gush over this beautiful property.

Perched above the vines in Hague is The Manor House at General’s Ridge Vineyard. Sip a glass of the house wine from the balcony or porch after enjoying a tasting at General’s Ridge tasting room.

Coastal Virginia – Hampton Roads

Visit the urban Mermaid Winery in Norfolk and stay in the elegant Bed & Breakfast at Historic Page House Inn, a AAA Four Diamond accommodation. Mermaid offers 12 wine flights for your choosing, all made in small batches from Virginia grapes.

 

Learn more about Virginia’s extensive wine offerings and the amazing bed and breakfasts awaiting you. Remember to drink responsibly and designate a driver.

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© Casey for Virginia's Travel Blog, 2014 ]]>
http://blog.virginia.org/2014/04/25-bbs-wine/feed/ 0 Le Bleu Ridge Bed and Breakfast, Afton Pool at Glass House Winery Bed and Breakfast, Free Union Hillsborogh B&B, Hillsboro The Barns at Hamilton Station, Hamilton
AMC’s New Series “TURN” Filmed in Virginia http://blog.virginia.org/2014/04/turn/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=turn http://blog.virginia.org/2014/04/turn/#comments Tue, 01 Apr 2014 19:54:24 +0000 Casey http://blog.virginia.org/?p=6761 ]]>

“TURN,” the brand new television series by AMC, has been filming on location in Virginia and premieres Sunday, April 6, 2014 at 9 p.m. EST.

Kevin McNally as Richard Woodhull and Jamie Bell as Abraham Woodhull. Photo: Antony Platt/AMC

Kevin McNally as Richard Woodhull and Jamie Bell as Abraham Woodhull. Photo: Antony Platt/AMC

Based on remarkable new research in the book Washington’s Spies, by Alexander Rose, “TURN” centers around Abraham Woodhull, a farmer living behind enemy lines in British-occupied Long Island. Abraham bands together with a group of childhood friends to form The Culper Ring: an unlikely team of secret agents who help George Washington turn the tide of the war in favor of the Rebels. Their daring efforts revolutionized the art of espionage, giving birth to modern tradecraft in all its moral complexity. “TURN” transforms history into suspenseful and resonant entertainment.

“TURN” was developed and is being written by Craig Silverstein (“Nikita”) and stars Jamie Bell (“Billy Elliot” and “The Adventures of Tintin”) as Abraham Woodhull. Executive Producers are Silverstein and Barry Josephson (“Bones”). AMC is the television home of some of the most popular dramas in cable television including “Mad Men,” “The Walking Dead” and the recently-ended “Breaking Bad,” created by Virginia native Vince Gilligan.

The series also stars Seth Numrich as Ben Tallmadge, Heather Lind as Anna Strong, Daniel Henshall as Caleb Brewster, Meegan Warner as Mary Woodhull, Kevin McNally as Judge Richard Woodhull, Burn Gorman as Major Hewlett, Angus MacFadyen as Robert Rogers, JJ Feild as Major John Andre, and Samuel Roukin as Captain Simcoe.

TURN: The Trail

Watch Sunday evenings for a look into the exhilarating Revolutionary War-era saga about America’s first spy ring and then get in on the action along TURN: The Trail, a series of Colonial and Revolutionary War-era attractions, “TURN” filming locations, and exciting espionage activities and museums to get your heart pumping and patriotism roaring. Sites along the trail include The Pentagon, four plantations, sites relevant to George Washington, Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown Victory Center, and others. Trail Map

You Become the Spy

Visit Colonial Williamsburg and join in the spy action of RevQuest: The Old Enemy between now and November 30, 2014.  RevQuest is an immersive game that leads you along the streets of Colonial Williamsburg’s Revolutionary City where you just might change the course of history. Begin your mission online and continue it on site.

TURN on AMC

 

Learn more about “TURN” at AMCTV.com.

 

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© Casey for Virginia's Travel Blog, 2014 ]]>
http://blog.virginia.org/2014/04/turn/feed/ 0 Kevin McNally as Richard Woodhull and Jamie Bell as Abraham Woodhull. Photo: Antony Platt/AMC TURN on AMC