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On the Big Screen: 8 Oscar Winners Filmed in Virginia

by Casey | Posted on February 24th, 2014

While we eagerly await the Academy Awards this Sunday to see how Virginia-filmed Best Picture nominee Captain Phillips fares, let’s take a look back at other films shot wholly or in part in Virginia that were honored with an Oscar.

Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln in LINCOLN.

Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg’s LINCOLN.

Argo was filmed in McLean and Fairfax County, Virginia in 2011. The film starring and directed by Ben Affleck received the 2013 Academy Awards for Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay, and Achievement in Film Editing.

During that same 2013 awards presentation LINCOLN won for Production Design, and Daniel Day-Lewis, whom portrayed Abraham Lincoln, took home the Bests Actor award. LINCOLN was filmed in the Richmond region, including Petersburg, Virginia.

The Bourne Ultimatum, the final piece of the Bourne Trilogy, was filmed in Fauquier County, Virginia in 2007 and starred Matt Damon as Jason Bourne. The film won three Oscars in 2008 – Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Achievement in Sound Mixing, and Best Achievement in Sound Editing.

Renee Zellweger won the Oscar in 2004 for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her work in Cold Mountain alongside Jude Law and Nicole Kidman. Cold Mountain was filmed in Richmond and Williamsburg, Virginia in 2002.

Filmed in Quantico, Virginia in 1990, The Silence of the Lambs starred Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster. The 1992 Academy loved the feature film, awarding five Oscars for the following categories: Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Best Director, and Best Writing.

Mountain Lake Conservancy & Hotel, film location for Dirty Dancing in 1986.

Mountain Lake Hotel in Pembroke, Virginia served as “Kellerman’s” in the 1986 hit “Dirty Dancing.”

A steadfast darling on the list of Virginia filmography is Dirty Dancing starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. Filmed in Giles County, Virginia in 1986, the flick received an Oscar for Best Music, Original Song for “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.”

Wise County, Virginia was the setting for the 1980 filming of Coal Miner’s Daughter, a biography of Loretta Lynn, starring Sissy Spacek and Tommy Lee Jones. In 1981 Spacek won the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role.

In 1956 Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean starred in Giant, a western love story that included filming in Charlottesville, Virginia. Nominated for ten Academy Awards, it won one – Best Director – in 1957.

Learn about the latest major film projects in Virginia at www.Virginia.org/FilmedInVirginia/ or peruse the filmography log for a list of feature films, TV series, commercials, and more filmed in Virginia.

>> 2014 SNEAK PEEK! <<

AMC is currently filming their new series TURN, a layered, character driven spy thriller that unravels the untold story of America’s first spy ring. Filming locations include Richmond, Petersburg, Hanover County, and plantations along the James River . Don’t miss the premiere Sunday, April 6, 2014.

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5 Out of the Way Places to Explore Off Interstate 81

by Casey | Posted on February 19th, 2014

Threading its way through the Shenandoah Valley and into the Blue Ridge Highlands of Virginia is Interstate 81, a major thoroughfare that carries a daily average of up to 67,000* vehicles north and south. From I-81 visitors can experience a wide variety of history that includes woolly mammoth and mastodon, the Drama of Creation, westward migration into the first frontier, battle sites of the Civil War, and important pieces of agricultural revolution. History isn’t the only thing this part of Virginia has to offer. Get off that very well beaten path and see what you’ve been missing.

Megalosaurus at Dinosaur Land in White Post, Virginia.

Megalosaurus at Dinosaur Land in White Post, Virginia.

1. The Camera Heritage Museum in Staunton is the East Coast’s largest privately owned, open to the public collection. And it’s free to visit! You’ll be amazed at what you’ll see - daguerreotypes, wooden cameras, spy cameras … more than 2,000 cameras and lenses total. Especially unique pieces (at least to this author) are the Magic Lantern Projector (c. 1900), Suzuki Optical Echo 8 (1951-56), and the Chelsea Flash Pistol. In addition to the camera collection, check out the photograph collection. More than 2,500 historical images of the Staunton area are available for viewing.

2. While you might have visited Luray Caverns already, you might have skipped touring the Car and Carriage Caravan Museum. If so, go back. This museum is home to the country’s oldest automotive in operating condition, the 1892 Benz Vis-a-Vis. Alongside this treasure are an 1840 Conestoga Wagon, Rudolph Valentino’s 1925 Rolls Royce, a 1914 Ford Model-T Milk Wagon, a 1913 Stanley Steamer, and more. The Car and Carriage Caravan Museum is included with Luray Caverns admission. $24 per adult, $12 ages 6 to 12.

3. In White Post you’ll find Dinosaur Land, an old school Virginia roadside attraction that’s more than 50 years old and has more than 50 dinosaurs to pose with. Everyone needs a pic with T-Rex! Opens for the season March 1. Admission is $6 per guest aged 11 and older; $5 ages 2 to 10.

Bob White Covered Bridge in Stuart, Virginia. Image by Doug Wilcox.

Bob White Covered Bridge in Stuart, Virginia. Image by Doug Wilcox.

4. If want a nostalgic, romantic feeling to wash over you, just visit the covered bridges in Patrick County. Bob White and Jack’s Creek covered bridges date to 1921 and 1914, respectively, and are celebrated annually in June during the Virginia Covered Bridge Festival.

5. The heritage of the Appalachians is preserved at the Crab Orchard Museum & Pioneer Park in Tazewell, which is also the site of a 500-year old Native American village. Conflicts of all kinds occurred on this land, including Revolutionary and Civil War skirmishes. Fourteen 1800s log cabins give a glimpse of what pioneer life in the original wild west was like. Overnight pioneer camps and other special opportunities are available. Admission is $5 per adult; $3 for ages 7 to 12.

Do you know of five others you’d add to this list? Please leave a comment to let everyone know!

 

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*I-81 Corridor Coalition



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14 Things to Bring with You on Vacation in Virginia

by Casey | Posted on February 18th, 2014

Every corner of Virginia offers an experience that you might be surprised to find. Don’t be caught off guard! Here’s your list of 14 things to bring with you on vacation in Virginia.

The Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards

The Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards

1. Cork Screw – Virginia has more than 230 wineries and quite a few wine trails. You’re sure to come across more than a few in your travels, so stop and taste the best of what’s around. Have a cork screw with you for picnics or wherever your path may lead.

2. Guitar Pick – Even if you don’t play, you’ll have the chance to strum a note or two when you travel The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. Traversing nearly 300 miles through the Blue Ridge Highlands and Heart of Appalachia, the Crooked Road is your go-to destination for authentic old-time, bluegrass and folk music, not to mention some of the finest handcrafted instruments in the world.

3. Oyster Shucking Knife – Virginia is a hot destination for oyster lovers. So much so, that it’s becoming known as the oyster capital of the East Coast. Taste the distinct difference seven oyster regions bring to the table when you attend an oyster festival or simply dine locally.

Pierce's Bar-B-Que

Pierce’s Bar-B-Que

4. GrowlerCraft beer has exploded in Virginia with more than 60 breweries serving their finest ales in on-site tasting rooms and local restaurants. A couple of trails exist or you can try our suggested Howlers & Growlers tour.

5. Binoculars – Bird watching is especially enjoyable in Virginia as much of the state is part of the Atlantic Flyway, a major migratory route. Read more about Virginia’s Birding and Wildlife Trail.

6. Ear Plugs – Virginia is fortunate to have two major NASCAR tracks and one major road course, all hosting multiple national events annually. In addition, Arena Racing USA is the only indoor stock car league in the country, and you can see these half-scale stock cars speed around Richmond Coliseum.

7. Moist Towelette – People who are serious about barbecue will no doubt sample and argue over which BBQ Joint is the best in Virginia (our list is up to 20!).  From Food Network and Southern Living to simple local acclaim, these dining destinations won’t let you down.

Hiking the Passamaquaddy Trail on Little Stony Man Mountain

Hiking the Passamaquaddy Trail on Little Stony Man Mountain

8. Hiking Shoes – Miles and miles and miles of hiking trails lead to waterfalls, amazing panoramic vantage points, and sheer Virginia solitude. See Hiking in Virginia, a compilation of Facebook and Twitter fan feedback about favorite hikes.

9. Rain Suit or Bandana – Big boy toys are meant for girls, too. Everyone loves ATVing once they let loose and try it. Bring a rain suit in case your ride occurs during the rainy spring season (mud, anyone?!), or a bandana to cover your mouth and nose during drier conditions. Get dirty at one of 8 Virginia ATV Destinations!

10. Water Bowl and Leash – Have a pet? Come on and travel Virginia. An increasing number of accommodations are welcoming pets into their environment. Check out Virginia is for Pet Lovers for pet-friendly travel info.

New River

New River

11. Fishing Pole – Sink your line deep into the Atlantic or cast a fly into a freshwater stream. There are all kinds of fish biting year ’round in Virginia. Buy a fishing license.

12. Helmet – Helmets can and should be used for a variety of experiences in Virginia – bicycling, horseback riding, kayaking and tubing, rock climbing, and ziplining, for starters.

13. Swimsuit and Sunblock – Be ready to dive in a lake, splash around a waterpark or sunbathe on the beach this summer.

14.  Camera App – What vacation would be complete without memories captured and shared on Instagram, Flickr, Twitter and Facebook? We want to see your amazing time, so tag your fun vacation photos with #LOVEVA!

Can you think of other things to bring for a uniquely Virginia vacation? Name it! We invite you to leave a comment and share your thoughts.

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One last thought … 14 souvenirs to bring home from Virginia:

1. Chincoteague Pony (yes, you can!)
2. NASCAR lug nut
3. Corks from conquered bottles of wine
4. Empty oyster shell
5. Photo of you on a roller coaster
6. Growler, shot glass or wine glass from your liquid adventures
7. Video of you flatfootin’ at Floyd Country Store
8. Bag of peanuts
9. Sea glass from Tangier Island
10. Bottle of Virginia moonshine
11. A cooler of fresh Chesapeake Bay blue crab
12. Freshly harvested Highland County maple syrup
13. Craft beer bottle caps
14. Any officially branded Virginia is for Lovers™ merchandise! Find a retailer.



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5 Out of the Way Places to Explore in Central and Southern Virginia

by Casey | Posted on February 11th, 2014

Get off the beaten path to see the lesser-known attractions from Richmond to Danville and Bedford and Petersburg. You’ll be delightfully surprised to find these “hidden” gems!

Shug the Grizzly Bear at Bear Path Acres

Shug the Grizzly Bear at Bear Path Acres

1. Bear Path Acres in Franklin is a non-profit animal sanctuary and the only place in Virginia where you’ll see a grizzly bear up close and personal (aside from your own mountain run-in). Not exotic enough for you? Leonard the Black Leopard is a beautiful, unexpected gentleman who also calls Bear Path home.  This animal education center is open March through November, weather permitting. $10 per adult; $5 per child age 4 to 12. Group rates available.

2. Visit the 100-acre Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Territory in Courtland to see Cattashowrock Town, a replica of the Native Palisade Fort/Village that William Byrd I of Westover documented during his visit in 1728. The Cheroenhaka (“People at the Fork of the Stream”) were the first to make contact with the English settlers in 1607/1608 in what is now Nottoway County, and are a state recognized Iroquoian Speaking Tribe. Walk the tribal interpretive trails, powwow grounds, and see the native sweat lodge. Cattashowrock Town is open Fridays and Saturdays from March 20 through November 15, 2014, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Annual Events:

  • July 26, 2014 – Cattashowrock Town “Green Corn Dance” Powwow
  • November 15 – Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Inter-Tribal Fall Festival

3. It’s a simple thing, really, but will bring much joy to those who haven’t experienced it. The last hand-poled ferry in the United States operates Saturdays and Sundays, April through October in Scottsville. It’s the Hatton Ferry and it crosses the James River south of Charlottesville every Saturday and Sunday, so long as water levels permit. Free to cross, but donations are encouraged. See the video below!

4. Boys big and small, young and old will fall in love with the American Armoured Foundation, Inc. Tank Museum in Danville. It’s the most extensive collection of tank and cavalry artifacts in the world with more than 115 tanks and artillery pieces, 15o mid-size weapons, and more than 1,800 uniforms, headgear, pins, patches, and more. The collection dates from 1509 to present day with all nations represented. Open Saturdays only through March, and then Wednesdays through Saturdays April through December. $12 per adult and $10 for ages 5 to 12.

MacCallum More Museum and Gardens

MacCallum More Museum and Gardens

5. MacCallum More Museum and Gardens in Chase City is listed on both the Virginia Landmark Registry and National Historic Register. Statues and plaques from around the world are found within the gardens – the rose garden, pink garden, herb & wildflower garden, joy garden, and a future children’s garden. The museum is home to five permanent exhibits including the Arthur Robertson Arrowhead Collection, the largest public display of arrowheads in the United States. Pieces date from the Archaic to Woodland Period; the collection is approximately 50,000 pieces strong.

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Chocolate Lovers’ Delight

by Casey | Posted on February 6th, 2014

Chocolate is a tempter. Indulgent, smooth, delicious. Fulfill your sweet cocoa desires with a visit to a Virginia chocolatier or an upcoming event.

 

 Chocolate Artisans

The Ultimate Chocolate Experience by Chocolate Spike

The Ultimate Chocolate Experience by Chocolate Spike

Alexandria – Artfully Chocolate - Part art gallery, part chocolatier, part cocoa bar and completely fabulous!

Arlington – Artisan Confections - Specializing in high-quality, hand-made chocolates that are elegant in both design and flavor.

Blacksburg – Chocolate Spike – Artistic chocolate endeavors by by Genie Ranck, producer of exciting creations.

Charlottesville – Gearhart’s Fine Chocolates - An artisanal chocolate shop in Historic Downtown Charlottesville that specializes in handmade confections of uncompromising quality.

Dayton – Warfel’s Sweet Shoppe - Homemade in the heart of Virginia’s beautiful Shenandoah Valley: old fashioned creme fudge, chocolate creme truffles, and “sugar free” chocolates, just to name a few.

Glass House Winery

Glass House Winery

Free Union – Glass House Winery – You read right. A winery that not only excels at wine making, but also makes their own in-house chocolates. Win-win.

Harrisonburg – Chocolate Occasions – See for yourself how the goods are made, then take home a box or two!

Lexington – Cocoa Mill Chocolate Co. - Offering a wide assortment of chocolates in dark, bittersweet, milk and white. Also featuring turtles — hand poured caramel over fresh pecans topped with milk chocolate; butter cremes, hand rolled truffles … the list goes on!

Louisa – Cooper Vineyards – Drink your chocolate! Noche Chocolate is a Virginia Norton dessert wine infused with chocolate. It’s also an award-winning wine (2012 Silver Virginia Governor’s Cup and others).

Richmond – Chocolates by Kelly - See chocolatiers make world-class chocolates right before your eyes. Take a class, buy a gift, try something new and exciting, or taste a treat that’ll make you feel like a kid again!

Richmond – Gearhart’s Fine Chocolate - Voted one of Chocolatier Magazine’s “Top 20 Artisan Chocolatiers” in the U.S., Tim Gearhart combines Single-Bean Venezuelan Chocolates, fine local and exotic ingredients, and passionate craftsmanship to create chocolates of unparalleled depth and complexity.

Virginia Beach – The Royal Chocolate - Indulge from cases filled with store made chocolates using Belgian Chocolate – truffles, creams, caramels, chocolate and caramel coated pretzels, not to mention the famous chocolate covered apples!

Williamsburg – MAD About Chocolate - A chocolate cafe by Marcel Desaulniers, author of Death by Chocolate and nine other cookbooks.

 

Chocolate Events

February 7 – Winchester – Chocolate Escape – Thirteen participating downtown restaurants are offering a $2 chocolate sampling menu while and 16 retailers have chocolate themed deals and offers available.

February 8 – Warrenton – 4th Annual Chocolate Extravaganza – This is a chocolate tasting fundraiser in memory of a 22 year old who lost her life to Leukemia. Six samples for $10.

 

Chocolate and Wine

February 7-15 – Bridgewater – Wine & Chocolate Pairing in the Tasting Room at Bluestone Vineyard – Eight wines paired with eight Warfel’s Sweet Shoppe chocolates for $12.

February 8 – Oak Grove – A Taste of Wine & Chocolate at Ingleside Vineyards - Indulge in the finest Ingleside wines with an elegant chocolate experience. Reservations required.

February 11 – Norfolk – Chocolate Wine Pairing at Mermaid Winery – Four pairings for $20. Reservations required.

February 14 – Stanley – Valentine Chocolate and Wine at Wisteria Farm and Vineyard – Join in the chocolate fondue and wine! Get a plate of dipping goodies and a glass of wine for $15.

February 14-16 – Middleburg – Wine and Chocolate Weekend at Greenhill Winery and Vineyards – Handcrafted nut-free/gluten-free chocolates by locally owned Simply Nut Free will be paired with four Greenhill wines.

February 14-16 – Purcellville – Breaux Vineyards’ Chocolate & Cabernet Tasting – Hand-rolled truffles and imported chocolate are paired with Breaux cabernet. $30; reservations suggested.

February 15 – Floyd – Valentine’s Weekend Wine and Chocolate Pairing at Chateau Morrisette –  Chateau Morrisette’s wine-crafter, Rachel Lagergren and Wilbur’s Chocolates Master Chocolatier, Dona Peters will give an expert presentation of five wines paired with Wilbur Chocolates. $40 per person; reservations and pre-payment required.

 

Where do you find your favorite chocolate? Leave a comment to tell us!

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Events, Food, Food and Wine | 1 Comment