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    Have you hiked Roaring Run Trail in Eagle Rock, #VA? An excellent family #hike, the trail passes rock walls, cascading water, five foot bridges and even a natural water slide before ending at Roaring Run Falls. At the head of the trail is Roaring Run Furnace, ruins of a 19th century furnace operation. Roaring Run #Creek is also known for trout fishing. #VAOutdoors #waterfall #loveva #repost #roaringrun #virginia #perspective #photooftheday Kudos to @spezzaroo for the beautiful photo!
    Hot diggity dog! It's National Hot Dog Day, so we thought we'd share this beef brisket, apple jicama slaw, poblano #BBQ #footlong #hotdog from the Continental Westhampton for #lunch. Grab a hot dog at your local joint and celebrate! #loveva #vafoood #nationalhotdogday #rva #craftbeer #vabeer @rvanews
    Can you imagine waking up and walking out on the porch to find yourself amongst the trees with a sweeping view of the Dan River Gorge's Blue Ridge Mountains? That's exactly what you'll experience when staying the night at Primland #Resort's Golden Eagle #Treehouse! Photo props to @visitvbr. Don't forget to share your tree top stay with us by tagging #LoveVA! #repost #Virginia #porch #mountain #goodmorning #photooftheday #primlandresort @primlandresort
    Road trippers and warriors may recognize the Hampton Roads #Bridge Tunnel at sunset, though it looks different when you're not behind the wheel of a car. Beautiful shot by @slayerlovnhippy! Don't forget to tag your #Virginia photos with #LoveVA for a chance to be featured here. #repost #dusk #photooftheday #bridgetunnel #vatravel #moon #hamptonroads
  • Posts Tagged ‘100 Miles of Lights’

    10 Tips for Hosting Family this Holiday

    by Casey | Posted on November 15th, 2012

    So your family is coming to enjoy one of the season’s holidays with you. What’s your game plan?

    First, start with LOVE. They’re visiting because they love you, they want to make memories with you, and they know the value of togetherness. After that, we’re here to help!

    10 WAYS TO LOVE A FAMILY HOLIDAY

    Bryce Resort

    Bryce Resort

    1. Chill OutVirginia’s mountain resorts have something fun for every member of the family – EVERY member. Little kids can learn to ski or play it safe on the snow tubes while the big kids work the slopes. Fireside dining, spas and even indoor waterparks will entertain those who’d rather not get their adrenaline pumping in the chill of December.

    2. Shine On – The lights that radiate along skylines and neighborhoods are a draw for families. Get everyone situated with hot cocoa and then go for a ride to see the night aglow. Sites like Elks National Home in Bedford create festive displays to drive through, not to mention the famed 100 Miles of Lights that encompasses the coastal cities, Virginia Beach Boardwalk and Richmond. To truly go over the top, splurge on a trip to Busch Gardens for Christmas Town!

    3. Presidential Escapades – Since you’re in the state dubbed “Mother of Presidents,” why not take in a little history? The homes of Jefferson, Madison, Washington and Wilson are decorated and awaiting guests – your guests.

    4. Get Crafty – One more gift couldn’t hurt anything, especially if it’s handmade and keeping the family occupied. Visit a place like You Made It! in Harrisonburg, Color Me Mine in Norfolk or A Glass Expression Stained Glass Studio in Pound to make a one-of-a-kind original treasure.

    Tree Hunting

    Find your perfect tree.

    5. Tree Hunt – If you need a tree and haven’t already completed the set-up and decorating, make a new family memory by hunting for the perfect one together. Some Virginia tree farms offer a wagon ride to their tree thicket and have a gift shop with fresh wreaths and more.

    6. Run Off Steam – Usually the kids get a little more antsy than the parents when it comes to spending time together inside. Find a children’s museum like Amazement Square in Lynchburg or Children’s Museum of Virginia in Portsmouth to let them run off their energy while you chit chat amongst yourselves.

    7. Go Below – Since you’re chilly anyway, why not check out one of Virginia’s eight caverns? From the East Coast’s largest to one with an elevator and even one without an end, a day in a cavern is one that the family will talk about and remember for a while to come.

    8. Cheers – Virginia has more than 230 wineries, 60+ craft breweries and a growing number of distilleries and cideries. Designate a driver (and a babysitter, if necessary) to head out and sample some of Virginia’s best adult handmade beverages.

    9. Say Cheese – Pick a beautiful backdrop for a family photo and then go have fun with silly faces and fun Christmas sweaters. Our favorites are covered bridges, any of the lookouts along the Blue Ridge Parkway and of course, our LOVEworks were made for opportunities like yours. Not only will it be an excellent adventure, but you’ll have proof of the fun, too.

    10. Skate Away – Choose your venue – indoors or out? Do you prefer blades or wheels? Virginia has great ice skating opportunities and quite a few roller skating rinks, too. Either sport is a great pastime for adults and a fun new sport for the next generation. If you’d rather just see a giant skate, we have that, too.

    We wish you a love-filled season as you celebrate your Hanukkah, Christmas or Kwanzaa with those closest to you.

    Virginia is for Lovers.
    Request a free Travel Guide

    * Post updated December 11, 2013.



    Family, The Holidays | 1 Comment

    Virginia’s Grand Illuminations

    by Casey | Posted on November 13th, 2012

    Twinkles and animated lights bring out the kid in all of us, so take time to make a memory with your children and loved ones. Virginia’s illuminations will indeed be a hit with young and old alike.

    Downtown Norfolk Skyline

    Downtown Norfolk Skyline

    The festivities begin this Saturday, November 17 with the illumination of the downtown Norfolk and Olde Towne Portsmouth skylines followed by Hampton Roads’ most cherished event, the Grand Illumination Parade. Festive floats, marching bands, giant balloons, dancers and Santa himself will delight spectators as they parade through downtown Norfolk.

    Newport News’ Hollydazzle is a one of a kind show that combines synchronized fireworks, theatrical lighting, ground-based pyrotechnics and special effects all choreographed to festive music, making it one of the top shows of the year. Light it up on November 30!

    December 1 is the date to see the historic Foster Falls village at New River State Park sparkle with more than 100,000 colorful lights. Enjoy free horse-drawn wagon rides and antique tractor hayrides. Warm up later with complimentary hot chocolate, coffee and pastries. A fee or a donation is required for this event. If you donate canned food, please be sure its expiration date hasn’t passed.

    This year’s Bull Run Festival of Lights in Centreville opens November 21 and runs through January 6. The festival is held each year to celebrate the winter season, bringing you a little warmth and cheer from the comfort of your car.

    Dominion GardenFest of Lights

    Dominion GardenFest of Lights

    In Richmond, Dominion GardenFest Of Lights at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is a a tradition featuring half-a-million lights, botanical decorations, trains, family activities and more. You won’t want to miss the 19-foot tall decorated tree, model trains and fairy houses or the fire pit for toasting s’mores. It all kicks off November 23 and runs through January 7.

    Discover more twinkling fun this season when you check out our 100 Miles of Lights and Parades and Tree Lighting Ceremonies articles.

     

     

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



    Events, Family, Outdoors, The Holidays | Comments Off

    Parades and Boats Light Up Hampton

    by Casey | Posted on November 21st, 2011

    So far in the 100 Miles of Lights journey we’ve shared tidbits about Richmond, Williamsburg and Newport News. Today, the show goes to Hampton!

    Downtown Hampton Lighted Boat Parade

    Downtown Hampton Lighted Boat Parade

    To kick off the festivities, Hampton offers First Light Celebration on December 2. First Light is an event commemorating the first recorded English Christmas, which just so happened to occur in Hampton, Virginia. Bring the whole family for old English caroling, ginger cakes, wassail, a reenactment of a “Kecoughtan Christmas,” and finally, a blue star lighting atop the Hampton History Museum. This is a free event.

     

    “In December of 1608, Captain John Smith recorded the events leading up to, during, and following their Christmas with the Native Americans. It was a hard second winter for the English settlers, and Smith sought trade with Chief Powhatan so that his people could survive …

    With forty-six men at his command, Smith began sailing down the James River, and made formidable progress on the first day. However, when they woke the next morning, a snowy nor’easter was brewing, and their progress was severely cut, forcing them to seek shelter at Kecoughtan Village. Chief Pochins and his people welcomed them with great hospitality as the settlers ‘kept Christmas’ during the English days of Twelfth Night. For a week, until the storm passed, there was merriment, delicious food and comfortable lodging. His journey led him to today’s Yorktown,  Gloucester, and beyond. During this time, Smith actually described their Christmas in his journal, thus leading to evidence for celebrating the 403rd anniversary of the event this year.”
    -Hampton History Museum

    Make a weekend of your Hampton stay, as the following day, December 3, is the 23rd Annual Lighted Boat Parade. Twenty-plus boats are expected to glide down the Hampton River as a narration is read at the Hampton Maritime Center. If the sight is more important than the sound, grab some hot cocoa and perch any place along the river.

    Hampton Holly Days Parade

    Hampton Holly Days Parade. Photo courtesy of The City of Hampton

    Should the following weekend work better with your schedule, the Hampton Holly Days Parade gets the merriment rolling on December 10. Themed “Candy Cane Lane,” you can expect a special appearance by Willy Wonka – the ultimate candy man. The Holly Days Parade is the area’s largest and will definitely have everything you hope to find in such an event. The route is from Eaton Street and Settlers Landing Road to Darling Stadium.

    Regardless of when you travel to Hampton this season, you’ll want to add the ice rink at the Virginia Air & Space Center to your to-do list. The rink opened November 18 and will remain open through March 4, 2012. Admission is $6 for two hours. Skate rental is $2.

    Eager for more 100 Miles of Lights events? See Virginia.org/100MilesofLights/.



    Family, The Holidays, Virginia Destinations | Comments Off

    Newport News Puts the Celebration in Lights

    by Casey | Posted on November 19th, 2011

    Virginia’s 100 Miles of Lights begins in Richmond, moves on to Williamsburg, and then lands in Newport News, where the light show is a two-mile drive-through and then some.

    Hollydazzle

    Hollydazzle

    Celebration in Lights takes place in Newport News Regional Park beginning November 24. The park encompasses 8,000 acres, with two beautiful reservoirs that reflect the more than 750,000 bulbs you’ll see. Kids and adults alike will delight in the whimsical figures – 70 animated – with themes that include “Battle of the Ironclads” and “Santa’s Enchanted Kingdom.”

    Perhaps a little-known fact, Celebration in Lights is Virginia’s first and longest-running drive-through light show. See the beauty through January 1 for $10/car or $60/bus.

    On December 2 a dazzling event aptly dubbed Hollydazzle will take place at City Center at Oyster Point. It’s one of the most unique holiday displays you’ll find, with special effects, fireworks, and music. This is a free event.

    For families seeking an original Christmas, see Star of Wonder: Mystery of the Christmas Star at Virginia Living Museum between November 23 and December 31, with the exception of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It’s a planetarium event that follows the Star of Bethlehem, just as the Magi did. $21/adult and $17/child (museum admission + $4) Show times very; please check theVLM.orgfor exact times.

    Star of Wonder at Virginia Living Museum

    Star of Wonder at Virginia Living Museum

    “Since 1965, the museum has journeyed in the footsteps of the Magi seeking the identity of a mysterious star which foretold the coming of a king… Over the years, the scientific thinking has changed, archeology has revealed new clues, and our understanding of who the Magi might actually have been has grown. Our best theory for what the sign of the wise men might have been has changed, too. Now, it is time for us once again to update our understanding. The show was completely revised in 2008 to offer a truly immersive look at the journey of the Magi while examining the latest clues and seeking once more to understand the appearance of the Star of Bethlehem.”
    - Virginia Living Museum

     Perhaps packaging some of this fun into a weekend travel package will make the planning easier. If so …

    Point Plaza Suites and Conference Hotel is offering admission to Celebration in Lights along with a snack bag of tasty treats and breakfast for two  from $89/room.

    Eager for more 100 Miles of Lights info? See Virginia.org/100MilesofLights/.

     



    Family, The Holidays, Virginia Destinations | Comments Off

    Williamsburg Aglow for the Holidays

    by Casey | Posted on November 18th, 2011

    Grand Illumination at Colonial Williamsburg

    Grand Illumination at Colonial Williamsburg

    Yesterday I gave you the scoop on Richmond’s amazing lights for the 100 Miles of Lights event that covers multiple cities every year. Today, Williamsburg’s up!

    Kick off the festivities in Colonial Williamsburg on December 4 with the Grand Illumination event. First, it’s free – no ticket or reservation is required – and second, there are THREE fireworks displays and multiple stages of musical performances. The show starts at 5:15 p.m. Arrive early for good parking.

    If you care to stay the night, there are enticing travel packages to be had, and they cover more than what you might think.

    Christmas Town at Busch Gardens is entering its second year. If you’re imagining just a few lights to decorate BG, think again. There are now FIVE MILLION lights (up from a mere two million last year), a 50′ Christmas tree with animated lights, and I hear the park even smells like Christmas with the scent of warm sugar cookies and pine wafting in the wind.

    If you “do” Christmas Town, know these things in advance:

    Christmas Town at Busch Gardens

    Christmas Town at Busch Gardens

    1. You must buy the peppermint fudge hot chocolate. It’s mandatory and you won’t be sorry. (Really it’s not mandatory, but let’s pretend it is.)
    2.  There are real penguins. You will fall in love, no questions asked.
    3.  Santa is there, and he’s a good Santa, too. Not a mall Santa at all. And he’s building toys.
    4. Elmo and the Sesame Street Forest of Fun gang are in on the Christmas action, too.
    5. The shows are heartwarming, traditional, and just what you expect at Christmas time.
    6. While not all of the rides are available in the winter, plenty are, and the one you mustn’t miss is Flight of Lights.
    7. The dining menus change to reflect a traditional Christmas meal.
    8. Christmas Town is not open daily. The schedule:
    - Begins November 25
    - Friday and Saturday, 3 to 10 p.m.; Sunday, 3 to 9 p.m.
    - Daily from December 16 through 31, 3 to 10 p.m. Exceptions: Close at 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve and closed Christmas Day.
    9. Christmas Town is an affordable gift (and will no doubt be very much appreciated). A single evening ticket is $24.99. If you can and want to go three consecutive nights, I suggest the Discovery Ticket for $32.99.

    Back to those travel packages …

     A Williamsburg Christmas Experience * Three days of unlimited admission to Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens * Choose your own accommodation * from $119.99/person for two nights

    Christmas in Williamsburg from Country Inn & Suites * Two tickets to Busch Gardens for one day * $20 restaurant gift certificate valid at over 60 area restaurants * Christmas gift * breakfast * from $139/night

    Decked Out with All the Trimmings * Three-day Discovery Ticket to Busch Gardens * Two Busch Gardens Parking Vouchers * Dining certificate for a traditional meal and hot chocolate served in a souvenir mug * Choose your own accommodation * rates dependent upon number of guests and lodging choice 

    Hungry for more 100 Miles of Lights info? Go to Virginia.org/100MilesofLights/.



    Couples, Family, The Holidays, Travel Ideas, Winter | Comments Off