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    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
    Picking #blueberries at Mount Olympus Farm in Ruther Glen. If you visit soon, you'll be able to pick your own blueberries (end of season) AND blackberries (beginning of season). Pull out those homemade #pie and #muffin recipes and get cookin'! Tag your #Virginia photos with #LoveVA for a chance to be featured here. #eatlocal #pickyourown #blueberry #summer #vatravel #locavore #vafood
  • Posts Tagged ‘Blue Ridge Highlands’

    Virginia’s Music Heritage

    by Casey | Posted on July 22nd, 2014

    At its core, music is all about emotion and storytelling. As Vince Gill puts it, “I just think it’s important to know your history. Period.” And the history of country music starts with the 1927 Bristol Sessions – “the Big Bang of Country Music,” if you will.

    Carter Family Fold. Image by Emily Edmonds.

    Carter Family Fold. Image by Emily Edmonds.

    Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited is a project that brings well known veterans of country and bluegrass together with rising stars to deliver, in fact, orthophonic joy. That is, reproduced authentic sounds that deliver feelings of great pleasure and happiness.

    The project of 16 re-recorded Bristol Sessions songs will be released in October, nicely dovetailing with the August 1 opening of the brand new Smithsonian Institution-affiliated Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol.

    Recording artists include Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Marty Stuart, Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers and Ashley Monroe. The project is produced by multi-Grammy Award-winner Carl Jackson.

    >> About Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited

    Virginia’s musical legacy is as deep and wide as its rivers and valleys. In Southwest Virginia, the Carter Family and the Stonemans were two of the acts who helped popularize the rise of mountain music and were among the first to penetrate American households on radio and records.

    Dr. Ralph Stanley. Photo by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

    Dr. Ralph Stanley. Photo by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

    Ralph Stanley (pictured right), from Clintwood, helped bring Bluegrass and Old Time music into the mainstream. His lengthy and distinguished career received widespread acclaim with the release of the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?, featuring his songs O, Death and Angel Band. And while Man of Constant Sorrow, the unintentional O Brother theme song, wasn’t penned by Stanley, he resurrected the old ballad in 1951 when he recorded it with his brother Carter for Columbia Records. No one knows for sure exactly where the song originated.

    The music of Southwest Virginia is more accessible than ever thanks in part to The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. The Crooked Road links together dozens of venues where live music can be heard each week. Heritage sites such as the Ralph Stanley Museum, the Blue Ridge Music Center and Heartwood help tell the stories of the music and musicians.

    Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion

    Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion

    Music festivals draw tens of thousands of fans from around the world. The Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion fills the downtown area of the vibrant city with stages indoors and out. FloydFest is an eclectic celebration of music of nearly every description and is held adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Wayne C. Henderson Music Festival honors one of America’s top acoustic guitar makers and this year features Vince Gill as its headliner.

    Divergent veins of music run throughout Virginia, producing famous names in a variety of genres. Legendary singers Ella Fitzgerald and Pearl Bailey both hailed from Newport News. Country Music Hall of Fame member Patsy Cline was born in Winchester. Las Vegas legend Wayne Newton was born in Norfolk, and country music superstar Roy Clark is from the small town of Meherrin. Williamsburg is home to native son Bruce Hornsby.

    Dave Matthews grew up in Charlottesville and owns one of Virginia’s top wineries nearby. Pharrell Williams of Virginia Beach has made the world “Happy” with his smash single. He and his musical partner, Chad Hugo, from nearby Portsmouth, comprise The Neptunes and as performers and producers are one of the dominant forces in modern popular music.

    Truly, Virginia’s music reverberates around the world today with new sounds and influences, yet still finds a home among the hills of Appalachia.

    From inside the new Birthplace of Country Music Museum. Photo by Earl Neikirk, Bristol Herald Courier.

    From inside the new Birthplace of Country Music Museum. Photo by Earl Neikirk, Bristol Herald Courier.



    History, Video clips, Virginia Destinations | 0 Comments

    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



    Travel Ideas | 4 Comments

    5 Heartwarming Destinations for Your Holidays

    by Casey | Posted on November 6th, 2013

    As the season of holidays creeps ever closer, find ways to make the most of your time together and make it memorable. Why not consider an overnight or two in a Virginia destination known for its merriment and cheer?

     

    The Barter Theatre, Abingdon

    The Barter Theatre, Abingdon

    Spend the holidays in Abingdon! This picturesque small town will fill your heart with holiday joy. World class art venues, cultural events and historical sites are all wrapped up in Christmas lights.

    • Stay: The Martha Hotel & Spa, Copper Lantern Inn, River Garden Bed and Breakfast
    • Dine: Babycakes Cupcakery and Abingdon Tavern
    • Visit: Barter Theatre, Holston Mountain Artisans, Wolf Hills Brewery, Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway
    • See the Entire Getaway

     

    Carriage Rides in Harrisonburg

    Carriage Rides in Harrisonburg

    Escape to a cozy winter weekend in Harrisonburg, where holiday events on Main Street highlight the beauty of the season.

    • Stay: Joshua Wilton House, Stonewall Jackson Inn, By the Side of the Road Inn & Cottages
    • Dine: Shank’s Bakery, Clementine Cafe, Corgans’ Publick House
    • Visit: You Made It!, Winter Farmers’ Market, Forbes Center for Performing Arts
    • See the Entire Getaway

     

    Old Town Alexandria

    Old Town Alexandria

    From charming King Street in Old Town Alexandria to Mount Vernon, the area presents lively, entertaining holiday opportunities for the whole family.

    • Stay: Morrison House, Lorien Hotel and Spa, Hotel Monaco
    • Dine: Fish Market Restaurant, Hard Times Cafe, Caboose Cafe & Bakery
    • Visit: Torpedo Factory Art Center, Woodlawn, Gadsby’s Tavern, Alexandria Black History Museum
    • See the Entire Getaway

     

    Downtown Culpeper

    Downtown Culpeper

    Enjoy the spirit of a classic Virginia Main Street when you and the girls make it a shopping weekend in Culpeper.

    • Stay: Thyme Inn, Suites at 249, Hazel River Inn B&B
    • Dine: Hazel River Inn Restaurant & Pub, Raven’s Nest Coffee House, Foti’s
    • Visit: Mount Pony Theatre, Belmont Farm Distillery, Old House Vineyards
    • See the Entire Getaway

     

    Virginia Living Museum

    Virginia Living Museum

    Capture the memories as you indulge your senses and rejuvenate your soul in Newport News, the heart of Coastal Virginia, this holiday season.

    • Stay: Newport News Marriott at City Center, Boxwood Inn, The Pequod Inn
    • Dine: Crab Shack on the James, The Lunch Bell
    • Visit: Virginia Living Museum, 100 Miles of Lights, Peninsula Fine Arts Center, Endview Plantation, Lee Hall Mansion
    • See the Entire Getaway

     

    Looking for more great holiday getaways? This is the first in a series! Be sure to subscribe to our posts so you don’t miss the next edition. In the mean time, leave a comment to tell us your favorite Virginia destination for the holidays.

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    48 Hours, The Holidays, Travel Ideas, Virginia Destinations, Winter | 12 Comments

    6 Virginia Trails for Arts and Culture

    by Casey | Posted on September 18th, 2013

    Take a drive that reaps rewards not with the scenery alone, but with the treasures along the way. The six trails below have been identified for their esteemed artisans and other relevant cultural experiences.

    Rocky Knob area of the Blue Ridge Parkway

    Rocky Knob area of the Blue Ridge Parkway

    The Hidden Treasures Artisan Trail (HT) meanders through Patrick County in Southwest Virginia, leading you to and through a wealth of beauty. Marry it with the Floyd County Trail (FC) and the White Lightning Trail (WL) of Franklin County by way of the Blue Ridge Parkway, starting at Meadows of Dan. This trail is worthy of your 48 hours, be it weekday or weekend.

    Key Highlights:

    - Mountain Meadows Farm and Craft Market – corn maze and pumpkin patch, too! (HT)
    - Mabry Mill (FC)
    - Chateau Morrisette Winery (HT & FC)
    - Villa Appalaccia Winery (HT & FC)
    - Sarvisberry Gallery & Studios (FC)
    - Tuggles Gap Restaurant & Motel (FC)
    - Hensley Polseno Pottery (FC)
    - Blue Ridge Institute and Farm Museum (WL)
    - Moondancer Creations (WL)
    - Icove Lighting Design Gallery (FC)

    Download: Hidden Treasures | Floyd County | White Lightning

    The Monticello Artisan Trail (MA) from the Blue Ridge Parkway through Nelson and Albemarle Counties pairs up nicely with the Nelson 151 Trail (151) and the Presidents Passport (PP) program.  Mix, mingle, and be merry!

    Fall in Albemarle County

    Fall in Albemarle County

    Key Highlights:

    - Wintergreen Resort (MA & PP)
    - Mountain Vision Pottery (MA & PP)
    - Devil’s Backbone Brewing Co. (MA & 151)
    - Wintergreen Winery (151)
    - Wild Wolf Brewing Co. (MA, PP & 151)
    - Rockfish River Pottery (MA)
    - Hill Top Berry Farm & Winery (MA, PP & 151)
    - Nan Rothwell Pottery (MA & PP)
    - Albemarle CiderWorks (MA)
    - Carter Mountain Orchard (MA)
    - Michie Tavern (MA & PP)
    - Jefferson Vineyards (MA)
    - Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello (MA & PP)

    Monticello Artisan Trail Google Map or PDF | Sign Up for Presidents Passport | Nelson 151 Google Map

    Where are you headed this fall in Virginia? Leave us a comment to tell us your favorite drive for foliage, your favorite festival, or whatever else you’d like to share about all the ways you LOVE fall in Virginia!

    More Artisan Trails
    Fall Related Blog Posts

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



    Destinations, Fall in Virginia, Travel Ideas | Comments Off

    48 Hour Fall Getaways in Virginia, Part 4 of 8

    by Casey | Posted on September 12th, 2013

    The great outdoors are calling your name. You must climb, paddle, run, or ride. But where? Enter the beautiful season of fall where the mercury slowly dips to moderate numbers and the shorter days are loaded with excitement.

    Leaf Peeping in Lynchburg

    Lynchburg is serving up fantastic outdoor recreation and you really don’t want to miss out on it.

    Start with the Liberty Mountain Trail System. It’s more than 65 miles zig-zagging across 5,000 acres and up to more than 1,360 feet.

    Next up could be a lazy kayak trip with James River Float Company. After all that strenuous mountain work, this might be the perfect attraction.

    Since you’ve gotten up close and personal with the foliage on the trail and admired its brilliance from the water, where else to see it but from the air? Call up Precision Windsports, Inc. They’ll get you up and flying in a light sport aircraft for a unique leaf-peeping vantage point.

    Stay:
    Craddock Terry Hotel (Stay 2 nights; get 3rd 50% off!)
    Federal Crest Inn B&B
    Kirkley Hotel

    Eat:
    Main Street Eatery
    Shoemakers Fine Dining
    The Crown

    Do:
    Rise Up Climbing
    Jefferson Street Brewery
    Upcoming Events

    New Adventures at Mountain Lake

    This beautiful mountain reprieve tucked away in Giles County is the 1986 filming location for the incredible (am I biased?) Dirty Dancing featuring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. While the urge to stay at “Kellerman’s” is a persistent annual draw, Mountain Lake Lodge & Conservancy has been revamped for a new generation of family fun.

    You should know …

    • 2,600 acres with 22 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails
    • Rafting, canoeing, kayaking and fishing on-site
    • A new aerial and zip line adventure course, geocaching, and archery lessons are just some of the outdoor offerings
    • Dining on site at Harvest or Stony Creek Tavern
    • Stay on site in either the Main Stone Lodge, Chestnut Lodge, the Front Lawn Cottages & Historic Rustic Cabins, or in a Blueberry Ridge Mountain Home.

    Also Nearby:
    Blackberry Morning Retreat
    Walker Creek Retreat
    Inn at Riverbend (Quick! Stay 2 midweek nights; get 3rd 50% off!)
    Cascades National Recreation Trail

    Saddle Up in Southern Virginia

    Shangrila Guest Ranch

    Shangrila Guest Ranch

    South Boston is your destination and horseback riding at Shangrila Guest Ranch is your pleasure for these 48 hours. An all-inclusive ranch, you’ll be more than comfortable in their log cabin, old home place or packhouse. If you’d rather try another accommodation, they’ll still let you saddle up with their beautiful horses. Ride, regardless of experience, for an hour or all day …  just make an appointment!

    Explore South Boston and Halifax, but be sure to try the barbecue at Smokin’ Jakes. That definitely has to be on your list.

    Also Nearby:
    Berry Hill Resort
    Oak Grove Plantation B&B
    The Prizery
    Bob Cage Sculpture Farm

    Mountain Explorations in Southwest Virginia

    The Blue Ridge Parkway is pure outdoor recreation. Start anywhere you like and you’re golden. For this purpose, let’s shoot down near Meadows of Dan and make a plan.

    Blue Ridge Tree Climbing

    Blue Ridge Tree Climbing

    Pick things up with Blue Ridge Tree Climbing, LLC. Instructor Bob Wray is inspiring, stating, “If you cannot remember the meaning of childhood magic, or do remember and want to get it back, then I suggest you simply climb a tree again.”

    Find rest in a cozy little cabin nestled among Christmas trees at River Walk Cabins, or delight in the views from Woodberry Inn, where there’s a restaurant on site.

    There are plenty of trails nearby, including Sweet Mountain Laurel Loop, Rock Castle Gorge National Recreational Trail, and the entirety of the Buffalo Mountain Natural Area Preserve.

    Also Nearby:
    Mabry Mill and Restaurant
    Saddle Up Farm
    Chateau Morrisette Winery and Restaurant

    Find more ways to spend 48 hours this fall in Virginia:

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

     



    48 Hours, Destinations, Fall in Virginia, Outdoors | Comments Off