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5 Ways to Enjoy National Fishing and Boating Week

by Casey | Posted on June 3rd, 2013

June 1 – 9, 2013 is National Fishing and Boating Week and we have five fun ways you can enjoy the water this week in Virginia.

Buggs Island Lake / John H. Kerr Reservoir. Photo by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

Buggs Island Lake / John H. Kerr Reservoir

1. Free Fishing Days - June 7-9 are designated Free Fishing Days in Virginia, where you are welcome to fish without a license in any freshwater or saltwater environments except designated stocked trout waters, which are marked with signage. This is the perfect opportunity to introduce your children to fishing.

2. Go Big – Head to Virginia’s largest lakes for plenty of coves  that are sure to be full of fish. The boating and watersports are awesome, too!

Largest: John H. Kerr Reservoir / Buggs Island Lake in Clarksville includes more than 50,000 acres of fresh water and over 800 miles of shoreline. Try either Occoneechee or Staunton River State Park for the best public access.
Second Largest: Smith Mountain Lake is so large (500 miles of shoreline) that it can be accessed from three counties – Bedford, Franklin and Pittsylvania. Try Smith Mountain Lake State Park for the best public access.
Third Largest: Lake Anna also reaches into three counties – Louisa, Orange and Spotsylvania. The lake offers more than 200 miles of shoreline and 13,000 surface acres of water. Lake Anna is noted for being one of the best lakes on the eastern seaboard for fishing large mouth bass. Head to Lake Anna State Park for the best public access.

Blue Marlin.

Blue Marlin caught from “Flat Line” with AquaMan Sportfishing Charters.

3. Cruise – Step onto a harbor cruise if you’re not quite ready to slip out into the Atlantic on a charter. Try the Carrie B. out of Portsmouth (a Mississippi river boat replica), Miss Hampton II out of Hampton, American Rover out of Norfolk (a sailing schooner) or Victory Rover, also out of Norfolk. A harbor cruise out of Norfolk would be especially fun this weekend as Norfolk Harborfest is going on and there will be many ships to see, not to mention fireworks!

4. Cast a Long Line – Hop aboard a charter and head out into the Chesapeake Bay or Atlantic Ocean for stellar offshore and deep sea fishing. Captains of Bay Fisher IICatchin’ Up, Final PursuitFlat Line, High Hopes, Key DreamsLemon Twist, Long Time Com’n, MatadorMatty J, Net Profits, Obsessed, Ocean EagleRock Hound, and Wave Runner will help you land croaker, flounder, sea bass, tautog, cobia and possibly a blue marlin, among others.

5. River Runs – Virginia’s rivers are ripe for a variety of freshwater fish, and there are plenty of guides on standby to help you get started.

New River Trips

New River Trips

New River

Shenandoah River

Matt Miles Fly Fishing, LLC

Matt Miles Fly Fishing, LLC

James River

 Rappahannock River

Are you all set with great ideas and contacts for a week on the water? Comment below to share your experiences and tell what’s biting where.

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Related Information:

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Happy National Bike Month!

by Casey | Posted on May 7th, 2013

May is National Bike Month and we’re happy to tell you all about casual, relaxed biking in Virginia.

Virginia Capital Trail

Virginia Capital Trail

Arguably Virginia’s most well-known bicycling destination is the Virginia Creeper Trail. This rails-to-trails initiative runs 34.3 miles from Abingdon to Whitetop Mountain (the second highest summit in Virginia). Avoid the mountain climb by taking a shuttle from Damascus to Whitetop and coasting all the way down. Bike Rentals

Just re-opened last spring is the 31-mile High Bridge Trail State Park trail. Touching four counties and five towns, the trail is wide and mostly flat with the amazing 2,400-foot-long 1853 High Bridge as its centerpiece.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a bike path for the ages. The altitude ranges from 600 to 6,000 feet and the views are second to none. Choose  a common entry point and ride for a while (out and back) to avoid drastic elevation changes. We suggest biking between mileposts 24 and 0 where the total elevation change heading north is 1,450 feet. Avoid the first major up Note that bicyclists should expect significant distances between developed areas, so use caution regarding wildlife and be sure to bring plenty of water and high energy foods. More Tips

The W&OD Trail

The W&OD Trail

Virginia’s most extensive bicycle network is found in Northern Virginia. Primarily used for transportation, the trails and paths also lend themselves to recreation and relaxation. Most noted in this network is the Washington and Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park’s 45-mile paved shared-use path that connects Shirlington in Alexandria to Purcellville in Loudoun County.

The Virginia Capital Trail will one day connect Virginia’s first settlement (Jamestown) to its first Colonial Capital (Williamsburg) to the current Capital in Richmond. At 54 miles long, the trail follows the Route 5 Virginia Byway, so cyclists can take in the beauty of the James River plantations as well as Revolutionary War and Civil War battlefields. Currently there are four sections of the trail complete – seven miles between the Chickahominy Riverfront and Greensprings, seven and one-half-mile Charles City courthouse section, and one mile of the Richmond Riverfront.

Liberty Mountain Trail System

Liberty Mountain Trail System

Those looking for a more challenging ride will love the Liberty Mountain Trail System in Lynchburg. It includes more than 65 miles of single and double track trails and logging roads spanning about 5,000 acres. Liberty Mountain rises over 1,360 feet offering cross country and gravity-fed trails. More Mountain Biking

Learn more about Cycling the Commonwealth:

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LOVE Handcrafted Art? We’ve Got Trails for That.

by Casey | Posted on May 6th, 2013

Virginia’s artisan trails are rich with history and beauty, and I’m not just talking about the stunning drive that gets you where you’re going. Regional flavor is highlighted in meticulously woven, painted, hammered, thrown and blown pieces. Every stained glass has a story to tell, as does every hand carved wooden treasure.

Marty Dunn, an artisan at Cave Arts in Abingdon, VA.Virginia’s largest artisan network is ‘Round the Mountain, connecting 19 counties and four cities’ worth of studios, galleries, craft venues, farms, vineyards and other creative points of interest via 15 trails. More than 400 artisans and craftspeople are represented, with Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway in Abingdon serving as the primary entry point.

In Nelson and Albemarle Counties, travel the Monticello Artisan Trail for an engaging, authentic experience with farmers and artisans of all kinds.

The HeART and Soil of the Shenandoah Valley includes artisans preserving traditional crafts and exploring modern innovations in Staunton, Augusta and Waynesboro, while the Western Highlands Artisan Trail takes you into Alleghany, Bath, Craig and Highland Counties for unique Appalachian cultural experiences.

Enjoy these artisan trail adventures for genuinely charming interactions and a great sense of Virginia hospitality. You’re truly going to LOVE what you find. Shall we sweeten the pot? Go ahead and enter to win one of three exclusive vacations to experience Southwest Virginia’s artisan trails, unique places to stay and more.

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Big Theatre in a Little Virginia Town

by Casey | Posted on May 2nd, 2013

Have you ever visited Abingdon, Virginia? Besides being a beautiful town with a world-renowned hotel and spa and the 34.3-mile Virginia Creeper Trail, Abingdon has big talent on stage at the Barter Theatre, the State Theatre of Virginia.

Barter TheatrePlan a weekday or weekend visit to take in a show or two. Nearby hotels offer packages that include show tickets, although another notion is to purchase a deal from the Barter itself. Enjoy your show with extras thrown in. See below!

Summer 2013 Schedule

  • May 2, 4, 5, 7, 9-11: “I’ll Never Be Hungry Again”Gone With the Wind as a musical-comedy! Described as Mad magazine meets Scarlett O’Hara as performed by Monty Python.
  • May 2-4, 8-9, 11: “Little Women” – Adapted pretty straight forward from Louisa May Alcott’s treasured novel of the same name.
  • May 2, 4-5: “Half a World Away” – Noted as a timely story of the timeless desire to belong, this is a powerful play about the immigrant experience of a 17-year-old boy who has spent half his life in Burma and the other half in America.
  • Select dates May through August – “The Blonde, the Brunette & the Vengeful Redhead” – A one-woman show about the day Rhonda went berserk at the mall when she sees her husband carrying on with the blonde at the jewelry counter.
  • Select dates May through August – “Les Miserables” – One of the most loved musicals of all time, entirely in the Barter’s own production.
  • Select dates May through August – “Southern Fried Funeral” – A big-hearted comedy about Southern family, manners and traditions. You’ll laugh out loud!
  • Select dates June and July – “A Streetcar Named Desire” – One of the 20th century’s most enduring plays by Tennessee Williams, one of the south’s greatest writers.
  • Select dates June and July – “The Gin Game” – Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner, “The Gin Game” is a game of gin rummy between two nursing home residents that drums up old heartaches and resentments.
  • Select dates July and August – “Hanging Mary” – This is a brand new tale of a significant regional story – that of a circus elephant named Mary who meets an untimely end for murder. Only eight performances!
  • Select dates August and September – “Good Ol’ Girls” – Love a strong southern woman? Don’t miss this musical quilted together by chart-topping country pop writers. Bring the girls and tap your toes!

Plan a Trip!

Discover more historic Virginia theatres at Virginia.org/Theatres.

LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
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Arts, Couples, Deals & Discounts, Travel Ideas, Virginia Destinations | Comments Off

Stunning Southwest Virginia

by Casey | Posted on September 18th, 2012

Fall is a brilliant time to visit Virginia as 15 million acres of foliage burst into color. Fall color creeps west to east across Virginia, so if you’re itching for fall now, southwest Virginia is the direction you want to go. Let these photos show you why and then go to Virginia.org/Fall to plan your great escape.

Meadows of Dan

Meadows of Dan

Autumn on The Crooked Road – A Scenic 3-Day Fall Getaway

Damascus. Photo by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

Damascus. Photo by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

Strolling Along the Virginia Creeper Trail – A 3-Day Fall Getaway

Blue Ridge Folklife Festival, Ferrum. Photo by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

Blue Ridge Folklife Festival, Ferrum. Photo by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

Blue Ridge Folklife Festival – October 27, 2012

Wytheville

Wytheville

Visiting Wytheville

Back of the Dragon, Marion to Tazewell. Photo by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

Back of the Dragon, Marion to Tazewell. Photo by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

Are you brave enough to ride the Back of the Dragon?

Damascus. Photo by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

Damascus. Photo by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

Powell Valley Overlook, Norton

Powell Valley Overlook, Norton

Visiting Powell Valley Overlook

Primland Resort, Meadows of Dan

Primland Resort, Meadows of Dan

Visiting Primland Resort

Mabry Mill, Meadows of Dan

Mabry Mill, Meadows of Dan

About Mabry Mill

Floyd Country Store, Floyd. Photo by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

Floyd Country Store, Floyd. Photo by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

Visiting Floyd Country Store

Love Floyd in Fall – A 3-Day Fall Getaway

Damascus. Photo by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

Damascus. Photo by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

Heartwood: Southwest Virginia's Artisan Gateway, Abingdon

Heartwood: Southwest Virginia's Artisan Gateway, Abingdon

Visiting Heartwood

Abingdon Weekend – A 3-Day Fall Getaway

Explore more of Fall in Virginia at Virginia.org/Fall.

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Fall in Virginia | 1 Comment