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    Get your outdoor #zen on with #yoga in the #stables at Salamander #Resort. You might even be joined by the #barn #cat, Pumpkin! #loveva #virginia #earthday #vaoutdoors #repost #photooftheday#pet #stable @salamanderresort
    Happy Earth Day, Virginians! Strive to get out of the office today, experience #nature, appreciate her beauty and offerings, and make a commitment to preserving her health (and ultimately ours). For we are all one with nature. #virginia #loveva #earthday #repost #sunrise #goodmorning #visitvirginia #earth #conservation #vais4lovers Photo compliments to @dadofash. Virginia is for nature lovers 🌾🌸🌿
    #Bacon wrapped #porktenderloin at Helen's for #Restaurant Week: country sausage-apple stuffing, baked black lentils, cabbage-bell pepper and #Virginia #barbecue glaze. #heaven #dinner #rva #rvadine #loveva #vafood #eatlocal #restaurantweek #yummy @rvanews @rvais4lovers
    @hope_alexandraa spotted two #hotairballons #flying over the Charlottesville #downtown mall earlier this month. Great capture! Hope everyone's Monday has been stellar ❤️ #loveva #repost #cville #visitvirginia #virginia #onlyinva #spring #balloon #fly @charlottesvilleva @ilovecville
  • Posts Tagged ‘Blue Ridge Highlands’

    Virginia by Motorcycle

    by Casey | Posted on June 12th, 2012

    Motorcycles are the epitome of freedom. Wide open roads full of sun, wind, and nothing holding you down or back. Go where you want to go, see what you want to see. Yesterday’s cares are in that tiny rear view mirror, if only for a short while.

    Back of the Dragon

    Back of the Dragon

    Scenic drives through Virginia are so rewarding. The views are quite literally breathtaking, the serenity of being away from interstates and major thoroughfares is unequaled, and besides needing a stretch once in a while, you might not want to stop riding. Here are a few suggestions for a weekend ride through the countryside.

    Back of the Dragon is Route 16 between Marion and Tazewell. The route courses over three mountains for a total of about 33 miles. For a taste of what the ride is like, see this clip of a Harley-Davidson V-ROD laying through the turns.

    A winding route that delivers up great river and mountain views is Route 39. Begin in Lexington, traversing through Goshen Pass and working your way to Warm Springs. Along the way you’ll have stop over points like Dan Ingalls Overlook. Eventually you’ll find yourself passing the historic sites at the base of Warm Springs Mountain – Jefferson Pools and The Milk House Market and Old Dairy Barn. Take 220 over into Hot Springs and check out The Homestead Resort. Sam Snead’s Tavern is the perfect place to dine and have a cold beer.

    The Blue Ridge Parkway is undeniably the most beautiful route for drivers and riders alike. Ride it for a while and then hop off to see the other sites along the way on the 50-mile Nelson Scenic Loop. The Loop winds along the BRP, Route 56, Route 151 and Route 664, and includes unique attractions like the Montebello Fish Hatchery, Crabtree Falls and Devil’s Backbone Brewery.

    The Route 611 Cumberland Mountain Scenic Drive is a mountain course in Clintwood with incredible overlooks and an abundance of wildlife. If you find yourself looking for a great place to stay, this route is just a few miles from Breaks Interstate Park on the VA/KY border. You can have a true outdoors weekend in the Heart of Appalachia.

    For more ride ideas, check out our Scenic Drives & Places directory.

    Blue Ridge Parkway

    Blue Ridge Parkway

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
    >> Request a free Virginia Travel Guide, then go to any Virginia Welcome Center for a thank you gift! <<



    Couples, Outdoors | 2 Comments

    Art? We have trails for that.

    by Casey | Posted on April 30th, 2012

    If you’re on the hunt for handmade treasures why not throw in a scenic drive and make a weekend of it? Virginia’s artisan trails are immense. Each trail highlights Virginia’s beauty captured in virtually any medium of your choice, as well as right in front of your eyes.

    Heartwood: Southwest Virginia's Artisan Gateway

    Heartwood: Southwest Virginia's Artisan Gateway

    Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Network is known as ‘Round the Mountain. The network claims 19 counties and four cities’ worth of studios, galleries, vineyards, and more. It’s important to note that The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail intersects and may, in fact, run the same course occasionally as the ‘Round the Mountain trail network, so lend an ear while you treat your eyes.

    To make the ‘Round the Mountain network easier to navigate, the system is broken up into smaller trails.

    From the west and bordering Kentucky and Tennessee is the Wilderness Road Artisan Trail encompassing Lee and Scott Counties. North of that are the Lonesome Pine (Wise County) and  Rivers to Ridges (Dickenson and Buchanan Counties) artisan trails. Creeping west toward the Clinch River and named for it is the Clinch River Artisan Trail of Tazewell and Russell Counties.

    Marty Dunn, an artisan at Cave Arts in Abingdon, weaves a basket. Photo by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

    Marty Dunn, an artisan at Cave Arts in Abingdon, weaves a basket. Photo by CameronDavidson @CameronDavidson.com.

    The Interstate 81 corridor is a busy one. Hop off the rat race and see these trails with much to offer. In Montgomery County (Blacksburg) is the Montgomery County Artisan Trail, but if you venture just west you’ll also encounter the artisans of the Giles Art & Adventure Trail. Moving south along I81 is the New River Artisan Trail in Pulaski, Mountain Crossroads in Bland County and Wytheville, Smyth County Artisan Trail in Saltville, and Countryside Artisan Trail in Abingdon, Damascus, and Bristol. While you’re in Abingdon, check out Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway. In reality, it’s a great place to kick off the whole adventure!

    If you’re already off the beaten path and perhaps traversing the captivating Blue Ridge Parkway, you’ll find artisans all around you. Beginning in Franklin County around Rocky Mount, you’ll be in the middle of the White Lightning Artisan Trail (yes, THAT kind of white lightning).

    As you move south into the front-porch jam town of Floyd, you’ll also be in the midst of great art on the Floyd County Trail. Harmony Trail goes into Carroll County and the Hillsville area. Southwest is the Woven Mountains and River Bends Trail of Grayson County along the North Carolina border. Back to the east is the last trail of the network – Hidden Treasures - in Stuart and Patrick County.

    As if those trails aren’t enough, the rest of Virginia boasts some art, too. Venture the Discover the Arts Trail in Hampton Roads. It highlights 35 visual arts and 16 performing arts venues around the Historic Triangle.

    In Nelson and Albemarle Counties you’ll find the Monticello Artisan Trail. With the Blue Ridge Mountains as a backdrop to agriculture and history, the arts along this trail will fulfill a wide array of tastes.

    To  the west and spanning Staunton, August and Waynesboro is The HeART and Soil of the Shenandoah Valley. A world-class theatre in the American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse gives this particular trail a little oomph.

    Lastly, the Western Highlands Artisan Trail includes Alleghany, Bath, Craig, and Highland Counties. From The Homestead to beautiful Humpback Bridge and famous maple syrup, this trail has tremendous scenic value in addition to the handmade arts.

    Visit Virginia.org/ArtisanTrails to download trail brochures and plan your trip. LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation.



    Arts, Virginia Destinations | Comments Off

    Virginia Home Brews

    by Casey | Posted on February 9th, 2012

    Whether you’re planning a week-long Virginia vacation, a weekend getaway, or you’re just passing through, be sure to experience the best of what we have to offer. That includes our beer.

    St. George Brewing CompanyFrom pale ales to pretty stout stouts, you can most certainly find your favorite brew in Virginia, along with a custom etched pilsner and t-shirt to show your pride.

    In Fredericksburg, go for the Blue & Gray Brewing Co. and Lee’s Retreat Brewpub. A microbrewery offering free tours and tastings certain days of the week, Blue & Gray has four beers on tap all the time with specialty beers available seasonally.

    Historic downtown Lexington boasts a new business in the Blue Lab Brewing Company. Sample the beers on tap, and when that certain one finds you, buy a growler or a keg.

    Blue Mountain Brewery and Restaurant is located in Afton, just a short drive from Charlottesville. Enjoy one of their 10 handcrafted brews paired with a fresh, local menu. Beers are available by the glass, six-pack, growler, or keg.

    To put a spin on home brewed beer, Queen City Brewing in Staunton invites you to brew your own from more than 60 recipes! Beer not quite your thing? You can also vint your own wine or make your own soda. For those who’d rather leave the brewing to the experts, there are 12 Queen City brews on tap. Feel free to take some home in a mix-and-match six-pack or a Party Pig®.

    St. George Brewing Company crafts 14 brews – some award-winning – in Hampton. Each season has its own beer, and then there are the mainstays – all available in kegs and bottles. Take a tour of the microbrewery, sample what’s on tap, and visit the retail shop, too.

    Wolf Hills Brewing Co. in Abingdon offers Growler Hours on Tuesday and Thursday evenings where you can tour the facility and then sample the regionally-named flavors handcrafted at this old Ice House near the Virginia Creeper Trail.

    Bold Rock Cidery and Brew PubWhile this is certainly a long enough list to keep you busy for a while, Virginia has quite a few more breweries you’ll want to check out.



    Beer, Couples | 3 Comments

    A New Family Vacation Sweepstakes

    by Casey | Posted on January 30th, 2012

    Four grand prize adventures await four lucky families through the brand new LOVE Aquatic Sweepstakes.

    LOVE Aquatic Sweepstakes

    From Atlantic beaches to woodland lakes and freshwater mountain streams, Virginia is awash in aquatic fun for families, providing experiences that connect loved ones together in memories that last a lifetime. The LOVE Aquatic Sweepstakes highlights a sampling of the best of these Virginia experiences.

    Adults 21 and over can register to win one of four aquatic adventures based in NorfolkSmith Mountain Lake, the Tides Inn in Irvington, and Richmond. Drawings will be held March 16, May 11, June 15 and August 10th.

    Each of the four prize packages is for a family of four and includes air fare, rental car, overnight lodging, cash card, admission to attractions and a specific aquatic experience with personalized expert instruction.

    Tall Ship in Norfolk    Boating on Smith Mountain Lake

    The Beach at the Tides Inn    Sunrise on the James River in Richmond

    >> ENTER NOW <<
    See Official Rules and Prize Details

     



    Destinations, Family, Outdoors, Sweepstakes | 1 Comment

    Get Real in Virginia

    by Casey | Posted on January 12th, 2012

    Reality TV loves Virginia, in case you haven’t noticed. Guy Fieri has shown off and sampled some awesome eats on his Food Network Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives episodes (get the scoop here), and the ball has continued to roll from there.

    Just Cupcakes

    Carla Hesseltine of Just Cupcakes

    In the past year Virginia has cheered on two Food Network Cupcake Wars contestants, one of which finished second in their challenge.

    Just Cupcakes is a Virginia Green certified cupcake shop with three locations – two in Virginia Beach and one in Norfolk. Owner Carla Hesseltine and her staff bake several fresh batches of cupcakes each day. With names like “Frankly Scarlett” and “Puckerup Buttercup,” how can you pass up these treats?

    Just Cupcakes was included in the Season 3 premiere “Kentucky Derby” episode which aired on June 14, 2011. See Carla’s audition.

    Wicked cupcakes from Frostings

    Wicked cupcakes from Frostings

    Most recently, Frostings in Glen Allen appeared in the Cupcake Wars “Wicked” episode of Season 4. You can see Matt Fraker and Jessica Jones compete during these upcoming encore presentations: January 12 at 11 PM, January 13 at 2 AM, and January 14 at 1 PM. The original air date was January 1, 2012. See Matt and Jessica’s audition.

    Stop by Frostings through the end of January to have a taste of their Wicked creations - Dark Chocolate Port Wine, Tiramisu, Hummingbird, and Mexican Hot Chocolate.

    If you would, take a step back from Virginia’s sweet treats and admire the rolling countryside.

    Now in its 5th season, Ax Men, a series you’ll find on the History Channel, is branching out. Previously focused on big timber logging in Alaska and swamp logging in Louisiana, Ax Men is bringing in a new type of logger. The season premiere aired Sunday, January 8, bringing regular viewers up to speed with the loggers they’ve been following for several seasons. However, on March 4th you can expect to be introduced to the Rutledge men of H. H. Horse Logging Healing Harvest Forest Foundation in Floyd, Virginia. Tune in at 9 p.m. EST!

    H. H. Horse Logging in Floyd, VA

    H. H. Horse Logging

    If you’d care to actually meet the men, walk the woods, and maybe be introduced to the horses, give 24 hours’ advance notice and kindly bring a tax-deductible donation for Healing Harvest Forest Foundation, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit founded by Jason Rutledge.

    Until your visit, we pose a question for you to ponder. Does your work provide you with a “dignity dividend?” Hear how H. H. Horse Logging’s Biological Woodsman Chad Miano defines it in this video clip from Restoring the Americas.

    From chopping down trees to hiding behind them, take a glimpse of the illegal art of making moonshine. Keep in mind, this is not an endorsement for moonshining, but another view of how Virginia is capturing reality TV. Dive in …

    Discovery premiered a brand new series December 6, 2011 that just concluded January 4, 2012. Perhaps you saw Moonshiners?

    The show follows a third generation Pittsylvania County, Virginia moonshiner (Tim) and his apprentice (Tickle) as they fire up the still to produce and sell white lightning (shine, hooch, corn liquor, rot gut, creek water, squeezin’s, mountain dew, etc.). Also included is a Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control agent (Jesse), who is out for a big take-down. For Tim and other ‘shiners, money is the prize, but is it worth the heat of being chased?

    See an encore presentation of the season finale of Moonshiners on January 16 at 10 PM or January 17 at 12 AM.

    Should you care to see the production of legal Virginia liquor and perhaps purchase a bottle, visit one of Virginia’s distilleries. Tim paid a visit to Stillhouse Distillery in Culpeper to learn what it takes to legally produce moonshine. Tours are available during normal business hours of Tuesday through Saturday, 10 AM to 5 PM, April 1 through December 24.

    Other Virginia distilleries include A. Smith Bowman in Fredericksburg and Copper Fox in Sperryville.

    Where else have you seen Virginia on the tube lately? Leave a comment and let us all know!



    Filmed in Virginia, Food, History, Outdoors, Video clips | 6 Comments