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Posts Tagged ‘Central Virginia’

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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60 Films in 60 Days at the VMFA

by Casey | Posted on December 10th, 2013

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond  rolled out their first of “60 Films in 60 Days” on November 29 to coincide with their beautiful new exhibit, Hollywood Costume, on display through February 17. At a very reasonable $5 per person, seeing a film every now and again is an easy and affordable way to entertain guests into the New Year.

Superman ©Warner Bros/DC Comics/The Kobal Collection. Costume Design: John Bloomfield

Superman ©Warner Bros/DC Comics/The Kobal Collection. Costume Design: John Bloomfield

With titles like The Birds, The Matrix, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Chicago, Moulin Rouge, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Titanic, and Twilight Saga: New Moon, there’s certainly a film to appeal to most everyone.

Films are shown at 6:30 p.m. on Fridays and 1:30 p.m. the other days of the week.

See the Schedule

Prior to the movie, take your ticket stub to Amuse for a discount on lunch or dinner. Additionally, your receipt from Amuse will get you $1 off another film. Just take it to the Visitor Services desk for redemption.

Virginia is for Lovers.



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48 Hour Fall Getaways in Virginia, Part 8 of 8

by Casey | Posted on September 26th, 2013

Absorb the rich history and heritage of Virginia this fall while being surrounded by flashes of orange and yellow. Most assuredly, a walk along cobblestone streets brings a piece of Virginia’s patriotic past to your present. Huzzah! These 48-hour getaways are made for those who thrive in beautiful surroundings with a story to tell.

In Richmond, History is Always in Season

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Architecture takes center stage in the capital city, and fall foliage makes it all the more breathtaking. Among your must-sees are Agecroft Hall, a 15th-century English Tudor-style home rebuilt in Richmond in 1925;  Virginia House, a 12th-century house transported from England to Richmond in 1925, redesigned and rebuilt with gardens by Charles Gillette; and Maymont, a Victorian estate and mansion furnished with rare, shiny things, and surrounded by lush gardens and stately trees.

As you admire the town, dine around and enjoy the tastes, too. The Dairy Bar is a milkshake hot-spot while Can Can Brasserie is a fine place for dinner in bustling Carytown. Just on the outskirts of downtown proper and on the banks of the James is The Boathouse at Rocketts Landing. Sunsets from the deck are breathtaking.

Rest for a while at Linden Row Inn, The Jefferson Hotel, or perhaps Grace Manor Inn. All have their own unique story to tell, and you’ll feel right at home.

The rest of your hours can be spent traversing beautiful places in greater Richmond, like Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden and Meadow Farm Museum. Or, take a trip down plantation lane, or Route 5, as it’s more commonly known. Along the James River are the James River Plantations – Belle Air, Berkeley, Edgewood, North Bend, Piney Grove at Southall’s Plantation, Shirley, Sherwood Forest, and Westover. Some are open to the public and others are not. Please call ahead if you’d like to make a visit.

Fredericksburg Fall Haunts

FoodE Courtyard

FoodE Courtyard

Loaded with Civil War history, as well as presidential history, the Fredericksburg area has fall fun in store with historic haunts. Touting several farm-to-table restaurants, you’ll have no trouble finding a great place to eat. It’s the decision that’s tough. Will it be Bistro Bethem, FoodE, or  maybe Poppy Hill Tuscan Kitchen?

Get down to serious shenanigans of a historic kind with the Ghosts of Fredericksburg Tour. It’s a 90-minute, leisurely paced walking tour complete with a costumed guide wielding a lantern.

Rest comfortably at Hampton Inn and Suites or Wytestone Suites, where the mulit-room accommodations allow the family to spread out. Shut-eye will be key for what lies ahead …

Hit the history hard, but in the daylight this time. In your midst is Fredericksburg Battlefield and National Cemetery, the Confederate Cemetery, St. George’s Church, and Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop. Sprinkle in stops along the way, like lunch at Virginia Barbeque and a sweet treat at Goolrick’s Pharmacy.

Looking to skirt around some history and add a dash of adrenaline-burning fun for the kids? Belvedere Plantation is your place. Pick your own pumpkins, enjoy a hayride, visit with the animals at the petting zoo, and even take a turn in the Maize Maze.

Heart of Appalachia Driving Tour

Breaks Interstate Park

Breaks Interstate Park

Get in touch with coal mining heritage, mountain music heritage, and the beautiful natural wonders of Southwest Virginia when you spend 48 hours driving through autumn’s color.

The Pocahontas Exhibition Mine and Museum in Tazewell County was an operational mine from 1882 to 1955 and is the only exhibition coal mine designated a National Historic Landmark. Swing through for photos or call to arrange a tour if you’re with 11 or more people.

Nearby, the Crab Orchard Museum & Pioneer Park shares their 14 log cabins to display life from the 1800s – when this area was considered the “wild, wild west.” Speaking of “the west” being here in Southwest Virginia, don’t miss Breaks Interstate Park, dubbed the “Grand Canyon of the South.” It’s right on the Virginia/Kentucky border and the overlooks will absolutely, unequivocally take. your. breath. away. In fact, settle in for the night in one of their luxury cabins, and enjoy dinner at the Rhododendron Restaurant on-site.

Tap into the music and arts heritage of the area with stops at the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, the John Fox Jr. Museum (author of Trail of the Lonesome Pine and other novels), and the June Tolliver House & Folk Art Center in Big Stone Gap.

If you want to further extend your stay or add in some outdoor sites, consider Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, Gap Caverns, Wilderness Road State Park, or Natural Tunnel State Park. Each is an immensely beautiful and important stop.

LOVE's a Trip - 48 Hour Fall Getaways

 

If you’re looking for more suggestions on places to spend 48 hours of your time this fall in Virginia, see these previous posts from our series of eight:

Part 7 - Part 6 - Part 5 - Part 4 - Part 3 - Part 2 - Part 1

LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation.
Virginia is for Lovers.

SEE OUR FIRST FALL FOLIAGE REPORT OF THE SEASON!
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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.



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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:

LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
Sign up to receive our weekly Fall Foliage Report.*

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

 



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