Every day is wine tourism day in Virginia, but May 11, 2013 is the inaugural Wine Tourism Day in North America. Let’s celebrate!
Hickory Hill Vineyards & Winery, Moneta
Virginia is home to more than 200 wineries and the world has taken notice as publications repeatedly hail Virginia as a wine region to visit and enjoy. Of course, boasting award-winning vintages doesn’t hurt.
Plan 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 – “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!
Virginia innkeepers have hospitality nailed, and they have bragging rights to prove it. Consider this your list for Virginia bed and breakfasts, then start marking them off in 2013.
1. L’Auberge Provençale is a french country inn located in White Post, just one hour from Washington, DC. On site is La Table Provençale offering a three-course and five-course menu prifix or the seven-course tasting menu. The inn’s claims to fame include acknowledgements by USA Today, Wine Spectator, Fodor’s, TripAdvisor, OpenTable and Zagat. Book Now
2. The Hope and Glory Inn in Irvington on the Chesapeake Bay has been hailed among the “30 Great Inns in the US” by Travel + Leisure, and one of the “Top 10 Coastal Inns in the US” by Coastal Living Magazine. Why so great? The Hope and Glory Inn was an 1890s schoolhouse that has been transformed into six amazing rooms. Add on six garden cottages and four vineyard cottages (called tents) at The Dog and Oyster, plus an oyster boat for cocktail cruises, a garden bath, a bar, a spa … the list goes on and on. Book Now
3. Located in Locust Dale, The Inn at Meander Plantation is featured in Fodor’s as “One of the South’s Best Bed and Breakfast Inns” and included among the “Most Elegant Bed and Breakfasts” by Arrington’s Book of Lists. The Inn is a 1776 reprieve surrounded by 80 acres of beautifully rolling hills, and features an on-site restaurant and vineyard. Book Now
4. The Inn at Willow Grove in Orange has been described as “urban meets plantation” by Southern Living Magazine in their “Best of the South” article (April 2013), thanks to the fine linens and heated marble floors in the bathrooms. The Inn has also been mentioned by Travel + Leisure in their travel segments on The Weather Channel and CNN. Book Now
The Inn at Meander Plantation
The Hope and Glory Inn
The Inn at Willow Grove
5. Southern Living and Conde Nast Traveler have recognized Middleton Inn Bed and Breakfast, and so should you. Located in pastoral Washington, this historic estate is within walking distance of the famed Inn at Little Washington’s culinary delights. Middleton Inn is one of five Virginia bed and breakfasts honored with AAA’s 4-Diamond Award. Book Now
6. Another AAA 4-Diamond Award winner is The Oaks Victorian Inn in Christiansburg. This 1889 Queen Anne Victorian is on the National Register of Historic Places and offers gracious warmth and elegance. So much so, it has graced the cover of three books, including The Travel Guide to Inns, published by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Inn was also featured in an episode of “Inn Country USA.” Inquire about the sweet garden cottage with loft and attached gazebo for a more intimate getaway. Book Now
7. Clifton Inn is located in Charlottesville and has been garnering media attention for nearly a decade. Of note are Southern Living, Travel + Leisure and Food and Wine, along with nuptial nods from Modern Bride, Weddings Unveiled and The Knot. Known for the fine dining as much as the 17 stunning rooms and suites, Clifton Inn is a place you’ll want to enjoy again and again. Book Now
The Oaks Victorian Inn
8. The Inn at Warner Hall in Gloucester is a place you’d have trouble leaving the next day, just as Becky Krystal wrote in her Washington Post travel article in 2011. Steeped in American history, Warner Hall is named for George Washington’s great-great grandfather, Augustine Warner, the 1642 land grantee of the former plantation on which Warner Hall sits. Warner’s other descendants include Robert E. Lee, Meriwether Lewis and Queen Elizabeth II (no fooling!). The grounds at Warner Hall are astoundingly beautiful with the Severn River as a backdrop, and the food is great, too. Chef Eric Garcia was recently tapped as one of the Best Chefs of America 2013. Book Now
9. Situated right in the heart of historic Old Town Fredericksburg is The Richard Johnston Inn. Accolades includes “One of the Best Bed and Breakfasts in the South” by Southern Living and one of the Best 15 Inns in the U.S. by Inn Traveler Magazine. Families with their pets are welcome here! Book Now
10. Berryville’s Smithfield Farm Bed & Breakfast is in the hands of eighth generation beef cattle farmers. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the meals you enjoy at the 1824 Federal manor house are farm-fresh and gaining attention by the likes of Gourmet and Southern Living. These 400 acres provide a serene escape to clear your mind. Book Now
Inn at Warner Hall
The Richard Johnston Inn
Smithfield Farm Bed and Breakfast
With so many amazing inns and bed and breakfasts in Virginia, there’s no way a list of ten sums up the best of the best. Therefore, watch for another edition of great places to stay in Virginia. Let us show you the true hospitality and charm we have to offer. See more at Virginia.org.
For those who have the need to feel the heat of stock cars rushing past them and the surface beneath their feet rumble, Virginia is the perfect destination. You’re going to LOVE the dirt tracks, road course, NASCAR Home Tracks and two of NASCAR’s toughest Sprint Cup Series venues this spring.
Martinsville Speedway’s claim to fame is that it’s the shortest of all the tracks NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series runs. Dubbed “the paperclip,” Martinsville’s straightaways are only 800′ long and the turns are a shallow 12 degrees. Fans who turn out for races here are treated to plenty of beating and banging, which tends to result in terse words and fisticuffs.
Richmond International Raceway is located in Richmond, Virginia. Since its first NASCAR race in 1953 the track has operated under three names, five configurations and two surfaces. RIR is the only track to host all of its major events “under the lights,” and it’s the only track that all three Petty drivers – Lee, Richard (The King) and Kyle – have won.
Racing at RIR reconvenes April 26 with the NASCAR Nationwide Series race in the ToyotaCare 250. Kids 12 and under are free for this race and the Kroger 250 at Martinsville, making it easy to introduce your child to motorsports. The following night at RIR the big boys of NASCAR take to the 3/4-mile “D” shaped track for the Toyota Owners 400. A night race under the lights is an experience you won’t want to miss.
Both Martinsville and RIR host NASCAR’s top echelon of drivers twice each year giving Virginia four races total. Within no other state can Sprint Cup fans choose from four races at two tracks just 180 miles apart. If you include Bristol Motor Speedway, as we often do thanks to the VA/TN border splitting the downtown, that’s six races with Bristol just 170 miles from Martinsville. Yep, Virginia is a haven for NASCAR fans.
For a down-home race feel, check Virginia’s dirt tracks and NASCAR Home Tracks:
Does your love of food lead you to new destinations? Several Virginia cities offer food tours that highlight the best flavors and most memorable dining experiences to be had.
Real Richmond Food Tours are two and a half hours of culinary goodness. Hear from the chefs and owners as you dine and walk the town. Inquire about Lincoln Legs: Brunch & Brushes with History. It’s their latest tour that includes brunch at Arcadia (where Daniel Day-Lewis was photographed dining in full make-up for LINCOLN), as well as a tour of historic sites and filming locations.
DC Metro Food Tours integrate history with great tastes from restaurants, markets and distilleries. Inquire for a wide range of tour locations, including Manassas, Old Town Alexandria and Leesburg. Tickets are $60 or less per person and tours last three to three and a half hours.
Norfolk’s maritime history is incorporated into three days of food exploration. Visit a battleship, enjoy a homemade ice cream cone from the people who invented the ice cream cone, check out a bakery highlighted by Food Network and adored by Paula Deen … the list goes on and on. The “tour” is simply a list of suggestions to sample on your own, so do as much or as little as you like.