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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
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  • Posts Tagged ‘Eastern Shore’

    Virginia’s Coastal Spring Drives

    by Casey | Posted on March 4th, 2014

    If you’re completely over the winter season and long for spring like I do, you’ll love the notion of beautiful spring drives through Virginia. Beginning in Coastal Virginia, these drives include history and beauty,¬†and leave you feeling a little more carefree.

    This is the first of a four-part series which will lead you to some of the best destinations in Virginia by way of the slower route.

    Colonial Parkway

    Colonial Parkway

    Colonial Parkway is a 23-mile run through America’s Historic Triangle, connecting Historic Jamestowne, Jamestown Settlement, Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown Battlefield, and Yorktown Victory Center. The drive is maintained by the National Park Service and is free from commercial development. Dogwood, Redbud, and more bloom along the drive, and¬†the James and York Rivers are additional highlights.

    Cross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel to access Coastal Virginia’s¬†Eastern Shore and then it’s Route 13 all the way to Maryland¬†… with a stop-off or two as you go.¬†Really take your time and enjoy¬†what’s just out of sight:

    ~ Kiptopeke State Park
    ~ Cape Charles – the only public bayside beach on the Shore
    ~ Onancock – “The Coolest Town in the South,”¬†per Budget Travel
    ~
    Historic Railway Museum, Parksley
    ~ Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge - wild ponies!
    ~ Asssateague Island National Seashore and Assateague Lighthouse

    Westover Plantation

    Westover Plantation

    Often romanticized (thank you, Gone With the Wind), and ever historic, plantations are plentiful along the James River and Route 5 from Williamsburg to Richmond. Not all are open to the public all the time, so call ahead if visiting one is part of your plan. Or, purchase the Civil War Trace ticket to visit the grounds and tour just a few of them.

    Route 10 from Smithfield to Chippokes Plantation State Park¬†runs on the south side of the James River. Enjoy¬†a waterside meal at Smithfield Station and then explore the shops of this historic ham hamlet before heading northwest to Bacon’s Castle, the 1665 Jacobean¬†mansion and oldest brick structure in¬†British North America. Bacon’s Castle is so named¬†for Nathaniel Bacon of¬†”Bacon’s Rebellion” in 1676. Nearly 350 years of history are interpreted¬†at the site by way of tours of the 9,600 square foot mansion and¬†40-acre plantation. Just down the road is Chippokes Plantation State Park, a working farm that dates to 1617. Tour the antebellum mansion and check out the antique farm and forestry equipment, too. If you have time to spend, stay overnight or take to the trails for hiking and biking.

    Which coastal route is your favorite to drive at a leisurely pace and enjoy a day or weekend? Leave a comment to let everyone know.

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    Virginia Destinations | Comments Off

    5 Out of the Way Places to Explore in Coastal Virginia

    by Casey | Posted on February 27th, 2014

    Undoubtedly you know about the fantastic beaches of Coastal Virginia, but look beyond the warm sandy shores and check out the not-so-obvious attractions and things to do along the Chesapeake Bay and the Coastal Virginia region, comprised of Hampton Roads and the Eastern Shore.

    Air Power Park, Hampton, Virginia

    Air Power Park, Hampton, Virginia

    1. Air and space is big business in Coastal Virginia with sites like the NASA Wallops Flight Facility near Chincoteague Island and the Virginia Air & Space Center in Hampton, but these additional sites have a few tricks up their sleeves, too.

    • Air Power Park¬†in Hampton is a free city park that happens to have aviation on display, front and center, with jets, missiles and rockets. Pack a picnic and enjoy the playground and floating dock on Newmarket Creek.
    • Naval Station Norfolk¬†in Norfolk offers a daily 45-minute tour for $10 per adult and $5 per child aged 3 to 11. The Naval Station is home port to more than 78 ships of the Atlantic Fleet, making it the world’s largest naval installation. It’s also one of the busiest airfields in the country. Cash only; photo ID required for adults.¬†Schedule
    Vantage point from Fort Boykin in Smithfield, Virginia.

    Vantage point from Fort Boykin in Smithfield, Virginia.

    2.¬†Fort Boykin‘s presence dates to 1623 when the Castle fort on the bluff above the James River in Smithfield was built to protect Jamestown colonists from Native Americans and Spainards. Having been used during and restructured for the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and finally the Civil War, Fort Boykin is a preserved and mostly intact as a Civil War site depicting military architecture of the time. An additional note to the site is the black walnut tree, believed to be the second largest in Virginia and at least 200 years old. It’s on the list with the Remarkable Trees of Virginia Project.¬†Brochure

    3. Paddle or fish the calm waters of the Mathews Blueways Water Trails. Five routes offer unique points along the way, like the New Point Comfort Lighthouse which is only accessible by water. The trails range in distance from 10.7 to 22.1 miles. Outfitters are available for equipment rental.

    Tangier Island, Virginia

    Tangier Island, Virginia

    4. The gardens of Eyre Hall in Cheriton are among the oldest in the nation, dating to 1800, but simply getting to them will take your breath away. A cedar-lined lane brings you onto the 1760 Eyre Hall estate. The Eyre family actually dates to 1623 on the Eastern Shore, however, as Thomas Eyre arrived to Jamestown in 1622. Do seek out the 1819 orangery ruin on site.

    5. You can’t get much more out of the way than Tangier Island, a lost-in-time island in the Chesapeake Bay that takes up only 1.236 square miles and is only accessible by ferry or your own watercraft. Taste the bay as the watermen bring their harvest to shore, and do converse with the locals. You’ll delight in their Elizabethan speak. Take a day trip with Tangier Island Cruise out of Reedville, Virginia.

    Enjoy your explorations!

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    Travel Ideas | 1 Comment

    48 Hour Fall Getaways in Virginia, Part 7 of 8

    by Casey | Posted on September 24th, 2013

    October Virginia Wine Month kicks off next week and we have a few wine-themed getaways that will go perfectly with your leaf peeping!

    A Wine Getaway in Northern Virginia

    Sunset view from the deck at Grandale Farm Restaurant.

    Sunset view from the deck at Grandale Farm Restaurant.

    How about starting in Berryville at Veramar Vineyard? It’s 100 acres of ¬†breathtaking beauty. Upcoming events at Vermar include Chili Day on October 5 and Italiano Pasta Day on October 19. If you’re visiting at another time and are looking for lunch, try Village Square Restaurant in the heart of downtown Winchester. Two recommendations for staying the night are Smithfield Farm Bed & Breakfast in Berryville or Old Waterstreet Inn in Winchester.

    On day two, take Route 7 into Loudoun County to sip more wine at Loudoun Valley Vineyards in Waterford and Dry Mill Vineyards & Winery in Leesburg. For dinner, plan to enjoy a wonderful farm-to-table dish at¬†Grandale Farm Restaurant. This restaurant has been touted by Travel + Leisure among other publications; you won’t go wrong.¬†Want to call it a night here? Book a place at Goodstone Inn & Estate or Red Fox Inn.

    Day three equals more wine! Hit Fauquier County’s Wine Trail to visit Barrel Oak Winery in Delaplane and others along the way. Cheers!

    MAP this trip!

    Paddle Your Glass Off on the Eastern Shore

    The Charlotte Hotel & Restaurant

    The Charlotte Hotel & Restaurant

    The world’s first kayak winery tour was launched by and from SouthEast Expeditions in Onancock to Chatham Vineyards. The idea has been such a hit that Holly Grove Vineyards is now on board, too! If you’re an avid kayaker, both vineyards can be kayaked to and enjoyed in a full-day tour. And at the end of that day? A great dinner and sunset view at Mallards at the Wharf followed by a comfortable, peaceful night’s sleep at either Charlotte Hotel, The Inn at Onancock¬†or¬†Spinning Wheel Bed & Breakfast.

    In the morning, enjoy breakfast in Exmore at Yellow Duck Bakery Cafe¬†or Exmore Diner¬†before heading to Williamsburg. Fall is beautiful across the entire Commonwealth, but to experience some of our nation’s founding history amid the foliage is stunning. Spend some time at Colonial Williamsburg and include lunch at one of the period taverns. Buy yourself a fancy hat and blend right into the 18th century! Then it’s on to Williamsburg Winery¬†for a tasting and tour. Stay the night nearby at Colonial Gardens B&B, Liberty Rose B&B Inn, or A Williamsburg Sampler B&B.

    Ways to Spend Another Day:

    MAP this trip!

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    48 Hours, Couples, Destinations, Fall in Virginia, Wine | Comments Off

    Waterside Vacation Homes

    by Casey | Posted on March 6th, 2013

    Though the calendar says we’re still a couple of weeks away from the official start of spring, now is the time to start thinking about booking your waterside Virginia vacation home.

    Just steps away from lapping waves, sand or the calm reflection of a lake, Virginia’s vacation rental properties that include a waterfront view book up months in advance of the summer travel season. Check into these attractive bungalows and book now.

    Along the Chesapeake Bay

    Bayvon Beachfront Cottage is a comfortable accommodation right on the beaches of the Chesapeake Bay in Mathews. Bring your own linens for this three bed/two bath house that sleeps six. It’s a quiet property perfect for families. No smoking; no pets. $1500/week

    Chesapeake Bay view from Cameron's Landing in Reedville.

    Bay view from Cameron’s Landing in Reedville.

    Vacation with the entire family when you book Cameron’s Landing in Reedville. The Bay views are commanding the private beach area is a protected place with gentle waters for the littlest vacationers. Just bring what you need to eat and wear; the rest is provided. Main house and guesthouse sleep 14 total. No smoking; no pets. $2400-$3700/week (without guesthouse or with). Book Now

    Boaters, crabbers and fisherfolk will fall in love with James Ross River Plantation in Urbanna. This expansive four acre estate includes a boathouse, heated indoor pool, dock and accommodations for 14. $3900/week. HURRY! Only one week left in August; three in June! Book Now

    More Bay Homes

    On the Eastern Shore

    Corratock is a two-story historic home sits waterfront on Craddock Creek with a private pier and no neighbors. The birdwatching is excellent! A canoe, crab nets, traps, and fishing gear are all available for you and your five guests to use. No smoking; no pets. $1200/week.

    More Shore Homes

    Virginia Beach Resort Area

    Don’t mind a short walk to the sand? The Coastal Charm Beach House is just a block and a half back. It’s a cozy bungalow that boasts a sun deck and accommodations for up to 8. $2200-$2300/week. No smoking; no pets. Book Now

    More Resort Area Homes

    Lakeside

    The Dome Home in Huddleston is situated on a quiet cove of Smith Mountain Lake and includes a private dock. Want to bring a pet? Just ask! The home sleeps six and has large party decks on two levels. $1400/week. Book Now

    More Smith Mountain Lake Homes

    Kindred Spirits at Childs Cove

    Kindred Spirits at Childs Cove

    Lake Anna Glass House is located in Spotsylvania on Lake Anna and boasts 4,200 square feet of vacation space. Private dock, enormous windows with grand views, game and media room, and a well-equipped gourmet kitchen makes this a special reprieve for a family of 12. $2415-$3465/week. HURRY! One remaining week for August and two in June! Book Now

    Kindred Spirits at Childs Cove is also a Lake Anna waterfront home. Decks, two boat slips, jet ski lift, child’s slide into the water and beach area welcome families for summer fun. Sleeps up to 8 and has a wide range of amenities. $2347/week. Book Now

    More Lake Anna Homes

    If you’re ready to start planning your summer vacation waterside in Virginia, act fast. They’re going fast! See more vacation home options at Virginia.org.

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    Beaches, Destinations | 3 Comments

    Coastal Cottages for Fall

    by Casey | Posted on October 19th, 2012

    Fall is a great time to escape to Virginia’s shores. The crowds are gone, the air is crisp and the coast is as beautiful as summer.

    Wake up a sunrise on the water. View from The Crab Shack in Mathews.

    Wake up to a sunrise on the water. View from The Crab Shack in Mathews.

    Clear your mind any weekend this fall with a cottage rental in Virginia Beach, on the Eastern Shore or along the Chesapeake Bay.

    Atlantic Breeze is a luxurious four-story town home just a quick 3 1/2 block walk to the oceanfront, Boardwalk, dining, shops, live entertainment, and more. Sleeps up to 12.

    The Dunes is a sweet cottage just two blocks from the center of the Virginia Beach Boardwalk. A comfortable four-bedroom, fully equipped home with all the amenities for a relaxing beach vacation, The Dunes sleeps up to 10 people.

    Matchotank Country Home is an expansive place on 50 acres in Onancock. The home sits waterfront with a dock, boat ramp, stocked freshwater pond, and all of the equipment you need to have a great time outdoors. Sleeps 10.

    Eagle’s View¬†is a four-bedroom waterfront home near Assateague Lighthouse on Chincoteague Island. It’s a dream destination for outdoor enthusiasts! Soak in the midst of the Wildlife Refuge with over 300 species of birds and wild ponies. The property has a private dock for your use, as well as two master suites – great for multi-generation vacationing. Sleeps 11.

    In Grimstead,¬†Gwynn’s Island Cottage¬†overlooks several bodies of water with easy access to the Chesapeake Bay and a private beach. Sleeps 3.

    The¬†Crab Shack at Grandview¬†in Mathews overlooks the East River. It’s a brand new accommodation with a rooftop deck and gourmet kitchen. You just might want to stay a while longer. Sleeps two comfortably, but air mattresses are available for additional guests. Dog-friendly.

    Discover more coastal cottages at www.virginia.org/BeachVacationRentals/.

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    Beaches, Fall in Virginia | Comments Off