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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 ‘fall’

    230 Wineries and Counting

    by Casey | Posted on October 1st, 2013

    There is no shortage of great wine in Virginia with more than 230 wineries. Here are a few ideas to help you kick off your Virginia Wine Month adventure.

    Jefferson Vineyards

    Jefferson Vineyards

    Sip the signature Virginia Viognier and Cabernet Franc from the leaders in its production – Barboursville, Keswick, Jefferson, Pollak, and Veritas – all in the greater Charlottesville area. Within easy driving distance of one another, you can easily make it a two-day excursion or spread it out to three. MAP

    Why not pay a visit to recent recipients of the “Best of Readers’ Choice Awards” by Virginia Wine Lover Magazine to see which wines and wineries Virginians love most?

    Best of … Central Virginia

    • Best Winery – Gray Ghost Vineyards, Amissville
    • Best Dessert Wine - 
    • Peaks of Otter – Pumpkin Pie
    • Best Fruit Wine – Peaks of Otter – Light Sweet Peach
    • Best Red Wine – Gray Ghost – Cabernet Franc 2011
    • Best Sparkling Wine – Barboursville – Brut
    • Best White Wine – Veritas – Viognier

    Best of … Eastern Virginia

    • Best Winery – Chatham Vineyards
    • Best Dessert Wine – Williamsburg – Late Harvest Vidal Blanc 2009
    • Best Fruit Wine – Williamsburg – Raspberry Merlot
    • Best Red Wine – Chatham – Cabernet Franc 2009/2010 blend
    • Best Sparkling Wine – Ingleside – Virginia Brut
    • Best White Wine – Chatham – Church Creek Steel (unoaked) Chardonnay 2010

    Best of … Northern Virginia

    • Best Winery – Sunset Hills Vineyard, Purcellville
    • Best Dessert Wine – Breaux – Nebbiolo Ice 2011
    • Best Fruit Wine – Mattaponi – Pow Wow Chocolate-Covered Strawberry
    • Best Red Wine – Barrel Oak – BOW Norton 2011
    • Best Sparkling Wine – Paradise Springs – Apres Sparkling Viognier
    • Best White Wine – Sunset Hills – Viognier 2011

    Best of … Shenandoah Virginia

    • Best Winery – Cave Ridge Vineyard, Mount Jackson
    • Best Dessert Wine – Cave Ridge – Fandango 2010
    • Best Fruit Wine – Shenandoah – Raspberry Serenade
    • Best Red Wine – Cave Ridge – Red Silk 2007
    • Best White Wine – Bluestone – Beau

    Virginia Wine MapBest of … Southern Virginia

    • Best Winery – Rosemont Vineyards and Winery, La Crosse
    • Best Dessert Wine – Rosemont – Lake Country Sunset
    • Best Fruit Wine – Bright Meadows Farm – BAG Wine (Blackberry, Apple, Grape [Concord])
    • Best Red Wine – Annefield – Cabernet Franc 2010
    • Best White Wine – Annefield – Viognier 2011

    Best of … Western Virginia

    • Best Winery – Chateau Morrisette, Floyd
    • Best Dessert Wine – Chateau Morrisette – Frosty Dog
    • Best Fruit Wine – Attimo – Sweet Berry Sunset
    • Best Red Wine – Attimo – A.D. 325 2011
    • Best Sparkling Wine – Chateau Morrisette – Star Dog 2008
    • Best White Wine – Chateau Morrisette – Our Dog Blue

    Finally, stretch your legs for a few days with a Virginia 48-Hour Fall Getaway that is riddled with wineries and great food.  Our two examples include wineries in Northern Virginia (Berryville to Delaplane) and Coastal Virginia (Eastern Shore to Williamsburg and beyond).

    These are just a few ideas to get you started, but we have a handy-dandy wine map that might generate a few more ideas. Check it out, and use our other friendly tool, the Trip Planner, to make your own custom weekend complete with driving directions.

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

    SEE OUR FIRST FALL FOLIAGE REPORT OF THE SEASON!
    Want the next edition? SUBSCRIBE



    Couples, Fall in Virginia, Wine | Comments Off

    14 Places to Enjoy Fall Foliage in Virginia

    by Casey | Posted on September 27th, 2013

    If you’ve been following along for any amount of time, you might have caught on that we ask “the locals” for recommendations every now and again. This group has been helpful in identifying the best BBQ joints, the best breakfasts, and more. Today, we present to you their suggestions for the best places to enjoy the fall foliage in their area.

    Humpback Rocks

    Humpback Rocks

     

    Humpback Rocks – Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 6

    - “360 degree views of the Shenandoah Valley. Migrating birds can often be seen here in the fall, especially hawks.”
    - “Take the trail up from the Humpback Gap parking lot on the Blue Ridge Parkway to the rocky ledges above for amazing 360 degree views on top of the slanted rock. Just north at Milepost 5.8 is the Humpback Rocks Visitor Center with a mountain farm exhibit.”

     

    Hiking Crabtree Falls Trail

    Hiking Crabtree Falls Trail

    Crabtree Falls – 11581 Crabtree Falls Highway, Montebello

    - “Enjoy a 2 1/2 mile hike up along the falls, with 4 overlooks to the cascading falls. You can hike further to the Appalachian Trail or head back down to relax for lunch at one of the picnic tables available next to the parking lot or view the Tye River from an arched wooden bridge that crosses over it.”
    - “Just a few miles west of Crabtree Falls on Rt. 56 West is the Montebello State Fish Hatchery, the Montebello Country Store and Montebello Camping & Fishing Resort, and then just a few miles further is the Blue Ridge Parkway for panoramic fall foliage views!”

     

    The gorge at Balcony Falls

    The gorge at Balcony Falls

    Balcony Falls Overlook – Route 501, Glasgow, on the Rockbridge/Amherst County Line

    - “Kayaking, Canoeing, Hiking, FISHING!! Confluence Outfitters offers guided fishing through the gorge here and it is the most beautiful place to see the leaves changing and catch fish at the same time!”
    - “Devil’s Marbleyard is close by.” (Devil’s Marbleyard is a 3-mile round trip hike that highlights boulders the size of cars.)

     

    North Mountain Trail – Fire Road 447 off I-64, exit 43 in Rockbridge County. Drive in 6.7 miles to the parking lot at Route 770.

    - “The trail features stream habitats, interesting rock formations, varied forest types, opportunities for wildlife viewing and panoramic views as it rises in elevation from 1,700 feet to 3,200 feet. At mile 3, narrow rock stairs descend between huge boulders. Once on the crest of the mountain, there are excellent views to the east of Lake Robertson and the Peaks of Otter.”

     

    Hungry Mother State Park

    Hungry Mother State Park

    Back of the Dragon – Route 16 between Tazewell and Marion

    - “The 32 mile stretch of highway has several pull-over areas.”
    - “The vistas are incredibly beautiful in the Fall. The colors are amazing. Wildlife is abundant.”
    - “Watch for lots of sports cars and motorcycles. Dubbed “Back of the Dragon,” the winding curves extend over three mountains and 260 curves.”
    - “On the north side of the Back of the Dragon (Route 16), the historic town of Tazewell is located. Travelers can enjoy the Historic Crab Orchard Museum, dine at places such as The Blue Dandelion, or Your Grate Escape is a treat. Cavitt’s Creek Park/Lake Jack Witten offers full service camping, fishing, paddle boat rides. On the south side of the Back of the Dragon is Hungry Mother State Park and the historic town of Marion, Virginia.”

     

    Burkes Garden – Tazewell

    The Channels Natural Area Preserve

    The Channels Natural Area Preserve

    - “Driving around the 12 mile “bowl,” there are several places to pull off. Public restrooms are located at the Community Center.”
    - “Stop by the Lost World Ranch for a camel ride or sit on the Burke’s Garden General Store‘s front porch and enjoy a homemade piece of pie, or even have a sandwich with freshly baked bread. Go to the Appalachian Trail and take a hike.”

     

    The Channels Natural Area Preserve – Route 80 on the Russell/Washington County Line

    - “It is a fantastic hike with views for miles.”
    - “The Channels itself is a sandstone rock formation.”
    - “Near The Channels is Laurel Bed Lake, which sits atop the Clinch Mountain Range in the Clinch Mountain Wildlife Area. On the drive up to Laurel Bed there are numerous waterfalls along Big Tumbling Creek as well as foliage and Mountain Laurel.”

     

    Patrick Henry's Red Hill - Quarter Place Cabin

    Patrick Henry’s Red Hill – Quarter Place Cabin

    Patrick Henry’s Red Hill – 1250 Red Hill Road, Brookneal

    - “As you are driving down Red Hill Road, entering the National Memorial to Patrick Henry you will be immersed in the colors of Autumn. The 525 acres consists of thousands of trees and scenic views of the Staunton River Valley. We have the nation’s largest Osage Orange tree on the property that towers over the reconstructed home of Patrick Henry. Guests have the option to walk down two trails that showcases an abundance of trees in their Autumn splendor. The views are absolutely breathtaking at Patrick Henry’s Red Hill in the Fall.”
    - “There is a great winery just up the road, Sans Soucy Vineyard that has a beautiful tasting room and charming vistas. A unique and delicious option for lunch, the Drug Store Grill, is in the town of Brookneal about 5 miles away.”

     

    Devil's Bathtub & Waterfall

    Devil’s Bathtub & Waterfall

    Edith J. Carrier Arboretum & Botanical Gardens – 780 University Blvd. Harrisonburg

    - “The Edith J. Carrier Arboretum & Botanical Gardens is a treasure in the fall. You can bring food and have a picnic, walk the trails, bird watch, spot stunning florals and fauna, enjoy the peaceful new fountain feature, and more.”
    - The entire space is worth a view! It encompasses 125 acres of urban botanical preserve. It provides an ideal combination of naturalized botanical gardens and forest.”

     

    Bark Camp Lake – Jefferson National Forest at High Knob, Scott County

    - “Yes, there are trails to walk plus you can take non-motorized boats (canoes, kayaks) picnic area plus a small amphitheatre.”
    - Nearby are “Devil’s Bathtub, Falls of Little Stony and Hanging Rock Park.”

     

    Hidden Valley Lake – Routes 19 and 690 on the Washington/Russell County Line

    - “This area is great for hunting and fishing during the fall. There is a boat landing to launch your boat.”
    - “Hiking is wonderful in this area but there are some steep grades so it is not for all ages. The elevation level is perfect to take in the mountain scenery and enjoy the breath taking views of SWVA.”
    - “This wildlife area is an attraction all together with lots of different options for an entire day trip. It is truly located in the middle of nowhere but peace and quiet.”

     

    The Virginia Creeper Trail near Abingdon, VA

    The Virginia Creeper Trail

    Abingdon Vineyard and Winery – 20530 Alvarado Road, Abingdon

    - “The Winery is a wonderful place for a tasting while enjoying the wonderful landscaping with trees and the creek.”
    - “The Virginia Creeper Trail is located near the winery. You can ride your bikes over to the winery for a tasting and lunch.”
    - “The Alvarado area is also great for kayaking and canoeing down the creek/river. There is also a small general store located next to the trail that serves ice cream and snacks. This area is a gem hidden along the VA Creeper Trail.”

     

    Tobacco Heritage Trail – Town of Victoria

    - “Take a picnic, hike, bike or ride a horse down the trail; geocache; visit the Brunswick Museum & Historic Society or downtown shops.”
    - “The Colonial Center in South Hill. It is a beautifully renovated vaudeville theatre that has an art gallery and lots of great local talent starring in community theatre productions. Also, eat at the Horseshoe Restaurant in South Hill. It got its name from being an old horse powered mill. Yummy twists on traditional diner food. Close to the Colonial.”

     

    Old House Vineyards – 14706 Lee Highway, Culpeper

    - “Wine tastings, fishing, picnicking, relaxing on the fire pit patio, outside brick pizza oven. Vineyard is nestled and surrounded by mountain views on all sides. Beautiful FALL sunsets!”

     

    Looking for a weekend or longer getaway? See our series of eight posts detailing just that:

    Part 8Part 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!
    Want the next edition? SUBSCRIBE

     



    Destinations, Fall in Virginia, Locals, Outdoors | 3 Comments

    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!
    Want the next edition? SUBSCRIBE



    48 Hours, Destinations, Fall in Virginia, History | 1 Comment

    Virginia Captured Through Instagram

    by | Posted on September 25th, 2013

    Share your pics! Virginia is so wondrous in the fall and we want to see your favorite places.

    Tag them with #FallinVA and #LoveVA so that we can easily find, like, re-tweet and share them.

    Don’t forget to follow @VisitVirginia on Instagram and Twitter to view great images throughout the season.

    Every Wednesday through November we will share your pics here on the Virginia is for Lovers blog. Don’t forget to go to http://www.virginia.org/fall to plan your fall getaway, too!

    Here are 5 of our favorite recent Instagrams. Which is your favorite? Leave us a comment and let us know!







    Fall in Virginia, Favorite Shots, Outdoors | Comments Off

    48 Hour Fall Getaways in Virginia, Part 6 of 8

    by Casey | Posted on September 19th, 2013

    Stretch your time and your legs as you meander around Virginia this fall. Spend a few days away with those you love most, doing what you love most. Together is where it’s at.

    Lake Drummond - Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

    Great Dismal to Back Bay

    The Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge Canal Trail in Chesapeake is a stunning (mostly bug-free) attraction each fall, when the colors peak late October to early November. Bring your camera to possibly capture beautiful wildlife and incredible sunrises and sunsets.

    Between the Refuges:

    - Northwest River Park - 763 acres of paddle sports, fishing and hiking
    - Mount Pleasant Farms – Don’t miss their Fall on the Farm weekends in October!
    - Cullipher Farm Market – Two corn mazes and u-pick pumpkin patch
    Surf & Adventure Co. Lunchbox Kayak Tour of Back Bay – 2-3 hrs; no experience required
    - Blue Pete’s Seafood Restaurant – Award-winning She-Crab Soup; outdoor seating; local hang-out

    Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge is an 8,000-acre coastal habitat in southern Virginia Beach. Dunes, woodland, beach and marsh areas are home to loggerhead sea turtles, peregrine falcons, bald eagles, and approximately 10,000 snow geese at peak fall migration.

    Map This Trip

     

    Assateague Island

    Lighthouse Touring: Mathews – Virginia Beach – Assateague

    Assateague Lighthouse has received a semi-extreme makeover. See her in all her fresh, red-and-white-striped glory this fall, along with a few sister lights, starting at New Point Comfort in Mathews.

    New Point Comfort Lighthouse is the third oldest lighthouse still standing in the Chesapeake Bay and the tenth oldest in the United States. Appreciate it from the observation walkway at the southern end of Route 600, or paddle your way out for an up close and personal view.

    Between the Lights:

    - New Point Comfort Nature Preserve
    - Bethel Beach Natural Area Preserve
    - Linda’s Diner
    - Fort Monroe Casemate Museum
    - Bubba’s Marina and Seafood Restaurant

    Both Cape Henry Lighthouses in Virginia Beach can be seen at Fort Story military base with a government-issued form of identification for everyone aged 16 and older, plus the vehicle registration and insurance card. Admission to climb the old Cape Henry Lighthouse is $5 for 13 and older; $3 for 12 and under. Must be 42″ tall to climb; children may not be carried.

    Between the Lights:

    - First Landing Cross
    - Surf Rider Restaurant
    - Citrus Breakfast & Lunch
    - Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel
    - Exmore Diner
    - Island Creamery
    - Don’s Seafood
    - Assateague Explorer Pony Watching/Wildlife Cruises

    Finally, Assateague Lighthouse! It’s a beauty at 142′ tall. Visit anytime you wish, but if you enjoy celebrations, might I suggest October 5, 2013? The grand re-opening will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and will include music, fun for the kids, free lighthouse climbs and more. The lighthouse will be re-lit at approximately 10 a.m. with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

    Map This Trip

     

    Douthat State Park

    Douthat State Park

    Hot Springs Rustic and Resort

    Take your fun to the mountains this fall as you experience what is possibly the best of both worlds: state park to luxury resort.

    Start at Douthat State Park in Millboro where the hiking and fishing are fine. Book a cabin or pitch a tent. It’s a great place to appreciate the beauty around you. Stay a night or two, then pack it up and go upscale at The Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs.

    Mountain Adventures:

    - George Washington National Forest
    - Cascades Golf Course
    - Allegheny Springs
    - The Wine Shop at Hot Springs
    - The Gallery at Seven Oaks
    - Garth Newel Music Center
    - Sam Snead’s Tavern

    Map This Trip

    Looking for more great ways to get away in Virginia? Look no further than the other posts in this 48 Hours series.

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
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    *Fall Foliage Reports will begin on or about September 25.

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    48 Hours, Destinations, Fall in Virginia, Outdoors, Travel Ideas | Comments Off