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13 Fall Early Bird Deals

by Casey | Posted on August 19th, 2013

Fall is one of the most – if not THE most – beautiful seasons in Virginia. The air turns cool and the leaves turn vibrant shades of orange, red and yellow. The Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains are a stunning tapestry of color, beckoning weary souls to come and relax.

Skyland Resort

Skyland Resort

Don’t miss out on your chance to steal away. Accommodations book quickly and now’s your chance.

Blue Ridge Highlands

The Main Street Inn in Blacksburg is offering 10% off a Tuesday night stay. If you can escape mid-week, this is a beautiful location and a savings for your wallet. Thirty-two guest suites include modern amenities while downtown Blacksburg’s dining, shopping and theater are just a stroll away. Offer valid through October.

How does a picnic on the Blue Ridge Parkway sound? Stay at Claiborne House Bed and Breakfast in Rocky Mount any two nights between now and November 9th and you can add on a picnic package for just $30. Book Now

Shenandoah Valley

Head to Stephens City where you can “find peace in the valley (Shenandoah Valley, that is)” during the week. Travel to The Inn at Vaucluse Spring any Sunday through Thursday and receive 20% off your room rate. Spin that savings into a date when you also book the Dinner with the Chef on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday night. Offer valid through December 19.

Inn at Vaucluse Spring

Inn at Vaucluse Spring

Shenandoah National Park ranks as one of Virginia’s best fall destinations. Head to Skyland Resort or Big Meadows Lodge, stay two nights and purchase a $50 meal voucher to be rewarded with a third consecutive night for FREE. Offer valid through November 23.  Book Now

Bordering Shenandoah National Park is Shadow Mountain Escape in Luray. Book their Mountains, Nature and Lake Getaway to save $25 on your stay, plus be reward with a special welcome basket of homemade goodies. $270 for two nights mid-week; $420 for two nights weekend. Offer valid through September 26. Book Now

In the Appalachians, Meadow Villas at Warm Springs is quietly tucked away. Call and ask to book the Hiker’s Mountain Quiet Waters Special and pay just $199 for two nights. Offer valid through December 31.

Book the Natural Bridge Fall Escape for a stay between September 2 and November 30 and save $80. The deal is one night for two at the Natural Bridge Hotel with breakfast and the Natural Bridge attraction passes included for $99. Or a family of four starts at just $149 per night. Book Now

Central Virginia

Try an extended stay in Crozet at Montfair Resort Farm. Stay three weekday nights for the price of two or stay a while longer, getting four weekday nights for the price of three. The choice is yours! Offer valid through November 1.

Wintergreen Resort is splendid anytime of year, but is especially beautiful when covered in fall’s glory. Stay two nights and get the third night free anytime between now and December 15. Book Now

Southern Virginia

Williamsburg KOA

Williamsburg KOA

Clarksville is Virginia’s only lakeside town and your stay at Cooper’s Landing Inn is reduced by 50% if you stay on a Wednesday or Thursday night. Add to that dinner at Traveler’s Tavern, breakfast and the beautiful sunrise of Kerr Lake and you have one really beautiful getaway. Offer valid through December 23.

Northern Virginia

How about a little fun on the farm? Stay at Comfort Suites Leesburg and your family will enjoy a studio suite, four tickets to Great Country Farms and guest passes to Bluemont Vineyards. While at Great Country Farms, you’ll receive four feed cups for the barnyard animals, a family-sized bag of kettle corn and four slushies. Wine tasting for the adults is included with the farm passes at Bluemont Vineyards. Offer valid through November 23.

Chesapeake Bay

The Inn at Tabbs Creek is a waterfront bed and breakfast in Port Haywood. Go ahead and book two consecutive nights (Sunday through Thursday) and receive the third night for 50% off. Offer valid through October 31.

Coastal Virginia

Enjoy camping? Head to Williamsburg KOA sometime between September 26 and October 31 to get your Thursday night free when you book a Friday and Saturday night. Great events are planned every weekend, and this deal includes cabins! Book Now

>> Find more fantastic fall packages and deals.
>> See the list and map of Virginia’s fall events.

LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
Request your free Travel Guide or begin fall planning at Virginia.org/Fall.



Couples, Deals & Discounts, Fall in Virginia, Family | Comments Off

10 Places for Kids to Fall in LOVE with History

by Casey | Posted on August 13th, 2013

These 10 Virginia attractions meet your kids on their level, making history fun and enjoyable.

Jamestown Settlement

Jamestown Settlement

Live like it’s 1607 when you visit Jamestown Settlement, America’s first permanent English colony, located in Williamsburg. The replicas of the three ships that sailed from England to Virginia in 1607 – the Godspeed, Discovery and Susan Constant –  are on-site and ready for you to board! Other highlights include the colonial fort and galleries depicting the Powhatan, English and African cultures of the time. $16/adult and $7.50/ student aged 6 to 12. Buy Tickets

Write with quill pens, try on clothes, learn to weave and more at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville. The Griffin Discovery Room in the Smith Education Center is all hands-on for ages 6 to 12. In addition, family friendly tours are available through September 2, plus the first three weekends in October. They’re 35 mintues long and offer a hands-on opportunity in each room. $24/adult; $16/student aged 12 to 18; $8/student 6 to 11. Buy Tickets

At the Virginia Air & Space Center in Hampton, children can toy with flight controls, consider wing walking, ride in a World War II bomber and become an air traffic controller. The Apollo 12 Command Capsule is on display along with historic planes, a Mars meteorite and a moon rock. $11.50/adult; $9.50 children 3 to 18. Buy Tickets

Take a tour of Mount Vernon, George Washington’s Estate and Gardens by way of the Kids’ Adventure Map, a sleuth’s tool to solve nine puzzles (free with each child admission). Children aged 3 to 8 will enjoy Hands-on History, a room dedicated to creative play with 18th century clothing and more. The paddock pen is a popular place for kids, too. Meet the Ossabaw Island hogs there. $17/adult; $8/student aged 6 to 11. Buy Tickets

More than 500 years of seafaring adventure awaits at The Mariners’ Museum in Newport News. Kids love the cool figureheads and miniature ship models, and they can watch the conservation of real artifacts from the Civil War’s ironclad USS Monitor, brought to the surface from its watery grave in the Atlantic Ocean. The collection at The Mariners’ Museum is more than 35,000 pieces strong. $12/adult; $10 ages 13 to 18; $7 ages 6 to 12.

The Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton features life on five different farms — German, Scots-Irish, English, American, and the newest – West African. Meet the farm animals and homesteaders living life in their Old World tradition just as they would have prior to coming to America. $10/adult; $9/student aged 13 through 18; $6 per child aged 6 to 12.

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg

Rent a costume and blend into 18th century Colonial Williamsburg, a 301-acre historic area comprised of orginal and reconstructed buildings, homes and shops. Children and adults can interact with a variety of characters in an informal, intimate setting all day long, plus fill up on 18th-century style meals at one of four taverns. $41.95/adult; $20.95/child; under age 6 is free (online rates). Buy Tickets

The National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly features several flight simulators as well as an observation tower to watch flights come in and out of Washington Dulles International Airport. Above and beyond the simulations and the thrill of huge birds coming in for a landing is the collection of planes and space objects.

  • Boeing B-29 Superfortress “Enola Gay” –  This bomber dropped the first atomic weapon used in combat – Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945.
  • Lockheed Vega 5B – Dubbed “Little Red Bus” but its one-time owner (Amelia Earhart), this plane sent Earhart soaring into the history books as the first woman to fly nonstop and alone across the Atlantic Ocean (May 20-21, 1932).
  • Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird – To cap off its 24 years of active U.S. Air Force service, this jet-propelled aircraft set a speed record on March 6, 1990 during its last flight – LA to DC in 1 hour, 4 minutes and 20 seconds.
  • Space Shuttle Discovery – A vehicle of firsts, Discovery was flown by the first African-American, the first female spacecraft pilot, and ushered the first non-astronaut to space. Discovery was also the longest-serving orbiter with 39 flights, spending 365 days in space.
Civil War Adventure Camp at Pamplin Historical Park

Civil War Adventure Camp at Pamplin Historical Park

Called one of “Virginia’s Best Places to Visit” by the Travel Channel, Pamplin Historical Park in Petersburg is your destination to live the life of a Civil War soldier. Sign up for Civil War Adventure Camp to don the clothes and experience camp life, but be prepared to leave the iPods and other technologies behind. Today’s luxuries are unknown and unwelcome in the 1800s. General Admission is $12/adult and $7/student aged 6 to 12. Camp has additional fees; book now.

In Danville, find the American Armoured Foundation, Inc., also affectionately known as The Tank Museum. The most extensive collection of tank and cavalry artifacts in the world resides here. Dating from 1509 to present day with all nations represented, the Museum has more than 100 tanks and artillery pieces, 150 mid size weapons, 1500+ tank and cavalry uniforms, and 1300 pieces of headgear, pins, patches, and other military memorabilia. Spend plenty of time acquainting yourself with these rare pieces. $10/adult; $9.50/student aged 5 to 12.

Looking for a bigger list? We’ve got that. Check out Virginia’s Cool Places for Kids for even more inspiration.



Family, Outdoors | Comments Off

Six Big Ideas for Big Family Fun

by Casey | Posted on August 5th, 2013

We’ve established that August is National Peach Month, but did you know that August is also Family Fun Month? ‘Tis. Let’s celebrate with some awesome ideas for family fun in a budget friendly kind of way.

Horsehead Cliff at Westmoreland State Park

Horsehead Cliff at Westmoreland State Park

1. What week is this? It’s #SharkWeek, of course! Did you know that Megalodon, Mako, Great White and Sand Tiger teeth can be found along the Rappahannock and Potomac Rivers? Train your peepers to see them during low tide along the banks of the Potomac at Westmoreland State Park in Montross. Fossilized shark teeth are very common here.

Related:

- See the 28 ft. prehistoric whale on display at the Caroline County Visitor Center in Ruther Glen. It was found in a nearby quarry. (Free)
- The Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville also has a whale from the Caroline County quarry. It’s a 14-million-year-old baleen whale. According to the VMNH web site, “It is the oldest known member of the group of whales that includes the fin whales. The best known fin whale is the Blue whale, the largest creature that has ever lived.” ($9/adult; $5/child 3-18)

Hull's Drive-In

Hull’s Drive-In

2. Remember drive-in theaters? Virginia has 10 of them to choose from. Find the one closest to you, pack the kids in the car along with some quilts and chairs, and off you go. With an average rate of about $7/adult, a drive-in movie experience is quite cheaper than a traditional movie theater, plus you’re handing down an awesome piece of history.

3. With nostalgia in mind, take the scenic route to wherever you’re headed to make sure you have something fun to stop and enjoy. Check out Five Quirky Roadside Photo Ops for old school inspiration, or these Four Summer Roadtrip Ideas for Families.

4. Does your family thrive in the great outdoors (or maybe you really want them to)? A waterfall is always a grand destination, and one that will pull your kids out of their technology cloud. Head to one of the Seven Lesser Known Virginia Waterfalls for a fulfilling day of hiking, picnicking and maybe swimming.

Go Ape Treetop Adventure & Treetop Junior

Go Ape Treetop Adventure & Treetop Junior

5. Head inside for a really cool museum exhibit that the whole family will enjoy. I’m serious; hear me out. Just a few weeks ago I offered a list of Five Cool Exhibits to Help You Beat the Heat. If you didn’t catch it, please go there now. There are whacky things you haven’t dreamed of seeing before, but you have to go before they’re gone.

6. Later this month Virginia’s eight National Parks will be open for FREE. It’s happening August 25. Share some Civil War history at Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, get in some beach time at Assateague Island National Seashore, or cruise along Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, for starters, and explore from there.

If you’ve never seen our Cool Places for Kids list, you must. It’s broken down by age and there are 70 attractions for additional considerations, including Go Ape, pictured here.

August will be history before we know it, so take advantage of the hours and minutes by spending great, fun time with the ones you LOVE the most.

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



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RevQuest at Colonial Williamsburg. What is it?

by Casey | Posted on July 25th, 2013

I’ve heard of RevQuest: Save the Revolution! at Colonial Williamsburg and noticed that it’s presented each year with a different tagline. However, I have never taken the time to learn what it’s all about. What do you say we learn together?

RevQuest at Colonial Williamsburg. Courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg.

RevQuest in action. Courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg.

RevQuest is an online/onsite alternate reality that’s built for families to become immersed in the history of the Revolution. By participating in RevQuest, we can have a new appreciation for our history. Had different choices been made in the 18th century, the direction our nation took could be vastly removed from what we know today.

Each RevQuest player (Quester) is challenged to save the revolution by deciphering codes found throughout the Historic Area … via text message. (THIS is why kids [and their parents] love RevQuest. It’s a 21st century treasure hunt!) Questers must also avert crises along the way that could change the course of history.

RevQuest is now in its second year and third iteration. Prior episodes were Sign of the Rhinoceros and The Lion and the Unicorn. Knowing that the game changes every year (or twice a year) is all the invitation you need to try to save the Revolution again and again.

The current RevQuest challenge is The Black Chambers. The setting is 1781, nearly five years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Join the spy ring – the “Crossbones Club” – to solve the enemy’s secret messages and help save the Revolution.

 

 

What You Need to Know:

  • RevQuest: The Black Chambers is included with your paid admission to Colonial Williamsburg. Buy Tickets
  • RevQuest: The Black Chambers continues through September 1, 2013, so don’t miss out!

Next Steps:

  • After purchasing tickets online or in person, go to the Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center to pick up your orders. 
  • The first mission begins at 9:30 a.m. and the last at 2:30 p.m. Solving the mystery should take around two hours if you play it straight through.
  • Get a head start online to obtain the location of secret instructions for a side mission when you visit.

Need help with making your travel plans? Check out this Kids Stay, Play & Eat Free Offer from Colonial Williamsburg. The deal is valid through August 29 and requires a minimum three nights’ stay. Rates are from $78 per adult per night at the Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel & Suites. You’re welcome!

Reviews about RevQuest:

Stay at Colonial Williamsburg

Stay at Colonial Williamsburg

Now that I’ve explored RevQuest online and am inching ever closer to finding the location for my side mission, I’m ready to pay a visit to Colonial Williamsburg. Not only has this sparked my interest, but it will surely entice my children.

LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
Request a free Travel Guide or subscribe to our enewsletter.



Family, History, Virginia Destinations | 1 Comment

Book Now! 15 Summer Travel Deals & Packages

by Casey | Posted on July 22nd, 2013

If you have a few days to get away and are looking to save a few bucks, too, this list is for you. Happy travels!

Accommodation Deals

SpringHill Suites, Virginia Beach

SpringHill Suites, Virginia Beach

Lynchburg – Care to make a deal? Email The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, pitch them an offer they can’t refuse and within 48 hours they’ll reply to say ‘deal’ or ‘no deal.’ They’re looking for a per night rate for a stay of two nights or longer. Good luck! Valid through December 29.

Newport News – Stay at the Marriott Newport News at City Center and your kids (up to four of them, ages 12 and under) eat free – breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Valid through September 8.

Pearisburg – Book two nights at the Inn at Riverbend and take 50% off your third night. The Inn overlooks the New River and Appalachian Mountains. Don’t miss this offer! Valid through July 31. Book Now with offer code IARBSSM13.

Stephens City – Book a stay for any Sunday through Thursday (non-holiday) between now and December 19 at The Inn at Vaucluse Spring and receive 20% off the regular rate.

Virginia Beach – SpringHill Suites (oceanfront) invites you to stay three nights or longer and they’ll knock $25 off the daily rate. Breakfast is included. Book Now

Warm Springs – Celebrate your birthday by going away! Stay at the Meadow Villas at Warm Springs ON your birthday and get a second night for 30% off. Call 717-951-3955 to make a reservation. Valid through December 20.

Waynesboro – Receive 20% off your second and/or third night when you stay midweek (Tuesday-Thursday) at Tree Streets Inn. Valid through August 29.

North Mountain Outfitters, Swoope, VA

North Mountain Outfitters, Swoope, VA

Attraction Deals

Charlottesville – Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello should be on everyone’s history #bucketlist. If it’s on yours, you’re going to love this. Teenagers (ages 12 to 18) receive a 33% discount on their ticket between now and September 2. Adult rate: $24; children 6 to 11: $8; children 6 and under: free.

Manassas – Civil War enthusiasts (or those just getting started with Civil War history) will appreciate a $15 Civil War Experience Pass that gives you entrance to six historic sites. It’s a 50% savings over single admissions for each site. Valid through December 31.

Swoope – North Mountain Outfitters is offering half-day guided trail rides for two for 50% off between now and September 30. Whether it’s your first time or you’re an accomplished rider, you’ll love what you find. Reservations required. Call 540-886-7768.

Williamsburg – Boo! Creep along on a Spooks and Legends Original Haunted Tour of Williamsburg a bit cheaper. Tell them you saw their deal on Virginia.org and they’ll discount each ticket by $2. Note, this tour is is geared toward adults. Call 757-784-6213 to make your reservation. Valid through December 31.

Packages: Stay and Enjoy!

Lynchburg – August is Virginia Craft Beer Month and the Virginia Craft Brewers Festival will be held August 24. Want to go? Need a place to stay? The Craddock Terry Hotel is offering a two-night stay for two with festival admission, tasting glasses, tasting tickets, and transportation to and from the festival. Must be 21 or older. Package starts at $249. Valid August 23-25. Book Now

Pembroke – Stay three nights at Mountain Lake Lodge and get the fourth night free, but better than that is you’ll also receive a $100 activities credit to enjoy all of the family fun Mountain Lake has to offer. BRAND NEW: Treetop Adventures Aerial Adventure Course * Harvest Restaurant * Stony Creek Tavern * Mountain Lake Outfitters
Valid through September 7. Book Now

Richmond – Love jazz? Stay at The Jefferson Hotel August 9-11 and enjoy the Richmond Jazz Festival as part of your stay. Two tickets for each day of the festival, a traditional Southern breakfast for two each morning and three nights in luxury for $305/night. Book Now

Virginia Beach – Stay at The Oceanfront Inn and receive the pin that gets you into all of the American Music Festival concerts during Labor Day weekend. A three-night stay is required. Valid August 30 through September 2.

And these aren’t all! Find dozens more deals at Virginia.org.

 



Arts, Beaches, Beer, Deals & Discounts, Family, Festivals, History, Outdoors | Comments Off