As the season of holidays creeps ever closer, find ways to make the most of your time together and make it memorable. Why not consider an overnight or two in a Virginia destination known for its merriment and cheer?
The Barter Theatre, Abingdon
Spend the holidays in Abingdon! This picturesque small town will fill your heart with holiday joy. World class art venues, cultural events and historical sites are all wrapped up in Christmas lights.
Stay: The Martha Hotel & Spa, Copper Lantern Inn, River Garden Bed and Breakfast
Looking for more great holiday getaways? This is the first in a series! Be sure to subscribe to our posts so you don’t miss the next edition. In the mean time, leave a comment to tell us your favorite Virginia destination for the holidays.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Saint George’s Episcopal Church
Hugh Mercer Apothecary
Heart of Appalachia Driving Tour
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.
Camping can be about getting away from it all, but it can also be about thrifty travel. If you save money on your accommodation, that savings can then be applied to nearby attractions and dining. Give it a try at one of these campgrounds that have great fun nearby.
Williamsburg KOA was built for family fun with many on-site special events and tons of fun nearby, too. The campground can accommodate RVs and campers of all sizes, but boast deluxe cabins with linens provided, too.
Ed Allen’s Campground and Cottages in Lanexa rests along the shores of Chickahominy Lake. It’s 85 acres of hardwoods, which equals stunning foliage. The lake sunsets rival the best you’ve seen anywhere, and the fishing is good, too.
May is National Bike Month and we’re happy to tell you all about casual, relaxed biking in Virginia.
Virginia Capital Trail
Arguably Virginia’s most well-known bicycling destination is the Virginia Creeper Trail. This rails-to-trails initiative runs 34.3 miles from Abingdon to Whitetop Mountain (the second highest summit in Virginia). Avoid the mountain climb by taking a shuttle from Damascus to Whitetop and coasting all the way down. Bike Rentals
Just re-opened last spring is the 31-mile High Bridge Trail State Park trail. Touching four counties and five towns, the trail is wide and mostly flat with the amazing 2,400-foot-long 1853 High Bridge as its centerpiece.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is a bike path for the ages. The altitude ranges from 600 to 6,000 feet and the views are second to none. Choose a common entry point and ride for a while (out and back) to avoid drastic elevation changes. We suggest biking between mileposts 24 and 0 where the total elevation change heading north is 1,450 feet. Avoid the first major up Note that bicyclists should expect significant distances between developed areas, so use caution regarding wildlife and be sure to bring plenty of water and high energy foods. More Tips
The W&OD Trail
Virginia’s most extensive bicycle network is found in Northern Virginia. Primarily used for transportation, the trails and paths also lend themselves to recreation and relaxation. Most noted in this network is the Washington and Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park’s 45-mile paved shared-use path that connects Shirlington in Alexandria to Purcellville in Loudoun County.
The Virginia Capital Trail will one day connect Virginia’s first settlement (Jamestown) to its first Colonial Capital (Williamsburg) to the current Capital in Richmond. At 54 miles long, the trail follows the Route 5 Virginia Byway, so cyclists can take in the beauty of the James River plantations as well as Revolutionary War and Civil War battlefields. Currently there are four sections of the trail complete – seven miles between the Chickahominy Riverfront and Greensprings, seven and one-half-mile Charles City courthouse section, and one mile of the Richmond Riverfront.
Liberty Mountain Trail System
Those looking for a more challenging ride will love the Liberty Mountain Trail System in Lynchburg. It includes more than 65 miles of single and double track trails and logging roads spanning about 5,000 acres. Liberty Mountain rises over 1,360 feet offering cross country and gravity-fed trails. More Mountain Biking