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    This is the #sunset from the #dock at #Merroir restaurant in Topping, VA last Friday evening. #Tranquility on #Virginia's #ChesapeakeBay. Swing by this weekend and get some #VAoysters in your belly! And tag your VA #oyster photos with #LoveVA for a chance to be featured here. #photooftheday #latergram #eatlocal
    @rbuck65 recently hiked Bearfence #Mountain off of #SkylineDrive, and this was the reward! This #hike is fairly short with a nice payoff. The trail head is near mile marker 56.4 on the Skyline Drive. #photooftheday #repost #epic #hiking #mountaintop #sunset #blueridgemountains #vaoutdoors Don't forget to tag your #Virginia photos with #LoveVA for a chance to be featured here!
    Have you hiked Roaring Run Trail in Eagle Rock, #VA? An excellent family #hike, the trail passes rock walls, cascading water, five foot bridges and even a natural water slide before ending at Roaring Run Falls. At the head of the trail is Roaring Run Furnace, ruins of a 19th century furnace operation. Roaring Run #Creek is also known for trout fishing. #VAOutdoors #waterfall #loveva #repost #roaringrun #virginia #perspective #photooftheday Kudos to @spezzaroo for the beautiful photo!
    Hot diggity dog! It's National Hot Dog Day, so we thought we'd share this beef brisket, apple jicama slaw, poblano #BBQ #footlong #hotdog from the Continental Westhampton for #lunch. Grab a hot dog at your local joint and celebrate! #loveva #vafoood #nationalhotdogday #rva #craftbeer #vabeer @rvanews
  • Posts Tagged ‘Northern Virginia’

    5 Out of the Way Places to Explore in Northern Virginia

    by Casey | Posted on February 6th, 2014

    Let’s say you’ve visited the bigger attractions in Northern Virginia and now want something out of the ordinary to do. Got it. Let’s go …

    Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum

    Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum

    1. The Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary  Museum in Alexandria is a quirky place straight out of 1796. As one of Alexandria’s oldest continually run businesses, the Apothecary has a remarkable collection of medical equipment, herbal botanicals, handblown glass, and archival materials (i.e. journals, diaries, prescription and formula books, etc.), many with famous names included. Certainly you’ve heard of Martha Washington, Nelly Custis and Robert E. Lee?

    Beyond taking a 30-minute guided tour, sign up for the special Behind the Counter Tour that allows you to get up close and personal with the objects that aren’t typically displayed. The tour is 90 minutes for no more than eight people at $15 each. The standard 30-minute tour is $5 per adult and $3 for ages 5 to 12. $1 off coupon

    Upcoming Events:

    • March 16 – Wonders of Science - Discover curious objects, from poison bottles to dragon’s blood, and find out how they were used–and if they worked.
    • April 6 – Mad Science - Meet the museum’s very own mad scientist, bringing to life some crazy concoctions and the science behind them.

    2. Bugs are so cool to so many kids. Let them get a really good look at exotic insects, spiders, crustaceans, a pet snake, turtles, frogs, toads, salamanders, and more when they visit the quaint Bug Box in Fredericksburg. You’ll all have a story to tell when you join the “I Ate a Bug Club.” To join, just eat a chocolate covered cricket! Bug Box is a perfect day time activity for spring break, summer, or for families with preschoolers, as the public hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Admission is $3 per person.

    Claude Moore Colonial Farm National Park

    Claude Moore Colonial Farm National Park

    3. The pre-Revolutionary War Claude Moore Colonial Farm National Park in McLean is a delightful surprise. Once you’re on the grounds, consider yourself in 1771. Period interpreters perform the chores and work the farm as was conducted in the 18th century by the Thornton family.

    Think your children would like to give the chores a try? The Farm Skills Program  allows them to pound corn, card wool, dip candles, and more. Reservations are required, and the program is available select Thursdays throughout the year. Claude Moore Colonial Farm National Park opens for the season April 2, 2014. Admission is $3 per adult, $2 per child, and $2 per senior over age 60.

    Riverfront view of Gunston Hall

    Riverfront view of Gunston Hall

    4. Beyond Virginia’s presidents, there are many other famous figures to learn about through their preserved Virginia homes. George Mason IV and his Gunston Hall Plantation is but one example. Mason was the author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, the document upon which the United States Bill of Rights was based. His home was constructed between 1755 and 1759 on 5,500 acres overlooking the Potomac River in Lorton. The corn and tobacco plantation now sits at 550 acres. Tour this grand estate daily, including the stately home, outbuildings and hiking trails. Admission is $10 per adult, $5 per child 6 to 18, and $8 per senior 60 and older. $1 off coupon

    5. Little train lovers (and maybe big train lovers, too) will enjoy a Saturday morning visit to the Railway Workers’ Museum in Fredericksburg. Take a self-guided tour of the restored rail cars, the artifacts that lie within, and if crew is available, a ride on the Little Yellow Train! Rides are dependent upon weather and commercial rail activity, but offer a feel of how 1900′s rail workers commuted to their work site. Open mid-March through mid-November. No admission fee.

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    Hot Dining in the City – Virginia Restaurant Weeks

    by Casey | Posted on January 13th, 2014

    January in Virginia has foodie appeal as six cities roll out their chef’s best dishes for restaurant weeks. Make these dining opportunities the center of your weekend getaway.

    Bubba's Seafood Restaurant

    Bubba’s Seafood Restaurant

    The first to kick off the good eating is Virginia Beach Restaurant Week running January 12 through 19. More than 60 establishments are offering two- and three-course meals at special $10, $20 and $30 price points. Participants include local favorites like Bubba’s Seafood Restaurant, and award winners like Lynnhaven Fish House (“Best Seafood Restaurant” in Hampton Roads by Portfolio Magazine).
    See the complete list of participating restaurants.

    Alexandria Restaurant Week boasts a distinctive collection of 50 dining establishments offering exclusive menus at a $35 fixed price. Participate in the lunch and dinner festivities from January 17 through 26 at comfort food hot spots like King Street Blues in Old Town, or La Bergerie, an award winning French restaurant (Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, 2002-2012).
    See the complete list of participating restaurants.

    Nestled in the southern Shenandoah Valley against the Blue Ridge Mountains is Roanoke, a destination celebrating its annual Downtown Roanoke Restaurant Week January 17 through 26. Variety is the key to success for this culinary event. Expect to dine for $10, $20 or $30 at 14 or more establishments, including the casually elegant Blues & Jazz themed Blue 5, and Table 50, a fine dining experience in the middle of Historic Roanoke City Market.
    See the complete list of participating restaurants.

    Bodega on Granby

    Bodega on Granby

    Norfolk claims to have “the area’s most eclectic and delicious array of restaurants,” so why not try them out? Downtown Norfolk Restaurant Week begins January 19 and runs through January 26. Three-course dinners will be available from more than 15 establishments for $20, $30 or $40, with some also offering $10 lunches. Eat light Spanish and Mediterranean tapas at Bodega on Granby or soak in the historic surroundings as you enjoy a hearty steak or seafood dinner at Omar’s Carriage House.
    See the complete list of participating restaurants.

    The inaugural Newport News Restaurant Week is actually two weeks long and serves up prix fixe dinners and lunches from January 19 through February 2. Among the 17 participating establishments are Fin, a seafood restaurant utilizing fresh, local ingredients, and Harpoon Larry’s Oyster Bar & Fish House, a Newport News mainstay named “One of the Best 23 Seafood Dives in the U.S.A.” by Coastal Living Magazine.
    See the complete list of participating restaurants.

    Charlottesville invites you to please your palate without draining your wallet during the semi-annual Charlottesville Restaurant Week, January 27 through February 2. Thirty-three restaurants are offering menus that include either $16, $26 or $36 menus. Try a bite of Louisiana at Fig, offering New Orleans Jambalaya and other Cajun-spiced delights. Or maybe you’ll enjoy the French-Virginia infused flavors at L’etoile.
    See the complete list of participating restaurants.

    While this is the run-down for January, restaurant weeks are spaced out with other cities offering their finest wares at other times of the year. See the list.

    Virginia is for Lovers.



    Couples, Deals & Discounts, Food | Comments Off

    5 Heartwarming Destinations for Your Holidays

    by Casey | Posted on November 6th, 2013

    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

    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
    • Dine: Babycakes Cupcakery and Abingdon Tavern
    • Visit: Barter Theatre, Holston Mountain Artisans, Wolf Hills Brewery, Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway
    • See the Entire Getaway

     

    Carriage Rides in Harrisonburg

    Carriage Rides in Harrisonburg

    Escape to a cozy winter weekend in Harrisonburg, where holiday events on Main Street highlight the beauty of the season.

    • Stay: Joshua Wilton House, Stonewall Jackson Inn, By the Side of the Road Inn & Cottages
    • Dine: Shank’s Bakery, Clementine Cafe, Corgans’ Publick House
    • Visit: You Made It!, Winter Farmers’ Market, Forbes Center for Performing Arts
    • See the Entire Getaway

     

    Old Town Alexandria

    Old Town Alexandria

    From charming King Street in Old Town Alexandria to Mount Vernon, the area presents lively, entertaining holiday opportunities for the whole family.

    • Stay: Morrison House, Lorien Hotel and Spa, Hotel Monaco
    • Dine: Fish Market Restaurant, Hard Times Cafe, Caboose Cafe & Bakery
    • Visit: Torpedo Factory Art Center, Woodlawn, Gadsby’s Tavern, Alexandria Black History Museum
    • See the Entire Getaway

     

    Downtown Culpeper

    Downtown Culpeper

    Enjoy the spirit of a classic Virginia Main Street when you and the girls make it a shopping weekend in Culpeper.

    • Stay: Thyme Inn, Suites at 249, Hazel River Inn B&B
    • Dine: Hazel River Inn Restaurant & Pub, Raven’s Nest Coffee House, Foti’s
    • Visit: Mount Pony Theatre, Belmont Farm Distillery, Old House Vineyards
    • See the Entire Getaway

     

    Virginia Living Museum

    Virginia Living Museum

    Capture the memories as you indulge your senses and rejuvenate your soul in Newport News, the heart of Coastal Virginia, this holiday season.

    • Stay: Newport News Marriott at City Center, Boxwood Inn, The Pequod Inn
    • Dine: Crab Shack on the James, The Lunch Bell
    • Visit: Virginia Living Museum, 100 Miles of Lights, Peninsula Fine Arts Center, Endview Plantation, Lee Hall Mansion
    • See the Entire Getaway

     

    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.

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    48 Hours, The Holidays, Travel Ideas, Virginia Destinations, Winter | 12 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!
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    48 Hours, Destinations, Fall in Virginia, History | 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:

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