Travel Ideas and Stories - Virginia's Travel Blog
ShareRSS  
  •  

    Where is the LOVE?

    Click for a map of the LOVEwork locations.

    Take a photo with LOVE.
    Tag it #LOVEVA and share it on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

    See LOVEwork Photos

  • Create your own digital photo reel. 

  • Instagram

    Latest Posts
    It looks like everyone has a fantastic weekend outside; the weather was unbeatable! This photo is one of the quintessential images of #spring, so we had to share. New life #hatched in Richmond. Awesome find by @sandysunflower! #loveva #repost #egg #hatch #virginia #robin #baby #egg #vaoutdoors #treasure
    The #weekend is within reach once again! What are everyone's #spring plans? Any #Virginia #road trips on the books? #loveva #repost #roadtrip #sunrise #photooftheday #travel Kudos to @dougie105 for the lovely #perspective!
    #Virginia is for #pet lovers! @paulspicer captured this cute pup racing down a country road in Afton, #VA yesterday evening during #goldenhour. Experience more moments like these without leaving members of your family at home the next time you travel. Check out virginia.org/pets for pet friendly events, accommodations and parks. #loveva #sunset #vaoutdoors #repost #dog #visitvirginia #spring #sunburst #photooftheday
    Check out this #shad run in the James #River taken from the pipeline in #Richmond. Really cool shot! #loveva #repost #fish #rva #spring #spawning #fishing #vaoutdoors #wildlife Source credit: @vintage_rva
  • Posts Tagged ‘outdoors’

    9 “Must See” Virginia Landmarks

    by Casey | Posted on November 4th, 2013

    When you’re traveling to or through Virginia, there are places you really must see. A lot of them, actually, but here are nine that rise to the top when considering historic, national and natural significance.  Indeed, I’d call them “bucket list” worthy.

    Monticello

    Monticello

    Monticello was the home of Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and the third president of the United States. Jefferson began construction of Monticello in 1769, but was known to redesign and remodel. One large, final remodeling effort began in 1796 and was completed in 1809.

    In 1987 Monticello was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site at the same time the Great Wall of China, the Acropolis in Athens, the city of Venice and its lagoon, and the Roman City of Bath in the United Kingdom were also tapped. That’s quite a distinguished list, and Monticello is the only home in America to be recognized as such.

    Colonial Williamsburg Fife and Drums Corp

    Colonial Williamsburg Fife and Drums Corp

    Colonial Williamsburg was the Capital of Virginia from 1699 to 1780. The 301 acres include 88 original 18th-century structures, and hundreds of reconstructed houses, shops and public outbuildings that stand on their original foundations. Wherever you venture in this historic district, you’ll be greeted by costumed interpreters depicting life at the edge of Revolution.

    Mount Vernon was the plantation home of George Washington, the first president of the United States. Considered the most popular historic estate in America, Mount Vernon is comprised of the main mansion, more than a dozen original structures, a working blacksmith shop, and more across nearly 50 acres.

    Appomattox Court House is the site of Lee’s surrender to Grant to end the American Civil War in April 1865. In 1930 Congress passed a bill to provide a monument at the site of the old Appomattox courthouse. The monument was never built, but the buildings of the village were either restored or reconstructed. Of note is the actual surrender site, the McLean House, and Clover Hill Tavern, the oldest structure within the park.

    More than 200,000 veterans and their dependents are interred at Arlington National Cemetery, a site of more than 612 acres. Every conflict in which the United States has fought is represented by those laid to rest. Memorial sites include the Tomb of the Unknowns and the eternal flame at the grave site of John F. Kennedy.

    The Virginia State Capitol was designed by Thomas Jefferson and first occupied in 1788 by Virginia’s General Assembly, America’s oldest English-speaking legislature. It is the first American State Capitol designed after the Revolutionary War and the first public building in the New World to be constructed in the form of a classic Roman temple. Free one-hour guided tours are offered daily or visitors may also tour on their own.

    The aptly named Humpback Bridge in Covington is the oldest of Virginia’s surviving covered bridges, and is a rare example of an arched bridge. It was built in 1857 and spans 100 feet. Traffic has not traveled over it since a steel replacement bridge was constructed upstream in 1929.

    A natural rock arch, the Natural Bridge serves as a witness to history. It was surveyed by a young, pre-presidential George Washington, and was later owned by Thomas Jefferson. It served as a shot tower during the Revolutionary War, and ammunition was manufactured for both the War of 1812 and the Civil War up the trail from the bridge at Saltpeter Cave and Lost River. Prior to any of that history, however, is Monacan Indian lore that includes the bridge appearing as an escape route when an enemy tribe was in pursuit.

    Skyline Drive is a Virginia treasure spanning 105 miles through Shenandoah National Park until it meets the Blue Ridge Parkway. Travelers of the drive can expect to see plenty of wildlife – as many as 200 species, in fact, including black bear, deer, fox, and raccoon.

    What other sites would you add to your personal list of “must see” destinations in Virginia? Leave a comment!

    Virginia is for Lovers.
    Request a free Travel Guide.

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.



    Virginia Destinations | 3 Comments

    10 Virginia Lakes to Visit this Fall

    by Casey | Posted on October 17th, 2013

    Fall’s colors reflect beautifully on the water of Virginia’s lakes. Head out on a clear day and you’ll have a stunning blue sky competing for attention. Who wins? You win. Love your fall in Virginia.

    Clarksville - Kerr Lake is Virginia’s largest lake at more than 50,000 acres and 800+ miles of shoreline. Both Occoneechee State Park and Staunton River State Park provide access points. In-Fisherman magazine called it the number one Crappie fishing lake, and both state and national fishing tournaments have been hosted here.

    Bassett - Philphott Lake - Three thousand acres, 100 miles of shoreline, nine boat launches, eight campgrounds, and six beaches invite you to this lake that calls two counties home. How’s that for numbers? The trails along the lake are the perfect place for photos, birdwatching, and simply appreciating the beauty.

    Lake Moomaw

    Lake Moomaw

    South Hill - Lake Gaston - This lake straddles Virginia and North Carolina, and at 20,000 acres, you can understand why. Whether you choose to drop a line and fish or just skim along in a boat, the colors of autumn are a great backdrop.

    Covington - Lake Moomaw and Gathright Dam - Launch your boat from multiple access points (water level permitting), including Warm Springs, and enjoy this 2,530-acre lake. Camping and plenty of recreational opportunities are available within this National Forest area.

    Lyndhurst - Sherando Lake is located in the George Washington National Forest,  just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s 24 acres of great fishing. An on-site campground invites you to stay for more than a day.

    Smith Mountain Lake - This freshwater lake is second in size to Kerr Lake, and still has an amazing 500 miles of shoreline. With many access points, you can choose how to approach this “Jewel of the Blue Ridge Mountains” – from Bedford County and Smith Mountain Lake State Park on the north shores, Franklin County on the southwest, or Pittsylvania County on the southeast. Whichever route you choose, the views are going to take your breath away.

    Claytor Lake State Park

    Claytor Lake State Park

    Louisa - Lake Anna - Virginia’s third largest lake, Lake Anna welcomes you to enjoy 13,000 acres of water surface and 200 miles of shoreline. Lake Anna State Park in Spotsylvania is the perfect public access point.

    Abingdon - South Holston Lake - Set within Washington County Park, the lake is available for fishing, swimming, and boating. Pull in your camper or pitch a tent to stay longer and enjoy the nearby fun, like the Virginia Creeper Trail!

    Dublin – Claytor Lake State Park – The lake at the center of this state park is 4,500 acres, and it’s a sport fisherman’s haven. Not into fishing? No worries. Choose one of the 12 cabins overlooking the lake and just enjoy the view.

    Reston - Lake Fairfax Park - This 18-acre lake is the key attraction to a park full of fun! Rent pedal boats, hop on a tour boat ride, or go fishin’. On-site camping.

    Virginia is for Lovers.
    FREE Virginia Travel Guide
    Fall Foliage Report Subscription



    Fall in Virginia, Outdoors | Comments Off

    Sail Through Foliage on a Zip Line

    by Casey | Posted on October 8th, 2013

    Seeking a more adventurous way to enjoy the colors of fall? Get tethered to a zip line and soar like an eagle through a kaleidoscope canopy. You might just find yourself breathless.

     

    Adventure Park at Sandy River Retreat

    Sandy River Retreat

    Adventure Park at Sand River Retreat – Rice
    13 lines across four obstacle courses rated by age
    Weight Restriction: 60 to 265 lbs.
    Age: 7 and older
    Fee: $40/child; $50/adult
    Book Now

     

     

     

    Bryce Resort

    Bryce Resort

    Bryce Resort Zip Line Adventure - Basye
    10 lines worth 3500′; up to 40 mph
    Weight Restriction: 70-230 lbs.
    Age: 8 and older
    Fee: $45
    Book Now

     

     

     

    Bear Mountain

    Bear Mountain

    Bear Mountain Ziplines – Luray
    7 lines worth 2700′; up to 35 mph
    Weight Restriction: 70-250 lbs.
    Age: 8 and older
    Fee: $75
    Book Now

     

     

     

    Go Ape!

    Go Ape!

    Go Ape! Treetop Adventure & Treetop Junior – Williamsburg
    5 lines in Adventure; 2 lines in Junior (ages 6-9; at least 3’3″ tall)
    Weight Restriction: up to 285 lbs.
    Age: 10 and older
    Fee: $35/child; $55/adult
    Book Now

     

     

    Massanutten Resort

    Massanutten Resort

    Massanutten Resort Zip Line and Canopy Tours – McGaheysville
    4 lines from 90 to 450′; NEW Mega Zip Line is 750′ long (first-come, first served. $12 a run); Kids’ Course includes a 100′ line (2 runs for $12. Ages 5-12 and at least 40 lbs.)
    Weight Restriction: 70-250 lbs.
    Age: 10 and older
    Fee: $39

     

     

    Wintergreen Resort

    Wintergreen Resort

    Wintergreen Resort’s The Zip – Wintergreen
    900′; up to 40 mph
    Weight Restriction: 75-250 lbs.
    Age: 8 and older
    Fee: $10/trip or two for $15

     

     

     

    Where will you let the fall season lead you? Find more great ideas for outdoor fun at Virginia.org/Fall.

    Virginia is for Lovers.
    Free Travel Guide
    Fall Foliage Report



    Fall in Virginia, Outdoors | Comments Off

    8 Virginia Waterfalls for Your Fall Weekends

    by Casey | Posted on October 7th, 2013

    The colors of fall are coming through, but still patchy on the Blue Ridge mountains. That means you still have time to get out, catch the peak colors, and visit amazing waterfalls this season!

    Falling Spring

    Falling Spring

    In Millboro, Douthat State Park is home to the Blue Suck Falls Trail, a three-mile moderate to difficult hike that includes a nice waterfall. One hiker proclaims, “Your long climb up the Blue Suck Falls is rewarded by one glorious vista after another.” Download the Trail Map

    Falling Spring in Alleghany County is visible from the road, and an overlook provides information and a great view for photos. The spring waters keep this fall going year ’round, and its 80-foot drop is quite spectacular.

    If you enjoy fall camping, reserve a space at Shenandoah Valley Campground in Verona before they close for the season in early November. They have their own on-site waterfall that pours into Middle River – a summer destination for tubing.

    Grayson Highlands State Park in Mouth of Wilson has a waterfall along the Cabin Creek Trail. It’s a 1.8-mile hike  from the Massie Gap area of the park. Download the Trail Map

    The Blue Ridge Parkway has its share of waterfalls. Try these two in Virginia.

    1. Apple Orchard Falls is accessed from MP 78.4 at Sunset Fields Overlook, just north of Peaks of Otter. The trail is considered strenuous at a steep 1.4 miles downhill hike (uphill on the way back!), but the 200′ falls are calling …

    2. Fallingwater Cascades can be accessed from MP 83.1 and is a moderate 1.6-mile out-and-back trail. It’s also designated a National Recreation Trail - a designation given to existing trails that contribute to health, conservation, and recreation goals in the United States.

    Crabtree Falls

    Crabtree Falls

    Crabtree Falls is a 1,200′ cascade and the highest vertical-drop cascade east of the Mississippi River. The lower falls is accessible to elderly and differently abled sightseers, making it an enjoyable outdoor experience for all. Over the course of the three-mile trail past the lower falls is a series of five major cascades and smaller ones. Access the trail from a fee-based lot at 11581 Crabtree Falls Highway, Montebello, VA 24464. And the view? Get a good glimpse from the top of the trail, or you can enjoy it from Crabtree Falls Highway up to/down from the Blue Ridge Parkway.

    In the same vicinity of Crabtree Falls is the Campbell’s Creek Waterfall on the Mau-Har Trail. A hand-built swinging bridge delivers you across the Tye River, where the 1.5-mile hike will yield the 40′ waterfall. From Route 56 at Crabtree Falls, drive east for 3-4 miles; watch for the Appalachian Trail crossing and a parking lot on the left.

    For more ways to enjoy this fall in Virginia, check out Virginia.org/Fall.

     

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

    FALL FOLIAGE REPORT #2 IS OUT!
    Want the next edition? SUBSCRIBE



    Fall in Virginia, Outdoors | 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