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    Took a walk through #Maymont in #Richmond this afternoon. The flowers are in full #bloom and the weather was perfect! If you haven't made it to a local #garden this #spring, you should consider attending Historic Garden Week starting this weekend. It runs the 26th through the 3rd statewide. Check out www.Virginia.org/historicgardenqeek for more info #loveva #flower #rva #visitvirginia #tulip #photooftheday @rvanews @rvais4lovers @maymontrva
    @jeffmauritzen says #goodmorning from the Henry House at Manassas National #Battlefield Park. Give this beautiful #sunrise some love! #loveva #virginia #repost #civilwar #photooftheday #monument #morning #cw150 #history
    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
    Happy Earth Day, Virginians! Strive to get out of the office today, experience #nature, appreciate her beauty and offerings, and make a commitment to preserving her health (and ultimately ours). For we are all one with nature. #virginia #loveva #earthday #repost #sunrise #goodmorning #visitvirginia #earth #conservation #vais4lovers Photo compliments to @dadofash. Virginia is for nature lovers 🌾🌸🌿
  • Posts Tagged ‘outdoors’

    48 Hour Fall Getaways in Virginia, Part 1 of 8

    by Casey | Posted on September 3rd, 2013

    Fall in Virginia. What is there to say except that it’s stunning, breathtaking, amazing, vibrant, crisp and that there must be at least one hundred more adjectives that can describe the immense beauty of the season. This fall promises to be especially incredible, as Virginia’s summer was wetter and cooler than usual – the perfect scenario for amazing foliage.

    The Priest OverlookWho would you pick to stand by your side at a Blue Ridge Parkway overlook when the season is near or at peak? Probably your significant other, hand in hand. With that in mind, this is the first of eight posts that will give you grand ideas for ways to spend 48 hours in Virginia this fall. Enjoy!

     

     

    Much Ado About Staunton

    Virginia’s foliage spreads west to east and the Shenandoah Valley is one of the areas to see orange, red and yellow first. If you’re planning multiple fall getaways, start here.

    In Staunton, the food and foliage are as fine as the performing arts and history. With culture and culinary stock rising, you’d better get your foot in the door early to book a room in this neck of the Valley. Choose from quite a few accommodations – an inn such as Frederick House or Inn at Old Virginia, a fine historic hotel like Stonewall Jackson Hotel, or a Shakespeare-influenced stay at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage Bed and Breakfast to round out a visit to Blackfriars Playhouse. You won’t go wrong with any of these.

    I mentioned the food. Food is important and you want to make sure Zynodoa is on your “to eat” list. Zynodoa’s ingredients are locally sourced and esteemed Chef James Harris is at the helm. Harris has kitchen management at the Mobil five-star The Inn at Little Washington under his belt.

    Dive deeper …

     

    Autumn Splendor in the Cabin Capital  of Virginia

    Luray is the Cabin Capital of Virginia. If you’re looking for a sweet, snuggly place for the two of you to be alone, look no further.

    Shenandoah Mountain Escape

    Shenandoah Mountain Escape

    Contact Shadow Mountain Escape to inquire about their luxury Ladybug or Bumblebee cabins. The last I checked, those two still had a Sunday-Monday availability in October. Mid-week stays are possible for the rest of fall.

    Another great option for a fall cabin getaway is to call Shenandoah River Cabins to ask about their Angler, Drifter and Paddler cabins, which all sit riverfront, have a queen bed with fireplace and a private hot tub. Each cabin still has weekend availability for September and October.

    In and around Luray you can enjoy Luray Caverns and a drive through or hike around Shenandoah National Park. Check out Skyland Resort Restaurant (highest elevation and amazing overlook from Shenandoah National Park), Circa ’31 and Triple Crown BBQ for great dining.

    Read more …

     

    Get Out on the Wine Trail of Botetourt County

    The Jackson, Cowpasture and James rivers are your playground this fall in Botetourt County. Or is it the wine that’s calling your name? Either way, a getaway to Buchanan will be a memorable one.

    Cowpasture River, Botetourt County

    Cowpasture River, Botetourt County

    Taste your way along the Wine Trail of Botetourt County, with a check-in at the Fincastle Vineyard Bed and Breakfast as a sure highlight. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you’ll want to get connected with Twin River Outfitters for a kayak or canoe rental to experience the Head Waters of the James and the James River itself.

    There’s more …

     

    Touring and Tasting DC’s Wine Country

    Loving the wine theme? You’re going to LOVE Loudoun County, home to nearly 30 Virginia wineries! With that many to choose from, I can only wish you good luck!

    Choose from an abundant amount of luxury accommodations, the newest being Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg. Also consider Lansdowne Resort in Lansdowne, Norris House Inn in Leesburg or the Briar Patch B&B in Middleburg. Each is unique and renowned in its own right. Then, let the fine dining and wining begin …

    To Eat:

    To Drink:

    Read more …

    The Inn at Little Washington

    The Inn at Little Washington

    Fall in Rappahannock County

    Art thrives in Washington and Rappahannock County. Retreat to The Inn at Little Washington, Gay Street Inn, or one of the other very fine accommodations nearby.

    From the center of this historic town, you’ll encounter several types of art galleries and can also schedule a plein air landscape painting lesson with artist Nora Harrington. Your handcrafted creation will be quite the memento to recall your trip.

    Take a tour into “The Art of Whiskey” at Copper Fox Distillery and then on to the Artisanal Wineries of Rappahannock.

    See what else …

     

    Subscribe to receive our latest blog posts via email so you don’t miss a thing this fall! We have part two of the eight part 48 Hour Fall Getaways in Virginia series coming up Thursday, so keep an eye out.

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



    48 Hours, Couples, Destinations, Fall in Virginia, Food and Wine, Outdoors, Wine | 1 Comment

    Hikes, Bikes & Brews

    by Casey | Posted on August 29th, 2013

    Many of Virginia’s craft breweries happen to be located near great hiking and biking trails. Head out with the ones you love, then come back and settle in for an ice cold beverage and great local hospitality.

    The Priest Overlook

    The Priest Overlook

    The Appalachian Trail

    Around the Waynesboro entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway:

    On the Buena Vista/Lexington side of the Blue Ridge Parkway:

    Into Roanoke off of the Blue Ridge Parkway:

    The Virginia Creeper Trail

    On the western end of the trail, in Abingdon, visit Wolf Hills Brewing Company. To the east and in the middle of the trail sits The Damascus Brewery in none other than Damascus.

    The Virginia Capital Trail

    Bridging the Colonial Capital to today’s Richmond Capital, the “Cap to Cap” runs near Route 5 from Richmond to Williamsburg and you can find these breweries not too far off the beaten path.

    Mount Vernon Trail

    This trail runs from George Washington’s Mount Vernon, along the Potomac River north to Arlington. Concentrate on the Alexandria to Arlington portions  of the trail and find that there are four breweries not too far away.

    Washington &  Old Dominion Trail

    Also in Arlington, if you venture along the W&OD Trail the 44.5 miles to Purcellville, you could encounter six breweries without veering too far out of the way.

    What’s your reward for a day in Virginia’s great outdoors? Find out more about Virginia’s craft breweries and the trails, too, to plan your next excursion.

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



    Beer, Fall in Virginia, Outdoors | Comments Off

    8 Virginia ATV Destinations

    by Casey | Posted on July 15th, 2013

    Whether you own an ATV or have yet to experience the exhilaration of navigating an All-Terrain Vehicle along trails with mud, fallen branches, tree roots or whoops sections. Virginia has places for you to ride and outfitters to get you started.

    South Pedlar

    South Pedlar

    Novice Riders

    The illustrious Primland Resort is an upscale mountaintop reprieve in Meadows of Dan that happens to offer guided ATV tours through portions of their 12,000 acres. Learn to ride an ATV or two-person side-by-side with the comfort of knowing help is with you on the trail. While you may bring your own ATV, you may not ride without a guide. Reservations are required to tour. Inquire about an overnight stay.

    Appalachian Adventures in Luray offers ATV rentals for use on their private trails. Basic instruction is provided for those learning to ride. One and two-hour expeditions available. Inquire about an ATV Getaway with lodging included.

    Experienced Riders

    If you know what you’re doing, there’s no need for a guide. Hit these trails and parks with a group of friends or family for a day of fun.

    Big Boys Playground in Harrisonburg is a supervised environment; get help if you need it. The park is open to anything with two or four wheels, basically. Motorcross, trucks, ATVs … come one, come all, get dirty. A couple of renowned mud holes will challenge all vehicles, even the big ones. Riders will also find a rock course and trails to conquer. Open year ’round with no special permit required. Nominal fee.

    Moto Cove Offroading is a park in Gore that offers four one-way trails that vary in length and difficulty. A beginner trail is a 1.8-mile loop while the most advanced riders might try their wheels on the 22-mile loop. Riding is available from 8 a.m. until dark. No special permit required. Nominal fee. Adjacent camping available, but ATVs are not permitted within.

    Spearhead Trail is a brand new trail system that just opened its first trail this summer in Saint Paul. Mountain View Trail offers one picturesque view after another along 75 miles that entice all skill levels. Trail permits are required. Expect to see the next trail of this system – Pocahontas – to open this fall or winter. A total of 500 miles will be accessible by the end of 2015.

    Spearhead Trail

    Spearhead Trail

    Peters Mill Run and Taskers Gap OHV System offers 40 miles of trails.  Five trailheads from the Edinburg vicinity on the west side of Massanutten Mountain give you options on where to unload and get going. The Edinburg Gap trailhead has a restroom. OHV stands for Off-Highway Vehicles and includes four-wheel drive vehicles (trucks, jeeps, etc.), motorcycles, motorbikes, and ATVs. A permit is required.

    South Pedlar ATV Trails is a looping network 19 miles long specifically designed for recreational ATVing in Amherst County. Open April through November. A permit is required.

    Slades Park is located in Surry and offers twelve miles of trails across 300 acres. A pee wee track is available for kids and beginners. Full hook-up camping sites are available. Nominal fee.

    Ready for a muddy good time? Plan your trip at Virginia.org or request a free Travel Guide.



    Outdoors | 2 Comments

    8 Incredible Virginia Summer Music Festivals

    by Casey | Posted on July 1st, 2013

    The words summer and music go together like peanut butter and jelly. They’re matches made in heaven and very enjoyable when experienced together.

    Galax Fiddlers' Convention

    The Galax Fiddlers’ Convention is a competition/concert/jam session rolled into one.

    If you haven’t yet done so, dust the cobwebs from your folding chairs and throw them in the trunk. You’re going to need them for these eight amazing summer music festivals in Virginia.

    1. The world’s largest and oldest fiddler’s convention is found in Galax, and you can count on it being around for years to come. Held every summer during the second week of August, the Galax Old Fiddlers’ Convention welcome musicians and fans from around the world. In fact, Galax is called the World’s Capital of Oldtime Mountain Music. Go see and hear what you’ve been missing out on August 5-10 when the 78th annual convention convenes.

    Listen to the FloyFest playlist on Spotify

    2. Seven stages and more than 50 artists are scheduled for this year’s FloydFest, a four-day celebration of art and music spread over 80 acres on the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 170.5. Visit the Global Village for arts workshops and demonstrations from 100 vendors and artisans. Plenty of food, a Children’s Universe and so much more! Scheduled artists include Old Crow Medicine Show, The Lumineers (ho hey!), John Butler Trio and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros.

    Listen to the Red Wing Roots Festival playlist on Spotify3. Red Wing Roots Festival is a brand new music festival, but it’s big and has huge potential. Don’t miss this inaugural event at Natural Chimneys in Mt. Solon July 12-14. The biggest draw of this event is the volume of entertainment. Expect four stages with 40 bands, including big names like The Del McCoury Band, The Sam Bush Band, Tim O’Brien, Preservation Hall Jazz Band and The Steel Wheels. A kid’s stage will include special performances and workshops.

    Richmond Jazz Festival

    The Richmond Jazz Festival showcases top artists in an intimate, casual atmosphere.

    4. The Richmond Jazz Festival has quickly become the premier event of its kind. This year the festival welcomes giants of jazz like Jill Scott, Michael McDonald, Chick Corea & The Vigil, Terrence Blanchard, and Dr. John & The Nite Trippers. Don’t miss this one. It’s August 9-11 in Richmond.

    5. The Shenandoah Valley Music Festival in Orkney Springs is celebrating its 50th season this summer and promises to pack a punch. The kicker to this festival is that it’s not consecutive days, but spread throughout the summer season, giving you more chances to enjoy the tunes. Of note are Kris Kristofferson on August 3, Marty Stuart on August 9 and Eileen Ivers and Immigrant Soul on August 31.

    6. The Verizon Wireless American Music Festival at Virginia Beach brings in bands representing multiple American genres from all over – local, regional and national. Five stages will welcome more than 30 bands this Labor Day weekend (August 30-September 1). The major headliners are Third Eye Blind, Barenaked Ladies and Daughtry, but other well-known groups like Fuel, Smash Mouth, Carbon Leaf and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy are also on the bill.

    7. Chamber music lovers will adore Staunton Music Festival, a nine-day celebration occurring August 16-24. Nearly 30 concerts by more than 60 of the world’s finest chamber musicians will perform at historic venues throughout downtown Staunton. Expect to hear pieces from the Renaissance through today with world premiers by composers-in-residence. Who wouldn’t love to be present for a world premier?!

    Listen to the Interlocken Festival playlist on Spotify8. Extend your summer into the second weekend of September (September 5-8). It will be so worth it because that’s when Lockn’ Music Festival takes over Oak Ridge Estate in Arrington. It’s a four-day music festival with artists like Gov’t Mule, Neil Young and Crazy Horse, The Black Crowes, John Fogerty, The String Cheese Incident, Punch Brothers, Widespread Panic and Zac Brown of Zac Brown Band.

    Find more fantastic festivals and events.

    *Note: These aren’t ranked, simply numbered. Feel free to leave a comment about your favorite or tell us if we missed one that’s on your list.

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
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    Festivals, Outdoors | 7 Comments

    4 Ideas for Foodies Who LOVE the Outdoors

    by Casey | Posted on June 28th, 2013

    You love food. You love the outdoors. Marry the two in Virginia, where we deliver both equally well.

    Kayak to wine, clams and oysters.

    Kayak to wine, clams and oysters.

    1. Take to the Atlantic or Chesapeake Bay and catch your own dinner, but leave the cooking to one of Virginia Beach’s fine establishments. They’ll prepare it any way you like while you enjoy a little time with the ones you love.

    2. Paddle away in a kayak for oysters, clams or even wine, if you like, from Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Find littleneck clams buried in the mud of Cherrystone Creek when you sign up for a kayak clamming tour with SouthEast Expeditions. SEE also offers a kayak winery tour to award-winning Chatham Vineyards or Holly Grove Vineyards. Check the calendar at Chatham to look for special oyster and Chardonnay pairings.

    Morel found by Steve Haas Mushrooms

    Morel found by Steve Haas Mushrooms

    3. Take a guided hunt for wild mushrooms! Really, take a guided hunt. I can’t overemphasize the need to hunt mushrooms with someone who KNOWS mushrooms. Connect with Steve Haas Mushrooms – HaaShrooms – in Richmond. He has the connections to lead you on “Wild Food Forays” in Virginia. After you reap the rewards of the hunt, ask for his HaaShrooms White Sauce recipe (goes great with Chicken of the Woods, he says).

    4. Hollin Farms in Delaplane is the only farm in Virginia (that I found) that allows you to dig your own peanuts (call to verify hours). What do you do with raw peanuts? See this Pinterest board of recipes or this previous post that includes Hotel Roanoke’s peanut soup!

    Of note is that Hollin Farms is located along the Fauquier County Wine Trail. Maybe you want to pair your dig with the pop of a cork or special pairing?

    5. So I said four in the title, but I have to give you a fifth …

    The season may have passed, but I have to include the capture-and-cook notion dreamed up by bon appétit: CICADAS. Yes, the plague that was hit-or-miss this spring in Virginia found its way into Richmond by way of three local chefs – Jason Alley of Comfort and Pasture, Will Wienckowski of Ipanema, and John Seymore of Lunch. and Supper! Cicadas were caught and the trio of chefs developed recipes like Charleston Cheese Grits and Blackened Cicadas with Grilled Onions and Peppers. In the end, everyone agreed that the little (big) buggers will not be added to the menus. Try them at home? Recipe.

    As a foodie or outdoor adventurer, what would you like to do in Virginia? Do you have any thoughts on marrying the two? Comment below to let us know!



    Food and Wine, Outdoors | 1 Comment