Travel Ideas and Stories - Virginia's Travel Blog
ShareRSS  

Posts Tagged ‘Shenandoah Valley’

A Cool August Weekend in Bath County

by Casey | Posted on July 17th, 2012

Escape the heat of August with a weekend in Virginia’s cool Allegheny Mountains. August 4 is the 4th annual Wings and Wheels Car and Acrobatic Air Show in Hot Springs, Virginia.

Wings & Wheels logoThe Ingalls Field Airport will host a display of cars, trucks, motorcycles and tractors – all competing for the coveted Peoples’ Choice Award. In addition, airplane rides and two flight simulators put you in the cockpit while flying lawnmowers and aerial acrobat performances thrill the crowd. Bring a chair, kick back and relax with the music of Daryn Burkholder (country), The Announcers (gospel) and Moonshine Express (country). Food will be available, as will children’s activities.

All day admission to Wings and Wheels is affordable at $5 per car or $10 per van or bus.

Perhaps planes and automobiles aren’t your thing, or maybe it’s the country and gospel music that doesn’t suit your taste. If that’s you, turn to Garth Newel Music Center for Viola Extravaganza! on August 4 at 5 pm. Enjoy the compositions of Mozart, Granados, Lavenda, and Bach performed by six talented musicians.

The Homestead

The Homestead

Tickets for Viola Extravaganza! are $22 for adults, $10 for students 13-18, and free for children 12 and younger. If you’d enjoy dinner after the concert, the combination ticket is $75 for adults, $63 for students and $53 for children. Buy Tickets

Regardless of which event you choose to attend, The Homestead is the place to enjoy an overnight stay.

Check out their new activities including Allegheny Springs, a family fun water area with pools, slides, a lazy river and sandy beach. Two can stay one night, enjoy two tube rentals and access to Allegheny Springs for just $279. Book Now

See more Homestead packages.

 

LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
Order you free Virginia Travel Guide.



Destinations, Events | 1 Comment

Everyone Loves a Baby

by Casey | Posted on June 25th, 2012

Admit it. You love baby animals and your kids do, too. So where can you go to see baby animals? In addition to the zoos in Virginia, there are other places to spot new sweet faces.

Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton

Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton

At the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton you’ll visit working farms each with buildings moved from its country of origin and reconstructed on site. “Visit” 1600s England, 1700s Ireland, Germany and West Africa, and America from the 1700s through the 1850s, including rare breeds grazing along with their new young ones.

Visitors to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg will find more than great roller coasters and performances. Beautiful animals call the park home, like the Gray Wolves of Wolf Valley, or the Black Clydesdales and Scottish Blackface Sheep of Highland Stables.

The Stables welcomed a new member to the Clydesdale family in April. Aidan was born to mother Panola and father Dakota on April 20.  At just over a month old Aidan weighed in at 250 lbs. Once fully grown, he will weigh up to 2,000 lbs.

Also born this spring at Busch Gardens were five Scottish Blackface lambs – Lia, Coara, Bryce, Lily, and Rhosyn. See the clip below from the Inside Busch Gardens blog of the lambs at play. Additionally, two African Pygmy Hedgehogs were born at BG this spring, and good golly are they cute (pic)! If there could be anything cuter, it’s that baby hedgehogs are called hoglets!

Baby animals in the wild are not hard to find in Virginia. Any day trip across Skyline Drive or the Blue Ridge Parkway will yield families of wildlife living their lives.

Bears on Skyline Drive and Deer at Peaks of Otter

Bears on Skyline Drive and Deer at Peaks of Otter

To the right are a bear and her three cubs on Skyline Drive, as well as a doe and her fawn at Peaks of Otter.

You’ve heard about the wild ponies in Virginia, yes? You can see them on Chincoteague IslandAssateague Island, and even on Mount Rogers in southwest Virginia.

The annual Chincoteague Pony Swim and Auction in July is unique to Virginia and should be on everyone’s bucket list. Perhaps you’ll want to take one home with you.

REMINDER: Do not disturb, feed, or try to approach any wild animals you may see, but feel free to photograph from your car.

- 95 Places to Find Wildlife in Virginia

LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
Request a free Virginia Travel Guide

 



Family, Outdoors, Video clips | 3 Comments

Summer in the Great Outdoors: Tubing

by Casey | Posted on June 20th, 2012

Author’s Note: This blog was updated August 2, 2013 to reflect rate changes and include a couple new outfitters.

Back in May we highlighted awesome waterways for kayaking and canoeing. Tubing isn’t a far stretch from those two water-loving pastimes, other than the pace is quite a bit more relaxed and you probably don’t want the big rapids to throw you off your game.

James River Reeling and Rafting

James River Reeling and Rafting

James River Reeling and Rafting departs from Scottsville, just 25 minutes south of Charlottesville. Trips are self-guided and cooler tubes are available for rental as well. Kick back and enjoy the slow float. Reservations are required. Shuttles leave on the hour during the week and on the half-hour Saturday and Sunday. Tube, shuttle and rope is $23/person. Groups of 25 or more are $21/person. No children under six and no pets.

James River Float Company, we noted, is a leader in SUP (stand up paddleboarding) on the river, but as their name implies, they’re a source for a nice float, too. The “local float” is $22/person and basically keeps you in the Lynchburg vicinity. Pull your friends together for a party float – even your cooler can go downstream with you.

River City Rafting is centered in Virginia’s urban whitewater hub of Richmond. A whitewater guide will accompany you and five or more of your friends aged 9 and older as you leisurely while away the day. $30/person. If you’re brave enough to go it alone, ask about The Half Shuttle at $25/person.

James River Float Company

James River Float Company

If you choose to float with Outdoor Adventure Experiences out of Dayton, you choose an awesome family day out on the water. Not only do you get your own tube, but you also get a giant tube made for group play in the deeper, slower spots on the river. Trips with OAE include (and require the use of) a safety helmet and life vest. If you’re looking for a freer, more casual float, this one might not be for you. Half-day trip $35/person; full-day trip $45/person with a trip minimum of $120 and $180, respectively.

The Shenandoah River is one of Virginia’s top picks for a relaxing float, meaning more nearby outfitters are ready to rent you a tube.

The headwaters of the James River are pretty tame compared to the whitewater you’ll find near the fall line downriver in Richmond. For that reason, exploring the Upper James River Water Trail might be advantageous to tubing lovers.

Tangent Outfitters

Tangent Outfitters

Twin River Outfitters in Buchanan is eager to serve your Upper James River needs at an affordable rate. You can take a tube down one trip (about a 90-minute float) for $15, or you can spend the day floating the route time and again for $20. The fee includes tube, life vest, safety orientation and shuttles from the shop up to the put-in point. Want a quick run at the end of the day? “Last call” floats depart at 4 PM and only cost $10!

The New River is the second oldest river in the world, geologically speaking, and it’s pretty unspoiled and pristine. Sounds like a peaceful, serene float, huh? Put in at Bisset Park in Radford with Tangent Outfitters. The 2-mile float (which can vary from 90 minutes to 3 hours, depending on water levels) is $15/tube on weekdays or $20/tube Saturday and Sunday.

>> More Rafting/Tubing Options
>> Virginia’s Rivers

Check the real-time water levels through the National Weather Service prior to getting on the river. Tubing with a guide is the safest option to enjoy your river experience.



Family, Outdoors | 1 Comment

Caverns: More to LOVE Than Meets the Eye

by Casey | Posted on June 19th, 2012

Virginia boasts eight caverns- all dotted down the Shenandoah Valley – each with unique features telling a different story.

Luray Caverns

Luray Caverns

The constant 50-some degree temperature of each cavern is quite welcoming on a hot, humid day, and the old-fashioned soda fountain you’ll find in one cavern gift shop just adds to the summertime pleasure.

Luray Caverns are the largest caverns on the East Coast and even include a little music. If you’ve never seen or heard the Stalcpipe Organ, put this attraction on your bucket list. The organ pipes are stalactites stretching 3.5 underground acres. I told you Luray Caverns is the largest on the East Coast, right?

Additionally, Luray Caverns has a few other attractions for families to enjoy, not the least of which is the brand new LOVE artwork crafted in a log cabin style!

Not to be left out in the heat is Shenandoah Caverns just down the road from Luray Caverns. June 29th they’re unveiling one of our original oversized LOVE artwork pieces that will be on display through the July 5th. It’s their way of showing appreciation to military families.

Luray Logs of Love

Luray Logs of Love

Along with LOVE and the caverns, see American Celebration on Parade and the other attractions at Shenandoah Caverns.

For more cool cavern explorations, check these:

Don’t forget to share your LOVE artwork photos on our Facebook page or on Twitter using the hashtag #LOVEVA. We LOVE to see you LOVING the LOVE!



Destinations | Comments Off

Virginia by Motorcycle

by Casey | Posted on June 12th, 2012

Motorcycles are the epitome of freedom. Wide open roads full of sun, wind, and nothing holding you down or back. Go where you want to go, see what you want to see. Yesterday’s cares are in that tiny rear view mirror, if only for a short while.

Back of the Dragon

Back of the Dragon

Scenic drives through Virginia are so rewarding. The views are quite literally breathtaking, the serenity of being away from interstates and major thoroughfares is unequaled, and besides needing a stretch once in a while, you might not want to stop riding. Here are a few suggestions for a weekend ride through the countryside.

Back of the Dragon is Route 16 between Marion and Tazewell. The route courses over three mountains for a total of about 33 miles. For a taste of what the ride is like, see this clip of a Harley-Davidson V-ROD laying through the turns.

A winding route that delivers up great river and mountain views is Route 39. Begin in Lexington, traversing through Goshen Pass and working your way to Warm Springs. Along the way you’ll have stop over points like Dan Ingalls Overlook. Eventually you’ll find yourself passing the historic sites at the base of Warm Springs Mountain – Jefferson Pools and The Milk House Market and Old Dairy Barn. Take 220 over into Hot Springs and check out The Homestead Resort. Sam Snead’s Tavern is the perfect place to dine and have a cold beer.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is undeniably the most beautiful route for drivers and riders alike. Ride it for a while and then hop off to see the other sites along the way on the 50-mile Nelson Scenic Loop. The Loop winds along the BRP, Route 56, Route 151 and Route 664, and includes unique attractions like the Montebello Fish Hatchery, Crabtree Falls and Devil’s Backbone Brewery.

The Route 611 Cumberland Mountain Scenic Drive is a mountain course in Clintwood with incredible overlooks and an abundance of wildlife. If you find yourself looking for a great place to stay, this route is just a few miles from Breaks Interstate Park on the VA/KY border. You can have a true outdoors weekend in the Heart of Appalachia.

For more ride ideas, check out our Scenic Drives & Places directory.

Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway

LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation. Virginia is for Lovers.
>> Request a free Virginia Travel Guide, then go to any Virginia Welcome Center for a thank you gift! <<



Couples, Outdoors | 2 Comments