Experience the splendor of the Roanoke Valley on a Blue Ridge Mountain Getaway all about the railroad.
Visit the Virginia Museum of Transportation, celebrating the road, rail, and air. It alone will fire your imagination with decades-old steam, diesel, and electric locomotives. Little ones love the model trains, but their moms and dads might just enjoy the buggies and Jupiter Rocket just as much. Admission: $8/adult, $7/senior, $6/child (3-11) Hours: Mon-Sat 10 am to 5 pm; Sun 1 to 5 pm
One of O. Winston Link's iconic photographs. Courtesy of O. Winston Link Museum.
The O. Winston Link Museum is home to more than 300 of Winston Link’s dramatic black and white Norfolk & Western Railway photographs from the 1950s. Browse through seven galleries of the distinct images focusing on life along the railway, and also check out the 30-minute documentary. Admission: $5/adult, $4.50/senior, $4/child (3-11) Hours: 10 am to 5 pm daily
Families interested in both the Virginia Museum of Transportation and the O. Winston Link Museum can indeed visit both, and at a reduced rate: $12/adult, $10/senior, $8/child
Stay a while with a train themed travel package!
From $177 — Hotel Roanoke offers the Train Lover’s Package to include one night in a room overlooking the railroad, breakfast for two, two tickets to the O. Winston Link Museum, and two tickets to the Virginia Museum of Transportation.
If you’re on the hunt for handmade treasures why not throw in a scenic drive and make a weekend of it? Virginia’s artisan trails are immense. Each trail highlights Virginia’s beauty captured in virtually any medium of your choice, as well as right in front of your eyes.
Heartwood: Southwest Virginia's Artisan Gateway
Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Network is known as ‘Round the Mountain. The network claims 19 counties and four cities’ worth of studios, galleries, vineyards, and more. It’s important to note that The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail intersects and may, in fact, run the same course occasionally as the ‘Round the Mountain trail network, so lend an ear while you treat your eyes.
To make the ‘Round the Mountain network easier to navigate, the system is broken up into smaller trails.
If you’re already off the beaten path and perhaps traversing the captivating Blue Ridge Parkway, you’ll find artisans all around you. Beginning in Franklin County around Rocky Mount, you’ll be in the middle of the White Lightning Artisan Trail (yes, THAT kind of white lightning).
As if those trails aren’t enough, the rest of Virginia boasts some art, too. Venture the Discover the Arts Trail in Hampton Roads. It highlights 35 visual arts and 16 performing arts venues around the Historic Triangle.
In Nelson and Albemarle Counties you’ll find the Monticello Artisan Trail. With the Blue Ridge Mountains as a backdrop to agriculture and history, the arts along this trail will fulfill a wide array of tastes.
Happy Spring! While it’s felt like the warm-up season for quite a while now in Virginia, today is the first official day of spring and we’re celebrating with great experiences. Plot your course of action and roll the windows down. These are winding, beautiful, and perfect for a day out of the office … or a Saturday excursion.
For those who are interested in encountering wildlife, check out one of the regional trails of the Virginia Birding & Wildlife Trail. No doubt, you’ll want to exit the car at some points along the way to stretch your legs and take a quick hike.
The Coastal Area features untouched barrier islands, cypress swamps, great stands of pine forest, and bayside salt marshes. 18 loops.
The Mountain Area features great vistas, endless forest trails, large inland reservoirs and a taste of the western piedmont. 34 loops.
The Piedmont Area features expansive grasslands, large forested tracts, pineland savannahs, several large reservoirs, and an abundance of rich history and culture. 13 loops.
If an day cruise sounds delightful, hop aboard a Tangier Island Cruise from Buzzard Point Marina in Reedville. The Cruise departs at 10 a.m. and returns at 4 p.m. $27/adult; $15/child.
Other cruise-goers might enjoy a jaunt with Rappahannock River Cruises aboard the Capt. Thomas. Expect to see the Bald Eagle habitat from the water as you make your way to Ingleside Vineyards for a tour, tasting, and lunch. Capt. Thomas departs Tappahannock at 10 a.m. and returns at 4:30 p.m. $27/adult; $15/child. Add lunch for $13/adult and $8/child.
Families who forego the cruises and avoid the wineries will find their fun when they park the car and enjoy a tour. Don’t yawn – there are great tours crafted especially for you.
Polyface Farm in Swoope has an open barn door policy. Arrive anytime Monday through Saturday and take a look around. If you’d like a guided tour, call and reserve your family’s place on the haywagon for a Lunatic Tour (children 13 and older; offered twice each month). They promise it’s “more fun than a theme park roller coaster ride,” and being the country girl that I am, I would tend to agree.
Whatever you choose to do this spring, do it in Virginia where you can completely connect with the ones you love. Click here to order your free Virginia is for Lovers Travel Guide or call 1-800-Visit-VA.
Historic downtown Lexington boasts a new business in the Blue Lab Brewing Company. Sample the beers on tap, and when that certain one finds you, buy a growler or a keg.
Blue Mountain Brewery and Restaurant is located in Afton, just a short drive from Charlottesville. Enjoy one of their 10 handcrafted brews paired with a fresh, local menu. Beers are available by the glass, six-pack, growler, or keg.
To put a spin on home brewed beer, Queen City Brewing in Staunton invites you to brew your own from more than 60 recipes! Beer not quite your thing? You can also vint your own wine or make your own soda. For those who’d rather leave the brewing to the experts, there are 12 Queen City brews on tap. Feel free to take some home in a mix-and-match six-pack or a Party Pig®.
St. George Brewing Company crafts 14 brews – some award-winning – in Hampton. Each season has its own beer, and then there are the mainstays – all available in kegs and bottles. Take a tour of the microbrewery, sample what’s on tap, and visit the retail shop, too.
Wolf Hills Brewing Co. in Abingdon offers Growler Hours on Tuesday and Thursday evenings where you can tour the facility and then sample the regionally-named flavors handcrafted at this old Ice House near the Virginia Creeper Trail.
While this is certainly a long enough list to keep you busy for a while, Virginia has quite a few more breweries you’ll want to check out.