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    Listen to this #Virginia #toad! This is a great #springtime capture by @grinbob. Cute #dog, too. #repost #loveva #visitvirginia #videooftheday #wildlife #vaoutdoors #vais4lovers #va #pet
    St. John's #Church in Church Hill, known especially for Patrick Henry's "Give me Liberty, or Give Me #Death" speech, is also the burial place of Edgar Allan Poe's mother, Elizabeth Arnold #Poe. She was a prominent stage actress in her day, and has shown to have great influence on her son's writing. #latergram #rva #edgarallanpoe #cemetery #history #grave #loveva #virginia #vais4lovers @adventuredame @rvais4lovers @vintage_rva
    #Cherryblossoms framing the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly as recently posted by @airandspacemuseum. Love the pink blossoms contrasting the bright blue sky. Great shot! #loveva #repost #virginia #museum #cherry #photooftheday #visitvirginia #spring #picoftheday
    The #love #bench is waiting for you at the #marina in Belle Haven. Has anyone been here for a selfie or portrait? Looks like a cool spot! #heart #loveva #sunset #harbor #virginia #visitvirginia #repost #photooftheday photo credit: @astralmagik
  • Posts Tagged ‘Shenandoah Valley’

    Virginia’s Blue Ridge Railroad Heritage

    by Casey | Posted on May 21st, 2012

    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.

    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.

     

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



    Destinations, Family, History, Travel Ideas | 2 Comments

    Art? We have trails for that.

    by Casey | Posted on April 30th, 2012

    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

    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.

    From the west and bordering Kentucky and Tennessee is the Wilderness Road Artisan Trail encompassing Lee and Scott Counties. North of that are the Lonesome Pine (Wise County) and  Rivers to Ridges (Dickenson and Buchanan Counties) artisan trails. Creeping west toward the Clinch River and named for it is the Clinch River Artisan Trail of Tazewell and Russell Counties.

    Marty Dunn, an artisan at Cave Arts in Abingdon, weaves a basket. Photo by CameronDavidson@CameronDavidson.com.

    Marty Dunn, an artisan at Cave Arts in Abingdon, weaves a basket. Photo by CameronDavidson @CameronDavidson.com.

    The Interstate 81 corridor is a busy one. Hop off the rat race and see these trails with much to offer. In Montgomery County (Blacksburg) is the Montgomery County Artisan Trail, but if you venture just west you’ll also encounter the artisans of the Giles Art & Adventure Trail. Moving south along I81 is the New River Artisan Trail in Pulaski, Mountain Crossroads in Bland County and Wytheville, Smyth County Artisan Trail in Saltville, and Countryside Artisan Trail in Abingdon, Damascus, and Bristol. While you’re in Abingdon, check out Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway. In reality, it’s a great place to kick off the whole adventure!

    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 you move south into the front-porch jam town of Floyd, you’ll also be in the midst of great art on the Floyd County Trail. Harmony Trail goes into Carroll County and the Hillsville area. Southwest is the Woven Mountains and River Bends Trail of Grayson County along the North Carolina border. Back to the east is the last trail of the network – Hidden Treasures - in Stuart and Patrick County.

    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.

    To  the west and spanning Staunton, August and Waynesboro is The HeART and Soil of the Shenandoah Valley. A world-class theatre in the American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse gives this particular trail a little oomph.

    Lastly, the Western Highlands Artisan Trail includes Alleghany, Bath, Craig, and Highland Counties. From The Homestead to beautiful Humpback Bridge and famous maple syrup, this trail has tremendous scenic value in addition to the handmade arts.

    Visit Virginia.org/ArtisanTrails to download trail brochures and plan your trip. LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation.



    Arts, Virginia Destinations | Comments Off

    Beautiful Spring Experiences

    by Casey | Posted on March 20th, 2012

    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.

    Crabtree Falls Trail

    Crabtree Falls Trail

    Take to the mountains and traverse four scenic byways when you pick up the Nelson Scenic Loop. Begin the Loop at Spruce Creek Gallery and then enjoy the 50 miles that include the Blue Ridge Parkway, Tye River Valley, and Rockfish Valley around Nelson County. In the area are Crabtree Falls and numerous orchards, wineries, and breweries.

    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.
    Tangier Island

    Tangier Island

    A great coastal drive with history, natural areas, and fantastic water views is the Chesapeake Bay Driving Tour. Highlights include the Caledon Natural Area (famous for Bald Eagles), Stratford Hall (Robert E. Lee’s birthplace), and a few places to hop aboard a cruise:

    • 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.

    If the mention of a winery got your attention, Virginia has more than 15 winery trails you can explore. One includes whiskey with the wine, another boasts tremendous Civil War history with the wine, and yet another includes the birthplace of winemaking in Virginia. Check out the wine events calendar to coincide your drive with something fun.

    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.
    • Everything you ever wanted to know about Fredericksburg – from all periods of history – can be learned while riding along with the narrated Trolley Tours of Fredericksburg. However, what I look forward to most comes after the tour … Carl’s Frozen Custard.
    • Discover more family fun!

    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.



    Couples, Destinations, Family, Outdoors, Wine | Comments Off

    March is for Food Lovers

    by Casey | Posted on March 2nd, 2012

    In addition to March being Virginia Wine & Dine Month, it is also loaded with restaurant weeks!

    Clementine in HarrisonburgResidents and visitors to the Shenandoah Valley have two weeks with special dining deals appeal.

    Beginning this Sunday, March 4 and running through Saturday, March 10, is Taste of Downtown in Harrisonburg. Make your way along “Restaurant Row” for special savings on coffee, ice cream, lunches, and dinners. Lunches range from $5.99 to $10 and dinners range from $10 to $39.
    > Harrisonburg Accommodations
    > Things to Do | Events

    Later in the month, Staunton restaurants are rolling out their best dining deals for Staunton Restaurant Week. Make plans to dine around between March 19 and 25 to take advantage of three-course prix fixe menus priced from $26 to $31 per meal. Presently there are eight participating restaurants.
    > Staunton Accommodations
    > Things to Do | Events

    Park Lane Tavern in HamptonIf you’re headed toward the coast, be sure to spend a little time in Hampton. March 4 through 10 is the Downtown Hampton and Coliseum Central Restaurant Week featuring two-course lunches for $10 and three-course dinners for either $20 or $30. Choose from 14 dining establishments.
    > Hampton Accommodations
    > Things to Do | Events

    On the heels of great dining in Hampton, Suffolk Restaurant Week: A Culinary Showcase rolls out March 17 through 24. You’re invited to “Indulge Yourself” when you visit Suffolk. Three-course lunches are available for $10 or $15, while three-course dinners will run $20 or $30. You choose your meal and your price among 10 participating restaurants.
    > Suffolk Accommodations
    > Things to Do | Events

    Enjoy a weekend away and save on great dining when you take advantage of one of these destinations and their special restaurant deals.

    LOVE is at the heart of every Virginia vacation (even the weekend getaway kind).



    Couples, Family, Food and Wine | Comments Off

    Virginia Home Brews

    by Casey | Posted on February 9th, 2012

    Whether you’re planning a week-long Virginia vacation, a weekend getaway, or you’re just passing through, be sure to experience the best of what we have to offer. That includes our beer.

    St. George Brewing CompanyFrom pale ales to pretty stout stouts, you can most certainly find your favorite brew in Virginia, along with a custom etched pilsner and t-shirt to show your pride.

    In Fredericksburg, go for the Blue & Gray Brewing Co. and Lee’s Retreat Brewpub. A microbrewery offering free tours and tastings certain days of the week, Blue & Gray has four beers on tap all the time with specialty beers available seasonally.

    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.

    Bold Rock Cidery and Brew PubWhile 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.



    Beer, Couples | 3 Comments