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Posts Tagged ‘weekends’

11 Virginia Retreats for Wellness

by Casey | Posted on February 25th, 2014

More often than some would like to admit, a weekend away would be a welcome salve to the aches and drudgery of everyday life. Make this your year of self-pampering. Take the sick days that you never use and treat yourself to calm and relaxation.

Marriott Ranch. Photo by Tammy McMillan Photography.

Marriott Ranch. Photo by Tammy McMillan Photography.

RETREAT

Booking quickly and available for just one weekend, the Wellness Rejuvenation Package at Marriott Ranch in Hume includes two nights’ lodging, meals, wine with dinner on Saturday, one yoga session each day, boot camp drill session, a massage, hands-on cooking class, informal wine pairing education with dinner, and a fireside discussion with yoga instructor and fitness trainer, Monica Fernandi. Available March 7-9, 2014. $485 per person plus tax (double occupancy) or $685 plus tax (single occupancy).

Virginia’s newest resort, Salamander Resort in Middleburg, offers a special focus on equestrian activities and the well-being of riders. The Spa includes treatments for equestrians, mothers-to-be and couples, while their specialty programs include Yoga in the Stable and Yoga on Horseback, each 30 minutes long. Yoga in the Stable has you facing the sunrise and working poses to improve balance, flexibility, strength and posture while Yoga on Horseback needs no explanation. Rates from $20 to $150 per person.

Lansdowne Resort near Leesburg boasts its AAA Four Diamond Spa Minerale, an attractive centerpiece of the Pamper and Putt package built for two. Stay a night, swing one round of golf and relax through one 50-minute massage. Rates from $318.

The Spa Garden at The Omni Homestead Resort.

The Spa Garden at The Omni Homestead Resort.

Set in Virginia’s Allegheny Mountains, The Spa at The Omni Homestead offers guests the chance to relax in Virginia’s hot springs through the Spa Garden area. Traditional and Homestead-specific spa treatments are available, as well as daily yoga and other fitness classes. The Omni Homestead has two overnight spa packages, one with a $200 spa credit, and another with a $400 spa credit plus a 15% spa retail discount.

Ultimate girl pampering is yours at The Martha Hotel & Spa in Abingdon. Book the “A Whole New You” package for a gourmet salt glow, 50-minute loosen-up massage, skin deep facial, aromatherapy soak and spa pedicure with your stay for $450. Guys have a package built for them, too. “Gentleman’s Indulgence” is a 50-minute loosen-up massage, facial and foot treatment for $280.

Check into Boar’s Head, Charlottesville’s only AAA Four Diamond resort, and enjoy the Winter Spa Package: an overnight stay and a $125 gift card to be used toward one of six seasonal spa services. Rates from $299. Available through March 31, 2014.

Yoga at Primland Resort

Yoga at Primland Resort

The Spa at Primland Resort in southwest Virginia provides guests with a complete list of spa and wellness services including yoga and meditation classes, a mother-daughter spa package and healing ritual services. Primland’s seasonal spa package, the Winter “Refresh,” is a two-night, mid-week package available Sunday through Thursday. The package includes overnight accommodations, two breakfasts, two dinners, one lunch, a serenity massage, stone of eternal youth facial, secret canyon wrap and float and one yoga class. Available through March 20, 2014. Rates from $1427.

A DAY BREAK

The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg offers a menu of services rooted in five centuries of history. Try the 19th Century African Traditional Bath & Strengthening Massage Spa Experience. It reflects the African healing traditions that combined herbs, roots and fresh waters to enrich life and attract positive energy. The modern-day version is 120 minutes and includes Maize and Herbal Body Brushing, Root and Herbal Soaking Bath, and a Shea Butter Massage. $125 per person or $565 per couple.

The Spa at Colonial Williamsburg

The Spa at Colonial Williamsburg

Yoga at Virginia Mountain Vineyard in Fincastle is a 60-minute instructional class followed by healthy foods and wine tasting. A reservation is required and don’t forget your mat or blanket. $35 per person. Available April 13 and August 10, 2014.

The James Monroe Museum in Fredericksburg is the site of Yoga in the Garden, a drop-in class open to all ages and skill levels. Bring your mat and $8 per person to participate. Saturdays May 3 through June 28, 2014.

Historic Oatlands Plantation in Leesburg invites you to join in an Integrated Yoga session the first Sunday of each month from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Posture, deep relaxation, breathing, and meditation are in order, as is a meditative walk in the garden. $20 per person; bring your mat, walking shoes and water.

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10 Romantic Destinations in Virginia

by Casey | Posted on February 3rd, 2014

Valentine’s Day is approaching and we have a great list of destinations for you and your sweetheart to spend a night or weekend. Make your getaway reservations as soon as possible.

A great dining experience is an integral part of a destination’s appeal, and I was happy to find that OpenTable recently sifted through 19,000 restaurants’ five million reviews to name the 2014 Most Romantic Restaurants in America. Wouldn’t you know it? Virginia has several nods on the list, which are included in the first four destinations below.

Goodstone Inn & Restaurant

Goodstone Inn & Restaurant

1. Middleburg – The Goodstone Inn & Restaurant sits in the midst of Virginia’s hunt country and offers a fine farm-to-table menu of French Country cuisine.

Stay and Play:

Goodstone Inn itself offers six distinctive dwellings.
~ Salamander Resort opened in August 2013 and can easily be described as lavishly luxurious.
~ Salamander Spa
~ Barrel Oak Winery Fine Art Gallery & Tasting Room

More about Middleburg

2. BoyceL’Auberge Provencale French Restaurant is ZAGAT rated and holds AAA Four Diamond status.

Stay and Play:

~ L’Auberge Provencal Bed and Breakfast has been recognized by USA Today as one of Seven Irresistible Country Retreats.
~ The Shenandoah Valley Wine Trail

More about Boyce

Keswick Hall

Keswick Hall

3. Vienna/Fairfax CountyCafe Renaissance blends French with Italian and gives it a modern twist.

Stay and Play:

~ The Ritz-Carlton caters to your needs with a full service spa and upscale dining.
~ Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts

More about Fairfax County

4. Virginia Beach – Boasting two recommendations on the OpenTable list, Virginia Beach is a fantastic romantic destination any time of year. The Cellars is located in an authentic 1860′s farmhouse cellar, making it a truly unique experience. The menu is described as French County with a Southern flare.

The second Virginia Beach restaurant on the list is Salacia, the only AAA Four Diamond steakhouse in Virginia.

Stay and Play:

~ Church Point Manor Bed and Breakfast is the historic farmhouse in which you’ll find The Cellars. It’s full of beautiful antiques and only a mile from the Chesapeake Bay.
~ Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront is home base for Salacia and is one of the most upscale resort hotels in Virginia Beach. Check out the Sky Bar, too.
~ Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art

More about Virginia Beach

5. Charlottesville – Livability offers a list of Top 10 Romantic Cities and this historic area of Virginia happens to sit at number four.

Stay and Play:

~ Clifton Inn is a luxury boutique hotel of Relais & Chateaux esteem. Fewer than 20 uniquely appointed rooms and suites are available, and world-class dining is at your fingertips.
~ Keswick Hall is a “country house hotel” with 48 rooms, and is part of the Southern Living Hotel Collection.
Jefferson Vineyards
~ Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello

Lorien Hotel and Spa

Lorien Hotel and Spa

6. Alexandria – Amazon has released its annual list of Top 20 Most Romantic Cities in the U.S., including Alexandria at number five.

Stay and Play:

~ Morrison House is a romantic, small hotel with big acknowledgements: Mobil four-star and AAA Four Diamond.
~ Lorien Hotel and Spa is a luxury boutique hotel that is sensibly sophisticatd. Adjacent dining at BRABO by Robert Wiedmaier is a delight.
~ Potomac Riverboat Company

Additional romantic destinations you might consider:

7. Richmond: The Jefferson Hotel and Lemaire Restaurant
8. Washington: Inn at Little Washington and Inn at Little Washington Dining
9. Williamsburg: The Williamsburg Inn and Cafe Provencal
10. Orange: The Inn at Willow Grove and Elmwood at Sparks

What’s your romantic style? Leave us a comment!

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Couples, Virginia Destinations | 3 Comments

18 Places for Winter Family Fun in Virginia

by Casey | Posted on January 15th, 2014

The weekend is coming and your kids are tired of being cooped up. Or maybe, you’re tired of them being cooped up with too many hours of technology and gaming systems. Let’s solve that conundrum with a variety of ideas to spark the family fun you’re after.

Great Wolf Lodge

Great Wolf Lodge

Waterpark. Yes, you read correctly. Water. Park. There are two in Virginia that are perfect for a wintry Saturday or an entire weekend away.

Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg is 67,000 square feet of splashing good times. How does a four-story treehouse, 1,000 gallon tipping bucket, four pools, eight slides, two giant hot tubs, and a wave pool sound? Stay the night and enjoy the waterpark all you want; passes are included. Arrive early to maximize your park fun time!

Massanutten Resort in McGaheysville has a 50,000 gallon centerpiece called The Flow Rider – an indoor surfing attraction with a five-foot incline. In addition, an adventure river, eight slides, a frog pond for little swimmers, water cannons, and a giant tipping bucket make this a fun place for any age to hang out. An overnight stay is not required.

Museum hop in Richmond. Located side by side, the Children’s Museum of Richmond and the Science Museum of Virginia are great places to escape and let the kids get hands-on. The little ones will love busying themselves with imaginative play, but then it’s on to discover the wonders of the universe … all in the same day! Have more than a day or want to swap the museums around a bit? The Virginia Aviation Museum is located near the Richmond International Airport and has 30 aircraft on site, including an SR-71 Blackbird.

Glow-A-Rama

Glow-A-Rama

Kids’ indoor amusement opportunities have came a long way since I was a kid. Take miniature golf, for example. Now you can putt 18 holes indoors, in the dark, with blacklights. Find that a Glow-A-Rama in Buchanan. High energy indoor fun includes laser tag and warehouses filled with things to bounce in, on and off of.

Skyline Laser Tag, Winchester
Panther Family Laser Tag, Sterling
Shadowland Laser Adventures, Chantilly

Birdie’s, Chesapeake
Putter-A-Round Mini Golf, Harrisonburg

Rebounderz, Sterling
Rebounderz, Newport News
The Playroom, Chester

Finally, the obvious places for families to play in winter are Virginia’s four mountain resorts – Bryce, Massanutten, The Omni Homestead, and Wintergreen. Each has its own personality and special offerings (snowtubing, anyone?), so check out Winter Sports for the details on each.

Have a great suggestion for family play during the winter season? Please leave a comment!

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5 Outdoor Adventures to Conquer in 2014

by Casey | Posted on January 8th, 2014

Let 2014 be your year of travel, and let us inspire you! This is the first of a four part series showcasing things to do in Virginia for 2014. Let’s go!

Outdoor enthusiasts, families, kids, most everyone will enjoy these quests for fun in Virginia’s great outdoors this year.

New River Kayaking

New River Kayaking

1. The Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach is expanding to include a new Aquarium Adventure Park. The park is due to open by summer and will feature zip lines and ropes courses. It will be the largest aerial forest park in Virginia, and will be suitable for ages 5 and older.
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2. Rugged cyclists traveling to and living in southwest Virginia will appreciate the new Mill Creek Nature Park mountain biking trails in Narrows. The two miles will connect with 16 more miles of national forest trails and the Appalachian Trail. Expect beautiful sights along the way like the Cascades waterfall.
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3. See the waterfalls of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Shenandoah National Park. They’re especially beautiful after a rain, so plan accordingly. A spring walk will yield wildflowers, making the trek all the more memorable.
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Spearhead Trail Mountain View Trail System

Spearhead Trail Mountain View Trail System

4. Get your mud on! Sections of the Spearhead Trail system in the Heart of Appalachia continue to open to ATV and OHV enthusiasts. Are you a novice rider? Outfitters in the town of St. Paul have embraced the new community of riders and offer rentals and guidance.
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5. Extreme paintball wars are possible with a trip to PEVS Paintball Park in Aldie. Just 30 minutes from Washington, DC, players will find 48 acres of courses, including a life size town with more than 25 buildings. Bring your own equipment or rent theirs.
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What’s on your 2014 outdoor to-do list? Leave us a comment!

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Historic Home Tours for the Holidays

by Casey | Posted on December 4th, 2013

Virginia’s historic homes are beautifully decorated this season. Truly, this is one of the key times to see your favorite historic home in all its period glory. Candlelight, fresh swags of greenery, pineapples, and really stunning Victorian spreads await.

Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon

Saturdays and Sundays in December George Washington’s Mount Vernon opens for candlelight mansion tours between 5 and 8 p.m. Fireside caroling and other festivities make it an appealing family affair. $22/adult and $15/child 11 and younger.

“Roaring 20′s” is the Christmas theme at Oatlands in Leesburg, so expect to see plenty of glitz along with the greenery and numerous Christmas trees in this 1804 mansion. Tours are offered every 30 minutes daily through December 30. $12/adult; $10/senior; $8/child 6-16.

Special candlelight tours are offered December 15, 20, 21, 22 from 5 to 7 p.m. Cookies, cider and musical performances are included.  Rates are the same as the daily tour.

Celebrate the season at Maymont in Richmond and revel in Victorian holiday splendor! Major & Mrs. Dooley’s spectacularly decorated Gilded Age home brings the wonders and festivities of Christmas past to life. Tours are offered every half-hour daily (except Mondays) through January 5. $5 suggested donation.

December 6 – Come to Richmond to find out how people celebrated Christmas during the Victorian Era. Take a guided tour of the White House of the Confederacy, specially decorated for the holidays!$5 admission.

December 6, 7, 13, and 14 – Experience centuries of Christmas traditions at James Madison’s Montpelier during the Christmas candlelight tours. Visitors are greeted by the gracious hostess Dolley Madison in the Mansion’s Drawing Room as she speaks about early 19th-century Christmas customs. Linger in the duPont Gallery, enjoying light refreshments, wine, and wassail while listening to harp music and Christmas carolers. $25 in advance; $35 at the door; $10 for children ages 6 to 14.

Monticello

Monticello

December 7 – Get a glimpse of Christmas from the Colonial period through World War II when you experience Rippon Lodge in Woodbridge. Candlelight tours on the half-hour with a visit from Santa in the cabin. Santa is free for everyone; tours are $10/person with the exception of children younger than 6, who are free.

December 7 – Celebrate the holidays at Bacon’s Castle in Surry to learn about 17th century English Christmas traditions and decorations. Guided tours of the mansion and hot mulled cider will be offered all day. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. $8/adult; $6/senior; $5/student; children 6 and under are free.

December 7, 13, 14, 20-23 and 26-30 – Head to Charlottesville to take advantage of the unique opportunity to explore Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello after dark with a special small-group house tour. The tours, which include the Dome Room, offer visitors an intimate look at how the holidays were celebrated in Jefferson’s time, plus the rare opportunity to experience Monticello after dark. Tours begin at 5:30, 5:45 and 6:00 p.m. $45 in advance. Reservations required. Not recommended for children younger than 6. Portions of the tour are not handicapped-accessible.

Avoca

Avoca

December 7 and 8 – Seasonal holiday decorations and local entertainment will be featured at Centre Hill Mansion in Petersburg as part of their annual holiday open house. Refreshments will be served. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

December 7 and 8 – Don’t miss the annual Christmas weekend at Walton’s Mountain Museum in Schuyler. They’re decorated inside and out, with cookies and cider for your warmth and joy. These two days are the only two of the year when visitors are permitted to go beyond the roped areas.

December 7, 8, 14 and 15 – See the lavishly decorated Victorian house, Avoca Museum in Altavista, celebrating Christmas memories with light refreshments and hot cider, Santa on Saturday afternoons, and a silent auction to benefit education programs. $5/adult; $4/senior.

Liberia Plantation

Liberia Plantation

December 14 – Enjoy holiday candlelight, music and refreshments at Liberia Plantation in Manassas, the 1825 house that hosted both Confederate and Union forces, as well as President Lincoln. The house will be decorated as it would have been in the 1860s when the Weir family occupied it. Tours begin at Manassas Museum where guests will be bussed to Liberia. $15/adult; $7.50/child 12 and younger.

December 14 - Take a candle lit tour of the main house and slave quarter at Ben Lomond every half-hour between 5 and 7 p.m. to learn how the enslaved community celebrated the holidays and how they resisted the institution that kept them enslaved. $7/person; free for children younger than 6. Reservations suggested.

December 14 and 15 – Celebrate an 18th century Christmas holiday at Patrick Henry’s Scotchtown in Beaverdam. Enjoy the decorations, food, and holiday surprises. $5/person.

Poplar Forest

Poplar Forest

December 14 and 15 – Historic Berkeley Plantation in Charles City welcomes you to learn how the Harrison family celebrated Christmas during the 18th century. Partake in the festive atmosphere created by colonial music and decorations of fresh greenery and natural arrangements from Berkeley’s gardens. Costumed guides will add a special treat to your holiday season with stories about Christmas hospitality over 200 years ago. Holiday refreshments will be served. $11/adult; $7.50/student; $6 for ages 6 to 12. Reservations required.

December 15 – Enjoy period inspired holiday decorations and music, living history interpreters in the kitchen, storytelling, various children’s activities and demonstrations from craftspeople when you visit Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest retreat in Forest. Free with non-perishable food donation.

 

For more festive events and opportunities, visit Virginia.org/HolidaysInVirginia.

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