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5 Spirited Places to Visit in Prince William

5 Spirited Places to Visit in Prince William

Costumed characters wielding fake machetes chasing after you can be a scary-fun time. However, sometimes you want a true spine-chilling, hair-raising experience. These five historic properties with their creaking floorboards and dark corners offer an eerie atmosphere for ghost stories and haunting encounters in Prince William, VA.

 

1. WEEMS-BOTTS MUSEUM

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Visit Prince William

Get frightened at Weems-Botts Museum, the second most haunted home in Virginia. Once home to Parson Weems, the biographer for George Washington, today the museum is rumored to have paranormal activity. Civil War soldiers are said to haunt the nearby cemeteries and park while a child, who still talks to ghost hunters in the voice of a little girl, haunts the home. The house was featured on Biography Channel’s “My Ghost Story” and offers haunted lock-ins and ghost tours every October.

 

2.BEN LOMOND HISTORIC SITE

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Visit Prince William

Opening and closing doors, phantom footsteps, and mysteriously relocating objects are part of the experience when exploring the history of the Ben Lomond Historic Site. Ben Lomond has a diverse history, from being a Civil War hospital to being the home of countless slaves. Today, many local residents claim that the house and grounds are haunted by spirits from the past.

 

3. BRENTSVILLE COURTHOUSE HISTORIC CENTRE

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Connect with Agness, the spirit who allegedly haunts the jail at this 28-acre site. Agness was one of 13 people executed outside the jail after she was tried and convicted of killing her master.. People claim they have heard voices coming from the jail or have seen faces in the windows of the building. The television show “Ghost Hunters” filmed here just a few years ago.

 

4.HISTORIC OCCOQUAN

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This quaint town along the Occoquan River boasts numerous ghosts and features walking ghost tours throughout the year. Get a glimpse of the Indian who allegedly appears in a bathroom mirror at a local restaurant, talk to store owners who have had their merchandise strewn around and look for the young man who haunts a busy street corner.

 

5. THE WINERY AT LA GRANGE

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The house and property are rich with history and folklore. Many visitors share their stories of experiences with the ghosts that live here. Most of the encounters entail the piano in the parlor playing on its own, the ghost of a young girl who inhabits one of the upstairs rooms as well as the spirit of Benoni who guided the homes restoration project in the 1800’s. Benoni E. Harrison purchased the La Grange estate in 1837 and lived here until he died in 1869. Rumor has it that Benoni still haunts the manor house to this day. You will find a glass of red wine on the mantel in the Tasting Room, which is set out for his ghost each day to ensure the staff doesn’t encounter any mysterious phenomena while open to the public.

 

Featured images provided by Visit Prince William

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The post 5 Spirited Places to Visit in Prince William appeared first on Virginia’s Travel Blog.

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Celebrating Virginia’s Bounty: Harvest Dinners, Parties, and Festivals

Celebrating Virginia’s Bounty: Harvest Dinners, Parties, and Festivals

Veritas Farmhouse surrounded by Veritas Vineyard

When you think of fall, you probably think of colorful leaves, expansive pumpkin patches, and cool autumn weather. But what may not come to mind is the abundance of fresh food that is gathered at local farms and vineyards. Autumn marks the arrival of harvest season in Virginia, bringing an array of flavorful, recently-picked produce straight to your plate. Dine at one of Virginia’s most notable farm-to-table restaurants, or if you want to get the full harvest experience, attend some of the following harvest celebrations, held at wineries, distilleries, cideries, and even in the scenic farm fields themselves. 

 

—HARVEST PARTIES ACROSS THE COMMONWEALTH—

Coyote Hole Ciderworks Fall Festival Harvest Party—Mineral

When: October 11-14, 2019

Join Coyote Hole Ciderworks for their Fall Festival Harvest Party, with family-friendly autumn activities happening all weekend long. Savor cider donuts, non-alcoholic fresh-pressed sparkling ciders, seasonal hard ciders made from Virginia-grown fruit, and all your favorite fall foods and beverages. The festival also features an escape room, psychic readings, live music performances, a car show, trivia contest, and a pie-eating contest for those not full from all the previously mentioned fall goodies.

 

Annual Harvest Fest at The Virginia Distillery Company—Lovingston

When: October 12, 2019Virginia Distillery Company

Take in the beauty of Virginia’s harvest season at The Virginia Distillery Company’s Annual Harvest Fest, a Saturday event filled with seasonal fare from local food trucks, live music from the Jason Burke Band, and tastings of the distillery’s award-winning whiskeys. Don’t miss sampling the featured October cocktail, the Great Ginger Pumpkin, a drink that tastes just like fall in a glass! 

 

Spring House Farm Root to Table Dinner—Hamilton

When: October 27, 2019 

Dine on top of a mountain overlooking Loudoun County’s stunning Wine Country during the Spring House Farm Harvest Dinner. Part of the 2019 Taste of the Blue Ridge Root to Table Series, this harvest event is led by farmer Andrew Crush, Chef Erik Foxx-Nettnin of Magnolia’s at the Mill, Chef Justin Garrison of Justin Thyme Catering, and guest Chef Britt Shyrene (who formerly worked in a Florida Michelin-starred restaurant). Filled with elegant dishes and a warm, autumnal atmosphere, the dinner begins with fresh Virginia oysters and drinks as you compete in classic yard games, followed by dinner at the main house. The menu is a culinary dream, boasting Braised Goat Cassoulet, a Char-roasted Porchetta and Beet Salad, Springhouse Pork and Aberdeen Angus Roulades, and for dessert, a local Peach & Pork Foster–salty bacon-wrapped peaches topped with bourbon-burnt sugar ice cream, homemade granola, and smoked Springhouse fall honey. These events sell out fast, so get your tickets ASAP for this once-in-a-lifetime harvest dinner! 

 

Red Pump Kitchen Harvest Dinner—Charlottesville

When: October 17-18, 2019Red Pump photo credit Eric Kelley

Photo Credit: Eric Kelley

Two-time winner of Food Network‘s “Chopped” and “Chopped Champions,” Chef Vinson Petrillo takes over Red Pump Kitchen on October 17th and 18th to create a from-scratch, Tuscan-inspired menu. Petrillo will put his own sophisticated spin on traditional southern fare during the harvest dinner, working with Red Pump Kitchen’s Chef Brandon Ripberger (who previously trained under Petrillo). This culinary reunion will bring hyper-local ingredients to the table, from seafood to game, in a six-course tasting menu that features carefully-selected Virginia wine pairings. 

 

Muse Vineyards Harvest Day Event—Woodstock

When: October 19, 2019

Head to Muse Vineyards on October 19th for their Harvest Day event. From 2:30-4:00pm, the winery will be open to the public, with the owner taking visitors on a guided tour of the vineyard as he discusses the 2019 harvest. Afterwards, join the winery owners for a private event at the tasting room, which will include a special release of their newest vintage wine, live music by Zachary Funkhouser, and an array of hor d’oeuvres to enjoy with the wines. Tickets for this evening event are available at the tasting room or can be purchased the day of for $12 per person. 

 

Meet at the Table—Painter 

When: October 19, 2019Pleasure House Oysters, Chef's Table Tour

Virginia’s Eastern Shore hosts Meet at the Table on October 19th, a unique dining experience where you can sample the best farm-to-table food from the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay as well as small farms located along the shore. Local farmers, watermen, chefs, brewers, distillers, vineyards and artists come together during this harvest celebration, which benefits the Delmarva Farmers Union, the Eastern Shore Artisans Guild, and The Eastern Shore Spay Organization. In addition to lots of delicious food and drink, the event will have music from both live bands and a DJ, a silent auction, and a live auction to add to the excitement. 

 

Harvest Party at Paradise Springs Winery—Clifton

When: October 19, 2019

Attend the Paradise Springs Winery’s Harvest Party on October 19th, an autumnal event that brings visitors together to celebrate the harvest season and to appreciate the bounty of Northern Virginia’s famed wine region. The festival has a full day of autumn activities, including grape stomping, lawn games, harvest tours, a Brew Garden sponsored by Solace Brewing Co., locally-made apple cider donuts as well as a variety of other fall-themed treats from food trucks, and of course, lots of Virginia wines! 

 

Harvest Party at Varia—Norfolk

When: October 24, 2019varia harvest party

Varia, located inside The Main Hilton Norfolk Hotel, will host a special Harvest Party celebration on October 24th, featuring a Virginia wine tasting and small bites prepared by the restaurant’s chef for only $15. During the event, in-house Sommelier Matthew Emborski will take you on an educational tasting journey while you enjoy a selection of wines paired with traditional charcuterie offerings.

 

Effingham Manor Heritage Festival—Nokesville

When: November 1-3, 2019 effingham manor fall

Part of the American Evolution 2019 Commemoration, the Effingham Manor Heritage Festival  pays tribute to the best of Virginia’s customs and cuisine, with local orchards, farmers, watermen, musicians, and craftspeople offering samples and selling their new products. The highlight of the festival is Virginia-made wines, and a selection of wineries from the area join Effingham Manor to serve their vintages at the event. This harvest celebration provides a traditional glimpse into Virginia’s heritage and culinary history, from the historic Old-Time musical stylings of the Commonwealth to locally-sourced foods, including oysters from the Chesapeake Bay, farm-raised meats, and artisanal cheese from nearby farms and markets. 

 

Can’t make it to any of these special harvest events? Consider throwing your own harvest party with friends and family to celebrate the bounty of Virginia’s rich landscape! 

The post Celebrating Virginia’s Bounty: Harvest Dinners, Parties, and Festivals appeared first on Virginia’s Travel Blog.

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Explore Ken Burns’ ‘Country Music’ at These Historic Spots in Virginia

Explore Ken Burns’ ‘Country Music’ at These Historic Spots in Virginia

Virginia had an integral role in the history of country music, as evidenced in Ken Burns’ eight-part PBS documentary “Country Music.” From the Birthplace of Country Music in Bristol to the countless musicians who call Virginia home, the options for exploring the history, hometowns, and attractions of Virginia’s country music greats are plentiful around the Commonwealth.

Here are a few ways to experience the history of Virginia’s musical greats.

 

The Crooked Road—Southwest VirginiaThe Crooked Road

The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail is a driving trail through Southwest Virginia that takes you through one of the most scenic and culturally unique regions of the United States. It also takes you through some of the most musically significant areas in the U.S. for Bluegrass and Traditional Mountain Music. The trail itself is more than 300 miles, including more than 60 cultural music venues across 19 counties, four independent cities, and more than 50 towns.

 

The Ralph Stanley Museum and Traditional Mountain Music Center—ClintwoodThe Ralph Stanley Museum and Traditional Mountain Music Center

Dr. Stanley passed away in 2016 at the age of 89, but his tradition is alive and well in Southwest Virginia. The definitive repository for Stanley scholarship and celebration can be found in Clintwood at the Ralph Stanley Museum and Traditional Mountain Music Center. The center houses an extensive collection of memorabilia, offering visitors an opportunity to learn about the legend’s life, as well as the history of mountain music. And fans of the genre flock to McClure each Memorial Day for the annual “Hills of Home” bluegrass festival, now organized by Stanley’s son, with spots for camping and three days of fast-picking instrumentalists, including appearances by Ralph Stanley II and the Clinch Mountain Boys.

 

Birthplace of Country Music Museum—BristolBirthplace of Country Music Museum

Rarely can you trace the genesis of an artform definitively to a single event, but the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, does exactly that, celebrating the legacy of the 1927 Bristol Sessions. Commonly referred to as the “Big Bang” of country music, those Bristol Sessions marked the commercial recording debuts of eventual legends like Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family, and the BCM, opened in 2014, allows music fans to explore country’s roots via multimedia exhibits, a performance theater, instruments owned by significant figures like Bill Monroe and Johnny Cash, a radio station, a learning center, and more. There’s no telling what the American musical landscape would sound like had Ralph Peer of the Victor Talking Machine Company not set up a temporary recording studio in Bristol that summer, and thanks to the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, we’ll never forget how significant those sessions turned out to be.

 

Blue Ridge Music Center—Galax

With a permanent exhibit detailing “The Roots of American Music” and a stunning amphitheater overlooking the Southeastern Virginia wooded setting, the Blue Ridge Music Center houses fascinating artifacts tracing the evolution of traditional instruments like the banjo and dulcimer alongside emphera and recordings documenting the region’s significant role in the founding of traditional country and bluegrass. Each day the center is open, you can hear Mid-Day Mountain Music from noon to 4 p.m. in the breezeway of the visitor’s center, and the nearby amphitheater plays host to a summer concert series and off-season shows in between. With so much music to soak in, and a picturesque treeline behind the facility, you may just end up kicking back on a rocking chair and soaking in the sounds of one of the most musically and visually beautiful spots you’ll find anywhere.

 

Carter Family Fold—HiltonsCarter Fold Sessions

To immerse yourself completely in the Carter Family’s story, head to Hiltons, Virginia and travel along A. P. Carter Highway until you find the Carter Family Fold. Part performance venue, part museum, and part historical site, the Fold offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to commune with Virginia’s musical roots. The Carter Family Museum is a great place to start — it houses performance attire, memorabilia, and tributes that tell the story of the family’s rise to fame. Just next door, you can step into the A. P. Carter Cabin and Birthplace, which was lovingly restored and relocated with the help of preservationists, archeologists, craftsmen, carpenters, and historians. (Keep an eye out for Johnny Cash’s rocking chair!) And if you’re there on a Saturday, you can wrap up your visit with a concert, held weekly in the main Fold building with a stunning stage, plenty of room for dancing, and accommodating stadium seating.

 

The Lincoln Theatre – Marion

The Lincoln Theatre is a destination unto itself; one step inside the stunning space with its colorful murals and red and gold glow and you’re bound to realize you’re in one of the most gorgeous venues in the state. Not only is it on the National Register of Historic Places, the Marion, Virginia theater is also notable for playing host to “Song of the Mountains,” a PBS-syndicated TV series that’s carried on more than 150 stations across the United States. More than 10 seasons in, Song of the Mountains features some of the finest bluegrass you’ll find anywhere. Past performers have included the Seldom Scene, Ralph Stanley, the Steep Canyon Rangers, and the Grass Cats, and country legends like Doc Watson have also graced the Lincoln Theatre stage. It’s a beloved bluegrass tradition that’s well worth tuning in for or even better, seeing firsthand.

 

Rex Theater—GalaxRex Theater

Opened in 1941, Rex Theater originally functioned as a movie theater, but the historic building screened the last film in the 1980s. After closing, the town of Galax decided to renovate the space and host live bluegrass performances every Friday evening, as well as vintage movie screenings and special events throughout the year.

 

Floyd Country Store—FloydFloyd Country Store

This authentic country shop is over 100 years old, and while the Floyd Country Store functions as a general store and restaurant throughout the week, visitors and residents flock the site for the Friday Night Jamborees, featuring gospel, old-time, and bluegrass bands.

 

Patsy Cline House—WinchesterPatsy Cline House

Another notable spot to visit if you’re a music history buff is the historic Patsy Cline House in Winchester. As the first solo female singer in the Grand Ole Opry and the first woman to be inducted in the Country Music Hall of Fame, Cline is an iconic character in the history of Virginia music. Her small home speaks to her modest beginnings, and visitors can pay tribute to the late country star at her final resting place, right outside the city limits in Shenandoah Memorial Park.

All episodes of Ken Burns’ eight-part documentary series, “Country Music” are now streaming on PBS.

 

The Virginia artists featured in Ken Burns’ “Country Music” include:

A.P. Carter (Episode 1,2)
Anita Carter (Episode 3)
Carter Stanley (Episode 3)
Don Reid (The Statler Brothers) (Episode 1,5)
Emmylou Harris (Episode 2, 5, 7, and 8)
Ernst Van “Pop” Stoneman (Episode 1)
Helen Carter (Episode 3)
June Carter (Episode 2, 4, and 5)
Ketch Secor (Old Crow Medicine Show) (Episode 1,2, and 8)
Mac Wiseman (Bluegrass Singer) (Episode 2,3)
Maybelle Carter (Episode 1,2,3,5, and 6)
Patsy Cline (Episode 4,5, and 8)
Ralph Stanley (Episode 3 and 6)
Roy Clark (Hee-Haw) (Episode 5, 6)
Sara Carter (Episode 1,2)
Steve Earl (Episode 8)
The Carter Family (Episode 1,2 and 4)

Contributions to this article made by Davy Jones, Andrew Cothern, and Patricia Keppel.

The post Explore Ken Burns’ ‘Country Music’ at These Historic Spots in Virginia appeared first on Virginia’s Travel Blog.

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A Guide to Some of the Best Brunches in Virginia

A Guide to Some of the Best Brunches in Virginia

Ah, brunch. There’s nothing better than spending some weekend leisure time munching your way through plates of comfort food and sipping on mimosas. Our love for brunch is second to none, which is why we came up with the Ultimate Guide to the Best Brunches in Virginia. It’s divided by region so it’s got something for all brunch-loving Virginians. Read on and eat up!

 

—SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA—

Scratch Biscuit Company—Roanoke

 

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Imagine the brunch of your wildest dreams, then imagine it on a biscuit. They even have some yummy omelettes and platter options as well, but honestly–who doesn’t love a good biscuit?

 

Tuco’s Taqueria Garaje—Roanoke

Two words: Breakfast Burrito. Tuco’s inventive Latin twist makes it an essential stop on your brunch list. Their variety of brunch cocktails doesn’t hurt, either. 

 

Our Daily Bread—Blacksburg, Salem, Roanoke

With three locations, Our Daily Bread has brunch love to spare. Pro tip: Get the Garbage Plate. It’s a Moroccan-inspired egg scramble that’ll have you ready for seconds. 

 

River and Rail—Roanoke The River and Rail Restaurant

Any place with pork rinds as a brunch appetizer deserves a spot on this list. River and Rail’s classic Southern brunch just can’t be beat.

 

Breadcraft—Roanoke 

Breadcraft’s French fare is truly special, and with options like beignets, quiche, and a variety of brunch salads, they have something for everyone. 

 

—CENTRAL VIRGINIA—

Iron Paffles and Coffee—Charlottesville

 

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What’s a “paffle” you ask? Well, it’s one part puff pastry, one part waffle, and ALL parts delicious. Get them savory or sweet, and thank us later. 

 

Farm Bell Kitchen—Charlottesville

 

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Farm Bell Kitchen does brunch RIGHT, and they do it seven days a week. That’s right, folks, weekday brunch does exist, and you can find it at Farm Bell Kitchen.

 

Brunch—Richmond 

 

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With a name like Brunch, it’s gotta be good. They’re known for their waffles, and if you can’t decide on just one–get the waffle flight. Heck, maybe get the waffle flight anyway.

 

Bar Solita—Richmond

 

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Bar Solita’s “Flamingo Brunch” is legendary in Richmond, aka the brunchiest city in the Commonwealth. Their drink menu includes options like “a big ole’ bottle” of prosecco, Mimosa flights, and (!!!) Bloody Mary Cart Service.

 

Brewer’s Cafe—Richmond

 

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The father-son team behind Brewer’s Cafe is an incredible culinary force in Southside Richmond, and their classic brunch and killer coffee will have you coming back for more.

 

Perly’s—Richmond 

 

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Perly’s is a Jewish restaurant and delicatessen and has been a staple in the Richmond food scene for awhile, and their brunch is majorly yummy. It’s Yiddish for delicious!

 

—SHENANDOAH VALLEY—

Bonnie Blue—Winchester 

 

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Meat lovers rejoice! Bonnie Blue’s brunch has everything a carnivore could want: pulled pork, sausage, brisket, and so much more. 

 

Woodstock Cafe—Woodstock 

 

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Woodstock Cafe’s Weekend brunch is for all you egg aficionados out there. They’ve got omelettes, scrambles, and an Eggs Benedict dish that’s to die for. 

 

Food.Bar.Food—Harrisonburg Food.Bar.Food

Food.Bar.Food is all about global comfort food and their brunch menu definitely reflects that mission. They serve brunch all week long (!!!) and their large variety of brunch bowls mean no one leaves hungry.

 

Regions 117—Lake Frederick 

Local-loving foodies flock to Regions 117 for the Sunday Brunch. And with a killer brunch menu featuring items like wood-fired pizza, who could blame them? 

 

—SOUTHERN VIRGINIA—

White Birch Juice Co.—Abingdon white birch juice and food restaurant abingdon

This one’s for all you health-conscious brunch lovers out there. White Birch’s famous cold-pressed juices are the perfect match for their yummy brunch options.

 

Elements at Primland—Meadows of Dan 

Primland. Spectacular views, mountain-top chalets, elegant dining, conference facilities and a wide array of recreational activities are available at Primland Resort. Celebrate a special occasion and get fancy with a brunch at Elements Restaurant in the Primland resort. Their classy brunch options make your meal an affair to remember.

 

Harvest Table Restaurant—Meadowview Harvest Table Restaurant

Harvest Table’s Sunday brunch is filled with Southern classics and features ultra-local ingredients. Now that’s what you call a win-win.

 

—COASTAL VIRGINIA—

Handsome Biscuit—Norfolk 

 

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The name says it all! Get the best-looking biscuits you ever did see at Handsome Biscuit. In fact, you should probably go ahead and just get two.

 

Bay Local Eatery—Virginia Beach 

 

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This Virginia Beach favorite has a HUGE brunch menu, so they’ve got something for all your brunch buddies and a killer drink selection to boot.

 

Mea Culpa Café—Norfolk 

 

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The folks at Mea Culpa Café make a mean waffle. Their signature Liege waffles are so good, you’ll want them every which way.

 

Esoteric—Virginia Beach 

 

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Esoteric’s Sunday brunch is legendary in and of itself, but on the last Sunday of every month, they turn it up a notch with an epic brunch party. Sunday Funday, indeed.

 

Commune—Virginia Beach 

 

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This über local brunch option has got southern charm in spades. Bring your friends too; Commune has a big selection of small plates just perfect for sharing.

 

—EASTERN SHORE—

Bill’s Prime–Chinoteague

Bill’s Prime is a Chincoteague favorite, and for good reason. Sunday Brunch has got a little bit of everything: from savory egg scrambles to sweet french toast and everything in between.

 

The Shanty–Cape CharlesThe Shanty

Sunday brunch at the Shanty has everything a seafood-lover could ever want. The outdoor harbor-view seating doesn’t hurt either

 

Machipongo Trading Company–Machipongo

This no-nonsense local favorite is in an old Texaco station, and their bagels and breakfast burritos are worthy of a road trip to the shore. 

 

—NORTHERN VIRGINIA—

Barley Mac—Arlington 

 

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Barley Mac is all about serving up comfort food with a twist, so let their epic brunch selection comfort you where it counts–your stomach.

 

Ted’s Bulletin—Fairfax, Reston, Arlington 

With three NoVa locations, you’re never too far away to make a special trip for Ted’s famous Breakfast Nachos. Or you can, you know, order online.

 

Detour Coffee Company—Arlington 

 

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Weekday brunch? Yes, please! Plus, Detour Coffee has the caffeine you need to make it through the work week.

 

Red’s Table—Reston 

 

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Red’s Table is the perfect place to bring the whole brunch-loving family. They have family brunch specials and their menu is full of classic crowd-pleasers.

 

 

Whew! There are a lot of brunch options in this great state, and we’ve only named a few. From the Blue Ridge Highlands to the capital city, and everywhere in between, we Virginians are lucky to have so much good food at our fingertips. So what are you waiting for–go out and get your brunch on!

 

Emily Caldwell works for Virginia Foodie, an online publication committed to celebrating the good food, good people, and good brands in and around Virginia. We’re on a mission to connect people who care about local food with the growers, bakers, servers, and makers who are committed to sustainable local sourcing.

 

The post A Guide to Some of the Best Brunches in Virginia appeared first on Virginia’s Travel Blog.

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Julia Engel’s Gal Meets Glam Team Takes Charlottesville

Julia Engel’s Gal Meets Glam Team Takes Charlottesville

Julia Engel Gal Meets Glam

Photo Courtesy of Gal Meets Glam

As any fashion enthusiast knows, Julia Engel of Gal Meets Glam is one of the most influential tastemakers in the lifestyle space and has created a devoted and loyal audience thanks to her feminine style, beautiful aesthetic, and eye for everything classic and effortlessly elegant. After over seven years of styling like-minded fashion brands , Julia launched her own Gal Meets Glam Collection in 2018, available on shop.galmeetsglam.com and over 100 retailers and specialty boutiques.

As huge fans of Gal Meets Glam ourselves, we were over the moon to learn that the Gal Meets Glam team would be shooting their fall lookbook in the picturesque Charlottesville area. We spoke to the GMG team to get their behind-the-scenes take on why they chose this gorgeous Central Virginia location and the two anchor properties featured: The Clifton and Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards.

 

Tell us about the Fall 2019 Gal Meets Glam Collection. What was the inspiration behind it?

GMG: The inspiration for this collection came from the beautiful seasonal palette of fall. When designing each monthly capsule, we imagine where our customer will be and what she will be doing at the time of the Collection’s launch. Fall sets the backdrop for so many meaningful traditions and celebrations. As the leaves change and the air grows brisker, even everyday moments hold a certain magic. We designed our fall Collection to add effortless elegance to each of these occasions, big and small.

 

There are so many beautiful locations to choose from when selecting a site for a photoshoot. How did you make your decision to shoot at these properties?

GMG: The effortless elegance and charm of The Clifton and Pippin Hill brought our visions for the fall Gal Meets Glam Collection imagery to life. The enchanting cottage and stable created the perfect backdrops for our new dresses, sweaters, and scarves.Julia Engel Gal Meets Glam Pippin Hill

Photo Courtesy of Gal Meets Glam

We also have a special place in our hearts for places that offer both natural beauty and businesses founded on creativity and the pursuit of excellence. Charlottesville is absolutely one of these places. We were enchanted by the breathtaking scenery, the charming downtown, the perfect weather, and the inspiring businesses that made our stay even more memorable.

 

How was your experience at The Clifton? What makes this property so special?

GMG: Our stay at The Clifton was something out of a storybook. From the moment we arrived, we felt as though we were in a gracious friend’s home. The rolling green hills, luscious blooms around every corner, and inviting atmosphere served as the perfect backdrop for our fall Collection shoot. After a long day of shooting, we loved returning to our elegant rooms to put our feet up.Gal Meets Glam Clifton Inn

Photo Courtesy of Gal Meets Glam

 

You also were on location at Pippin Hill. What were your first impressions when you stepped on property?

GMG: Our afternoon at Pippin Hill was filled with fresh, locally grown food, impressive service, and breathtaking views. While we didn’t get a chance to enjoy the wine (we were working, after all!), that is certainly a must for our next visit!Pippin Hill Winery

Photo Courtesy of Gal Meets Glam

 

Charlottesville is known for its culinary scene. Did you have an opportunity to experience any of the amazing restaurants?

GMG: We happened to be in Charlottesville during Restaurant Week, which added a special element to the city’s food scene. Our team worked long days, making our dinners even more rewarding! As soon as we arrived, we met for a team dinner at Red Pump Kitchen, where we enjoyed the most flavorful, Italian-inspired dishes. The next day, we took a break for lunch on-site while we were shooting at Pippin Hill. The farm-to-table meal set against such a scenic backdrop was the perfect, rejuvenating break in the middle of a busy day. We wrapped up our time in Virginia with a wonderful, celebratory dinner at The Clifton’s signature restaurant, 1799.

 

Why should a Gal Meets Glam enthusiast visit the Charlottesville area?

GMG: Just like Gal Meets Glam Collection, Charlottesville brings together a fondness for elements of the past and an elegant, modern perspective. We saw firsthand how visitors to Charlottesville can enjoy both the relaxing countryside and the hustle and bustle of downtown—there is truly something for everyone. The fact that our fall Collection complements the colors and textures of the city this time of year makes Charlottesville a must-visit destination for GMG enthusiasts!Julia Engel Gal Meets Glam Pippin Hill

Photo Courtesy of Gal Meets Glam

Be sure to check out the latest Gal Meets Glam Fall Collection by clicking here and see the full Gal Meets Glam Charlottesville Travel Guide created by local Robin from Verry Robin & Co. on the Gal Meets Glam Blog here.

 

Inspired? Plan your own GMG-inspired Charlottesville getaway today by visiting virginia.org.

 

 

The post Julia Engel’s Gal Meets Glam Team Takes Charlottesville appeared first on Virginia’s Travel Blog.

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Fall in Love with the Outdoors : A Guide to Camping in the River Realm

Fall in Love with the Outdoors : A Guide to Camping in the River Realm

There are a lot of ways to wake up on the water here in the River Realm. Luxury resorts and yachts aren’t bad options. We are also home to several campgrounds, which help you get a little more personal with our wild realm of wonder. Each campground is a little different and opens up new possibilities to appreciate and honor the scenery, the wildlife and the sunsets here.

Here are a few ways to fall in love from a campsite…


State Park Vibes

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Virginia’s River Realm

Belle Isle State Park (1632 Belle Isle Road, Lancaster) is nearly 900 acres and has seven miles of shoreline on the northern shore of the Rappahannock River. There are a number of ways to rest your head here. The campground has an RV park, full service and primitive camping, and two houses for rent. The Bel Air Houses were built in 1942. These historical landmarks are fully furnished and perfect if your family doesn’t want to rough it, but still wants to get away.

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Virginia’s River Realm

Kilmarnock is the nearest town. Stock up on fresh produce and local treats at the Kilmarnock Farmer’s Market on the fourth Saturday of each month (September 28 and October 26 this fall). Stay for dinner at one of the local restaurants and some music at the Half Shell stage. See more Kilmarnock Town Centre Park events here.


All the Amenities

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Virginia’s River Realm

Grey’s Point Camp (3601 Greys Point Road, Topping) and Bethpage Camp- Resort (79 Brown’s Lane, Urbanna) have cottages, RV hookups, and other “glamping” amenities. Both campgrounds have lively water parks, beaches, kayak and paddle board rentals, camp stores and more. For some off-site fun at Bethpage, head to Cowtopia, which awaits just outside the campground. This fun little adventure park features mini golf and an ice cream shop. For something savory like fried oysters and crab balls, visit Urbanna Seafood and Raw Bar, which is adjacent to Bethpage. Save the date for the Urbanna Oyster Festival in November!

At Grey’s Point, you’re just a short car ride away from one of our signature dining experiences at Merroir. Here, you can hang out at the first tasting room of the Rappahannock Oyster Company. It’s also ground zero for its oyster farming business, which makes Merroir the perfect place to watch the sunset and see our local aquaculture industry in action. You’re also not too far from Irvington, another one of our favorite small towns. In the fall, you head to the Tides Inn for sunset cruises and events like Taste By the Bay.


A Little More Natural

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Virginia’s River Realm

Bush Park Camp (724 Bushy Park Road, Wake) and Cross Rip Camp (503 Cross Rip Road) offer a setting for more traditional tent camping as well as minimalistic cottages and RV spots right on the water. Bush Park is 97 acres of waterside wilderness. You and your family can spend the mornings on the water fishing and crabbing, afternoons by the family pool, and evenings back at the campsite cooking up your catch of the day. If you want someone else to cook up dinner for you, just seven miles down the road from Cross Rip Camp is The Table at Wilton. Here, chef Elizabeth Ward serves up southern classics inspired by a water-to-table mentality.

Cross Rip Camp is flanked by shoreline–the campgrounds have 833 feet of shoreline on a freshwater pond and 1,186 feet of riprap and sandy beach on the Chesapeake Bay. Bring along your boat, which you can keep in a slip during your stay or year round. When you want to take a break from roughing it, you’re just a few miles away from restaurants like the waterfront, Deltaville Tap and Raw Bar or freshly renovated Galley. Also nearby, you catch the farmer’s market and a bit of history at the Deltaville Maritime Museum & Holly Point Nature Park.

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Virginia’s River Realm

Save the Date for More Fun

No matter which campground you decide to snuggle up at, make sure you check our Events Calendar. There’s always something new going on including festivals, music, farmer’s markets, stock car racing and more.

 

Featured images provided by Virginia’s River Realm.

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Big Concerts Coming to Virginia in November 2019

Big Concerts Coming to Virginia in November 2019

There’s a great amount of music coming to Virginia in November. From major country acts to the biggest names in rock and pop, catch your favorite artists and discover new ones all over the Commonwealth.

NOTE: This is not a complete list of shows and certain schedules may change. Please check with the individual venues for the most up to date details.

 

—Over at Virginia’s Many Live Music Venues—

RICHMOND

The National will be bringing a number of big name artists throughout the month, including:

  • Nov. 11 – Third Eye Blind
  • Nov. 12 – Todrick Hall
  • Nov. 14 – Wynonna & The Big Noise
  • Nov. 15 – Randy Houser
  • Nov. 16 & 17 – The Disco Biscuits
  • Nov. 19 – Jimmy Eat World
  • Nov. 23 – New Found Glory
  • Nov. 29 – Keller Williams Thanksforgrassgiving
  • Nov. 30 – J. Roddy Walston and the Business

At The Broadberry

  • Nov. 7 – Wrinkle Neck Mules
  • Nov. 13 – Wild Nothing
  • Nov. 26 – La Dispute

At the Altria Theater

  • Nov. 3 – Fantasia with special guests Robin Thicke and The Bonfyre
  • Nov. 16 – Old Crow Medicine Show

At the Dominion Energy Center

  • Nov. 19 – Goo Goo Dolls
  • Nov. 30 – Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox presents “A Very Postmodern Christmas”

HOPEWELL

At the Beacon Theatre

  • Nov. 9 – Bill Anderson
  • Nov. 10 – The Drifters
  • Nov. 14 – Los Lobos
  • Nov. 22 – Rhonda Vincent & the Rage

CHARLOTTESVILLE

At the John Paul Jones Arena

  • Nov. 7 – Miranda Lambert
  • Nov. 15 – Ariana Grande

At the Sprint Pavilion

  • Nov. 8 – Wilco

At the Jefferson Theater

  • Nov. 2 – Carbon Leaf
  • Nov. 4 – Blues Traveler
  • Nov. 7 & 8 – Billy Strings
  • Nov. 9 – Kishi Bashi
  • Nov. 16 – Randy Houser
  • Nov. 17 – Eddie From Ohio
  • Nov. 20 – Hiss Golden Messenger

At the Paramount Theater

  • Nov. 22 – Kip Moore

 

LYNCHBURG

At the Historic Academy Theatre

  • Nov. 2 – Steep Canyon Rangers
  • Nov. 11 – Mary Chapin Carpenter & Shawn Colvin
  • Nov. 22 – WNRN presents Dead Air II, a concert spotlighting 23 bands from Central Virginia and their unique versions of Grateful Dead songs. Artists performing include Chamomile and Whiskey, Free Union, The Gladstones, Gold Connections, the Hackensaw Boys, the Judy Chops, Lord Nelson, Saw Black, and many more.

  • Nov. 23 – The Brian Setzer Orchestra’s 16th Annual Christmas Rocks! Tour

 

HAMPTON ROADS

The NorvaAt the NorVa in Norfolk

  • Nov. 1 – Elvis Costello & The Imposters
  • Nov. 6 – Billy Strings
  • Nov. 13 – Blue October
  • Nov. 17 – Dinosaur, Jr.
  • Nov. 20 – Static-X and Devildriver
  • Nov. 25 – PJ Morton
  • Nov. 30 – Manchester Orchestra
  • At the Chrysler Hall in Norfolk
  • Nov. 10 – Patti LaBelle
  • Nov. 27 – Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox presents “A Very Postmodern Christmas”

At the Hampton Coliseum

  • Nov. 8 & 9 – Dead & Company

 

VIRGINIA MOUNTAINS

At the Berglund Center in Roanoke

  • Nov. 2 – John Prine
  • Nov. 12- REO Speedwagon
  • Nov. 16 – Alice Cooper
  • Nov. 29 – Mannheim Steamroller

At the Salem Civic Center in Salem

  • Nov. 5 – Slayer with Primus, Ministry, and Philip H. Anselmo, and The Illegals
  • Nov. 8 – Chris Janson
  • Nov. 13 – Mandolin Orange

At the Harvester Performance Center in Rocky Mount

  • Nov. 1 & 2 – Paul Thorn with the Black Lillies
  • Nov. 8 – Leo Kottke
  • Nov. 9 – Michael Franti & Spearhead
  • Nov. 12 – Old Crow Medicine Show
  • Nov. 14 – Gregory Alan Isakov
  • Nov. 15 – Wynonna & The Big Noise
  • Nov. 23 – Lettuce

 

NORTHERN VIRGINIA

Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts
At Wolf Trap National Park for Performing Arts in Vienna

  • Nov. 9 – Leo Kottke
  • Nov. 14 – Trace Bundy
  • Nov. 15 & 16 – The Silkroad Ensemble
  • Nov. 23 & 24 – Sutton Foster

At The Birchmere in Alexandria

  • Nov. 1 – Delbert McClinton
  • Nov. 4 – Superchunk
  • Nov. 5-7 – The Wailin’ Jennys
  • Nov. 8-10  – Mary Chapin Carpenter & Shawn Colvin
  • Nov. 24 – Herman’s Hermits featuring Peter Noone
  • Nov. 25 – Boney James
  • Nov. 29 – The Seldom Scene & Dry Branch Fire Squad

At the State Theatre in Falls Church

  • Nov. 29 – The Nighthawks

At the Tally Ho Theatre in Leesburg

  • Nov. 14 – Nappy Roots
  • Nov. 16 – Kix
  • Nov. 23 – David Allan Coe

 

For more big names coming to Virginia this month, go to virginia.org/music. At a Virginia concert this month? Share your photos with @VisitVirginia on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtags #vamusic and #vaisformusiclovers.

The post Big Concerts Coming to Virginia in November 2019 appeared first on Virginia’s Travel Blog.

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The Top Events & Festivals Happening Around Virginia in November

The Top Events & Festivals Happening Around Virginia in November

Scenic Drive

Ready to start making weekend travel plans for November? Virginia always has lots of things to do, but fall is a special time in the Commonwealth, marking the beginning of the harvest and holiday seasons. This November, celebrate Virginia’s rich culinary heritage with Customs, Cultures, & Cuisines events, where you’ll learn all about the foods of Virginia, from their historic origins to how they are used by the finest chefs in the state. 

In addition to harvest celebrations, Virginia has much more for you to discover, including notable film festivals and exciting autumn events at some of the most well-known historic properties. Mark your calendars with these Virginia festivals and events happening throughout November to get the most out of your fall!

 

Taste By the Bay—Irvington

When: November 23, 2019The Tides Inn oysters

Now in its 7th year, the annual Taste by the Bay: Wine, Foods, Arts, & Ales celebrates Virginia’s best culinary and artisan traditions. Sample Virginia wines, craft beers, and some of the best coastal food from nearby restaurants at the Taste by the Bay event, which is held at the luxurious Tides Inn and will feature live music, maritime attractions, and handmade gifts made by local artists. Make it a weekend getaway when you book a room at the Tides Inn and enjoy a relaxing stay along the Chesapeake Bay.

 

Virginia Film Festival—Charlottesville

When: October 31 – November 3, 2019 Paramount Center for The Arts

For over 30 years, The Virginia Film Festival, held at the University of Virginia, has been captivating audiences with the magic of movies, inspiring attendees with new features and documentaries, fresh takes on timeless classics, and live interviews with Virginia’s filmmakers. This cinematic event brings honorary guests from all over the world, including acclaimed directors, actors, and cultural experts, all coming together for discussions that stimulate, educate, and engage with the audience. Spike Lee, Morgan Freeman, Anthony Hopkins, Sandra Bullock, Nicolas Cage, Sigourney Weaver, Meg Ryan, Oliver Stone, and Ashley Judd are just a few of the celebrated movie stars to attend previous years of the Virginia Film Festival; this year’s lineup includes Ethan Hawke, Ann Dowd, and award-winning filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu. 

 

Night of Fire & Ice—Winchester

When: November 30, 2019Root to Table Food Event series

The final event for the 2019 Taste of the Blue Ridge Root to Table Culinary Series, A Night of Fire & Ice is helmed by Chef Erik Foxx-Nettnin of Purcellville’s Magnolia’s at the Mill restaurant and is inspired by the art of Virginia Barbacoa. This is no backyard bbq, but a can’t-miss culinary celebration featuring live ice carving, an open fire pit roasting the barbacoa, and even a craft beer from Adroit Theory Brewing and a limited edition whiskey from Catoctin Creek Distillery, both made especially for the event. There are over 20 chefs participating in A Night of Fire & Ice, with four food stations open for tastings at the beginning of the event, followed by main courses of Lamb Porchetta, Stuffed Pork, and Pit Beef, finally concluding with the largest dessert station ever presented in the Shenandoah Valley. 

 

Cox Farms Fall Festival—Centreville

When: Through November 5, 2019Cox Farms annual fall festival celebrates the season with autumn activities and foods like apples, pumpkins, a corn maze, cider and hayrides.

Northern Virginia’s largest and most famous Fall Festival, Cox Farms Fall Festival offers everything you could possibly want in an autumnal event, including classic activities like farm hayrides, pumpkin patches, a cornfield adventure, apples, fresh cider, fall foods, and a farm animal petting zoo. The festival also features five giant slides, rope swings, a kid zone, tractor museum, and of course, FOAMHENGE, a life-size replica of the megalithic English ruins. Fun for visitors of all ages, Cox Farms Fall Festival gives everyone a free small pumpkin from the patch to take home with paid admission. 

 

Virginia Thanksgiving Festival—Charles City

When: November 3, 2019Berkeley Plantation on the James River is historic for many reasons, the most notable being the birthplace of William Henry Harrison, the 9th president of the United States.

The first English-speaking Thanksgiving in the New World occurred on the grounds of where the Berkeley Plantation now stands in coastal Virginia. Four hundred years later, you can celebrate on the same spot during the Virginia Thanksgiving Festival. Spend the day eating all your favorite traditional Thanksgiving foods, learning about the history of the holiday, touring the 1726 manor house, and perusing arts and crafts from local vendors. The event also features tribal dancers, re-enactments of the landing of the early colonial settlers on the banks of the James River, and choral music performances. 

 

Fire, Flour, & Fork—Richmond

When: October 31 – November 3, 2019 Fire, Flour & Fork is a four-day culinary event, organized by Real Richmond Food Tours, celebrating the best the Richmond region has to offer: its complex history, its rich artistic community and its established and rising culinary stars.

Many of the celebrations in November revolve around food, but if you have to only choose one, don’t miss Fire, Flour, & Fork, a four-day culinary event in the capital city organized by Real Richmond Food Tours. This annual eating extravaganza celebrates the best of Virginia’s food scene, with cooking demonstrations from award-winning chefs, dining events held at critically-acclaimed restaurants, foodie tours in Richmond’s unique neighborhoods, and talks on the Commonwealth’s culinary history. Each day features a carefully curated selection of brunches and dinners that allow you to meet the chefs face-to-face and learn about their culinary inspiration firsthand.

 

Pocahontas Reframed Storyteller’s Film Festival—Richmond

When: November 21 – 24, 2019 Byrd Theatre

Stemming from a desire for indigenous languages, cultures, and societies to continue and thrive, the Pocahontas Reframed: Storytellers Film Festival brings together artists, filmmakers, and actors that want to share, teach, and explain their heritage through creative outlets. Come see Native American-affiliated classics along with recently released films that have been honored at internationally-renowned cinema events like Sundance Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival. Held at the historic Byrd Theatre in Richmond’s Carytown neighborhood, this year’s festival is a signature event of the 2019 Commemoration, American Evolution, which pays tribute to Virginia’s remarkable history. 

 

Urbanna Oyster Festival—Urbanna 

When: November 1 – 2, 2019Urbanna Oyster Festival

A free festival currently in its 62nd year, the Urbanna Oyster Festival is held in the charming town of Urbanna, located on the banks of the Rappahannock River. Celebrating all things oyster, the festival will have over 50 vendors serving oysters in every way imaginable, from steamed or stewed to Rockefeller or fried (and of course paired with Virginia wines and craft brews, available for purchase.) After eating your fill of delicious Virginia oysters, check out the antique auto show, the arts and crafts vendors, and several live bands playing throughout the festival. Attend on Saturday to see the Oyster Festival Parade, complete with marching bands, floats, and much more. 

 

Montpelier Hunt Races—Montpelier Station

When: November 2, 2019 Montpelier was the lifelong home of James Madison, president of the United States, Father of the Constitution, and architect of the Bill of Rights.

The 84th Montpelier Hunt Races are held on the historic and scenic grounds of James Madison’s Montpelier. Seven steeplechase horse races are scheduled throughout the day, including six fence jumping races and the premiere race, a race over Montpelier’s signature natural brush fences. Between races, peruse wares from local vendors and shop for the upcoming holiday season and enjoy the tradition of tailgating with friends and family. 

Mount Vernon will also host their Horse & Hounds event on November 2nd, a simulated fox hunt demonstration on the grounds of George Washington’s historic estate. 

 

 

More Virginia Events & Festivals in November: 

      When: November 19 – December 8, 2019

 

      When: November 1, 2019

 

     When: November 2, 2019

 

      When: November 2, 2019 

 

      When: November 9, 2019

 

      When: November 11, 2019 

 

 

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Virginia’s Top Scenic Golf Courses for Fall

Virginia’s Top Scenic Golf Courses for Fall

Virginia is known as the Old Dominion state because of its former royalty to the English crown. That unquestioning loyalty may be long gone but the state still features some of the most royal scenic views in the country. The top courses in Virginia feature scenic rides through unrivaled country landscapes and foliage only seen in the national parks. Virginia in the fall offers incredible foliage views and refreshing mountain air for the perfect weekend escape for individual golfers and groups. Discover these scenic golf courses and don’t forget to bring your best golf shoes for this trip.

golfPhoto Courtesy of Chris Urbanowicz

 

Cascades Golf Course at The Omni Homestead—Hot SpringsThe Omni Homestead Resort

The Omni Homestead’s Cascades Golf Course provides the seclusion of the Appalachian Mountains without sacrificing amenities or course quality. It’s a location in the low Appalachians with stunning elevation changes and incredible forestry incomparable to other resorts in the area. Most tee shots are met with pristine views of towering robust pines lining each side of the fairway. The front nine delights golfers with challenging holes and incredible views only to be outdone by the sensationally designed back nine.

During the cool fall months, morning rounds feature crisp fresh air that provides golfers with views of wonderful color palettes from the changing tree lines. Golfers will experience incredible course conditions as the greens crew at the Omni Homestead makes it a point to assure optimal playing conditions throughout the fall months.

The Omni Homestead has world-class accommodations, including fine dining, expansive staterooms, and amenities ranging from boutique shops to luxurious massages. The cozy decor makes you feel comfortable regardless of the temperature. Dining accommodations and excellent services available to all guests create an easy transition from golf to relaxation. There is a range of packages available to suit each golfer and their spouse to make sure they are comfortable on the course or in the hotel.

 

The Olde Farm—Bristol

The Olde Farm rests on the southern border of Virginia only a few miles above the North Carolina border in the rolling hills of the Appalachian mountain chain. Unlike other courses in the mountains, the design does have several holes lined with a thick brush instead of large pine or oak trees. Designer Bobby Weed continues his minimalist design on courses to avoid distracting golfers while also challenging even the best players. Multiple tee locations give this course playability for each golfer regardless of skill level.

On-site are several different accommodations to meet the needs of each golfer and group. Between the cabins, cottages, and long barn, your golf trip can be made whole with accommodations to suit individual golfers or groups. The Olde Farm has dedicated itself to growing sourcing local produce to the point of growing vegetables on site.

During the fall, the on-site restaurants feature the freshest seasonal vegetables and fruits harvested in the region to give golfers the best local cuisine. If golfers are looking for elite accommodations, there are a variety of lodging and housing types that offer exquisite views overlooking the course on several different holes. Multiple dining selections and lounge areas allow patrons to enjoy fine dining and superb high-class lounge services.

 

The Highland at Primland—Meadows of DanPrimland Resort

The Highland’s name is backed up by its location and views. Sitting atop a plateau in the Virginia mountain ranges, the views are exclusive and selective to this region and course. During the fall months, the foliage leads to incredible three hundred and sixty-degree panoramic views only available at the highland at Primland. An immaculate course designed by Donald Steel that features a scenic tour of elevation changes, hazards, and heavily sloped greens is complemented by the views of rolling hills and October tree color schemes blanketing the background of each tee and fairway shot.

The location of Primland is near some of the best vineyards in the area since the altitude contributes to fruitful and delicious grapes. A secluded mountain escape is complemented by five-star dining, drinking, accommodations, and style. Outside of the golf course, there are luxurious spa treatments available as well as sport shooting and a wide array of outdoor activities built for the perfect weekend retreat. During their stay, golfers are welcomed with pristine course conditions with unparalleled mountain views of foliage and accommodations that suit even the most discerning guests.

 

Kinloch Golf Club—Manakin-Sabot

Only just outside of Richmond, Kinloch Golf Club is home to breathtaking views and an escape from the hustle of city life. Tall ancient pines line the fairways, with several fairway shots offering awe-inspiring tree lines uncharacteristic for the Richmond area. Early rounds are met with rising dew clouds, making your first tee shot picturesque.

Unlike other golf clubs in Virginia, there are several tee distances at Kinloch, making the course accessible to all ages and skill levels. Kinloch takes great pride in making sure that the greens and fairways consistently remain in championship condition. The world-class caddie staff takes excellent care of your clubs, and their knowledge of the course and game of golf helps golfers lower scores and enjoy the game. The Tudor-style clubhouse has incredible amenities to suit each member and guest’s needs, from watching their favorite sports game to getting a delicious meal from the excellent in-house restaurant.

For golfers looking to receive the full Kinloch experience, there are exquisite cottages near the clubhouse that combine premiere service with VIP landscape and luxurious comforts. The cottages lend themselves for the perfect golfers’ retreat of eight. The Kinloch is the perfect escape from the busy city lifestyle without having to drive or fly to a remote part of the country. The world-class accommodations, surreal landscaping, and unrivaled service creating an incredibly relaxing secluded atmosphere minutes from the capital city.

 

The post Virginia’s Top Scenic Golf Courses for Fall appeared first on Virginia’s Travel Blog.

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Fall Festivals & Harvest Events Happening at Virginia Wineries

Fall Festivals & Harvest Events Happening at Virginia Wineries

 

We all know that fall in the Commonwealth is a magical time. The leaves are turning, the farmers are harvesting in the fields, and the crisp morning air is a welcome relief after months of oppressive heat. Another bonus of a Virginia fall is that many of our award-winning wineries have annual festivals and celebrations to kick off the season. We may be biased, but there’s no better way to ring in another gorgeous autumn than enjoying a beautiful day at a Virginia Winery. Read on for our ultimate guide to fall events at Virginia Wineries:

 

5th Annual Fall Festival at Mountain Run Winery—Culpeper

When: October 12, 2019Mountain Run Winery

The annual Fall Festival at Mountain Run Winery is on its 5th year and it’s proven to be one of the most popular in the area, and what’s not to love? With live music, yard games, kid-friendly activities, and food trucks– there’s something for everyone. 

 

Oktober Wein Festival at North Mountain Vineyard—Maurertown

When: October 6, 2019North Mountain Vineyard & Winery

Love Oktoberfest, but more of a wine person? North Mountain Vineyard’s October Wein Festival has the best of both worlds. Live music, local artists, authentic german food paired with delicious wine? Yes, please!

 

Fall Harvest and Leaf Peep Festival at Ducard Vineyards—Etlan

When: October 26, 2019ducard vineyards

The title of this festival says it all! This celebration is all about peeping those leaves and enjoying the harvest. Featuring live music, food truck morsels, and vineyard tours, the Fall Harvest and Leaf Peep Festival is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

 

4th Annual Fall Family Fun Festival at Horton Vineyards—Gordonsville

When: October 12, 2019

Horton Vineyard’s Family Fun Festival is the ultimate event for fall-lovin’ families. It’s jam-packed with kid-friendly activities like carnival games and crafts. Admission is free and the Family Fun Festival also includes live music, local vendors, and wine tastings (for a $9 fee).

 

Fall Oyster Fest at Early Mountain Vineyards—Madison

When: October 20, 2019Early Mountain Vineyards

Oysters and wine are a match made in heaven. Pair that with a scenic vineyard landscape, and you have yourself an afternoon to remember. Early Mountain’s annual Fall Oyster Fest is the perfect place for seafood and vino lovers to come together. This popular fest features fresh Virginia oysters, live music, a seasonal menu provided by their Executive Chef, and a wide variety of wines.

 

Fall Harvest Wine Festival at Castle Glen Estates Winery—Doswell

When: October 26, 2019

Castle Glen Estate’s first-ever wine festival is sure to be one for the books. General admission tickets include unlimited tastings, but there’s enough fun to go around for the non-drinkers with dancing, live music, food trucks, and a market of over 25 vendors. This event is dog-friendly, and there will also be adoptable dogs there if you’re looking to expand your home to some furry friends.

 

2nd Annual Sweet Jazz & Wine Festival at Tarara Vineyards—Leesburg

When: October 12, 2019Tarara Winery

This annual festival is for all the jazz lovers out there. The venue changes from year-to-year, but the music lineup is always stacked with quality jazz talent. This year the festival is at Tarara Vineyards in Leesburg, and there will be a variety of food and wine tastings available.

 

Harvest Festival “Rock the Grapes” at Veramar Vineyard—Berryville

When: October 12, 2019

Veramar Vineyard

If you’re an aspiring wine stompe a la I Love Lucy, then you should give the “Rock the Grapes” festival at Veramar Vineyard a try. There will also be a variety of games and activities, including “Wine Pong” in addition to live music, local food, and wine tastings, so you know you’re in for a good time. 

 

11th Annual End-of-Harvest Celebration at Rosemont Vineyards—LaCrosse Virginia

When: October 19, 2019rosemont tea room

Looking for the quintessential fall experience? Look no further than Rosemont Vineyard’s annual End-of-Harvest Celebration. Their lineup of family-friendly activities ensures everyone has a good time–with pumpkin painting, bobbing for apples, and even a grape stomp competition. So bring the entire family, for an afternoon of pure fall fun.

 

Harvest Festival at Doukénie Winery—Purcellville

When: October 19, 2019doukenie winery loudoun

Gourmet food and barrel tasting–who could ask for more? The annual Harvest Festival at Doukénie Winery has barbecue, sweet treats, and live music along with barrel and regular wine tastings. Their picturesque pond area is the perfect place to kick back, enjoy a glass of wine and some quality smoked meats.

 

Diwali Festival of Lights Celebration at Narmada Winery—Amissville

When: October 19, 2019Narmada Winery

Narmada Winery is keeping their Indian roots alive and well in Virginia with their annual Diwali celebration. Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is a traditional celebration to mark the end of the harvest. Narmada Winery’s Diwali celebration includes traditional Indian food, fireworks, and a bonfire. 

 

18th Annual Harvest Soup and Wine Festival at AmRhein’s Wine Cellars—Bent Mountain

When: November 9, 2019

This festival is closer to the end of harvest season, but the cold air makes the soup even more delicious. The Annual Harvest Soup and Wine Fest is on its 18th year, so you know they’ve found the magical combo of warm soup and yummy wine. This event also features live music, which is the perfect way to enjoy a cold November afternoon.

 

So as you can see, Virginia wineries and vineyards really are a cut above the rest when it comes to celebrating the harvest and the coming of fall. Hopefully, this fall festival guide has you inspired to get out and see what wine country in Virginia has to offer. Happy Harvest!

 

Emily Caldwell works for Virginia Foodie, an online publication committed to celebrating the good food, good people, and good brands in and around Virginia. We’re on a mission to connect people who care about local food with the growers, bakers, servers, and makers who are committed to sustainable local sourcing.

The post Fall Festivals & Harvest Events Happening at Virginia Wineries appeared first on Virginia’s Travel Blog.

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Your Guide To Dining In Charlottesville

Your Guide To Dining In Charlottesville

A visit to Charlottesville can suit just about anyone’s taste, with Blue Ridge Mountain views, historic homes, hiking, and vineyard-hopping all easily accessible. The culinary scene can also please any palate, with options ranging from a popular Neapolitan pizzeria in the charming Belmont section of town to modern French cuisine at Fleurie on the Downtown Mall. You’re never too far from a vineyard (or brewery, cidery, or distillery) here, and many offer tours and tastings which allow visitors to get a sense for the production process. The next time you’re in Charlottesville, use this list to point you in the right direction.

 

-FOR BREAKFAST-

 

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Bodo’s Bagels – A popular Charlottesville bagel shop with three locations around town. Friendly, efficient service and a great option for a casual bite.

Bluegrass Grill & Bakery – Located just a stone’s throw away from the Downtown Mall, Bluegrass serves both classic and creative breakfast and brunch options; a highlight is made-from-scratch bread and biscuits. Be warned: there’s often a wait for a table.

Blue Moon Diner – A small diner on Main St. with breakfast and lunch fare and regular live music that just reopened in September 2019.

More Breakfast Places:

 

-FOR BRUNCH- Oakhurst Inn Cafe Charlottesville Brunch

Oakhurst Inn Cafe  – Breakfast and brunch in a cozy setting within the property of the Oakhurst Inn. The seasonal menu changes, though the bacon gruyère scone with scallion butter is deservedly a mainstay.

Bizou – Classic Virginia dishes using French culinary techniques, brunch is served on Sundays where the chocolate croissant is a must-have.

MarieBette Café and Bakery – Popular eatery in the Rose Hill neighborhood serving up breakfast, brunch (menu offerings include quiche lorraine, lemon ricotta and baked eggs) and lunch.

More Brunch Restaurants:

 

-FOR LUNCH-

Citizen Burger – This burger joint on the Downtown Mall has something for everyone, with an ingredient-driven menu that includes salads and shareables.

Take It Away – This sandwich shop near UVA is known for quality ingredients like French bread and house dressing.

Feast! – Located in Main Street Market, Feast! Is a speciality food shop and restaurant all in one. The cafe, with a menu featuring soups, salads and sandwiches, is open Monday through Saturday until 3 p.m.

Roots Natural Kitchen – A healthy fast-casual option specializing in grain bowls and salads.

More Lunch Spots:

 

-FOR DINNER- Public Fish & Oyster Restaurant Charlottesville

Public Fish & Oyster– A seafood lover’s delight with a fantastic daily happy hour from 5-6 p.m. Raw bar and seafood entrees including mussels, crab cakes and more.

Red Pump Kitchen – House-made pastas and gourmet pizzas stand out at this Downtown Mall restaurant that’s suitable for a special evening out or a “just because” dinner.

Mas Tapas – Spanish tapas in a lively setting in the Belmont neighborhood, the space includes a large bar, indoor seating and a large patio. No reservations, but any wait is worth it!

Lampo – Neapolitan-style pizzeria with indoor and outdoor seating. Dine-in only, no take-out or reservations.

More Dinner Destinations:

 

-FOR BARBECUE-BBQ Exchange

BBQ Exchange – Located outside of Charlottesville in Gordonsville, some might argue that it’s worth a visit to this town for this ‘cue alone. We’ll let you decide.

Ace Biscuit & BBQ – This casual spot with a chalkboard menu offers the classics like pulled chicken and pork alongside chicken and waffles, fried green tomatoes, and a build-your-own biscuit option.

Red Hub Food Co. – Pulled pork, fried chicken, and slow-smoked ribs all make the menu at 24-seat joint with indoor and outdoor seating.

More BBQ Places:

 

-FOR YOUR SWEET TOOTH-Gearharts Fine Chocolates

Gearharts Fine Chocolates – An artisanal chocolate shop voted one of Chocolatier Magazine’s “Top 20 Artisan Chocolatiers” in the U.S.

Splendora’s Gelato Cafe – A gelato shop on the Downtown Mall offering traditional and seasonal flavors.

Albemarle Baking Company – Breads, cakes, and pastries all shine here, though some would argue the Princess Cake steals the show.

Cocoa & Spice – Handcrafted chocolates, confections, and drinking chocolate in York Place on the Downtown Mall.

More Places to Find Something Sweet:

 

-FOR COCKTAILS-

The Alley Light Cocktail Charlottesville

The Alley Light – Bitters, syrups, and sodas made in house means the cocktails shine at this French restaurant.

The Lost Saint – Cocktail bar with a speakeasy vibe below Tavern & Grocery.

Tavola’s Cicchetti Bar – Craft cocktails in a bar behind Tavola’s main restaurant with snacks and seasonal drink options.

More Cocktail Places:

 

-FOR CRAFT BREWS OR CIDER- Blue Mountain Brewery and Restaurant

Blue Mountain Brewery and Restaurant – Craft brewery and restaurant in Afton with casual pub fare, pizzas and beer flights, all with a mountain view.

Three Notch’d Craft Kitchen & Brewery – Located in IX Art Park, Three Notch’d is a great place to enjoy a beer or a meal, with ample seating and a family-friendly space.

Champion Brewing Company – The Champion Brewery Company taproom is a great place to try a beer or two in a chill environment. On the Downtown Mall, head to Brasserie Saison, a restaurant started by Champion and the first combination brewery and restaurant in Charlottesville.

Potter’s Craft Cider – Beer not your drink of choice? Cider lovers should head to Potter’s Craft to enjoy seasonal releases and take in the beautiful can designs.

More Breweries & Cideries:

 

-FOR THE WINE LOVER-Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards

Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards – Pippin Hall offers a picturesque setting any time of the year in North Garden just outside of Charlottesville. The on-site tasting room is a great place to order a bite to pair with your wine.

King Family Vineyards -Located fifteen minutes outside of Charlottesville in Crozet, King Family delights guests with its Crosé Rosé and Sunday polo matches in the summer.

Blenheim Vineyards – It’s worth visiting Blenheim for the unique look of the tasting room alone, which was designed by Dave Matthews and master craftsman William Johnson to have minimal impact on the environment.

More Wineries:

 

What are you waiting for? Visit these Charlottesville restaurants and find more awesome food experiences around the Commonwealth to eat and drink what you love in Virginia!

 

Based in Charlottesville, Meg Irvin works at Richmond PR firm The Hodges Partnership and does freelance writing on the Virginia food scene in her spare time. She and her colleague Kelsey run the food Instagram @letsshareadish, where they share dining recommendations for Richmond, Charlottesville and beyond.

 

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Fresh Picks: Virginia’s Farm to Table Restaurants

Fresh Picks: Virginia’s Farm to Table Restaurants

If you consider yourself a “foodie,” you’ve definitely heard the term “farm to table.” But this phrase has become more of a culinary buzzword and less of a defining characteristic for restaurants, losing a lot of real meaning within the food community along the way. 

However, Virginia has a surprising amount of restaurants that truly do justice to the farm to table movement; these delicious dining spots work with local farmers and artisanal food providers to ensure only the best Virginia ingredients go into their seasonal, regionally-inspired fare. Check out these 14 restaurants within the Commonwealth that consistently feature a full menu of locally-sourced flavors.

 

The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm—Lovettsville 

 

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As the name implies, The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm is located on a rural farm about an hour from Washington D.C. in Loudoun County, but what you might not know is that this farm was one of the first certified organic farms in Virginia. James Beard nominee and Executive Chef Tarver King creates his entire menu around what is grown, raised, and foraged from the grounds surrounding the restaurant. For Chef King, these fields are his well-stocked pantry, allowing him to build creative recipes from the ground up (see what we did there?). When you eat at the Restaurant at Patowmack Farm, you’re tasting ingredients that were picked just hours before they arrived on your plate; a meal at the Restaurant is one of the most authentic farm-to-table dining experiences in all of Virginia. 

 

Adrift—White Stone

 

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Opened in 2018 in a small town on the Northern Neck, Adrift’s ever-changing menu reflects the bounty of the Chesapeake Bay waters. From oysters and clams harvested only minutes away to locally-grown produce, the restaurant incorporates the best flavors of the coastal lowlands and the nearby waterways, blending land and sea for an unforgettable meal. Owned by a husband and wife team that previously trained at the Michelin-Star Inn at Little Washington (another farm-to-table Virginia restaurant,) Adrift has become a dining mainstay for the residents of White Stone and surrounding communities. 

 

The 616—Danville

Executive Chef Chris King follows a strong culinary philosophy for his Southern Virginia restaurant, The 616: local is better. He sources ingredients from local farms and regional marketplaces whenever possible, creating a Southern-style menu that stays true to rich Virginia flavors. You can easily taste the short journey from small farm to your plate, reflecting the freshness and quality of the dishes at The 616. 

 

The River and Rail—Roanoke

 

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Guests dining at The River & Rail in Roanoke enjoy Southern-style fare in a charming bistro setting, with the menu incorporating the finest local, seasonal ingredients that Virginia has to offer. The resulting dishes are a perfect balance of rustic regional cuisine and fine dining, and many of them are completely made from scratch, including house-made condiments, pickled vegetables, and house-cured meats. In addition to the food, the inventive cocktails are also a testament to their dedication to local ingredients; the bartender utilizes seasonal flavors to craft drinks that pair well with their latest menu, which changes daily to reflect whatever is in season. 

 

Woodstock Cafe—Woodstock

 

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The Shenandoah Valley region of Virginia is known for its rich soil, with much of the landscape being used for organic farming. Woodstock Cafe Owners Nikki Grant and Jose Arevalos take full advantage of the fertile grounds, sourcing almost every ingredient for their weekend dinner menu from nearby farms, most of them within a five-mile radius of the restaurant. Many of their meats come from Autumn Olive Farms, known for providing quality products while also maintaining the highest standards of animal care, while produce is sourced from farms like Adams Apples & Herbs and Mowery Orchard. As with many farm-to-table restaurants, the menu at Woodstock Cafe changes seasonally to reflect the current harvest, but if we had to suggest one thing to order, it would be their flavorful pastas, handmade each day by Chef Arevalos.

 

Don’s Restaurant—Chincoteague 

 

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If you’re looking for fresh seafood on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, head to Don’s Restaurant in Chincoteague. Crab, flounder, and other aquatic fare are sourced from the ocean waters just steps from the restaurant, and the owner grows his own oysters and clams at Tom’s Cove Aquafarms, a local shellfish farm that harvests from sea beds beside Assateague Island National Seashore. 

 

Blue Wing Frog—Front Royal

On the northern border of Shenandoah National Park, Blue Wing Frog embraces the idea that homemade is best, making everything in-house and with no shortcuts or substitutes. Breads, cakes, cookies, soups, stocks, salad dressings, and condiments…these are all freshly crafted by hand. Plus, the restaurant gets nearly all their meats, eggs, and produce locally, and strives to find organic products whenever possible. 

 

Foode—Fredericksburg

 

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Led by Chef Joy Crump, FoodE has a philosophy of only using the freshest, cleanest ingredients in their dishes. In this pursuit, they acquire their products from farms just outside of Fredericksburg, supporting the local community by highlighting the products grown and harvested in the region. Heirloom vegetables grown at Ferry Farm, Washington’s Birthplace and other farms in Spotsylvania county add vibrant flavors to the restaurant’s seasonally-changing dishes, and organic meats from Gladys, Virginia ensure that Chef Crump’s high culinary standards are maintained. On any given day, FoodE sources between 85-90% of their ingredients from local farms and merchants. 

 

Harper’s Table—Suffolk 

 

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The food at Harper’s Table in Suffolk isn’t the only thing sourced locally; the restaurant utilized reclaim wood from the old Suffolk Peanut Company building, crafting a vintage pine canopy above the booth seating. But back to the food: the restaurant’s Southern-inspired menu showcases local produce at peak freshness, as well as freshly caught seafood from the nearby Atlantic and the best cuts of meat from coastal Virginia farms. When visiting, be sure to try the Harper’s Pork Belly Biscuit, a favorite menu item for staff and regulars alike. 

 

Basic Necessities Cafe—Nellysford

 

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A quaint eatery in the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains, Basic Necessities Cafe blends thoughtful food preparation with a relaxed atmosphere that immediately makes you feel at home. The European-inspired restaurant aims to make the dining room more than a place to eat; they want to create a space for easy conversation and memorable moments. You won’t feel rushed to finish your meal at Basic Necessities, but are instead encouraged to spend a few hours enjoying fresh food and the company of your dining companions. And speaking of fresh food, Basic Necessities subscribes to the notion of the “Slow Food Movement”, using as many local, seasonal, and pesticide-free farm products as they can, sourcing from Blue Heron Farm, Little Hat Creek Farm, Twin Springs Farm, Whisper Hill Farm, and Edible Landscaping, among many other local farms. Additionally, they are committed to only using free-range, humanely-raised meats from farms like River Oak Farm and Double H Farm

 

Harvest Table Restaurant—Meadowview

 

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In addition to owning their own four-acre farm, Harvest Table Restaurant in Meadowview obtains vegetables, cheeses, meats, and other artisan ingredients from local farmers. The restaurant has long-standing relationships with these farm partners, allowing them to get the freshest products around, from grass-fed and grass-finished meats to artisan cheeses and charcuterie. Practically everything served at the restaurant is made in-house daily, including their breads, crackers, tortillas, and desserts, and their menu changes every day to utilize seasonally-available ingredients. 

 

Off the Grid—Sperryville

Located near the Thornton Gap entrance to Shenandoah National Park, Off the Grid does more than just the bare minimum when it comes to sustainable, farm-to-table dining practices; they constantly strive towards their goal of a zero-waste restaurant, and even provide their own solar-powered electricity. Kitchen scraps are either composted or fed to the chickens, and all packaging that cannot be composted is recycled. The restaurant sources many of their ingredients from their own garden and small-scale farm area, raising chickens and ducks to provide fresh eggs for the restaurant, and meats come from nearby Whiffletree Farm and J&L Green Farm, where the farmers practice sustainable, humane pasture-raising that results in healthier, tastier products. 

 

Local Roots—Roanoke

 

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Roanoke’s Local Roots serves modern American fare using as many sustainable, organic, local, and ethical products as possible. They describe their food as going “back to the future”–mixing traditional foods and flavors with contemporary cooking techniques. Furthermore, the restaurant strives to source locally for their beverages, preferring to buy from small batch, farm-owned purveyors over internationally-established drink brands. The menus change on a regular basis due to seasonal shifts and new-found favorites, so you can expect to try new, exciting dishes every time you dine at Local Roots. 

 

The Savory Grain—Richmond

 

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The Savory Grain is continuously reaching out to farms surrounding the metro Richmond area, searching for new partners that can provide delicious seasonal produce and locally-made products. The ever-changing menu focuses on new American cuisine, paired with local beers, wines, and ciders. There are 24 local beers on tap at any given time, highlighting the latest releases from breweries like Hardywood Park and Legend Brewery. The Savory Grain is also committed to environmentally-friendly practices, recycling and composting almost all the unused products that come through the restaurant. 

 

These are just a few of the many farm-to-table restaurants in Virginia. Share your favorite locally-sourced spots with us in the comments below, then find more farm-to-table restaurants and events happening in your area! 

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Hiking Trails Near Wineries in Virginia’s Blue Ridge

Hiking Trails Near Wineries in Virginia’s Blue Ridge

Fall in Virginia offers many fun activity combinations, but one of our favorites is hiking and wine. October is Virginia Wine Month, which makes it the perfect time to sample fine vintages during the grape harvest and also experience the colorful canopies shading some of our favorite hiking trails.

In Virginia’s Blue Ridge, we have a number of wineries that are close to great hiking trails, and we’ve done the research for you identify the best matches. Grab a partner, put on your sturdy shoes, and set off for a day of spectacular views and tasty wine.

 

Hoop Hole | Virginia Mountain Vineyards

In Eagle Rock is Hoop Hole, a figure-eight trail nearly 10 miles long near Roaring Run Recreation Area. The upper and lower loops are popular with mountain bikers, but hikers love it, too. Virginia Mountain Vineyards is less than 30 minutes away in Fincastle, and their views are among our favorite. The tasting room will be closed September 24 through October 24, except for scheduled weekend events.

 

Roaring Run | Blue Ridge Vineyard

Blue Ridge Vineyard
Virginia’s Blue Ridge

One of the most popular trails in Virginia’s Blue Ridge is Roaring Run Trail through the Roaring Run Recreation Area in Eagle Rock. The Roaring Run Furnace and a series of cascading waterfalls are the draw. About 20 minutes away is Blue Ridge Vineyard. Their sweeping views include fields and mountains, which will surely put on a show this season. Sundays are for live music and wine, so plan your hike for the morning.

PRO TIP – Roaring Run and Hoop Hole as well as Blue Ridge Vineyard and Virginia Mountain Vineyards are all close to each other and can be interchanged for a different experience._

>> Best Hiking Trails to Bring Your Dog

 

Smith Mountain Lake State Park | Hickory Hill Vineyards & Winery

Choose from 13 hiking trails at Smith Mountain Lake State Park. Some offer views of the sparkling water while others take advantage of the foliage and remaining shade of the woods. In about 10 minutes you can be from the park to Hickory Hill Vineyards & Winery in Moneta. Heads up! Sundays in October are for Cabs by the Campfire. Bring a blanket or chair to be comfortable while you sip.

 

Bottom Creek Gorge | AmRhein’s Wine Cellars

Virginia’s second highest waterfall (200 feet) is accessible by the Bottom Creek Gorge Trail on Bent Mountain. Linger a while and definitely bring a camera to capture this beautiful slice of nature. Less than three miles away is AmRhein’s Wine Cellars and their award-winning German-inspired wines.

 

Peaks of Otter | Peaks of Otter Winery & Orchards

Peaks of Otter Winery and Orchard, Peaks of Otter
Virginia’s Blue Ridge

The three peaks of Peaks of Otter are among the most notable in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. From Sharp Top you can see for miles, and it’s the most accessible of the three with a shuttle to the top for those who are less able to hike. Whichever trail you choose, follow it up with a visit to Peaks of Otter Winery and Johnson’s Orchard less than 20 minutes away. Facing opposite the Peaks of Otter, the farm winery is a great place to look back at the foliage you just enjoyed.

>> 10 Easy Hiking Trails on the Blue Ridge Parkway

 

Rocky Knob Recreation Area | Chateau Morrisette

Four trails are available at Rocky Knob Recreation Area on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Smart View Trail is an easy, popular trail, as it’s a mostly level 2.6-mile loop. However, the Rock Castle Gorge Trail is the cream of the crop for true hiking enthusiasts. At nearly 11 miles in length, the trail dishes out more than 1,800 feet of elevation change. It’s considered moderate to strenuous. It will certainly make you earn that excellent glass of “Our Dog Blue” waiting for you at Chateau Morrisette, an award winning winery located at Milepost 171.5 on the Parkway. In addition to beautiful views and delicious wine, you can also take part in winery tours and dine in the Chateau Morrisette Restaurant.

 

 

Poor Mountain | Valhalla Vineyards

Poor Mountain, Vahalla Vineyards
Virginia’s Blue Ridge

The Poor Mountain Trail in the Poor Mountain Natural Reserve is a moderate 3.4-mile loop with switchbacks and nice views when the leaves begin to fall from the trees. Allow two to three hours for the hike, then rest with the 20-minute drive to Valhalla Vineyards. Their wines are French but their view is 100% Virginia’s Blue Ridge. Soak it all and don’t miss seeing their wine cave!

 

Dragon’s Tooth | Beliveau Estate Winery

As part of the Virginia Triple Crown along the Appalachian Trail, Dragon’s Tooth is one of the most iconic hikes in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. It’s a challenging trek that puts your climbing and bouldering skills to the test, but you’ll be amazed at the 35-foot tall quartzite rock that points toward the sky as the “tooth.” Get a taste of the truly wild and then make a beeline for Beliveau Estate Winery. Their acreage is less wild and their wine feels like a personal award. Tip back a glass of Trailblazer Merlot, you trailblazer, you.

>> 10 Great Hiking Trails in Virginia’s Blue Ridge

 

Booker T. Washington National Monument | Brooks Mill Winery

Managed by the National Park Service, Booker T. Washington National Monument interprets the birthplace of a boy born into slavery who became one of the great educators of his time. Explore the park by way of the two main trails – Plantation Trail and Jack-O-Lantern Branch Heritage Trail. You’ll encounter the historic sites of the Burroughs family home, the Booker T. Washington birthplace, the reconstructed kitchen cabin, the tobacco barn, and two cemeteries.

Five miles away is Brooks Mill Winery, a small, family-owned winery that’s perfect for unwinding. Their fruit wines are a delight. We especially enjoy the Sangria.

 

Virginia’s Blue Ridge Cheers Trail

The wineries in the region are part of the Virginia’s Blue Ridge Cheers Trail! Before you go, register for our Cheers Trail Passport Program and then check-in at each location you visit for exclusive special offers. Once you check in at five spots, we’ll send you a free Cheers Trail t-shirt! Learn more >


Show us what you’re sippin’ and how you’re hikin’. Chronicle your adventures on Instagram and tag _ #BlueRidgeDay _ and _ #VBRCheers _. Keep an eye on the foliage and fun things to experience this fall by receiving our enewsletter. Subscribe >

 

Written by Casey L. Higgins for Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@getmatcha.com.

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13 Trip Ideas for your Next Girlfriend Getaway

13 Trip Ideas for your Next Girlfriend Getaway

Virginia’s bounty – from beaches to bargains, from Garden Week to wine tastings, festivals and more – is more than enough to keep your group of gals going strong for weeks at a time. Whether red-hatters or bachelorettes, old college friends, a garden club, or moms and daughters, girls traveling together just want to have fun!

 

Fredericksburg – View itinerary

A. Smith Bowman, Fredericksburg

Spend an afternoon shopping at local boutiques, galleries and museum gift shops. Enjoy dinner and a show at Riverside Dinner Theater or pair painting with wine tasting. Take in the history and beauty of downtown Fredericksburg by trolley or carriage.

 

Harrisonburg – View Itinerary

Spend a weekend with your closest girl friends in Harrisonburg. Create your own masterpiece at You Made It, get pampered at Cedar Stone Wellness Spa, grab a gift from a local shop and explore the White Oak Lavender Farm before a wine tasting at Purple WOLF Vineyard.

 

Richmond to LynchburgView Tour

Craddock Terry Hotel, Lynchburg

Visit Carytown for “a mile of style” featuring local shops and restaurants. Take place in a chocolate making workshop, tour the historic Poplar Forest and stay at the fabulous Craddock Terry where you will be served breakfast in an old-fashioned shoe shine box. Fun and style are always in fashion in Virginia.

 

Clarksville – Read moreFishing in Buggs Island Lake

Spend a quiet weekend in the peaceful, small town of Clarksville. Enjoy quaint shops and both upscale and home-style cooking in the historic downtown. Plan a waterfront picnic or take part in some watersports on Kerr Lake or Lake Gaston.

 

ManassasView ItineraryManassas Downtown

Reconnect, relax and have some retail therapy. Discover unique shops in Manassas’ historic towns, find a bargain at Virginia’s largest outlet mall, enjoy a spa day or paint your own pottery. Indulge yourself in Prince William & Manassas.

 

Abingdon – View ItineraryThe Martha Washington Inn and Spa

Get pampered at the historic Martha Washington Inn and Spa. Enjoy dinner then a show at the Barter Theatre followed by a delectable dessert. Round out your time with your best girlfriends with a fabulous wine tasting before heading home.

 

Petersburg to Richmond – View Itinerary

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Enjoy an extravagant weekend from Petersburg to Richmond with this getaway. Stay in the beautiful 1850’s Ragland Mansion and enjoy breakfast on site. Visit the architectural “treasure”, Shirley Plantation, and conclude your trip strolling through the 50 glamorous acres of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.

 

Wytheville – View ItinerarySkeeter's, E. N. Umberger Store

In this small town surrounded by beautiful mountains, you’ll find an opportunity to reconnect with your girlfriends and make memories. Spend a day of shopping followed by a four-course meal and a show at Wohlfahrt Haus Dinner Theatre.

 

NorfolkView ItineraryMermaid Winery, Norfolk

Grab the girls and enjoy a relaxing weekend getaway in Norfolk. From spas and shopping, to dining and entertainment. Experience Virginia’s First Urban Winery at the Mermaid Winery. The winery focuses on producing many small well-balanced wines using Virginia grapes.

 

WaynesboroView itineraryDowntown Waynesboro

Surrounded by natural beauty, Waynesboro is a great place to relax, unwind and pamper yourself for the weekend. Stay at a local B&B before heading out for a day of shopping, wine, beer or cider tasting, or taking in the local scenery.

 

Virginia Beach – View Itinerary

Virginia Beach Oceanfront

Book waterfront accommodations where you can recharge and reconnect. Get pampered at the Founders Inn’s Flowering Almond Spa. Wine and dine at Virginia Beach’s Town Center and enjoy yourself on ocean time.

 

Chesapeake View itinerarychesapeake bay

Explore Virginia’s great outdoors, fine wines and cold brews during this getaway. Kayak through Northwest River Park or hike the Chesapeake Arboretum.  Kick back with locally caught seafood, dip your toes in the sand at Virginia Beach and more.

 

Big Stone Gap View itinerary

Carter Family Fold

Visit Big Stone Gap through the eyes of the women that Adriana Trigiani created in her books and film aptly titled Big Stone Gap. Enjoy a sip and paint at Mountain Rose Vineyards or enjoy a movie under the stars at Central Drive-In Theater. Spread a blanket and eat a picnic lunch at Natural Tunnel State Park then throw on your dancing shoes for an evening of Bluegrass and Old-time music at Carter Family Fold.

 

 

Read more…
Suggested Itineraries
Wine and Dine Getaways
Wellness Retreats and Getaways

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Pick Your Perfect Park For Fall

Pick Your Perfect Park For Fall

We’re jumping for joy at Virginia State Parks, because fall is just around the corner. Officially it begins on September 23 when the Autumn Equinox in Northern Hemisphere is ushered in at 3:50 p.m.

Keep your cardigans handy and hot cocoa stocked up as you make plans to visit the leafiest parks in Virginia. Plus, there are some fun festivals and events to add some spice.

 

CABINS

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Cabin 1 at Staunton River State Park in the fall – end of October – Virginia’s State Parks

Virginia State Parks provide wonderful overnight accommodations in cabins and family lodges. There are more than 300+ cozy, climate-controlled cabins of various sizes throughout the state. Many cabins are available year-round, so if you can’t get the date you are after ask the reservation availability to show you the next two weeks to look for openings, or ask when you call. Leave the chaotic world behind and head to a state park for a fall getaway.

Some fall weekends are close to being booked-up, so maybe consider a weekday stay as the availability will be greater.

Click here to check on availability and to reserve online or call 800-933-7275 Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Also, be sure to sign up for the Customer Loyalty Program to earn points that may be applied to future overnight stays.

FESTIVALS AND FUN EVENTS

There is no shortage of unique events and activities this fall at Virginia State Parks. We recommend you bring the whole family out to experience the changing leaves, pack a picnic and enjoy a special time together.

Fall Farm Days: The Nature of Sky Meadows

Sky Meadows State Park – October 5, 2019 – October 6, 2019

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Spend a day on the farm this fall at Sky Meadows State Park – Virginia’s State Park

During Fall Farm Days’ Nature Weekend, get in touch with nature and explore a managed landscape rich in biodiversity. Stop by our Wooly Bear races and pick a winning Wooly Bear. See a glimpse of Sky Meadows’ diversity of plants, animals, birds and insects at the Explorer Outpost table. Meet some of the many partners at the park to learn about bluebird monitoring, water conservation, amphibian habitats and more. Lastly, follow your nose to the Log Cabin and see what Sky Meadows’ pumpkin and corn treats are being cooked over the hearth.

In addition to the nature-themed programs, we also offer Mount Bleak House tours, a children’s play area, live music, delicious food and drinks for sale and, of course, the pick-your-own pumpkin patch.

Come back the following weekends for more Fall Farm Days fun:

  • October 12 & 13: Life on the Farm
  • October 19 & 20: Rest and Rejuvenation
  • October 26 & 27: History of Sky Meadows

Campsite Cook-Off

Douthat State Park October 11, 2019 – October 12, 2019

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It’s become an annual tradition, the campsite cook-off at Douthat State Park – Virginia’s State Park

Be a part of our 3rd Annual Campsite Cook-off. This is no ordinary cook-off and it will put your creativity to the test. What makes this such a unique event? The meat for the cook-off will be provided by the park but participants will not know the type of meat until it is time to cook. Cooks must supply their own secret seasonings to make their dish a standout. Teams will be given the meat Friday evening to prepare overnight. Tastings will follow on Saturday. Live music will be available for both participants and spectators to enjoy. There is limited space so teams must pre-register. There is a $150 registration fee which includes the meat and two nights of camping in the Whispering Pines Campground. Registration is open. To register or for the rules and regulations, please call the park at 540-862-8114.

For spectators, entry into the event will be $10 per person. Craft artisans and food vendors will also be onsite.

More great events to check out:

This is just a sampling, for more fun fall festivals and special events, click here to search our events database. If you can’t find what you are looking for in the database, feel free to contact the park directly.

Pick your perfect park for fall, we’ve got more than three dozen to choose from, here’s a map to help.

 

Written by Shellie Anne for VA DCR. Featured image provided by Virginia’s State Parks

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Viva RVA! │ Celebrating Virginia’s LGBTQ+ & Latinx community

Viva RVA! │ Celebrating Virginia’s LGBTQ+ & Latinx community

Sunday, September 15th through Tuesday, October 15th is Hispanic Heritage Month across the U.S. September 15 of every year is the initial day for the national celebration as it is the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.

This year, Richmond will be the home of the first-ever Viva RVA!, a multi-event Hispanic Heritage Month celebration honoring Virginia’s Latinx LGBTQ+ community. A driving force behind this effort is local design and marketing specialist Fernando Luis Rodriguez. We asked Fernando to share insight into his work and the inspiration behind Viva RVA!

Fernando Luis Rodriguez ~ One Man Design

How did the idea for Viva RVA! come about?

For the past two years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with Diversity Richmond. My design and marketing firm, One Man Design, helped elevate the Black and Bold Awards and promote more of their signature events. Diversity Richmond asked me to spearhead an event to engage both the Latinx and LGBTQ communities in Richmond. I immediately said, “YES!” and developed the name, logo and events that would become Viva RVA!. Viva is a common word in Spanish used to express goodwill or approval and it embodies the spirit of the event.

 

What do you hope to accomplish with Viva RVA!?

The goal is simple – to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and honor the contributions of Virginia’s LGBTQ+ Latinx people, community and culture. I want people to feel proud about their heritage and celebrate who they decide to love. They say it takes a village to raise a child. This is true for impactful events such as Viva RVA! This could not be possible without the help of our Viva RVA! Community Partners: Laughing Gull Foundation, Virginia Tourism Corporation, Richmond’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, Virginia Hispanic Foundation, Virginia Pride, Side-By-Side, Latino Link Advisors, VCU Division of Inclusive Excellence and the University of Richmond.

 

What’s the best way to support Viva RVA! an Ally, for those not a member of the LGBTQ+ Latinx community?

Viva RVA! is a free family- friendly event for everyone who wants to support our community and culture. There is so much Diversity and intersectionality within the Latinx community, and we want to honor and celebrate that. We hope you’ll visit our Viva RVA! Facebook event and click “going,” then get your FREE passes at Eventbrite today! Put on your dancing shoes and bring your friends and family to our events and music festival.

 

What exactly are the events scheduled for Viva RVA!?

Bill Harrison, President of Diversity Richmond, asked me to organize one event. My response was: “Why not have three instead?” Music and food are tangible expressions of the Latino culture. With this in mind I developed three signature events:

Hispanic Community Reception will be held Saturday, September 21st at Libbie Mill County Public Library. The reception will be the perfect venue to bring together Richmond’s movers and shakers among the Latinx and LGBTQ communities. We will have networking opportunities, special presentations and the inaugural Latinx LGBTQ Leadership Award. Our guest speaker will be author Joe Kutchera. He is the founder of Latino Link Advisors and has been featured on ABC News, Advertising Age, CNN en Español and Telemundo.

VA PrideFest is expected to attract 30,000 people this year and we will be there to say hola to each one. Throughout the day, the Viva RVA! Booth will offer salsa lessons by Angel Rodríguez a.k.a. The Salsa Guy and host performances by Puerto Rican folkloric dancers. Mark your calendars for September 28 and look for our booth on Brown’s Island near the Youth Pride Village.

We will end the celebrations with a bang! The Hispanic Music Festival will kick off at 11:30 am on October 5th. This free family-friendly event will offer authentic Latino cuisine, food trucks, exhibits, prizes and live performances by Quatro Na Bossa (Brazilian Jazz), Kadencia (Puerto Rican Bomba y Plena) and free dance lessons by Angel Rodríguez a.k.a. The Salsa Guy. The music festival will take place at Diversity Richmond, rain or shine.

 

When you’re not the clock, where are your favorite places to eat, drink and explore Virginia?

One of my favorite places is the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. I love to go there to get my creative juices flowing, see their traveling exhibitions and admire their permanent collection. I am not an outdoorsman, but I love staying at Shenandoah National Park. My favorite roof top bar is Dogtown Brewing Co. and I could eat wings and tacos from ASADO every single day.

 

Fernando L. Rodríguez was born in Japan, grew up in Puerto Rico and now lives in Virginia. Aside from Fernando’s community work, he’s led Hispanic marketing campaigns for Ford, PhRMA and The Lincoln Motor Company. He is the proud father of Nina, Paola and Daniela and lives in Richmond with his partner and his Yorkie, Tyler.

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Big Concerts Coming to Virginia in October 2019

Big Concerts Coming to Virginia in October 2019

The Richmond Folk Festival on Brown's Island held in October.There’s a great amount of music coming to Virginia in October. From major country acts to the biggest names in rock and pop, catch your favorite artists and discover new ones all over the Commonwealth.

 

—Virginia Music Festivals—

The Town of Haysi hosts its annual Russell Fork Autumn Fest event Oct. 3-6 with music, dancing, games, and a parade.

The 2nd Street Festival returns to Richmond’s historic Jackson Ward neighborhood Oct. 5-6. It’s an annual celebration and homecoming featuring four stages of live musical entertainment along with a Kidz Zone, popular food vendors, a marketplace and Artists Row to shop.

On Oct. 11-13, enjoy the Festy Experience in downtown Charlottesville for live music and lots of fun. This year’s lineup includes Dawes, Della Mae, Anders Osborne, Langhorne Slim and more.

Celebrating the roots, richness and variety of American culture through music, dance, traditional craft and food, the Richmond Folk Festival takes place Oct. 11-13 and features more than 30 performing groups on seven live music stages, along with children’s activities, a folk arts marketplace, regional and ethnic foods and more. The free three-day festival is one of the largest events in Virginia.

Ferrum College’s Blue Ridge Folklife Festival on Oct. 26 celebrates western Virginia’s folkways and rural life with three music stages with all the famed Blue Ridge music styles including bluegrass, ballads, blues, gospel, and string band music. There will also be craftspeople, vintage farm tractors, hundreds of custom cars, and more.

 

—Over at Virginia’s Many Live Music Venues—

The National in Richmond will be bringing a number of big name artists throughout the month. The venue will be hosting Catfish & the Bottlemen (Oct. 1), Blue October (Oct. 3), Lake Street Dive (Oct. 11 & 12), X Ambassadors (Oct. 26), Andy Grammer (Oct. 27), and others.

Elsewhere in Richmond, The Broadberry will be hosting Reverend Horton Heat (Oct. 5), Mudhoney (Oct. 7), !!! (Oct. 16), Mac Powell and the Family Reunion (Oct. 17), and more.

At Richmond Raceway’s Virginia Credit Union Live!, Illenium will perform on Oct. 6. The Altria Theater will host Gordon Lightfoot on Oct. 2 and Dream Theater on Oct. 6.

The Beacon Theatre in Hopewell will be hosting acts like Sister Hazel (Oct. 3), Blue Oyster Cult (Oct. 5), Pat McGee Band (Oct. 19), and more.

In Charlottesville, the Sprint Pavilion will host Wale on Oct. 8, while the John Paul Jones Arena will host The Avett Brothers on Oct. 29. The Jefferson Theater will hosts artists like Coheed & Cambria (Oct. 11), Big Freedia (Oct. 27), Of Montreal (Oct. 28), and more.

The NorVa in Norfolk will be hosting acts like Built to Spill (Oct. 5), Justin Townes Earle (Oct. 6), Lagwagon (Oct. 12), X Ambassadors (Oct. 27), and more.

Verizon Wireless Virginia Beach AmphitheaterThe Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater at Virginia Beach brings in Chris Stapleton on Oct. 18.

In Roanoke, the Berglund Center will be hosting MercyMe on Oct. 6.

Over in Rocky Mount at the Harvester Performance Center will be hosting a number of shows including Justin Townes Earle on Oct. 4, Lake Street Dive on Oct. 10, Marshall Tucker Band on Oct. 11, Lee Ann Womack on Oct. 20, Southern Culture on the Skids on Oct. 26.

Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow will host Brantley Gilbert (Oct. 12).

At Wolf Trap National Park for Performing Arts in Vienna, shows will include Lucy Kaplansky (Sept. 10), Pat McGee Band (Sept. 17-18), and more.

Alexandria music hall The Birchmere will host John Moreland (Oct. 1), Justin Townes Earle (Oct. 2), The Paper Kites (Oct. 3), Phil Vassar (Oct. 10), Lee Ann Womack (Oct. 18), Dar Williams (Oct. 20), and more.

 

For more big names coming to Virginia this month, go to virginia.org/music. At a Virginia concert this month? Share your photos with @VisitVirginia on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtags #vamusic and #vaisformusiclovers.

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Fun Things to Do in Shenandoah County’s Beautiful Fall Season

Fun Things to Do in Shenandoah County’s Beautiful Fall Season

With cooler nights, long evening shadows, and the smell of apple butter in many shops and farm stands Shenandoah County in the fall season is a feast for the senses. Foliage colors fill the Mountains to the East and West which feels like a warm hug from Mother Nature.

A fine scenic drive with the windows rolled down is one great way to enjoy the beautiful season but several stops along the way provide highlights of experience to round out a perfect leaf-peeping day.

 

FLOWER STOP AT CABIN HILL FARM

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Eric Michael Photography

Cabin Hill Farm is a fresh flower farm set on a country road. As you’re cruising and looking at the surrounding farms and foliage, a sign and a curious box appears out of nowhere on the side of the road: “FLOWERS”. From June through October, Cabin Hill farm welcomes you to stop by their self-serve honor system flower stand at 13827 Senedo Road, Mount Jackson, VA. The stand is open 7 days a week, from 8AM until sold out (or 8pm). While you’re there, take a moment to enjoy the beautiful mountain views.

 

CORN MAIZE/COVERED BRIDGE/PUMPKIN PATCH

Just a few feet away from the Historic Meem’s Bottom Covered Bridge on Wissler Road in Mount Jackson is a great place to bring the family for a fall adventure. The Maize Quest at Bridgemont** farm** is a terrific corn maze. Consider it like a long walk through the corn stalks with puzzles and clues along the way. Great for families who enjoy playing games together or an adventure for a first date there are even after dark hours where you can experience the maze with a flashlight. Across the valley Pike from there is the Mount Airy Pumpkin Patch, at 1038 Mount Airy Ln. in Mount Jackson, where you can grab a wheelbarrow and pick your pumpkins straight from the vine. No ordinary pumpkins are grown here, there are many heirloom varieties and gourds of all shapes and sizes. Both venues have plenty of extra activities for the entire family.

 

WOODBINE FARM

Your one-stop-shop to celebrate fall, Woodbine Farm is an open and airy farm stand that appears to come alive when the seasons change. Large pumpkins and gourds line the front walk on haystacks and a perfect array of garden chrysanthemums and other fall plantings. Inside are gifts and produce, birdhouses, and apple butter, cheeses, country ham and some of the best homemade cookies in the world. Seriously, it’s hard to walk away without one!

 

KINDRED POINTE CIDER

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Jenna French

Not your typical fall cider experience, leave the kids at home because this is sparkly hard cider with flavors to get excited about Kindred Pointe was originally a Horse farm and stable but the barns and outbuildings have been transformed into a winery and tasting room, the grazing fields all lined with grapevines now. A few years after opening the owner couple began making cider as well, and the title “Life is Hard Cider” emerged with flavors such as “Hard Times” “Hard Core” and “Hard Up”. Seasonally there are special flavors like “Seasons Greetings” with hints of all the best holiday spices or “Cherry Bomb” a cherry flavored cider with a jalapeno kick at the end. It is available only for a limited time. Their tasting room is warm and cozy with plenty of room to relax and enjoy Life is Hard Cider.

 

FALL CULINARY & FARM-TO-TABLE DINING

After picking out pumpkins and a long trek through the Corn Maize, celebrate Shenandoah County’s agricultural roots by dining in one of many establishments that value locally-grown foods and sustainable farming. The owners of Cristina’s Café in Strasburg, Swover Creek Farm Brewery in Edinburg, and the Woodstock Garden Café all source their ingredients from their own family farms and are committed to serving the freshest foods at their tables.

 

RIVER BLUFF FARM B&B

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Kary Haun

After a visiting a few of Shenandoah County’s Wineries, Breweries, Cideries or Distilleries the River Bluff Farm Bed & Breakfast is a quiet and idyllic place to settle in for the evening, then sit outside and watch the Shenandoah River flowing slow and lazy with a warm beverage and good company from the comfort of an Adirondack chair. Accommodations are described as “rustic elegance” in this lovely log and timber lodging on 20 private acres. River Bluff Farm Bed and Breakfast is located at 183 Quicksburg Mill Lane, in Quicksburg near New Market, VA.!

The word Shenandoah evokes a sense of beauty. Shenandoah County is filled with beautiful scenery around every turn, and sweet small town charm in its daily life. There is plenty to do and see over a weekend visit in the Fall, an easy weekend excursion only 90 miles west of Washington DC. Immerse yourself in the landscape, enjoy the friendly atmosphere and have an adventure in Shenandoah County.

 

Other fun things to do in the fall season:

 

Written by Shenandoah County Tourism for Shenandoah County. Featured image provided by Kary Haun.

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The Dogs of Virginia Wineries

The Dogs of Virginia Wineries

We didn’t think that Virginia wineries could get any better, but add in a pup or two and that’s an absolutely perfect way to spend an afternoon! While most Virginia wineries are pet-friendly, allowing you to bring your dogs along for a day at the vineyards, many also have their own winery mascots. These four-legged friends often protect the vines from pests, but they are also there to greet visitors and get lots of pets in the process. Meet the friendliest and most lovable vineyard employees, the dogs (and cats!) of Virginia wineries.

 

Captain—New Kent Winerynew kent winery captain the winery dog

Age: 5 years old 

Breed: Yellow Labrador Retriever

Fun Facts: Captain’s main job at the winery is security, ensuring that no animal enters the vineyards to snack on grapes. While he began as a naughty employee, occasionally stealing lunches from other workers, he has settled into his role and become a model employee for the vineyard.

 

Cara, Calvin, & Cody—Elk Island WineryElk Island winery cara calvin and cody winery dogs

Age: 1 year old, 3 years old and 4 years old, respectively

Breed: Cairn Terriers and Yorkshire Terrier

Fun Facts: Calvin and Cody were “hired” to chase off vermin from the vines, but they have shifted to a part-time role in the tasting room, where they spend time mingling with guests and melting hearts to gain lots of snacks. Their winery nickname is the “Elk Island Terroiriers”, a play on terrier and terroir. They have earned their own wine label for their hard work, Terroirier Red and Terroirier White, with a portion of the sale proceeds going to three different Terrier rescue groups. 

 

Rosie—Iron Heart Wineryiron heart winery Rosie the winery dog

Age: 7 years old

Breed: German Shorthaired Pointer

Fun Facts: Rosie was originally hired as a bird dog for guests staying at the winery to use during guided hunts. However, she quickly changed positions, becoming the winery’s top customer service representative in a short amount of time. She’s a gentle soul that absolutely loves fetching tennis balls. 

 

Crush—Cunningham Creek Winery

 

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Age: 7 months old

Breed: Australian Shepherd

Fun Facts: Crush loves everyone at the winery, even Spicy Cat, the vineyard’s resident feline. In addition to Crush and Spicy Cat, Cunningham Creek Winery is also home to Jack and Whip, two more vineyard dog mascots. 

 

Remi—Old Hill Cider and Showalter’s OrchardOld Hill Cider and Showalter's Orchard Remi the winery dog

Age: 9 years old

Breed: Brittany Spaniel

Fun Facts: Visitors to Old Hill Cider and Showalter’s Orchard often find Remi waiting in the parking lot, ready to walk with you to the farm store or usher you down rows of apple trees. 

 

Bramley—Old Hill Cider and Showalter’s OrchardOld Hill Cider and Showalter's Orchard Bramley the winery dog

Age: 3 years old

Breed: English Setter

Fun Facts: Like Remi, Bramley is all about making new friends, trotting obediently after his latest buddy as they explore the orchard and cidery. 

 

Flo, Jughead, Randy Travis, Winnie, Peebles, and Buster—Dog & Oyster WineryThe Dog & Oyster Vineyards winery dogs

Age: Ages vary

Breed: Hound Dog and Beagle Mixes

Fun Facts: As the name suggests, the dogs of Dog & Oyster Winery have been a staple in the vineyards since the winery opened. These dogs were rescued from the Lancaster County Animal Shelter and the Animal Welfare League, and they protect the vines from pesky deer and other grape-eating animals. Feel free to say “hi” to the pups when visiting, but you’ll have to go to them, as the animals are kept inside the enclosure with an invisible fence. Each dog has their own insulated dog house inside the vines, complete with radiator heaters and heated water buckets for the winter months and water misters for the summer months. 

 

RascalBarren Ridge Vineyard barren ridge vineyard rascal the dog

Age: 12 years old

Breed: Jack Russell Terrier

Fun Facts: Rascal visited the winery in 2008 and decided to stay permanently after his owners could not be found. This sweet boy often leads guests from their cars to the tasting room, making sure you don’t get lost along the way. If you take a seat, be ready for Rascal to make himself comfortable in your lap. 

 

Beau & FigKnight’s Gambit Vineyard

 

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Age: 2 and 1.5 years old, respectively

Breed: Shepherd Mix and Hound Mix

Fun Facts: Fig loves kids and tends to tag along with them as they play in the yard outside the tasting room. As the unofficial winery mascot, she greets customers at their cars and escorts them to the tasting room, even following them onto the deck for a few snuggles. Both Fig and Beau guard the vines, running off the pests attempting to sample the grapes. 

 

Brix WhiteChateau MerrillAnne WineryChateau Merrillanne Brix White the winery cat

Age: 2 years old

Breed: Yellow Tabby 

Fun Facts: During a winery potluck dinner, Brix showed up to eat and spent the evening mingling with the guests. Brix works in the tasting room every day, keeping pests at bay and greeting visitors, but he has a bad habit of showing up late and making himself comfortable in the laps of unassuming visitors. His hobbies include sleeping and getting nonstop belly rubs. 

 

Ti ReyReynard Florence Vineyard reynard florence ti rey the winery dog

Age: 7 years old

Breed: Corgi

Fun Facts: Ti Rey can be a bit of a diva when other dogs are around, but he loves greeting visitors at the door and herd them to their seats, where he’ll plop down by (and sometimes on) your feet while you sample the wines. 

 

Jackson—Abingdon Vineyard & Wineryabingdon vineyards jackson the winery dog

Age: 2 years old

Breed: Vizla

Fun Facts: Jackson is a social butterfly, especially with visiting dogs. He enjoys running around the vineyard with these pups, chasing birds, and fetching sticks from the river that runs beside the winery. 

 

Eli—Abingdon Vineyard & Wineryabingdon vineyards Eli the Winery Dog

Age: 11 years old

Breed: Unknown

Fun Facts: Eli is a rescue, so his breed is unknown, but he is 100% sweetheart. He spends his days greeting tasting room visitors, napping in front of the fireplace, and begging for salami. 

 

Dixie—Hill Top Berry Farm and Winery hill top berry farm dixie the winery dog

Age: 12 years old

Breed: Red & Blue Heeler Australian Cattle Dog Mix

Fun Facts: Dixie is the latest in a long line of Blue Heelers that have belonged to the owners of Hill Top Berry Farm and Winery. The breed is especially close to their hearts, and Dixie returns all of this love to winery employees and visitors alike. The winery carries special meads called Blue Heeler Dry Blueberry Wine and Little Heeler Sweet Blueberry Wine, and when they are in stock, they are purchased by Heeler fans all over the country. A portion of proceeds from the sale of every bottle goes to The Mosby Foundation, a nonprofit that helps finance animals in need of critical care.

 

Rkatsiteli “Rascal”—MountainRose Vineyardsmountainrose vineyards Rkatsiteli “Rascal” the winery cat

Age: 15 years old

Breed: Large Grey Exotic Tabby

Fun Facts: Named for the Rkatsiteli grape, one of 15 varieties grown at MountainRose Vineyards, Raskiteli, called Rascal for short, definitely lives up to his nickname. He was born the same year the winery was constructed, and he seems to think that it was built to serve as his house. Rascal is very friendly and loves greeting guests, periodically stopping in to see if anyone is willing to share snacks with him. Before leaving the winery, be sure to check your car, as Rascal has been known to catch a ride home with visitors before! 

 

Millie—Afton Mountain Vineyards

 

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Age: 5 years old

Breed: Boxer-Labrador Mix

Fun Facts: Millie loves playing with kids; she is more of a winery “greeter” than a vine protector. A rescue from the Augusta County animal shelter, Millie shamelessly begs for attention from every visitor, flopping onto her back for belly rubs whenever possible. She loves kids and will often run around with them, frolicking on the grounds until everyone is worn out and ready for a nap! 

 

Madison—Rosemont Vineyards & Wineryrosemont vineyard and winery madison the winery dog

Age: 10 years old

Breed: German Shepherd/Chow Mix

Fun Facts: Madison has spent her whole life at the winery. Her daily duties include greeting guests and playing with visiting children. 

 

Duchess—Beliveau Estate Winerybeliveau winery duchess the winery dog

Age: 17 years old

Breed: Unknown Mix

Fun Facts: Duchess may be up in age, but she can still race the tractor to the top of the vineyard and win. She is great with all visitors, stopping by each table for a few scratches and pets, and even welcomes cuddles from young children. 

 

Winston & Wyatt—Brix & Columns VineyardsBrix and Columns Vineyards winston and wyatt the winery dogs

Age: 9 years old and 13 weeks, respectively

Breed: Great Danes

Fun Facts: Winston has become such a fixture at the winery that he even has a monthly blog named after him (Wine with Winston) that details upcoming winery events, and Brix & Columns Vineyard is often affectionately referred to as “Winston’s House”. He likes to greet guests in the parking lot and ushers them to the tasting room. In 2019, Winston moved up in the ranks and began training Wyatt, who is learning the ropes of being an adorable tasting room host. 

 

Enzo—Hamlet Vineyards hamlet vineyards Enzo the winery dog

Age: Unknown 

Breed: Unknown

Fun Facts: Enzo is the official winery dog for Hamlet Vineyards. He stays busy following patrons around the vineyard during business hours. While his age and breed are unknown due to him being a rescue, his owners believe him to be an Australian Shepherd Mix who is about 8 or 9 years old. His job at the vineyard doesn’t include protecting the vines, but he does enjoy unsuccessfully chasing bunny rabbits from time to time. 

 

Tug—Effingham Manor Winery

 

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Age: 11 years old

Breed: Golden Retriever

Fun Facts: Tug has been voted Virginia Wine Dog of the Year three times, but he doesn’t let the fame go to his head. He spends his days patrolling the 12 acre vineyards to ensure everything is up to his strict standards, stopping into the tasting room to greet visitors. On cooler evenings, you’ll find Tug enjoying the warmth of the winery’s outdoor fireplace. 

 

Tug—Pearmund Cellarstug pearmund cellars winery dog

Age: 11 years old 

Breed: Golden Retriever

Fun Facts: Tug has never met a visitor at the winery that he didn’t like! He meets visitors at the door with a smile and a big tail wag, giving them his “cute look” until he gets all the pets and ear scratches. When he’s not mingling with the guests, Tug can be found snoozing in the sun. With his face is on a label, Tug is a major celebrity at the winery, and he even has his own Facebook page!

 

Gracie—Cardinal Point Winerycardinal point winery Gracie the winery dog

Age: 13 years old

Breed: German Shorthaired Pointer Mix

Fun Facts: Gracie has a keen interest in groundhogs, spending hours waiting outside a hole to say hello to its resident. She is a gentle and loving companion for visitors, but occasionally likes to voice her concerns when these visitors stray into the winemaking area. 

 

Rochambeau “Beau”—Gauthier Vineyard

 

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Age: 4 years old

Breed: Vizla

Fun Facts: Beau is so famous at Gauthier Vineyard that they named a wine after him–Sweet Beau. He works at the winery protecting the vines, chasing off deer and geese that come through his property. 

 

Dakota, Freckles, Lucy, Daisy, Bella, Bowman, Rudy, Teddy, Roxy, Jake, Rosebud, & Sandy—Good Luck Cellarsgood luck cellars winery dogs

Age: Ages Vary

Breed: Various Mixes

Fun Facts: There are a total of 12 vineyard dogs that make up the “Grape Vine Patrol Squad” at Good Luck Cellars, all rescue animals recruited from local shelters. Their jobs are to wander the vineyards and chase away wildlife so that the grapes can thrive and later become delicious wine. The dogs are lovingly cared for by the vineyard owners, and while they are mostly outdoor dogs, they each have their own dog house among the vines. Don’t expect these pups to come running when you arrive; they are kept on-site by an invisible fence, ensuring that they don’t try to go home with you, no matter how many milk bones you offer them!

 

Tucker—Chatham Vineyardschatham vineyards tucker the winery dog

Age: 2 years old 

Breed: Yellow Labrador Retriever

Fun Facts: Tucker is from Montana and loves lacrosse balls, greeting customers in the tasting room, hunting and retrieving, chasing all sorts of animals from the vineyard, and most of all, he loves cuddling at home with his family. 

 

Frank the Cat—King Family Vineyards

 

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Age: Unknown, probably around 9 or 10 years old

Breed: Unknown

Fun Facts: Frank is a bit of a mystery, as he just showed up to the winery one day and decided it was his new home. He doesn’t think he works for the winery, instead choosing to believe that all the winery employees work for him. Frank has his own house, complete with a heated bed, and spends his days doing whatever he wants, from getting pets from visitors to wandering around the winery grounds. 

 

Dogbert—Glass House Wineryglass house winery Dogbert the winery dog

Age: 9 years old

Breed: Border Collie/Shiba Inu Mix

Fun Facts: Dogbert has two roles at Glass House Winery; she works as a greeter for guests visiting the tasting room while simultaneously keeping a close eye on the 50 acres of vines. And while it isn’t outlined in her contract, she also gives her official approval of all the food trucks that come to the winery. Dogbert holds a special place in her owner’s hearts, and not just because of her cuddling skills. In 2017, the son of the winery owners was diagnosed with brain cancer. During his illness and subsequent recovery, Dogbert stayed with him every step of the way, visiting him in the hospital, rehabilitation center, and eventually sticking by his side when he arrived home to recover. To this day, if he is on the property, Dogbert faithfully follows wherever he goes. 

 

Tell us, who is your favorite winery mascot?

The post The Dogs of Virginia Wineries appeared first on Virginia’s Travel Blog.

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48 Hours in the River Realm: A Guide to Laid Back Luxury

48 Hours in the River Realm: A Guide to Laid Back Luxury

Relaxing sunset views, fresh seafood, and a side of adventure — that’s what we serve up fresh here every day in the River Realm. While we locals get to soak it up 24/7/365, we know you may only get to visit for the weekend. For those times you can get away and let the river calm your mind, there are a few menu items you should order, views you should take in, and people you should meet.

Here’s our ideal weekend recess in the River Realm….

 

Rest your Head and Explore the Quaint Kilmarnock

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Virginia’s River Realm

Your first stop during your laid back journey should be Kilmarnock. Here, you can check in to The Kilmarnock Inn. The enchanting bed and breakfast is located just off Main Street. It is full of treasures like a practice putting green, a garden from which guests can harvest, a spacious deck for relaxing and eight guest cottages, each named for a Virginia-born president.

During your first afternoon, talk a walk around town. Explore Rivah Antiques and Accessories to find a river themed mirror or decorative pillow. Invest thoughtful time in Burke’s Fine Jewelers to pick out a custom river-inspired piece. Talk a walk to Weekends to discover the perfect dress or fall parka. Purchase a vintage Oyster plate (yes, bivalves have their own plates) at the Kilmarnock Antique Gallery.

Settle in for a light, yet exotic dinner at Chao Phraya. The Thai and sushi grill has an extensive and exciting sushi menu. Your meal may come with color changing lights or feature local oysters–there’s something for everyone! For dessert, swing by Northern Neck Popcorn to grab snacks for the room. The gourmet popcorn shop has more than 50 flavors of handcrafted, small batch popcorn from sweet to savory. Sample with your travel partner and pick your favorites.

 

Wake Up to See See Some Wildlife

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Virginia’s River Realm

Grab breakfast at the Inn or Carried Away Cuisine. Pile into the car and head north to Belle Isle State Park. Get ready to get a little wet. Here, you can rent a canoe or kayak and borrow a “park pack,” which includes field guides and equipment to help you explore. If you want to get up close and personal with the water, Belle Isle State Park hosts an intro to crabbing for just $2 per person. Be careful! They can pinch. The park also offers lectures and demonstrations on watermen culture, oysters, insects and more. Preregistration is recommended. Call 804-462-5030 or stop by the Camp Store.

 

Head to Irvington to Refuel

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Virginia’s River Realm

The town of Irvington is just a little past Kilmarnock on your way home. It’s worth the detour for the afternoon. For a casual lunch, visit the The Office. This renovated dentist office now serves flatbreads, salads, soups and other lunchtime classics. If you need a pick-up (we don’t blame you!), grab a coffee at The Local. Our neighborhood coffee spot serves craft coffee by Richmond-based Ironclad Roasters.

Take your caffeine on a saunter to see some of our other favorite spots. Objects & More is an upscale gallery that carries work from more than 200 artists from across the country. You’ll also find jewelry, home decor, and even nightlights. Down the road, indulge in a bit of history at the Steamboat Era Museum. The museum brings landscapes to life from an era when revival camps, shucking houses and country stores dotted the river’s shores. Head into Vine, our new wine and craft beer shop. You can even enjoy tastings on Wednesdays 5-7p.m. Keep walking toward the Tides Inn to catch a view of the river while you sip a Lancaster Lemonade, a River Realm favorite. If you’re still hungry, the Tides Inn has a new water front foodie spot: Fish Hawk Oyster bar.

 

Head back to Kilmarnock, but First…

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Virginia’s River Realm

Just outside of town is one of our favorite wineries. Order yourself a glass of wine at the 6-acre The Dog & Oyster Vineyard.You can also polish off your day of indulging with more local oysters and fresh seafood prepared a variety of ways at the winery’s Slurp eatery. Take a few bottles of the Virginia Wine home as gifts or to serve at your next family gathering.

 

A Historical Pitstop

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Virginia’s River Realm

On the ride back to Kilmarnock, park the car at Historic Christ Church & Museum. It is the only church from colonial Virginia to retain its original high-backed box pews, and it is one of only two with its original triple-decker pulpit. The landmark also hosts regular Ice Cream Socials and events like the annual Craft Beer Festival.

 

Take the Long Road Home to Deltaville

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Virginia’s River Realm

You can’t see everything we love in one weekend, but you can try. During your final day in the River Realm, load up the car and take the long way home. First, visit Deltaville. The Deltaville Maritime Museum memorializes the boat building skills that made the area famous. The museum also hosts a wide variety of community events and festivals at the Holly Point Nature Park. This outdoor area is a haven for children’s play and natural inspiration with a nature trail walk, kayak launch, picnic tables and a pier walk. It’s home to a summertime concert series, Groovin’ in the Park. After some time here, swing by J & W Seafood Market to bring some of our fresh seafood home with you. The market specializes in take-out fresh, local seafood, including raw oysters. Add sauces to your basket depending on how you’d like to enjoy your oysters.

 

One More Town Awaits: Urbanna

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Virginia’s River Realm

One more town awaits: Urbanna. This one is packed with River Realm favorites and is the setting of our annual Urbanna Oyster Festival, which brings in thousands from all over the country every November. Grab homemade barbecue and Bloody Marys at Something Different. Now that you’re fueled up, walk up and down Virginia Street. Shop at boutiques including Cyndy’s Bynn, Lowe-Tide Boutique, RS Bristow’s, and the Fin & Pearl. Keep the walk going down to the Urbanna Town Marina to watch the boats roll in and out of the docks. For a final meal, visit Portside Grill. Pull up a seat inside to cool off or relax at one of the tables outside for a view of the marina. We recommend the crab cakes, “Sea Sprouts” (brussels sprouts roasted with sea salt), and the Trophy Burger with a crab cake on top and a burger on the bottom.

 

What Was Your Favorite Spot?

Maybe you discovered something not on our 48-hour guide. Maybe you fell in love with a new cocktail. We hope you and your travel buddies enjoy the charm of the River Realm while you’re here. Did you snap some pics for the gram?! Tag us at @virginiasriverrealm.

 

Featured image provided by Virginia’s River Realm

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The post 48 Hours in the River Realm: A Guide to Laid Back Luxury appeared first on Virginia’s Travel Blog.

About FunRVA

We are FUN! We are RVA! We support local business and charities! Life is good!

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