Entertainment around RVA

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.




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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:



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:



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:



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.


The post Your Guide To Dining In Charlottesville appeared first on Virginia’s Travel Blog.

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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. 




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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! 

The post Fresh Picks: Virginia’s Farm to Table Restaurants appeared first on Virginia’s Travel Blog.

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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.



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.


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

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

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.



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.



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.



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!



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.



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.



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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A post shared by Cunningham Creek Winery (@cunninghamcreekwineryva) on Jun 2, 2019 at 8:44am PDT

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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A post shared by Knight’s Gambit Vineyard (@knightsgambitvineyard) on Jun 10, 2019 at 3:41pm PDT

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.

About FunRVA

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

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

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

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

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…

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

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

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

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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About FunRVA

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The Top Events & Festivals Happening Around Virginia In October

The Top Events & Festivals Happening Around Virginia In October

Try Virginia's Scenic Drives!

October in Virginia brings changing leaves, crisp autumn air, and of course, lots of memorable festivals and events. We’ve compiled a few of the best things to do in Virginia this month to help you plan accordingly; use this guide to mark your calendars with the most noteworthy events happening around the Commonwealth in October. 


Anthem GoFestRoanoke

When: October 18 – 20, 2019Roanoke Mill Mountain Star

A free festival held each fall, Roanoke’s GO Outside Festival, shortened to GoFest, encourages active outdoor recreational sports and promotes healthy living. Presented by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the festival combines outdoor activities like camping, hiking, and competitive races with outfitter gear demos, allowing you to try your hand at new physical pursuits such as kayaking, biking, or rock climbing. Throughout the festival, you’ll find live music performances and over 15 local food trucks serving up tasty fare,which you can pair with craft beverages available on draft from Virginia breweries and cideries.  


Night Skies in Shenandoah National ParkLuray

When: October 4, 2019Greg Redfern skyline drive night skies

Get a rare glimpse of completely clear night skies when you visit Shenandoah National Park this October for their Night Skies event. Join amateur astronomers in the Big Meadows area of Shenandoah National Park for a night of stargazing presentations and sightings through telescopes. With little civilization nearby, you’ll enjoy an uninterrupted view of the stars above. Be sure to pack a blanket and chairs, as the event is held in an open field, and a flashlight to navigate in the dark. 


Oktoberfest at Blue Mountain BreweryAfton

When: September 27 – October 6, 2019blue mountain brewpub

Celebrate Oktoberfest at Blue Mountain Brewery with German food specials, games and prizes, beer classes, and of course, award-winning Virginia craft beer. Blue Mountain will host live music on Fridays, brewery tours on Saturdays, and brunch paired with music performances on Sundays during this autumn festival. Check the Blue Mountain Brewery Website for more details, to be announced closer to the event. 


Suffolk Peanut FestivalSuffolk

When: October 10 – 13, 2019Planters Peanut Center

Peanuts have been a staple crop in Virginia for nearly 200 years, and the city of Suffolk has been marking their importance to the community with the annual Suffolk Peanut Festival for the past 42 years. This family-friendly event honors the agricultural heritage of these locally-grown legumes with four days of festival rides, live music, a peanut-themed parade, a petting zoo featuring all sorts of farm animals, and much more. Plus, you’ll find every type of peanut food imaginable, from peanut butter treats to freshly roasted nuts. Get Tickets


Richmond Folk FestivalRichmond

When: October 11 – 13, 2019The Richmond Folk Festival on Brown's Island held in October.

Now in its 15th year, the Richmond Folk Festival is one of the Commonwealth’s largest annual events, bringing over 200,000 visitors from all over the country to downtown Richmond’s Brown’s Island and the surrounding historic riverfront region. Absolutely free to enter, the festival features performances that represent unique cultural traditions on the seven stages spread throughout the grounds during the weekend. Celebrate the richness of American culture this fall at the Folk Festival, where music, traditional dance, arts & crafts, food, and storytelling are combined for a memorable and dynamic festival. While the festival charges no admittance fee, a $10 donation is recommended, which is used to hire acts and promote the festival in the following year. 


The Festy ExperienceCharlottesville

When: October 11 – 13, 2019


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The Festy Experience has been an incredible Central Virginia festival for the past ten years, but this year the festival moves from the rural lands of Nelson County to IX Art Park in downtown Charlottesville. This year’s festival lineup has expanded to include a wider array of music genres, featuring artists like Della Mae, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, Dawes, and Samantha Fish. Additionally, Festy includes local craft beer and wine, food trucks, and guided classes like meditation and yoga. The family-friendly event is free for children 12 and under. Get Tickets


Annual Chincoteague Island Oyster FestivalChincoteague Island

When: October 12, 2019Chincoteague Island

Sample seafood straight from the coastal waters of the Commonwealth at the Annual Chincoteague Island Oyster Festival, which marks the arrival of prime oyster season in Virginia. You’ll find oysters served every way possible, including raw, steamed, fried, and baked, as well as fresh-caught fish, clam, and shrimp dishes. For those that shy away from delicacies of the sea, there is an array of standard festival fare to satisfy your hunger. While the oyster festival focuses on seafood, there is also live entertainment, local crafts, contests, and raffles happening during the event. Tickets sell out early, so be sure to claim yours well in advance! Get Tickets 


Blue Ridge Folklife FestivalFerrum

When: October 26, 2019Blue Ridge Folklife Festival

The Blue Ridge Folklife Festival is the perfect place to learn all about Virginia’s deep roots in Appalachia culture and cuisine. Taste dozens of flavors that originated in this rich region of the Commonwealth, see folk, bluegrass, blues, gospel, and old-time string bands performance on the three music stages, and peruse the wares of more than 50 local craftspeople at this annual festival, currently in its 44th year. Don’t miss the festival’s storytelling stage, where retired bootleggers and revenuers swap tales of their historic escapades. Tickets can be ordered in advance over the phone or purchased at the gate. 


First Data 500 at Martinsville SpeedwayRidgeway

When: October 27, 2019Martinsville Speedway

NASCAR comes to Martinsville Speedway for the First Data 500 this October, showcasing an exciting short-track race in the 2019 Playoffs. Witness your favorite race car drivers conquer the notoriously difficult track, as they battle to win the famed Grandfather Clock Trophy. Get Tickets


Find even more October events to add to your calendar, and look ahead to November and December to make more 2019 vacation plans!


More Things to Do Around Virginia in October: 

When: September 27 – October 6, 2019

When: September 21 – October 27, 2019

When: Weekends September 14 – October 27, 2019

When: October 19 – 20, 2019

When: October 5, 2019

When: October 5, 2019

When: October 12, 2019

When: October 14, 2019

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About FunRVA

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50 Years of LOVE: A History of LGBT Travel in Virginia

50 Years of LOVE: A History of LGBT Travel in Virginia

It was in 1969 – 50 years ago – that the Commonwealth’s Virginia is For Lovers” tourism slogan was created. It is now one of the most beloved and iconic travel slogans in the world, and was inducted into the Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame in 2009. While it has meant a lot of different things to a lot of different people over the years, one thing remains the same: LOVE.

It was also in 1969 that the June 28 Stonewall Riots at The Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood New York City occurred. Led by two transgender women of color, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, this pivotal event is considered the beginning of the gay liberation movement in the United States.

During that time, in Virginia’s urban centers, such as downtown Norfolk, The Continental Restaurant (1: image) and Mickey’s on Brooke Street had become internationally known as a respite for sailors and their friends, and had acquired a largely gay clientele. Later, in 1972, Norfolk’s first local gay newsletter – Friends – was created and edited by Mickey’s Jerry Halliday and H.T. Kelly, Jr. (2: book)

Today, Norfolk is home to a vibrant LGBT scene, including local favorites MJ’s Tavern and the WAVE. and visitors can experience Norfolk Queer history on the Queer Walking Tour of Norfolk. For over 30 years, Norfolk has hosted the Hampton Roads Pride Fest and other Pride and local events, showing how the LGBTQ+ community has grown into a vital part of the region’s culture.


In contrast, Roanoke’s Backstreets and Trade Winds Restaurant were regional gay bars for the small city in this Mountain Region. Patrons would walk around to the back of the building, down an alley and several steps down. Attracting a large crowd, this type of social gathering spot was indicative of many home-grown and under-the-radar gay and lesbian bars around the country. (3: timeline) In 1971, less than two years after New York’s Stonewall event, a group of gay men and women founded the Gay Alliance of the Roanoke Valley, the first Gay Liberation organization of the region. (4: article). Today, one can stay and enjoy the food, sites and culture of the Star City, at the annual Roanoke PRIDE festival or on the Roanoke LGBTQ History Walking Tour. And this year, in Blacksburg, the Virginia Tech’s Ex Lapide Alumni Society welcomed back to campus Queer alumni for “Denim Day,” commemorating the groundbreaking 1979 LGBTQ+ student-led day of support on campus, which at the time, was highly contested. 

Roanoke LGBTQ History Walking Tour

Northern Virginia’s Freddie’s Beach Bar & Restaurant in Crystal City has been a home and social hotspot for many Queer east-coasters since owner Freddie Lutz opened it in 2001. Open 7 nights, Freddie’s is known for their weekend buffets, karaoke, and Drag shows. Lutz, a Virginia native, has recently opened nearby Federico Ristorante Italiano. Formerly Café Italia (1976), Lutz started there as a waiter, then maître d’. “Cafe Italia flew a gay flag, employed LGBT staff, and held Drag shows on Halloween,” Lutz says. “Federico’s continues carries on that spirit of hospitality in welcoming all.”

Richmonders Beth Marschak and Alex Lorch detail in their book Lesbian and Gay Richmond (Images of America: Virginia that the Block Neighborhood, Richmond’s underground community of gay culture and community, is an example of several of the city’s gay & lesbian social clubs “hidden in plain sight.” (5: book) And since 1993, the Richmond Triangle Players has been a major center of Queer theater on the East Coast.

Today, OutRVA is the go-to guide for the city’s Queer-centric and friendly experiences and home of  three well-established Queer bars: Babe’s, Godfrey’s & Barcode , as well as the VA PrideFest since the mid-1970’s. Richmond is also home to the Commonwealth’s first Black Pride in VA. Lacette Cross, event creator, shared in 2018, “We see the need to help raise the voices and experiences of Black folks and People of Color (POC) in the Queer community, at existing Pride events, and throughout the year.” And on October 5, Diversity Richmond will host Viva RVA! Hispanic Music Festival, the city’s first celebration of Hispanic music, food, and Virginia’s Latino LGBTQ.

Winchester native Julian Glass, along with partner R. Lee Taylor, was collecting art and antiques and renovating Glass’s family estate Glen Burnie House and gardens in 1952 – later to be opened as the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in 2005. (6: research p. 10) Playing nearby, undoubtedly, one might hear the timeless songs of Winchester native and gay icon Patsy Cline. Born 1932, Cline was a pioneering country music singer who died in a tragic plane crash at age 30, and was the first solo female singer to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1960 and the first woman to be inducted in the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1973. Today, one can visit the Patsy Cline Historic House and attend the city’s annual Winchester PRIDE Celebration.

And this year, on April 13, 2019, Spectrum Arts Society held its first Hill City PRIDE festival, home to local Ally Lynchburg Hillcats Stadium. Sponsors and attendees included Lynchburg’s LGBT Diversity Center as well as local business and faith communities. Year-round, visitors can catch a great meal, cocktails and Drag shows at local hotspots Dish and the Water Dog Tap House.

Hill City Pride ~ Lynchburg

2019 has also brought a multitude of Pride festivals and events all over Virginia, from local happy hours in Farmville and Danville to rural Main Street Prides in Floyd, Harrisonburg, Winchester, and Cape Charles and in the city of Hampton. These events work to bring together Queer locals and Allies while also welcoming home native-Virginia and out-of-state family, couples and friends. And a big draw for Out-of-state visitors are the music, food, cocktails and exponential energy of our urban prides in Norfolk, Roanoke, Richmond and Charlottesville.

Today, you can find self-designated LGBT-friendly shops, restaurants, distilleries, meaderies, cideries, craft breweries, wineries, outdoor adventures, attractions, and places to stay during one of our many Pride weekends, or for a quick weekend getaway – year-round and statewide. You can also explore one of Virginia’s 10 regions or find them all at Virginia.org/LGBT.

Visitors and locals share their favorites at @visitgayva (Instagram) and @VisitGayVA (Twitter) all year. #visitgayva

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

(1) The Boiler Room – December 11, 201 by Melissa Friederichs & kkind004
(2LGBT Hampton Roads – March 7, 2016 by Charles H Ford Jeffrey L Littlejohn
(3) Timeline of LGBTQ+ History at Virginia Tech– March 7, 2016 by Ex Lapide Society & Latanya Walker
(4) Lasting Legacy: What Stonewall Means in the South – June 06, 2019 by Dr. Gregory S. Rosenthal
(5) Lesbian and Gay Richmond (Images of America: Virginia) – July 7, 2008 by Beth Marschak & Alex Lorch 
(6) LGBTQ Persons of Note in Virginia –2014 by Virginia Department of Historic Resources 



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5 Budget Friendly Restaurants for Student Groups

5 Budget Friendly Restaurants for Student Groups

Making tours affordable for every student has been an industry focus for years. Finding the best hotel rates and including as many no-cost or low-cost attractions as possible is the hallmark of every student travel planner. And what about meals? We know that finding student group friendly restaurants during peak Spring tour season is challenging. Not to mention locating venues that offer a quality experience at a lower price point. So how can student travel planners trim costs without sacrificing value? Feast your eyes on these five budget-friendly group dining options in Prince William County.



Visit Prince William

Waterfront dining in the Metro D.C. area is hard to come by and is often too expensive for student groups. However, that is not the case at Madigan’s Waterfront in Historic Occoquan! Hop off I-95 at exit 160 in Prince William, VA. Your students will enjoy the variety of kid-friendly entrée options and the view of the Occoquan River.



Visit Prince William

Running low on driver hours and staying at a hotel without an on-site restaurant? Bring a crowd-pleasing barbeque feast to your hotel. Generous portions, kid-friendly fare, and personalized service at an affordable price is the perfect recipe for a great student group meal. With two locations in Prince William, VA, Mission BBQ provides easy access from I-95 in Woodbridge (exit 158) or I-66 in Gainesville (exit 43A).



Visit Prince William

Looking for dinner and an activity for around the same price as a casual dinner in a restaurant? The Devil Dog Diner, located on the second deck of the National Museum of the MarineCorps offers affordable dining for up to 200 students. Dine after-hours and receive full access to the historical galleries in this world-class museum. Right off I-95 at exit 150 – Enlist your group for dinner today!



Visit Prince William

City Grille’s standard student group menu offers seven entrée choices ensuring both students and chaperones will find something to sink their teeth into. Given City Grill’s larger than average portions, your passengers will find it difficult to finish everything on their plates. Located less than a quarter mile of Interstate 66 in Manassas, getting in and back on the road quickly is extremely easy.



Visit Prince William

Need seating for over 250 people? Check. Close proximity to Interstate 95 in Woodbridge, VA? Check. (Take exit 158) Made from scratch comfort food that will please even the pickiest eater? Fuddruckers has been doing it that way since 1980.


Written by Mike Stoupa for Prince William County.
Featured image provided by Visit Prince William

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About FunRVA

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Payoff Hikes: Virginia Trails With Excellent Craft Breweries Nearby

Payoff Hikes: Virginia Trails With Excellent Craft Breweries Nearby

Dragon's Tooth

The view from the top may be enough motivation for you to hike some of Virginia’s most beautiful trails, but if you need a little extra something to keep you going, plan to follow up these epic hikes with a stop at a nearby brewery, where you can relax with a refreshing (and well-deserved!) craft beer.



The Hike: Stony Man Overlook or Mary’s RockView from Little Stony Man Cliffs

If you’re looking for a quick hike with incredible views, start with Stony Man Trail in Shenandoah National Park. The 1.6 mile trail has a steady uphill grade ending in a rocky outcrop that provides scenic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah Valley below. 

Another popular nearby trail is Mary’s Rock, which has two possible routes. A 3.7-mile route runs from the Panorama pull-off of Skyline Drive, while the 2.8-mile section starts at the Meadow Spring parking lot. Both trails are moderately difficult and have outstanding views of Shenandoah National Park.

The Brewery: Hawksbill Brewing Company 

Hawksbill Brewing Company in Luray is about 17 miles away from Stony Man Trail and only 11 miles from Mary’s Rock. 



The Hike: Old Rag Circuit HikeOld Rag Mountain

A challenging trail in Shenandoah National Park, Old Rag is best suited for experienced hikers. The 8.8-mile route ends with a rock scramble and a breathtaking summit. While many trails in Virginia allow pets to join you, Old Rag is not one of them; please leave dogs at home! 

The Brewery: Pen Druid Brewing

Pen Druid Brewing in Sperryville is about 12 miles away from Old Rag. 



The Hike: Devil’s Marbleyard

The Devil’s Marbleyard trail is an 8.3-mile hike named for the difficult hillside scramble through monumental boulders, some as large as trucks. To make the hike even longer, you can continue along the Appalachian Trail for an extra three miles, which ends with one of the most breathtaking panoramic views in Virginia. 

The Brewery: Great Valley Farm Brewery Great Valley Farm Brewery

Great Valley Farm Brewery is about 13 miles from Devil’s Marbleyard. 



The Hike: Cascade FallsCascade Falls and Trail

Cascade Falls is a scenic four-mile trail within the Jefferson National Forest that follows a shaded mountain creek to a 66-foot waterfall. The hike is suitable for beginners with only a few spots that are moderately challenging. 

The Brewery: Rising Silo Brewery

Rising Silo Brewery in Blacksburg is about 22 miles away from Cascade Falls. 



The Hike: Tinker Cliffs

Tinker Cliffs Sunrise

Part of the famed Triple Crown in Virginia (along with Dragon’s Tooth and McAfee Knob), Tinker Cliffs is 3.8 miles from the base to the summit, with a fairly difficult trek ending with pristine views of the Roanoke Valley. This hike is not for beginners! 

The Brewery: Ballast Point Brewing Company

From Tinker Cliffs, Ballast Point Brewing Company is about 10.5 miles away.



The Hike: Dragon’s Tooth or McAfee KnobMcAfee Knob

If you’re already in the area checking out Tinker Cliffs, consider conquering McAfee Knob or Dragon’s Tooth. McAfee Knob is an 8.3-mile hike that wraps up at one of the most photographed spots on the Appalachian Trail, with 270-degree panoramic views of Catawba Valley and North Mountain. McAfee is a fairly strenuous hike that involves lots of stone steps, but there are several rewarding vantage points along the trail. The 4.1-mile Dragon’s Tooth hike takes you to the top of Cove Mountain, but while McAfee Knob has some challenging spots, Dragon’s Tooth is a much more advanced hike, with a section that is very rocky and steep; be ready for a difficult climb when you hike Dragon’s Tooth. 

The Brewery: Parkway Brewing Company

Parkway Brewing Company in Salem is 7 miles from the McAfee Knob trailhead and 11 miles from the Dragon’s Tooth Trailhead. 



The Hike: Crabtree FallsCrabtree Falls

An extremely popular hike in Virginia, Crabtree Falls has the highest vertical-drop cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River with the five major cascades sections totaling 1,200 feet in drop. The first overlook is just a few hundred feet from the parking lot, providing a quick payoff for even the least experienced hiker. While the trail’s total length is about 3.3 miles, you can continue through Crabtree Meadows, hiking another 3.8 miles to Spy Rock

The Brewery: Devils Backbone Basecamp Brewpub

Devils Backbone Basecamp Brewpub is about 15 miles away from Crabtree Falls.



The Hike: Raven Rocks

About an hour outside of Washington, D.C., the Raven Rocks trail is a moderately challenging 5.5-mile out-and-back hike, with the rocky trail finishing at an outcropping along the Virginia/West Virginia border that offers views of the Shenandoah Valley.

The Brewery: Dirt Farm BrewingDirt Farm Brewing

Dirt Farm Brewing in Bluemont is about 5 miles from the Raven Rocks trailhead.



The Hike: Eagle RockEagle Rock on the Tuscarora Trail

Part of the Tuscarora Trail and the Appalachian Trail, Eagle Rock runs along the Virginia/West Virginia border. The hike can either be done as a 7.2 mile out-and-back trail or a more family-friendly 2.1-mile hike. Expect less foot traffic along the Eagle Rock Trail than along Big Schloss, located just to the south of Eagle Rock. 

The Breweries: Winchester Brew Works, Alesatian Brewing, & Escutcheon Brewing 

Winchester Brew Works and Alesatian Brewing are about 23 miles from Eagle Rock, while Escutcheon Brewing is about 24 miles from Eagle Rock.



The Hike: Humpback RocksHumpback Rocks

The trailhead for Humpback Rocks is located along the Blue Ridge Parkway only a short distance off I-64, leading to a one-mile steep hike that is short but difficult. Several benches sit alongside the trail, offering spots for a quick rest as you climb the sharp angle towards the summit. Hikers can either take the same route back to the parking lot or opt for another two miles along the Appalachian Trail, which has a more gradual descent and less foot traffic than the one-mile trail. 

The Brewery: Basic City Beer Co.

Humpback Rocks is about 15 minutes from Basic City Beer Co.



The Hike: Buttermilk Trail in Richmond

If you’re looking for an urban hike, head out on the Buttermilk Trail along the James River in Richmond. The 4.5-mile out-and-back trail provides a moderate hiking route without leaving the city limits, and also has the added benefit of being pet-friendly to leashed dogs. Add the James River North Bank Trail for a further two miles of trail. 

The Brewery: Legend BreweryLegends Brewing Co. Brewery

Legend Brewing Company is about a half a mile from the Buttermilk Trail trailhead. 



The Hike: Peaks of OtterSharp Top Mountain

There are actually three peaks that make up the Peaks of Otter; Sharp Top, Flat Top, and Harkening Hill. Each trail has its own amazing view at the top, but Sharp Top is known for the best views, with a 360-degree summit that completes the strenuous 2.6-mile trail. Flat Top Trail totals about 4.8 miles and is also a difficult hike best suited for advanced hikers. The only looped trail out of the Peaks of Otter group, Harkening Hill totals about 3.3 miles and while the elevation gain is the lowest in the trio, it is still a moderately strenuous climb. 

The Brewery: Beale’s Brewery

Beale’s Brewery is about 11 miles from the Peaks of Otter Lodge, a good starting point for any of the three Peaks hikes. 



The Hike: High Bridge TrailHigh Bridge Trail State Park

A renovated rails-to-trails project, High Bridge Trail is about 31 miles long and is open to both hikers and bikers. The trail’s namesake bridge spans 2,400 feet over the Appomattox River, providing views of the surrounding countryside. The trail is relatively flat, making it an ideal route for families, hiking beginners, or hikers with leashed pets. 

The Brewery: Third Street Brewing

Third Street Brewing is .3 miles from the trailhead in Downtown Farmville, but the trail itself runs right beside the brewery. 



The post Payoff Hikes: Virginia Trails With Excellent Craft Breweries Nearby appeared first on Virginia’s Travel Blog.

About FunRVA

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

Road Trip Pit Stops: From D.C. to Virginia Beach

Road Trip Pit Stops: From D.C. to Virginia Beach

potomac river washington dc

There’s nothing quite like a scenic road trip through Virginia – getting away from the hustle and bustle of Washington D.C., discovering hidden gems all along the way. For those of you looking to escape to the beach for the Neptune Craft Beer Festival in Virginia Beach, we’ve done the heavy lifting and planned a route that will give you a little bit of everything!


Fueling Up for the Trip


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A post shared by Sugar Shack Donuts (@sugarshackdonuts) on Feb 6, 2018 at 5:49pm PST

Before hitting the road, it makes sense to grab some grub for the fun-filled festivities ahead. For a quick bite, it’s hard to beat Sugar Shack. The Richmond-grown donut shop has an Alexandria location where you can enjoy seasonal flavors like blackberry lavender, pineapple serrano and caramel macchiato. You’re sure to find something you like from the spot voted as one of the “Top 10 Tastiest Donuts in America” by USA Today. (Psst – rumor has it there’s a speakeasy in the back too. You should probably come back on your way home and investigate).


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A post shared by Virginia Foodie (@vafoodie) on Feb 23, 2019 at 6:04pm PST

If you’re looking to sit and stay a while, Ted’s Bulletin is the place to go. The Northern Virginia staple has a new location in Ballston that feels like an Art deco take on a French brasserie. Their all-day breakfast menu offers Modern American fare like Breakfast Nachos and a Smashed Avocado Benny, and has quickly become a repeat destination for locals and visitors. If you’re feeling a little adventurous, you can check out Sidekick, their in-house bakery that offers over-the-top pastries like a Pop Rock & Cola Croissant or a Caramel Popcorn Éclair. Don’t mind if we do.


Stretch Your Legs a BitPotomac Mills

No one wants to be cooped up in a vehicle too long – so why not swing by some of Northern Virginia’s most famous attractions. If you want something a little more leisurely, Potomac Mills Malls is one of the most well-known outlet malls in the state. With a roster of over 225 retailers like Bloomingdales, the Lego Store, Nike, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Polo Ralph Lauren, Kate Spade and everything in between – there’s something for everyone.


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A post shared by Go Ape Springfield (@goapespringfield) on Jul 11, 2018 at 8:52am PDT

Seeking out something more adventurous? Go Ape South Run in Fairfax has everything you need!  Beginners can tackle the Treetop Journey course, a perfect experience for those looking to dip their feet in high-ropes obstacle courses. More experienced climbers can choose to take on the Treetop Adventure, complete with 50 foot high tree-to-tree crossings and zip lines up to 320 feet long!


Time to Grab Some LunchOrofino restaurant fredericksburg

Whether you chose to shop or zip through the canopy, we’re pretty sure you’ve worked up an appetite by now and there are plenty of dining options in Fredericksburg. If you’ve got a hankering for some pasta (and let’s be honest – aren’t we always?) then Orofino can definitely scratch that itch. Their authentic Italian food made by Italian hands (owner Danilo Orofino honed his culinary craft in Palmero, Sicily) will have you living la dolce vita – the sweet life.


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A post shared by H. (@polreanforeals) on Mar 26, 2017 at 2:41pm PDT

Folks looking for more local flavors have to try FoodE. The community project highlights the best ingredients the region has to offer in dishes that are truly unique to the town. Whether it’s the Fredericksburger or Rosie’s Fried Chicken, all the dishes are made with a lot of local love.


Swing Through the CapitalVirginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond

On a trip that takes you through the Virginia state capital, you’re obligated to check out some of Richmond’s most well-known attractions. Art buffs will love spending time at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, exploring 5,000 years of world history across 35,000 works of art in its permanent exhibit. Some of the collections are the most comprehensive in the world – and best of all, general admission is always free!Historic Hollywood Cemetery

If your tastes lean a little more gothic, then the renowned Hollywood Cemetery is well worth a visit. The final resting place to two U.S. Presidents and dozens of other notable residents sits perched in the historic Oregon Hill neighborhood overlooking the James River. Visitors can walk freely around the grounds, or you can follow the winding roads through the sprawling cemetery and take in everything from the comforts of your vehicle.


One More Treat for the Road


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A post shared by Photos by Erica Engelhard (@photosbyengelhard) on May 11, 2019 at 6:25pm PDT

Looking for one last pick-me-up before the home stretch? Lamplighter Coffee, with three locations around the city, is a Richmond staple. Using ethically-sourced coffee beans from around the world, their baristas are experts at slinging everything from plain coffees to cappuccinos, pour-overs and more.  Co-owners/spouses Noelle and Zach Archibald first brought the tastes of the Pacific Northwest to their Addison Street location 10 years ago, and the shop quickly became a local favorite.


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A post shared by H. (@polreanforeals) on Mar 25, 2017 at 2:50pm PDT

For more of a sugar rush, the frozen treats at Charm School are where it’s at. The ice cream shop uses freshly-made cones, minimally-processed dairy, ice cream made in-house daily and some of the most creative flavors and toppings you can imagine. But these frozen treats are much more than just Instagram-worthy eye candy. With vegan and gluten-free offerings, they’re able to satisfy any sweet tooth. Check them out on Twitter for their seasonal flavor list; we know you’ll find something you like!


Discover Something New (Or Old)Colonial Williamsburg

Passing through the Historic Triangle (Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown), we’d recommend popping off I-64 for a journey back in time with a jaunt down Duke of Gloucester Street in Colonial Williamsburg. The stroll is less than a mile long, but this stop into the 18th century shows off some of the meticulously preserved and restored buildings and shops from the Capitol to the College of William and Mary’s Christopher Wren Building – the oldest academic structure still in use in America. You could spend days exploring over 300 acres of history here (and you should absolutely come back to do so), but for a quick pit stop this is definitely the way to go.


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A post shared by Virginia Living Museum (@valivingmuseum) on Mar 25, 2019 at 10:47am PDT

If you’ve had enough history for the day and want something a little different to end your day, we encourage you to check out the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News. View endangered red wolves, get up close and personal with exotic marine wildlife, and get hands-on with live spider crabs and fossilized dinosaur tracks. With indoor and outdoor exhibits showing over 250 living species native to Virginia, visitors leave feeling a little more connected to the world around them.


Those Ocean Viewsvirginia beach boardwalk travel guide cover 2019

You made it! There’s nothing quite like enjoying some delicious craft beer with sand between your toes and salt in the air. But if you’re looking to fill out your itinerary, be sure to check out some of the other things we know you’ll love about spending a long weekend in Virginia Beach.



More interested in traveling to a  famous Virginia music festival? Follow our suggested route from DC to Lockn’!

The post Road Trip Pit Stops: From D.C. to Virginia Beach appeared first on Virginia’s Travel Blog.

About FunRVA

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

Road Trip Pit Stops: From D.C. to Lockn’

Road Trip Pit Stops: From D.C. to Lockn’

Downtown Arlington

There’s nothing quite like a scenic road trip through Virginia – getting away from the hustle and bustle of Washington D.C. and discovering hidden gems all along the way. For those of you heading to the Virginia mountains to rock your socks off at LOCKN’, we’ve put together a trip that will crank your weekend getaway up to 11.


—Fueling Up for the Trip—


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A post shared by Good Company Doughnuts & Cafe (@gocodough) on Jul 16, 2019 at 3:35am PDT

For a quick bite, there’s no shortage of gourmet doughnut shops in Northern Virginia, but we’d recommend giving the people over at Good Company Doughnuts & Café a try. While they’re relatively new to the NOVA game, opening their doors back in 2016, owners Charlie and Kate Murphy come from doughnut royalty. Mrs. Murphy’s Donuts is a New England treasure, and this generation of Murphy’s have discovered their own magic with Good Company.


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A post shared by Tupelo Honey (@tupelohoneycafe) on May 31, 2019 at 8:46am PDT

Speaking of royalty – those looking to indulge themselves a little more have to try the Southern treats at Tupelo Honey. The iconic Asheville, NC restaurant opened the doors to their Arlington location in 2015 and have been spoiling both locals and visitors with gourmet comforts ever since. With a litany of awards that include “Best Southern Restaurant” and “One of the 100 Best Brunch Restaurants in America” by OpenTable and a menu that includes a variety of Shrimp & Grits, bennies, and their famous “forever free” fried chicken, Tupelo Honey is a “can’t miss.”


—Discover Something New—Foamhenge at Cox Farms

The mystery and allure of Stonehenge has brought visitors to the English isles for over 5,000 years. Lucky for you – you can have (almost) the same experience at Foamhenge in Cox Farms. This full-size replica of the famous standing stone ring sits atop a bluff surrounded by the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains. Located in Centreville, all it takes is a quick detour to swing by this famous roadside attraction. Just be sure to check their website before you go to get the details on hours of operation.Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

Looking for a pit stop that’s a little more, “out of this world?” The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center houses thousands of aviation and space artifacts, including a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, a Concorde, and the Space Shuttle Discovery. The museum offers free docent tours offered daily as well as a number of interactive exhibits that allow you to experience the thrill of high-speed flight. It’s also a well-known spot for movie buffs who can relive some of the scenes from Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.


—Grab Some Lunch—Shawn's Smokehouse Barbecue

Getting hungry? So are we – and few things can kick the cravings like some amazing Virginia barbecue. As you pass through Culpeper, try a spot called Shawn’s Smokehouse BBQ that’s sure to knock your saucy socks off. With nearly 20 years of barbecue experience under his belt, owner Shawn Moss has been serving up incredible pork and brisket out of his family-run joint since 2013. We recommend trying the Sweet & Sassy Smokehouse sauce – the O.G. concoction that got the magic started.


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A post shared by Culpeper Renaissance, Inc. (@culpeperdowntownva) on Aug 22, 2017 at 2:51am PDT

If your palate is a bit more adventurous, then give the delicacies at Natraj Indian Cuisine a try. They serve authentic Indian dishes blended with herbs and spices picked straight from the foothills of the Himalayas. With a welcoming atmosphere and a lineup of dishes that will also satisfy vegan and gluten free customers, it’s become a local favorite. Can’t decide on what to order? They have a lunch buffet that’s the stuff of legend.


—Enjoy the Sunshine—


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A post shared by Emma R. (@wichicoem) on Jul 21, 2019 at 3:54pm PDT

Looking for a chance to stretch your legs and grab a bit of fresh Shenandoah Valley air? There’s plenty of pit stops that’ll help you get your daily dose of vitamin D. Graves Mountain Farm sells freshly-picked apples from their packing shed daily, featuring Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Empire, Stayman, Rome, Mutsu, York, Winesap, Granny Smith and Fuji. Don’t miss this taste of the Blue Ridge Mountains – and we recommend coming back in September when you can pick your own!


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A post shared by Meredith (@nekomeem) on Jul 30, 2018 at 12:22pm PDT

If apples aren’t your thing, or maybe you’re looking for a little more variety, then Yoder’s Country Market is the spot for you. Part store, part farm, part delicatessen, all incredible. Enjoy everything from hand-dipped ice cream, to Amish-made baked goods, to local jams and spices. Once you finish browsing the shop, head out to the barnyard, where you can feed the goats and watch them cross the 15-foot high skywalk.


—Take in Some Culture—


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A post shared by Charlottesville Grid (@cvillegrid) on Sep 3, 2018 at 6:38am PDT

Charlottesville offers a thriving arts and culture community that blends innovation with rich tradition. So if you’re a bona fide art freak, then the works on display at IX Art Park are sure to inspire. This open-air concept is a self-described “mural-festooned mecca” that showcases the collective creativity of the Charlottesville community. The mix of interactive street art and inspired sculptures (don’t skip out on the park’s incredible LOVEwork) is a cultural attraction you can’t miss. The best part? It’s free, and open from dusk to dawn seven days a week.


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A post shared by Satoko (@satokomiyashima) on Dec 8, 2015 at 11:56am PST

History buffs are sure to enjoy the contents of dorm number 13 in the West Range building – better known as the former residence of cultural icon Edgar Allan Poe. The famed author was one of the University of Virginia’s earliest students, and the room has been open to the public as a museum since 1909. Now maintained by The Raven Society, No. 13 acts as a shrine to Poe’s time at UVA, decorated with period furniture and various Poe artifacts.


—Time for a Quick Happy Hour?—Virginia Distillery Company

Down for a little LOCKN’ pregame? The Virginia Distillery Company has a number of award-winning whiskies that’ll get the job done. Their process marries whiskeys made at their distillery with whisky from Scotland and aged at least another 12 months in barrels sourced from local breweries. Visitors who want a glimpse at how it all goes down can book a tour on their website in advance. If you have to choose just one to try, go with the Port Cask Finished Virginia-Highland Whisky. If it’s good enough to win “Best American Blended Malt” at the World Whisky Awards three years running, we imagine your taste buds will thank you for the experience. (Of course please enjoy responsibly!)


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A post shared by Mudhouse Coffee Roasters (@mudhousecoffeeroasters) on May 6, 2019 at 9:58am PDT

If you’re in more of a “just coffee, thanks” mindset, then Mudhouse Coffee Roasters is our recommendation. They have four locations between Charlottesville and Crozet, and serve fair-trade coffees sourced from all over the world. The company even has its own coffee farm located just outside of Bouquete, Panama, which allows them to learn more about the art of coffee while ensuring the quality of the beans. Fun fact: their head roaster placed in the U.S. Roaster Championship this past March – so give Eric Stone a big congrats when you see him.


—That Mountain Sound—Lockn' Music Festival

You’ve rocked the road and now you’re ready to rock it at LOCKN’! Dance your heart out to those jam-worthy performances echoing around the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. And if you’re looking to fill any free time during your Lockn’ vacation, use our guide to Nelson County for tons of extra adventure in the Blue Ridge Mountains.



More interested in traveling to a coastal Virginia Craft Beer Festival? Follow our suggested route from DC to Virginia Beach!

The post Road Trip Pit Stops: From D.C. to Lockn’ appeared first on Virginia’s Travel Blog.

About FunRVA

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

The Top Events & Festivals Happening Around Virginia In September

The Top Events & Festivals Happening Around Virginia In September

If you’re already looking ahead to pumpkin-flavored drinks, fiery-hued foliage, and the cooler temperatures that fall brings, you’ll want to start planning your travel itineraries for these September events and festivals happening around Virginia. With epic Southwest Virginia music festivals, coastal concerts, and lakefront wine celebrations, September in Virginia has something for everyone! 


Apple Butter Celebration in Shenandoah National Park—Luray

When: September 14, 2019Scenic Winchester Apple Orchard

Picking apples is a classic Virginia fall tradition, but take it one step further this August with the Apple Butter Celebration in Shenandoah National Park. Held at Skyland, the event allows you to learn all there is to know about apple butter, from the boiling of freshly picked apples in copper kettles over a crackling fire to utilizing the tasty spread in tried-and-true recipes. The resort chefs will create a full apple-inspired menu for you to sample during the day, from pulled pork sandwiches with apple spiced barbecue sauce to apple cobblers, turnovers, and strudels. Live entertainment, children’s crafts, and pony rides round out this autumn festival in Shenandoah National Park. 


Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream & Kings Dominion Halloween Haunt—Williamsburg & Doswell

When: Howl-O-Scream runs weekends from September 15 – October 28, 2019, while Halloween Haunt runs September 21 – October 27, 2019Halloween Haunt at Kings Dominion

Virginia’s two most well-known theme parks embrace the terrors of Halloween beginning at sundown during select weekends in September and October. Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream features haunted houses and mazes, themed regions of the park that are staffed with costumed workers ready to scare, and Halloween-inspired food and drinks served throughout the park. 

At Kings Dominion, Halloween Haunt is a family-friendly affair during the day, but transforms into a frightening landscape in the evenings, complete with haunted mazes, scare zones, and terrifying live shows. The park is filled with over 400 monsters and ghouls at night, petrifying visitors around every corner. 


Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion—Bristol

When: September 20-22, 2019Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion

A three-day festival along Downtown Bristol’s State Street, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion commemorates the legendary 1927 Bristol Sessions, some of the most noteworthy and influential musical recordings ever created. Catch over 100 bands play on 19 stages during the festival, filling the streets of Bristol with Americana, country, bluegrass, rock, blues, and several other genres that trace their roots to the Bristol Sessions. Visit the website for the complete lineup and to purchase tickets; children 12 and under get in free. 


Neptune Festival Boardwalk Weekend—Virginia Beach

When: September 27-29, 2019Virginia Beach Boardwalk

The Virginia Beach Boardwalk comes alive with music, artisan vendors, and food trucks during the Neptune Festival Boardwalk Weekend, an annual event that takes place along the 32 blocks of the city’s paved oceanfront pathway. More than 35 local, regional, and national bands take the stage over this three-day festival, which combines the best of coastal living with nonstop live music performances. 


Hoopla at Devils Backbone Brewing Company—Roseland

When: September 27-29, 2019Devil's Backbone Brewing Company and Restaurant

Craft Beer Month may have come and gone, but you can still celebrate your love of Virginia brews during Hoopla at Devils Backbone Brewing Company Basecamp Brewpub & Meadows. Tucked in a scenic valley in Nelson County, the brewery is surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, an awe-inspiring backdrop for a long weekend of live music, award-winning craft beers, outdoor activities, and fantastic food. Stay overnight at Wintergreen Resort, book a relaxing stay at a local bed and breakfast, or camp on-site during the festival to get the full outdoor experience. Get Tickets


State Fair of Virginia—Doswell

When: September 27 – October 6, 2019State Fair of Virginia

The State Fair of Virginia is held at the Meadow Event Park about 30 minutes north of Richmond. An annual tradition since 1854, the fair includes animal and agricultural exhibits, live music and shows, arts and crafts, blue ribbon competitions, thrilling rides, and all sorts of food and drink. This family-friendly event is a memorable experience for people of all ages! Get Tickets


VA PrideFest—Richmond

When: September 28, 2019VA PrideFest

Join the LGBTQ+ communities in Richmond for VA PrideFest, the Commonwealth’s official Pride celebration. A free event on Brown’s Island that welcomes people of all ages, this annual day of festivities features food and drinks from local restaurants, outdoor activities, and lots of live entertainment, all in support of Virginia’s LGBTQ+ community. 


Annual Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival—Moneta 

When: September 28-29, 2019Smith Mountain Lake

Enjoy delicious glasses of vino along the shores of one of Virginia’s most pristine lakes at the Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival, an annual festival that features over 25 Virginia wineries. Sample some wines (and even a few Virginia beers and spirits!) with food from local restaurants, then peruse the vendor booths to check out handmade arts and crafts from dozens of regional artisans. The festival runs from 11am-6pm on Saturday and 11am-5pm on Sunday, with live music performances happening throughout both days. Get Tickets 


50 Years of Love Celebrations Continue—Various Virginia Locations

When: Throughout 2019

Upper Shirley Vineyards

Virginia’s Summer of Love has officially ended, but the 50 Years of Love Celebrations continue through fall and winter of 2019, with special deals and discounts happening all over the Commonwealth. Richmond’s Basket & Bike is offering their signature ride at Upper Shirley Vineyards and their Discover Downtown Richmond Tour for just $50 per person (a discount of $75 off regular price!) from August 1 through September 20, 2019 using promo code 50love. Book Now


Find even more September events to add to your calendar, and look ahead to October and November to make more fall vacation plans!



More Things to Do Around Virginia in September: 

When: September 1, 2019

When: September 1, 2019

When: September 1-2, 2019

When: September 7, 2019

When: September 21, 2019

When: September 28, 2019


The post The Top Events & Festivals Happening Around Virginia In September appeared first on Virginia’s Travel Blog.

About FunRVA

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

Big Concerts Coming to Virginia in September 2019

Big Concerts Coming to Virginia in September 2019

Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion

Festival season may be winding down, but that is not stopping the amount a great music coming to Virginia. 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—

On Aug. 30-Sept. 1, the largest outdoor musical event on the East Coast, the American Music Festival will feature three major headline bands on the 5th Street Main Stage on the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. Lee Brice, 311, Live, Dashboard Confessional, Vertical Horizon, and more will be performing.

The Appaloosa Festival is a roots music and outdoors experience Aug. 30-Sept. 1, set at the Skyline Ranch Resort among the beautiful backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Hosted by Scythian, Appaloosa features more than 40 bands on five stages, including some of the most critically acclaimed up-and-coming artists from all over the country.

Lovers of music come together Aug. 29-Sept. 1 in Stuart for the Front Porch Fest as local, regional and national musicians showcase their talent on three stages at the Spirithaven Farm. It all takes place on Virginia’s front porch to the Blue Ridge Mountains.Shenandoah Valley Music Festival

The Shenandoah Valley Music Festival will be finishing up its season on Sept. 1 for Hot Strings and Cool Breezes Minifest, featuring The Travelin’ McCourys, Sierra Hull and Justin Moses, and The Becky Buller Band.

The Papa Joe Smiddy Music Festival in Duffield on Sept. 1 honors the tireless work of “Papa Joe” Smiddy, a well-known old-time musician, entertainer and educator.  Enjoy a summer’s eve listening to traditional bluegrass music at the Natural Tunnel State Park amphitheater.

On Sept. 7-8, the Blue Ridge Rock Festival at DeVault Family Vineyards will be bringing the rock. The festival will feature music from Godsmack, The Offspring, A Day to Remember, Stone Temple Pilots, DMX, and many more.

Head to Gloucester for the Bluegrass by the Bay Bluegrass Festival Sept. 11-15 for 20 bluegrass artists and field picking, food, crafts, camping, games and potluck dinner.

The Watermelon Park Festival in Berryville Sept. 19-22 will be full of bluegrass, old-time and folk Americana music, with national and regional live music, pickin’ and band competitions and more. Artists this year include Sam Bush, The Infamous Stringdusters, the Travelin’ McCourys, and many others.

Bristol Rhythm and Roots ReunionThe award-winning Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion is a three-day music experience Sept. 20-22 that celebrates Bristol’s heritage as the Birthplace of Country Music. State Street in historic Downtown Bristol comes alive with 22 stages of live music. Performing this year are Wynonna and The Big Noise, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Patty Griffin, Marty Stuart, Sam Bush, and much more.

In Richmond, Stone Brewing will present the Stone’s Throw Down in RVA on Brown’s Island on Sept. 21. The festival will connect craft beer with live music with performances from J. Roddy Walston and the Business, White Denim, Cory Wong, Howlin’ Rain, and the Long Ryders.

The Hoopla Festival at Devil’s Backbone brings music, outdoor and beer lovers together Sept. 27-29 for workshops & outdoor activities alongside an incredible lineup of live music including Caamp, The Motet, Ripe, Ona, Larry Keel Explosion, 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 The Midnight (Sept. 10), Snarky Puppy (Sept. 13), Dweezil Zappa (Sept. 15), Calexico + Iron & Wine (Sept. 24), The Psychedelic Furs (Sept. 26), and others.

Elsewhere in Richmond, The Broadberry will be hosting The Aquabats (Sept. 17), Weyes Blood (Sept. 24), Bob Mould (Sept. 25), The Shack Up featuring Jouwala Collective, Mo Lowda & The Humble, People’s Blues of Richmond, The Shack Band (Sept 27-28), and more.

Greensky Bluegrass will be at Maymont on Sept. 27. The Modlin Center at the University of Richmond will host performances by Marty Stuart (Sept. 5), Balsam Range (Sept. 21), and Lucinda Williams (Sept. 25).

At Richmond Raceway’s Virginia Credit Union Live!, Lil Baby & Dababy will perform on Sept. 14 while Bastille will be there on Sept. 28.

Just outside Richmond, the Innsbrook After Hours concert series at the Servpro Pavilion in Glen Allen will host Little Big Town (Sept. 7), Kane Brown (Sept. 8), Brantley Gilbert (Sept. 14), and Gary Allan (Sept. 20).

The Beacon Theatre in Hopewell will be hosting acts like Roger McGuinn (Sept. 7), The Weight Band (Sept. 26), and more.

In Charlottesville, the Sprint Pavilion will host acts including Interpol (Sept. 4), Indigo Girls (Sept. 6), Shakey Grave & Dr. Dog (Sept. 12), Kacey Musgraves (Sept. 13), Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats (Sept. 18), and more.

The Jefferson Theater will hosts artists like Wallows (Sept. 6), Cat Power (Sept. 18), and more.

The NorVa in Norfolk will be hosting acts like GWAR (Sept. 12), The Infamous Stringdusters (Sept. 13), Perpetual Groove (Sept. 27), and more. Chrysler Hall in Norfolk will have performances from the Black Jacket Symphony on Sept 6 and Stone Temple Pilots on Sept. 17.

Chris Brown will be coming to the Hampton Coliseum on Sept. 8.

The Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater at Virginia Beach brings in Luke Bryan (Sept. 8), the Outlaw Music Festival with Willie Nelson, The Avett Brothers, and Bonnie Raitt (Sept. 14), and Meek Mill and Future (Sept. 20).

Phase 2 Club in Lynchburg will be bringing in acts such as Sebastian Bach (Sept. 27) and more.

In Roanoke, the Berglund Center will be hosting the Black Jacket Symphony on Sept. 7 and Shinedown on Sept. 17. Cody Johnson will be at the Salem Civic Center on Sept. 14, along with Perpetual Groove on Sept. 28 and Greensky Bluegrass on Sept. 29.

Over in Rocky Mount at the Harvester Performance Center will be hosting a number of shows including Devon Gilfillian on Sept. 6, the BoDeans on Sept. 7, Muscadine Bloodline on Sept. 14, Drive-By Truckers on Sept. 17, the Weight Band on Sept. 29, among many others.

The Lime Kiln Theater in Lexington will be hosting Keller & The Keels on Sept. 14 and the Steel Wheels on Sept. 28.

Celebrate Virginia After Hours in Fredericksburg will bring to the stage Joe Nichols & Rodney Atkins on Sept. 6 and Cole Swindell on Sept. 13).

At Wolf Trap National Park for Performing Arts in Vienna, shows will include UB40 & Shaggy (Sept. 1), Mary J. Blige (Sept. 3), Jennifer Hudson (Sept. 5), Kacey Musgraves (Sept. 7), and more.

Alexandria music hall The Birchmere will be hosting Billy Bragg (Sept. 19-22), Los Lonely Boys (Sept 30), and more.Jiffy Lube Live

Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow will host a number of shows including the Knotfest Roadshow featuring Slipknot, Volbeat, Gojira, and Behemoth (Sept. 1), Jason Aldean (Sept. 7), Meek Mill and Future (Sept. 17), Shinedown (Sept. 19), and Snoop Dogg and Wu Tang Clan (Sept. 27).

The State Theatre in Falls Church will have performances from Sister Hazel on Sept. 7, Jonny Lang on Sept. 18, among many other shows.

At the Tally Ho Theatre in Leesburg, acts like Cinderella’s Tom Keifer (Sept. 6), the Darby Brothers (Sept. 13), and more will be performing.


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 September 2019 appeared first on Virginia’s Travel Blog.

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