Tracing the Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail Through Virginia

heartland regional visitor center

The journey to equality in the American education system spanned over a hundred years, involving many heroic individuals willing to sacrifice their own personal comfort and safety to make the change necessary for future generations. Many of these brave men and women hailed from Southside Virginia, and the Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail recognizes their contribution to the American free public education system. Learn about their fearless fight for equality in education when you visit a few of these iconic historic sites.

Heartland Regional Visitor Center—Farmville

Before the Civil Rights movement, segregated school systems prioritized funding with blatant discrimination. African Americans, women, and other minorities were denied the most basic materials and facilities when it came to their education, leading to inequalities that would echo for decades to come. Yet many Virginians would play a pivotal role in changing the system, taking the first steps towards equality in education. Find detailed information about these individuals and where to learn about them along the Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail at the Heartland Regional Visitor Center. Knowledgeable staff will provide you with ideas and brochures on the 41 historic sites, as well as options for dining, lodging, and other activities along the trail.

Robert Russa Moton Museum—Farmville

The anchor of the trail, the Robert Russa Moton Museum in Farmville acts as a center for the study of Civil Rights in education. Located in the former R.R. Moton High School of Farmville, this historic site examines the individuals and events of the Civil Rights struggle in Prince Edward County. As the site of the first non-violent student demonstration in the United States, Moton directly led to the Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court case, which mandated equal education for all Americans, no matter their race or gender.

Moton High School was built in 1939 as a response to the legal challenges brought by African Americans regarding educational opportunities in Prince Edward. Less than a decade later, the school was heavily overpopulated, holding over 450 students in a building meant to accommodate a maximum of 180 students, and the existing structures were in varying states of disrepair. The Prince Edward County board refused to appropriate funds for the repair or expansion of the high school, and in response, on April 23, 1951, African American students walked out of the segregated high school in protest of the school’s abysmal conditions.

Robert Russa Moton Museum

Learn about the resulting battle for equality in education at the Robert Russa Moton Museum, including individuals like 16-year old Barbara Rose Johns and John Arther Stokes, who led the walkout that culminated in the Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court case (in which the majority of the plaintiffs were from Prince Edward County). The museum also covers the problems that followed, from the refusal of Prince Edward County to integrate schools in their …read more

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Crush Friday: Your Mini-Vacation Guide to Loudoun County

Scenery in Loudoun Country

Each year, Americans leave 662 million of their paid vacation days untaken. That means that on an individual level, you’re basically forking over $604 worth of time off, choosing to spend those precious earned hours in the office instead of, say, crushing your vacation in Virginia. But we’re here to help you, work martyrs!

Our first tip: Start simple and ask for a Friday off, turning your short weekend into a three-day getaway.

To help you escape, we are picking one region of Virginia each month and creating a step-by-step guide so that even the laziest planner can enjoy an action-packed (and affordable!) Virginia vacation. This month, head to Loudoun County, home of D.C.’s Wine Country, Horse Country, an incredible craft brewery trail, and a healthy mix of both urban areas and country living.


Stay at: Lansdowne Resort & Spa, around $149 per night

Lansdowne Resort has all the amenities you expect at a luxury hotel in Virginia, but without the steep price tag, and is conveniently located in Loudoun County. The property holds two 18-hole and one nine-hole golf course, several on-site restaurants, including Coton & Rye, where you can enjoy dinner and a limited edition Catoctin Creek whiskey made exclusively for the resort, and a world-class spa that utilizes local wine products in their treatments. Consider booking one of the resort’s latest packages to get some of these extras included in your stay for a discounted rate. In addition to these perks, the hotel also has an indoor pool, fitness area, and offers classes for guests each day, including sunrise yoga and chef-led cooking classes. If the weather permits, take a walk along the Potomac River located behind the resort; there are miles of cleared trails, with trailheads beginning on the property, for visitors to enjoy the scenic side of Northern Virginia. Guests that don’t have a designated driver can book a Winery Excursion through Lansdowne, a five-hour shuttle service tour that visits two nearby wineries ($60 per person).

Suggested Prior Reservations: Topgolf, King Street Oyster Bar, The Conche


TopGolf Loudoun County

Whether you’re an avid golfer or a first-timer, a visit to Topgolf should be on your agenda. Heated bays allow you to play in even the chilliest weather and traceable golf balls tell you both the distance and where the ball landed on the course, giving you the chance to review your performance over the duration of your play. The Ashburn Topgolf location has several PGA-certified instructors, so even if you’re absolutely awful, there is still hope. And if those lessons don’t pan out, there are several bars inside the facility offering a little liquid comfort.

Traveling with friends? Topgolf’s state-of-the-art system (which resembles the electronic scoring screens at bowling alleys) is built for both singles and teams, with a variety of games that range from competitive to friendly. After working up an appetite, consider ordering a …read more

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Find LOVE this February in Virginia

Did you know that Virginia has nearly 100 giant LOVE signs located across the state? These LOVE artworks, called LOVEworks, have popped up in almost every corner of the state and we think they are the perfect addition to your Valentine’s celebration. We’ve shared a few below, but you can find the entire list here.

Whether you visit the Eastern Shore or the Shenandoah Valley, there’s a good chance you’ll be very close to a LOVEwork during your trip. You can use our interactive map of LOVEworks to start planning your Valentine’s Getaway today. Be sure to share your pictures with us by using #LOVEVA

LOVEwork at Morais Vineyards

An hour southwest of D.C., Morais Vineyards and its European-inspired atmosphere provides the perfect backdrop for a romantic and easy escape. One of the few wineries in Virginia crafting Portuguese style wine, this is an age-old tradition for the Morais family and is sure to make for a memorable visit.

LOVEwork at Airlie

Just north of Morias Vineyards sits another LOVEwork at the beautiful Airlie hotel. Conveniently located just 35 miles beyond the Northern Virginia beltway in the midst of Virginia wine and horse country, Airlie offers its guests a true escape from the daily hustle and bustle. Check out their many couples packages and be sure to dine on-site at Harry’s for a “pasture to plate” three-course dinner.

LOVEwork at Ducard Winery

Ducard Vineyards is nestled on the eastern edge of Shenandoah National Park, which means it’s the perfect stop after a rewarding hike. (Pro Tip: Old Rag’s trailhead is less than 5 miles from Ducard Winery.) If hiking isn’t your forte, then you’ll enjoy mountain and vineyard views from Ducard’s patio and streamside deck while sipping estate grown wines and savoring local foods.

LOVEwork at Showalters Orchard and Greenhouse

On the western side of SNP, Showalter’s Orchard …read more

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Nine Running Events for Spring and Summer

Slip on your running shoes and hit the streets, trails and sand for these spring and summer running events throughout Virginia.

Yuengling Shamrock Marathon Weekend, Virginia Beach
This St. Patrick’s Day weekend event features a race distance for every member of the family, including the marathon, a half marathon, an 8k and a 26.2 yard Leprechaun Dash for the youngest members of the family. Also enjoy exhibitors and vendors and a post-race party on each day will feature live music, delicious Murphy’s Irish stew, and plenty of Yuengling beverages. .

Dismal Swamp Stomp Half Marathon, 5K, and Children’s Cub Run, Chesapeake
The 12th Annual Dismal Swamp Stomp Half Marathon, 5k and Children’s Half-Mile Cub Run will be held in beautiful Chesapeake, Virginia, on Saturday, April 14, 2018. The flat 13.1-mile course will take runners on a spectacular wilderness journey through lush, mysterious landscape and rich history. .

Blue Ridge Marathon, Roanoke
Featured on The Weather Channel’s list of “World’s 15 Toughest Marathons”, the Blue Ridge Marathon began with 6,140’of elevation change and has grown each year with this year’s total being 7,430′ of elevation change. On April 21, 2018, the breathtaking views and stunning Blue Ridge Mountain scenery will offer some reprieve to runners as they persevere to the finish line! .

– Roanoke Star –

Dominion Energy Riverrock, Richmond
Organized by Venture Richmond and the Sports Backers, Riverrock is the nation’s largest outdoor sports and music festival, bringing athletes, spectators, musicians, and even dogs to Brown’s Island for a three-day festival against the backdrop of downtown Richmond’s urban riverfront May 18-20, 2018. The festival features a variety of outdoor sports including trail running, kayaking, biking, bouldering, slacklining, stand up paddleboarding, and dog jumping. .

Pocahontas Indian Run, Pocahontas
On June 2, 2018, the Town of Pocahontas will be having its 35th Annual Indian Run and 2nd Community Day. The run consists of a 5 mile Run, a 3 mile walk, and a youth run through the middle of town. A flea market and car show are also part of the day’s activities. .

Jackson River Scenic Trail Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k, and 5k, Covington
Race your way through one of the most scenic trails in the country on June 12. 2018. The Jackson River Scenic Trail passes through small communities, cultivated fields and small patches of woodland along the way. It’s common to see wildlife from the trail. Coinciding with the fifth annual Covington Cork and Pork Festival BBQ, everyone is encouraged to stay following the race. .

– Falling Spring, Covington –

The Smith River Fest, Martinsville
Run, paddle and bike your way to fun at Smith River Fest, August 11, 2018! Paddle the river, participate in the 4.8 mile long river race and 5K Mud Run, browse vendor booths, enjoy children’s activities, watch live demonstrations and much more. There really is something for everyone at Smith River Fest! .

Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon, Virginia Beach
September 1-2, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon events include a Half Marathon, 5K and Mile on the Sand. Bands dotted along the …read more

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Big Concerts Coming to Virginia in February 2018

There’s lots of new music coming to Virginia in February 2018. From major country acts to the biggest names in rock and pop, celebrate the season with your favorite artists and discover new ones all over the Commonwealth.

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 K. Michelle (Feb. 15), PVRIS (Feb. 16), Railroad Earth (Feb. 22), and others.

The Broadberry will be hosting John 5 and the Creatures on Feb. 8, Cris Jacobs on Feb. 9, Superchunk on Feb. 17, Tim Reynolds and TR3 on Feb. 22, and more.

The Altria Theater will have Keith Sweat on Feb. 14 and Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit on Feb. 16. The Dominion Arts Center will be hosting Diana Krall on Feb. 20.

The Beacon Theatre in Hopewell will host Corey Smith on Feb. 3, Dwight Yoakam on Feb. 7, Collin Raye on Feb. 9, and a two night engagement for the Tower of Power 50th Anniversary Tour on Feb. 22 and 23.

In Charlottesville, Luke Bryan will be performing at the John Paul Jones Arena on Feb. 24.

The Jefferson Theater will hosts artists like Keller Williams (Feb. 16), Rhett Miller of Old 97’s and Evan Felker of Turnpike Troubadours (Feb. 21), J. Roddy Walston & the Business (Feb. 23), and more. Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox will perform at the Paramount Theater on Feb. 17.

The NorVa in Norfolk will be bringing in Chase Rice (Feb. 1), Keller Williams (Feb. 3), Black Veil Brides & Asking Alexandria (Feb. 7), August Burns Red (Feb. 13), K. Michelle (Feb. 16), Lights (Feb. 23), and many others.

The Hampton Coliseum will be hosting A Valentine’s Day Weekend Affair featuring KEM, Eric Benet, Demetria McKinney & Gerald Albright on Feb. 18.

Phase 2 Club in Lynchburg will be bringing in acts such as the Steel Woods (Feb. 2), Dylan Scott (Feb. 8), JAWGA BOYZ and BUBBA SPARXXX (Feb. 16), Phil Vassar (Feb. 17), The Oh Hellos (Feb. 22), Luke Pell from ABC’s The Bachelorette (Feb. 23), and more.

The Harvester Performance Center in Rocky Mount will host many acts including Aimee Mann and Jonathan Coulton on Feb. 3, Marc Broussard on Feb. 10, Michael McDonald on Feb. 12, Arlo Guthrie on Feb. 14, Blues Traveler on Feb. 20, Blackberry Smoke on Feb. 24 and 25, and Lucero on Feb. 26.

The Tally Ho Theatre in Leesburg will be hosting George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic on Feb. 9 and David Cook on Feb. 24 among other shows.

At Wolf Trap National Park for Performing Arts in Vienna, shows will include Ladysmith Black Mambazo (Feb. 5 and 6), Martin Sexton (Feb. 21), and more.

Alexandria music hall The Birchmere will host a Very Intimate Acoustic Evening with Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo on Feb. 5. Also on the Birchmere’s schedule are Travis Tritt (Feb. 12), Drew and Ellie Holcomb (Feb. 14), Phil Vassar (Feb. 15), Arlo Guthrie (Feb. 17 and …read more

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12 Virginia Restaurants that Serve Up the Best Brunch

Rudees on the Inlet

Weekends are for relaxing while spending time with friends and family, and what better way to do that than a delicious brunch? We’ve compiled a few can’t-miss brunch spots around Virginia that are well known for excellent food, inventive craft cocktails, and all-around great service. This weekend, treat yourself to an incredible mid-morning meal at one of these impressive eateries.

Rudee’s on the Inlet—Virginia Beach

Brunch Hours: Sundays, 10:00am-2:00pm

Photo Credit: Patrick McLaughlin

Opened in 1983 in an old bait & tackle shop, Rudee’s on the Inlet is a popular spot for brunch enthusiasts in the Virginia Beach area. The brunch menu showcases the abundance of locally sourced seafood, with dishes like the Fresh Catch Fish, served broiled, fried, or grilled. Try one of the seven variations on Eggs Benedicts, including the Crabcakes Benedict or the Seafood Benedict, topped with shrimp, scallops, and crabmeat. Cocktail specials such as the house bloody Marys, mimosas, and screwdrivers run $4.75 during brunch.

Bistro L’Hermitage—Woodbridge

Brunch Hours: Saturdays & Sundays, 11:30am-2:30pm

If you didn’t already know about Bistro L’Hermitage, you would probably drive right past it, thinking it was just another quaint cottage home tucked away in an unassuming neighborhood. But this French bistro is not to be missed when it comes to brunch; serving items like an Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon and a raved-about Lobster Bisque, the restaurant consistently turns first-time visitors into regulars. A final tip—try the croissants, only available at brunch; you won’t be disappointed.

Vintage Restaurant—Orange

Brunch Hours: Sundays, 11:00am-2:00pm

The Inn at Willow Grove

Awarded Four Stars by the Forbes Travel Guide, Vintage Restaurant is located on the garden level of the upscale Inn at Willow Grove. Ingredients are locally sourced from Central Virginia farms, and the menu changes seasonally to utilize available produce. The menu focuses on regional American cuisine, adding their own special twist to each dish. The current brunch menu includes an array of carefully constructed dishes, like the French Toast Brick, made with mascarpone and a mixed fruit coulis, a Fried Green Tomato Bruschetta with smoked mozzarella, basil mayonnaise, poached egg, and fried potatoes, and a Shrimp & Grits served with a Redeye barbecue sauce.


Brunch Hours: Sundays, 10:30am-2:00pm

heritage restaurant

Since 2012, Heritage has been a staple in the historic Fan district of the capital city. The restaurant offers seasonal contemporary American cuisine, but the restaurant is especially known for their craft cocktail menu, which is wildly creative in both ingredients and execution. You’ll spend most of your visit watching the bartenders as they work their magic, mixing, shaking, and carefully crafting each impressive cocktail. The current brunch menu features several mouthwatering choices, from the Ramen Bowl with braised pork belly, kim chi, and a poached egg to their take on the southern staple of Chicken & Waffles, made with crispy chicken strips and a …read more

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