12 Virginia Resorts for Your Destination Wedding

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Resorts are the perfect home base for your wedding weekend with plenty of room to house all your family and friends and activities for the whole gang. From the welcome party to the good-bye brunch, resorts are a one-stop-shop for you and your beau’s celebratory weekend. And, while you are there, why not just stay behind for the honeymoon?

KESWICK HALL | KESWICK

A quick 20-minute jaunt from Charlottesville’s quaint downtown, Keswick Hall’s 600-acre Italianate-inspired estate offers a place for respite in Virginia’s bucolic wine country. Eight sites from the elegant ballroom to an al fresco celebration on the terrace give brides and grooms options for their ceremony, cocktail hour and reception. You don’t have to travel far for fun, as there are an array of activities for guests on the property — an award-winning golf course, tennis courts and spa. And just a stone’s throw from the property, there are more than two dozen wineries and historic sites like Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello to visit. An added bonus: Weekend events can be tailored around the bride and groom. For the ladies, a martini movie night, afternoon tea and day-of yoga class, while the gents can can enjoy a morning of fly-fishing, cocktails and cigars, along with a golf tournament.

THE BOAR’S HEAD INN | CHARLOTTESVILLE

With the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains in the background, this resort is just two miles west of downtown Charlottesville and has a rich history that spans nearly 300 years. The Boar’s Head property was originally part of Virginia’s first land grant in the 1730s; and in 1759, the boarding house Terrell’s Ordinary was built where the current-day inn is located. For ceremonies, exchange vows on the lawn or under the weeping willow tree, and enjoy dinner and dancing in one of the elegant ballrooms. With four onsite restaurants, there are options for a welcome reception, bridal luncheon, and after party. Or, if you are looking for something low-key with just you and your significant other, the resort’s elopement package includes a suite with a rose-petal turndown, three-course dinner with Champagne, small wedding cake, couple’s massage and breakfast-in-bed.

SALAMANDER RESORT & SPA | MIDDLEBURG

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Virginia’s Historic Train Depots: Part 2

Orange Visitor Center/Train Station

**This is Part 2 of a series, focusing on the Northern and Southern regions of Virginia.**

While train depots were once the busiest, most important structures in a community, the development of highway infrastructure and the growth of the airline industry made the once-imperative railroad hubs almost irrelevant. But rather than tear them down, many communities chose to revitalize their train depots, turning them into museums, restaurants, and visitor’s centers. Stop by one of these fifteen train depots in the northern and southern Virginia regions to see local history preserved.

HISTORIC ORANGE TRAIN STATION—ORANGE

Built in 1909-1910 in the Colonial Revival style, the Historic Orange Train Station stood as a passenger depot until the service stopped in the early 1970s. The train terminal was renovated in 1997, becoming the home of the Orange County Department of Tourism and Visitors Bureau.

APPOMATTOX VISITOR INFORMATION CENTER—APPOMATTOX

The Appomattox Train Depot somehow survived the Battle of Appomattox Station, which occurred the day before the official end of the Civil War, but was destroyed by a fire in 1889. The townspeople erected a replacement, but bad luck struck again in 1923, as the structure once again burned. However, the current depot was constructed immediately after, and when the depot shut down for good, builders were able to salvage the brick, wrought iron, and wood of the 1923 version, turning it into the Appomattox Visitor Information Center.

HISTORICAL TRAIN STATION—FARMVILLE

Farmville’s Historical Train Station was built in 1903, serving the Norfolk and Western Railway passenger trains until 1971. After four years vacant, the depot was restored and reopened, but once again faced closure in 1979, effectively ending rail service to Farmville. Today, the station functions as a meetings and gatherings space bookable by the public, while the original rail line was turned into High Bridge Trail State Park, a rails-to-trails cycling route.

BEAVERDAM DEPOT—BEAVERDAM

The original Beaverdam Depot was first destroyed by the Union army during the early years of the Civil War, but it would be rebuilt and destroyed several more times before the end of the war. The present structure was erected in 1866, with ongoing restoration aiming at preserving this historic structure. Currently, it is both a historical monument and a venue for small events.

THE DEPOT—CULPEPER

Culpeper Amtrak Station

The first Culpeper Depot was constructed in 1874, but like many wooden structures of the time, it burned down in 1903, and was replaced by the current structure a year later. In 1985, Norfolk and Southern Railroad requested permission to demolish part of the building, but a historic committee worked to save and renovate this historic building. Finally completed in 2003, the historic train depot now houses the Culpeper Tourism Office and Visitors Center, the Department of Tourism, and the Culpeper Museum, as well as offering Amtrak passenger services several times a day to big destinations like Boston, New York City, and Philadelphia.

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10 Suggested Itineraries for Fun Holiday Getaways

Mount Vernon

Tacky lights, beautifully decorated historic homes, an exhilarating once a year drive on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk… Whatever gets you in the holiday spirit, you’ll find it in Virginia! Bring your family and friends to experience the enchantment of this holiday season.

Christmas Illuminations at Mount Vernon
Explore Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. during the most wonderful time of the year with this five-day suggested itinerary featuring a festive holiday evening at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. This colonial inspired event is one to be remembered, as it finishes with fireworks choreographed to holiday music over the Potomac River. .


Holiday Tour of Virginia’s Queen City – Staunton
The holidays never felt so magical! Embark on a two-night/two-day trip to Virginia’s Queen City: Staunton. This enchanting downtown is one of America’s most celebrated Main Streets and offers a truly authentic holiday experience for groups. Shop for that perfect gift in artisans shops, enjoy Holiday Tea at the Anne Hathaway Cottage Tea Room, see a Christmas classic at American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse and more. .

A Colonial Virginia Christmas featuring Grand Illumination
This multi-regional itinerary takes you through the holiday splendor of Williamsburg and Historic Triangle, Newport News, Richmond and Fredericksburg. From dazzling gardens and world class theme parks decked out in millions of lights to the fireworks over Colonial Williamsburg and a tasting tour at a distillery, this itinerary has something for everyone! .


Be Merry in Manassas and Prince William
Get into the holiday spirit in Prince William and Manassas. Visit any time during the winter season to see historic streets decked out in lights and hunt for that perfect gift at one of their wonderful boutiques. .

Charlottesville & Albemarle County Winter Itinerary
Charlottesville & Albemarle County are wonderful destinations to visit during the winter months! Attractions are open and accessible all through the winter season and guests can find spectacular discounts and deals at area hotels, resorts and bed & breakfasts. From historic sites, to food and drink options galore, and their eight-block historic pedestrian Downtown Mall, there is plenty to do for you and your holiday guests. .

Monticello

Holidays: From the Capitol to the Coast, 100 Miles of Lights and Sights!
With this multi-regional itinerary, start your holiday adventure in Richmond and see how homes were decorated throughout the centuries – and do some shopping in Carytown too! Experience Norfolk Botanical Gardens’ “Garden of Lights” and cruise down the iconic Virginia Beach Boardwalk from the comfort of your car and enjoy the Holiday Lights at the Beach. .

Christmas in Abingdon
Visit Bristol Motor Speedway where the roar of the engines is replaced with the twinkling of two million lights. Enjoy shopping at Heartwood where you can find the region’s best in authentic crafts, music, & food, one of a kind jewelry, pottery, quilts and hand­crafted musical instruments, a farm to table restaurant and coffee and wine bar. .

Christmas from Bristol to Williamsburg – Holiday Happenings along the Blue Ridge
From the mountains to the coast, this …read more

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Nine Virginia Wineries to Add Flavor to your Event

With nearly 300 wineries scattered across seven different American Viticultural Areas throughout the Commonwealth, Virginia is the 5th largest wine producing region in the U.S.

From the Shenandoah Valley’s mountainside estates to the lush vineyards surrounding Charlottesville and the sprawling rows of vines of Loudoun County that stretch from the border of West Virginia to Washington, D.C., you’ll want to raise a glass of Virginia wine at your next reception.

Many wineries have fantastic indoor and outdoor spaces perfect for a meeting or event. Below is just a sampling of Virginia wineries across the state with indoor meeting space for 20 or more people.

Barboursville Vineyards, Orange

Framed by the magnificent Blue Ridge Mountains, this 900-acre plantation features elegant dinner seating for up to 140 at Palladio Restaurant or a beautifully manicured meadow for 500. A full list of amenities and services is available to compose meetings, receptions and parties your guests will certainly remember. Attendees can also stay at their 1804 Inn and surrounding cottages. .

– Barboursville Vineyards –

West Wind Farm Vineyard and Winery, Max Meadows

Settled in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains, West Wind Winery can accommodate groups (motorcoaches) of 50 people traveling by Motorcoach as well as corporate gatherings, meetings or social events of 10 to 150 and outdoor events. Their private farmlike setting allows guests to get away from the distractions that might be found in a restaurant or conference facility. For groups large and small, special tours and tastings are also available. Specialty themed Wine Pairing dinners are also available by reservation. .

Veritas Vineyards & Winery, Afton

Also surrounded by breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Veritas Vineyards and Winery, along with their expansive grounds, allows you the opportunity and flexibility to create the event of your dreams. Whether you prefer an intimate sit down dinner in the Mezzanine or a full blown celebration in Saddleback Hall, Veritas can accommodate your event. .

– Veritas Vineyards & Winery –

Ducard Vineyards, Etlan

With amazing scenery and great service Ducard Vineyards provides the perfect atmosphere for creative thinking, productivity and rewarding your staff. Along with indoor meeting seating for 40, there are also extensive stream-side patios for breakouts, relaxation and lunch. There are also options for private group wine tasting and tours or experiential learning and team building out in the vineyard. .

Crosskeys Vineyards and Winery, Rockingham

From an early breakfast meeting or an intimate client dinner to a large company party of 200, CrossKeys Vineyards are perfect for every type of event. Take in the breathtaking landscape of the Blue Ridge Mountains while enjoying on-site catering and Virginia-grown wine. .

– CrossKeys Vineyards and Winery –

New Kent Winery, New Kent

With their gorgeous, naturally beautiful setting and delicious wines, it is no wonder that the Vineyard Estate at New Kent Winery is an enormously popular venue for special events. They have various different event spaces that make it the ideal event venue for corporate events, formal dinners, …read more

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Big Concerts Coming to Virginia in November

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.

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 Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox (Nov. 9), Yonder Mountain String Band (Nov. 18), Walk the Moon (Nov. 21), Keller Williams Thanksforgrassgiving (Nov. 24), Dark Star Orchestra (Nov. 30) and others.

The Broadberry will be hosting acts like Blitzen Trapper (Nov. 4), Kishi Bashi (Nov. 7), MAX (Nov. 10) and a 3-day celebration with J. Roddy Walston and the Business (Nov. 24-26).

Bob Dylan will perform at the Richmond Coliseum on Nov. 10 while Xscape along with Monica and Tamar Braxton will be there on Nov. 22. Over at the Altria Theater, John Prine and the Beach Boys will be performing Nov. 11 and Nov. 12, respectively.

The Beacon Theatre in Hopewell will host LeAnn Rimes on Nov. 8 and Rhonda Vincent on Nov. 11.

In Charlottesville, the Jefferson Theater will hosts artists like Carbon Leaf (Nov. 3), Hackensaw Boys (Nov. 24), Angel Olsen (Nov. 28) and more.

The NorVa in Norfolk will be bringing in Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox (Nov. 8), The Maine (Nov. 11), Bone Thungs-N-Harmony (Nov. 24), X Ambassadors (Nov. 28), Bleachers (Nov. 29), Kip Moore (Nov. 30) and many others.

The legendary Ringo Starr and his All-Star Band will be at Old Dominion University’s Constant Center on Nov. 12.

The Berglund Center in Roanoke will have Alabama performing on Nov. 2 and the Salem Civic Center will host the Justin Moore on Nov. 16.

At Wolf Trap National Park for Performing Arts in Vienna, shows will include Justin Townes Earle (Nov. 15), David Crosby and Friends (Nov. 28 & 29), Loudon Wainwright III (Nov. 30) and more.

Delbert McClinton will play at Alexandria music hall The Birchmere on Nov. 3. Also on the Birchmere’s schedule are Pat McGee Band (Nov. 4), Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt (Nov. 15 & 16) and more.

Todd Rundgren will play at the State Theatre in Falls Church on Nov. 28.

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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