Archive for the ‘Chesapeake Bay’ Category

Adult Day-Trips in Virginia

Thursday, September 10th, 2015


With school having started and the dog days of summer coming to a close, you may find yourself distressed that the next holiday isn’t until Thanksgiving. And that’s where InnVirginia comes in. Nothing says you can’t take a B&B vacation right now, and if you can’t slip away for an entire week-long getaway, then one of these Virginia day-trips may be perfect for you:

  1. Brew Ridge Trail: You hear a lot about Virginia wine, but that’s not the only libation making a name for itself in the Commonwealth. Our microbreweries have been winning awards for years, and you have the chance to trek the Brew Ridge Trail, visiting a number of local breweries along Virginia’s breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountains. (InnVirginia Lodging: Afton Mountain B&B, Foxfield Inn)
  2. Busch Gardens: Virginia’s very own theme park is ready and waiting, and if you make a day-trip in the fall, you’re in for fewer crowds and cooler weather! Defy gravity with the 63-mile an hour “Tempesto.” Browse the Wolf Haven or Eagle Ridge for a chance to glimpse the lives of these beautiful animals. Grab a bite to eat at one of the park’s fantastic restaurants or attend of their much anticipated events like their upcoming Bierfest. (InnVirginia Lodging: Bentley Manor Inn, Newport House B&B)
  3. McAfee Knob: If you’d rather spend your day hiking in the great outdoors, then this gorgeous day-hike may be of interest to you. As one of the most photographed spot along the Appalachian Trail, this 7.5-mile hike will take you along the Catawba Valley and culminate in a stunning view from its famous rock ledge. (InnVirginia Lodging: King George Inn, The Inn on Campbell)
  4. Tangier Island: Indulged in the unspoiled natural beauty of Chincoteague, then catch the ferry to Tangier: “That’s the charm of Tangier Island.  It’s a place where the inhabitants are completely authentic, and their way of speaking hasn’t changed much since Capt. John Smith discovered Tangier in 1608.” Enjoy the Museum and Visitors Center, rent a bicycle or a gold cart, or take a 45-minute tour of a working crab shanty. (After all, Tangier Island is the “Soft Shell Capital of the World.”) (InnVIrginia Lodging: 1848 Island Manor House B&B, Channel Bass Inn)

Essex Inn Gains New Innkeepers

Monday, September 8th, 2014

The Bed and Breakfast Association of Virginia welcomes Jeremy Gassen and Ric Jefferson as the new innkeepers of Essex Inn Bed and Breakfast, located in Tappahannock, Virginia. This perfect pairing stems from Jeremy’s nearly ten years working in the hospitality industry for an international hotel chain and Ric’s extensive culinary skills. “We come from the world of 300 room hotels with astounding amenities, but virtually no guest interaction. We checked in hundreds of people every day and rarely said more than a dozen words to them. In a B&B, part of the fun is meeting new people and actually having a conversation. Helping to create an experience for our guests, instead of just an overnight stay.” Ric and Jeremey share. “Both of our backgrounds are in large, corporate hotels, so making the move to a smaller B&B has been absolutely amazing for us.” The two also operated their own theatre company, bringing a range of experience to the realm of innkeeping.


The Essex Inn, built in 1850 by Dr. Lawrence Roane, holds a great deal of history within its walls.The property is said to have been an infirmary during the civil war. Authentically restored to its former glory, The Essex Inn new innkeepers admit the history is their favorite part, “The fact that we’re literally surrounded by history. The Main House and Quarters date from the mid-1800’s, we have a 400-year-old Box Elder tree in the garden, and we’ve got views of historic homes from the 1700’s on two sides of the house!” The historically rich property hosts breathtaking accommodations, a pet friendly policy, and is a Certified Virginia Green Inn.EssexInn

The Essex Inn has so much to offer even before guests have seen their personal accommodations. Expect to be blown away by 20 foot ceilings, unique chandeliers found throughout the property, two common areas, private brick courtyard, the library, gardens, sunroom and multiple porches! The grounds provide charming locations for intimate weddings inside or out; the grand staircase makes for a dramatic entrance, while the gardens provide a more whimsical atmosphere. Or perhaps a large covered pavilion fits the wedding vision. Four bedrooms are located in the main house and four suites can be found in the additional quarters. Ric and Jeremy have incorporated their appreciation for the arts into the property. Local artists and authors work can be found in the parlor for personal enjoyment and even purchasing for keepsakes.EssexInnFire

So whether the history draws you in, the Rappahannock River, nearby attractions or the thought of a delicious three course gourmet breakfast kick back “rivah” style at Essex Inn. Click here to learn more about Essex Inn and book your next escape!

The Best Places to Stay in Cape Charles, VA

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Cape Charles, Virginia is an idyllic town on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. From the town’s mile-long beach to the restaurants, museums, and shopping destinations, Cape Charles promises adventure both on and off the water. And after a day of kayaking with SouthEast Expeditions, horseback riding with Pfeiffer Riding Stables, or fishing with Cape Charles Water Sports, you’re going to need a place to rest your head and relax your body. That’s where Inn Virginia comes in:

Fig Street Inn is a “boutique style” B&B with the perfect blend of history and modernity. Built in 1899, Fig Street offers everything from antique décor to modern amenities like flat-screen TVs and Blu-ray players. Innkeepers Donna and Greg Kohler invite you to make yourself at home in one of their elegant rooms—The Barnegat Room, The Narragansett Room, the Chesapeake Room, and the Boston Harbor Suite—and to indulge in a breakfast which TripAdvisor reviewers have labeled as “delicious,” “amazing,” and “to die for.” (The homemade muffins are a guest favorite, so you won’t want to miss them.)

Innkeepers Bruce and Carol Evans are ready for your arrival at Cape Charles House Bed and Breakfast. This 1912 Colonial Revival inn boasts five historically elegant rooms—The Julia Wilkins Room, the Thomas Dixon Room, The William L. Scott Room, The B.F. Kellogg Room and The Alexander Cassatt Room.  Your accommodations include a full gourmet breakfast and complimentary wine, cheese, tea, and sweets. As one TripAdvisor reviewer promises, “these very special innkeepers will leave you feeling refreshed, pampered, well fed, and you will not want to leave without making a return reservation.”

With its view of Occohannock Creek, its rich history, and its exceptionally warm innkeepers, Bay View Waterfront B&B is an ideal lodging option just down the road from Cape Charles. Mary Will and Wayne Browning are ready to welcome you to their 19th century establishment, a “beautiful, peaceful getaway with warm hospitality and splendid views of the bay” (TripAdvisor). Kick back and relax on the dock, sink your teeth into sweet potato cakes, fresh fruit, and baked French toast, and relax in the comfort of The Allison Room, The Brooke Room, or The Elizabeth Room.

Want to check out our other Eastern Shore B&Bs? Click here.



Winter Activities in Virginia

Monday, December 9th, 2013

There’s no doubt that winter in Virginia is beautiful, and the chilly weather certainly doesn’t mean that you’re trapped indoors until spring! Whether you’re skiing on snow-capped mountaintops or whale watching on a brisk boat trip, there is much to explore and experience during winter in the Commonwealth. Check out our list of suggestions below, and consider a Winter Special at one of our Inn Virginia members:

  1. Wintergreen and Massanutten: If you’re looking for winter sports, then these resorts are the perfect fit. With skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and ice skating, you most certainly won’t be bored. Nearby B&Bs include Afton Mountain B&B, The Iris Inn, The Mark Addy Inn, and Old Massanutten Lodge.
  2. A Winter Seafari: Take a Winter Wildlife boat trip with the Virginia Aquarium or Southeast Expeditions. Bundle up in your winter gear, grab a friend and a kayak, and drift down the waters of Virginia. Nearby B&Bs include Barclay Cottage B&B, Magnolia House Inn,
    1890 Spinning Wheel B&B, and Miss Molly’s Inn.
  3. Llama Trekking: Yes, you read that correctly. One of our member B&Bs, Applewood Inn, is known not only for its cozy location and wonderful innkeepers, but also for its resident llamas. As long as the weather conditions aren’t hazardous, llama treks are available year round, offering two hour hikes with these animal companions.
  1. Wineries: If you’re a wine enthusiast, then Virginia is definitely the perfect winter getaway for you! Stay warm at one of the Commonwealth’s huge number of vineyards and wineries, sipping on award-winning libations and then returning to the comfort of your B&B room with a bottle of wine to take back home. We have some excellent Wine Tasting Specials and Packages, so peruse the list at your leisure, and find your perfect winter wine getaway.


By Tara Stoll

Recently Renovated Retreat on the Riverfront

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013
River Terra Retreat

Newly renovated, 4 rooms in Colonial Beach

Forget the 3 Rs, this Recently Renovated Retreat on the Riverfront focuses on providing guests more than just Rest, Relax and Recharge.

River Terra Retreat is the newest member to join the Bed & breakfast Association of Virginia, and has passed the BBAV’s property inspection. Also referred to as the Cator House, River Terra Retreat is located in Colonial Beach, VA close to the Potomac River. It is now owned and operated by Kristine Guido who took over the house in the 1980s. The property has been in Ms. Guido’s family since it was originally purchased in the 1920s. When asked about why she started the bed & breakfast, Guido said she had started B&B “because I didn’t know anything about B&Bs.  I thought it would be easier than taking another run at a corporate gig, which I had done for 30 years.  Here’s what I learned – visiting a B&B is fun; operating a B&B is work –a lot of work. But I enjoy every minute of it!”

The Retreat has been recently renovated, and offers guests five different unique bedrooms to stay in, as well as Carlotta’s Cottage, which acts as a meeting space or overnight room. Of the five rooms, River Terra Retreat has one suite, the Riverview Suite, which features incredible views of the Potomac River. This suite is Guido’s personal favorite aspect of the House.

River Terra Retreat also features fenced grounds, where guests may enjoy events such as oyster roasts and picnics. Guido states that her favorite part of running a bed & breakfast is the interaction she has with her guests, and “creating a positive experience for that guest.”

Guido feels that a property inspection by the BBAV’s “is a one-stop, holistic view of how my B&B compares to a standard of excellence in the industry.  Inspection brings together the health, safety, practical side of the business with the amenities and specialties that guests value.”

When asked about the importance of becoming a member of the BBAV, Guido explained that membership with the BBAV “is a way of ‘continuing education’ to improve my business and a resource when I need advice or guidance.  It’s a win-win for me and my guests, who reap the benefits of what I learn in BBAV.”

    In the future, Guido hopes to “be recognized by the Colonial Beach Chamber of Commerce as the Business of the Year in 2014.”

    BBAV President Heidi Lanford is pleased the River Terra Retreat has passed the BBAV property inspection, exclaiming “we are very happy to have River Terra Retreat as a BBAV member. It has passed our property inspection, and is a great example of the high standards we hold here at BBAV.”

Back Inn Time “Keeps Going and Going”

Sunday, August 18th, 2013
Welcome to Back Inn Time

Welcome to Back Inn Time

Former Energizer (yes.. the ‘bunny’) Mechanic and Quality Control employees, now own Kilmarnock, VA’s Back Inn Time. The couple have kept “going and going” to pass the Bed & Breakfast Association of Virginia inspection.  Back Inn Time is just 3 hours outside of the nation’s capital. The Inn is owned by Lisette and John Raymond,  who “got into Innkeeping because we decided to retire early and we wanted a new adventure in our live.  We both were working for Energizer, yes the Bunny, my husband was a master mechanic and I was in quality control, after 35+ we decided to change our life style.” The couple explained that they are very happy to have their property pass the BBAV inspection, and become members of the Association as they believe it will help give their business more exposure. Back Inn Time offers a lovely home like atmosphere for it’s guests, with rooms featuring private baths, and high speed internet, as well as other modern room amenities. Lisette boasts the Inn’s best feature as it’s gourmet breakfast. The Inn fits in well in Kilmarnock, which offers many local attractions for guests to enjoy such as antique shops, art galleries, historic homes and churches, and much more. Kilmarnock is also located near historic Williamsburg and Jamestown.

Lisette stated that she loves being a B&B owner because she enjoys “meeting such nice people” who “praise our breakfast, bedding and [we] enjoy their company.”

When asked about Back Inn Time’s new membership with the BBAV, President Heidi Lanford expressed excitement for the Raymonds: “I’m very please that Back Inn Time will now be a part of the BBAV. We hope their membership with us will help with their future goals of running a B&B.”

OpSail 2012

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

The Tall Ships are coming to Virginia! “From June 1 -12, 2012, the Port of Virginia will once again host an impressive fleet of tall ships, navy and military war ships representing the world. OpSail 2012 Virginia is planned to illuminate the community with spectacle and festivity, and will place our Commonwealth front and center on the world stage.”

Join in this history-based, family-friendly celebration of these beautiful sea-faring vessels. Besides viewing the ships themselves, events will include free deck tours, historical re-enactments, film festivals, fireworks, concerts, educational programs, Adopt-a-Ship opportunities, and, of course, the much anticipated Parades of Sail. Participating cities include Cape Charles, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Onancock, Portsmouth, Tangier Island, Virginia Beach, and Yorktown.

“On the horizon lies a historic American milestone, an extraordinary occasion for the United States of America and the Commonwealth of Virginia… the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, the writing of the Star Spangled Banner, planned together with the spectacle of OpSail 2012. …. OpSail 2012 Virginia is a collaboration between Operation Sail Inc. (OpSail) national, the United States Navy, Norfolk Festevents, and hundreds of national, state and local organizations.”


Need a place to stay? Book your room at a BBAV member inn:

Cape Charles, VA

Hampton, VA

Norfolk, VA

Onancock, VA

Portsmouth, VA

Virginia Beach, VA

Yorktown, VA


By Tara Stoll

Spring Break in Virginia, 2012

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’” –Robin Williams

For many individuals, Spring Break will be here within the next few weeks, and it’s a time to flee from studying, escape to the beach, and relax with friends and family. Virginia not only offers some beautiful beaches and islands, but also some beautiful bed and breakfasts at which you can relax after your daily events.

There is an unlimited amount of activities along Virginia’s Eastern Shore and on Chincoteague and Assateague Islands. Visit wineries and vineyards, take a kayak tour, explore a lighthouse, enjoy a spa treatment, or simply lounge on the beach and perfect your tan.

Make your Spring Break absolutely perfect by booking your room at a BBAV inn:

Barclay Cottage Bed and Breakfast, Virginia Beach, VA- Rest, relaxation, and romance!

Beach Spa Bed and Breakfast, Virginia Beach, VA- “Voted #1 Spa Bed and Breakfast in America.”

1848 Island Manor House Inn, Chincoteague, VA- “Island beauty, coastal charm, unbeatable hospitality.”

Channel Bass Inn, Chincoteague, VA- “A Romantic Hideaway selected by The Discerning Traveler.”

Miss Molly’s Inn, Chincoteague, VA- “Appreciate the genuine charm of an old fashioned inn, as did Marguerite Henry, whilst she wrote her famous book Misty of Chincoteague.”

The Watson House, Chincoteague, VA- A romantic retreat in historic Chincoteague.

Garden and Sea Inn, New Church, VA- “Escape to the Garden and Sea Inn for an elegant, yet casual respite.”

Inn at Onancock, Onancock, VA- “Experience our get-away-from-it-all style in laid back luxury.”


By Tara Stoll


Virginia Lighthouses, Summer 2011

Monday, July 18th, 2011

“Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.”
– Anne Lamott

Lighthouses have been a source of fascination for people for many years, and we here in Virginia are lucky to have some of these beautiful structures decorate our coasts. They stand with silent strength, with few frills or ornamentation, and yet the light that shines from them cannot go unnoticed. For many years, these lighthouses kept ships from crashing to shore, ensuring safety to the crew aboard the vessels. Now these structures are sources of history and, as always, symbolic representations of hope and guidance. And, of course, they are a wonderful destination for those on a Virginia vacation.

The lighthouses of Virginia include the Old Cape Henry Lighthouse, built in 1792, the Assateague Lighthouse, built in 1833, the Old Point Comfort Lighthouse, built in 1802, and the New Point Comfort Lighthouse, commissioned by Thomas Jefferson in 1804. As you can imagine, each of these lighthouses possesses a deep history, having survived battles and skirmishes and years of being weathered by ocean waves.

If you’re planning to visit one of these lighthouses, be sure to check out their schedules. Some allow tours during most of the years, but others have set times that the outside public is allowed to see the inside. (Also, toughen up those leg muscles if you plan to climb up the inside of the lighthouse. Those stairs give you a good workout!) Be sure to check out our list of bed and breakfasts to find the perfect inn for you to relax at during your trip to visit the lighthouses.

© 2011

© 2011

© 2011

 Facts courtesy of Virginia Tourism Corporation, © 2011.

By Tara Stoll

Stratford Hall

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Stratford Hall sits high above the Potomac River, as it has for more than 250 years. The brick Georgian mansion is as impressive today as it was when Thomas Lee first had it built in the 1730s. Guests of Chesapeake Bay Virginia Bed and Breakfasts even today catch their breath when they approach the beautiful building, resplendently situated on a 1,900-acre plantation.

the main house

Virginia's Historic Stratford Hall.

In the mid 1700s, Stratford Hall was “a towne in itself”; the proximity of the Potomac River ensured that what wasn’t on site could easily be obtained. Crops were grown, ships built, liquor distilled, and clothes made. It’s success was dependent on the labor of slaves and indentured servants.

Many guests of Virginia Bed and Breakfasts travel to Stratford Hall because it was the birthplace of two signers of the Declaration of Independence: Richard Henry Lee and Francis Lightfoot Lee. Indeed, the Lees were a remarkable family for generations, involved in Virginia’s government, the rights of women, and the military. General Robert E. Lee of the Confederate Army was born at Stratford to Light Horse Harry Lee and Ann Hill Carter.

Stratford hall is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; visitors may tour the house and gardens, and explore a myriad of nature trails. Trails lead through woods, along ponds and atop remarkable scenic cliffs. It is wise to stimulate the appetite, for the Stratford hall Dining Room serves an excellent lunch Tuesday – Sunday.

Stratford Hall is 30 minutes from Tappahannoc VA Bed and Breakfasts. It is a stunning place to visit, for both historical and architectural reasons.