Archive for the ‘Eastern Shore’ Category

Celebrate Scotland, Italy, and Wine, 2011!

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

By now you’ve probably already felt a certain crispness in the mornings, swiftly replacing the thick humidity of these past summer months. Indeed others have noticed that the green hue of one or two leaves has already begun to dissipate, melting into red or gold. There is no doubt that autumn is near, approaching silently without ostentation or fanfare.

But I’m certain that you’re not reading this to hear me prattle on about the poetical nature of autumn. No, you would rather hear what sorts of activities in which you can participate during this upcoming fall season, and since you’re being so incredibly insistent, I suppose I shall tell you.

Although there are many, many, many, many autumn festivals and celebrations around Virginia, I’ll focus on three fantastic ones that you can find in and nearby Williamsburg, Virginia:

The Williamsburg Scottish Festival and and Celtic Celebration, September 30-October 1- It’s time for kilts, haggis, and bagpipes! This event includes Irish stepdancing, a golf tournament, a parade, and lots of vendors with pretty, shiny things!

The Yorktown Wine Festival, October 1- This festival includes 21 wineries, 8 of which will participate in a wine dinner at the Riverfront Restaurant. The music also looks to be fantastic with a drum and fife band, reggae, pop, rock, acoustic, electric, and Celtic.

© 2011

Ciao Williamsburg Festival, October 8-9- Celebrate your Italian heritage, or, if you’re not Italian, pretend to be for a couple days! This festival promises amazing food, arts and crafts, children’s activities, and some excellent entertainment.

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

Chincoteague Island Events, July 2011

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Parades, ponies, and carnivals. Sounds like a child’s dream, right? Well, actually, these three things are included in an event happening towards the end of this month on Chincoteague Island, the setting for Marquerite Henry’s famous novel Misty of Chincoteague. If you haven’t guessed by now, this event is Pony Penning Day, where the wild ponies of Assateague Island are rounded up by the Saltwater Cowboys and brought over to Chincoteague. This tradition most likely began in the 1700s, but it was not recorded until 1835. Since then, it has evolved into a fully-fledged tourist attraction, including various other events that accompany the swimming, penning, and selling of the wild ponies.

© 2011

What sparked an international interest in Pony Penning Day was the aforementioned book, Misty of Chincoteague. It is the story of a wild pony named Phantom, her foal Misty, and the loving family that buys Misty. You should definitely read it during your Pony Penning Vacation! And while you’re reading it, you should definitely be staying at one of the fabulous Bed and Breakfasts in the area. For the full experience, check out Miss Molly’s Inn, the wonderful B&B at which Marguerite Henry stayed as she penned her novel. Do you see the pun I made there? “Penned”??? “Pony PENNING Day”??? Yeah, okay, it’s not the wittiest of puns, but it’s still sort of clever!

© 2011 Miss Molly’s Inn

There are also a number of other inns in the area that are also wonderful choices, so you have your pick of fantastic establishments!

By Tara Stoll

Lodging Packages on the Virginia Coast

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Enjoy colorful winter sunrises over the Chesapeake Bay.

There are many good Virginia Coast lodging packages during the next few months. Winter is a wonderful time to visit the Virginia Coast: there are no crowds, and it’s easy for guests of Virginia Coast Bed and Breakfasts to feel like locals. Read the paper down at the local coffee shop; take a morning walk along the waterfront; have a glass of the local Virginia Wine with dinner. Settle in to the slow, quiet pace of winter on the Virginia Coast.

Read on to learn about a few of the current Virginia Coast Bed and Breakfast Packages. More may be found on the Virginia Bed and Breakfast Packages and Specials page, or at individual inn websites.

Christmas on Virginia’s Eastern Shore

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Quaint harbor towns and quiet villages make up the Eastern Shore of Virginia, a narrow stretch of land between the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay. Natural beauty is everywhere here – in miles of deserted beaches, remote Tangier Island, and the wild ponies of Assateague.

Assateague to Chincoteague

The wild horses of Assateague.

There is something marvelous about spending Christmas at a Virginia Eastern Shore Bed and Breakfast.

Village streets invite shopping. Chilly beach walks are the perfect excuse to snuggle by a crackling fire. Fresh oysters adorn holiday tables. It’s the perfect place to get away from hectic holidays and embrace the spirit of Christmas with someone you love.

Check out the following holiday events during your stay at a Bed and Breakfast Virginia Eastern Shore:

  • The Onancock Christmas Parade, Saturday, December 18. Complete with Santa.
  • A SWING Nutcracker Ballet performance at Nandua High School in Onley, VA, December 17 – 19, 2010. You’ve never seen the Nutcracker until you’ve seen this version.
  • Party at the Palace (December 19, 2010) in Cape Charles, VA. The Stage Door Gallery hosts this popular Christmas Open House, where visitors may shop for gifts and watch It’s A Wonderful Life on the big screen.

Vibrant Virginia Beach

Thursday, August 5th, 2010
Virginia Beach: The Boardwalk

The Boardwalk at Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach in the summertime… now that’s paradise. Miles of wide, sandy beaches, a boardwalk bustling with activity, abundant outdoor recreation, and a rich history – Virginia Beach offers this and more.

It has been said that the only way to fully experience all Virginia Beach has to offer is to live here. While that may be true, the next best thing is to make yourself at home in a Virginia Beach Bed and Breakfast. Knowledgeable innkeepers can provide useful tips on what to do, when to do it, and where to eat. Whether you are interested in a holiday full of paddling, biking, and jumping waves or one that explores the interesting culture and history of the area, your innkeepers can help orient you to Virginia Beach.

It is difficult to imagine visiting Virginia Beach without at least one trip to its historic Boardwalk. Originally built out of wood to span five blocks in 1888, it has experienced more than one renovation. Today it is three miles long, 28-feet wide, and has a separate bike path, making it a safe place for folks to bike, rollerblade, and walk. The boardwalk is dotted with shops, outdoor restaurants, and food vendors – you may want to look at them all before you decide where to dine.

There are four wooden walkways extending from the main Boardwalk down to the beach, so it is easy to stretch out on the sand or jump in the water. During the summer, outdoor stages near each beach access are a nightly source of great entertainment. It’s fun to walk the length of the boardwalk, hand-in-hand, listening to the music fade from one stage as it grows from the next.

Visit the Boardwalk once or stop by every evening after a day full of outdoor recreation. The Sandbridge Beach area offers five miles of secluded beach and sand-dunes. It is close to the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and False Cape State Park, which are both ideal spots for hiking, fishing, and paddling. Gentler waves are found on the beaches of nearby Chesapeake Bay. There is golf in Bayside and cycling at numerous Sate Parks throughout the Virginia Beach area. Ask the innkeepers of your Bed and Breakfast Virginia Beach for the best cycling routes near the inn.

In can be as much fun to visit the many interesting historical sites around Virginia Beach as it is to get out in the surf. The Adam Thoroughgood House, in Bayside, is one of the oldest extant homes from the Colonial period, dating from 1680. The Lynnhaven House in Little Neck is a beautiful brick building built in 1725.

No matter how you most like to spend your time, you’ll be pleased by the breadth and variety of activities in the Virginia Beach region. If you can’t make it there this summer, we will welcome you in the fall.

Virginia’s Unexpected Eastern Shore

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

The Eastern Shore of Virginia is a slender peninsula of land jutting out between the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay. It is an area rich in history and natural attractions. Tourism thrives here, but in an understated way. Stay in Eastern Shore Virginia bed and breakfasts while discovering this unique place.

Onancock is one of the largest towns on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, with a population of approximately 1,500. Onancock Creek wraps around the town and meanders about 4 miles before spilling into Chesapeake Bay. Stroll or bike through town, admiring the historic architecture. Visit art galleries, take in a movie at the historic Roseland theater, and dine in several excellent restaurants. Kayak down the creek.

Take a day trip from Onancock to Tangier Island in the Chesapeake Bay, a remarkable place where residents still speak with an accent similar to the original British settlers. Be sure to enjoy a soft shell crab sandwich while there.

Chincoteague Island is a quaint island/town on the Atlantic coast with a handful of museums, shops, and restaurants. Nearby Assateague Island National Seashore includes 37 miles of sandy beaches, and wild ponies to boot. There is truly no place like this in the country,

If possible, stay in an Eastern Shore Virginia bed and breakfast during the Chincoteague Island Blueberry Festival towards the end of July. This is the best time of year to indulge in thick slices of blueberry pie topped with a fat scoop of blueberry ice-cream. The Pony Penning also takes place at the end of July; it has been a tradition for nearly 100 years for horses to swim across the shallow water between islands, run through town, and into pens. Think of the running of the bulls in Spain – the experience will be just as exotic.

It is worth taking the time to explore the whole Virginia Eastern Shore once there. This is a wonderful place to bird watch, cycle past lush farmland, and fish. History buffs and outdoor enthusiasts will be equally at home on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, as will people simply seeking tranquility.

Sunrise Paddling on the North Canadian River