Archive for the ‘Virginia Travel’ Category

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.

 winteractivities

By Tara Stoll

Celebrate Virginia Wine Month at a Bed and Breakfast

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

Imagine yourself sitting on the outdoor patio of a Virginia winery, immersed in the surrounding autumn colors and the serene, vineyard scenery. You sip a glass of your favorite wine while your significant other drinks his or hers alongside you. Once you’ve indulged in your fill of the winery experience, picture yourself returning to the lavish comfort of a bed and breakfast. Luckily for you, this imagined scenario can easily become a reality, and since October is Virginia Wine Month, it’s is the perfect excuse to escape and enjoy the establishments of innkeepers and vintners alike.

Jefferson Vineyards in Charlottesville is the product of its namesake, Thomas Jefferson. The vineyards were first planted in 1774 but were eventually destroyed by the Civil War. Replanting began in 1981, and now the winery produces 6,000 to 8,000 cases of wine every year. Jefferson’s wine is fully Virginian, and the majority of the fruit ingredients are not only grown onsite, but were also hand-selected by Thomas Jefferson himself. (Click here for nearby Inn Virginia lodging options.)

Fabbioli Cellars in Leesburg is a family owned and operated winery that was founded by Doug and Colleen Fabbioli. From the Una Pera off-dry wine to the citrus, vanilla and oak aromas of the 2012 Chardonnay, you’re certain to find a quality red wine that appeals to your senses. The Fabbioli family strives to use environmentally friendly methods of cultivating grapes that blend both traditional approaches with more modern innovations. (Click here for nearby Inn Virginia lodging options.)

Chatham Vineyards in Machipongo is an Eastern Shore winery and a historic farm that was patented in 1640. Their vineyards are “high-density, European-style,” and they contain “32,000 Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot vines.” (Click here for nearby Inn Virginia lodging options.)

These are only three of the many fantastic Virginia wineries and vineyards. if you’re interested in our Inn Virginia members’ winery specials and packages, click here.

Virginia wineries and vineyards

 

By Tara Stoll

Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog and Take a Vacation

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

This October, The Bed & Breakfast Association of Virginia (BBAV) and the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies (VFHS) partner to celebrate Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog month. These two organizations are offering anyone who adopts a pet, from any of VFHS’s shelters or rescue groups, the chance to win an InnVirginia.com gift card.

Debra Griggs, President of the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies, and her dog, Fred

Debra Griggs, President of the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies, and her dog, Fred.

VFHS aims to “end the unnecessary euthanasia of cats and dogs and advance animal welfare throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.” Through this promotion, VFHS enacts upon this goal by providing an incentive for people to adopt from a wide variety of pets, all of whom are in need of loving homes.

BBAV’s list of inspected and approved Inns consists of 26 pet-friendly destinations across the state that would be perfect for a family and its new furry friend. From a getaway at the beach to a hike in the mountains, there is a total of 170 destinations that the new owner of a pet could choose from.

VFHS’s motto, “Serving People Saving Animals” is a perfect way to describe this partnership. BBAV aids B&B owners in serving their guests in the same way the VFHS helps shelters and rescue groups in saving and adopting pets. Combined through their Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog month offer, BBAV and VFHS serve people and save animals.

Click to see a list of participating shelters.

The Old Massanutten Lodge: Then & Now

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013
Margie and Guy Vlasits

Margie and Guy Vlasits celebrate 10 years at The Old Massanutten Lodge

The Old Massanutten Lodge celebrates ten years as a B&B, and even longer as a place of personal and community strength.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Old Massanutten Lodge B&B, in Keezletown, VA. However, before Margie and Guy Vlasits purchased the property in the early 1990s, the lodge served as a day-resort for visitors and locals from the mid-1920s through the 60s, providing a place of relaxation and entertainment for its guests. Now, almost a century later, the Vlasits have restored the property and successfully provided a similar atmosphere.

“We wanted to give the property back to the community,” says Margie, the property’s primary caretaker. Indeed, the Vlasits successfully opened their doors to guests in 2003 as a place of rejuvenation, nourishment, and celebration for those near and far. Soon after, in 2005, Margie faced another life-changing situation: the onset of cancer. This didn’t keep her from serving the B&Bs many guests.

The Old Massanutten Lodge in Keezletown, VA

The Old Massanutten Lodge in Keezletown, VA

Although she couldn’t advance the business during this time, she maintained it to the best of her ability with the help of others. The business “helped me get through the treatments,” she says. The Vlasits opened the B&B as a place to “renourish guests’ souls,” she continues, and “at the same time it did the same for me.” For eight of the ten years that the B&B has been in service, Margie battled cancer and won. Her own story further enriches that of the property and the community surrounding it.

“We love to host people from all over the world with great cultural and personal diversities,” Margie says. Many guests come from just a couple hours away looking for rest from the daily grind. Others come for adventure and entertainment to an area rich in history, culture, nature, and just plain fun.  Old Massanutten Lodge’s quiet rural location is a pleasant change from the noise and activity of urban areas.

The last weekend in October, the Old Massanutten Lodge celebrates the property’s extensive past in conjunction with its tenth anniversary as a B&B through a story-telling event and concert. The Vlasits plan to invite anyone with a history at the lodge to come and tell his/her story while showcasing local folk artists. All in all, the Old Massanutten Lodge focuses on the past, present, and future as memories in the making. Come make memories at the Old Massanutten Lodge, entwining your history with that of this historic local landmark.

The Red Chair travels to Virginia B&Bs!

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

 

The Red Chair

The Red Chair

The Red Chair was born at the Woods Hole Inn, where proprietor, Beth Colt, took a snapshot that would change the simple red chair into The Red Chair that now travels the nation. “I took a picture of this red chair perched out on a frozen pond in Woods Hole last winter,” she says. “I posted it on Facebook and my computer lit up with ‘likes.’” Julie Cramer, a California-based photographer, came across the photo and was inspired. Cramer’s own picture of The Red Chair solidified the object as, what Colt describes, “A symbol, a metaphor for connections made across invisible boundaries.”

Now, The Red Chair travels to B&Bs of different regions in the U.S., and B&B owners chronicle the Chair’s travels with pictures that are then posted on the Red Chair’s website. From Sept. 23-Nov. 10, 2013, the Red Chair visits B&Bs in Virginia, 12 of which are  InnVirginia members.

Celeste Borel, Innkeeper of L’Auberge Provencale, White Post, VA, expresses her excitement at being a part of the Chair’s movement. “It makes me think that guests can envision themselves sitting in the chair,” she says, “enjoying the view and appreciating the countryside.” She and Humminbird Innkeepers, Patty and Dan Harrison, welcome anyone to come see the Chair at their establishments, even non-guests.

These Innkeepers, in addition to those of the Arcady Vineyard Inn, Charlottesville, VA, have specific plans for the Chair, including: a wine tour, a carriage ride, a photo-op at the tomb of Robert E. Lee, the overlook on Skyline Drive, and so much more! Samuel and Sharon Elswick, of the Holladay House, say: the “Red Chair will experience everything our guests experience – and take photos of everything just like they do! A comfortable room, at the breakfast table with a locally-sourced meal, sneaking homemade cookies from the cookie jar, and the classic photo every one of our brides and grooms take: on our portico with our historic house in the background and the sign waving in the wind.”

The Red Chair has become an icon of hospitality for B&Bs across the east coast, and will continue to be so for B&Bs it has yet to visit across the nation. Don’t miss the chance to be a part of the Red Chair’s journey!

Follow the InnVirginia Facebook page to see the photos of The Red Chair as it travels Virginia.

B&B Mountain Views Invite You to “Fall” in Love with Autumn

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

We are coming up on that time of year when the humidity lessens, the heat dissipates, and the crisp morning air hints of the seasons to come. In only a few weeks, Virginia trees will begin to fade from the lush green of summer to the burning reds, soft yellows, and fiery oranges of autumn. It is no wonder so many travelers choose this time of year to plan their getaways, particularly in heavily mountainous areas. A few of Inn Virginia’s member B&Bs boast some absolutely breathtaking views of the mountains where you can fully immerse yourself in the fall foliage.

With a suggestion of scenery in its name, House Mountain Inn in Lexington, VA is certain to offer some extraordinary autumn views. Owners Jamie Grue and Jeff Irvine have built their rustically elegant getaway on a “private 1000 acre Allegheny Mountain preserve,” and the inn itself is situated in harmony along the slopes of House Mountain.

Carolyn and Curtis Crump invite you for an autumn getaway at Crumps Mountain Cottage in Amherst, VA. Carolyn says, “Since you are on 243 acres of private mountain land next to the George Washington National Forest, mountains surround you to the left, behind, and further to the right.” The view from the cottages is incredible, overlooking the entire valley below and promising stunning fall scenery.

Brightwood Vineyard and Farm Cottage B&B is a “100-acre family farm in Madison County, Virginia, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.” Innkeepers Dean and Susan Vidal provide spectacular views of the quiet transition from summer to fall: “Perched on a rocky promontory overlooking the confluence of the Robinson River and Spring Branch, you’ll hear the gentle sounds of water and the calls of woodland birds from this beautiful vantage point” (Brightwood Vineyard and Farm).

Looking for other B&Bs with fall foliage specials and packages? Click here.

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.”

Fall Travel Checklist

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

It may still technically be summer, but the weather in Virginia has been hinting of autumn, and now is the time when many begin planning their fall foliage travels.  With all of your planning and packing, it may be easy to overlook a few necessary things to help you enjoy your fall getaway to its fullest. Thus, we have compiled a checklist for your convenience:

  1. Book your room in advance. While some B&Bs may have rooms open for walk-ins, chances are, everything will be booked up with other fall foliage travelers.
  2. Be sure to have your camera. Whether it’s a point-and-shoot, a professional DSLR, or a simple camera on your phone, you’ll want to be ready to capture all of the brilliance of the upcoming fall foliage.
  3. Bring your hiking boots. The best autumn views are, of course, outdoors, and sometimes it may require a bit of effort to reach them.
  4. Dress in layers. Fall weather in Virginia is capricious, and the day can offer anything from hot sunshine to a cold rainstorm. Check the weather forecast and bring layers of clothing for your convenience.
  5. Stay up-to-date with autumn  in Virginia by calling the “Fall Foliage Hotline” at 1-800-424-LOVE.
  6. Coordinate your getaway with specific fall festivals. There are numerous autumn festivals all across Virginia, so plan your vacation around a festival and enjoy the array of fall colors as an added bonus.

Ready to book your room? Check out a list of our Inn Virginia members. Also, don’t forget to follow Inn Virginia on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest. (If you take photos of the fall foliage, feel free to share them with us on our social media sites!)

 

By Tara Stoll

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.”

A Back-to-School B&B Getaway

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

Much to the chagrin of students everywhere, classes will be starting up soon, and Virginia colleges and universities are no exception. If you plan to escort a student to college, make the trip an enjoyable getaway with lodging at a B&B as one final hurrah before the toil of schoolwork.

One specific Inn Virginia member inn that is conveniently located near two Commonwealth colleges is Rockwood Manor in Dublin, VA.  Rockwood Manor lies only twenty minutes away from Radford University in Radford, VA and a little over thirty minutes away from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA, making it an ideal back to school B&B.

Besides its collegiate accessibility and its obvious aesthetic appeal, you may be asking yourself what else you can expect to find at Rockwood Manor. According to owner and innkeeper Frank Drummond, Rockwood’s motto is “Southern Hospitality at its Best” with an emphasis on “history, beautiful architecture, and a serene location.”

The manor itself is a beautifully historic structure that dates back to 1876 while reflecting all conveniences of the modern world—spacious suites, complementary snacks and drinks, free Wi-Fi, and more. Rockwood even has a Tavern (an English pub style room) as well as a Game Room with a Virginia Tech theme, which, according to the manor website, honors Frank’s father, “who was a 1943 Cadet graduate.” If you’re a Hokie, or a Hokie-at-heart, then you can’t really go wrong with a back-to-school stay at Rockwood Manor.

If you’re interested in staying at Rockwood Manor, email them at info@rockwood-manor.com, give them a call at (540) 674-1328, or make your reservation online.

Looking for B&B lodging near other Virginia colleges?

Lynchburg College: Federal Crest Inn

Virginia Tech – The Oaks Victorian Inn, Clay Corner Inn

College of William & Mary – Bentley Manor Inn, Magnolia Manor

Mary Washington – Lavender Heights

 

By Tara Stoll