Posts Tagged ‘tourism’

Shopping Locally in Virginia

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011


There are many, many benefits to buying locally, especially during the holiday season, and Virginia has no shortage of small businesses from which it would be advantageous to make your purchases. Many of the art-related establishments such as 16 Hands in Floyd, VA, Sunspots Studios in Staunton, VA, and Glenfiddich Farm Pottery in Leesburg, VA even feature local artisans who display and sell their beautiful pieces of artwork.

It would take an abundance of time and energy to research every single small business in Virginia, not to mention that it would be a very long, increasingly dull blog entry. Thus, I would encourage you to do a google search for downtown shopping in Virginia, and I guarantee that you will find a vast amount of small, eclectic shops that will fulfill all of your gift-giving needs.

If you have read any of the BBAV’s previous blog entries, you know that I, your humble blogger, love a good list. Therefore, enjoy yet another list, this one presenting you with a few reasons as to why you should shop and buy locally:

1. Obviously, by buying locally, you are supporting your local economy which is an indirect benefit to yourself because of the re-circulation of money and all that jazz. See? It’s good for you!

2. Small, local businesses provide a wide range of unique holiday gifts. From jewelry to artwork to random trinkets, downtown shops offer any type of item that you can think of, and gifting someone with something unique is sure to make you the most celebrated gift-giver of them all.

3. You avoid the crabby crowds that infest big retail stores during this time of year. I mean, really, who wants their toes run over by cart-pushing grinches and line-cutting scrooges?

You know what? Those three reasons pretty much sum it all up, so Merry Christmas and Happy Shopping!

 

Photo by Patrick Neil

 

By Tara Stoll

Hiking Around Virginia

Friday, July 29th, 2011

“I believe that the ascent of mountains forms an essential chapter in the complete duty of man, and that it is wrong to leave any district without setting foot on its highest peak.” — Sir Leslie Stephen

 There are many reasons that people choose to go hiking. Some appreciate the physical challenge, while others enjoy the quiet escape of nature, the ethereal beauty that transcends man-made creation. Others (like me) like to pretend they are elves, nimbly crossing the forests and mountains of Middle Earth. (What? You don’t like to pretend you’re an elf?) Whatever your reasons for hiking, Virginia provides some absolutely beautiful trails for hikers of all levels—day-long hikes, easy walks next to lakes and rivers, trails for biking and horseback riding, treks through national parks, and trails that overlook waterfalls. No matter the area of Virginia in which you find yourself, there will be a hiking trail close by.

Because it would be nearly impossible to list every single trail in a single blog entry, I shall highlight a few options in different areas of our lovely commonwealth:

 

The Cascades, Pembroke, Va- This trail offers waterfalls and creeks, so you can cool off after your trek. You have the option of doing a 4-mile round trip to the lower falls, or an 8-mile round trip to Barney’s Wall.

© Rui M.

 

Prince William Forest Park, Triangle, Va- This park is full of various circuit hikes, depending on which direction you would like to take. It’s an easy hike, and is a great opportunity to bring your canine companions with you.

© FergusonFoundation.org

 

Peaks of Otter, Bedford, Va- This is a wonderful hike, because it offers trails for all different fitness levels. If you’re looking for a good challenge, Flat Top and Sharp Top can take up to three or four hours to complete. Or if you’re feeling especially ambitious, you can combine the two for a nice long, 9.8 mile hike.

© http://www.flickr.com/photos/labimposter

 

If you’d like a list of twenty of the most popular hikes in Virginia, look no further than here. Also, after a good, adrenaline-pumping hike, you should have a nice, comforting Bed and Breakfast to come back to…….so, aren’t you glad we have a list of B&Bs for you to peruse?

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 http://www.virginia.org/lighthouses/

© 2011 http://www.virginia.org/lighthouses/

© 2011 http://www.virginia.org/lighthouses/

 Facts courtesy of Virginia Tourism Corporation, © 2011.

By Tara Stoll