Posts Tagged ‘travel’

12 Reasons to Visit Virginia in 2012

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

“The country is not mountanous not yet low but such pleasant plaine hils and fertile valleyes, one prettily crossing an other, and watered so conveniently with their sweete brookes and christall springs, as if art itself had devised them.” –Captain John Smith, “A Map of Virginia”

Why should you visit (or re-visit) Virginia? The reasons could quickly conglomerate into a great novel that would require hours of your time to read. Since neither you nor your humble blogger has the time to compose and study a novel of such great proportions, enjoy another of our increasingly well-loved BBAV lists.

12 Reasons to Visit Virginia in 2012:

  1. The historical sites. Virginia has Jamestown/Yorktown, Monticello, Montpelier, and a vast number of other sites that explore our rich history.
  2. The wineries, vineyards, and breweries.
  3. The amusement parks and theme parks.
  4. The state parks and hiking trails.
  5. The museums and exhibits.
  6. The theatres. (Did you know that Virginia boasts the only replica of Shakespeare’s Blackfriar Theatre? Yep, we do, and along that that theatre, there are many, many more scattered about the Commonwealth.)
  7. The scenic drives.
  8. The mountains.
  9. The family-friendly activities.
  10. The beaches.
  11. The shopping centers, malls, outlets, downtown boutiques, and locally-owned shops.
  12. The Bed and Breakfasts. What kind of association would we be if we didn’t highlight the wonderful businesses that comprise our organization? Virginia has some truly wonderful, individually unique bed and breakfasts, and no trip to and around Virginia would be complete without staying at one of them.

By Tara Stoll

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

Staying Fit While on Vacation

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Vacations are obviously meant for relaxation—a break from work, an escape from the everyday routine, and a chance to indulge in atypical activities. Many people, however, also use vacation as a break from their healthy lifestyle, and now that we’re coming up on the holiday season, there will be sugary treats galore. Here are some simple ways to defy the temptation of overindulgence:

1. Eat and drink in moderation. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying mini-snickers bar, so long as that mini one doesn’t turn into a few regular sized candy bars. Cut yourself off after a few mixed drinks or calorie-laden lattes. Choose grilled instead of fried. It’s all about making intelligent decisions.

2. Drink lots of water. This one is a given that will most likely be found on any “be healthy” list that you read. Besides all of its obvious health benefits, water also fills you up so that there is less of a chance of overeating. (It may be more of a challenge to drink cold water during the chillier months, so try out some healthier hot drink options like sugar-free tea and apple cider.)

3. Go for a walk or a hike. Depending on where you are vacationing, there should be an abundance of trails, sidewalks, shopping centers, etc. In other words, just keep yourself moving. No, the cold is not an excuse since you more than likely own several coats, sweaters, scarves, pairs of gloves, etc.

4. Bring your workout with you. Grab some weights and/or a couple workout DVDs, and you can become your own fitness coach. Most bed and breakfasts will have DVD players that you can use, but if not, laptops work fine too! If you don’t have any workout DVDs, there are a multitude of youtube videos or articles online that can aid you in your exercise. Bed and breakfast rooms contain plenty of space to at least do a few push-ups and sit-ups, so there goes your complaint of “no space to workout.”

5. Download an audio workout for your iPod or mp3 player. From upbeat music to narrated workout sessions, the list of what you can download is endless.

© Health Sanctuary

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