With oil and gas prices continuing to set record highs, it is no wonder why most of the emails I have received of late have been from wine lovers from the Tri State area of Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, who are looking for a little assistance with local vacation planning. With gas prices exceeding the $4 mark, many vacationers appear to be ditching the (once) friendly skies and long family drives in the gas guzzling SUV, and keeping close to home. Lucky for us that Virginia is a great destination for historic landmarks, fine restaurants, fun shopping, nature preserves, outdoor activities, picturesque settings, mom and pop shops, family farms, and a burgeoning young wine industry. Some, if not all of these fun-filled activities, can be found in a number of small towns throughout the Old Dominion. For starters, try Loudoun or Albemarle County (Charlottesville in particular) – these are two counties with a number of wineries in close proximity to each other that's surrounded by beautiful views, as well as many other exciting things to keep you entertained and busy.
For example, I visited Luray for two days, stayed at a wonderful B&B, visited four wineries, and went horse back riding, sightseeing, perused the local downtown shops, and enjoyed some of the towns dining options – which were mostly small, intimate, family run restaurants with great food and oodles of southern hospitality. So if high gas prices are curtailing your long-distance travel plans – think local this summer and enjoy some of the small historic towns Virginia has to offer. Below are a few ways to get started, friends.
Click on this link for starters. This is the link for the Virginia Bed and Breakfasts and Country Inns. Just about all B&B web pages have a full listing of attractions in the surrounding area with accompanying links. Additionally, most B&B’s have a good relationship with all the nearby wineries, restaurants, stables, spas, tour services, etc. If you tell them what you are looking to do, they can point you in the right direction. For example, I have been to some that have offered complimentary tasting passes for all the wineries in the area, and others that were very helpful in planning day time activities and making evening dinner reservations. Another good resource is the winery. Wineries like Jefferson Vineyards in Charlottesville, have a “During your Visit” link, which I have used a few times that lists nearby inns, attractions, and dining options. Most wineries do not provide this type of information on their web pages, but I have found calling and asking questions to be just as effective. In closing, I hope this leads you to some of the many things to do right here in our own backyard. High gas prices don’t have to stop you from enjoying valuable vacation time with family and friends.Stay tuned friends ... More to come !!!
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