Dreamscapes Travel & Lifestyle Magazine
As the sun rises over the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia an instant calm works magic on the soul. For this body and mind retreat it doesn’t take long to be inspired. Whether you’re seeking authentic wellness resorts, relaxed and undemanding retreats, or pampering places where luxury knows no bounds, there are wellness retreats for every personality and fitness level.
Maybe you’re even after the flipside of serenity to help you unwind. At Sandy River Outdoor Adventures you can tackle your fears on an energy-induced zip line at the state’s largest aerial park. Overnight in stunning tipis on this remote farm where sightings of chicken, sheep and ponies are common, and collecting fresh eggs and harvesting garden vegetables, helps feed your body, as well as your soul.
Let’s prepare for a Virginia road trip on the path to wellness.
Imagine a horsey gallop through vineyards and wine tastings in under a one-hour drive from Washington, D.C. These are some of the surprises on a road trip to Virginia. The other revelation: how Virginia is a short drive from the Canadian border.
Across this coastal state there are wineries to match the growing gastronomic scenes, setting trends and raising the old bar to new heights. The Commonwealth state boasts 300+ wineries across dozens of wine routes, and has added an ever-growing love of beer and spirits to a libation landscape that now boasts over 200 craft breweries. These suds and hooch are best enjoyed on the nearly 20 ale and spirits trails, which are home to 20+ cider spots and 45 distilleries. On the foodie front, be equally astounded. Virginia’s flavours marry traditional tastes and world cuisine with innovative results. Along the Virginia Oyster Trail who knew bacon-wrapped Virginia oysters go together like Bogie and Bacall? Or that old fashioned grits go gourmet when combined with shrimp? Or that peanut soup is the unofficial state dish?
Here’s a toast to Virginia’s Food and Wine Scene.
EXPERIENCE THE AUTHENTIC
Prepare for bold bragging rights at Greenhill Vineyards, home to arguably the state’s largest barrel room. Guests lounge on the patio sipping vintages of 100 per cent Virginia wine, sampling a charcuterie plate of house-made specialties at this unique petfriendly, adults-only farm winery.
INDULGE IN THE EXTRAORDINARY
In Richmond, a crop of young chefs has turned the state capital into a serious foodie destination, wielding fresh culinary talents that meld traditions with international flare. Discover unique cideries such as Albemarle Ciderworks near Charlottesville for the finest apples in the land, called “Royal Pippin.” For top-shelf distilleries, head to Murlarkey Distilled Spirits, a bespoke indie distillery in Prince William County that’s gaining huge traction.
EXPLORE SOUTHERN SIGNATURES
Turn back the clock at Michie Tavern. The historic landmark offers old southern fare in a vintage venue. Just down the road, tour Jefferson Vineyards, located on the land once cultivated by Thomas Jefferson himself, where today, one of Virginia’s oldest wineries produces award-winning vintages.
You’re bound to suss out history and culture on any road trip in Virginia. Head to Northern Virginia to hear about one of the great American love stories, that of President George and Martha Washington, and view their grave sites side by side at Mount Vernon. On another sunny afternoon, visit Manassas National Battlefield Park, the site of two mighty battles where tall grasses now sway and learn how Confederate Stonewall Jackson got his nickname.
VIRGINIA IS FOR HISTORY LOVERS
With a heritage that traces back to the arrival of British settlers in 1607, Virginia is a melting pot of cultures and creeds. Ancestors from diverse backgrounds gathered on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay to start a new life, whether planned or unscripted.
Today, you can see where the longest continuous experience of African-american life and culture began in the United States. Across the state there is a collection of traditional sites that now offer interpretations on the lives of the enslaved. At Monticello, the home of President Thomas Jefferson, guided and self-guided tours explore slavery during Jefferson’s lifetime. See recreated slave quarters, artifacts, and learn about the life of Sally Hemings, one of the most famous and least known African-american women in U.S. history.
Now, turn back the clock to the worlds of Powhatan, Monacan and Cherokee tribes, African slaves, European settlers and religious sects, and prepare to jump into the history that is Virginia.
HISTORY COMES ALIVE
Hit the Historic Triangle and uncover three heritage sites: the world’s largest living history museum at Colonial Williamsburg; Historic Jamestown for archaeological walking tours; and Yorktown, for a glimpse into the colonial past. Tour the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown for outdoor living history or take a historic city tour via Segway.
At Arlington National Cemetery, America’s most hallowed ground, hear the lone bugle call held daily during the Taps Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Kids can meet the animals and learn about farming at Mount Vernon.
LANDMARKS AND BATTLEFIELDS
Choose a private historian-led tour, a selfguided tour or get fit via a hike on a historic trail from the National Park Service that operates a slew of places.
Take a gentle 90-minute self-guided walking tour of Fort Monroe, “Freedom’s Fort,” which is the largest stone fort in the United States.
For Civil War reflections, the Virginia Civil Wars Trail incorporates hundreds of Civil War sites using a bugle sign.
Unwind with tunes touring the Crooked Road, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, and stop by the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol.
Visit the home of poet and civil rights activist Anne Spencer’s House and Garden Museum in Lynchburg.
At the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum see the Space Shuttle Discovery and Air France Concorde.