To get a sense of The Greene Turtle's commitment to the neighborhood, one need only sit at the bar and look up. Dozens of mugs hang above the counter, emblazoned with the pub's logo and a unique number—each one belongs to a recurring patron. The Mug Club awards its members with draft-beer discounts and other specials, but more importantly, it allows loyal patrons to feel as though they own small slices of the venue without tattooing their names on the bartender's arm. This sense of shared familiarity is what fuels the entire franchise, which refrains from calling its locations "restaurants" in favor of friendlier terms: gathering places, communities, havens.
Many of the locations contribute more than mugs to their districts. Staff members who participate in the annual Tips for Tots program donate the entirety of one day's tips to a nearby Toys for Tots initiative, and Tuesday Funds for Friends events benefit local organizations. These efforts have been chronicled by press sources such as Food and Drink magazine, with features that liken The Greene Turtles' philanthropic generosity to the generous portions of comfort food that leave the kitchens.
From cheeseburger sliders and flatbread pizzas to handmade lump-crab cakes, the offerings on the menu embrace barroom traditions along with ingenuity. The steak and chicken entrees arrive with classic sides of green beans and yukon gold mashed potatoes, whereas the eastern shore mac ‘n’ cheese updates a comfort staple with chopped bacon, lump crab, scallions, and Old Bay seasoning. Diners can enjoy their meals by the glow of private flat-screen TVs—there's one in every booth—or beneath one of many larger televisions broadcasting sports games throughout the venue.
Augustine Golf Club's award-winning course was sculpted to reflect its natural beauty with its distinctive par 4s sculpted by course architect, Rick Jacobson. Although the greens at Augustine declined for a few years, recent renovations have restored the course to its former glory, once again luring golfers to its babbling streams and forest. Farther north, rivals Augustine's sister course, Raspberry Falls. Course architect Gary Player remarked that the Falls, once an 18th-century plantation, “was made for a golf course.” Inspired by this ideal setting, he dreamed up the links-style course at Raspberry Falls Golf & Hunt Club, whose meandering brooks, stone walls, and stacked-sod bunkers evoke Scotland, while its vista of the Catoctin Mountains remind players they’re in Virginia.
These golf havens have more than picturesque views in common—they are two of six award-winning courses united by Raspberry Golf Management’s portfolio, which stretches from Virginia to Pennsylvania and skips over to Arizona. Gary Player’s design team for Raspberry Falls included Tim Freeland, who went on to design two of the firm’s other courses: Royal Manchester Golf Links, whose bentgrass fairways sidle up to the Susquehanna River, and Old Hickory Golf Club, a parkland-style course crisscrossed by Beaver Creek. The management company's other gems include The Legacy Golf Resort, where cowboys used to ride their rocking horses around a 7,500-acre ranch, and Bull Run Golf Club, which sprawls across more than 450 acres of meadows and woodlands at the foot of the Bull Run Mountains.
Rustling leaves and whistling winds serve as the sole distractions for golfers playing through Cameron Hills Golf Links' 18-hole course. Designed so that no fairway would lay adjacent to another, the course prevents disruptions from impeding the flow of the game. Players need all the concentration they can muster to conquer the 6,603-yard course that’s littered with bunkers and pitfalls. The signature 9th hole challenges a golfer to drive 160 yards in the initial swing, setting up another 100-yard shot that requires precise aim. If the shot is too long, it will drift out of bounds; too short, and it will fall into a ravine filled with water, creating a shot nearly impossible to make without soaking one's shoes or draining the water one hat scoop at a time.
Course at a Glance * 18-hole, par 73 course * Length of 6,603 yards from farthest tees * Five tee options available * Click here to see the scorecard.
For one weekend each year, attendees of the Fredericksburg Area Wine Fest gather to sip wine, sample various foods, browse craft vendor's wares, and listen to live music. The festival, held along the scenic banks of the Rappahannock River, celebrates seven of Virginia's best wineries, including Autumn Hill Vineyards and Hartwood Winery. Each year, three guest wineries join the cast, and altogether, the winemakers showcase more than 100 kinds of award-winning wines.
The many varietals perfectly complement the festival's food and entertainment. Attendees can drink and munch along the river bank while listening to one of the many music performances. Other activities cater to kids, including face painting, clown performances, and a train ride powered entirely by imagination.
Heart of Virginia Wine Trail honors its home state by guiding guests through six wineries?James River Cellars, Cooper Vineyards, Lake Anna Winery, Weston Vineyards, Mattaponi Winery, and Grayhaven Winery. Although not included with this Groupon, the wine ambassadors proffer passports that award patrons tastings at each of the wineries and encourage them to enjoy the scenic countryside while navigating the path in between. Both regular tastings and special events typically include food pairings and a chance to talk to knowledgeable enophiles.
Young Chefs Academy provides a fun, safe, and motivating environment for kids to become acquainted with the art of food and food presentation. Engaging chef instructors instill lessons of kitchen etiquette and safety in youngsters growing up in a world full of laser can-openers and sharp pasta rakes, giving children a capable handle on their surroundings as they journey into the land of food. Classes educate a variety of age groups, with specially catered classes for junior line cooks, combining nutritional meals with basic food-prep skills that teach how to correctly follow a recipe to edible fruition. Senior flambéists are offered advanced classes that dig deeper into kitchen secrets and hone specific skills and techniques that expand the parameters of cooking creativity. Most classes last 90 minutes.