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.
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.
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.
Originally built in the 1760s, the 645-acre Belvedere Plantation hosts the yearly Harvest Festival each October, filling weekends with family-fun attractions ranging from pumpkin patches to hayrides. Eight acres of cornfield are sculpted into a NASA-themed maze, inspiring brave farmstronauts to venture into uncharted territory. Adrenaline pumps through the veins of onlookers observing pig races, while turbo-charged pedal tractors thrill speed seekers. A double slide stretches out to 100 feet, whisking human missiles through space and time, as amiable goats, chickens, pigs, and turkeys look on with a been-there, done-that nonchalance.
The culinary artisans at Lee’s Retreat Brew Pub stack platters of pub cuisine as well as original twists on traditional alehouse fare. Barflies can turn their stomach rumbling into thunder by perusing a menu rife with seafood nibblers such as coconut calamari escorted by a spicy dipping sauce ($7.99). The bar’s honey-colored wood paneling and electric wall sconces in gold cages set the scene for sandwiches such as the gorgonzola and bacon burger ($8.99), which—like all of Lee’s Retreat’s burgers—travels via english muffin rather than by bun. Pulled-pork sandwiches lathered in Stonewall stout barbecue sauce and crowned with homemade coleslaw ($8.99) attempt to outbid the beer-battered cod with wasabi mayo and homemade fries ($12.99) for limited stomach real estate, while the baby back ribs ($15.99) cooked with house Stonewall stout crowd the market.