World-renowned course architect Robert Trent Jones Sr. dreamed up the challenging layout of Mariners Landing Golf’s 18-hole, par 72 course, where players putt on bermuda grass under the watchful eye of verdant mountains. Golfers shake their Magic 8 balls to decide among five sets of tee boxes before they play through the sand trap- and pond-studded fairways, which wind through residential areas. Players can also practice swings at the driving range’s 12 hitting stations or rehearse chipping and putting on the practice green. The course’s golf professional and an assistant golf professional instruct students in the proper way to thrust and parry during a golf-club duel, and the Dew-Sweepers pro shop outfits swingers with Titleist and Nike equipment. After facing down the fairways, golfers can relax in the clubhouse restaurant with a burger and fries.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par-72 course
Length of 7,155 yards from the farthest set of tees
Course rating of 74.2 from the farthest set of tees
Slope rating of 130 from the farthest set of tees
Five tee options
A coalition of nine different wineries founded Southern Virginia Wine Fest in 2009, and it continues to introduce visitors to the finest vintages crafted by local residents. Although the festival has expanded to include 12 growers, it still provides the opportunity to chat personally with winemakers and vineyard owners about the process behind making their bottled beverages. The participants peruse more than 60 different wines, complementing the libations with specialty foods and live music throughout the day. The festival even offers a specialty passport tour, which includes visits to all 12 vineyards and stops at notable sites, local eateries, and Dionysian temples along the way.
A National Historic Landmark and home to one of two homes Thomas Jefferson designed and created for his own personal use, Poplar Forest provides a unique insight into the private life of one of American history’s biggest shapers. Owners of a Scholar’s Society Family Membership card get a year’s worth of unlimited admission to the grounds for two adults and their children, a subscription to Poplar Forest’s semi-annual newsletter, a monthly e-newsletter, a Founding Fathers powdered wig, and 10% off at the museum shop. History buffs can tour the house during its ongoing meticulous restoration while learning about the building's architecture, preservation, and early 19th-century life in addition to learning about Jefferson’s vision for his gardens and farm. Forty-minute guided tours provide information about the facility's numerous exhibits—including the restoration workshop, slave quarter site, and archaeology laboratory; free-spirited visitors can wander the grounds with GPS-guided audio-visual handheld units or a sundial.
The Avoca Museum & Historical Society was once the site of the Revolutionary-era home of Colonel Charles Lynch and the centerpiece of a sprawling plantation. Today, it houses native artifacts and Civil War memorabilia curated to preserve local history.
Every year, thousands of visitors wander the paths at the National D-Day Memorial, where 88 acres of verdant grass and lush forests at the foot the Blue Ridge Mountains stand in for the coastlines of Normandy on June 6, 1944. After passing beneath a 44-foot stone arch inscribed with Overlord—the official name of the military operation—visitors immerse themselves in a re-creation of the beach landing on that fateful day. A reflecting pool commemorates the battle itself with statues of soldiers marching through the water, struggling along the beach, and standing to face the enemy. A military plane sits nearby, emblazoned with markings of the Allied Forces. Plaques also dot the grounds, honoring the soldiers and sharing more about World War II history. Though the scene may be solemn, lush gardens and rippling flags remind visitors of the world that the soldiers fought to protect.
From the racks of kettlebells and iron-laden Cybex machines in the weight room to the sleek stationary bikes and treadmills in the cardio area, Lifestyle Fitness has the programs and equipment to meet the needs of every type of exerciser. Certified personal trainers also guide members through one-on-one or couples training sessions, designed to enhance general athletic performance, kick weight loss into gear, or keep students one step ahead of the city’s wild dogs. Meanwhile, music streams forth from the fitness studio, where groups engross themselves in the steps and slides of Zumba fitness, or mellow out during yoga sessions.