Wind rustles through the trees of the George Washington National Forest as knobby bike tires crunch over fallen leaves on a single-lane rocky trail. While mounted on rented Kona mountain bikes and outfitted with Kali protective gear, cyclists navigate trails that wind through the forest and the Massanutten mountain range, led by Shenandoah Trail Cruisers's seasoned guides. Their tours are customized to suit riders' abilities, preferred duration, and desired level of Sasquatch interaction. Each begins with a basic introduction to mountain biking before groups embark on trails that range from easy gravel roads and packed dirt and single-track trails to more advanced and rugged trails with steep slopes, bumpy roads, and scattered mud patches, resulting in rides that teach shifting, breaking, body position, and adjusting riding to new obstacles.
The Mariners' Museum puts nautical adventure on display with a treasure chest of oceanic artifacts. With either deal, you'll get unlimited admission to the museum. Tickle your grey matter with its outstanding exhibition: artifacts from the USS Monitor, an ironclad ship that battled bravely and sunk during the Civil War’s Battle of Hampton Roads. Or, see exquisite sea-inspired art and thousands of meticulously crafted ship models, which were occasionally used in the Keebler Elves' royal navy. Visitors can also stroll through The Mariners’ Museum Park, which is one of the largest privately-owned and -maintained public parks in the country. Members also receive the following benefits:
The artisans behind K.H. Art & Framing understand that the best kind of preservation combines traditional techniques with modern technology. Each day, they draw on more than 20 years of experience as they craft museum-quality frames with 200 moulding options and conservation-grade glass and matting. Inside their photo lab, staffers look to the future, printing passport photos and canvas prints or digitally restoring images before storing them safely on CDs. While framers and technicians preserve memories, curators stay busy filling the studio's gallery with artwork—such as oil paintings, lithographs, and silk-screens—from both local and international artists. They also sell posters that can turn a house into a home or a bathroom stall into a personal workspace.
Rolling hills and meadows cascade toward the organic-farming grounds that surround Paris Barns, where red-roofed buildings and metallic grain silos stand as pleasant punctuations against the lush landscape. The Virginian soil hosts more than 10,500 tomato plants, as well as other seasonal vegetables and herbs. The grounds also act as a certified wildlife habitat for goats, lambs, and alpacas, as well as more exotic animals such as flightless emus, which entertain visitors with their aggressive posturing and spot-on Groucho Marx impersonations.
In addition to harvesting their crops, the zen-minded farmers share their passion for sustainable living with the community at events and workshop that dish the ins and outs of organic farming. When the weather turns warm, the staffers shear wool from the resident sheep and alpacas, demonstrate crafts, and sell fiber-based arts. Meanwhile, beekeepers raid rows upon rows of hives for pure, organic honey.
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, and 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.
Attracting more than 170,000 art enthusiasts to its events in 2011, the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival showcases original work from hundreds of artisans showcasing everything from handcrafted pottery, sculpture, and metalwork to jewelry, fashion, décor, and photography. Audiences can witness art being made live during educational demonstrations as artisans sculpt clay, whittle wood, forge metals, and imbue baskets with the power of speech. Hungry crafters can also sniff out specialty food items to sample or purchase while dancing across the sprawling venue to live music.
There are drinking events, and there are music events. But for ticket-holders to On Tap Magazine's Can Jam Beer & Music Festival, there's no need to choose between the two. Festgoers can sip canned suds from breweries such as Flying Dog, Oskar Blues, Starr Hill, and Yuengling, as they boogie to the Latin-infused rock of Lloyd Dobler Effect, sway to reggae sounds, or channel their inner Grateful Dead as they jam to the sounds of Justin Trawick Group. There will also be games to play and food trucks to sample from the likes of Sol Mexican Grill, Willie's Po' Boy, and Top Dog. A portion of the event's proceeds benefits Southeast Tennis & Learning Center.
Discover places for tours, attractions and things to do.