A native of Augusta County who knows its wildlife and terrain, Dwight Wood recreates a simpler time—a time when cowboys rode horses up the mountain trails, ate steaks seared by the campfire, and jumped into a hot tub before going to bed. Granted, that last part is only available if you stay overnight at the bunkhouse, but the Wood family's horseback-riding trips are otherwise historically authentic.
Riders meet at 9 a.m. on the ranch, where they're paired up with a trusty and well-trained steed before trotting out into the wilderness of George Washington National Forest. Dwight guides the trip over water, up slight inclines, and past breathtaking views of mountain country, leading the pack to some of the highest points in the region without the help of cliff-side escalators. He also keeps each trip small in order to better answer questions and provide a personalized experience for each rider. Guests can saddle up for a half-day, full-day, or overnight excursion, and look forward to a cowboy-style supper on longer trips.
Ben & Jerry's has double-handedly transformed ice cream from a dreary and dreaded after-dinner chore into a dazzling treat that can be easily stored in pants pockets. The shops offer a variety of frozen confections, from milkshakes ($5.05) to large ice-cream cups and cones ($2.75-$4.82), hot-fudge sundaes ($5.05), and signature pints ($4.19). Spoon the cuddly depths of Ben & Jerry's famous original flavors, such as Cake Batter, Cherry Garcia, Imagine Whirled Peace, Triple Caramel Chunk, Peanut Brittle, Chunky Monkey, Half Baked, Coffee Coffee BuzzBuzzBuzz!, New York Super Fudge Chunk, and more.
The frozen creamery is also a proficient cakery with a proud stock of frozen cakes to help spoil supper (starting at $16.99 for a small round). For social ice creaming, ready a band of spoon-armed eaters and dive into the Vermonster Sundae ($42), a heaping pail of 20 scoops, hot fudge, bananas, cookies, brownies, and toppings of your choice.
While there are no reviews for the Charlottesville location, Ben & Jerry's is a popular national brand with more than 2,400,000 Facebook fans, and has been featured on the Food Network series Unwrapped.
With thousands of frame and mat samples, The Great Frame Up can satisfy any and all framing fantasies. The expert framers can make framed photos radiate (an 11" x14" photo costs around $100, 16" x 20" at around $135). The design wizards can also find a home for any prized possession, such as shoebox photos, baby booties, ticket stubs, medals, and really good pot roasts. The Great Frame Up’s no-hassle guarantee and assurance that all work is done on-site means your frameables won't be subject to mistreatment at underground commercial framing facilities.
As a professional golf instructor, Leslie W. Mercer worked tirelessly to make the game accessible to everyone. His daughter, Anne Marie, opened The Highlands Golf Park in 1997 to ensure her father's efforts–and more importantly, perhaps, his love of golf–made an impact on future generations. To this day, The Highlands remains a family affair. Anne Marie's daughter, Gretchen Scheuermann, now runs the park and guides golfers as a LPGA Class A teaching professional.
The Highlands Golf Park provides a robust golfing experience to match its rich history. A versatile driving range is the centerpiece of the facility's practice features. Carved into the natural landscape, the range boasts 44 grass and mat tee stations, areas for pitching and chipping, and lights for practicing at night or after accidentally popping the sun with an errant tee shot. Away from the range, players can soak up tips during lessons or polish up their short game by putting through the 18-hole Pirate Pete's Mini Golf Course.
The Institute for Shipboard Education was born from an idea to create a floating campus that reflected the ideals of the United Nations and the realities of globalization. As Chinese shipping magnate C.Y. Tung put it, “Ships can transport more than cargo—they can carry ideas.” From humble beginnings, the program went on to attract world-famous guest speakers including Mikhail Gorbachev, Mother Teresa, and Nelson Mandela. Today, the cruising university onboard the MV Explorer offers two-week Enrichment Voyages for learners of all ages, with educational programming that digs deep into each port of call's culture and history. This 15-day cruise incorporates both lectures and hands-on exploration as it passes along Mexico’s Baja peninsula toward the Isthmus of Panama and Ecuador. At each port on the itinerary, available excursions range from dive trips to volunteer service projects, such as plastering houses or feeding kindergarteners (additional fees apply for shore trips). Or you can set off on your own, armed with knowledge acquired from the recommended reading list.Days 1–3: After cruising from Ensenada, Mexico, to the southern tip of the Baja peninsula, the ship anchors at Cabo San Lucas. El Arco, the city’s iconic seaside arch, forms a scenic backdrop for a day of kayaking and snorkeling.Day 6: Puerto Quetzal in Guatemala lies within easy range of Antigua, named an UNESCO World Heritage Site for its well-preserved baroque architecture. It's ringed by mountains playing a very slow-moving game of duck-duck-goose. Day 7: Nicaragua’s largest Pacific port, Corinto, borders León, an old-world town dotted with 17th-century Spanish colonial churches such as the Cathedral of the Assumption.Days 9–10: Balboa, Panama, stands at the entrance to the Panama Canal—still an engineering marvel. The nearby overflow reservoir, Gatún Lake, is home to crocodiles, iguanas, and sloths.Days 12–13: Dipping toward South America, the ship docks at Manta, Ecuador, a trade city dating to pre-Columbian times. Pounding waves on Playa Murciélago create attractive surfing conditions.Day 15: The journey concludes at Puntarenas, Costa Rica, leaving you free to explore inland rainforests or head home. During each day at sea, college professors and other experts lead a string of seminars. Subjects are as varied as marine ecology, cultural anthropology, and photojournalism, and they often relate to the next port of call. The ship retains vestiges of its former life as a commercial liner. There are barstools in the 9,000-volume library, for instance, testifying to the space's former role as the ship's tavern. Despite the emphasis on education, there’s still plenty of relaxation aboard. The Wellness Center spa offers massages, manicures, and other pampering services. Nightly live entertainment offerings include an all-male a cappella group, a magician, and staged readings of old Love Boat scripts. During the day, you can even skip class to lounge by the pool, located on deck 7.See the full trip overview for more information.Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.
Licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration, Shenandoah Flying Adventures leads students skyward through training options that range from introductory flights to full pilot-certification programs. The squadron's 60-minute Discovery flight gives aeronautical novices a feel for all that flying entails, beginning with a lesson and preflight aircraft inspection and culminating with the student's taking control of the plane as a certified instructor looks on. The program offers a way for curious cloud-gazers to give flying a try without committing to all the resources necessary to earning a pilot's license, such as changing your first name to Captain. Should students wish to pursue aerial studies further, the time spent aloft can contribute to a full certification, which Shenandoah Flying Adventures offers among its slate of courses.:m]]