"2015 tiptoed in very quietly while we slept. I awoke early this morning and sat on the edge of Carrington's bed. He whispered, "Will you snuggle with me?" I did. I stole every imaginary sugar-cake that I could find. When my other two rise in their own time, we are heading out into the state park for our first day hike. It is a very happy new year, indeed." -January 1, 2015
Last year I sat down to write my Christmas wish list at just the time I was awaiting the new Sound of Music television movie. What resulted was the first part of a holiday wish list, sung to the tune of "My Favorite Things." I posted my list on facebook last year, and at the urging of several friends, wrote the second verse, which included even more local shopping ideas. If you have a business you'd like to see included on the list, please let me know. If I have enough, I may just write a third part. Let's always remember our local businesses and friends when knocking out that holiday shopping!
from The Virginia Grape
I was down in a very rural part of Halifax County on my first visit to the Southern Virginia Wine Region. Unlike Central and Northern Virginia, there are no real clusters of wineries in this part of the state, so driving time became a factor. I'd only visited two tasting rooms and it was nearing the end of the day. I'd been very happy with my discoveries. Southern Virginia has a reputation for sweet wines and, so far, I'd found no proof of that. I pulled into Hunting Creek Vineyards, knowing that it would be my last stop of the day. What were the chances that I'd uncover another great winery. Three in a row seemed like a long shot.
The tasting room is a small log cabin set back next to the trees. The lawn is manicured, there are flowers along the walk and a line of wooden rockers sit on the porch. As you enter the front door, you'll notice the interior is a tasteful mix of rustic and modern. The curved, polished-wood tasting bar and modern settees are juxtaposed against the exposed beam ceiling and old fieldstone fireplace. It's the kind of place I could imagine spending a long weekend. So far, so good, but what about the wine?
Todd Hansen is a master story-teller who believes that every person has something important to say, and he's on a mission, traveling the country searching for a story. He happens to be the host of BYUtv's reality tv show entitled, "The Story Trek," and his cross country searching led him right here to Halifax County, Virginia.
You haven’t tasted good vegetables and fruit until you’ve tried them straight from the farm. Halifax County is loaded with roadside stands and farmers’ markets that sell them. “Fresh and local food is a lot better for you than store-bought produce,” says Pickett Craddock, who runs Oak Grove Plantation bed & breakfast. “I never knew corn and tomatoes could taste so good,” says her husband, Mike Doan. We always serve local fresh fruit for breakfast when it’s available.
This time of the year, July and August, is the best time for cantaloupe, watermelons, corn, squash, zucchini, okra, eggplant, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, blueberries, blackberries, beets, onions, cabbage, peaches and beans. Strawberries, asparagus and flowering plants are at their height in May. Fresh eggs are also popular here. and pumpkins are available in the fall.
Welcome to the Southern Virginia Wild Blueway
A few weeks ago I posted an article about my visit with friends Mark and Jeanene Krogh, who have been restoring Woodlawn Plantation in Clover, Virginia. Their dedication to this restoration is admirable, and the time and effort they have invested in this 18th century Virginia plantation home is impressive. Read the article about Woodlawn Plantation here.
One of my favorite aspects of working for Tourism and the Visitor Center is that I get to meet so many people from so many different areas, while learning a piece of their life story and their reasons for traveling to and through our community. Almost every time that I work, I get to meet an interesting person or family with a story and I love forging connections. I believe we are all connected in some way or another, and these two lovely ladies whom I met Sunday are wonderful examples of how far reaching our community is and how the programs in our community can impact and connect us all.
"On a high hill near Staunton River several miles east of Clover, Woodlawn stands silently, a dominant landmark for more than 200 years." These descriptive words introduce readers to Woodlawn Plantation in Kenneth Cook's article in the News and Record on September 17, 1976. Read more of Kenneth Cook's article and learn about the incredible history of this old plantation home in Halifax County, Virginia here.
July 4th is right around the corner, and if you're looking for fireworks or a grand celebration, Southern Virginia and surrounding area is booming with places and ways to celebrate our great nation's independence! These patriotic celebrations will have you waving Old Glory in your Red, White, and Blue before you can say Yankee Doodle Dandy! Take a look at this list, and hopefully you'll find something fun for the whole family to enjoy.Thursday, July 3, 2014 Race and Fireworks
South Boston Speedway, South Boston, Virginia: Get your FIREWORKS fix started this Thursday, July 3 at the South Boston Speedway! Dr. & Mrs. Maresca of St. Lawrence Radiology Presents Thunder Road Harley Davidson NASCAR Late Model 200 / Limited 100 / Pure Stock 50 with fireworks to follow this July 3 at the South Boston Speedway. Tickets $15, available at the South Boston-Halifax County Visitor Center. For details, see www.southbostonspeedway.com
There are many reasons we are so fortunate to live in rural America, in such a beautiful and fertile part of the world, in the midst of such a rich agricultural community. One of those reasons is our access to so many fresh off the vine fruits, from berries in the spring and into the summer, to autumn apples and pumpkins, and even Christmas trees at winter's brink. Some of my earliest and favorite memories involve picking blackberries with my great grandparents on their rural Virginia farm. What is about picking fresh berries that we love? Is it the feeling of warmth so early in the year, sunshine on our cheeks and necks, the strangely sweet and earthy smell of freshly plowed fields? Maybe it is the instant gratification of enjoying the literal fruits of your labor. Maybe it is the sweet strawberries themselves. For me, it is all those things, plus the faces of my children studying each berry to make sure it is ripe enough, carefully making their selections, and the looks of delight on their smiling faces as they fill up each berry basket, sweet as strawberry pie.
Shangrila Guest Ranch, South Boston, Virginia
Caladh Nua performed at the Prizery
The Virginia Tourism Corporation announced that Halifax County Department of Tourism in partnership with Mecklenburg County and Virginia State Parks has been awarded $10,000 through the state’s Virginia is for Lovers Marketing Leverage Grant Program for their blueway project.
The proposed Halifax-Mecklenburg Blueway is to be comprised of four rivers and one lake spanning the two counties with access points in the counties’ three Virginia State Parks. The goal of the blueway project is to create a water-based trail system that will link the diﬀerent assets found on the rivers and lake in an effort improve, enhance and preserve the environmental, historic and recreational opportunities on the rivers and lake. Funding was granted for identity development, branding, and marketing of this endeavor, to include logo design, brochures publication, website design and development, and marketing campaigns designed to promote one of the greatest tourism assets of Southern Virginia-outdoor recreation. The blueway, which will include launch points, camping locations, and points of interest, will target a fast growing segment of tourism targeting and provide a more cohesive recreational experience for those visiting.
It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! At the South Boston-Halifax County Visitor Center, it is also the Most Wine-Tastic Time of the Year! For the month of December, we are offering a special opportunity for our local wine lovers and gift givers. Purchase 3 bottles of wine and receive a 10% discount, or purchase 6 bottles of wine or more, and receive a 15% discount. Currently available in the Visitor Center's gift shop are wines from Halifax County's own Bright Meadows, Greenwood, Hunting Creek, and Molliver Vineyards, as well as neighboring Rosemont, Sans Soucy, The Homeplace, and Annefield Vineyards and Wineries, all of which are part of the greater Southern Virginia Wine Trail.
Are you looking for fresh and fun gift giving ideas? Do you want to be prepared for the unexpected and handle last minute holiday stress with grace and style? Do you want to support your local friends and neighbors? If you answered "Yes!" to any of these, I present to you my "Top Ten Wine-Tastic Gift Giving Ideas for 2013."
Whenever travelers make an unplanned stop at the South Boston-Halifax County Visitor Center, operated by the Halifax County tourism Department, they often ask with a smile and a question mark on their face, “What is there to do in…South Boston, Virginia?” Without hesitation, I confidently answer that for a county and town as small as we are, one would be surprised at how much there is to do here!
One way for locals and visitors, alike, to find out what is happening in our community is to view the community calendar at the Halifax County Tourism Department’s website at www.gohalifaxva.com. My goal at work today was to add ten events to our calendar for the remainder of November and upcoming December 2013. Within two hours, I had easily surpassed my goal, adding 13 events to the items already on the calendar. Whether you are a local looking for something fun to do or ways to support your local neighbors, or you are visiting the area and in search of local flavor, you might be interested in the following:
As I pulled up the website for the Virginia International Raceway this afternoon, I saw there on the home page information about the VIR Club Member Driving Days with a link to find out how one can join VIR and enjoy personal driving days for themselves at the world renowned road course here in Halifax County, Virginia. VIR is well known for its high end road course racing, karting, and race events that they play host to throughout the year, but did you know that as an individual that you can become a member of this prestigious club resort?
My husband and I, along with our two children and their friend, were recently invited to attend a Club Day at VIR for members and their guests, during which time members are invited to drive the track in their own cars, race others for good spirited fun, socialize, network, and enjoy the culinary fare, lodging, and many other amenities that the resort has to offer. It would take a month of Sundays to write about each amenity and aspect of VIR, and I plan to do so in a series of future blogs…
Welcome to our community, and welcome to the South Boston and Halifax County Tourism Blog. Feel free to make yourself at home.
From behind the desk of the South Boston-Halifax Visitor Center, a gift shop full of local history books, local wines, and local arts and jewelry is to my left, brochures for restaurants, lodging, attractions and events are to my right, and iconic agriculture, racing, and state park memorabilia are all around. On the other side of the glass front double doors, cars of locals and visitors cross the intersection of Highway 58 and Route 360. It is from this point of view that I witness a kaleidoscope of who and what makes up South Boston and Halifax County in this region we call Southside Virginia: the residents, visitors, passersby, the stories, history, families, and, of course, the friendships.