Valentine’s Day may be long over, but we’re always looking for ways to bring a little extra love into our lives. This year, Virginia is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its iconic slogan: “Virginia is for Lovers,” so there’s never been a better time to discover the many reasons to fall in love with this triangle-shaped state.
Located midway between New York and Florida, Virginia is the gateway to the southern U.S. and less than a 1.5-hour flight away from Toronto. Whether outdoor activities, relaxation or exceptional food and wine inspire your travels, you’ll find plenty to love in Virginia.
Virginia Beach’s 35 miles of sandy coastline is the closest warm water beach to Toronto. Head to the buzzing Resort Area and browse the array of shops, museums and restaurants lined along its scenic oceanfront boardwalk; or escape to peaceful Chesapeake Bay Beach for a relaxing getaway from the hustle-and-bustle.
Or maybe you prefer to swap your swimsuit for some running shoes to explore Virginia’s wealth of picturesque hiking and biking trails. Virginia encompasses one-fourth of the famous Appalachian Trail, the longest footpath in the U.S. and a bucket list trek for many hikers.
Make the 8.8-mile climb to the top of Old Rag Mountain, one of the most popular hikes in Shenandoah National Park; or take in the state’s scenery at a more leisurely pace along one of the multi-use recreation trails, which have seen old railroad grades repurposed as routes for biking and walking.
Find out why Virginia is the self-proclaimed “oyster capital of the east coast,” by sampling some of the state’s famously delicious oysters. There are eight oyster regions in Virginia, each of which harvests oysters with their own distinctive flavours. Compare and contrast the mellow sweetness of oysters from the Lower Bay Eastern Shore with the salty, smooth flavour of oysters from the Tidewater.
Home to nearly 300 wineries, Virginia is also an exciting destination for oenophiles. Dozens of wine trails throughout the state help narrow down your choice of wineries, by mapping out your path for you. Take in the scenery of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Smith Mountain Lake while making your way along the Bedford Wine Trail; or tour some of Virginia’s up-and-coming wineries along the SoVA Wine Trail.
Plan your trip at virginia.org/canada