Blue Ridge Highlands
The Birthplace of Country Music Museum is now open in Bristol. In association with the Smithsonian Institution, the 24,000 square-foot museum tells the story of Bristol's musical heritage. One of the major interpretative themes explains why the region historically has been — and continues today — to be a fertile breeding ground for traditional Appalachian music, including Old-Time String Band, Folk, Bluegrass, Americana, Gospel, Piedmont Blues, Country, and other musical genres. www.birthplaceofcountrymusic.org
Hotel Floyd recently completed an expansion project and can now host events of up to 90 people and the Floyd Eco Village can host meetings up to 250 people. http://www.hotelfloyd.com
Bolling Wilson Hotel: The former George Wythe Hotel, a 1927 historic hotel, has been renovated and put back into use as a boutique hotel after more than 40 years of being used as a bank. And, paying homage to the history of Wytheville, it is getting a brand new name to go along with its creative interior design. The former George Wythe Hotel is now open under its new name the Bolling Wilson Hotel. The hotel features 30 luxurious guest rooms; event space to accommodate 150; and a restaurant featuring New Southern cuisine; outdoor dining; and a rooftop patio that provides a 360 degree view of the mountains. www.bollingwilsonhotel.com
The Adventure Park at Sandy River Retreat tree top adventure park is now open and challenges you to new heights. Recently added obstacles makes the park the largest high ropes course in central Virginia. 61 obstacles with 17 zip lines. Great for team building, tour of gardens and spending time outdoors. www.theoutdooradventurepark.com
The Virginia War Memorial is planning an estimated $17 million expansion to honor Virginia’s service members who have died in the global war on terrorism. Plans for the new wing also call for building a 350-seat auditorium, a roughly 200-space parking deck, a new exhibit gallery and a classroom for long-distance learning. www.vawarmemorial.org
The new Courtyard Richmond Downtown in now open! This unique, 6-story high-rise hotel is located in historic Shockoe Slip. It is only a short walk to the Capitol, VCU Medical Center, the Greater Richmond Convention Center, James Center with many nearby historic attractions and museums. The new, state-of-the-art lobby provides greater flexibility and choices for our guests. At the center of it all is The Bistro, your destination for a great breakfast with Starbuck’s coffee, or drinks and dinner during the evening. All guest rooms feature modern furnishings, a mini-fridge and microwave, free WiFi plus Marriott’s luxury bedding. Enjoy meeting up with colleagues in their lobby lounge or beautiful outdoor courtyard and tour the adjacent 1500 sq. ft. exhibition space commemorating Thomas Jefferson’s penning of the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom.
The Virginia Living Museum now offers a new option for adult groups visiting the Museum. Fill your belly and your brain with our “Taste of Virginia” series- an educational experience combined with the foods, wines & flavors of various regions of Virginia. These culinary tours are available all year long. In November & December VLM are also offering two “mini-tastes” which will be great add-ons to their popular “Star of Wonder” holiday planetarium show. www.thevlm.org
Water Country USA in Williamsburg unveils a brand new thrill slide: Colossal Curl, the first family raft ride that includes riders at 48 inches tall. The slide is mostly enclosed, featuring a funnel, wave, and weightlessness experience. The slide drops 67.5 feet over the course of 552 feet.
Busch Gardens in Williamsburg adds London Rocks as a new experience in England. Guests will enjoy a musical journey through the roots of rock-n-roll - a 25 minute experience that transforms Busch Gardens' Globe Theatre into a multi-media rock spectacular.
Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach has expanded to include a brand new Aquarium Adventure Park. The park features zip lines and ropes courses. It is Virginia's largest aerial forest park and suitable for ages 5 and older. In addition, a Coastal Conservation Garden opens soon.
The brand new Hilton Garden Inn Virginia Beach Oceanfront is a modern upscale hotel ideal for both business and leisure travel. The hotel features 167 all oceanfront rooms and suites as well as an array of cutting-edge amenities and features. Two oceanfront restaurants, a luxurious indoor and outdoor pool, and 5,000 square feet of flexible meeting space make this Virginia Beach hotel the ideal destination for your group. www.hiltongardeninnvirginiabeach.com/
Senior groups have begun using the Miss Rivershore as a way to have a mid-week lunch with a 75-90 minute ride during the week. Food is catered to the boat by several local eateries at reasonable prices. The Blue Arbor Café in Occoquan (www.bluearborcafe.com) and Dixie Bones Bar-b-que in Woodbridge (www.dixiebones.com) just to name a few. These rides are priced at $25-$35 person including lunch and are done a reservation basis.
Quantico is now offering options for group dining. The Clubs at Quantico and Crossroads Events Center would like to welcome you to experience the finest quality and taste when it comes to dining and entertainment. Military, family members, and the general public are welcome. www.quantico.marines.mil
The Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner Center hotel is scheduled to open in March 2015. The hotel will have a covered walkway to the 300+ stores and restaurants of Tysons Corner Center regional mall and is just steps from the newest Silver Line Metrorail station. The property will have 300 guestrooms, including 18 suites, Regency Club rooms, and Presidential Suite.
Virginia’s Natural Bridge, a National Historic Landmark has been a major Shenandoah Valley attraction for visitors since the 1700s. For many of those years the Historic Hotel and Conference Center has welcomed guests to the area, and continues to extend its brand of Virginia hospitality to travelers with exciting plans for capital improvements, programs and activities. The revitalization work has already begun and the hotel is ready to graciously welcome guests. www.naturalbridgeva.com