With summer officially underway, it’s the perfect time to discover what’s new and newsworthy in Virginia.
Celebrate 50 Years of Love when you visit participating cities and counties all across the state. You’ll find everything from special lovers lagers at breweries and lovers blends at wineries, 1969 inspired meals and prices at restaurants, special 50 Years of Love events, annual events with 1969 themes, contests, giveaways and much more.
Highlights Across the Commonwealth this Summer
- Monster Jam Thunder Alley roars into Kings Dominion July 20 through September 2. Get up close, sit in, and even ride in some of your favorite Monster Jam trucks at this all-new, limited time experience.
- The Garden Club of Virginia has begun a year long Centennial celebration of the public causes the Garden Club of Virginia has supported, the landscapes it has preserved and the importance of environmental engagement.
- The American Civil War Museum in Richmond opened its 29,000-square-foot institution bringing together the American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar and the Museum of the Confederacy.
- Rosie’s Gaming Emporium in Richmond is now open. Rosie’s features 700 HHR (historical horse racing) machines, a delicious restaurant, and a fantastic bar.
- The 2019 State Games of America will bring 14,000 amateur athletes from all over the country to Lynchburg July 31 through August 4.
- Visit the ‘reimagined’ Boar’s Head Resort. Formerly the Boar’s Head Inn, the Charlottesville resort features its newly renovated main building as well as a fully made-over restaurant called The Mill Room, bar and lobby, all while remaining true to its original roots.
- One of Virginia’s beloved coastal resorts, the Tides Inn, received a new look and restaurant. The new coastal eatery called Fish Hawk features outdoor oyster roasting, a raw bar and various seafood classics. Also, new this summer, Duffy Electric Boats can be rented from the Tides Inn.
- The Deltaville Tap and Raw Bar is open for business serving American fare and fresh local seafood.
- Urbanna will offer a new coffee joint this summer with the opening of Cool Beans Coffee House.
Coastal Virginia – Eastern Shore
- Ambrogia Caffe and Enoteca in Cape Charles shares a taste of Italy this summer. Open every day but Mondays, join Ambrogia for a morning espresso, a panino for lunch or a glass of vino with dinner.
- Flair, a lifestyle retail store selling unique and fun clothing, opened in Cape Charles just in time to benefit your summer wardrobe.
- The aroma of freshly baked boules wafts over Strawberry Street Plaza in Cape Charles with the recent opening of The Bakery on Mason, an artisanal bakery offering a selection of country-style breads, pastries and sandwiches.
Coastal Virginia – Hampton Roads
- Twisted Knot Brewing Co. nano-brewery in Newport News is now open.
- Busch Gardens Williamsburg will be hosting America and Britain’s Got Talent Acts during Summer Nights Live! Enjoy dance performances from Boogie Storm, light shows from Light balance, illusion shows from Fighting Gravity and much more.
- Virginia Derby Day at Colonial Downs takes place on August 31. Like thoroughbred racing returns to Colonial Downs this summer. This 15-day, five week meet takes place August 8 and continues through September with the Virginia Derby on August 31. Races generally take place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
- The biggest splash at the Old Town Alexandria waterfront comes from the tall ship Providence, which arrived on July 1 as a permanent attraction. Once the ship opens to the public in late summer, visitors can step aboard and learn about 18th-century life on the sea, the history of the original ship, and meet a John Paul Jones reenactor. Weekly sails, tours, craft brew cruises, private tours, and charters will take place on the ship, bolstering entertainment offerings on the waterfront.
- The Black Sheep whiskey + wine + noshery at Farm Brew Live will open this summer in Manassas. It will feature a dedicated arts and entertainment space as well as private dining rooms in the lower level barrel-aging quarters.
- New lodging for cycling enthusiasts, The Hopewell House Bike & Bed in Strasburg is the culmination of our love of people and cycling. With a vision to provide a comfortable place for all guests, this Bike & Bed is the perfect place to relax in the Shenandoah Valley.
- Old Dominion Doggery and Burger Shoppe is a new eatery coming to Strasburg. This restaurant prides itself on using only 100% local grass-fed beef. Both their hotdogs and burgers comes with a choice of 50 unlimited toppings and are served with french fries.
- The Southern Virginia Makers Market is opening this summer in South Hill. This local grocery will increase the availability of local products to customers, beyond the limited operating hours of traditional farmers markets. Make sure to check out the kitchen for locally sourced butter, cheeses, baked goods, soups and more.
- The Monster Truck Throwdown is happening July 26 and 27 at Virginia Motorsports Park. Meet the performers, stock up on Throwdown merch, and collect autographs.
Southwest Virginia – Blue Ridge Highlands
- One of Virginia’s biggest and best music festivals, FloydFest is a five-day festival right off the Blue Ridge Parkway in the mountains of Floyd. Camp in the trees of the Blue Ridge Mountains during the festival, where you’ll discover outdoor adventure, local vendors offering everything from artisan-made goods and clothing to delicious food and beverages, and an inclusive sense of community.
- Buffalo Mountain Ziplines recently opened in Floyd County. Fly high above the forest floor from treetop to treetop on up to nine ziplines! Get a bird’s eye view of Southwest Virginia on this family friendly course!
- The Trail Hands plan will hold opening ceremonies for each hand artwork on June 1st. Each hand is designed by a local artist. This project is a result of the first Air Shift workshop at the Reynolds Homestead back in 2018. This group of locals set out to create better mapping and beautification of Patrick County.
- Palisades Restaurant, the River Valley’s most exciting dining destination feature southern hospitality and cuisine, recently brought on a new chef and shares his menu with customers this summer.
- New restaurant in Kairos, The Bad Apple, will host Hare Scramble Virginia motorbike race in September.
Southwest Virginia – Heart of Appalachia
- Downtown Abingdon will be hosting the Virginia Highlands Festival July 26-August 4. The week-long festival features live music, historical re-enactments, art and photography competitions, guided nature hikes, creative writing workshops, and more.
- Sugar Hill Cidery opens August in downtown Norton. This new cidery offers local beef burgers, fresh salads, flatbreads and seafood. Sugar Hill Cidery will also feature beer from their sister company, Sugar Hill Brewing, along with their own ciders.
- A new duel-concept restaurant in Salem, El Jefe and West Salem BBQ open in Downtown Salem this summer. Located in the same building, El Jefe offers tacos and tequila and West Salem BBQ offers barbeque and bourbon.
- Twin Creeks Distillery opens new tasting room in downtown Rocky Mount and carries on the Moonshine Capital tradition with spirits for all to enjoy.
- Enjoy the Virginia Mountain region from a bird’s eye view at Treetop Quest at Explore Park, which opened July 1.
- Enjoy camping, hammocking, and glamping under the summer stars along the Upper James River Water Trail through Twin River Outfitters in Buchanan. Fire rings and picnic tables are available upon request.
About Virginia Tourism Corporation
The Virginia Tourism Corporation is the state agency responsible for marketing Virginia to visitors and promoting the Virginia is for Lovers brand, which celebrates 50 years in 2019. Tourism is an instant revenue generator in Virginia. In 2018, visitors spent $26 billion, which supported 234,000 work opportunities and contributed $1.8 billion in state and local taxes.