Sep 19

Experience Spotsylvania from All Vantage Points This Fall

Posted on September 19, 2022 at 10:40 AM by Lindsay Leach

Do you love lacing up your sneakers for a day of walkabout adventures? Is taking it all in from high in the sky more your style? Or do you find you are happiest while near the water? No matter if you like to explore by air, land, or sea, Spotsylvania, Virginia has an adventure with your name on it.

If you prefer to adventure on the ground, check out Spotsylvania Courthouse Battlefield Trails Loop. A 4.9-mile loop mixed with trails and roads, complete with interpretive signs along the route, is easy to follow for a run, walk, or bike ride. The trail is open year-round and leashed dogs are welcome. To continue to delve into the area’s rich past, embark on a Spotsylvania Historic Courthouse District Walking Tour. Designated a Virginia Historic Landmark and listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the District is home to the Court House, where one of the most tragic meetings of the Civil War took place. Other landmarks include the Spotswood Inn, Confederate Cemetery, and Spotsylvania Jail. The Jail has even been renovated in the early 2000s to present the most intricate details of the prison in its native form from the 1850s, including the sign stating, “No talking to prisoners!”

To add a little bit of roll to your ventures, climb aboard the Little Yellow Train at the Rappahannock Railroad Museum. The Little Yellow Train has been restored from aspects of original “Maintenance of Way” equipment to depict what conditions were like 50 to 60 years ago on the tracks. Children and adults alike will marvel at the 2-mile round trip traveling at 10 miles per hour while taking in the woods, wildlife, and an occasional passing freight or passenger train.

If soaring above sea level is your jam, head to Rapp Rocks Climbing Gym, Spotsylvania’s premier indoor rock-climbing facility. Over 3,000 square feet of climbing surfaces, including walls for bouldering, top rope, and lead climbing walls, are your backdrop for achieving new heights. Instructional climbing classes, as well as yoga classes, are offered. To take your ascent outside, Wilderness Adventure Park is the place to go. A ropes course, climbing wall, and Goliath ladder provide an element of challenge while getting you a little closer to the treetops and clouds. Different packages are available to suit your skill and adventure level.

If learning more about the history of air travel while keeping your feet on the ground is more your speed, the Shannon Air Museum is a must to see what the pioneering American spirit is all about. The entire collection of planes from the Shannon Airport of the 1950s has returned from the Virginia Aviation Museum in Richmond, Virginia, to this local interactive museum with a special focus on youth. Continue the ‘50s theme with a classic lunch of a burger or chili cheese dog with a milkshake at Robin’s Nest Café on the property.

Spotsylvania County by water is just as striking. Lake Anna Outfitters, otherwise known as Central Virginia’s paddling headquarters, is your connection point for water gear. Rent a sit-on-top single kayak, tandem kayak, canoe, or pedal boat and launch into the lake with Lake Anna Outfitter’s kayak slide at the start of the Lake Anna Water Trail. While the entirety of the trail is a manageable 3.5 miles long, paddle for just around one-half mile to discover undeveloped sections of Lake Anna State Park at the peak of fall for the ultimate foliage experience. Continue along the trail as your stamina allows to attractions like Kayaker’s Beach, Skinny Dipper’s Cove, Bohemian Bay, and the Tap House. When you return your equipment, be sure to purchase a piece of LKA™ wear apparel to commemorate your trip. Reservations can be easily made online at www.lakeannaoutfitters.com.  

If you want to catch a fish but you’re not sure where to find them, look no further than McCotter’s Lake Anna Guide Service. Let C.C. McCotter’s team tailor a guided outing to your group’s specific interests so all you have to do is drop a line for bass, striper, wiper, and crappie!

Spotsylvania County is waiting for you to embark on an adventure this fall. Whether you experience the season by air, land, or sea, your chosen route will leave you seeing Spotsylvania County in a crisp, refreshing way – just like the air outside that’s so blissfully ushering in shorter days and longer nights. For comfortable accommodations and other awesome activities to get up to while you’re here, be sure to click here to plan your Spotsy escape today!

Aug 08

Spotlight on Awesome Black-Owned Businesses of Spotsylvania

Posted on August 8, 2022 at 2:48 PM by Lindsay Leach

With so many small businesses struggling in the post-COVID era, support from the local area is now more important than ever. You can make your hard-earned dollars go even further in the fight against racism by supporting local, Black-owned businesses in Spotsylvania County. Whether you’re in the market for a new outfit, a spot for dinner tonight, or a place to host your next gathering, consider these Black-owned businesses of excellence to encourage community while also creating a beautiful memory for you and your loved ones.

Chic Shopping

For the woman that has seemingly “nothing to wear,” look no further than Boutique Chel. Located inside the Spotsylvania Town Centre, this Black-owned and women-owned shop has numerous clothing options, from rompers to dresses and tops with pizazz. By providing your email, you can sign up for exclusive store discounts and alerts for when new arrivals are stocked.

Cajun Flavors

Craving Cajun cuisine, like a shrimp po’boy or seafood gumbo? Orleans Bistro and Grill serves up traditional Cajun fare with a Southern twist. Owner and Executive Chef Tisha Johnson has created not only exceptional food, but also a delightfully light atmosphere with resounding music and laughter. You can now “get a taste of Bourbon Street” right here in Spotsylvania – complete with traditional cornbread or beignets with every order. 

Caribbean Cravings 

Jerks of the Caribbean offers Caribbean dishes with hospitality that’s hard to beat. All meats, including their world-famous rotisserie jerk chicken and signature stewed oxtails, are marinated in a proprietary mixture of imported spices and subsequently slow roasted to perfection. After just one visit, it will be nearly impossible to not crave another visit sometime soon.

A Space to Commemorate 

When it comes to throwing a celebratory event, The Venue at Memorable Moments should be top on your list. With space to host up to 100 guests, The Venue at Memorable Moments is the place to host small receptions, baby showers, birthday parties, reunions—essentially any event that brings people together! Don’t worry about cost getting out of hand, either; each reservation is all-inclusive, meaning that tables, table linens, centerpieces, dinnerware, chairs, lighting, draping, and even the dance floor are provided at no additional cost! Talk about a space perfect for celebrating!

A Stunning, Spacious Venue

To take your event outside, Ni River Manor is a premier location in Spotsylvania County. Set on eight acres, Ni River Manor is well-known in the area for hosting weddings, family gatherings, and retreats. An outdoor pool, firepit, two swimming pools, and horseshoe pit are just a few of the outdoor amenities to take advantage of (in addition to parking for hundreds of vehicles). The on-property bed and breakfast would be the perfect way to turn an event into a weekend getaway, too!

Getting Around in Style

When you want to enjoy yourself at your destination, but also want to get there and back worry-free, reach out to the 540 Party Bus. The 540 Party Bus is your answer for safe, reliable transportation for a night out – without assigning a designated driver from your crew. Whether you’re going to an event, a distillery, a brewery, or a winery, 540 Party Bus is ready to provide a luxurious yet affordable experience that you can book online.

Doing Good by Dining Out

New, Black-owned businesses are springing up in the Spotsylvania area that support the greater good of the community. While the Hub of HOPE (Helping Other People Eat) is an established nonprofit that provides nourishment to food-insecure families in the Greater Fredericksburg region, the organization has recently broken ground on their own restaurant, Hope Heroes. Hope Heroes is the first non-profit restaurant in Virginia, and just one of the few on the East Coast. Simply by eating at Hope Heroes, you will be helping those in need when you “buy a bowl, give a bowl.” The Southern-style “kitchen on a local mission” is scheduled to open in October or November 2022. Catering will also be offered with the same philanthropic goals. There is little more fulfilling than enjoying a delicious meal while knowing you’re also helping to feed those in need!

Celebrating Black Excellence in Spotsylvania 

There are numerous Black-owned businesses to stand behind in Spotsylvania County. The more important question is…which one will you support first? For more information about what to get up to while you’re here, check out our list of recommended itineraries by clicking here today.

Jul 28

Take a Culinary Trip Around the World (Without a Passport) in Spotsylvania

Posted on July 28, 2022 at 4:52 PM by Lindsay Leach

You really don’t feel like cooking tonight. You want to eat out at a place with some ethnic flair, but where do you go? Should you go to a place you frequent or try some place new? If you try some place new, how can you possibly navigate the menu like a pro? Whether you’re a local wanting to branch out or just calling Spotsylvania home for the weekend, let us guide you to taste the globe.

A Hankering for Himalayan Fare

Recently opened and receiving rave reviews, Himalayan Heritage Restaurant brings the best of Nepali and Indian dishes to Spotsylvania. There is a signature dish for everyone on their expansive menu (including vegetarian, non-vegetarian, halal meat, low oil, low salt, and low-calorie offerings) prepared to your personal preference of spiciness. Try the Pork Sekuwa, Nepali style grilled marinated pork for an appetizer, followed by Tandoori Chicken or Lamb Vindaloo. Do not forget a side order of warm Naan bread or Papadoms (thin lentil crisps with tamarind sauce)! Menus change daily so you’ll never get in a rut of ordering the same thing. And, if you have a craving for a particular dish, just let the staff know in advance and they will be happy to prepare it for you.

Craving Chinese

Since 1989 (one of the oldest restaurants in the region, operated by the same contiguous owners!), Dragon Inn is a local staple serving a variety of Chinese dishes. Order a house specialty like Orange Beef with crispy beef tenderloin stir-fried in a spicy orange sauce or the Fortune Combination with stir-fried beef, jumbo shrimp, sea scallops, roasted pork, chicken, broccoli, and snow-peas. Korean options are also available upon request.

Must-Try Mexican Flavors

When your tastes take you South of the Border, you have to eat at El Patron. Everything – from the chips and tortillas to seasoning blends – is made in-house. Likely anything with Latin flare you have been craving is on the menu. Sip on a refreshing margarita as you decide between something traditional like the Patron Quesadilla filled with grilled chicken, steak, shrimp, onions, peppers, and tomatoes or something more adventurous like Fajitas Veracruz with steak, chicken, and chorizo topped with pineapple slices served in a pineapple shell. The Patron Dip, made with locally famous cheese sauce and beans, ground beef, and pico de gallo or an order of guacamole made tableside are must-have meal starters.

Searching for Surf Specialties

When you’re in the mood for fresh seafood and made-from-scratch hushpuppies, look no further than Fish N’ Grill Restaurant. Enjoy a Crab Cake Burger served on a brioche bun with homemade tartar sauce and signature fries. For a feast, try the Captain’s Platter, complete with two pieces of fish, one crab cake, six pieces of shrimp, four ounces of scallops and oysters, four hushpuppies, and two side dishes. Talk about a true bounty of the sea!

Quelling the Need for Comfort Food

For the ultimate comfort food, head to Gourmeltz, a ‘90s themed bar where everything is made from scratch and the classic grilled cheese sandwich is taken up boundless notches. Bite into the Bourbon Buffalo Chicken Melt stuffed with pickled red onions, hand-made mozzarella sticks, provolone, and grilled cheese. For an elevated grilled cheese reminiscent of your childhood, the Inside-Out 5 Cheese Grilled Cheese that has Asiago, Parmesan, and Romano cheese on the outside plus your choice of five cheeses on the inside is a cheese lover’s dream! Cocktails (think anything from a Grape Gatorade to a Smoked Old Fashioned) as well as a generous offering of seventeen on-tap beers are also available.

Authentic Italian That’s Amore

For authentic Italian food, check out Itavie. Known for its picturesque vitrine of desserts and homemade gelato, you’ll likely have a hard time choosing just one treat from the case (the choice between their New York Cheesecake and Strawberry Crunch Cake is never easy). Your selection of gelato may be even tougher as sixteen different flavors from Caffe Mocha to Frutti Di Bosco are offered and change regularly.

Getting Your Cup of Joe On

For that perfect pick-me-up, 25?-30? Espresso Coffee Roasters has curated artisan coffee beans from all over the world from women-owned, fair-trade coffee farms. Sip on the Columbian blend, with notes of dark chocolate, dark cherry, and cashews or the Ethiopian blend with notes of strawberry, blueberry, and graham cracker. If you order a café drink like a latte or espresso, the house-made syrups will make your experience heavenly! Before you leave, grab a bag to brew at home, too. 

An Epicurean Epicenter in Spotsylvania, Virginia

The next time you’re in the mood for a meal that expands your cultural horizons, check out one of these recommended spots. While the dishes above are a delicious starting point, do not be surprised if you incorporate one (or all!) of these restaurants into your eat-out rotation with what seems like endless offerings to enjoy!