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Off-the-Boat Tour on Chincoteague Island, Virginia


In June and July, AAA is featuring road trip information on AAA TravelViews, as well as on Facebook, Twitter (#RoadTrip), Google+ and Pinterest. This week’s focus is on road trip travels with children. In my 20 years with AAA, I’ve taken many a scenic boat cruise. Most are gentle afternoon trips where vacationers enjoy seeing wildlife or historic sites as ... Read More »

Virginia’s ’495 Express Lanes’ from a Local’s Perspective


Traffic, Traffic, Traffic. Living in any metropolitan area, you can’t escape traffic jams. Since July 2008, Virginia has been constructing toll lanes on I-495 (the Beltway) to alleviate congestion. It was a long, frustrating and sometimes dangerous time for Beltway drivers during the construction period. Finally, the “495 Express Lanes“ opened in November 2012. During the toll lanes’ construction phase, ... Read More »

Barter Theatre: Catch a Show in Abingdon, Virginia


I have attended the Barter Theatre on several occasions over my years as a AAA inspector. Conveniently across the street from The Martha Washington Hotel (AAA Four Diamonds) in southern Virginia, the theater is one of the area’s most attended attractions and should be a must-stop for AAA members or anyone traveling in the area if they have time to ... Read More »

Presidential History in Virginia: Montpelier and Monticello

Monticello, Virginia - Presidential History in VA

Living in the Shenandoah Valley for more than a decade now, I have had the distinct pleasure to explore not only Civil War history and many battlefields but also the history from our country’s inception. Virginia is the cradle of presidents and was home to George Washington, and the fact that the third and fourth presidents’ estates are in such ... Read More »

The Return of the (Not So Humble) Doughnut in Virginia


For years it seemed you couldn't find an independent doughnut shop in my corner of the world. Sure there were bakeries, pastry shops and, when the economy was booming, expensive cupcakes shops everywhere — but no doughnut shops other than the ubiquitous national chain. Now with the economic downturn, it seems doughnuts are back in favor with enterprising entrepreneurs and ... Read More »

Find Inspiration at Taubman Museum in Roanoke, Virginia

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I recently visited Taubman Museum of Art in downtown Roanoke, Virginia, and wholly recommend it for all ages.  The contemporary art — some on permanent display and some as traveling exhibitions — will inspire you.  I am not an artist but can appreciate the exquisite talent of the modern and historical pieces.  I was awestruck as I toured and felt ... Read More »

Cavern Tours of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley


For years, I have been drawn to the beauty of underground landscapes.  There is something magical and adventurous about being hundreds of feet underground and viewing gorgeous rock formations. I have been taking vacation trips and visiting caverns since I was 7 years old, and the sights of these underground worlds never cease to amaze me. I was pleased to ... Read More »

Tracing TV History on Walton’s Mountain in Schuyler, Virginia

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Original Walton’s House, Virginia At one time or another, most people have watched an episode of “The Waltons,” that famous television series from the ’70s. I grew up watching this show and sometimes even now when I want a hint of nostalgia, I’ll find an episode on cable and watch it. I was in Lynchburg, Virginia, for my nephew’s graduation ... Read More »

Fun in Norfolk— With or Without Snow

Norfolk Winter Extravaganza MacArthur Center is the centerpiece of revitalization of downtown Norfolk and has reigned over the skyline for more than a decade.  This is the eighth year the mall has offered an outdoor ice skating rink in the adjacent grassy lawn.  For the 2012 Christmas season it added to the fun with a winter extravaganza. Virginia isn’t the frosty ... Read More »

Favorite Mid-Atlantic BBQ Restaurants

Delectable Barbeque Have you ever had a craving for barbecue? I'm not talking Korean BBQ or barbecuing on the grill.  I'm talking about good old American BBQ. A pulled pork sandwich smothered with your favorite sauce or ribs so tender and moist the meat melts in your mouth. I've traveled the back roads and highways of the Mid-Atlantic area for ... Read More »