The Girl and Globe’s Spending Fall in Virginia Cities like Richmond, Harrisonburg and more

The Girl and Globe’s Spending Fall in Virginia Cities like Richmond, Harrisonburg and more.

The post originally appeared on The Girl and Globe’s blog on September 16, 2016 by Becky.

Fall in Virginia is the best time to visit. The state bursts with natural color, events, and weather too good to be true. I’m lucky enough to take advantage of weekend getaways, but it’s worth the trip even if you fly in.

TRICK OR TREAT IN RICHMOND’S FAN

As a former resident of “The Fan” neighborhood in Richmond, I can attest that most area residents are college students or adults without children. You’d think that means Halloween trick or treating is a quiet event…and it is, for the most part. The exception is on Hanover Avenue and Strawberry Street where junior terrors and princesses are high on sugar. The haunted homes, fall harvest scenes, and other elaborate decorations are worth seeing. You’ll want hotels in Richmond in walking distance, like The Museum District Bed and Breakfast.

CHEER ON HARRISONBURG’S HOME TEAM

jmu football

Photo by Smackk via Wikimedia

Football in Virginia is a thing. Until I moved here, I wasn’t aware that college football is so popular. Everyone is loyal to the local schools! JMU — that’s James Madison University, if you don’t follow sports — is in Harrisonburg and definitely a Virginia favorite. If you’re attending a game, be sure to book Harrisonburg hotels in advance. Not only do they sell out, but deals disappear quickly.

SIP YOUR WAY THROUGH SEPTEMBER

Head north to Arlington County, a part of Virginia that visitors can’t tell if it’s a home for D.C.-commuters or Virginia locals (don’t worry, you’re correct either way). With comfortable temperatures in September, it’s the perfect time of year for outdoor movies at the Crystal Screen. Show up at sundown on Tuesday evenings for movies like Bottle Shock,Chocolat, and Sideways. I’ve stayed at a handful of Arlington hotels, and the Hilton Crystal City is my favorite that’s still walking distance to the event.

WASHINGTON D.C. AMENITIES OUTSIDE THE CAPITAL

Reston is this weird part of Virginia that I haven’t figured out yet, but it’s a great base for visiting Fairfax County. Hotels in Reston put you in spitting distance of the Frying Pan Farm Park, for fall carnival weekends and Sunday evening bluegrass. Head east to Wolf Trap National Park for live performances or west to the Smithsonian National Air & Space Udvar-Hazy Center. If you’re the type of traveler who normally heads straight from Dulles airport to Washington D.C., it’s time to take the scenic route.

COME TO ALEXANDRIA WEEKEND AFTER WEEKEND

mount vernon trail

Photo by Discol via Wikimedia

Old Town Alexandria is a treat to visit all year-long, but in fall, I can’t get enough. First there’s the King Street Art Festival (a shopping and decorating paradise for a new homeowner like me!). After that is Mount Vernon’s Fall Wine Festival & Sunset Tour and a chance to snoop around George Washington’s former home. By the time those weekends are over, you’ll be back for leaf peeping and bike riding the Mount Vernon Trail and ghost tours in Old Town Alexandria. Sounds like a good excuse to be a regular at hotels in Alexandria!

I always think Virginia’s worth a visit, but without a doubt, autumn is a great time to come.

Visit Kings Dominion During Special Events for More Fun

Visit Kings Dominion During Special Events for More Fun

Last week I shared about out visit to Kings Dominion and how much the kids enjoyed Planet Snoopy.  We visited during the Spring Bloom Festival and the main reason we went at the end of the festival is because my daughter is a huge Sabrina Carpenter fan so when we saw her on the schedule I knew that was the perfect date to visit.

Kings Dominion Spring Bloom (7)

You may not know that when you purchase your ticket to Kings Dominion you are also entitled to some bonus fun.  We had the opportunity to see Sabrina Carpenter for free, included in our ticket price.  Guests visiting the park the day we visited had the option to purchase VIP tickets to the Sabrina Carpenter concert or find one of the regular seating options at the Kingswood Amphitheater.  Seating was first come first served so if you’re planning on attending any events there be sure to get there at least an hour before show time.

Kings Dominion Sabrina Carpenter (3)

When we arrived and got checked in we waited in line for the entrance to open, we ended up in the last row for VIP so we were a few rows from the stage but still close enough for my daughter to enjoy the show.

Kings Dominion Sabrina Carpenter (2)

She was excited and smiling the entire time we were at the concert which lasted about an hour.  Sabrina sang her hits and a free covers of her favorite artists.  It was packed and every one enjoyed it so much.  It was a great experience and I couldn’t believe it was included in the price of the admission ticket to the park.

Kings Dominion Sabrina Carpenter (5)

Kings Dominion Sabrina Carpenter (4)

Kings Dominion Sabrina Carpenter (7)

Kings Dominion Sabrina Carpenter (1)

I so happy that my family had the opportunity to hear Sabrina Carpenter preform.  It was an amazing show and my daughter will never forget the experience.  If you’re planning a visit to the park be sure to visit Kings Dominion Special Events page to learn more about their upcoming entertainment options heading to the park including Imagination Movers, Choo Choo Soul, Joyfest, and Kingsfest.

Hipmunk Hotels: Hospitality and Charm in Grapevine, Newport News, Midland, Charlotte and Little Rock

Hipmunk Hotels: Hospitality and Charm in Grapevine, Newport News, Midland, Charlotte and Little Rock

Southern hospitality and charm go hand in hand when people describe the south. Southern cities offer unique local attractions, food, and cultural experiences. If you’re planning a trip to the south and it includes Grapevine, Newport News, Midland, Charlotte, or Little Rock, check out this handy guide of hotels in these cities.

Plan a Family Vacation in Grapevine, TX

Fireside Pies

Photo by Hiten Patel via Trover.com

Travelers to Grapevine can reach the area from two Texas airports, Dallas/Forth Worth International and Dallas Love Field. Great Wolf Lodge Grapevine is perfect for families looking to escape and unwind.  They only offer suites at the lodge, and the rates vary based on when you travel; but you can get a room for as low as $241 per night. Rates include admission tickets to the lodge’s water park and kiddie pools. There is also an indoor arcade and game room for the days when you don’t want to visit the pool.

Affordable Hotels Near the Water in Newport News, VA

City Center, Newport News

Photo by Alicia McCarl Priimak via Trover.com

Vacationing near the water doesn’t have to be expensive. Newport News, Virginia offers travelers lots of affordable hotels, while still offering beach options. Save money while traveling by staying in this area as opposed to Virginia Beach, which is less than an hour’s drive away. Jameson Inn & Suites Newport News offer rooms starting at $49 per night. Candlewood Suites Newport News is four-star rated from past guests, with rooms starting at $64 per night. Newport News Marriott at City Center sits in the heart of the city; rooms average about $107 per night.

Visit a Presidential Home in Midland, TX

Midland Texas

Photo by Sue Cummings & Bruce Howard via Trover.com

Midland, Texas is known for its oil, but is also the childhood home of former President George W. Bush. The Grand Texan Hotel & Conference Center is a seven minute drive to the G.W. Bush Childhood Home, and room rates start at $79 per night. TownePlace Suites Midland features large rooms with bonuses like sleeper sofas and kitchens, with rates averaging $89 per night. Midland also has a few museums worth visiting including the CAF Airpower Museum and the Midland County Historical Museum.

Plan an Outdoor Adventure in Charlotte, NC

Charlotte

Photo by Ryan Carlyle via Trover.com

Charlotte is home of the Carolina Panthers, but travelers looking for some outdoor fun should definitely consider adding the city to their travel list. Sign up for a rafting tour on the Catawba River at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. Spend the day at Carowinds riding rollercoasters, or try one of their milder thrill rides like Bumper Cars and Rip Roarin’ Rapids. Hyatt Place Charlotte Airport ranks high with guests and it’s still affordable with rates averaging $84 per night.

Learn about Civil-Rights History in Little Rock, AR

William Clinton Library

Photo by Eric Rowley via Trover.com

Little Rock might be a hidden gem in terms of travel destinations; not only is it home to the William Clinton Presidential Center, it’s also home to the National Historic Site – Little Rock Central High School. Old State House Museum is also another must visit attraction when traveling to Little Rock. Some of the items on display include inaugural gowns of governors’ wives, and decorative arts. Hotels in Little Rock average around $85 per night. Some great options for travelers include Courtyard by Marriott Little Rock West, Legacy Hotel & Suites, and Holiday Inn Little Rock.

Regardless of where you’re traveling to in the south, be sure to start planning your trip by visiting Hipmunk to save on all your travel needs. And if you’re visiting one of the five cities I shared, this list is a great place to start.

This post is apart of the Hipmunk Hotels series, check out my other posts in the series, and other Hipmunk posts to help you save on travel.

Hipmunk Hotels: Family Friendly Stays in the Deep South

Hipmunk Hotels: Family Friendly Stays in the Deep South

Finding time to relax and unwind is very important, that’s why we plan a huge family vacation each summer. We are already making plans for places we’d like to visit, and Virginia and South Carolina are on our list. If you’re making plans to travel to the deep south for summer vacation, or any other time, check out these family friendly stays in the deep south.

College Town of Columbia, SC

Riverwalk, West Columbia, South Carolina

Photo by Elza Hayen via Trover.com

Most travel destinations get crowded during peak summer travel, however the college town of Columbia, SC actually empty out. Head to west Columbia for more budget friendly options including Red Roof Inn Columbia West and Motel 6 Columbia West, both with rooms starting under $50 per night. Downtown accommodations puts guests close to the Riverbanks Zoo & Botanical Gardens, and the South Carolina State Museum. Columbia offers lots of family friendly attractions for cheap or free like Sesquicentennial State Park, which offers fishing, boating, hiking, and biking.

Plan a visit to Dollywood

Dollywood

Photo by Cindy Grey via Trover.com

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is home to Dollywood and the Titanic Museum, this popular tourist destination attracts over 10 million people per year. Dollywood is one of the most popular attractions inPigeon Forge, however other attractions include Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride, Elvis Museum, Hollywood Wax Museum, and the Great Smokey Mountains are nearby. If you’re looking for rooms close to Dollywood, Vacation Lodge Hotel offers great rates starting at $45 per night.

Enjoy the Water in Norfolk, VA

Norfolk

Photo by Jeremy Shane via Trover.com

Norfolk sits in the northeastern tip of Virgina, and it’s central to other major cities including Hampton, Virginia Beach, and Newport News. Founders Inn and Spa will transport you back to the Colonial era with the decor and atmosphere. Room rates range from $160 to $380 per night during the summer. Activities close to the hotel includes the Virgina Zoo, Norfolk Botanical Gardens, Maritime & Naval Museums, and more.  There are also a lot of other affordable hotels in Norfolk for families traveling on a budget.

Save Your Money for Shopping in Laredo

Laredo sits on the border of Mexico, making it a good choice for travelers wanting to get more bang for their buck. Rooms can be cheap in Laredo with hotels like Americas Best Value Inn, offering double rooms with complimentary wi-fi and parking for about $55 per night. Area attractions include Imaginarium of South Texas in Mall del Norte, and TAMIU Planetarium. The cheaper hotel prices means more money for shopping at Border Town Flea Marker, Mall del Norte, Del Mar Plaza, and Kelly’s Western Wear.

Get Close to DC from Sterling, VA

Sterling, VA gives travelers the ability to be close to DC, but at a fraction of the cost. There are plenty of cheap hotels in Sterling, and finding the right one gets easy once you know what amenities you want. Rates average $79 per night. When you’re planning your activities, you can rent a car and travel to the DC area, or visit some of the attractions around Sterling like, Volcano Island Waterpark, Sportrock Climbing Center, and Claude Moore Park.

I’m ready to continue planning out family trip for the summer, and this list is a great guide to help us choosing the right hotels for our family. I hope it helps you find some great hotels for your travel needs.