Virginia Mountains - Vistas, History, & Wineries

Discussion in 'Travel Stories' started by giradman, Aug 23, 2015.

  1. giradman

    giradman
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    Hi Scifan - historic resort, in the mountains, and some good food, plus plenty to do although at our age much is in our past - ;) Plan to add some more posts and hope others looking at this thread will be stimulated if near by to visit. Dave

    P.S. again enjoying your posts on Halifax - wished we had not missed that extra day there!
     
  2. scifan57

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    You’d probably wish you’d missed the 8 hour walk I did today if you had made the visit.;)
     
  3. giradman

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    Exploring the Resort - Horse Carriage Ride

    After a light lunch at the resort's Jefferson's Restaurant (more later), we made a reservation for a mid-afternoon horse carriage ride from the Equestrian Center (shuttle bus access) - had an hour to explore the resort and see what 'new' has been added since our last visit - the main additions had occurred in the 'pool area', i.e. a 'kiddle pool' and the Allegheny Springs described below which includes a 'lazy river' that flows and allows inner tube floating (we will likely give that a try - see the pics), a miniature golf course, and a water slide.

    The areas described are circled and indicated on the maps below - revisited the site of presumably one of the original hot springs (see plaque); then went to the 'Casino', a building dating from the mid-1890s, and now home to a golf clothing shop and Woody's Restaurant - also the pro shop to tee off at the 'Old Course'.

    Mid-afternoon we shuttled to the Equestrian Ctr for our carriage ride - just a half hour on the back trails of the mountainous area - a bumpy but enjoyable ride - saw a half dozen deer (but no black bears - guide stated he had seen a small one the day before) - then back to the resort for the 'Afternoon Tea' - evening dinner at 'The Golden Pigs' (later post). Ready to settle in for the night w/ some plans for tomorrow. Dave :)

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  4. giradman

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    Homestead Resort - Summer & Winter Activities

    From Covington, VA on I-64, a winding uphill mountainous road leads to the Homestead Resort - once here, a car is not of much use (we valet parked and don't expect to see the vehicle until our departure) - SO, what to do? Well, there are numerous activities for both young & old - the first pic below is a listing of the many attractions, some of which I've inadvertently left out, such as the Spa-Indoor Pool-Serenity Garden (already discussed) and the Afternoon Tea; also, my listing does not indicate the wide variety of options, e.g. under the hiking category, there are numerous trails of varied length and difficulty, along w/ several escorted waterfall tours. Golfing in the area offers numerous courses and if ambitious, an hour's drive to the Greenbrier Resort provides additional courses (post a little later). Below are pics from the web of most of these activities. Dave :)
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  5. giradman

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    Historic Tour - Lunch at Casino - Walk Along Old Golf Course - Falconry

    Despite this being our fourth or fifth trip to the Homestead Resort since the mid-1980s, we had never taken the free historic tour of the building (see synopsis in quote), so our morning activity. The tour lasted 90 minutes and included the history of the building(s) - in the 1901 fire, the spa, casino, cottages and Virginia Hotel were saved; reconstruction started almost immediately with the tower completed in 1929 (the tower clock is still keeping the right time - see last pic below). A variety of rooms are part of the tour, including the Lobby Bar w/ the President's portraits (next post).

    We then had a light lunch at Woody's in the Casino - followed by a walk on a road/golf cart path along the Old Golf Course passing the tennis courts, the driving range (plenty of balls in the fairway), and finally returning to read the correct time on the nearly 100 year-old tower clock. Dave :)

    P.S. in the afternoon, we signed up for the Falconry attraction but rain started - so will do in the morning and post back - looks like a lot of fun! We did have the complimentary afternoon tea.

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  6. scifan57

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    There’s certainly more than enough activities to keep even the most demanding guests fully entertained.
     
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  7. giradman

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    US Presidents Who Stayed at the Homestead

    Over many decades, 22 US Presidents have visited the Homestead Resort although there are portraits of 23 (George Washington - see quote below). Some of the Presidents include Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Woodrow Wilson, Dwight Eisenhower, James McKinley, William Taft, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and both father & son Bush, the latter the last to have stayed. In our earlier visits to the resort, the portraits were in the 'Presidents Lounge' (first 2 pics below) which has been converted to Jefferson's Restaurant & Bar - the portraits have been moved to the Lobby Bar (last pics w/ my labels which seem correct?). Dave :)

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  8. giradman

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    In days gone by guests would stay weeks and easily keep occupied - a number of the Presidents in my post above enjoyed the 'waters', golfing, fly fishing, walking, etc. - we heard a lot of interesting stories in our historic tour this morning from the excellent guide, e.g. Harry Truman in his stays, loved a 'morning constitutional' and would walk around the entire Old Golf Course which is quite hilly; Eisenhower loved to play golf and fish. Dave :)
     
  9. giradman

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    Food in the Hot Springs Area

    There are plenty of dining places at the resort and in the vicinity, especially the Village of Hot Springs, as already discussed. At the resort, fine dining is offered at the Dining Room (our dinner tonight), Jefferson's Restaurant, and at Woody's in the Casino, where be had lunch yesterday. There is also the Cascades Golf course with an Italian restaurant called Rubino's, along with several other options (see HERE for more, if interested).

    On our first night, we ate at the Jefferson's Restaurant (first pics below) - we started with the salads circled (I had the smoked trout Caesar); Susan had the half rack of lamb while I picked the local Alleghany trout - we enjoyed both.

    On our second night, we ate in the Village at the Les Cochons d’Or (last pics below) - we both started with the Choptank Sweets oysters prepared in an unusual and quite tasty manner (sourced from a company of the same name on the eastern Maryland side of the Chesapeake Bay using top floating aquaculture). Susan had the combo duck main course and I the pork tenderloin (last image) - a wonderful dining experience.

    More coming up on our eating experiences - Dave :)
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  10. scifan57

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    I’m sure the food was delicious.
     
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