Good Boys and Girls Try Out New Holiday Gifts in Virginia

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Virginia is the perfect place to try out new holiday gifts and gadgets - from kayaks to golf clubs.

Virginia is for Lovers invites all good "boys and girls" who got everything they wanted for the holidays to plan a getaway to Virginia to try out their favorite gifts and gadgets in Virginia.

Kayaks: It may have been tough to fit under the tree, but a new kayak fits perfectly in Virginia's rivers and sea kayaking destinations. Go back in time 400 years and see Virginia as John Smith first did as you kayak along the Captain John Smith Trail - just in time for the 400th anniversary of Jamestown. Or visit Virginia's Eastern Shore, one of the only places in the country to offer kayak trips to a winery through Southeast Expeditions.

I-Pods: Load up your new I-Pod with tunes from Ralph Stanley, the Carter Family, No Speed Limit, and Doc Watson to listen to as you travel along The Crooked Road: Virginia's Heritage Music Trail. One of the most significant musical heritage destinations in the country, The Crooked Road winds through the mountain towns of Southwest Virginia. The trail connects mountain music venues like the Ralph Stanley Museum, the Carter Fold, the Blue Ridge Music Center, the Birthplace of Country Music, the Country Store, and others together along the 250-mile musical route.

Skis and snowboards: Tis the season for winter sports and Virginia's four mountain resorts are great places to try out new skis and snowboards. Wintergreen Resort, south of Charlottesville, is offering a Guarantee to Ski & Ride program, or the next lesson is free. Massanutten Resort, in the Shenandoah Valley, is one of the only places in the country to combine outdoor winter sports and an indoor water park. Bryce Resort, also in the Shenandoah Valley, is a family-friendly winter destination with an 800-foot snow tube run. Or hit the slopes in the historic setting of The Homestead, a luxurious retreat in Virginia's Allegheny Mountains that has been a winter respite for guests since 1766.

Wine corkscrew pull: For wine lovers who unwrapped a wine corkscrew pull this holiday, come try it out at one of Virginia's wineries. Virginia has more than 100 wineries across the state with tasting rooms that are the perfect place to sit back, relax and enjoy great views, great company, and great wine. Wine trails like the Loudoun Wine Trail, the Blue Ridge Wineway, and the Monticello Wine Trail will wind you through historic downtowns and gorgeous countryside as you make your way to the wineries.

Golf clubs: Take a swing with the new clubs at one of Virginia's 200 golf courses. Virginia is one of the most diverse, year-round golfing destinations in the country, with courses scattered across the mountains, coastline, and all along the James River. With world-class courses designed by legends such as Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Greg Norman, the new clubs are sure to get a workout.

New car: Take the giant red bow off the new car in the driveway and take it for a spin along Virginia's scenic drives and byways. Virginia has 2,500 miles of scenic drives that wind through countryside, mountain ranges, historic downtowns, and oceanfront. Just don't get too distracted by the beautiful scenery.

Hiking boots: Lace up the new boots and step out on Virginia's hiking trails. Virginia hosts more miles of the Appalachian Trail than any other state. In total, Virginia has more than 2,000 miles of hiking trails, from lowland walks near the coast to peaks in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Camping and accommodations offered at national and state parks help make Virginia a top hiking destination.

New bike: Get the new bike in gear along Virginia's bike trails. Virginia just released the first-ever statewide bike map. Virginia is home to 838 miles of the U.S. Bicycle Route system, the most miles in any state, and is the only state with both U.S. Bicycle Routes (Routes 1 and 76) running through it. Trails exist throughout the commonwealth and vary for beginners to avid cyclists.

Cold hard cash: Money may not be the most sentimental of holiday gifts, but it's fun to spend none the less. Virginia is a shopper's paradise and the perfect place to spend the holiday green. Visit the historic main streets of Staunton, Roanoke, Culpeper, Alexandria, or Smithfield for boutique shopping and one-of-a-kind items. Outlet shopping in Williamsburg, Leesburg, and Potomac Mills will help shoppers stretch their dollar. Major malls in Northern Virginia, Richmond, and Norfolk are incredible places to shop, with stores such as Nordstrom, Hugo Boss, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Louis Vuitton. Or shop online at http://www.Virginia.org for shirts, jackets, hats, and more with the famous Virginia is for Lovers logo.

For more ideas about the best places to try out new holiday gifts and gadgets and plan a getaway to Virginia, visit http://www.Virginia.org or call 1-800-932-5827.

Contact: Tamra Talmadge-Anderson, Director of National Media

ttanderson @ virginia.org

(804) 545-5573

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TAMRA TALMADGE-ANDERSON
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