If you haven’t yet experienced Virginia’s viticulture, you’re in for a real treat. Group tours can spend a delightful week in Norfolk, Richmond and Prince William sipping and savoring Virginia’s wine, beers and fantastic food all while exploring some of the commonwealth’s most historic and culturally engaging attractions. Use this itinerary to plan an unforgettable wine excursion in Virginia.
DAY ONE: PRINCE WILLIAM, VA
Begin your adventure at Effingham Manor and Winery for a wine blending class and competition. Effingham’s vintners will educate, assist and judge the contest. This is the perfect group activity for wine lovers as it encompasses fun, competitiveness, education and uniqueness. Be sure to take advantage of the complimentary history tour of the property as well.
Continue treating your palate with a visit to WineStyles of Montclair, offering hundreds of different types of wines and crafts beers that have been sorted by style and taste. Pair a wine or beer with a selection of artisan cheeses, gourmet food and handcrafted chocolates.
Eat, drink and relax at Giorgio’s Family Restaurant, a neighborhood cornerstone for over 19 years serving wonderful, made-from-scratch meals with Italian and Greek influences. Some of the most popular dishes include their Greek-style pork chops, jumbo crab cakes and house-special flaming cheese.
DAY TWO: PRINCE WILLIAM, VA
DAY TWO: PRINCE WILLIAM, VA
Start off the morning with a guide dressed in a Civil War-era military uniform, leading you through Manassas National Battlefield Park, “where the Southern victories tested the Northern resolve.” Two armies clashed for the first time with heavy fighting, sweeping away any notion of a quick war. Afterward, visit a Civil War hospital at the Ben Lomond Historic Site. Soldiers were taken here after the Battle of First Manassas, also known as the First Battle of Bull Run, to care for their wounds. Several soldiers left their signatures on the walls.
Enjoy lunch around a spectacular, two-story, historic dairy barn at Farm Brew Live, Northern Virginia’s first destination brewery campus that features craft beer, craft food, and live local music.
Spend the afternoon hiking along the Neabsco Boardwalk allowing you access to wetlands where the tall grasses and marsh provide a rich habitat for great blue herons, wood ducks, mallards, sparrow and red-winged blackbirds, just to name a few or kayak along the Occoquan river.
For dinner, visit Cock & Bowl. Tucked away down a charming alley in Occoquan, this enchanting European bistro indulges with 60 different Belgian beers, fries and seafood.
DAY THREE: PRINCE WILLIAM AND RICHMOND, VA
Start your morning by jumping into the boots of a marine at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, a lasting tribute to past, present and future U.S. Marines. Grab lunch and a beer at the museum’s Tun Tavern before heading to Richmond.
Then head to Richmond to discover the story of Blue Bee Cider on a one-hour tour and tasting. Learn about how Virginia’s first urban cidery made their home in Richmond and enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at a historic revitalized horse stable complex from the 1940s, now home to the cidery.
The next stop is a gilded Victorian mansion, Maymont. The mansion tour explores the glitz and glamour of the Dooley family in the 1930s. Imagine the extravagant life that was once Maymont as you bask in the beauty of Maymont today. Following the mansion tour, explore the elaborate Italian and Japanese gardens.
Enjoy a cocktail at The Jefferson Hotel before heading out to dinner. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this five-diamond luxurious hotel provides an unmatched setting for an overnight stay.
Richmond also offers an impressive selection of cozy boutique hotels that include Quirk, Linden Row Inn or the trendy Delta Hotels by Marriott and Graduate Richmond.
Stop, shop, sip and savor in the very walkable Carytown, Richmond’s Mile of Style, where you can find unique boutique shops and restaurants for dinner. From oyster bars, sushi and hand-cut steaks at East Coast Provisions to the Parisian-style eatery of Can Can Brasserie, there’s something for every taste. Finish off the meal with a locally hand-crafted sweet treat from For the Love of Chocolate.
DAY FOUR: RICHMOND, VA
Start your day with a hearty breakfast from a local favorite, Perly’s. Afterward, head down to the banks of the James River to Historic Tredegar, home of Richmond National Battlefield Park Visitor Center. Enjoy lunch in Richmond’s Historic Shockoe Slip. A quaint cobblestone street adorned with Italianate style brick and front buildings, and a decadent selection of restaurants.
Spend the remainder of the afternoon among a million blooms in the spring at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, or view the largest collection of Fabergé eggs at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Grab a Richmond Beer Trail map and head over to Richmond’s historic Scott’s Addition, home of the largest collection of craft breweries.
Enjoy a scrumptious meal at one of the dozen restaurants on Grace Street, followed by a live performance at Dominion Energy Center. Top off your night in style at Q Rooftop Bar for a great view of the city lights.
DAY 5: RICHMOND TO NORFOLK, VA
Wrap up your fun in the Richmond region with an RVA Trolley Landmark Tour or an exploration of Canal Walk. Then it’s time to make your way to Norfolk.
The first stop is for lunch at Norfolk’s entertainment venue, Waterside District. Sip on local wines paired with a crab cake taking and waterfront views at Stripers Waterside. Shop from emerging small local businesses in Norfolk at Selden Market. The Selden Market offers a rotating lineup for the city’s up-and-coming artists with concepts in retail, food and new ideas.
Stroll through 5,000 years of art history at the Chrysler Museum of Art. Explore the museum’s world-renowned Tiffany glass collection; Art Nouveau furniture; works of art from African, Egyptian, Pre-Columbian, Islamic and Asian cultures; and an extensive European and American collection of paintings, sculpture and decorative arts. Watch works of art created right before your eyes in the glass blowing studio at Perry Glass Studio.
Spend the evening at Varia, a trattoria-style Italian fare dinner, with a piano bar and tasting room with an unequaled wine selection. Become an expert at wine by attending Varia’s wine education classes happening every first Tuesday of the month. The classes are hosted by Hilton Norfolk the Main’s sommelier. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or a newbie, this class is open to all wine enthusiasts.
DAY 6: NORFOLK, VA
Discover one of the largest collections of azaleas,camellias, roses and rhododendrons on the East Coast at the Norfolk Botanical Garden. Experience 175 glorious acres of gardens with guided tours on foot, by tram or by boat. Take a wine tasting class among the flowers to learn how to make more informed wine purchases!
Start the afternoon at Press 626 featuring over 50 wines from around the world. Their menu will please all palates using only ingredients from local farms for the freshest of flavors! Head to Crystal Palate, a wine boutique and education center located in the beautiful coastal community of East Beach. With a thoughtfully curated selection of over 120 wines from around the world, the Crystal Palate specializes in wine education and also offers several wine classes every month.
Enjoy nature and art at the Hermitage Museum and Gardens. This early 20th-century Arts and Crafts estate was formerly home to the Sloane Family. Nestled on the shore of the Lafayette River, this estate features gardens and a nationally recognized art collection spanning 5,000 years.
For dinner, enjoy an exciting evening with a blending at the Mermaid Winery. Using award-winning wines, your team will create your very own blend of wine and compete against others. After you have made the perfect wine, a team of sommeliers will examine and provide their results. After the course, you will be seated for a private, customized dinner.
DAY 7: NORFOLK, VA
Before heading back home, head to Pinot’s Palette for an unforgettable time of fun, friends and fine art with beer and wine! All you need to do is get ready to be inspired by instructors who will guide you step by step through a featured painting. At the end of the class, you’ll leave with your very own masterpiece and maybe even a painted wine bottle to commemorate your visit.