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Washington, D.C.’s National Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates Japan’s gift of 3,000 cherry trees to the city. Photo by V. Lee Hawkins
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A modern kit home designed by architect Rocio Romero, Luminhaus is an art-filled retreat.Photo by Steve Hedberg
If you're one who travels in search of revelry, then welcome to the Old Dominion, where it's nearly impossible to turn around without bumping into a festival of some sort. From wine and garlic to hula hoops and yoga, these singular events will have you reaching for your compass and hitting the road. Along the way, of course, you might expect to encounter a bed and a breakfast or two — and we found them for you.
The Big Event
Embrace your inner flower child at Gloucester's 27th Annual Daffodil Festival (693-2355 or gloucesterva.info/daffodilfestival) on April 6 and 7. Once known as the Daffodil Capital of America, the county, which dates to 1651, produces the spring festival every year in celebration of the narcissus plant and its history in Gloucester. Highlights include the crowning of the Daffodil Queen — a high-school junior or senior — a community parade and a fine-arts show on the courthouse square.
Eat: More than 15 vendors sell concession-booth fare and regional offerings such as crab-cake sandwiches at the festival. For a casual sit-down meal, head to Olivia's in the Village (694-0057 or olivias
inthevillage.com). The locally owned restaurant is known for its fresh seafood.
Sleep: Less than a 15-minute drive from the festival, the North River Inn (693-1616 or northrivervirginia.com) spans 100 acres of the historic Tidewater region. Innkeepers Breck and Mary Montague will make you feel at home with a hot breakfast of homemade pancakes and thick Smithfield bacon.
The Big Event
Celebrate the "opening" of the trees and the process of making maple syrup at Highland County's 55th Annual Maple Festival (540-468-2551 or highlandcounty.org/maplefestival.html ), held March 9 to 10 and 16 to 17 in Monterey. The least-populated county in the state has held the annual event since 1958, earning the destination a designation as a local legacy by the Library of Congress. Sugar-camp tours throughout the weekend provide a glimpse into the process of making syrup, while local attractions such as the Maple Museum and the Highland County Heritage Center provide insight into the area's rich history.
Eat: Located in the center of Monterey on U.S. 250 West, Evelyn's Pantry (540-468-3663) serves as a convenient stop for takeout. Don't leave without trying the pimento cheese.
Sleep: With interiors from bygone days and a Southern country-style front porch complete with rocking chairs, the Highland Inn (540-468-2143 or highland-inn.com ) provides the perfect perch from which to enjoy Virginia's western highlands. Built in 1904, the hotel has provided traditional hospitality in the historic town of Monterey for more than a century.
The Big Event
The clove and the grape reign at Rebec Vineyard's Virginia Wine and Garlic Festival (434-946-5168 or rebecwinery.com ). Now in its 23rd year, the annual event typically draws a crowd of more than 20,000 to the vineyard, which is located about 50 miles south of Charlottesville off U.S. 29. Garlic pork loin, garlic fries, garlic kettle corn and more pair well with free tastings of Riesling, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc from local wineries. The weekend-long festival (Oct. 12 to 13) may be close to Halloween, but don't expect to see any vampires in attendance.
Eat: If you need a break from all the garlic, consider dining at Lee's Courthouse Deli (434-946-7776 or leescourthousedeli.com ). The deli offers an array of garlic-free choices, including country-style breakfasts and on-the-go menu items such as muffins, paninis and wraps.
Sleep: The austerity of modern design meets the comfort of a country cottage at Luminhaus ( luminhaus.com ), a family retreat in Amherst. The kit home, designed by Chilean-American architectural designer Rocio Romero, shines like a Chinese lantern in the forest of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The Big Event
Nestled in the mountains of Southwest Virginia, the small town of Floyd is no stranger to summer festivals. Home to FloydFest (888-823-3787 or floydfest.com ), a four-day world-music and arts festival that'll be held this year from July 25 to 28, the town is known as a regional destination for bluegrass and old-time music. Last year, Floyd Yoga Jam (540-553-4378 or floydyogajam.com ) also set up camp in the one-stoplight town. The festival, which includes music, dance, slack-lining, hula-hooping and a whole lot of yoga, will run from Aug. 30 to Sept. 1.
Eat: After a full day of vinyasas, enjoy an array of award-winning wines and regional dishes at Château Morrisette (540-593-2865 or chateaumorrisette.com ), which is surrounded by breathtaking vistas of the Blue Ridge.
Sleep: Both FloydFest and Floyd Yoga Jam provide ample space for camping, but if you prefer air conditioning and high-speed Internet to the great outdoors, book a room at Bent Mountain Lodge Bed and Breakfast (540-651-2500 or bentmountainlodgebedandbreakfast.com ). The 15,000-square-foot lodge, about three miles outside Floyd, offers guests a choice of 10 suites.
The Big Event
More than 3,700 cherry trees line the waters in East and West Potomac parks along the grounds of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. Welcome spring in the nation's capital at the National Cherry Blossom Festival (877-442-5666 or nationalcherryblossomfestival.org ) from March 20 to April 14. This year's festival, which commemorates the 101st anniversary of the gift of the cherry blossom trees from Japan, features more than 40 events, including concerts, cultural exhibits, fireworks and a parade on April 13.
Eat: There is plenty to tempt your palate at Brasserie Beck (202-408-1717 or beckdc.com ). The contemporary European-style brasserie in D.C.'s McPherson Square neighborhood is best known for its brunch.
Sleep: Just two blocks east of the White House and two blocks south of the Metro Center station on the Washington Metro, the Willard InterContinental Washington (202-628-9100 or washington.intercontinental.com ) puts you at the center of all there is to see and do in D.C. The landmark hotel offers rooms ranging from $299 to $4,100 per night.