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The slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains provide an excellent environment for viniferous grapes, and Virginia wineries are beginning to make their mark on the world of wine. This trip highlights two wineries in the Roanoke region: Chateau Morrisette, and the award-winning Valhalla Vineyards. Our route lies along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and includes spectacular views of the Roanoke valley and surrounding mountains. Depending on the weather, either wild azaleas, mountain laurel or both should be in bloom along the parkway at the conference date.
|9:30||Leave Hotel Roanoke on bus|
|Drive up Ridge Parkway, with breaks for leg-stretching and photo ops|
|11:00||Arrive to Chateau Morrisette for lunch, winery tour, and tastings|
|2:00||Drive to Valhalla Vineyards via Floyd|
|3:00||Tour and tastings at Valhalla|
|4:30||Return to Hotel (arriving about 5:00)|
Cost: $60 / person, includes lunch at Chateau Morrisette's acclaimed restaurant.
|View from the Blue Ridge Parkway||Valhalla features European growing
methods and granite caves.
|The restaurant and sales building at Chateau Morrisette.|
The Bottom Creek Gorge Preserve in Montgomery County is a showcase site for the Nature Conservancy of Virginia. Our 3 1/2 mile hike will travel well-maintained trails through local woods and meadows. Besides local wildflowers, old-growth hemlock and various possible fauna, sights include the 200-foot Bent Mountain Falls and the "Kettle Holes", a series of large natural basins worn by Bottom Creek in the granite streambed. A local Conservancy member will lead the hike and provide commentary.
|10:30||Leave Hotel Roanoke in Virgina Tech Vans|
|11:30||Arrive Bottom Creek Preserve|
|3:00||Return to Hotel Roanoke (arriving at Hotel c. 4:00)|
Cost: $30 / person (Lunch not included; box lunches available from Hotel Roanoke).
Virginia's Explore Park is a "living history" park on the banks of the Roanoke River near the Blue Ridge Parkway. Its goal is to help each visitor rediscover the history of the land and the people by providing faithful reconstructions of life in the mountains of western Virginia during three key eras: Native American (c. 1670), Frontier (c. 1740) and Farmstead (c. 1850). Buildings and constructions of the three periods provide backdrops for reenactments and explanations of the life ways of people from the each century. The trip includes lunch from the historic and highly acclaimed Brugh Tavern restaurant. Families are particularly encouraged.
|10:30||Leave Hotel Roanoke on bus
|11:00||Arrive Explore Park; lunch at Brugh Tavern|
|12:00||Guided tour, then explore on your own|
|3:30||Return to Hotel Roanoke (arrive at Hotel c. 4:00)|
Cost: $45 / person includes lunch
|Totera Town accurately replicates eastern woodland culture.||Longhunter's camp, 1740.|
|The Hofauger Farmstead features craft demonstrations,
an heirloom garden and period strains of livestock.
|Esom Sloan's Grist Mill (currently under