State’s tourism industry is promoting new hotels, attractions, food and beer
What’s new in Virginia tourism? How about the opening of more than 25 lodging properties this year and a designation for Virginia’s capital city as the No. 1 beer destination in the world?
That’s just a taste of some of the things being showcased by Virginia’s tourism industry. In 2016, domestic travelers spent $24 billion in the state, supporting 230,000 jobs while generating more than $1.7 billion in tax revenue for state and local governments.
Speaking of taste, Virginia has welcomed an onslaught of new wineries, breweries, cideries and distilleries, cementing its reputation as a hot spot for craft beverages. Still, VinePair’s announcement in February of Richmond as the best place on the planet to down a brew drew notice. On the web magazine’s Top 10 list of beer destinations, Richmond beat out places like New York and Beijing.
The March 7 reopening of the grand dame of Virginia Beach also is creating buzz. More than $80 million has been spent to renovate the 91-year-old Cavalier Hotel, which is expected to dazzle again with historic charm and an onsite distillery.
Another new boutique hotel, the 30-room Western Front, opened in February, in St. Paul in the Appalachian Mountains. Guests can dine at Milton’s, a restaurant serving farm-to-table Appalachian-style meals.
In Northern Virginia, the 40th anniversary of the five-star Inn at Little Washington is drawing national press. Proprietor and chef Patrick O’Connell has a yearlong series of events in the U.S. and Europe, including a Woodstock-like summer festival in Washington that will be open to the public.
The Eastern Shore also is gearing up for the summer with new attractions. The Cape Charles/Chesapeake Bay KOA Resort, with 316 campsites and a 71-room Sunset Beach Hotel and Beach Club, opens March 30. Visitors also can look forward to the shore’s first water park, Maui Jack’s in Chincoteague, which opens Memorial Day weekend.
- Virginia’s distilleries
- Top 10 craft breweries by barrels of beer produced annually
- Virginia’s commercial airports
- Conference hotels