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With so much to explore in richmond, you’ll need a good pair of shoes.


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Come join us for our Annual Spring Spectacular and Storewide Sale Mother’s Day Weekend

Saturday May 12th 10:00am-6:00pm Sunday May 13th Noon - 6:00pm With over 250 booths and 53,000 sq. feet, we offer our customers a variety of antiques and collectibles including: furniture, glassware, jewelry, fine art, mirrors, lighting, pottery, porcelain, silver, carpets, textiles and more. • Open Seven Days a Week • 53,000 Square Feet • Layaway Available • Delivery

2004 Staples Mill Road | Richmond, VA 23230 804.359.1600 westendantiquesmallBOV12.indd 1

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editor’s Letter I am so pleased to welcome you to Virginia Living’s first special issue, Best of Virginia 2012! When we began planning this project about a year ago, our purpose—to identify all that is ‘best’ in Virginia— felt a little like trying to lasso the moon. With so many extraordinary people and remarkable places in our state, how could we do it, we wondered? Then we realized that to get this job done properly, we would have to reach out to the experts. So, we did, and in January and February of this year we conducted our first ever readers’ survey. Almost 10,000 of you, our experts, gave us your ‘bests’ in nearly 400 categories in all five regions of the state ... restaurants and bars, shops and boutiques, even dermatologists and architects. We knew we were casting a wide net (and asking you to take a very long survey), but you answered the call. On behalf of the Virginia Living team, I thank you! We are glad to share this list of great winners with

you now (and to be released from our vow of secrecy at last). Though we were only able to publish a portion of the winner list here, you can find the full list on our website, The online format is easy to navigate, and we hope you will use both it and the print issue all year long as a guide to your dining, shopping and doing in Virginia. A talented team of people came together to create this gorgeous issue. I thank them for their hard work and creative vision, and I thank all of the winners and businesses that believed in us and got behind this new publication. But this is just the beginning. There are certainly more ‘bests’ to come from Virginia Living! Erin Parkhurst, Editor


• Front Royal



•Woodbridge Harrisonburg

•Staunton Waynesboro •



•Buena Vista Tuckahoe



• Radford


• Abingdon



Chester Petersburg


Newport News



•Wytheville •Hillsville



Portsmouth Chesapeake


Virginia Beach

In identifying Virginia’s regions, we relied on the history, character and personality of each to determine our lines of demarcation. How do you think we did? Let us know with an email to or write us at Letters to the Editor, Cape Fear Publishing, 109 East Cary Street, Richmond, Virginia, 23219

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contents Eastern


food & drink 8


living & recreation 12 arts, culture & entertainment 16

shopping & services 18 people & city life 26

30 Region


food & drink 32

living & recreation

44 arts, culture & entertainment 48 shopping & services 52 people & city life 66

On the cover


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photograph by cade martin styling by neely barnwell dykshorn Model: julia N. of modelogic/ wilhelmina hair and makeup by PATTI NELSON of the artist agency location: broadscope media lighting by jay kemp team

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68 Region


food & drink 70

living & recreation 74

arts, culture & entertainment 78 shopping & services 82 people & city life 90

best of virginia 2012 Published by

Cape Fear Publishing Company 109 East Cary Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219 Telephone (804) 343-7539, Facsimile (804) 649-0306

Publisher John-Lawrence Smith

EDITORIAL STAFF editor Erin Parkhurst Art Director Sonda Andersson Pappan associate editor Daryl Grove assistant editor Lisa Antonelli Bacon assistant Art Director Jeff Bland assistant editor Shelby Giles assistant editor Christine Stoddard editorial assistant Christina Carter editorial assistant Bola Hanson editorial assistant Amanda Joyce





food & drink 94 living & recreation 98 arts, culture & entertainment 102 shopping & services 106 people & city life 109

Ginger Warder, J.P. Welch CONTRIBUTING photographers

Stacey Evans, Jeff Greenough, Cade Martin, Jay Paul, Pauline Owens-Teel, Jereme Thaxton, Jen Fariello editorial interns

Charlotte Brackett, Amin Chaoui art interns

Jillian Gonzalez, Christina Carter, Sophia Li, Nina Stoddard

Advertising executives central virginia

sales MANAGER Torrey Munford (804) 343-0782,

Christiana Roberts

(804) 622-2602,

eastern virginia

Kerry Harrington

(757) 450-1335,

Wit Robertson

(804) 622-2614,

Northern Virginia

Blaise Yanick

(804) 622-2603,

western virginia



Valley food & drink 112

living & recreation 116

arts, culture & entertainment 120 shopping & services 122 people & city life 126

Heather McKinney

(804) 622-2611,

OFFICE STAFF OFFICE MANAGER Carolyn Birney assistant oFFICe managER Chenoa Ford Creative Services director Jason Sullivan ADvertising graphic designer Will Trible circulation manager Jamilya Brown Web editor Daryl Grove COrpORATE SPONSORSHIPS Torrey Munford Groundskeeper Melwood Whitlock Activities & Morale Director Cutty Assistant Activities & Morale Director Rex

Mail to our Editor at the above address.

POSTMASTER Send address changes to VIRGINIA LIVING 109 East Cary St., Richmond, VA 23219 REPRINTS & REPRODUCTION PERMISSION Contact John-Lawrence Smith, Publisher, at (804) 343-7539 or

LEGALISMS Virginia Living is a registered trademark of Cape Fear Publishing Company, Inc. Copyright 2008, all rights reserved. Reproduction without written permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited.

IDENTIFICATION STATEMENT VIRGINIA LIVING (USPS) ISSN 1534-9984 VirginiaLiving is published bimonthly by Cape Fear Publishing Company, 109 East Cary St., Richmond, VA 23219. Periodical postage permit 021-875 at Richmond, VA.

T h i s p a g e : T o p H a t, R i d i n g S h i rt a n d St o c k T i e , S i d e s a d d l e H a b i t, It a l i a n R i d i n g B o o t s , a n d F ly W h i s k R i d i n g Cr o p a l l a v a i l a b l e a t H o r s e C o u n tr y S a d d l e r y, W a rr e n t o n . co v e r : L o n g B l a c k D e ta i l G o w n b y H e r v e L e g e r e , R o a n , R i c h m o n d.


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best of virginia 2012

eastern Region D

Daybreak in Virginia Beach belongs to the gathering energy of surfers scanning the horizon for signs of swells, while in the pearly dawn of a Chesapeake Bay morning, SKIPJACKS GLIDE silently among the reeds under the watchful eyes of the resident heron and osprey as watermen head into the bay to dredge for oysters and check their crab pots. The delights of soft-shell crab sandwiches and steamers with melted butter at seafood shacks near the shore are not-sowell-guarded secrets in Eastern Virginia, a place where a bushel of crabs is a tacit invitation to gather friends, and a salt– sprayed wooden dock is as good a place to shag as a parquet dance floor. A mere 60 miles separates this seaside tableau from the cobblestone streets of Colonial Williamsburg, the archaeological digs at Jamestown and the river in Yorktown where history is writ large in the old brick of stolid but still graceful Georgian homes and meeting places. History is alive photograph by cade martin


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here, and the world flocks to it, ever fascinated by the story of intrepid colonists and ardent patriots. Norfolk, on the other hand, is not only home to the world’s largest naval station, but is also undergoing an urban renaissance. Old houses have been given new life. And residential buildings, hotels and other commercial ventures are springing up along the river and the bay. Town Point Park, on the banks of the Elizabeth River in the heart of downtown, is home to festivals and fêtes, lush landscaping and local artwork; and the Chrysler Museum of Art, Virginia Symphony, Virginia Opera and Norfolk Botanical Garden cement Norfolk’s reputation as the cultural center of the Hampton Roads region. Like the rest of the state, the Eastern region is a complex mix of the rustic and the refined, with one foot firmly grounded in the past and the other just as confidently stepping toward the future.

styling by neely barnwell dykshorn

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Best Barbeque Restaurant

Best Chocolatier

Pierce’s Pitt Bar-B-Que

The Royal Chocolate

447 E. Rochambeau Drive, Williamsburg

164 Central Park Ave., Virginia Beach

For some 40 years, travelers have pulled into Pierce’s for its barbecue, sauced with a secret family recipe. Initially a walk-up operation, the little barbecue stand, its bright orange and yellow colors visible from I-64, now has seating for 104. With that nod to the present, its saucy reputation is still growing.

Tastings at The Royal Chocolate teach customers how to discern the best chocolate. Health nuts should still come in for the gourmet apples, dipped and topped. If you don’t feel you deserve it, get a gift certificate for someone who does., 757-565-2955, 757-557-6925

second Place: Schakolad, Virginia Beach

second Place: Beach Bully BBQ, Virginia Beach, 757-486-3740, 757-422-4222 third Place: Smokin’ Joe’s, Kilmarnock, 804-435-6000

third Place: Wythe Candy Shop, Williamsburg

Best Bistro Town Bistro 62 Irvington Road, Kilmarnock, 804-435-0070 There is no microwave or deep fryer here. Everything is at its freshest. Locals love the threecourse prix fixe meals on Wednesdays and Thursdays. “Small” and “cozy” means make reservations. Vegetarian, you say? This kitchen is ready to accommodate you upon request. second Place: The Blue Talon, Williamsburg, 757-476-2583 third Place: The Broken Egg Bistro, Chesapeake, 757-229-4406

Best Coffee Shop The Local 4337 Irvington Road, Irvington, 804-438-9356 The quintessential coffee shop is a welcoming gathering place for area residents, and so it is with The Local, situated near other Irvington icons like The Tides Inn and Hope and Glory Inn, and White Fences Vineyard. Serving a full menu of panini, wraps and salads. second Place: Bad Ass Coffee, Virginia Beach, 757-233-4007 third Place: Aromas, Williamsburg, 757-221-6676, 757-410-8515

Best Breakfast Restaurant Doc Taylor’s 207 23rd St., Virginia Beach, 757-425-1960 Doc Taylor’s serves breakfast all day, but it is standing room only during breakfast and brunch hours. Highlights include The Flatliner (two eggs with sausage, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, hash browns and hot sauce) and signature The Ray Ray (fried egg atop bacon, cheese and grilled Parmesan tomato on an onion roll). Yum. second Place: The Broken Egg Bistro, Chesapeake, 757-410-8515 third Place: Citrus, Virginia Beach


Best Place for Brunch Citrus 2265 W. Great Neck Road, Virginia Beach


This spot off Shore Drive at the North End of the beach is devoted to breakfast, lunch and brunch, and folks trek there for signature items like banana pancakes with a pecan glaze and sweet potato biscuits. An extensive drink menu ensures a pleasurable wake-up. second place: Tides Inn, Irvington, 804-438-5000 third place: The Chamberlin, Hampton, 757-637-7200

Food for Thought What is comfort food anyway? We went to an expert to find out. Howard Hopkins, owner of Food for Thought in Williamsburg, the go-to spot for the comfiest of comfort food in the area, says it is “food that’s warm and filling. Not fancy. It’s the family sitting around the dinner table sharing a meal. That’s one of the warmest memories you can have.” Indeed.

p r e v i o u s p a g e : R e d B a thin g S u it a n d W hit e P o l k a D o t B o tt o m s b y N a n e tt e L e p o r e , a n d E a r r in g s a l l f r o m S o u th M o o n Un d e r , Ri c h m o n d . Vint a g e S u n g l a s s e s , B y g o n e s , Ri c h m o n d . S u r fb o a r d c o u r t e s y o f M a tth e w S p a h r .

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Food & Drink • eastern


Best Comfort Food Food For Thought 1647 Richmond Road, Williamsburg, 757-645-4665 Home cooking just like Mom’s, only better. Fork Tender Pot Roast, Fall Off the Bone Ribs and Grandma’s Meatloaf are just a few of their best. They even have a special gluten-free menu and one for seniors too. All entrées are moderately priced, around $12. Now that’s comforting. second Place: Lee’s Restaurant, Kilmarnock

804-435-1255 third Place: No Frill Grill, Norfolk, 757-627-4 262

Best Ethnic Supermarket Azar’s Café & Market 108 Prescott Ave., Virginia Beach, 757-486-7778

Need exotic ingredients? From Spain to Italy, Greece to Turkey, Lebanon to Morocco; be they olives and oils, herbs and spices, cheeses and wines, you’ll find them all at Azar’s. Want to see what the chefs at Azar’s do with all these ingredients? Settle in at the café and enjoy. second Place: E Mart International Food and Gift,

Newport News, 757-872-7844 third Place: International Market, Virginia Beach 757-471-3663

Best Ice Cream Shop Island Creamery 6243 Maddox Blvd., Chincoteague, 757-336-6236 For frozen desserts, handmade onsite in small batches for 37 years, Island Creamery is the perfect, small-town ice cream shop. And unlike places that peddle just a handful of homemade flavors, the Creamery is ready with 34 flavors, including Iced Nirvana, Absolutely Nuts and Bourbon Caramel Crunch. Everyone leaves happy. second Place: Smithfield Ice Cream Parlor, Isle of Wight, 757-357-6166 third Place: Yotini’s Frozen Yogurt Bar, Virginia Beach, 757-496-9478

Best Martini Bar Seven Martini Bar and Restaurant 606 Chesapeake Drive, White Stone, 804-435-2300 Named for the seven deadly sins, this place is delightfully sinful. Feeling envious? Try Absolut Citron, vodka, Triple Sec and lemon juice. Lustful? Stoli with Chambord and pineapple juice. Proud? Bombay Sapphire with a splash of olive juice. Never has sin been so delicious! second Place: Still Worldly Eclectic Tapas, Portsmouth, 757-332-7222 third Place: 45 Degrees Martini Lounge, Hampton

World’s Finest Oyster Our favorite oyster recipe comes from Chef John Maxwell, former owner of Chef Maxwell’s Restaurant in Richmond, who advises using Chesapeake Bay oysters because, he says, they are “the finest in the world.” We couldn’t agree more, Chef!

KINSALE OYSTER WRAP 1 cup all-purpose flour salt and pepper 1 teaspoon ground coriander 1 teaspoon ground celery seed 1 teaspoon chipotle powder 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon onion powder 12 oysters, fresh-shucked selects 2 tablespoons butter or oil 1 sandwich wrap 2 tablespoons Remoulade sauce ½ cup shredded lettuce 3 slices ripe tomato onion, very thinly sliced Combine flour and salt, pepper, coriander, celery seed, chipotle, garlic and onion powders. Dredge oysters in the seasoned flour, pressing each lightly to flatten it and cover it with breading. Melt butter or heat oil in a skillet, then lightly fry oysters until just crispy.

Lay wrap on a cutting board and spread the middle with Remoulade. Pile lettuce, onion and tomato slices on sauced part of the wrap. Top lettuce and tomato with fried oysters and gently wrap into a tight roll. Slice roll on an angle into two or three pieces.

REMOULADE SAUCE ¾ cup plus 3 tablespoons mayonnaise 1½ tablespoons vinegar ¾ tablespoon capers, chopped ¼ tablespoon anchovy paste ¼ tablespoon chives, minced 2 tablespoons onion, minced ¼ tablespoon Old Bay ¾ tablespoon Dijon mustard Combine all ingredients and chill.


p h oto g rap h t h is pa g e by tyler darden

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Thanks READERS! For voting Aromas one of the best in Virginia. Enjoy the patio or step inside for freshly roasted Gourmet Coffees, delicious Breakfasts, or a casual Lunch and Dinner with Wine or Beer. Great music and free WiFi as well!

COFFEE COMFORT CUISINE Virginia Living: Best of Virginia, 2012 • HR Magazine: Best of Hampton Roads, 2011 Complex Magazine: Top 50 College Coffee Shops, 2011 • Rand McNally: Editor’s Pick – Best of the Road, 2008 Washington Post: One of the “Hip” places in Williamsburg • Virginia Gazette: Best Coffeehouse in Williamsburg, 2008-2010 and online at


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431 Prince George St. Merchants Square Williamsburg, VA 23185

706 Town Center Drive City Center in Oyster Point Newport News, VA 23606



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Food & Drink • eastern


To Bay, or Not To Bay? That is the question when it comes to seasoning summer's Chesapeake Bay crab. Some say it’s a must for crab in any form. Others say it detracts from the crustacean’s natural flavor. In the end it’s your choice. But many of our favorite crab purveyors eschew Old Bay’s secret blend of 18 salts and spices for Maryland-made J.O. Seafood Seasoning. “There’s something about [Old Bay] that I can’t put my finger on,” says Dave Whitby of Yellow Umbrella Seafood in Richmond. “It has an aftertaste.” Dockside Seafood market and restaurant in Virginia Beach makes its own crab flavoring, which also includes J.O. “Our chef keeps [other ingredients] secret, but we don’t use Old Bay,” says Dockside’s Mike Spruill. “Ours has more flavor instead of that real spicy taste.” Who can resist a tasty crab either way?

Best Outdoor Dining The Tides Inn 480 King Carter Drive, Irvington, 804-438-5000

Cozily situated between the Potomac River, the Rappahannock River and the Chesapeake Bay, The Tides Inn is a grand old Virginia tradition with 21stcentury sensibilities. With its own marina, a top-notch golf course and a spa, there’s something for everyone. Nearby wineries add another dimension. second place: Chick’s Oyster Bar, Virginia Beach, 757-481-5757 third place: Terrapin, Virginia Beach, 757-321-6688

Best Place for a Power Lunch The Tides Inn 480 King Carter Drive, Irvington

Best Restaurant With an Ocean View

Best Wine List

Mahi Mah’s

713 19th St., Virginia Beach

615 Atlantic Ave., Virginia Beach, 757-437-8030 A tasty menu, a relaxing view of the ocean, and an award-winning wine list. What else do you need to know? Buy a bucket of crustaceans. Or do it up with a great cut of steak. Or taste fish so fresh it just stopped swimming minutes ago. second Place: Waterman’s, Virginia Beach, 757-428-3644 third Place: Catch 31, Virginia Beach, 757-213-3474

Best Seafood Restaurant Surf Rider, 804-438-5000

1 Marina Road, Hampton

The extreme care and attention to detail that makes the Tides Inn stand out among other hotels and resorts in the state extends all the way down to the lunch menu. The Carters Creek Crab Club in particular, is a dreamy mix of crab salad on toasted brioche. Executive Chef T.V. Flynn and staff never disappoint.

Crab cakes rule here. Ditto crab claws, including stone crab claws, season permitting. For those who don’t like seafood, Surf Rider is the rare seafood restaurant ready to accommodate with a variety of alternatives, from beef to barbecue. True, it’s a chain, but a good one.

second place: Todd Jurich’s Bistro, Norfolk, 757-622-3210 third place: Smithfield Gourmet Bakery and Café, Smithfield & Norfolk, 757-357-0045 photo illustration jeff bland

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second Place: The Sandpiper, White Stone, 804-435-6176 third Place: Bill’s Seafood Restaurant, Chincoteague

Zoës Steak and Seafood Restaurant, 757-437-3636 When a restaurant has a sommelier, you know it is serious about the grape. Zoës is no exception. Choose from a list of 40 wines available by the glass or 525 choices of bottles. Zoës even won a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence in 2009. second Place: Sonoma Wine Bar, Virginia Beach, 757-490-9463 third Place: The Tides Inn, Irvington, 804-438-5000

Best Winery Williamsburg Winery 5800 Wessex Hundred, Williamsburg, 757-229-0999 Set on 320 acres, 11 different varietals produce 188 tons of grapes, which become 60,000 cases of wine a year. Don’t believe it? Williamsburg Winery offers tours and tastings as proof. Viticulturist Tom Child is in charge. And we are so glad he is. second Place: The Dog and Oyster Vineyard,

Irvington, 800-497-8228 third Place: Chatham Vineyards, Machipongo, 757-678-5588, 757-336-5831

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Best College or University

Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront

College of William and Mary

3001 Atlantic Ave., Virginia Beach

116 Jamestown Road, Williamsburg

It’s big; it’s beautiful. It’s right on the water and smack dab in the middle of the newly developed heart of Virginia Beach’s oceanfront area. With TVs in the bathrooms, pillow–top bedding and fivejet showerheads, this Hilton is up-to-the-minute in amenities. Add to that its position amid great shopping and multiple dining spots ... where else would you want to be?

Founded in 1693, William and Mary is the country’s second oldest institution of higher learning. (Harvard beat it by a mere 57 years.) Three U.S. presidents and 16 signers of the Declaration of Independence were educated here. And the college also founded the academic honor society, Phi Beta Kappa., 757-213-3000

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Best Beach Hotel

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second place: Cavalier Hotel, Virginia Beach, 757-425-8555 third place: The Tides Inn, Irvington, 804-438-5000

second place: Old Dominion University, Norfolk, 757-683-3000 third place: Christopher Newport University, Newport News, 804-594-7000

Best Golf Course

Best Bed and Breakfast

The Golden Eagle Golf Course at The Tides Inn

Hope & Glory Inn 65 Tavern Road, Irvington

364 Clubhouse Road, Irvington, 800-497-8228 The pros at Frommer’s, Fodor’s and Moon all, 804-438-4460

give it high ratings. It has also been recognized by the likes of Travel + Leisure and Coastal Living. Maybe it’s the vineyard; or could it be the cruise boat? For us, the little spa and fine dining seals the deal. This is so much more than a typical B&B. second place: The Bed & Breakfast at Peace Hill, Charles City, 804-829-2723 third place: Bay Tree Manor, Seaford, 757-897-6062

Situated around a 50-acre lake, this course has elevation changes and well-placed bunkers for beginners to pros. The championship course is flanked by the inn on one side and its marina on the other with more than 7,000 yards of course in between so you won’t be distracted by views of the Chesapeake Bay. second place: The Golden Horseshoe, Colonial Williamsburg, 757-220-7696 third place: Kingsmill, Williamsburg, 800.832.5665

Naval Gazing Naval Station Norfolk is the world’s largest naval base and home to some of America’s most impressive seafaring hardware. Even better, the Navy doesn’t mind you getting a good look— provided you don’t get too close. The Victory Rover Naval Base Cruise is a Navy-approved two-hour narrated tour of the aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, guided missile cruisers and other maritime equipment in dock at the base. Don’t forget your camera.

p h o t o g ra p h K e i t h L an p h er , V i r g i n i a T o u r i s m C o r p o rat i o n

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• Living & Recreation

eastern region

Best Hotel

Best Place to Shag Dance

Best Resort

Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront

Riverwalk Landing

The Tides Inn

3001 Atlantic Ave., Virginia Beach

331 Warner St., Yorktown

480 King Carter Drive, Irvington

Whether you’re looking for shopping, seafood or deluxe accommodations, you can score all three here. “We’re right at the apex of where there’s a lot going on,” says Hilton’s Tade Allen. Indeed. Step out the door to the adjacent 31st Street Park where there are concerts and bands just about every night of the week in season.

Bop to Motown and beach tunes on Thursday nights at “Shaggin’ on the Riverwalk.” But before you wear yourself out shagging, get in a little shopping or stoke up at one of the ‘walk’s restaurants. This is where Peninsula locals wind down their work week and visitors start their vacations.

With three options for dining, a championship golf course and all the waterfront relaxation you can squeeze in, The Tides Inn is a great choice for a quietly luxurious break from the hubbub of city life. For scads of Virginians, visits here have become family traditions.

second place: The Tides Inn, Irvington, 804-438-5000

second place: Kingsmill Resort, Williamsburg, 757-258-1630 third place: Great Wolf Lodge, Williamsburg, 757-229-9700, 757-213-3000

second place: The Tides Inn, Irvington, 804-438-5000 third place: Williamsburg Inn, Williamsburg 757-229-1000, 757-890-3500

third place: Chester’s Upper Deck Restaurant, Virginia Beach, 757-428-0048, 804-438-5000

Best Retirement Community Virginia Beach Westminster-Canterbury 3100 Shore Drive, Virginia Beach, 757-496-1100

Overlooking the bay, this retirement community is pretty much like a resort. Recently named by U.S. News & World Report as Best Nursing Home in Virginia, you know you’ll be well cared for while having fun. In fact, folks here are so well cared for that 10 residents have reached their hundredth birthdays. second place: Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury, Irvington, 804-438-4000 third place: Atlantic Shores, Virginia Beach, 757-716-2000

Best Summer Camp Camp Chanco on the James 394 Floods Drive, Spring Grove, 757-294-0915 No child gets left inside at this multi-age Christian overnight camp. Situated on the James River and surrounded by wildlife in rural Surry County, boys and girls learn golf, archery, kayaking, nature education, even how to ride a zip line. second place: Triple R Ranch, Chesapeake, 757-421-4177 third place: Camp Silver Beach, Jamesville, 757-442-4634

Shag? Or Swing?

Best Tennis Club

Are we doing it right?

Indian Creek Yacht & Country Club

So what is the difference between shag and swing dancing anyway? Virginians love both, and have perfected the steps to these iconic dances on dance floors all along the coast and everywhere inland, but how can we tell them apart, really? Jerry Nichols, dance development chairperson for the Colonial Shag Club, which takes the floor on Thursday nights at Riverwalk Landing in Yorktown, explains it this way: Swing is bouncy; shag is slower and smoother. “Swing is done mostly holding both hands,” Nichols says. In shag dancing, “the man uses his left hand to hold the woman’s right hand. They don’t bounce or pump hands like in swing. You dance like you’re holding onto a post about waist high.” Now we get it.


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362 Club Drive, Kilmarnock, 804-435-1340 This full-scale yacht and country club offers the range of services expected of such a club: indoor and outdoor tennis courts, a newly renovated golf course, swimming pool and bathhouse. Some 200 boats dock in the club’s marina, and its championship 18-hole golf course is a Tom Clark signature design. second place: Princess Anne Country Club, Virginia Beach, 757-873-4887 third place: Norfolk Yacht & Country Club, Norfolk, 757-428-4141

co u r t e s y o f R i c h m o n d T i m e s - D i s pat c h Co l l e c t i o n , Va l e n t i n e R i c h m o n d H i s t o r y C e n t e r

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best of virginia 2012

Best Local Theater Group

Boardwalk Art Show and Festival

Virginia Stage Company

17th through 32nd streets boardwalk, Virginia

108 E. Tazewell St., Norfolk

Beach, 757-425-0000 This art show is one of the most established in the country. Erika Guess of sponsor Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, offers this advice; Thursday morning has the best parking, Sunday evening is the time to buy, and bring cash. “ATMs are available, and more and more artists are accepting credit cards, but cash is king!” second Place: An Occasion for the Arts,

Colonial Williamsburg third Place: Stockley Gardens, Norfolk, 757-625-6161


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At 34 years old, VSC is one of the country’s foremost regional theaters and the region’s only fully professional resident theater company, selling more than 90,000 tickets each season. From musicals to dramas to classics, this non-profit proffers a wide range of fare that keeps patrons coming back for more. second Place: Lancaster Players, White Stone, 804-435-3776 third Place: Hurrah Players, Norfolk 757-627-5437

Best Performing Arts Venue Best Art Museum

Sandler Center Performing Arts

Chrysler Museum of Art, 757-385-2787

245 W. Olney Road, Norfolk, 757-664-6200 The Chrysler is mammoth: 62 galleries, 30,000 works of art and a new glass studio where visitors can watch the pros blow during live glass-making demonstrations. A visit to the Chrysler is a must-do on any visit to Norfolk. Second Place: Virginia Museum of Contemporary

Art (MOCA), Virginia Beach, 757-425-0000 third Place: Muscarelle Museum of Art, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg Web.Wm.Edu/Muscarelle, 757-221-2700

201 Market St., Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach is so much more than the surfer’s haven it once was. Now a full-fledged resort town, VB is our coastal cultural center. So fitting it is that the area should have a world-class multi-purpose arts center. Shiny new, barely five years old, Sandler has gallery space for visual and fine craft art in addition to performance space and is home to such august arts organizations as Ballet Virginia International and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. second Place: Ferguson Center, Newport News, 757-594-7448 third Place: American Theatre, Hampton, 757-722-2787

Best Bar for Live Music Jewish Mother 600 Nevan Road, Virginia Beach, 757-428-1515 As VB’s first New York style deli, the Jewish Mother isn’t just known for its slammin’ deli sandwiches. Since 1974, the Mother has brought in local, regional and national bands. Says owner Scotty Miller, “We have the best food, fun and music. That sums it all up.”




E n t e r t A i n m e n t

Best Art Event

second Place: The NorVa, Norfolk, 757-627-4547

third Place: The Taphouse on Queensway, Hampton,


Best Food Festival Urbanna Oyster Festival The streets of Urbanna, 804-758-0368 For 55 years, folks have been making their way to the little town on the ‘rivah’ to slurp down oysters. What was once a fairly small gathering of mollusklovers now includes a wine tasting and an oyster shucking contest.

Home to Headliners The urban music coming out of Hampton Roads these days is surprisingly hip. Missy Elliott (Portsmouth), Pharrell (Virginia Beach, pictured here) and Timbaland (Norfolk) have brought the eyes (and ears) of rap and hip hop fans to the little area by the sea. As Elliott sings, “We run this.”

second place: Bayou Boogaloo and Cajun

Festival, Norfolk, 757-441-2345 third Place: The Sensible Seafood Fest, Virginia Beach, 757-385-0262 ph o t o g raph B Y J A Z m i n M I L L IO N

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warhol An exhibition of 130 portraits from the world’s most famous Pop artist.

May 26-August 19

2200 Parks Ave | Virginia Beach | | 757.425.0000

Checkered Flag/Audi

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best of virginia 2012


&s e r v i c e s

Best Antiques Mall

Best Chiropractor

Kilmarnock Antique Gallery

Dr. Kevin Conover

144 school street, Kilmarnock

10866 Warwick Blvd., Newport News



Furniture, rugs, grandfather clocks and more can be found at Kilmarnock Antique Gallery. Treasure-seekers will find everything they need for their homes here because after all, everyone needs some pizazz from the past.

Anyone who has ever needed a chiropractor knows how important it is to find the right one. With over 20 years of professional experience, Dr. Conover is your man. He takes a common sense approach to treating back pain to ensure that you leave feeling happier, healthier and stronger.

second place: Blue Crow Antiques Mall, Painter, 757-442-4150 third place: Williamsburg Antiques Mall, Williams-

burg, Antiques, 757-565-3422

Best Auto Mechanic Bay Auto 36 American Drive, Kilmarnock


Bay Auto specializes in auto repair—no fancy paint jobs, no sound system makeovers, just helping you put your car on the road again. No matter your car troubles, Bay Auto can fix up your vehicle without a hassle. It’s hard to beat a quick turnaround time and friendly service. second place: Mac’s Auto World, White Stone

804-435-6660 third place: A & M Auto and Truck Repair, Kilmarnock


second place: Dr. Derek Russell, Virginia Beach, 757-427-7690 third place: Dr. Michelle Henry, Norfolk, 757-625-4458

Best Cosmetic Surgeon Dr. Michael Denk 1037 First Colonial Road, Virginia Beach, 757-491-3535 While Dr. Denk is schooled in all the latest procedures, he doesn’t push fads. Instead, he offers personalized treatment in cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries for more comprehensive care. Associates in Plastic Surgery is South Hampton Roads’ largest plastic surgery facility. second place: Dr. James H. Carraway, Virginia Beach, 757-557-0300 third place: Dr. Joanne Lopes, Cosmetic Surgery Center, Virginia Beach, 757-497-5400

Best Bike Shop Conte’s Bicycles and Fitness Equipment 1805 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach, 757-491-1900

In addition to peddling a wide variety of rides, Conte’s is kind of like CarMax. Bring in your old bike and trade up. At Conte’s, you can find everything a cyclist needs, from helmets to tires. They even have cyclocross bikes and giant triathlon bikes. second place: Fat Frogs, Chesapeake, 757-410-4930 third place: Bike Beat, Williamsburg, 757-229-0096

Best Children’s Clothing Store Busy Bees 1544 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach, 757-425-2337 They celebrate Grandparents Day. They have a gift registry. They host open houses for customers’ friends and families, even providing drinks and appetizers. But what makes Busy Bees really special is that it fits any bill: clothing, accessories, toys and gifts, proving that one store can be all things to all people. second place: Sprout Children’s Boutique,

Virginia Beach, 757-422-0644 third place: The Carousel, Williamsburg, 757-229-1710

I’m Thinking of a Card ... At Edgar Cayce’s Association for Research and Enlightenment Center in Virginia Beach, you can test your powers of prediction to discover if you possess extrasensory perception. The enigmatic psychic’s method has you focus hard on a color wheel, and then predict which color will appear next. After 20 attempts you discover whether you have ESP or not. Unless you already knew the answer, of course.

p h o t o g rap h t h i s pa g e , U se d b y P er m i ss i o n , T h e E d g ar C ay ce F o u n d at i o n , r i g h t p h o t o i l l ustrat i o n j eff b l a n d

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Best Dentist Midgette Family Dentistry 3326 Taylor Road #100, Chesapeake, 757-483-4700 Who is a great dentist? The one that inflicts the least pain. Face it, kids do not put up with dental pain, so a practice that deals with the whole family had better be gentle, like Midgette Family Dentistry. They’ve been doing it for 20 years, so they have to be good. second place: Robert S. Westbrook, Irvington

804-438-1000 THIRD PLACE: Konikoff Dentistry, Virginia Beach, 757-416-1400

Best Dive Shop Lynnhaven Dive Center 1413 N. Great Neck Road, Virginia Beach, 757-481-7949

When you’re considering strapping on a heavy tank and descending to the depths of the ocean, you want to learn from, and be equipped by, one who knows the most. Thirty years in business qualifies LDC. They teach, outfit and even set up dive trips. second place: Dive Quarters, Virginia Beach, 757-422-3483 third place: Chesapeake Bay Diving, Chesapeake, 757-398-3483

Best Farmers Market Irvington Farmers Market Irvington Commons, King Carter Drive, Irvington, 804-480-0697

With local foods being in high demand these days, Irvington is a great central spot for farmers from miles around to set up shop. Visitors, too, come from afar to enjoy all that this little shoppers’ haven has to offer. Come early! second place: Williamsburg Farmers Market,

Williamsburg, 757-259-3768 third place: Old Beach Farmers Market, Virginia Beach, 757-428-5444

Best Financial Planner Virginia Asset Group 2901 S. Lynnhaven Road, Virginia Beach, 757-243-1448 When working with a financial advisor, trust is the key word. Virginia Asset Group invests in the communities it serves and gains their trust in return. As a bonus they are able to handle all your financial services needs in one place. second place: Besnier Financial Group,

Williamsburg, 757-564-3333 third place: Financial Designs, Virginia Beach, 757-473-3922

Heartfelt Thanks In the South, manners matter. No true Virginian would shirk his or her duty to write a thank you note, no matter how dreadful the gift, right? But how can we tell if the thank you note we receive is truly heartfelt? Beware, re-gifters, here is what even the most polite of missives might be saying:

Dear Bob, What a lovely surprise (that you sent us the exact same thing again for the 10th year in a row)! We couldn’t wait to open your package (which did very little to disguise the shape of its contents)! The yard gnome is so unusual (if you don’t live on planet earth) and one can never have enough (especially if one keeps getting rid of them). We surely will be the envy of the neighborhood (when we take it to the recycling center). Thank you for thinking of us (though hopefully next year you’ll think , “Is this something anyone would ever actually want?”). Fondly, Virginia

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• Shopping & Services

eastern region

Best Fine Jewelry Store

Best Florist

Best Hair Salon

Long Jewelers

Jeff’s Flowers Of Course

Angelo Mesisco Salon

2817 Shore Drive, Virginia Beach

300 Ed Wright Lane #F, Newport News

211 W. freemason St., Norfolk

This award-winning jewelry store boasts one of the largest selections of world-class designer lines in the Southeast. President David Long makes sure that customer service and value are the store’s top priorities, which you’ll appreciate just as much as the jewelry.

When Jeff’s Flowers says it has flowers for any occasion, they mean it. New baby? How about a teddy bear to go with? New neighbors? A gourmet basket is the perfect welcome. Corsages and boutonnieres. Roses and gardenias. Always a little of the unexpected and sure to please.

With such a large population to draw from, it’s rare for anyone to consistently capture a steady chunk of the market. Angelo Mesisco has been styling hair in Norfolk for 30 years. Structured like European salons, stylists do only styling and colorists do only color. All are specialists.

second place: Norfolk Florist, Norfolk, 757-627-1616 third place: Helga Macko Flowers, Virginia Beach, 757-412-4444

second place: Jake’s Place, Norfolk, 757-627-5253 third place: Changes Hair Styling and Spa, Norfolk, 757-625-5300

Best Gift Shop

Best Home Builder

The Globe

Connemara Corp.

221 Laskin Road, Virginia Beach

18700 Mary Ball Road, White Stone, 757-496-9099

second place: Ross’ Rings & Things, Kilmarnock

804-435-3529 third place: The Precious Gem, Williamsburg &

Virginia Beach, 757-428-1117

Best Fine Stationery and Invitations Hampton Stationery, 757-930-8515, 757-228-5815, 757-422-3313

108 E. Queens Way, Hampton, 757-722-7712 When it comes to ordering the finest in invitations, be it for a party, a wedding or any tony affair, Hampton Stationery is at the ready to guide you. A private appointment ensures that you get exactly what you need and the approval that comes with it. second place: Parlett’s Paper Expressions,

Williamsburg, 757-220-1607 third place: Jacobson Fine Papers and Gifts, Virginia Beach, 757-422-6595


At The Globe, you’ll find home accessories, clothing, jewelry, bedding and other quality items from around the world that you simply won’t find anywhere else. You’ll probably also find the owners inside waiting to help you, as the business has been family-owned since 2005. second place: Simply Selma’s, Virginia Beach, 757-428-2885 third place: Specials Ltd., Kilmarnock, 804-435-8758

Specializing in high-end residential, this builder is nearly two decades into designing homes in the Northern Neck, Middle Peninsula and as far away as Richmond. Connemara has no trademark style because your style is their style. “People come to us with an idea, and we help them realize it,” says President David Jones. second place: Eagle River Construction, Lottsburg, 804-529-5700 third place: Hayden Custom Builders, Suffolk


Menswear Must-Haves Craig Beecroft, co-owner of the Beecroft & Bull clothing stores in Virginia Beach, Richmond and Charlottesville, wants you to dress well. That means a clean, casual look; tailored but not tight, with plenty of room for individual flair. Here are five items Beecroft says every man needs in his wardrobe, and why: Soft, Unconstructed Sportcoat “It’s one notch above casual but doesn’t need a tie and goes with everything.” Great Pair of Jeans “Tailored, dark-wash premium denim is what you want.” The Right Brown Shoes “Mahogany brown leather slip-ons will go with jeans or even something dressier.” Pocket Squares “You can’t have too many. ” Belt With Substantial Hardware “The leather should complement your shoes.”


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• Shopping & Services

eastern region

Best Hospital Sentara Norfolk General 600 Gresham Drive, Norfolk, 757-388-3000

No surprise it’s been recognized 11 times by U.S. News and World Report Best Hospitals edition for its top-notch heart program, Sentara has its own Heart Hospital. It’s still the only heart program in the region and the area’s first Magnet Hospital. It also has its own Cancer Institute. second place: Rappahannock General Hospital,

Kilmarnock, 804-435-8000 third place: Riverside Regional Medical Center, Newport News, 757-594-2000

Best Indie Bookstore Prince Books 109 E. Main St., Norfolk, 757-622-9223 This is the indie bookstore to beat all indie bookstores. Not just a few quirky books or a glut by a few select authors, this little purveyor offers a broad inventory. Operating in downtown Norfolk for 30 years, Prince is royalty in the bookseller biz. second place: Book Nook, Kilmarnock

804-435-3355 third place: Sundial Books, Chincoteague, 757-336-5825

Best Interior Designer Decorating Den Interiors 1607 S. Church St., Smithfield, 757-356-0082 Smithfield’s Decorating Den Interiors want to be clear: They specialize in one thing, the customer. From bedrooms to bathrooms, from home theaters to outdoor spaces, Decorating Den’s designer Angie Lowry will guide you to a polished setting that is distinctively yours. second place: The Pedestal, Kilmarnock, 804-435-1783 third place: Panache Interiors, Virginia Beach


Best Marine Supply Lynnhaven Marine-Boater’s Warehouse

Don’t overpack! Sick of having to practically disrobe to go through airport security (or worse, get patted down)? The good news is there is another option for air travel ... you can charter your own plane. For as little as $300 an hour, Chesapeake Aviation Inc. in Accomack County on the Eastern Shore will take you into the blue skies in a Cessna-172. It can carry a total of 850 pounds between three passengers (that includes luggage). But don’t risk being grounded by fudging the numbers. “People always lie about their weight,” says pilot Carter Crabbe. “But I’ve been doing it so long I can tell by looking.” If you do, it’s back to taking your shoes off in front of strangers.

Best Men’s Clothing Store Beecroft & Bull 3198 Pacific Ave., Virginia Beach

550 First Colonial Road, Virginia Beach, 757-422-1961

When we hear the word ‘warehouse,’ we expect a deal. And you get ‘em here. In addition to just about everything nautical you can think of from anchors to propellers, Boater’s Warehouse has lots of discounted marine accessories for both sail and powerboats.

Beecroft & Bull has a longstanding reputation for selling great-looking, quality clothes to customers with good taste. Work or play, if you’re outfitted in B&B, you’re going to look good. B&B began doing business in Newport News in 1958. Now it has stores in Richmond, Charlottesville and Virginia Beach.

second place: Mile Marker ‘0’, Portsmouth

second place: Dan Ryan’s for Men, Virginia Beach, 757-425-2628

757-673-4186 third place: West Marine, Deltaville, 804-776-8582


Flying High

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Best Place to Find Virginia Tchotchkes The Virginia Store 555 Settlers Landing Road, Hampton


If the name “Virginia” fits on it, you’ll find it here. You can send a basket of all things Virginia to a farflung family member or to fill your own rack with Virginia wines. second place: The Craft House, Merchants Square,

Williamsburg 757-220-7747 third place: Riverside Accents, Tappahannock


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• Shopping & Services

eastern region

Best Real Estate Company

Best Yoga Studio

Best Outlet Shopping

Prudential Towne Realty

Hot House Yoga

Premium Outlets Williamsburg

600 22nd St., Virginia Beach

1952 Laskin Road, Suite #507, Virginia Beach

5715 Richmond Road, Williamsburg

Finding your first apartment can be hard. Then again, so can finding your second one—let alone your dream house. Prudential Towne Realty makes finding the right property for you a little easier, no matter where you’re looking in Hampton Roads. After all, they’ve been at it for 56 years.

If yoga is about meditation and meditation is about ambience, where you do your yoga matters. With its high ceilings and cork floors, Hot House Yoga knows the importance of a clean and healthy location. And did we mention a hot one? That’s right. Hot House Yoga definitely puts on the heat, so get ready to sweat!

The overwhelming choice (the biggest, the only) is Premium Outlets. Folks drive from great distances for the joy of shopping for bargains at outlets for Coach, Williams-Sonoma, Calvin Klein, Burberry and more. It’s grown over the years. Expect to spend a day there. This is serious shopping., 888-737-9246

second place: Long & Foster Real Estate, Virginia Beach, 757- 306-7653 third place: William E. Wood, Norfolk, 757-625-2580, 757-428-0099, 757-565-0702

second place: Bamboo Yoga Studio, Virginia Beach, 757-496-7444 third place: Olive For Yoga, Deltaville, 804-832-0079

Best Salon and Day Spa Tides of Change Spa 480 King Carter Drive, Irvington, 804-438-5000

The tranquil setting for this spa on the water at The Tides Inn is the perfect location for rejuvenation, be it for skin, feet or face. If you’re already young and beautiful, enjoy a massage, or grab some girlfriends and plan a spa weekend. second place: Changes Hair Styling and Spa,

Norfolk, 757-625-5300 third place: Kingsmill Resort, Williamsburg, 757-564-5338

Best Surf Shop Wave Riding Vehicles 1900 Cypress Ave., Virginia Beach, 757-428-1877 The name of this shop doesn’t really tell the whole tale. If you want to look good doing anything on the water, visit this place first. Surfboards and tees, board shorts and hats, even flannels for winter wear—all can be had here. Stickers and decals for your bike or your board are in supply too. second place: 17th Street Surf Shop, Virginia Beach, 757-422-6105 third place: Freedom Surf, Virginia Beach, 757-491-0266

Bridge Over Troubled Waters No need to fear the Chesapeake Bay’s engineering wonder.

Best Tackle Shop R.W.’s Sport Shop 1434 Northumberland Highway, Callao, 804-529-5634

R.W.’s exists to outfit the sportsman. Archers love it. Ditto campers. And fishermen swear by it. Even ice fishermen come here for heaters, ice lines and ice lures. (Yep, there’s a difference.) R.W.’s has everything the well-accoutered angler needs, hook, line and sinker. second place: Bass Pro Shop, Hampton, 757-262-6200 third place: Fish On, Deltaville

Those with gephyrophobia (fear of bridges) are missing out. Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, which connects Virginia Beach and the Eastern Shore, was first completed in 1964 and recognized the following year by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of the “Seven Engineering Wonders of the Modern World.” It got twice as good in 1999, when the CBBT added a parallel bridge. At 17.6 miles long from shore to shore, with two mile-long underwater tunnels, which drivers enter and exit through four manmade islands in the Chesapeake Bay, it’s easy to see why the CBBT would scare gephyrophobes. But that just means more stunning open-water views for the rest of us.



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Commotion in the Ocean

Andy Fox, WAVY

Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center, 717

300 Wavy St., Portsmouth, 757-385-3474

PEOPLE B e s t

Best Local Newscaster

Gen. Booth Blvd., Virginia Beach

C I T Y l I f e


Best Annual Charity Gala

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Nearly 700 guests attended the Commotion in the Ocean gala last year, and enjoyed casino games, a silent auction and live music, all for a good cause: a special exhibit for the aquarium. This year the event, held at VAMSC in October, promises the same. second place: Chesapeake Bay Wine Classic Grand Auction, Virginia Beach, 757-200-9463 third place: An Achievable Dream Tennis Ball, Newport News, 757-599-9472

Best Bartender Joe Allen, Hilton Norfolk Airport 1500 N. Military Highway, Norfolk, 757-466-8000 What does it take to be a good bartender? A willing ear and a tight lip. Folks who frequent this Hilton bar near the world’s largest military installation believe Joe Allen has both, and they come from all around the area to enjoy them. second place: Cabell Westbrook, Nate’s Trick Dog Café, Irvington, 804-438-6363 third place: Erica Caylor, Terrapin, Virginia Beach, 757-321-6688

Best Local Band Uglyography 3203 Matoaka Road, Hampton, 757-947-5122 Described as “quirkadelic” and “punky,” this indie rock band is gathering a following outside its home base, playing to crowds from Ohio to New York to South Carolina. Catch them at the Taphouse Grill in Norfolk or County Grill in Yorktown., 757-393-1010 You have to love this guy: He’s so popular that he took time off from broadcast journalism to run for political office. Suffice to say, he was back on the air post haste. Other than that hiatus, he’s been connecting with WAVY viewers since 1986. second place: David Alan, WVEC, Norfolk, 757-625-1313 third place: Kerri Furey, WAVY, Portsmouth, 757-393-1010

Best Local Radio Personality Dick Lamb, WAVE 5589 Greenwich Road, Virginia Beach, 757-671-1000

Really. How many radio hosts get their own day? WAVE’s Dick Lamb is among the few so honored. When he celebrated 30 years in morning radio in Hampton Roads in 2008, the City of Virginia Beach declared a Dick Lamb Day. Okay, so it isn’t celebrated every year, but we still think it’s great. second place: Rick Rumble, WNOR, Norfolk, 757-366-0022 third place: Cathy Lewis, WHRV, Norfolk, 757-889-9400

Speak Like A Surfer Smooth surf slang to keep you from sounding like a Larry on the beach this summer: Blown Out: too windy to surf Nuggets: good, small waves Barrel: ride inside the hollow tube of a wave Pumpin’: very good, clean, hollow surf Larry: an awkward or unorthodox male surfer Chunder: a spectacular failure

second place: Carbon Jam, Virginia Beach third place: Butter, Virginia Beach, 757-576-9611

Best Local DJ Jay Johnson, Astro Entertainment 316 High St., Portsmouth, 800-67ASTRO Jay Johnson isn’t a radio jock but a for-hire spinner. Kurt Etheridge of Astro Entertainment describes him as “an encyclopedia of all genres of music. He truly understands a crowd and how to focus the energy of the party.” In other words, he knows how to rock a room. second place: DJ Bee, 103 Jamz, Norfolk, 757-466-0009 third place: Kristi Michael, 96X, Norfolk 96X.FM, 757-622-9696 p h o t o i ll u s t r a t i on b y J e f f bl a n d

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The primary care physicians and specialisTs of riverside medical Group

Everything you want in a doctor: Experienced. Compassionate. Close. From the Peninsula to the Shore and from Williamsburg to Gloucester and beyond, you’ll find a Riverside Medical Group physician close to where you live or work. And convenience is only the beginning. Because when you choose a Riverside Medical Group physician you get a skilled and experienced primary care or urgent care doctor plus immediate access to physician specialists in virtually every medical specialty you might need. And while our doctors are close to you, they’re also close to each other, connected electronically by Riverside’s sophisticated electronic health record that helps increase the speed and quality of treatment. Riverside Medical Group. You’ll find doctors who welcome Medicare and who welcome you. And you won’t have to look far. For a Riverside Medical Group care provider who’s close to you call (757) 595-6363.


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• People & City Life

eastern region

Best Local Sports Team

Best Movie Theater

Best Nightlife Establishment

Norfolk Admirals

Commodore Theatre

Seven Martini Bar

201 E. Brambleton Ave., Norfolk

421 High St., Portsmouth

606 Chesapeake Drive, White Stone

Relative newcomers to the American Hockey League, the Admirals had a 25-game string of wins in the 2011-2012 season, setting the record for longest winning streak in the history of North American professional hockey. What’s left to say?

This restored Art Deco theater is on both the National Register of Historic places and the Virginia Landmarks Register. Yet it’s très moderne in accommodations. Hungry? Grab a seat in the dining area, pick up the phone at your table, and place your order. There is also a concession stand. The theater is retro; the films are first run.

Although this gem carries a wide variety of vodkas and martinis, it takes more than quality quaffs to qualify as having the best nightlife. Seven makes many nights special. . . sometimes a deal on dinner; sometimes a special Ladies’ Night. The folks at Seven refuse to be humdrum, whatever night., 757-640-1212

second place: Old Dominion University Men’s Football Team, Norfolk, 757-683-3000 third place: Norfolk Tides, Norfolk, 757-622-2222, 757-393-6962

second place: Naro Cinema, Norfolk, 757-625-6276 third place: CinéBistro, Hampton, 757-325-8896, 804-435-2300

second place: Nate’s Trick Dog Café, Irvington, 804-438-6363 third place: Central 111, Virginia Beach, 757-222-1022

Best Party Venue Granby Theater 421 Granby St., Norfolk, 757-961-7208 No argument: Granby Theater is a party palace. Restored to include its original Art Deco flourishes along with some critical modern touches—VIP booths, remarkable acoustics, VIP balconies and intelligent lighting—and its three levels with four fullservice bars, we think you’ll agree. second place: The Tides Inn, Irvington, 804-438-5000 third place: Virginia Aquarium, Virginia Beach, 757-385-0250

Best Performing Arts Company Virginia Stage Company 108 E. Tazewell St., Norfolk, 757-627-6988

An Accent of Their Own Twelve miles out from the Eastern Shore, you’ll find Tangier Island, population 727. Discovered in 1608 and settled in 1686, the roughly one-square-mile island can only be accessed by boat or plane. The result of this isolation is a unique culture—there are no cars, alcohol or credit cards on the island—and an even more singular accent. We’d love to give you a phonetic example, we just can’t quite make out what they’re saying. Some believe the difficult-to-decipher dialect is the world’s most preserved form of Elizabethan-era English—Shakespeare’s tongue in the Chesapeake Bay. Technically it’s later than that, 1686 being Restoration era. Others say the accent owes more to England’s West Country, from whence the orginial settlers hailed. Academic linguists can argue all they like, but with no recorded examples of 17th-century accents, it’s impossible to prove either way. More likely is that after over 300 years, the Tangier accent has developed into something uniquely … Tangier. Take the ferry out there and hear it for yourself—Tangier’s fresh seafood alone will be worth the trip.

Of course it’s a winner. Virginia Stage Company is the only fully professional resident theater company in the region. In its 30-plus years, it has produced more than 185 plays and delivered some 3,700 performances. A substantial list of donors helps keep ticket costs down, making its offerings affordable to all. second place: Virginia Symphony, Norfolk, 757-213-1431 third place: Virginia Opera, Norfolk, 757-213-4553

Best TV Personality Barbara Ciara, WTKR 720 Boush St., Norfolk, 757-446-1000 This reporter will go to the mats for a story. In 2009, she pursued a subject so doggedly he filed suit for assault. (She counter–filed. Both suits were dropped.) Ciara has even interviewed President Obama. (She went easier on him.) second place: Don Slater, WAVY, Portsmouth, 757-393-1010 third place: Sandra Parker, WVEC, Hampton, 757-625-1313

>> For more winners go to


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ART oF buildiNG A beTTeR commuNiTy. THe

For more than 25 years, Hope House has been the vision behind the Stockley Gardens Arts Festival. Twice a year, more than 150 artists and 25,000 people celebrate art, food and fun in the heart of historic Ghent in Norfolk, VA. We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to our friends across the region for making this event one of the best and most successful outdoor art festivals in Virginia.

The funds raised from these events help Hope House

Join at this year’s spring

STockley GARdeNS ARTS FeSTiVAl saturday, may 19 & sunday, may 20

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Foundation provide much-needed support for adults with developmental disabilities living in the Hampton Roads community. Hope House Foundation is the only organization in Virginia that supports adults with developmental disabilities exclusively in their own homes.

4/26/12 1:45 PM

best of virginia 2012

Central Region V

Virginia’s center is a paradox of sorts. It is at once urbane and rural, modern and traditional. Cities like Charlottesville and Lynchburg attract a mix of students and scholars along

with entrepreneurs and artists, creating communities that have a cosmopolitan vibe without losing their small-town charm. In Richmond, the halls of legislature are the oldest in the western hemisphere, while the impressive and ever-growing Virginia Museum of Fine Arts draws visitors from all over the world. Richmond’s robust arts culture—its ballet and symphony, theater companies and galleries—complements the stately architecture of Monument Avenue and Church Hill as well as the gleaming buildings of its financial district and the halls of its two nationallyrecognized universities. In Central Virginia, rural doesn’t mean behind the times. Smithfield hams lure folks from everywhere in that town’s direction, while not far away a burgeoning number of wineries have helped to make Virginia the fifth largest wine-producing state in the photograph by cade martin


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country, giving heft to the region’s growing reputation as Napa Valley East. And from Fredericksburg to Petersburg and Appomattox, the battlefields that punctuate the landscape neighbor towns that are thriving, but mindful not to sacrifice the bricks and mortar reminders of their valuable history. Mr. Jefferson’s Monticello and Academical Village, and Mr. Madison’s Montpelier, are today centers of study and interpretation, places where historians and archaeologists continue to make discoveries that inform the present. Central Virginians hold dear the notion that they live in Virginia’s heartland, from its 300-year-old plantations and a tobaccobased history to its current day reputation as a spawning ground for art, industry and education. With ease, they have reconciled this venerable past with a future that is hitting hyper-speed. And they embrace it all proudly.

styling by neely barnwell dykshorn

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Best Breakfast Restaurant

Best Cupcake

Blue Moon Diner

Pearl’s Cupcake Shoppe

512 W. Main St., Charlottesville

5812 Grove Ave., richmond

434-980-6666, 804-285-2253

If you’re looking for a formal breakfast experience in Charlottesville, you have lots of choices. But, if you want to eat a delicious homestyle breakfast with bottomless coffee in a laidback, friendly environment, then you need not look any farther than Blue Moon Diner. A local favorite, especially on Sunday mornings.

Cupcakes have gone couture. At Pearl’s you will find cupcakes flavored with champagne, hazelnut cream and roasted banana to name but a few. These cupcakes are decorated so creatively they almost look too good to eat. But we do anyway!

second place: Perly’s, Richmond


second place: Jean Jacques Bakery, Richmond, 804-355-2253 third place: Frostings, Richmond, 804-360-2712

THIRD PLACE: Joe’s Inn, Richmond, 804-355-2282

Best Diner Best Chocolatier

River City Diner

Gearhart’s, 804-644-9418

306-B Libbie Ave., Richmond, 804-282-1822 Chocolatier Tim Gearhart uses ingredients from near and far in his creations. Using Criollo cacao beans from Venezuela (not the Forastero type found in mass-produced chocolate), and adding local cream and butter, Gearhart’s offers some sophistication for your sweet tooth. second place: For the Love of Chocolate, 804-359-5645 third place: Frenchman’s Corner, Culpeper, 540-825-8025

7 N. 17th St., Richmond

Walk into River City Diner and you might forget what year it is. A classic diner atmosphere and a menu that has stood the test of time—burgers, dogs, milkshakes and more—is why Richmond loves this place year in and year out. second place: Galaxy Diner, Richmond

804-213-0510 THIRD PLACE: Millie’s Diner, Richmond, 804-643-5512

Best Coffee Shop Lamplighter 116 S. Addison St., Richmond, 804-728-2292 If you’re at Lamplighter simply for the coffee, prepare to spend some time basking in this coffeehouse’s truly eclectic atmosphere. This is a place where you can hang out with friends, get some work done or just people watch. Whichever it is, you’ll be doing it with a great cup of java in hand. second place: Crossroads, Richmond, 804-231-2030 third place: Lift, Richmond, 804-344-5438

Best Comfort Food Comfort 200 W. Broad St., Richmond, 804-780-0004 If you are seeking comfort food then make your way to Comfort, where Chef Jason Alley serves up familiar favorites that will have you thinking of simpler times. A menu filled with Southern staples and a straightforward but meticulous presentation is as soothing as food gets. second place: Mama J’s Kitchen, Richmond, 804-225-7449 third place: Lady N’awlins, Richmond, 804-355-4746

Eating It Our Way We know the New York way to eat pizza is to fold and bite, but we Southerners think we have the better method. We hew to the knife and fork in the Old Dominion ... Why? At pizzerias like Bottoms Up Pizza in Richmond the delicious toppings are piled so high that folding would be a feat, and we don’t want to miss a bite!

pr e v i ous pa g e : W arp e d G i n g h a m S k i r t and F l ora l E m bro i d e r e d Ga z ar Top by O s c ar d e l a R e n t a , Y o l anda 1 0 0 P a t e n t - L e a t h e r P u m ps by C h r i s t i an Loubou t i n a l l fro m R oan , R i c h m ond . G l ass e s by Gan t, C l e ar ly O p t o m e t ry, R i c h m ond . V i n t a g e B oo k s fro m B oo k P e op l e , R i c h m ond . furn i t ur e fro m B o h l and and Gra h a m , R i c h m ond .

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Food & Drink • central


Best Locavore Restaurant The Local 824 Hinton Ave., Charlottesville, 434-984-9749 At The Local, natives and out-of-towners alike have the opportunity to enjoy dishes and drinks that come from the rich agricultural resources of the Charlottesville area, in a setting furnished with the work of local craftsmen. This collaboration between area farmers, breweries, vineyards and artisans is a win for everyone. second place: Pasture, Richmond, 804-780-0416 third place: Mezzanine, Richmond, 804-353-2186

Best Mexican Restaurant Plaza Azteca 15600 Wc Commons Way, Midlothian, 804-897-1124

The instant gratification of chips and salsa, ready to eat right when you arrive at your favorite Mexican restaurant, is often what draws you there in the first place. Add Plaza Azteca’s fresh (made at your table!) guacamole to this equation, and this could be your new favorite Mexican restaurant. second place: Mexico Restaurant, Mechanicsville, 804-559-8126 third place: Casa Grande, Richmond, 804-553-9903

Best Nightclub Off the Hookah 140 Virginia St. #200, Richmond, 804-225-1918 No matter what you’re looking for when you venture into Off the Hookah, chances are you’ll find it, on one of its three floors. Depending on which floor you’re on, you can grab a tapas dinner by the canal, relax with a hookah, or polish your dance moves. Dress to impress. second place: The Lucky Buddha, Richmond, 804-648-5100 third place: BlackFinn, Richmond, 804-643-3466

Best Organic Food Ellwood Thompson’s

Counter Culture Three good reasons to bypass the booth. When it comes to eating at a counter there seem to be two camps of diners. The first sees the tableau of vinyl-covered bar stools, smudged salt and pepper shakers, slightly sticky ketchup bottles and apron-clad servers topping off steaming cups of coffee as a welcome opportunity. The second, well, the second group would rather wait as long as it takes to get a table, no matter how loudly their stomachs growl. For those who fall into the latter group, Laura Galgano who, with husband Rice Hall, owns the Blue Moon Diner—a Charlottesville gem of a hometown joint—suggests you give the counter a chance. Here’s why: People come in as strangers, and they leave as friends. They don’t feel awkward overhearing their neighbor’s conversation and chiming in.

4 N. Thompson St., Richmond

Ellwood Thompson’s bans ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and over 100 other undesirables, so you know what you’ll find there is healthy and organic. They sell the highest quality meats and the freshest fruits and vegetables Mother Earth has to offer, as well as delicious prepared dishes.

• It’s, 804-359-7525

second place: Whole Foods Market, Richmond, 804-364-4050 third place: Selba, Richmond, 804-358-2229

a comfortable way for singletons to eat without feeling alone (plus they get to banter with the staff and hear what’s really going on in the kitchen).

• It’s

like sitting at a kitchen table. It’s comfortable, and there are fewer rules (though good table manners are welcome).

What is the best thing about sitting at the counter? “Getting to sit on a barstool and have a space that’s above the busy floor show,” says Galgano, “but still getting to be in the middle of it.” Sounds good to us.

l e f t, p h o t o i l l u s t r a t i o n b y N i n a St o d d a r d . r i g h t, p h o t o g r a p h b y s t a c e y e v a n s .

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dress better than you have to.

w w w. b e e c r o f ta n d b u l l . c o m virginia beach



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• Food & Drink

Learning to Love Chocolate Culpeper chocolatier teaches a tasty lesson. Delicate taste buds be darned! While it’s possible to dislike bad chocolate, it’s impossible to dislike good chocolate. At least that’s what Marc Ast of Frenchman’s Corner in Culpeper believes. How to convert the chocolate-averse? “It’s not about conversion, but rather education,” says Ast. Many massproduced chocolates are over-processed and overcooked, hence their bitterness and chemical overload. So to help the unconvinced have a choco-epiphany, Marc gives hesitant customers one of two handmade delights from Belgium: Either a Neuhaus Manon Noir, a praline made with dark chocolate (70 percent cocoa) and filled with buttercream, or a Neuhaus Beurre, a chocolate truffle dusted with pure cocoa powder. There’s probably no more delicious way to get schooled.

Best Outdoor Dining

Best Piano Bar

Best Place for Cocktails

Legend Brewery

Jimmy’s On The James


321 W. 7th St., Richmond

610 Commerce St., Lynchburg

101 W. Franklin St., Richmond

The Legend label has become instantly recognizable across Virginia, and if you haven’t tried one of the brewery’s award-winning beers, there’s no better place to do so than at the Legend Pub. When the weather is warm the pub’s 200-seat deck overlooking the James is a beer drinker’s oasis.

You can sing along with the piano man or go to town on a crawfish quesadilla at Jimmy’s On The James. As long as you’re enjoying yourself, you’ll fit right in. Owner Jim Dudley describes the bar as “part speakeasy, part bistro, part supper club and all good.”

It might seem crazy to visit a hotel in your own backyard, but any Richmonder will agree that time spent at the iconic Jefferson Hotel is time well-spent. Grab cocktails at Lemaire, inside the Jefferson, for the elegant hotel atmosphere at a reasonable price.

second place: The Boathouse, Richmond

second place: The Beach House Bar and Grille,, 804-622-2628 third place: Mangia, Lynchburg, 434-846-2585

Glen Allen, 804-612-6116 third place: Selba, Richmond, 804-358-2229, 804-232-3446

Sedona Taphouse 15732 Wc Commons Way, Midlothian, 804-379-0037 Boasting the largest craft beer selection in the state and a classic taphouse environment complete with live music, this relatively new addition to the Central Virginia bar scene has already acquired a huge fan base. second place: Capital Ale House, Midlothian, 804-780-2537 third place: Lemaire, Richmond, 804-649-4629

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second place: Balliceaux, Richmond, 804-355-3008 third place: Bistro 1888, South Boston, 434-572-1888

Best Place to Buy Wine

Best Overall Bar

36, 434-845-1116

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Best Place for Brunch

Total Wine

Millie’s Diner, 804-323-5866

2603 E. Main St., Richmond, 804-643-5512 It’s pretty much like clockwork. Millie’s Diner is always among Richmond’s top choices for weekend brunch. With items like the famously delicious Devil’s Mess frittata on the menu, that’s probably not going to change. Unfortunately, brunch reservations aren’t accepted so expect a wait. It will be worth it.

10036 Robious Road, Richmond

Reds, whites and … greens? No matter what sort of chardonnay or pinot noir you’re after, Total Wine probably has it, boasting a selection of thousands of variations of wine, beer and spirits. They also offer eco-friendly selections, which include products that have been organically grown or produced from sustainable resources. second place: River City Cellars, Richmond

second place: Jefferson Hotel, Richmond, 804-355-1375, 804-649-4677 third place: Can Can Brasserie, Richmond, 804-358-7274

third place: Once Upon a Vine, Richmond, 804-726-9463

p h oto g r a p h co u r t e s y o f f r e n c h m a n ’s co r n e r

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Thanks for your vote of confidence!

Fraîche is happy to be one of the best gift and home decor destinations in central Virginia.

We greatly appreciate your support, and look forward to serving you in the future. 304 Libbie Avenue • Richmond, VA 23226 p. 804-282-4282 • fraichontheavenuesBOV12.indd 1

4/13/12 10:19 AM

You can expect a wine estate to be beautiful. This one is delicious, historic ... exceptional.


The 1804 Inn



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central region

• Food & Drink

Best Slice of Pizza Bottoms Up 1700 Dock St., Richmond, 804-644-4400 While the secret to making the specialty crust and sauces served at Bottoms Up might be well-kept, the pizzeria, located in the city’s Historic Shockoe Bottom (right under the train tracks), is known by all. A Richmond favorite for years, stop by and you’ll quickly find out why. second place: Mary Angela’s, Richmond, 804-353-2333 third place: Christian’s Pizza, Charlottesville, 434-977-9688

Best Sushi Cuisine Osaka 409 Meadowbrook Shopping Center, Culpeper

Secret Stew Brunswick Stew Day winner reveals his recipe … almost.

Sushi lovers can be a hard crowd to please, demanding taste and authenticity in every bite. Osaka delivers in every aspect. Visit the hibachi grill for a change of pace if you find yourself eating this sushi every day. second place: Akida, Richmond

George Daniel, of Brunswick County’s Red Oak Stew Crew, won this year’s Brunswick Stew Day at the Virginia State Capitol, but won’t reveal his recipe. “I’m sorry, ma’am, but that’s a secret!” What he will share is the traditional concoction that has inspired Brunswick County stewmasters for generations:


2½ to 3 pounds chicken 2 pieces celery 2 quarts tomatoes 1 cup onion, chopped 3 medium whole white potatoes, peeled 1 quart green butter beans 1 quart whole kernel corn 5 tablespoons sugar Salt and red/black pepper to taste

Ipanema Cafe

Place chicken, celery and small onion in kettle. Add quart of water. Simmer

until meat is tender. Cool broth and discard celery. Lift chicken from broth. Remove chicken meat from bone and chop. Add tomatoes, onions and potatoes. Continue cooking over medium heat. Remove potatoes when tender, mash and return to stew. Add chicken and remaining ingredients. Bring to boil while stirring. Cover, lower heat and simmer slowly, stirring occasionally, for 3-5 hours. Makes 6 quarts.

Best Place to Take the Family for Dinner

Best Place for a Power Lunch

Joe’s Inn

101 W. Main St., Charlottesville, 804-355-2282

Joe’s Inn is open every day of the week, and the staff there is willing to serve you breakfast, lunch, dinner or all three. With a robust menu that includes kids’ selections, you could wind up spending the whole day. second place: Tarrant’s Cafe, Richmond, 804-225-0035 third place: The Depot Grille, Lynchburg, 434-846-4464

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Hamilton’s, 434-295-6649

205 N. Shields Ave., Richmond

40, 540-727-9569

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Even if you’re pressed for time, stop and enjoy a lunch at Hamilton’s. Top-notch, attentive service means that you won’t have to constantly be glancing at your watch. Try a Wednesday or Saturday night, for dinner and some live jazz. second place: Chez Foushee, Richmond, 804-648-3225 third place: Bistro Bobette, Richmond, 804-225-9116

third Place: Sticky Rice, Richmond, 804-358-7870

Best Vegetarian Restaurant 917 W. Grace St., Richmond, 804-213-0190 Even a Tyrannosaurus Rex could walk into Ipanema Cafe and be satisfied with its meatless menu. It is as well-rounded and tasteful as any menu you’ll find in Richmond, vegetarian or otherwise. No surprise this place is consistently named one of the city’s best eateries. second place: Fresca, Richmond, 804-359-8638 third place: Revolutionary Soup, Charlottesville, 434-296-7687

Best Winery Barboursville Vineyards 17655 Winery Road, Barboursville, 540-832-3824 Situated in the Monticello viticultural area, Barboursville Vineyards draws thousands of visitors each year. The vineyard’s flagship Bordeaux-style blend Octagon was even featured at the reception celebrating the royal marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton. second place: Pippin Hill Farms & Vineyards, North Garden, 434-202-8063 third place: Veritas Winery, Charlottesville, 540-456-8000

photograph by jeff bland

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Behind every warrior

stands a loyal network of supporters

for naval speCial warfare, it’s the navy SEaL Foundation on any given day, throughout the world, members of the naval special warfare community put their lives on the line to defend our freedom. knowing there is an organization at home exclusively dedicated to supporting them and their families is an invaluable asset for u.s. navy seals, special warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen and naval special warfare support personnel. the navy seal foundation’s mission is to provide immediate and ongoing support to the naval special warfare community. our work focuses on three key areas: family support services including tragedy assistance and morale-building activities; educational programs that encourage lifelong learning; and preserving the legacy of our veterans as well as those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

your support Can make a differenCe visit to learn about online donations, planned giving, stock donations, employer matching gift programs and other ways to help support the naval special warfare community. Consider recognizing the naval special warfare community through the navy seal foundation text-to-give opportunity. to donate $10 now, text SEaL to 90999. a one-time $10 charge will be added to your wireless bill.

navy seal foundation is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. the foundation has received a four-star rating from Charity navigator and is certified as a “Best in america” merica” charity by independent ndependent Charities of america. merica. tax ax id # 31-1728910 / C CfC C #11454

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Best Hotel

Foster Harris House

The Jefferson Hotel

189 Main St., Little Washington

101 W. Franklin St., Richmond

What could be more charming or more restful than overnighting in a turn-of-the-century home in a historic village in the foothills of the Blue Ridge? A four-course breakfast, you say? Walk it off at nearby Shenandoah National Park. Enjoy all this and more at Foster Harris House.

Since 1895, this historic hotel has topped many a list of must-sees for travelers. Its grand old style is unmatched in Virginia, and modern amenities like a health facility and 24-hour room service make it one-of-a-kind. Its two award-winning restaurants (and grand staircase) make it a favorite with locals, too.

second place: The Inn at Sugar Hollow Farm, Charlottesville

second place: The Craddock-Terry Hotel, Lynchburg, 434-823-7086 third place: The Schooler House, Fredericksburg, 540-374-5258, 434-455-1500 third place: Keswick Hall, Charlottesville, 434-979-3440

Best Boutique Hotel

Best Private School

The Craddock Terry Hotel

Collegiate School

1312 Commerce St., Lynchburg

103 N. Mooreland Road, Richmond

Once a 19th-century shoe factory, this specialty hotel recalls its past by displaying historical artifacts and shoe-themed amenities throughout the 44-room property. On-site restaurant Waterstone even has its own microbrewery. Clever and cozy, this little gem has been celebrated in The New York Times.

While the Saints hew to single-sex education, Collegiate School is Richmond’s forward-thinking, coeducational private school. Multi-million-dollar additions over time have kept it up-to-the-minute in architecture and technology., 540-675-3757

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Best Bed and Breakfast

2 0 1 2, 434-455-1500, 804-649-4750, 804-741-9700

second place: St. Catherine’s School, Richmond

second place: The Jefferson Hotel, Richmond, 804-288-2804, 804-649-4750 third place: The Berkeley Hotel, Richmond, 804-780-1300

third place: St. Christopher’s School, Richmond, 804-282-3185

Best College or University Virginia Commonwealth University Monroe Park Campus, Richmond, 804-828-4000

Nothing has transformed downtown Richmond more than this continually growing university. And its national reputation as the top public graduate arts school in the country (U.S. News and World Report) draws students and patrons who keep it growing. VCU Health System, too, has won kudos from U.S. News and World Report. Go Rams! second place: The University of Virginia, Charlottesville, 434-924-0311 third place: University of Richmond, Richmond, 804-289-8000

Best Golf Course Independence Golf Club 600 Founders Ridge Blvd., Midlothian, 804-594-0261 The beautiful part of this club is that you don’t have to join. Just show up, pay and play. IGC has been recognized three times by Golf Digest magazine as one of America’s best places to play. In 2009-2010, Golf World’s readers named it the best public practice facility in America. second place: Country Club of Virginia, Richmond, 804-288-2891 third place: Birdwood-Boar’s Head, Charlottesville, 434-972-6011

A River Runs Through It Kids kayaking during Passages Adventure Camp on Belle Isle in Richmond can attest to the lure and splendid power of the James River, which stretches nearly 350 miles from the Appalachian Mountains to the Chesapeake Bay.

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rafting on the james or hiking the blackwater trail? bicycling through town and shopping on main street? wood-fired pizza or a drunken ribeye? champagne or an ice cold microbrew? flip flops or high heels? Just some of the options you can enjoy during a weekend getaway at Lynchburg’s only historic waterfront hotel. Pack a bag, get a sitter, jump in the car, and in just a short drive you’ll be pampered at this old shoe factory that’s been converted into a luxurious boutique hotel dedicated to comfort, relaxation and, of course, shoes. Visit our Web site, scan the QR code below, or call and ask about our Great Escape Getaway Packages.

historic waterfront, downtown lynchburg, virginia • • 434.455.1500

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• Living & Recreation

Best Resort Wintergreen Resort 39 Mountain Inn Loop, Rockfish, 434-325-8250 This well-rounded resort offers golf, tennis, ice skating, skiing, snow tubing ... even a zip line. Manmade snow means mild winter weather never disappoints. Rather just rest? Check in at the spa for a facial or a massage, then regenerate at your choice of four restaurants. second place: Keswick Hall, Charlottesville, 434-979-3440 third place: Boar’s Head Inn, Charlottesville, 434-296-2181

Best Retirement Community Westminster-Canterbury of the Blue Ridge 250 Pantops Mountain Road, Charlottesville, 434-972-2622

Overlooking the best that the burg of Charlottesville offers, WCBR provides more than a beautiful residential setting for folks in their golden years. Field trips, seminars and studio classes are a means to continue growing rather than slowing. Mr. Jefferson would concur. second place: Brandermill Woods, Midlothian, 804-744-1173 third place: Cedarfield, Richmond, 804-474-8800

Best Summer Camp Westview on the James 1231 West View Road, Goochland, 804-457-4210 While some camps stress sports or arts, Westview tops them with emphasis on leadership, independence and the benefits of a Christian lifestyle. Campers can start out as young as age six. No cell phones; no laptops. Just your bathing suit and camp clothes. Overnight camps begin with five nights.

If the Shoe Fits Downtowns get a leg up. All over Virginia, downtowns left hollowed out when businesses pulled up stakes and relocated have been slowly revivified with the help of the Virginia Main Street Program. For 25 years, the VMSP has helped small communities find new purpose for the forlorn buildings that once served as courthouses, factories and shops. From Abingdon to Winchester, Virginians who appreciate the patina of long-use can explore these revitalized downtowns with their swank boutiques and of-the-minute restaurants. But a building in Lynchburg may be putting the best foot forward in the effort, literally. A gigantic red pump on the face of the Craddock-Terry Hotel on Lynchburg’s waterfront announces the building’s origin as the home of the Craddock-Terry Shoe Corp., which at its peak in the 1800s was the country’s fifth largest shoe manufacturer. Though its days as a factory are past, they are not forgotten, with shoes accenting the hotel throughout. Guests even find breakfast left at their doorstep in converted wooden shoe-shine boxes. We think this is one very positive footnote to history.

second place: Passages, Richmond, 804-897-6800 third place: Riverside Outfitters, Richmond, 804-560-0068

Best Tennis Club Westwood Club 6200 W. Club Lane, Richmond, 804-288-6028 If you love tennis, this is the club for you. Serious tennis players hone their game here. Good food and swimming pools make it a place for the whole family. Located in what old school Richmonders know as the West End. second place: Boar’s Head Inn, Charlottesville, 434-296-2181 third place: Country Club of Virginia, Richmond, 804-288-2891


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Now Accepting Applications Grades K through 12 For more information, please call the Admission Office at 804.741.9722 103 North Mooreland Road Richmond, Virginia 23229

Thanks for voting us

One of the Best Independent Schools in the Region

Collegiate School does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or national origin.

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best of virginia 2012

Best Food Festival

First Friday Art Walk

Greek Food Festival

Downtown, Richmond

30 Malvern Ave., Richmond

Artsy, urban and chic describes First Fridays in Richmond’s growing arts and cultural district. More than 40 venues, including art galleries, restaurants and shops along Broad Street—east of Belvidere and west of 9th Street—open their doors to an eclectic mix of art devotees and first-timers alike.

More than a celebration of the stuffed grape leaf (which we do love), Richmond’s annual Greek Festival, now in its 35th year, also features Greek art, music and dancing. Concerned you won’t know what you’re eating? Grab their handy Greek Festival Culinary Guide, so you can really get your Greek on., 804-304-1554

second place: Arts in the Park, Richmond, 804-353-8198 third place: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Picasso Exhibit, Richmond, 804-340-1400


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second place: Broad Appétit, Richmond third place: Lebanese Festival, Richmond, 804-346-1161

Best Art Museum

Best Kid’s Museum

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Children’s Museum of Richmond

200 N. Blvd., Richmond

2626 W. Broad St., Richmond

Picasso, Fabergé, Tiffany, Chihuly … need we say more? And these are just a few of the artists whose work thousands of visitors experience each year at Virginia’s very own world-class art museum. What keeps them coming back? “People keep coming back because they want to see what’s going to happen next,” says VMFA Director Alex Nyerges. Indeed we do.

Carousels, clay and dinosaurs, oh my! At the Children’s Museum of Richmond, kids learn while having fun. Everything at the museum is hands-on, so children can explore to their heart’s content. You won’t want to miss the James River Water Play exhibit, but be sure to bring a towel., 804-340-1400, 804-474-7000

second place: Museum of Culpeper History, Culpeper, 540-829-1749

second place: Amazement Square, Lynchburg, 434-845-1888 third place: Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond, 804-864-1400

third place: Maier Museum, Lynchburg, 434-947-8136

Best Bar for Live Music The Camel 1621 W. Broad St., Richmond, 804-353-4901 The Camel isn’t just a place for drinks, or even just music. It’s about all forms of expression—a melting pot of ideas that brings people together. The Camel hosts musical geniuses and politicos alike, so if you’re interested in stimulating your stomach AND your mind then The Camel is the place to be.




E n t e r t A i n m e n t

Best Art Event

second place: Balliceaux, Richmond, 804-355-3008 third place: The National Theater, Richmond, 804-612-1900

Best Comedy Club The Funny Bone 11800 W. Broad St., Richmond, 804-521-8900 A mix of big-name acts and up-and-comers take the stage nightly from Wednesday through Sunday. But please, no hecklers.

second place: Comedy Sportz, Richmond, 804-266-9377 third place: Comedy Zone, Lynchburg, 434-845-0452

Art Envy In the past year alone, museums from Paris, Ottawa, Dallas and San Francisco have borrowed items from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts’ world-class collection. But we’re not surprised. We already knew our VMFA is the envy of the art world.

“ Y o u n g W o m a n W a t e r i n g a S h r u b ,” 1 8 76 , b y B e r t h e M o r i s o t, c o u r t e sy o f V MFA

4/26/12 2:59 PM

Question your world. 2500 West Broad Street, Richmond 804.864.1400

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central region

• Arts, Culture & Entertainment

Best Large Music Venue

Best Performing Arts Venue

Best TV Personality

The National Theater

Richmond CenterStage

Sabrina Squire

708 E. Broad St., Richmond

600 E. Grace St., Richmond

5710 Midlothian Turnpike, Richmond

The National boasts a sound system that is “bigger, better and clearer than anywhere else,” and we couldn’t agree more. Seating is first come, first serve, so come early for shows by bands from Megadeth to Foster the People. All ages are welcome in the 1923 theatre, by the way, so rock on.

The nine resident companies of CenterStage, including the Richmond Ballet, Richmond Shakespeare and the Richmond Jazz Society, offer everything from opera to African drumming in its five venues, from the opulent Carpenter Theater to the more intimate Gottwald Playhouse.

second place: Charlottesville Pavilion, Charlottesville, 434-245-4910 third place: Innsbrook Pavilion, Richmond

second place: Carpenter Theatre, Richmond RichmondCenterStage, 804-592-3330 third place: Landmark Theater, Richmond, 804-646-0546

Emmy award-winning news anchor Sabrina Squire is one of Richmond’s finest, synonymous with breaking news in Richmond for 31 years. In her “12 On Your Side Acts of Kindness” series, Squire hits the streets to reward good Samaritans paying it forward with $300 in cash. Now that’s news we can feel good about.

Best Local Theater Group

Best Place for Karaoke

Barksdale Theatre

Sticky Rice

114 W. Broad St., Richmond

2232 W. Main St., Richmond, 804-612-1900, 804-282-2620 Where else can you see the world premiere of a play adapted from one of Richmond’s bestselling authors and a Tony award-winning musical in the same season? Barksdale Theatre, of course. Performing on their home stage at Hanover Tavern and at their Willow Lawn satellite stage, this theater group knows its stuff., 804-592-3330, 804-358-7870 Whether you carry a tune in a bucket or belt it out like Celine Dion, Sticky Rice welcomes you for karaoke. On Tuesday nights, Sticky Rice transforms into a place where singers and sushi lovers can act out their wildest musical fantasies. They also serve creative concoctions like ceviche tacos. second place: Caddy’s, Richmond

second place: Theatre IV, Richmond

804-794-3007, 804-783-1688 third place: Firehouse Theatre, Richmond, 804-355-2001

third place: Penny Lane Pub, Richmond, 804-780-1682, 804-230-1212

second place: Andrew Frieden, Richmond, 804-230-1212 third place: Ryan Nobles, Richmond, 804-230-1212

Best Wedding Reception Venue Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden 1800 Lakeside Ave., Richmond, 804-262-9887 Brides, now hear this. Why spend big money bringing in flowers for your reception when you could take your reception to the flowers at Lewis Ginter? The historic property has more than 50 acres of stunning gardens in which to celebrate your newfound wedded bliss. second place: Maymont Park, Richmond, 804-358-7166 third place: The Jefferson Hotel, Richmond, 804-649-4750

Too Old to Rock? A teenger’s guide for grown-ups attending concerts. Adults love going to concerts too, much to the eternal mortification of their teenaged children. And with concert venues like The National in Richmond and the nTelos Wireless Pavilion in Charlottesville attracting bands across the musical spectrum, it’s no surprise that Gen X finds itself shoulder-to-shoulder with their Internet Generation offspring. So how can these parents avoid embarrassing their teenagers? We asked the only people who know … • Do not dress like us. “Undercover teenager” is a bad look for you. • Do not sing along. No one is here to listen to you. • Do not pretend you know the band. If you did, we’d be backstage. • Do not cheer during a slow song—nobody does that now. • Do not tell us “concerts were better in my day.” We will not believe you. • Do not yell. We are not at home, and I already took out the trash. • Do not befriend the people around you. This is not a networking event. • Especially do not befriend my friends. We want to pretend you’re not there. • Do not fall asleep.

Rock on!


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Best Air Charter Service

Best Bike Shop


Agee’s Bicycles

5733 Huntsman Road, Richmond

11020 Midlothian Turnpike, Richmond

Need to make a quick getaway? MartinAir will provide a charter flight with as little as an hourand-a-half notice. Meeting a friend for lunch in Dallas? MartinAir can make it happen. Buy a block of hours in advance for a reduced rate.

Agee’s first opened in 1910 in Richmond’s thenWest End. One hundred years later, it’s still peddling bikes, making it one of America’s oldest bike shops. Still family-run, three generations work in the shop. Selling them or fixing them, if it’s got wheels, Agee’s knows what to do., 800-777-7401

second place: Million Air Richmond,  804-222-3700 third place: Dominion Aviation, Richmond,  804-271-7793

Best Alternative Health Services Acupuncture Center of Richmond 1604 Huguenot Road, Richmond, 804-501-8060 At the Acupuncture Center of Richmond, all acupuncturists are nationally-board certified and state licensed. Chinese medicine, practiced here, can treat almost any condition with herbs, body work, cupping and other modalities of treatment. Free consultations. second place: Hawthorne Healing Arts, Richmond, 804-266-3104 third place: Back in Action Health Resource

Center, Richmond, 804-254-0200,  804-794-6754

second place: Carytown Bikes, Richmond,  804-440-2453 third place: Bikes Unlimited, Lynchburg,  434-385-4157

Best Chiropractor Dr. Kyle Moran, Back In Action 4911 Augusta Ave., Richmond, 804-254-0200 When your back hurts, nothing feels good. And athletes and active folks aren’t happy when they’re immobilized. Kyle Moran is a miracle-worker. A multi-sport athlete himself, Dr. Moran knows where it hurts and what to do about it. From spine to extremities, Moran’s the man. second place: Dr. Mark Guarino, Richmond,  804-747-7474 third  place: Dr. Doug Cox, Charlottesville,  434-293-6165

Best Antiques Mall West End Antique Mall 2004 Staples Mill Road, Richmond

WestEndAntiqueMall, 804-359-1600 If you know anything about Richmond, you know that the West End is a great place to shop. So it stands to reason that when you’re looking for that special piece—be it furniture, art or objets—where better to look than West End Antique Mall? Shop 250 booths spread out over 53,000 square feet. second place: Minute Man Mini-Mall, Culpeper

540-825-3133 third place: Midlothian Antiques Center, Midlothian MidlothianAntiquesCenter, 804-897-4913

Best Bakery Westhampton Pastry Shop 5728 Patterson Ave., Richmond


Old-time West Enders go here for rolls, pastries and pies. Get in line early on Saturday mornings and catch up on who is doing what. Advertising their claim to be Doughnut Headquarters makes us nervous. If word gets out how unbelievably good their doughnuts are, the line will get even longer. second place: Pearl’s Cupcake Shoppe, Richmond,  804-285-2253 third place: Jean-Jacques Bakery, Richmond,  804-355-0666

The Long and Short of It Richmond’s Short Pump area earned its name in the 1800s when a popular tavern there expanded and added a back porch. According to the Henrico Historical Society the new porch covered the tavern’s water pump, so they had to— you guessed it—shorten the pump handle.

p h o t o g r a p h b y j ay p a u l

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D oris B achmann — the

greenest thumB at

B ranDermill W ooDs


retirement you’ve always dreamed of.

w w w . b r a n d e r m i l l w o o d s . c o m

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central region

• Shopping & Services

Best Consignment Shop

Best Cosmetic Surgeon

Best Dentist


Dr. Joseph Niamtu III

Dr. Baxter Perkinson & Associates

3118 W. Cary St., Richmond

11319 Polo Place, Midlothian

1612 Huguenot Road, Midlothian

When it comes to consignment shops, “hip” doesn’t readily come to mind. But Clementine is just that. You can find designers as well as labels in this diminutive but well-designed shop. Best of all, consigners get a full 50 percent, and there’s no consignment fee!

Joe Niamtu is perhaps the most recognizable name in the Metro Richmond area when it comes to cosmetic touch-ups and procedures. His capable and friendly staff is soothing and confidenceinspiring. Best of all, patients leave looking rested, not altered.

How many dentists double as professional artists? One that we know. In addition to being the guy you trust to put his hand in your mouth, Dr. Perkinson’s art has made him known beyond his patient base. His goal: quality dentistry at affordable prices. Don’t bite. Those hands are valuable.

second place: The Hall Tree, Richmond, 804-358-9985 third place: Indigo, Richmond, 804-288-0160

second place: Dr. Mason Williams, Richmond,  804-285-4115 third place: Dr. Nadia Blanchet, Richmond,  804-320-8545

second place: Dr. Jill Bussey, Richmond,  804-644-5225 third place: Brown Reynolds Snow Dentistry, Richmond,  804-288-5324, 804-358-2357,  804-934-3223,  804-794-9789

Best Dermatologist Dr. Jo Bohannon-Grant 2306 Robious Station Circle, Midlothian, 804-378-3048

Sure, she’ll make you pretty. But Dr. BohannonGrant will also improve your health. For any problem with skin, nails or even hair, Dr. Bohannon-Grant diagnoses and treats you back to glowing health. Always current on new products and procedures, she can peel back the years, too. second place: Dr. Eillen Kitces, Richmond,  804-282-8510

third place: Dr. Pamela Royal, Richmond


Best Fine Jewelry Store Schwarzschild Jewelers 3144 W. Cary St., Richmond,  804-355-2136 Generations of Richmonders go first to Schwarzchild’s when making that important purchase. The name is synonymous with quality, beauty and lasting satisfaction. If you’re a Richmond native, we’re betting you, your parents or your grandparents are likely to have something bought at Schwarzchild’s. It’s been in business since the 1890s. second place: Carreras Jewelers, Richmond,  804-282-7018 third place: Adolf Jewelers. Richmond,  804-285-3671

Tobacco Trade How Virginia started a national tradition. Did you know the all-American pastime of collecting trading cards originated in the Old Dominion with tobacco and cigarette cards? In 1875, the Allen & Ginter tobacco firm began tucking one in each cigarette pack as a way to boost sales. The earliest series depicted actresses, boxers and Indian chiefs. While you can still find deals on eBay, a world record sale of $2.8 million was set in 2007 for an American Tobacco Company card featuring turn-of-the-century baseballer Honus Wagner.


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Best Fine Stationery Rock Paper Scissors 225 E. Main St.. Charlottesville, 434-979-6366 Whether it is stationery, journal books, photo albums or packaging, if it’s paper, think Rock Paper Scissors. Wedding gift? Baby announcement? Or something to help you get organized. Rock Paper Scissors has all the answers. second place: By Invitation Only, Glen Allen, 804-364-8474 third place: Paper Plus, Richmond, 804-288-2662

co u r t e s y o f va l e n t i n e r i c h m o n d h i s t o r y c e n t e r

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PRINCE CHARMING dIdN’t f I N d H E R s l I P P E R o N l I N E.

Cut. Color. Clarity. these qualities can’t be judged online. the perfect diamond must be chosen in person. Well, you’re in luck, because you have Richmond’s finest selection of diamond jewelry to choose from at the area’s best prices—including engagement rings that start at under $1,000 in our Engagement Gallery. With Adolf Jewelers, you can ensure that you and your princess live happily ever after.

R E l A X. W E ’ l l M A K E Y o U H A P P Y.

Ridge shopping Center . Parham at Quioccasin . 804.285.3671 . open tuesday through saturday 10–6, Monday & friday 10–8

© 2012 Adolf Jewelers

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central region

• Shopping & Services

Best Florist

Alma Mater Accoutrements School spirit goes chic. Did you know college bookstores have gone glam? No longer just places to buy the standard gray tee and hoodie for game day (and the occasional textbook, of course), today they are stylish centers of school spirit ready to outfit fans and alums from head to toe, and then some. At the University of Richmond, well-heeled alums can buy a set of Ben Silver sterling silver blazer buttons and 14-karat gold-filled cufflinks. Must-haves for gentlemen from C’ville are the V-saber ribbon belt and classic orange and navy rep tie (stripes running downward from the wearer’s right) while women can buy saber silk scarves and matching orange and blue houndstooth cabbie hats from UVA’s online ‘Hoo-Tique.’ At Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Rams-emblazoned Pilates and yoga pants fly off the shelves, says Terri Gardner, a general merchandise supervisor and 15-year veteran of VCU’s operation. Other faves at the urban campus include chocolate bars with the Rams’ logo stamped into the candy. Add barware, lamps, furniture, blankets and jewelry and one has to wonder what they don’t carry? “The only thing we don’t have is VCU toilet paper,” says Gardner. Not yet anyway.

Tom French Flowers 1114 N. Boulevard, Richmond


Flower arrangements were pretty drab until Tom French came on the scene. Somehow, this florist knows how to turn simple flowers into an exotic or interesting arrangement. Although Tom is no longer with us, the new generation at Tom French Flowers captures the elements that make their vased productions spectacular. second place: Strange’s Florist, Richmond, 804-360-2800 third place: Vogue Flowers, Richmond,  804-353-9600

Best Gift Shop Mongrel 2924 W. Cary St., Richmond,  804-342-1272 From the offbeat to the sublime, Mongrel’s offerings are always distinctive. And the selection of greeting cards is unique and broad. (Mongrel dares to go where Hallmark fears to tread.) Shop for home accessories that you just don’t see anywhere else or for the gift with a sense of humor. second place: Fraîche, Richmond,  804-282-4282 third place: Tweed, Richmond,  804-249-3900

Best Greenhouse and Nursery Strange’s Florist 12111 W. Broad St., Richmond,  804-360-2800 Strange’s is one-stop shopping for all your garden needs. They have trees, shrubs, annuals and perennials spread out over 13 acres. Make your choices, then shop for all you need to take care of them. second place: Ivy Nursery, Charlottesville,  434-295-1183

Best Hair Salon Mango Hair Salon 123 Libbie Ave., Richmond, 804-285-2800 We know why this place is number one: It has to be the head massage that’s included in your shampoo. The stylists at Mango don’t just work on your hair . . . they help you relieve stress. Even the chairs were carefully chosen for your comfort. Oh, by the way, Mango is a favorite among men, too. second place: Design One, Midlothian, 804-794-4247 third place: Nesbit, Richmond, 804-355-8775


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central region

• Shopping & Services

Best Haute Couture Boutique

Best Home Décor Store

Best Man-Cave Store

3142 W. Cary St., Richmond


Bass Pro Shops, 804-288-3699

322 Libbie Ave., Richmond

11550 Lakeridge Parkway, Ashland

Whether you’re looking for fine linens or quality crystal or just the perfect hostess gift, Fraîche is always on the money. The folks at Fraîche instinctively have the right touch. Caspari, Arte Italica and Matouk are a few names you ought to know. Learn the rest at Fraîche.

Ever seen a store so terrific that guys want to hang out there? What does it take? Electronics, obviously. Clothing, not so much. ATV stuff? Yowza! And fishing accessories of every variety, from fly fishing to the saltwater kind. And, don’t forget, everything you need for hunting, too.

second place: La Différence, Richmond,  800-642-5074 third place: Williams & Sherrill, Richmond,  804-320-1730

second place: Greentop Sporting Goods, Glen Allen,  804-550-2188 third place: Best Buy, Midlothian, 804-763-3787

Best Interior Designer

Best Men’s Clothing Store

Ryland Woodard

Franco’s Fine Clothier

7100 Lakewood Drive, Richmond

5321 Lakeside Ave., Richmond

While Ryland Woodard is happy to meet with you face-to-face to plan your interior design, she also offers virtual guidance. After communicating through email, she sends clients a notebook of design ideas. And you’re virtually done!

Franco’s is truly fine clothing. This family-owned business specializes in classic styles and luxurious fabrics. Head to toe, tie to shoes, this clothier has everything the well-dressed man needs. Thirtyfive years in business, Franco Ambrogi has won the loyalty of the best dressed men in Richmond.

Roan never disappoints Richmond’s trendsetters with its selection of established and emerging high-fashion designers. The staff at this luxury boutique certainly knows what they’re doing, and can help even the most fashion-challenged shopper become fashion-forward. second place: Pink, Richmond, 804-358-0884 third place: Frances Kahn, Richmond, 804-288-5246

Best Home Builder Smith and Robertson 1128 E. High St., Charlottesville,  434-971-7026 Since 1976, Ron Smith and Glenn Robertson have been building their client’s dream homes. They pay attention to conservation and green building, and are one of the first area builders certified as an EarthCraft House Builder. second place: Ryan Homes, Richmond, 804-272-7835 third place: Bel Arbor Builders, Chesterfield,  804-751-9050,  804-282-4282,  804-366-7687,  804-496-4700,  804-264-2994

second place: Moyanne’s, Lynchburg,  434-384-6127 third place: Carol Pipes, Richmond

second place: Peter Blair, Richmond


third place: Beecroft & Bull, Richmond,  804-288-8123,  804-783-0633

Get in the Ring! Can you kickbox? Yes you can. If you can kick a can, you can kickbox. Or so says Darryl Ellis of Glen Allen’s DNA Fitness. Most of Darryl’s customers are mothers and wives ages 25-63 who have never kickboxed before. But they’re eager to shape up, relieve stress and throw a few punches. Want to join their ranks? Here are Darryl’s beginners’ tips: 1. Move those gams! Start walking 30 minutes a day to build your endurance (and maybe smell the roses). 2. Drop your second-favorite TV show from your viewing schedule. A one-hour kickboxing session three times a week burns 3500 calories! 3. Don’t be embarrassed—you’re going to look fierce, not silly! 4. It’s not as scary as you think. You won’t be fighting Jackie Chan! 5. Bring a friend. You deserve some post-session shopping.


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Creating joy in the lives of pets and their families for forty years.


Thank you for voting us one of Central Virginia’s Best Places to Board your Pet!

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Fresh flowers are the perfect way to make someone’s day or say you care. We have been Richmond’s locally owned flower and plant specialist for over 75 years.

www .stran ges.c om

• Weddings • Sympathy • Fresh & Silk Flowers • Celebrations • Banquets • Gift Baskets, Plants & Balloons • Deliveries twice daily in the Metro area • Easy online ordering

1-800-421-4070 Northeast 804-321-2200

3313 Mechanicsville Pk., near Laburnum Ave. 8am-6pm, Mon-Sat. 10am-5pm Sun.

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West End 804-360-2800

12111 W. Broad St. between Rt. 288 & Short Pump Town Ctr. 8am-6pm, MonSat. 10am-5pm Sun.

Bon Air 804-321-0460 8010 Midlothian at Buford Rd. 8am-6pm, Mon-Sat. Closed Sunday

Hull Street 804-321-0470 6710 Hull Street at Chippenham 8am-6pm, Mon-Sat. Closed Sunday

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central region

• Shopping & Services

Best Pet Boutique

Best Real Estate Company

Best Shopping Area


Keller and Williams

Short Pump Town Center

3501 W. Cary St., Richmond

1061 Technology Park Drive, Glen Allen

11800 W. Broad St., Richmond

Dogma’s mission is this: to enhance the lives of dogs and cats by maintaining the highest standards of grooming; to show care and compassion to all animals; and to give the best in personal care and products. They even educate owners in the right way to treat, feed and love a pet.

A national company with a local presence, these folks have nearly 30 years and a full team of expert agents at the handy, making it the second largest residential real estate company in America. When you see the familiar red and white sign, you know you’re on the right track.

Nordstrom. Pottery Barn. Swarovsky. Nationallyknown retailers are the major draw. Folks come from distant environs to shop at stores that are a little picky about where they open their doors. Restful landscaping and attractive architecture add to the pleasure.

second place: Three Dog Bakery, Richmond,  804-330-3536 third place: For the Love of Pete, Richmond,  804-288-3674

second place: Nest Realty, Charlottesville, 800-325-6378 third place: Joyner Fine Properties,  804-270-9440

second place: Carytown, Richmond,  804-783-7411 third place: Stony Point Fashion Park, Richmond,  804-560-7467

Best Place to Board Your Pet

Best Shoe Store

Best Yoga Studio

Holiday Barn


Bikram Yoga

3800 Mountain Road, Glen Allen

2114 Barracks Road, Charlottesville

109 5th St., Charlottesville

Billed as a pet resort, Holiday Barn treats your beloveds as well as you do. They swim, they run, they get pampered. Give your dog or cat a vacation. Or use HB’s daycare. In addition to grooming, they’ll train your dog, too.

It’s rare for Richmonders to head for Charlottesville to shop. But trek they do to Scarpa’s big shoe sale. Lucchese, Stuart Weitzman, Amalfi, Atillo Giusti Leombruni ... those are just a few of the upmarket names found there. And although “scarpa” translates to “shoe,” there’s a lot more to find here.

Is that your asana showing? At 105 degrees, you’ll be tempted to let it all hang out. If you’re into Bikram yoga, your looks aren’t your first concern; twisting yourself into the 26 asanas taught here is. When you leave, your hair might be a mess, but your muscles will thank you.

second place: The Shoe Box, Richmond

second place: Om On Yoga, Richmond,  804-282-9642 third place: Yoga Source, Richmond,  804-359-9642, 804-358-9267,  804-672-2200

second place: Dog Services, Richmond,  804-288-3647 third place: Broughton’s Boarding Kennel, Midlothian,  804-794-6923,  804-591-3893,  434-296-0040

804-288-2303 third place: Saxon Shoes, Richmond, 804-285-3473,  804-360-1700,  434-220-1415

Hipp, Hipp Hooray! Historic Richmond theater gets back in the groove. The Hippodrome Theater, located on Second Street in Richmond’s Jackson Ward neighborhood, was once THE place to be for live jazz. Headliners like Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holliday took the stage throughout the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s, until a devastating fire gutted the building in 1945. It reopened the next year, primarily as a movie theater, but the golden days were over and the theater closed its doors in 1967. After decades of decay, The Hipp seemed to be a goner, until a $3 million renovation saw it reopen in February 2011 as a classic nightclub, music venue and events space, with an adjoining upscale restaurant, Mansion Five26, within which you will find Speakeasy, a ’20s-inspired bar serving signature cocktails named after performers like Fitzgerald and co. So now we can raise a martini glass to live jazz on Two Street once again. Aces!


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Interiors by

Helping Central Virginia

live beautifully

for over 20 years.

From single rooms to entire homes Complete Interior and Exterior Design Services Home Consultations • Furniture • Bedding • Wallpaper Custom Window Treatments • Fabric and Trim

2711 Rivermont Avenue


Lynchburg, VA

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Best Party Venue

Jack Lauterback at Lady N’awlins

The Hippodrome

2329 W. Main St., Richmond

528 N. 2nd St., Richmond

You may forget to talk with your friends once you’ve struck up a conversation with Lady N’awlins bartender Jack Lauterback. Not just a good conversationalist, Jack serves some of the best drinks around. You’ll need it to cool your tongue from the ragin’ Cajun cuisine Lady N’awlins is known for.

Once called the Harlem of the South, Jackson Ward was something to see back in the day. The most popular entertainment venue there at that time, the Hippodrome, is still swinging today. Now a multi-purpose entertainment venue and restaurant, the Hippodrome reminds us how rich Richmond’s history is., 804-355-4746

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second place: Otto Bartsch at Banditos Burrito Lounge, Richmond, 804-354-9999 third place: Joe Carter at F. W Sullivan’s, Richmond, 804-308-8576

Best Local Sports Team Richmond Flying Squirrels 3001 N. Boulevard, Richmond, 804-359-3866 Braves who? The Flying Squirrels didn’t take long to win over Richmond baseball fans. Home stands are fun family affairs that include live music, onfield games for kids between innings and of course, Nutzy, the toughest squirrel in the park. second place: VCU Men’s Basketball, Richmond, 804-828-7267 third place: Richmond Kickers, Richmond, 804-644-5425

Best Local TV News Anchor Sabrina Squire 5710 Midlothian Turnpike, Richmond, 804-230-1212

Sabrina Squire began as a summer news intern in 1981 at NBC Channel 12, and 31 years later she is a member of the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame. She describes her work as “going on an amazing treasure hunt.” And she hopes to share information that will, she says, “empower others to get involved.” second place: Andrew Frieden, Richmond, 804-230-1212 third place: Ryan Nobles, Richmond, 804-230-1212, 804-266-2021

second place: Pippin Hill Farms & Vineyards, North Garden, 434-202-8063 third place: Blackfinn, Richmond, 804-643-3466

Best Performing Arts Company Richmond Ballet 407 E. Canal St., Richmond, 804-344-0906 The dancers of the Richmond Ballet certainly know how to make their art look effortless. The first professional ballet company in the Commonwealth, and the State Ballet of Virginia, Richmond Ballet comprises 19 full-time dancers and five apprentices and their repertoire includes both classic and modern ballets. second place: ComedySportz Improv Theatre, Richmond, 804-266-9377 third place: Barksdale Theatre, Richmond, 804-282-2620

>> For more winners go to

Gala Amongst the Grapes Vineyards all over Virginia do more than just grow grapes and bottle booze: they will also gladly play host to your big event—be it a wedding or something more corporate. The backdrop of green valley views is tough to beat, but the best part? You don’t have to bring the wine.

Best Movie Theater Movieland at Boulevard Square 1301 N. Boulevard, Richmond, 804-354-6008 Movieland opened in 2009, making it the first new movie theater inside the city limits in 40 years. While the amenities are modern, the theater’s architecture is reminiscent of the days when it was a 19th-century locomotive assembly plant. second place: The Byrd Theatre, Richmond, 804-353-9911 third place: CinéBistro, Richmond, 804-864-0460

p h o t o g r a p h b y J e n F a r i e l l o / c o u r t e s y o f P i p p i n H i l l F a r m s & V i n e ya r d s

4/27/12 10:34 AM

A beautiful smile makes all the difference. At Dr. Baxter Perkinson & Associates, we’ll take care of all of your family’s dental needs under one roof. We even have specialists in orthodontics, periodontics and prosthodontics. We also offer the very latest in cosmetic dentistry – whitening, bonding, and even permanent tooth replacement using implants. For more information, call one of our 10 convenient offices today.

Huguenot - Bon Air 1612 Huguenot Road 794-9789

Midlothian - 288

14253 Midlothian Turnpike 379-1011

Ironbridge - Courthouse

West End - Staples Mill

Mechanicsville - Hanover

Atlee - Ashland

West End - Short Pump

Brandermill - Woodlake

6441 Ironbridge Road 743-8166

10500 Atlee Station Rd. 550-3324

10212 Staples Mill Road 672-4900 12390 Three Chopt Rd. 364-7010

6353 Mechanicsville Turnpike 730-3400 6510 Harbour View Court 739-6500


2625 Anderson Highway 598-3000

Chester - Rt.1/Rt.10

12712 Jefferson Davis Highway 751-0300

F a m i ly D e n t i s t r y ~ O r t h O D O n t i c s ~ P e r i O D O n t i c s ~ P e r m a n e n t t O O t h r e P l a c e m e n t

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best of virginia 2012


Region T

The hum of ambition propels everything in Northern Virginia, where people plough through punch lists and affect the world order. It is a place where the fountainhead of the South meets the world, as Sure, there is sprawl, but away from it are the independentlycosmopolitan citizens and diplomats gravitate to the orbit of our owned restaurants and businesses in cities like Fairfax, Arlington nation’s capital.  A locus of technology companies and IT innoand Alexandria—whose waterfront Old Town is somehow both hisvators, it is also home to some of the world’s most powerful comtoric and hip at the same time, its narrow streets and restored 18thpanies, many among the Fortune 500. And looming large is the century buildings swelling with nightlife after the sun goes down. federal government. The by-product of all this prosperity is the But maybe the most iconically-Virginian parts of NoVa lie west attendant snarl of traffic—that daily melee of motorists moving of Washington, D.C. There is nothing less like I-95 than riding in all directions on the Beltway, oftentimes, it seems, all at once. a horse through the green and gently rolling hills of Loudoun Though it thrums with activity and productivity, Northern Virand Fauquier counties, with hardworking foxhounds leading the ginia is also mindful of the gravitas its heritage deserves. A nation way as they leap over split-rail fences, the ever-present Blue was forged and fought for here, and throughout the region hisRidge just visible in the distance. Antiquing in Middleburg toric buildings stand witness to a past that set the region on or touring one of the many wineries surely erase any the path to where it is today: a nexus of government, notion that the region is all hurly-burly. No, Northern global industries and an ever-changing conVirginia is town and country at its best. crete landscape. photograph by cade martin


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Northern Region

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best of virginia 2012

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Best Barbeque Restaurant

Best Coffee Shop

Hogs on the Hill

Greenberry’s Coffee

8694 Liberia Ave., Manassas

6839 Redmond Drive, McLean

703-361-3500, 703-821-9500

Hogs on the Hill is so good that you’re in danger of never wanting to eat anywhere else. Even better, their delicious barbeque is extremely affordable. You and a friend can enjoy a yummy barbeque meal for around $20.

Greenberry’s has everything the competition has, except the din and clatter. Just the warm voices of happy java drinkers. They also have tea, frozen blended drinks and non-coffee beverages. And, of course, you can customize any to your own tastes.

second place: Dixie Bones BBQ, Woodbridge, 703-492-2205 third place: Pork Barrel BBQ, Del Ray, 703-822-5699

second place: Grape & Bean, Alexandria, 703-664-0214 third place: Buzz, Alexandria, 703-600-2899

Best Bistro

Best Cupcakes

Mediterranee Restaurant

Lavender Moon Cupcakery

10123 Colvin Run Road, Great Falls

116 S. Royal St., Alexandria, 703-757-9300


When we hear “Mediterranean” in any form, we think of the Greek isles or Naples. But check the spelling: it’s actually French! Dishes here are clever and unique. Flounder comes in a basil crepe, and feta is grilled and served with fennel and crispy orange. You get the idea.

Cupcakes are the new Little Black Dress–a culinary must-have. Few cupcake bakers rival Lavender Moon Cupcakery’s innovative creations, including their Summer Peach and Basil, Peanut Butter Ganache, and Vanilla Lemon Curd. This is certainly one creative cupcakery.

second place: Black Bear Bistro, Warrenton

second place: Cupcakes Actually, Fairfax, 540-428-1005 third place: Evo Bistro, McLean, 703-288-4422

third place: Cupcake Heaven and Café, Haymarket, 571-522-6315, 703-754-6300

Best Breakfast Restaurant First Watch 9600 Main St., Fairfax, 703-978-3421 First Watch has cracked the code for breakfast: Be interesting, innovative and give a nod to health. Crepes, egg dishes (egg-whites only, if you wish), multigrain pancakes and gluten-free choices mean you can feel good about being good. Or go all out and indulge. They know how to do that, too. second place: härth at the Hilton, McLean, 703-761-5131 third place: McLean Family Restaurant, McLean


Best Caterer Flavors Catering 8801 Hooes Road, Springfield, 703-440-9660 Before you hire a caterer, get some recommendations. Chef Paul Ingenito’s delightful dishes have been enjoyed by Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, Bill and Hil, Baldwin and Bassinger. . . He has also served at The Smithsonian and the National Gallery of Art. Endorsements all! second place: The Chef’s Table, Vienna, 703-787-9222 third place: Gala Cuisine, Middleburg, 703-335-5131

Hunt Quaffs Foxhunting has its traditions: pinks, hunt breakfasts and full flasks. Rosie Campbell, joint master of Bull Run Hunt in Mitchells, carries the vanilla citrus liqueur Tuaca in hers. Another popular concoction among the hunt set, she says, is vodka with peppermint or peach schnapps. Talley Ho!

p r e v i o u s p a g e : T o p H at, R i d i n g Sh i rt a n d St o c k T i e , S i d e s a d d l e H ab i t, Ita l i a n R i d i n g B o o t s a n d F ly W h i s k R i d i n g C r o p a l l a v a i l ab l e at H o r s e C o u n tr y Sa d d l e r y ( e s tab l i s h e d i n 1 9 7 0 ) , W arr e n t o n .

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Best Dessert Menu Goodstone Inn & Estate 36205 Snake Hill Road, Middleburg, 540-687-3333

Goodstone does it up, with three different soufflés, blackberry peach melba, or a “panache” of ice creams and sorbets. There is even a choice for non-sweet eaters: artisanal cheese with fresh ginger snaps. And it is all good. second place: Red Truck Bakery, Warrenton, 540-347-2224 third place: härth at the Hilton, McLean, 703-761-5131

Best Diner Frost Diner 55 Broadview Ave., Warrenton


It is no secret that Frost Diner has great food at great prices. Saturday mornings call for sharp elbows to plough through the crowd of locals, all hungry for a taste of the classic no-fuss fare. Open since 1955, this is a place that knows how to make customers feel at home. second place: Metro 29, Arlington, 703-528-2464 third place: Ashton Avenue Diner, Manassas, 703-330-5151

Best Ice Cream Shop Dairy Godmother 2310 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria, 703-683-7767 DG specializes in frozen custard. And when we say specialize, we’re serious. Coconut, Tollhouse Cookie and Crunchy Granola are just a few of their tasty concoctions. They’ve even got treats for dogs. second place: Pitango, Reston, 703-606-9906 third place: Nathan’s Dairy Bar, Manassas


Best Overall Bar härth at the Hilton

Hiding in Plain Sight Where recognizable faces go to eat in peace.

7920 Jones Branch Drive, McLean, 703-761-5131 Though it is located in the lobby of the bustling Tysons Corner Hilton, don’t let that deter you from settling in for a drink at härth. Seating is designed to be cozy. No one to be cozy with? Plug in to free Wi-Fi. Not sure what you want? Scour the menu on an iPad, provided, of course. second place: Virtue Feed and Grain, Alexandria, 571-970-3669 third place: Rustico, Alexandria, 703-224-5051

p h o t o i l l u s t r a t i o n s : l e f t, S . a n d e r s s o n p a p p a n ; r i g h t, j e f f b l a n d

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When politicos and pundits want to eat out and not be bothered by inquiring minds, they go to an unobtrusive strip mall diner: McLean Family Restaurant in (obviously) McLean. There they can enjoy great diner food and not be pestered or gawked at, or grilled for their latest vote or sound bite. They come in casual clothes, which makes it hard to pick them out of the crowd of like-minded diners, so don’t expect to get an autograph. Newt Gingrich is a regular. Sometimes you’ll find Bob Costas, Robert Woodward or Pat Buchanan, to name a few. “They want their privacy,” says Manager Peter Kapetanakis. So there are no pix of the famous and infamous hanging in the place, no Wall of Fame. “Nobody bothers them here,” says Kapetanakis. “The only one people seem to want to talk to is Newt Gingrich.” Go figure.

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• Food & Drink

Best Piano Bar

Best Vegetarian Restaurant

Best Wine List

Morrison House

The Sunflower

The Wine House

116 S. Alfred St., Alexandria

2531 Chain Bridge Road, Vienna

3950 University Drive, Fairfax

It’s a classic. Dark woods. Leather club chairs. A fireplace. And a piano. Just far enough out of the district to feel like you’ve left the Hill behind. Cozy and friendly, it makes you forget how close you are to the country’s nerve center.

There was a time when vegetarian meant bland beans and sprouts. But the Sunflower makes going all-veggie much more interesting. Tofu is still a staple, but it takes on various forms and flavors here so you’lll never say it’s boring again.

second place: Seasons 52, McLean, 703-288-3852 third place: Laporta’s, Alexandria, 703-683-6313

second place: Lotus Garden, Chantilly

This light and airy wine bar offers an international selection of boutique wines, which guarantees you’ll find the one that’s right for you. High standards and craftsmanship are criteria for the owner’s choices. You can even join a wine club or enjoy food matched to your wine. Or vice versa., 703-838-8000, 703-319-3888, 703-378-6888 third place: Amma’s Vegetarian Kitchen, Vienna, 703-938-5328, 703-352-2211

second place: Iron Bridge Wine Co., Warrenton, 540-349-9339 third place: härth at the Hilton, 703-761-5131

Best Place to Buy Beer Norm’s Beer and Wine 136 Branch Road, Vienna, 703-242-0100 Pull up a chair. This could take awhile. You have 400 beer and wine labels from all over the world to pore over. Standards like Miller sidle up to craft beers like Dominion, Victory and Stone. Its cheeses, crackers, cookies and chocolate will round out your party and keep guests from going hungry. second place: Gateway Citgo, Gainesville, 703-754-1180 third place: Total Wine, McLean, 703-749-0011

Best Slice of Pizza Tony’s New York Pizza 9108 Mathis Ave., Manassas, 703-330-8909 No detours from the classic here. Just the best of what you came for—good old New York style, thin crust pizza. Dough is rolled twice daily, and sauce is made fresh every day. Pastas, subs, calzones and strombolis too. The finest ingredients equals the finest food. second place: Ciro’s New York Style Pizza,

Centreville, 703-830-0003 third place: Pizza Margherita, Gainesville, 703-753-0744

Best Steak House

härth redefines “hot.”

Ray’s the Steaks 2300 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, 703-841-7297 Ray’s the Steaks is the place for great steak at reasonable prices. Sides even come with the meal, and there is often a line to get in. And why not? Lots of people love a great steak! second place: Morton’s Steak House, Reston, 703-796-0128 third place: Globe and Laurel, Stafford, 703-221-5763


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härth at Hilton McLean Tysons Corner is a hot new restaurant in more ways than one. Executive Chef Thomas Elder keeps 10 of the world’s hottest chili peppers in an organic garden out back. The most potent? Ghost Chili (aka Bhut Jolokia), 1,000 times hotter than a jalapeno. Elder uses it in aioli for his rockfish sandwich and in a cocktail called the härth Flame, with cranberry, orange and lime juices, and vodka shaken into a martini glass. Why do people eat the stuff? “Chili peppers are very addictive,” says Elder. “They stimulate endorphins, so it’s an immediate pleasure and pain sensation.” Hopefully more of the former than the latter.

photograph by jereme thaxton

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Always look your best Thank you to our FairFax Corner customers for voting our salon one of the Best Salons in Virginia. visit us at: 11946 GRAND COMMONS AVE FAIRFAX, VA 22030 703-266-9919 Book your appointment today 12-14885 BB BestofVAPrintAd.indd 1

4/10/12 3:06 PM

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Best Hotel

Morrison House

The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner

116 S. Alfred St., Alexandria

1700 Tysons Blvd., McLean

Boutique hotels need to offer something intimate, something that bigger hotels could never pull off. At Morrison House, that something is the hosted wine hour, where guests gather in the parlor to sample wines from around the world. Now that’s what we call a happy hour.

At the elegant Ritz-Carlton, their motto is: “We are Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen.” But they welcome furry guests too, with the caveat: “We welcome all well mannered dogs.” The Tysons Corner location also adjoins the high-end Tysons Galleria. This is shopaholic heaven!, 703-838-8000

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Best Boutique Hotel

2 0 1 2, 703-506-4300

second place: Poplar Springs, Casanova, 540-788-4600 third place: The Inn at Little Washington, Washington, 540-675-3800

second place: The Hilton, McLean, 703-847-5000 third place: Hyatt Regency, Reston, 703-709-1234

Best College or University

Best Private School

George Mason University

Flint Hill School

4400 University Drive, Fairfax

3320 Jermantown Road, Oakton

Why would you go to a school where everyone looks just like you? The real world isn’t like that, and neither is George Mason University. With a whopping 33,000 students, it attracts a diverse population.

The faculty, staff and families of Flint Hill represent 68 different nationalities. The school, which serves kindergarten through twelfth grade students, also houses an academic enrichment program for low-income students, among other initiatives, making Flint Hill a multicultural meritocracy., 703-993-1000

second place: Marymount University, Arlington, 703-522-5600 third place: Northern Virginia Community College, Alexandria, 703-323-3000, 703-584-2300

second place: Episcopal High School, Alexandria, 703-933-4062 third place: The Hill School, Middleburg, 540-687-5897

Best Golf Course Robert Trent Jones Golf Club 1 Turtle Point Drive, Gainesville, 703-754-4050

Golf course designer Robert Trent Jones has been called “the father of modern golf architecture,” but there’s only one course in the world he decided to put his name on. Enjoy Jones’ masterpiece, but don’t let the view of Lake Manassas interfere with your swing. second place: Laurel Hill Golf Club, Fairfax, 703-493-8849 third place: Burke Lake Park, Fairfax Station, 703-323-6600

Best Horse Show Upperville Colt & Horse Show 8600 John Mosby Highway, Upperville, 540-687-5740

Dating all the way back to 1853, Upperville is the oldest horse show in America. It’s also a designated World Championship Hunter Rider Show, with past competitors including “Old Blood and Guts” himself, General George S. Patton. second place: The Middleburg Classic, Middleburg, 757-357-1775 third place: Virginia Gold Cup, The Plains, 540-253-5000

Crossing the Potomac Tired of fighting for a parking space at historic sites? Tackle the problem like Northern Virginians—take a boat. For nautical adventure with a historical twist, ride an authentic replica of a Victorian riverboat, take an Alexandria-National Harbor water taxi, or go all out with a 6½ -mile round-trip cruise from D.C. to Mount Vernon. Ahoy!

C o u r t e s y o f P o t o mac R i v e r b o at C o mpan y

4/27/12 10:40 AM

These years belong to you. Make the most of them at Greenspring. It’s time to put housework and repairs behind you and focus on the things you truly love to do. At Greenspring, the possibilities are endless! Our maintenance-free retirement lifestyle combines world-class amenities with healthy peace of mind, all at a value that can’t be beat. Call 1-800-384-6829 for your free brochure today!



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northern region

• Living & Recreation

Best Place to Ride Horses

Best Playground

Best Retirement Community

Marriott Ranch

Clemyjontri Park


5305 Marriott Lane, Hume

6317 George Town Pike, McLean

7410 Spring Village Drive, Springfield

At the Marriott Ranch in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, East Coast city slickers can get a taste of a West on the 90-minute trail ride through a 4,200-acre working cattle ranch. Saddle up pardners!

The rubber surface, ramps and other special features at Clemyjontri Park mean physically and developmentally disabled kids can play alongside their peers. What’s with the name, you ask? Each syllable of Clemyjontri represents one of founder Adele Lebowitz’s four children.

They don’t call it a retirement community; they call it a campus. And with 2,000 residents, a yacht club, Wii bowling league and performances by the Greenspring Players, life at Greenspring really does sound like one long college semester. Best of all: no one has to worry about their GPA!

second place: Van Dyck Park, Fairfax, 540-364-2627, 703-388-2807, 703-913-1200

second place: Morven Park Equestrian Center, Leesburg, 703-777-2890 third place: Inn at Kelly’s Ford, Remington, 540-399-1800, 703-385-7858 third place: Fantasy Playground, Woodbridge, 703-491-2154

second place: Heritage Hunt, Gainseville, 703-743-3000 third place: Goodwin House, Falls Church, 703-578-7201

Best Place to Swim

Best Resort

Best Romantic Hotel

Warrenton Aquatic Recreation Center

Lansdowne Resort

Goodstone Inn & Estate

44050 Woodridge Parkway, Leesburg

36205 Snake Hill Road, Middleburg

Think you can play all 45 holes of Lansdowne’s three golf courses—two of which were designed by the Great White Shark himself, Greg Norman? If so, you’ll probably need at least a day in the 12,000-square-feet of Spa Minérale to recover.

Want to get out into the country? This 265-acre estate and working farm is now a collection of guest houses and cottages, which Marketing Manager Emily Tabachka describes as “like walking into a guest bedroom, because no two rooms are the same.” Sounds ideal for some rural romance!

800 Waterloo Road, Warrenton, 540-349-2520 You are either a “How many laps can I do?” type of swimmer, or a “How fast can I go down this water slide?” type of swimmer. But you can be both at the WARF (an excellent acronym), which has a 364,000-gallon competition pool and a fun-filled 68,000-gallon leisure pool. second place: South Run Recreation, Fairfax, 703-324-5533 third place: Chinn Aquatics and Fitness Center, Woodbridge, 703-730-1051, 703-729-8400

second place: Westfield Marriott, Fairfax, 703-818-0300 third place: Goodstone Inn & Estate, Middleburg, 540-687-3333, 540-687-3333

second place: The Ritz-Carlton, McLean, 703-506-4300 third place: Morrison House, Alexandria, 703-838-8000

Pooch Pampering Doggie demands for Virginia’s pet-friendly hotels. Hotels like Morrison House in Alexandria want your pet to feel as welcome as you do when you both check in. They offer pet packages complete with treats and guides to dog walking tours in the area. But to find out what dogs really want, we asked Virginia Living’s resident pair of English Springer Spaniels, Rex and Cutty, for a list of services they would expect from a dog-friendly hotel. Their top five demands are: • First-rate grooming—we want to look good on vacation. • A caring and gentle touch, especially when you scratch behind our ears. • A broad array of pet supplies, in case our owner forgets anything. • Advance scheduling, so we can plan our naps. • Treats, treats and more treats!

Over the top? We don’t think so.


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best of virginia 2012

Best Karaoke Bar

Workhouse Arts Center

Rock It Grill

9601 Ox Road, Lorton

1319 King St., Alexandria

This former correctional facility is now a 55-acre cultural arts complex. Of the 30 correctional buildings, 10 have been converted to house 8,400 square feet of exhibition and classroom space, a dedicated glass and ceramic program and a home for several artist co-ops. Talk about rehabilitation!

Rock It Grill hosts Karaoke seven nights a week, so if you have perfect pitch you can wow the crowd every evening. Those singers with, er, less than perfect pitch are welcome, too. Take a break between performances to play pool and catch your breath.

second place: McLean Project for the Arts, McLean, 703-790-1953 third place: Great Reston Arts Center, Reston, 703-471-9242

Second place: Flying Fish, Alexandria

Best Film Festival

Best Large Music Venue

Clifton Film Fest

Wolf Trap

9601 Ox Road, Lorton

1645 Wolf Trap Road. Vienna

Showcasing original films by local filmmakers and those from surrounding areas, the Clifton Film Fest in July also holds workshops for aspiring film students. The Workhouse Arts Center, set on 55 acres that once was the site of Lorton Reformatory, is the perfect venue to host the hordes of movie buffs who come for the festival.

Wolf Trap is the only National Park dedicated to the performing arts. So grab a picnic basket and throw a blanket down on the grass to enjoy everything from classical to rock. Prices are reasonable too, with summer dance performances costing just $4., 703-495-0001, 703-662-3659

second place: Alexandria Film Festival, Alexandria, 703-746-5590 third place: NoVa International Jewish Film Festival, 703-323-0880


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2 0 1 2, 703-739-2274, 703-600-3474 Third place: The Queen’s Gambit, Woodbridge

703-590-4300, 703-255-1900

second place: Jiffy Lube Live, Manassas, 703-754-6400 third place: George Mason Patriot Center, Fairfax, 703-993-3000

Best Food Festival Taste of Reston 1763 Fountain Drive, Reston, 703-707-9045 NoVa’s largest outdoor food festival draws about 65,000 people. Now in its 22nd year, Taste of Reston features samplings from area restaurants, plus music, a carnival atmosphere and other entertainment. Bring the kids! There’s a Family Fun Zone. second place: Chocolate Lovers of Fairfax, Fairfax




E n t e r t A i n m e n t

Best Art Museum, 703-385-1661

third place: Taste of Arlington, Arlington, 703-786-6037

Best Historic Museum Mount Vernon 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Alexandria, 703-780-2000

There is a lot more to our first president than most people realize. The Mount Vernon Museum features artifacts from the life and times of George Washington that give the full story. Did you know his false teeth were actually made of ivory, metal and springs? Neither did we.

second place: Manassas Museum, Manassas, 703-368-1873

third place: The Reston Historic Trust and Storefront

Museum, Reston, 703-709-7700

Myth Busters According to the folks at Mount Vernon, myths abound about our first president. They say GW did not have wooden teeth, he did not chop down a cherry tree and then ‘fess up, and he definitely did not throw a silver dollar across the Potomac. Did Martha know all of this?

courtesy of Mount Vernon Museum

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northern region

• Arts, Culture & Entertainment

Best Local Theater Group Signature Theatre 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington, 571-527-1860 Tired of the same old musicals and plays? This Tony Award-winning group brings contemporary pieces to the D.C Metro area, many for the first time. They also host fun events such as the Signature Idol Competition, with notable judges like Broadway star Hunter Foster. second place: Reston Community Players, Reston, 703-435-2707 third place: Little Theatre of Alexandria, Alexandria, 703-683-5778

Best Nightclub Carlyle Club 411 John Carlyle St., Alexandria, 703-548-8899 What sets the Carlyle Club apart from nightclubs today is that you won’t find a sea of misbehaving revelers here. The Carlyle Club’s 1940s theme adds a touch of sophistication to the party scene, with swing artists and jazz quartets. second place: Clarendon Ballroom, Arlington, 703-469-2244 third place: Icons, Fairfax, 703-865-6101

Best Performing Arts Venue Hylton Performing Arts Center 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas, 703-993-7550

The Hylton Performing Arts Center offers 85,000 square feet of space to accommodate performances, weddings, meetings and more. The Center has two theatre halls, and as if that isn’t enough, it also has a visual art gallery.

Karaoke Kamikaze Five songs you should leave to the professionals … “My Heart Will Go On” No one but Celine Dionne can sing Celine Dionne. If you try, you’ll go down like the Titanic. “I Will Always Love You” Good luck holding that note for an hour. “We Didn’t Start the Fire” Billy Joel’s 1989 hit packs a political punch, but without the right range you may go up in smoke. Any Rap Song by Any Rapper Especially if you think rapping is just shouting loudly over music. “Purple Rain” Prince’s high-pitched whimpers sound like music. Yours sound like high-pitched whimpers.


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second place: Manassas Ballet, Manassas, 703-257-1811 third place: Wolf Trap, Vienna, 703-255-1900

Best Place to Dance Clarendon Ballroom 3185 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, 703-469-2244 Dancing on the roof? The Clarendon Ballroom takes it there, creating a space that will tempt even the most shy wallflower to bust a move. The strict dress code calls for visitors to dress to impress. It’s a perfect place to meet and mingle. second place: Tiny Dancers, Alexandria, 571-312-3406 third place: Addy’s, Manassas, 703-361-8000

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Best Air Charter Service

Best Bridal Salon

Metropolitan Aviation

Fabulous Frocks of Alexandria

10661 Frank Marshall Lane, Manassas

1901-B Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria

The largest, most diverse private jet charter service in the D.C. Metro area, Metropolitan offers six choices of jets, allowing fliers to choose size, comfort level and cost. There’s even a frequent flier program—Met Jet Cards—that provides service personalized to your needs and wants every time.

Ten thousand dollars for a dress you’ll wear once? Don’t worry, you can recycle it at Fabulous Frocks of Alexandria. Or you can buy that $10k confection you have had your eye on. Get it for less at this designer wedding consignment shop., 703-530-6299

second place: Moby Dick Airways, Sterling

703-661-2522 third place: FlightWorks, Manassas, 703-396-8786

Best Animal Hospital Companion Animal Clinic 10998 Clara Barton Drive, Fairfax, 703-250-4100

This is a clinic for pet owners who love their pets as much as their children. CAC provides comprehensive and preventive care, even dental care. An on-site pharmacy makes getting prescriptions quick and easy. They groom, they board. There’s even a Silver Whiskers Senior Pet Wellness Program. second place: Woodbridge Animal Hospital, Woodbridge, 703-897-5665 third place: Pender Veterinary Centre, Fairfax, 703-591-3304

Best Antique Mall Fox Den Antique Mall 355 W. Shirley Ave., Warrenton, 540-347-1162 Located in Virginia horse country, Fox Den Antique Mall is a good source for equestrian art. But don’t stop there. In addition to regular vendors, Fox Den offers consignments and estate sales where you’ll find everything from furniture to comic books, stamps, memorabilia and collectibles., 703-683-2306

second place: Blush Bridal Boutique, Gainesville, 703-753-8303 third place: Hannelore’s, Alexandria, 703-549-0387

Best Children’s Clothing Store The Purple Goose 2005 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria, 703-683-2918 What little princess doesn’t love frills and girly stuff? Twenty years ago, The Purple Goose was consignments only. Now the merchandise is mostly new. Its signature item is the tutu. Made with no less than 50 yards of net and tulle, a girl could get lost in one. second place: Dharma and Leopold’s Boutique, Gainesville, 571-222-7817 third place: Why Not, Alexandria


Equine Excellence Did you know Northern Virginia is home to the oldest horse show in America? The Upperville Colt & Horse Show was founded 159 years ago by Col. Richard Henry Dulany to promote better care of horses after he discovered a foal trapped under a fence while riding crosscountry on a cold day. Now the pampered horses of 21st-century NoVa know who to thank!

second place: Black Shutter Antiques, Leesburg, 703-443-9579 third place: Iron Horse Antiques, Manassas, 703-335-6676

Best Bike Shop Spokes, Etc. 1545 N. Quaker Lane, Alexandria, 703-845-9291

Whatever your level of cycling expertise, novice or mountain biker, Spokes Etc. has the perfect bike and accessories for you. They can accommodate a range of budgets, and offer expertise like no other in the region. Tour de France anyone? second place: Oasis Bike Works, Fairfax, 703-273-4051 third place: Haymarket Bikes, Haymarket, 703-754-1911

c o urt e s y o f U p p e rv i l l e C o lt & H o rs e sh o w

4/27/12 10:42 AM

MORE THAN 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's.

©2012 Alzheimer’s Association. All Rights Reserved.

But many more suffer from it.

Alzheimer’s disease is devastating. It can steal the most precious moments from you and your family. The Alzheimer’s Association has been behind every major advancement and continues to lead the fight against Alzheimer’s. We won’t rest until we have a cure. Join us. Visit or call 800.272.3900.

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northern region

• Shopping & Services

Best Auto Mechanic J&J Automotive Services 10404 Central Park Drive, Manassas, 703-368-3600

Big problems or small ones, J&J does maintenance and repair on any make or model, foreign or domestic. It’s the only auto repair facility in Virginia qualified to service and repair hybrid and electric cars. Even better, J&J has been family owned and operated for 10 years. second place: G&C Auto, Chantilly, 571-991-3151 third place: Yates Auto, Alexandria


Best Fine Jewelry Store Mystique Jewelers 211 The Strand Waterfront, Alexandria, 703-836-1401

The selection at Mystique Jewelers is anything but mundane. They have made it their mission to showcase pieces you will not see elsewhere, and while they offer items from familiar designers, they can also create one-of-a-kind pieces to suit your taste. second place: Quinn’s Goldsmith, Occoquan, 703-494-1662 third place: Ashby Jewelers, Manassas, 703-368-4653

Best Gift Shop

Queens of Couture

The Things I Love 9084 Center St., Manassas, 703-335-7711 The Things I Love is an A-to-Z gift shop: Belgian lace or fancy scented laundry detergent, decorated sugar cubes and gourmet foods, garden décor or decorative pens. Seven rooms, a sunroom and garden displays are packed with finds. The historic building that is its setting is as interesting as the inventory. second place: Zazu, Ashburn, 703-858-9298 third place: Flower Gallery, Manassas, 800-272-5186

Best Greenhouse and Nursery Merrifield Garden Center 12101 Lee Highway, Fairfax

MerrifieldGardenCenter, 703-968-9600 Need to do some landscaping and not sure where to begin? Merrifield Garden Center’s private label organic soil conditioner is a good start. Not a do-it-yourselfer? Let Merrifield do it for you. They’ll help you choose from their wide selection of plants and flowers, and will even deliver. What more inducement do you need to get that garden started? second place: Burke Nursery, Burke, 703-323-1188 third place: Betty’s Azalea Ranch, Fairfax, 703-830-8687


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The world’s finest wedding dress designers. Linda Fairall, owner of Fabulous Frocks in Alexandria, knows designer wedding dresses. In fact, that’s all she sells in her high-end bridal consignment store. Fairall’s gowns are all either “once wed,” brand new or sample, and worth $2,000 or more because, she explains, that is “a good price point to differentiate between lower-end and high-end gowns.” We asked Fairall to name her five favorite wedding dress designers, and what makes their frocks so, well, fabulous. Vera Wang “She is still setting the trend. She still has classic dresses, but always puts a modern twist on things, even after 20-something years.” Anne Barge “She’s a Southern designer, from Atlanta, and has a lot of Southern, romantic gowns—lots of flow and lace—but her dresses are still structured and modern.” Rivini “Rita Vinieris creates gowns that are more formal, but still incorporates clean, modern lines.” Romona Keveza “Her dresses are timeless, her fit is impeccable. Truly custom, with great structure.” Carolina Herrera “She’s been in the design industry so long, designing regular couture clothing, so her dresses just seem more couture and not as ‘weddingy.’ It’s a more modern take on the wedding gown.”

photograph by Robb Scharetg

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The finer side of

VIRGINIA ABINGDON MERCANTILE & FRAME GALLERY 130 Wall St. SW Abingdon, VA 24210 276-628-2788

PETERSEN JEWELERS 425 Meadowbrook Shopping Center Culpeper, VA 22701 540-825-6033



11441 Spotswood Trail McGaheysville, VA 22840 540-289-5387

20070 Ashbrook Commons Plaza Ashburn, VA 20147 703-858-9298

Every story has a bead™


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• Shopping & Services

Best Hair Salon

Best Haute Couture Boutique

Best Home Décor Store

PR at Partners Salons & Spas

Blush Bridal Boutique

Red Barn Mercantile

7340 Atlas Walk Way, Gainesville

7332 Atlas Walk Way, Gainesville

113 S Columbus St., Alexandria

While some stylists have a repertoire of hairstyles, PR, like every good designer in any field, creates the style that suits your individual look and your individual lifestyle. A Fresh Look makeover includes cut, color, make-up lesson and, most importantly, advice. You can’t beat that.

Tired of flipping endlessly through racks where everything begins to look the same? Blush Bridal Boutique’s onsite consultants help you find the dress that fits not just your figure but your personality, too. They take everything into consideration—location, style, colors—nothing goes unnoticed at this shop.

Red Barn Mercantile carries a mix of new and vintage goods for your home sure to work in any room in your home. They also carry gifts and office essentials. Why go anywhere else?

second place: Good Hair Day Salon, Lorton, 703-690-4247 third place: Bubbles, Fairfax, 703-266-9919

second place: Hysteria, Alexandria, 703-548-1615 third place: Allyssa Bryn Boutique, Manassas, 703-365-0714, 703-754-2999, 703-753-8303, 703-838-0355

second place: The Home Specialty Store, Leesburg, 571-258-0880 Third place: Decorium, Alexandria, 703-739-4662

Best Interior Designer Robinson Interiors Manassas, 703-335-0813 You know what you want your home to look like; you just don’t know how to make it happen. That’s when you turn to Robinson Interiors. They promise a “stress free design process,” including a budget that’s defined in advance rather than one that grows as you go. second place: J & L Interiors, Leesburg, 703-737-7660 third place: Barry Dixon, Warrenton, 540-341-8501

Best Lawyer to Have on Speed Dial Chester Banks 3158 Golansky Blvd. Suite 201, Woodbridge, 703-878-2265

Going through a legal dispute can be stressful, but lawyers like Chester Banks make their clients feel comfortable and at ease. He even goes as far as to provide in house day-care for parents who cannot find a sitter. No objections here. second place: Scott Taylor, Vienna

703-790-1900 third place: Charles Curran, Vienna, 703-764-0600

Best Local Architect Stephen W. Koenig

Are You Tough Enough? Marine Corps Museum exhibit gives a taste of Boot Camp. Ever wondered if you have what it takes to be a Marine? The “Making Marines” exhibit at the National Museum of the Marine Corps can tell you. It gives visitors a little taste of Boot Camp, including standing on the famous yellow footprints, having multiple orders barked at you by an unsympathetic drill instructor and learning the value of teamwork. You’ll leave impressed by the Corps, but glad that men and women braver and better than you are in it.


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2107 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria, 703-519-3727

Part of what makes Stephen W. Koenig and his firm, Larson / Koenig, so well-liked is a commitment to community. The firm works on local projects like the Duncan Community Library in Alexandria, and Koenig himself has been part of the Del Ray Citizens Association since 1987. SECOND PLACE: Jack Wilbern, Falls Church, 703-356-6771 third place: Turnure Architecture, Middleburg, 540-687-3223

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Have You Seen Us Lately? Potomac Mills, Virginia’s largest outlet mall, wants you to get your shopping started on the right foot. With over 200 stores under one roof, including the NEW Neighborhood 1 Fashion District, you’re bound to find the best of everything at the best of prices. Shop at a place that gives you more! More stores. More brands. More savings. More fun. It’s more of what you want for less!

Bring this ad to Simon Guest Services in Neighborhood 4 to receive a free Potomac Mills coupon book worth hundreds of dollars in savings! ®


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Historic Blend A taste of Virginia bourbon. Kentuckians may tell you that only bourbon from the Bluegrass State is worthy of the name, but at least one historic Old Dominion spirit-maker would disagree. When Virginia joined in the repeal of Prohibition in 1934, Abram Smith Bowman and his sons, Smith and DeLong, were quick to build a still on the family’s Sunset Hills Farm in Fairfax County. Soon after, the A. Smith Bowman Distillery was producing small-batch handcrafted spirits, including their iconic Virginia Gentleman bourbon. The Bowmans moved the “still” 60 miles to Fredericksburg in 1988, but still produce high-end handcrafted hooch, including their small-batch Bowman Brothers Virginia Straight Bourbon Whiskey, and single barrel (meaning each barrel is unique) John J. Bowman Virginia Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Visitors can now tour the distillery, known as “Mary,” after a Revolutionary War-era Bowman family matriarch, to see how Virginia bourbon is made—and tastes.

Best Outlet Shopping

Best Pet Boutique

Best Real Estate Company

Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets

Wylie Wagg

Long and Foster

241 Fort Evans Road NE, Leesburg

2509 N. Franklin Road, Arlington

14501 George Carter Way, Chantilly

Back in the day, outlet stores were located at the factory itself. Today, top outlet stores are grouped in places like Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets. It is just like going to the mall, only with more realistic price tags.

The days when dogs just needed food, water and the occasional walk are gone. Today’s pampered pooches need hypo-allergenic wipes, tug-o-war toys and various flavors of toothpaste. Wylie Wagg provides all this and more, so your pet can live the good life.

Long and Foster’s reputation precedes them. The largest real estate company in the Mid-Atlantic region, they get the job done. Although they specialize in serving Virginia and a handful of other states, if you have to leave our great state, they can provide relocation services anywhere in the United States., 703-737-3071

second place: Potomac Mills, Woodbridge, 703-496-9330 third place: Talbots Clearance Outlet, Springfield, 703-644-5115, 703-748-0022

second place: Olde Towne School For Dogs, Alexandria, 703-836-7643 third place: The Dog Park, Alexandria


Best Pediatrician Dr. Christopher Ward 493 Blackwell Road Suite 202, Warrenton, 540-347-4400

Kids are tough clients. If they don’t like something, they will complain. And loudly. But Dr. Ward gets the job done, which is why kids—and their parents—give him the thumbs up. second place: Dr. Laurence Murphy, Burke

703-503-9100 third place: Pediatric Associates of Alexandria,

Alexandria, 703-924-2100

Best Place to Buy Athletic Clothing Dick’s Sporting Goods 13080 Worth Ave., Woodbridge, 703-491-9432 Dick’s Sporting Goods in Woodbridge is vast. They sell every sporting item you can think of in a range of sports too numerous to mention here. Whether you are trying to get in shape or stay in shape, Dick’s carries top clothing brands so you can be fit, and look great too. second place: LuLu Lemon, Arlington, 703-807-0539 third place: Pacers, Alexandria, 703-836-1463


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second place: McGrath Real Estate, Herndon, 703-709-2264

Best Salon for a Men’s Haircut Saratoga Barber 8088-A Rolling Road, Springfield


Most men want just one thing from a haircut; reliability. Since 2008, Saratoga Barber has been trimming follicular growth for a steady $16. As one customer review attests: “Been going here for three years. Love it. Strayed once and regretted it.” High praise indeed. second place: Frizzles Salon and Spa, Alexandria, 703-299-0999 third place: Trieu’s Barber Shop, Fairfax, 703-876-4040

courtesy of A. Smith Bowman distillery

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Best Movie Theater

McLean Project for the Arts Spring Benefit

Cinema Arts

1234 Ingleside Ave., McLean

C I T Y l I f e


Best Annual Charity Gala

2 0 1 2, 703-790-1953 The MPA’s annual Spring Benefit is held in a historic home, the home of an art collector or, according to their website,“some otherwise inspiring setting.” This year’s 50th anniversary benefit was held at historic Salona. Proceeds support the MPA’s exhibition and educational programs. Second place: Arts by George!, George Mason University College, 703-993-4188 Third place: Workhouse Arts Center Gala, Lorton, 703-495-0001

9650 Main St., Fairfax, 703-978-6991 Redbox, Netflix and Video On Demand may have you wondering if a visit to the movies is still worth the trip. But one bite of the gourmet sandwiches at Cinema Arts should be enough to convince you that everything looks better on the big screen. second place: Rave Cinemas at Fairfax Corner, Fairfax,, 703-378-6550 third place: AMC Potomac Mills, Woodbridge, 703-490-5151

Best Performing Arts Company

Best Dog Park

Manassas Ballet Theatre

Shirlington Dog Park, 703-257-1811

2601 S. Arlington Mill Drive, Arlington, 703-228-6525

What does Shirlington have that most other dog parks don’t? Swimming—an actual creek for pooches to paddle in! Shirlington is also notoriously busy, so if your dog is in the mood for some canine networking, this is the Northern Virginia hotspot. Second place: South Run Dog Park, Springfield, 703-324-7329 Third place: Grist Mill Dog Park, Alexandria, 703-324-7329

9004 Mathis Ave., Manassas

Think ballet looks easy? Think again. The 14 professional dancers of MBT put on four productions at the Hylton Performing Arts Center every year and 20 or more education outreach performances with practices in between. Practice does make perfect. Second place: Acting for Young People, Fairfax, 703-307-5332 third place: Better Said Than Done, various locations

>> For more winners go to

Best Local Band Nine Days Gone Fairfax Enjoy alternative punk bands like Green Day or Blink 182? Then you’ll love Nine Days Gone. Upbeat tunes with complicated guitar rifts in songs like “I Need to Know” have won them fans throughout the D.C. Metro area and beyond. second place: Scott Ramminger & the Crawstickers,

McLean, 703-314-8081 third place: City of Fairfax Band, Fairfax, 703-757-0220

Best Local Sports Team George Mason University Men’s Basketball 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, 703-993-3268 Head Coach Paul Hewitt took the Patriots job in 2011 after coaching Georgia Tech to five March Madness appearances in 11 seasons. GMU hasn’t been to the Big Dance since 2010, but Hewitt hopes to reintroduce them as soon as possible. second place: Potomac Nationals baseball, Woodbridge,, 703-590-2311 Third place: Loudoun Hounds baseball, Dulles, 703-669-3647

Going to the Big House Originally a correctional facility for nonviolent criminals, and famous for holding the 168 women who picketed the White House for women’s voting rights in 1916, the Lorton Workhouse was reopened in 2008 as a workspace for artists. The best thing? At the end of the day, they’re free to go home.

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Driving on Interstate 81, through the industrial railroad hub of the Roanoke Valley or the agrarian far-southwestern reaches of the state where it melts into Tennessee, it might seem like the region is hiding its special treasures from the cars and trucks flying by on the busy highway. Maybe it is. But for those who slow down and take an exit, it is something like rounding a bend to discover a rainbow. Visiting Roanoke, you might expect old railroad men hanging around the century-old depot, trading war stories as engines chuff by, and banjo players pickin’ on an old country store’s front porch. But what you will discover is an incredibly modern museum with the groundbreaking train photographs of O. Winston Link, and banjo players and other musicians who have been discovered by an audience hungry for authenticity and appreciative of Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, The Crooked Road. The coal mining industry, once the region’s economic and cultural bedrock, may be photograph by cade martin


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diminished, but it’s far from exhausted. It continues to fuel the engines of industry and provide careers both above and below ground for generations of families. It’s an interesting juxtaposition of lifestyles, where uncomplicated doesn’t necessarily mean unsophisticated; where a fluffy Southern biscuit sits side-by-side on the culinary ladder with continental cuisine; where skills like weaving and basket-making passed down for generations are considered to be artisanal, not artless. Today those skills are the cornerstone of a new economy whose sustainability is not wholly dependent on the region’s natural resources but rather its collective creativity. And through it all runs the New River, the oldest river in North America that, in its quirky but graceful northward path, sounds the soul of the region.

styling by neely barnwell dykshorn

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Best Asian Cuisine

Best Coffee Shop

Panda Restaurant


7440 Lee Highway, Radford

380 E. Main St., Abingdon

Panda Restaurant has all the delicious and steaming Moo Goo Gai Pan and Hunan Chicken you could ask for, and is just a phone call away. Choose from diverse appetizers, soups, veggie dishes, chow mein, lo mein and more. Lunch specials start at $4.

Bistro café, bookseller and wholesale roaster all rolled into one, Zazzy’z encourages you to enjoy a hot cup of joe and a good read any day. Craving heavier fare? Try their soups, sandwiches, lasagnas or quiches. Zazzy’z even offers lodging, thanks to their partnership with Summers Cottage, which is just 150 yards from the coffee shop., 540-808-2357

second place: Kal-bee, Pembroke, 540-633-0322 third place: Szechuan Restaurant, Roanoke, 540-989-7947, 276-698-3333

second place: Binding Time, Martinsville, 276-656-3800 third place: Starbucks, Christiansburg, 540-381-4574

Best Barbeque Restaurant Checkered Pig (formerly Pigs-R-Us) 1014 Liberty St., Martinsville, 276-632-1161 Dine in, take out, cater—have Checkered Pig’s pork, brisket, chicken or ribs wherever your heart desires. Owner Tommy Houston started his business as a vendor at the Martinsville Speedway in the 1990s (the restaurant name refers to checkered raceway flags). Today’s menu features their famed Champion’s Feast, St. Louis-style ribs, hushpuppies and more. second place: Due South, Christiansburg, 540-381-2922 third place: Blues Barbeque, Roanoke, 540-344-5683

Best Comfort Food Homeplace 4968 Catawba Valley Drive, Catawba


Itching for good food? Since 1982, The Homeplace has served Southern family-style meals in an old farmhouse surrounded by verdant scenery. Service is fast and portions are plentiful. Just a wee warning, though: Their fried chicken, apple butter and mashed potatoes will definitely raise your standards for comfort food everywhere. second place: Dip Dog Stand, Marion, 276-783-2698 third place: The Palisades, Eggleston, 540-626-2828

Best Breakfast Restaurant The Roanoker Restaurant 2522 Colonial Ave. S.W., Roanoke, 540-344-7746 A hearty breakfast is a godsend for weary midnight revelers. The Roanoker’s Wake Up Special, with two eggs (any style), two hot cakes, hot coffee and your choice of ham, bacon or sausage will perk you up fast. The restaurant has been around over 65 years, so you are in good hands. second place: Thelma’s Chicken and Waffles, Roanoke, 540-343-8888 third place: Wildflour, Roanoke, 540-343-4543

Best Burger Joint Dip Dog Stand 2035 Lee Highway, Marion, 276-783-2698 Since 1957, Dip Dog Stand has been a highway burger must. Even Aerosmith has eaten there! And that’s not to mention all the prom-ready teenagers, happy families, newly engaged couples and other hungry passersby. All burgers come with mayo, lettuce, tomato and onion, but we know you really want that bacon and double cheese! second place: Burger in the Square, Roanoke, 540-400-8645 third place: Mike’s Grill, Blacksburg, 540-951-7391

The Gold Standard

Jason Hurd at Roanoke’s Frankie Rowland’s Steakhouse makes a perfect pineapple martini. Here’s how: Smirnoff® vodka, 80 proof 1 whole fresh pineapple ice cubes Cube pineapple core and marinate 14-21 days in vodka-filled Mason jar. Strain liquid until you have only syrup. Put syrup and ice in shaker. Shake at least 10 times from head to shoulder. Serve in chilled martini glass. Martini should have ¼ inch of froth.

pr e v i o u s pa g e : L i n a S h i r t, S u sp e n d e r S k i r t, El o i s e , C h a rl o t t e s v i ll e . C o n d u c t o r H a t, P r e m i e r e C o s t u m e s , R i chm o n d. B a n j o a n d B a n j o S t r a p G u i t a r W o r k s I n c . , R i chm o n d.

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Food & Drink • southwestern


Best Continental Cuisine The Palisades 168 Village St., Eggleston, 540-626-2828 The Palisades gives you a little taste of Europe in the Virginia countryside. Venison, pear and goat cheese salad, and braised lamb shank are all on the menu, but their pizzas are a real hit. When is the last time you had figs, prosciutto, gorgonzola, pumpkin puree or artichokes on your pizza? second place: Alexander’s, Roanoke, 540-982-6983 third place: House on Main, Abingdon, 276-619-0039

Best Dessert Menu Anthony’s Desserts 401 E. Main St., Abingdon


You don’t have to share a dessert at Anthony’s because everything is perfectly-sized for one. Cheesecakes are the shop’s claim to fame, but they also carry mini pies, brownies, cookies and more and use seasonal ingredients. We recommend you try the turtle cheesecake. second place: The Palisades, Eggleston, 540-626-2828 third place: Wildflour, Roanoke, 540-343-4543

Best Ethnic Supermarket Oasis World Market 1411 S. Main St., Blacksburg, 540-953-3950 Calling all foodies! Oasis purveys 50 varieties of rice; imported beers priced at or below what mainline grocery stores offer; and cabbages as big as your head. With a large selection of frozen food as well, Indian dishes and dumplings are just a pop in the microwave away. second place: Fresh Market, Roanoke, 540-344-5490 third place: Eats Natural Foods, Blacksburg, 540-552-2279

Best Happy Hour Sharkey’s 220 N. Main St., Blacksburg, 540-552-2030 Sharkey’s knows specials. On Sundays and Wednesdays they roll out the “Legendary Wing & Pizza Buffet,” while the beginning of the work week gets a boost with “Free Burger Monday.” It is actually buy one get one free, but we think that is still pretty special. second place: Blue 5, Roanoke, 540-904-5338 third place: Lucky, Roanoke, 540-982-1249

Dorm Food Rules! Students at Virginia Tech enjoy quality campus cuisine. Virginia Tech is not only a dream for aspiring scientists, architects and engineers; it is also a haven for blossoming foodies. Over the past five years, VT’s dining system has won awards from over 50 publications and businesses. The university houses eight dining centers, but the best may be West End Market. On any given day, West End may serve steak, lobster, Cajun pork loin, spinach-tomato quiche, and a number of other delicious dishes, with nutritional information available for all. Ted Faulkner, Tech’s senior associate director of dining services, personally recommends the hand-carved London broil with garlic roasted mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus with balsamic reduction. So much for the “bad dorm food” rule.

p h o t o g r a p h l e f t, j e f f g r e e n o u g h , t h i s p a g e , K e l s e y K r a d e l , c o u r t e s y o f V i r g i n i a T e c h

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southwestern region

• Food & Drink

Best Ice Cream Shop

Best Mexican Restaurant

Best Steakhouse



Frankie Rowland’s

1916 Memorial Ave., Roanoke

127 Campbell Ave., Roanoke, 540-400-7053

104 S. Jefferson St., Roanoke


Not everyone can say they make their ice cream sodas from scratch using a fountain that dates back to 1936. But Pop’s can. Made fresh at Homestead Creamery, Pop’s dairy treats come in orange pineapple, lemon crunch, blueberry pomegranate and all the classics. Sundaes, milkshakes, grilled cheese and homemade soups are also on the menu.

Alejandro’s promises authentic Mexican food, from traditional tacos to chiles rellenos to flautas and more. Their flan is made in-house and their salsa bar features 12 fresh items daily. Many of their dishes also come with a vegetarian option.

Would you like to relax in another era? With mahogany paneling and a cozy feel, Frankie Rowland’s aims for a classically masculine look. At Frankie’s getting a juicy slab of Angus is absolutely not a thing of the past.

second place: Los Arcos, Abingdon third place: El Rodeo, Roanoke, 540-774-3735

second place: Logan’s Roadhouse, Roanoke, 540-265-7055 third place: Outback Steakhouse, Roanoke, 540-776-3238

Best Seafood Restaurant

Best Winery

Captain Tom’s

Chateau Morrisette

2615 Greensboro Road, Martinsville

287 Winery Road SW, Floyd

Only the freshest, highest quality seafood will do for Captain Tom’s, which has served up seafood specialties since 1972. Their extensive oyster menu features oysters done Rockefeller, Casino, Kilpatrick and more. Don’t forget the wine either, Captain Tom’s will recommend the perfect glass to go with your dish.

Just off the Blue Ridge Parkway lies the elegantly rustic Chateau Morrisette, which released its first vintage in 1980. Since then, the winery has relied on both Virginia and out-of-state grapes to produce premiere wines. Their kennel packs feature four bottles of award-winning wines, foodpairing suggestions, recipes and winemakers’ notes.

second place: Maggie Moo’s Ice Cream & Treatery, Roanoke, 540-342-1254 third place: Salem Ice Cream Parlor, Salem


Best Locavore Restaurant Harvest Table 13180 Meadowview Square, Meadowview, 276-944-5142 If it’s in season, it’s on the menu. Harvest Table is committed to serving up contemporary American food produced using organic and sustainable practices. Most of the produce comes from Virginia, while cheese, meat and certain fruits come from across the Southeast. second place: Local Roots, Roanoke

276-623-9299, 276-666-0326

second place: Poor Billy’s, Blacksburg, 540-951-2200 third place: Stephen’s, Roanoke, 540-344-7203, 540-206-2610 third place: The Palisades, Eggleston, 540-626-2828, 540-527-2333, 540-593-2865

second place: Abingdon Winery, Abingdon, 276-623-1255 third place: Valhalla, Roanoke, 540-725-9463

Moonshiners and Proud of It Franklin County still drinks to its past. During Prohibition, it was estimated that 99 percent of Franklin County residents were involved in the illegal liquor trade. And the industry continues today, with revenuers busting yet another still as recently as January, according to Debra Weir, Franklin County’s special events manager. Residents embrace the moniker, “Moonshine Capital of the World,” even holding a Mountain Spirits Festival in 2011. And every year at the Blue Ridge Folklife Festival, “retired” moonshiners and former revenuers team up to retell the county’s colorful history. “The tent is always full,” says Weir. And coming soon to a theater near you: “Wettest County” starring Gary Oldman, Shia LaBeouf and Franklin County. Break out the glasses.


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C o u r t e s y o f B l u e Ri d g e I n s t i t u t e & M u s e u m o f F e r r u m C o l l e g e , F r a n k l i n C o u n t y B ic e n t e n n i a l C o l l e c t i o n

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Best Hotel

Inn at Riverbend

Hotel Roanoke

125 River Ridge Drive, Pearisburg

110 Shenandoah Ave., Roanoke

Janet and Jimm Burton’s seven-room inn sits on a bluff overlooking the New River. It is certainly a serene spot to rest and relax, but the great outdoors beckons to hikers, kayakers, fly fishermen and mountain bikers. After a day of outdoor adventure you’ll appreciate the luxury of the inn’s whirlpool and soaking tubs.

A historical hotspot with a flair for the modern ever since its heyday, Hotel Roanoke has hosted many important guests and large private events within its grand halls. Built in 1882, this architectural gem is a must-see on any visit to the Star City., 540-921-5211

second place: Trinkle Mansion, Wytheville, 276-625-0625 third place: The Virginia Home Inn, Fieldale, 276-673-7717

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second place: The Martha Hotel & Spa, Abingdon, 276-628-3161 third place: Inn at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, 540-231-8000

Best Hunting Outfitter Best Fly Fishing Outfitter

Gander Mountain

Tangent Outfitters, 540-362-3658

201 Cascade Drive, Pembroke, 540-626-4567 If you’re looking for a fly fishing shop that knows its stuff, Tangent Outfitters is the place to go. These folks supply the aspiring angler with everything he needs to land a trout, and conducts casting lessons and guided fishing trips too. This is a bonafide flyfishing mecca. second place: Orvis, Roanoke, 540-345-3635 third place: New River Outfitters, Pembroke, 540-921-7438

8195 Gander Way, Roanoke

Located near Smith Mountain Lake and the Appalachian Trail, the staff at Gander Mountain are longtime outdoor fanatics and experienced guides who love helping beginners and veterans return to the wild. If you’re looking to hit the great outdoors, this is the place to start. second place: Mahoney’s, Abingdon, 276-628-6249 third place: Orvis, Roanoke, 540-345-3635

Best Golf Course The Virginian 22512 Clubhouse Ridge, Bristol, 276-645-6955 Tom Fazio designed this golf course as a tribute to the space’s natural landscape (and we are so glad he did). Bristol’s windswept beauty is only part of the appeal of this masterpiece course, which is sure to challenge any golfer. second place: Glenrochie Country Club,

Abingdon, 276-628-3059 third place: Draper Valley Golf Club, Draper, 540-980-4653

Best Horse Show Roanoke Horse Show 1001 Roanoke Blvd., Roanoke, 540-389-7847 The Roanoke Horse Show has been going strong for 41 years. This is a fun, neighborhood event complete with Jack Russell terrier races. As a bonus, the website offers ‘Horse Talk,’ a list of equine lingo to put you in the know come show day. second place: Russell County Fair, Castlewood, 276-762-2261 third place: Scott County Horse Club Monthly Show, Gate City, 276-479-2048

Natural High It’s not just the altitude buzz making you giddy. The fresh mountain air of Southwest Virginia really is good for you. It’s purer, being free of the impurities found in citydwelling oxygen. So next time you get the chance, increase your altitude, enjoy the scenery and fill your lungs with the good stuff.

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Discover the Difference. Carlisle School

College Preparatory Day and Boarding School VAIS and SACS Accredited IB World School - PYP, MYP, and IB Diploma Programs Challenging Academic Environment Thriving Performing Arts Competitive Athletic Program

Martinsville Campus preschool - grade 12 300 Carlisle Rd. Axton, VA 24054 Chatham Campus preschool - grade 8 956 Woodlawn Academy Rd. Chatham, VA 24531 Danville Campus preschool - grade 2 179 Piney Forest Rd. Danville, VA 24540 || 276.632.7288, ext. 237 for Admissions

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southwestern region

• Living & Recreation

Best Private School Carlisle School 300 Carlisle Road, Axton, 276-632-7288 Let’s hear it for school spirit! This International Baccalaureate World School teaches more than 470 students from preschool through grade 12, and has three locations in Chatham, Danville and Martinsville. Sure, the academic program is tops, but what about what kids really care about—the food? We hear it is first rate. second place: North Cross, Roanoke, 540-989-6641 third place: Faith Christian, Roanoke, 540-769-5200

Best Resort Mountain Lake Conservancy & Hotel 115 Hotel Circle, Pembroke, 540-626-7121 Mountain Lake may be famous as the location for 1987’s “Dirty Dancing,” but there is a lot more to this mountaintop gem. Play croquet or tennis, take a wagon ride or go geocaching, or hit the activities barn for billiards and shuffleboard, but don’t plan on watching TV. They don’t have them, isn’t that great? second place: The Martha Hotel & Spa, Abingdon, 276-628-3161

Best Retirement Community King’s Grant 350 King’s Way Road, Martinsville, 276-634-1000 As we get older, our list of fun choices lessens— if we let it. Sunnyside King’s Grant caters to residents with active lifestyles by offering all sorts of amenities on its 120-acre campus, including a library, pool, barbershop, restaurant and more. A nearby college, museums and the Martinsville Speedway promise other easy-access diversions. second place: Warm Hearth Village, Blacksburg, 540-443-3416 third place: Brandon Oaks, Roanoke, 540-776-2600

Best Tennis Club Chatmoss Country Club 550 Mount Olivet Road, Martinsville, 276-638-2484

The 400 members of Chatmoss CC love their club, and why shouldn’t they? It has golf, tennis, swimming and first class dining. They even offer spinning and yoga classes. We’re guessing once folks join, they won’t ever want to go home. second place: Blacksburg Country Club, Blacksburg, 540-552-9165 third place: Hidden Valley Country Club, Salem, 540-389-8146


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Five Things to Never, Ever Do on a Golf Course According to The Virginian Golf Club in Bristol, these five breaches of golf course etiquette will get you run off the greens: 1. Breaking your golf club. Remember, it’s your friend, not your foe. 2. Uttering expletives. Please bite your tongue if you feel anything harsher than “Darn it!” coming on.

3. Being a slowpoke. If Tiger Woods is behind you, don’t hold him up. 4. Pockmarking the course. Keep it pretty by repairing those divots. 5. Cheating. Of course.

photo illustration by jeff bland

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c ata ly s .

With a research portfolio nearing $400 million, Virginia Tech is more than just Virginia’s leading research university. We are an economic engine that is fueling growth throughout the commonwealth. For example, Virginia Tech, the University of Virginia, and Rolls-Royce have partnered to create the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM), a center dedicated to applied research in manufacturing technologies, surface engineering, and other areas. That’s ingenuity. It will border the Rolls-Royce Crosspointe manufacturing campus under development in Prince George County, where the company will invest $500 million in the next few years. And that’s impact. Providing research power, intellectual capital, and job creation, Virginia Tech is a catalyst of growth and innovation, and a resource to help businesses be more competitive. To learn more, visit

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best of virginia 2012

Best Historic Site

Virginia Highlands Festival

Emory & Henry College


Village of Emory

It wouldn’t be summer in Southwestern Virginia without the Virginia Highlands Festival. It is 16 days of Appalachian arts, crafts, live performances and workshops, ranging from clown shows to aboriginal sand circles. 2012 will be its 64th year.

Emory & Henry students walk in the footsteps of history everyday. Founded in 1836, and named after church leader Bishop John Emory and Virginia’s first governor, Patrick Henry, it is the region’s oldest college. The National Historic Register considers the campus one of America’s treasured landmarks. So do we., 276-623-5266

second place: Festival in the Park, Roanoke, 540-342-2640 third place: Art on the Lawn, Pearisburg, 540-921-1221


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second place: The Martha Hotel & Spa, Abingdon, 276-628-3161 third place: Muster Grounds, Abingdon, 276-525-1050

Best Art Museum Taubman Museum of Art 110 Salem Ave. S.E., Roanoke, 540-342-5760 Taubman isn’t just an art museum—it’s an art center that introduces world-class and high-quality Appalachian art to the region through varied exhibitions, lectures, screenings and more. They have 2,050 pieces in the permanent collection. second place: William King Museum, Abingdon, 276-628-5005 third place: Piedmont Arts, Martinsville, 276-632-3221

Best Bar for Live Music

Best Kid’s Museum Virginia Museum of Natural History 21 Starling Ave., Martinsville, 276-634-4141

Parents, this is the place for rainy days. Its interactive exhibit, Discovery Reef, features a wooden, nearly life-size play ship with multiple decks and educational activities that is perfect for running and playing after a day of touring the museum. See, some museums do let you touch the good stuff. second place: Science Museum of Western Virginia,

Roanoke,, 540-342-5710 third place: Transportation Museum, Roanoke, 540-342-5670

Blue 5 312 2nd St., Roanoke, 540-904-5338 With its eclectic mix of locally-and nationallyknown Blues and Jazz artists, it’s hard to sit it out at Blue 5. Live entertainment five nights a week attracts customers ranging from head-bobbing senior citizens to knee-slapping children, so you will feel at home no matter your age. second place: Martin’s, Roanoke, 540-985-6278




E n t e r t A i n m e n t

Best Art Event

third place: The Palisades, Eggleston, 540-626-2828

Best Food Festival Roanoke Greek Festival at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church 30 Huntington Blvd., Roanoke, 540-362-3601 Hungry? Go Greek! Every September, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church brings Roanokers a homemade taste of Greece, from the eggplant and lamb casserole moussaka to the phyllo and custard galaktoboureko. What inspires their culinary passion? Filoxenia, or “love of outsiders.”

second place: Local Colors, Roanoke, 540-904-2234 third place: Blacksburg Fork and Cork, Blacksburg, 540-443-2008

Love at First Bite Cross the Commonwealth and you’re likely to find a food festival fêting any number of flavorful cuisines. So why should you take the time to stop? Because at festivals like Roanoke’s Local Colors, held in May each year, you can dance the polka and eat pakoras at the same time. Roll out the barrel!

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Honored to be voted

best Art MuseuM in soutHwestern virginiA.

CoMe see for yourself.

Taubman Museum of Art | 110 Salem Avenue SE, Roanoke, Virginia 24011 | 540.342.5760 |

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southwestern region

• Arts, Culture & Entertainment

Best Large Music Venue

Best Place for Karaoke

Best Place to Dance


Wild Magnolia

Floyd Country Store

blue ridge parkway, Floyd

730 E. Church St., Suite 7A, Martinsville

206 S. Locust St., Floyd

Combine country rock music with four nights and three days of mountain camping in July off the Blue Ridge Parkway and you get the rugged passion that is FloydFest. Jackson Browne and Alison Krauss & Union Station will perform this year.

Eclectic Southern cuisine and weekly Wednesday night karaoke make Wild Magnolia a Martinsville favorite. Karaoke starts at 9 p.m. and ends …well, when it ends. If you still need a reason to go, just remember that there is no cover charge.

second place: Roanoke Civic Center, Roanoke, 540-853-2241 third place: Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion, Bristol, 423-573-4898

second place: Farmhouse, Christiansburg

Rumbling tummy? Itchy feet? If simple country food isn’t enough to entice you to Floyd Country Store, surely their unique mix of live moonshine music and storytelling is. Every Friday it is time for traditional country-dance tunes, Saturday is a great day for an Americana Afternoon and open mic, and Sunday means mountain music, of course., 888-823-3378, 276-666-6666, 540-382-4253 third place: Flying Dutchman Lounge, Collinsville

276-647-3721, 540-745-4563

second place: Carter Family Fold, Hiltons, 276-386-6054 third place: Schooners, Roanoke


Best Local Band My Radio 102 Campbell Ave. SW, Roanoke

While some bands make their fame and fortune on stage, others make it onscreen. My Radio sells their rock songs to television shows and films including the 2010 movie, “The Joneses” (starring Demi Moore and David Duchovny). second place: Folk Soul Revival, Wise third place: Susan Brown & Friends, Abingdon

Best Local Theater Group The Barter Players 127 W. Main St., Abingdon, 276-628-3991 This troupe of talented professional actors performs at Barter Theatre from April through December and in schools throughout the East Coast from January through March. second place: Studio Roanoke, Roanoke, 540-343-3054 third place: Showtimers, Roanoke, 540-774-2660

Best Nature & Outdoor Museum Virginia Museum of Natural History 21 Starling Ave., Martinsville, 276-634-4141

As the state’s official natural history museum, VMNH makes old stuff, dead stuff, microscopic stuff and non-living stuff, well, neat. (The museum’s dinosaur collection is roaringly popular.) Four curators emeritus with prestigious backgrounds in archeology and marine biology, among other brainy disciplines, oversee the exhibits, allowing today’s scientists to inspire the scientists of tomorrow. second place: Mill Mountain Discovery Center,

Roanoke, 540-853-1236 third place: Glen Alton, Goldbond, 540-552-4641


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Nobody Does it Better Finding art and artisans from Abingdon to Blacksburg is a cinch with the help of 16 curated trails. Here are five must-sees: The Crooked Road: On this 300-mile heritage music trail you can get a quick history lesson at the Blue Ridge Institute & Museum or dance your boots off at The Carter Family Fold. Floyd County Artisan Trail: The largest of the artisan trails, pay special attention to the musicians jamming outside the famous Floyd Country Store. Wilderness Road Artisan Trail: Features the region’s last operational gristmill that still produces corn for local buyers. Giles Art & Adventure Trail: Watch the masters work their banjos and paintbrushes, then float down the nearby New River on an inner tube. Smyth County Artisan Trail: The salt wells of Saltville, the historic Lincoln Theatre and Ice Age fossil excavations. You dig?

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Best Animal Hospital

Best Dermatologist

Roanoke Animal Hospital

Dr. Susan Dorsey

2814 Franklin Road S.W., Roanoke

1215 3rd St. S.W., Roanoke, 540-343-8021 Whether your pup needs laser surgery or your kitty needs acupuncture, Roanoke Animal Hospital has your furry friend covered. Need additional assurance? Roanoke Animal Hospital has been accredited since 1950. second place: Glade Spring Animal Clinic,


Banish your blemish woes! Dr. Dorsey’s intensive training at Carilion Health System and Vanderbilt University Medical Center have made her a first-rate doctor in all that pertains to healthy, beautiful skin. She also treats certain conditions of the nails, hair and scalp. If it’s glowing skin you’re after, she’s your ticket.

Glade Spring, 276-429-4436

second place: Judith Szulecki, Martinsville

third place: Virginia Tech Vet School, Blacksburg

276-632-6496, 540-231-7666

third place: Mia Wessels, Abingdon, 276-628-8888

Best Antique Store Black Dog Salvage Company 902 13th Street S.W., Roanoke, 540-343-6200 Whether you live in a new house that you want to make look old or an old house whose history you want to honor, this architectural salvage company and store has the vintage and antique beauties of your interior design dreams. Black Dog’s emphasis on reclaiming and repurposing fixtures makes for a very ‘green’ inventory. second place: Debra’s Antiques & Collectibles,

Martinsville, 276-957-1394 third place: Hidden Memories, Abingdon, 276-628-5377

Best Farmers Market Abingdon Farmers Market Cummings st., Abingdon, 276-698-1434 It’s a festival atmosphere at this farmers market. Fresh fruits and veggies, meats, cheeses, eggs, wine, baked goods, and handcrafted items (many of which were produced using organic and sustainable practices) aren’t the only draw. Live music, chef demonstrations and children’s activities can keep you at the market all day. second place: Roanoke City Market, Roanoke, 540-342-2028 third place: Blacksburg Farmers Market, Blacksburg, 540-239-8290

Best Bike Shop East Coasters 1301 N. Main St., Blacksburg, 540-951-2369 It makes a difference when the owner of a bike shop is a Serotta certified fit professional. These are serious bicycle junkies whose first wish is to pair you with the bike of your dreams. They also offer bike repairs and financing options. second place: Virginia Creeper Trail Bike Shop,

Abingdon, 276-676-2552 third place: Highlands Ski Shop, Abingdon, 276-628-1329

Best Dentist Mark Crabtree 407 Starling Ave., Martinsville, 276-632-9266 Dr. Crabtree may not give his child patients candy (except for sugar-free treats on Halloween), but he is no crab. The practice is located in a historic house, so it’s a lot friendlier than other offices. Says staffer Kathy Prillaman, “We try to make patients feel like family because, well, they are!” second place: Nancy Perkins, Marion

276-783-2845 third place: Justin Ferguson, Lebanon


Biking It Southwest Virginia has enough beautiful biking trails to keep you in the saddle ad infinitum. Chris Betz of East Coasters bike shop in Blacksburg recommends a few of his favorites. 1. New River Trail State Park 2. Huckleberry Trail from Blacksburg to Christiansburg 3. Pandapas Pond in Jefferson National Forest 4. Carvins Cove Nature Reserve in Botetourt and Roanoke counties 5. Mountain Lake Conservancy in Pembroke

L eft, c o u rtes y o f V i r g i n i a S t a te Pa r k s . R i g ht, P h o t o i ll u str a t i o n b y jeff bl a n d.

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Shopping & Services • southwestern


Best Fine Stationery and Invitations Janice Cain Stationery 316 Brown St., Martinsville, 276-638-3282 Brides, here is the scoop on invitations. Janice Cain’s best advice? “Order an invitation that 10 years from now you’ll still love.” Right now, classic letterpress is huge she says. The store, which also offers a variety of other gifts, has been in business 26 years, so Janice ought to know. second place: Appalachia Press, Roanoke, 540-343-0296 third place: RSVP, Roanoke, 540-345-4848

Best Greenhouse and Nursery Indoor Farms 28356 Hawthorne Drive, Meadowview


Don’t drown your plants! That’s one tip owner Becky Kelly has for new gardeners. Indoor Farms welcomes gardeners of all experience levels to its five 1960s-era glass greenhouses, where regional flowers and vegetables make up the diverse inventory. Becky’s favorite? Illumination begonias in hanging baskets. second place: Crow’s Nest, Blacksburg, 540-552-5550 third place: Townside, Roanoke, 540-344-7025

Best Handmade Furniture Joel S. Harte Furniture Maker 17106 Rich Valley Road, Abingdon, 276-628-3995 Joel Harte has elevated the craft of furniture making to a fine art since he first apprenticed in North Carolina in 1976. He moved to Abingdon in 1981 after visiting the Virginia Highlands Festival. Today he focuses on traditional American, Queen Anne, Shaker and Country French designs. second place: Amish Heirlooms of Virginia, Pembroke, 540-626-8587 third place: Steve’s Woodworking, Pearisburg, 540-921-0197

Best Haute Couture Boutique Frances Khan 4235 Electric Road, Roanoke, 540-989-8151

Celebrate the Cigar Five good reasons to light those tobacco leaves. Pay tribute to tobacco, the cash crop that brought Virginia fame and fortune as early as the 17th century, by picking up a high-quality cigar. Though the Surgeon General may disagree, here are five good reasons to smoke, say David and Renée Meyer of Milan Tobacconists in Roanoke: 1. It stimulates thought. Remember, Winston Churchill and Albert Einstein both smoked cigars.

Who introduced Perry Ellis and Calvin Klein to the region’s fashionistas? Frances Kahn. They first opened their doors in Danville in 1936; the Roanoke location opened in 1983. Today, you’ll also find the likes of Giorgio Armani, Michael Kors and Donna Karan Casual at the boutique.

2. It is an elegant appetite suppressant if you’re trying to drop a few pounds.

second place: 310 Rosemont, Blacksburg

5. It creates camaraderie. When you enjoy a cigar with like-minded folks, you’ll never have to worry about forgetting your lighter again., 540-961-5326 third place: Bliss, Roanoke

3. Tobacco is a natural bug repellant. ‘Shoo, fly! Don’t bother me!’ becomes a thing of the past with a cigar in hand. 4. Cigars come in many flavors including whiskey, chocolate, rum and peach.


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southwestern region

• Shopping & Services


How Far Will You Go? Even locavores have their limits. How local is local? Your backyard? Three hundred miles? Absolute locavores would take John the Baptist’s approach, munching on locusts and honey. But in the restaurant business, flavor matters. Harvest Table, a locavore restaurant in Meadowview that opened in 2007, began by only cooking food produced within a 30-50 mile radius of the restaurant. Honoring that commitment soon proved challenging. Where can you get olive oil in Southwest Virginia? Out of respect for taste, variety, and cost, Harvest Table has eventually become more inclusive, featuring organic food from Kentucky to Georgia to supplement Virginia’s. Thus, ‘locavore’ has become less literal. “I mean, you could just eat leaves,” says General Manager Lori Price, “but let’s be realistic.”

Best Hospital

Best Interior Designer

Best Salon and Day Spa

Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital

Edith Anne Duncan, Designs by Duncan

Meredith’s Salon

1906 bellview ave., Roanoke, 800-422-8482 Big doesn’t have to mean unfriendly. One of the largest hospitals in Virginia, Carilion has 703 beds in addition to a 60-bed Neonatal Intensive Care Unit but still feels welcoming. Other key features include a new Emergency Department, Labor and Delivery Unit, and Children’s Hospital with a Pediatric Emergency Room., 540-357-2121

second place: Lewis Gale Medical Center, Salem

second place: Mickey Nelson, Roanoke, 540-776-4089 third place: Johnston Memorial (Mountain States Health Alliance), Roanoke, 276-258-1000

Best Indie Bookstore Too Many Books 1504 Grandin Road S.W., Roanoke, 540-985-6469 Do you love antiquarian books? There are some titles you simply can’t find anymore, even at university libraries and museums. And even if you can, you can’t own them. Too Many Books specializes in bringing these elusive used, out-of-print books to the devoted bibliophile. second place: Zazzy’z, Abingdon, 276-698-3333 third place: Ram’s Head, Roanoke 540-344-1237


1401 Pebble Beach Road, Blacksburg

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Edith Anne Duncan’s designs are influenced by history, fashion art and more. Need a complete makeover? Duncan’s Full Service option is for you. Just want to freshen up? Her Lite Alternative creates a timeline to keep pace with your budget. She’ll even use her design talents for that special event. 540-343-9226 third place: Tim Martin, Martin Plaza Furniture

Outlet, Martinsville

360 Arbor Drive #D, Christiansburg, 540-381-3050 Meredith’s doesn’t only do hair! Nail, skin care and waxing services are also available. Pop in for a manicure or pedicure (shellac or no shellac) or a waxing for silky smoothness. Eyebrow and eyelash tinting for the fair-haired are another draw. Co-founder Kevin Meredith specializes in makeup application, as well. You’ll leave looking gorgeous. second place: The Martha Hotel & Spa, Abingdon, 276-628-3161 third place: Healing Waters, Abingdon, 276-628-4233


Best Men’s Clothing Store Davidson’s 412 S. Jefferson St., Roanoke, 540-343-3734 A custom-made suit doesn’t have to cost more than the leg and arm wearing it. For over 100 years, Davidson’s has offered custom garments at no more than 15% over the cost of ready-to-wear. Larry Davidson’s tips for the perfect suit? Fit is everything. second place: Kegley & Co., Abingdon

276-628-1108 third place: Draper and Ferrell, Martinsville, 276-638-3985

Best Tobacconist Milan Tobacconist 309 South Jefferson St., Roanoke, 540-344-5191

Family-owned and operated for 100 years, Milan specializes in custom blending pipe tobaccos—something they say fewer than a dozen shops in the state do anymore. With a certified Retail Tobacconist on staff, Milan is happy to answer your questions about premium tobacco. Don’t know what a meerschaum pipe is? They’ll be glad to tell you. second place: Blacksburg Tobacco, Blacksburg, 540-951-8457 third place: Countryside Classics, Salem 540-387-2688

L e f t, P h o t o i ll u s t r a t i o n b y j e f f b l a n d . R i g h t, P h o t o g r a p h c o u r t e s y o f V i r g i n i a T o u r i s m C o r p o r a t i o n .

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People & City Life • southwestern

best of virginia 2012



C I T Y l I f e

Best Bartender

Best Performing Arts Venue

Hunter Johnson at Lucky

Barter Theater

18 Kirk Ave., S.w., Roanoke

127 W. Main St., Abingdon

Lucky’s self-taught bartender, Hunter Johnson began his mixology career only two years ago, but now he is one of the region’s best. Johnson believes in serving beverages on par with the restaurant’s foodie flair. His cocktail philosophy? Never hurry in making a drink, always use fresh ingredients, and strive for creativity and innovation.

Founded during the Great Depression, this historical repertory theater paid playwrights like Tennessee Williams his show royalties in Smithfield ham and other top-notch local vittles. Today this professional theater hosts the annual Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights., 540-982-1249

second place: Amber Erbschloe at 622 North, Blacks-

burg, 540-951-1022 third place: Melanie Holmes at The Tavern, Abingdon, 276-628-1118, 276-628-3991

second place: Jefferson Center, Roanoke, 866-345-2550

Best TV Personality Robin Reed, WDBJ7 2807 Hershberger Road, Roanoke

Best Local DJ Ken Heath, Bow Tie Pro Music 1401 Park Blvd., Marion, 276-759-1102 Ken Heath knows how to rock a party. His secrets? Know what music the party host wants and doesn’t want. “Nothing ruins a party faster than music they hate,” he says. Also have everything set up before the bride and groom hit the dance floor, and trick the most unlikely of guests into dancing! Second place: Rick Pruet, Narrows, 540-344-7000

Robin Reed began his broadcasting career as a sports announcer while living in Australia as a teenager. This year he is celebrating his 30th anniversary as WDBJ7’s beloved weatherman. Of his long career there, Reed quips, “I don’t know if that makes me a plodder or productive.” We think it is the latter. second place: Dawn Jeffries, WSLS, Roanoke, 540-512-1552 third place: Debra Buchanan, WGSR-47, Martinsville,, 540-599-3773 >> For more winners go to

Best Local Sports Team VT Hokie Football Virginia Tech Athletics, Jamerson Athletic Center, Blacksburg, 540-231-9984 School pride is always high at Virginia Tech, but it skyrockets during football season. The Hokies are known across the country for their gridiron prowess, but the team’s off-field accomplishments are noteworthy too, like Head Coach Frank Beamer’s initiatives to bring new books to low-income Virginia children. We’ll root for that! second place: Emory & Henry Football, Emory, 276-944-6233 third place: Martinsville Mustangs, Martinsville, 276-632-9913

Best Party Venue The Palisades 168 Village St., Eggleston, 540-626-2828 Rustic and urban may seem like polar opposites, but The Palisades finds the harmony between the two. Located in a renovated general store with an artist loft feel, The Palisades combines contemporary classic cuisine with nationally recognized celebrity chefs and regular Blue Grass entertainment. second place: The Martha Hotel & Spa, Abingdon, 276-628-3161 third place: Francis Marion Hotel, Marion, 877-783-4802

Star City The lighted star on the mountain shining over the Roanoke Valley for more than 60 years was originally a Christmas decoration sponsored by the Roanoke Merchants Association in 1949. The 100-foot-tall star weighs 10,000 pounds and is equipped with a “star cam” so visitors can wave to friends and family in real time. Roanoke truly is the Star City of the South.

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Set on the left flank of the state, the mountainous beauty of the Shenandoah Valley is effortless. It’s a region where natives and newcomers share the attitude that family and nature come first, from the hard-working Mennonites of Harrisonburg and multigenerational apple farmers of Winchester, to the pleasureseeking weekenders at Massanutten or The Homestead. Visitors to the Valley unwind at woodsy cabins and elegant resorts. They stumble upon that elusive must-have at an antique shop and leaf-peep in Shenandoah National Park. They eat comfort food at cozy diners and roast marshmallows over campfires while children chase after cabbage white butterflies and pickerel frogs after a day of hiking or kayaking. Or they enjoy peaceful moments rocking on the porch at a B&B. Relaxation just comes with the territory here. But relaxed doesn’t have to mean quiet. Snow sports are a skier’s delight come winter, photograph by cade martin


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and Staunton offers big-city vibrancy and culture. Its downtown district teems with independently-owned businesses, including a locavore restaurant scene that visitors are loath to leave behind. And the American Shakespeare Center performs the Bard’s work at its Blackfriars Playhouse as it would have been staged in his time—simply, in natural light and with spare scenery. Communities in the Shenandoah Valley represent small-town sophistication at its best. And with Lexington’s historic Virginia Military Institute and Harrisonburg’s James Madison University, the region is also a center for learning and research. The thinker, the entrepreneur, the artist and the explorer have always been welcome in the Shenandoah Valley—a region for the independent spirit.

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Best Barbeque Restaurant

Best Coffee Shop

Smokin’ Pig BBQ

Woodstock Café and Shoppes

56 E. Wolfe St., Harrisonburg

117 S. Main St., Woodstock

540-433-3917, 540-459-8888

If you’re in the mood for some barbeque, the Smokin’ Pig in Harrisonburg is your best bet. Seating is outside only, so if it’s raining you can take your pulled pork sandwich and fried pickles to go.

Woodstock Café is “a place that makes you smile,” as the sign outside attests. Walk inside, enjoy life, and take a look at the wine and beer selection as well. You can’t help but smile!

second place: Hank’s Smokehouse, Massanutten

second place: Blue Mountain Coffees, Staunton, 540-289-7667 third place: Log Cabin Barbeque, Elkton, 540-289-9400

540-886-4506 third place: Lexington Coffee Shop, Lexington, 540-464-6586

Best Bistro

Best Diner

Byers Street Bisto

Wright’s Dairy Rite

18 Byers St., Staunton

346 Greenville Ave., Staunton

At Byers Street Bistro, located in Staunton’s Wharf area, you can choose your ambience. Go for an elegant Sunday brunch, a casual outdoor lunch on the patio, an exciting bar experience complete with live music, or a quieter dinner upstairs.

Refreshing in its simplicity, Wright’s has been serving up delicious burgers, dogs, and more for over half a century. The only thing that won’t make you nostalgic after walking into this place is the free Wi-Fi access. Famous visitors include former Virginia Governor George Allen. second place: L&S Diner, Harrisonburg, 540-887-6100

second place: Sal’s Italian Bistro, Edinburg SalsItalianBistro, 540-984-9300 third place: The Bistro on Main, Lexington, 540-464-4888, 540-886-0435

540-801-0110 THIRD PLACE: Amherst Diner, Winchester


Best Burger Joint Five Guys Burgers and Fries 1013 Richmond Ave., Staunton, 540-885-8861

Need variety? You can order a burger 250,000 different ways at Five Guys! This classic has found a home in cities and towns across the country, including, of course, Staunton. Why are they so popular? They only use fresh ground beef, coolers (not freezers) and peanut oil. Plus, their menu is trans-fat free. second place: Jack Brown’s Beer & Burger Joint, Harrisonburg, 540-433-5225 third place: Pure Eats, Lexington, 540-462-6000

The Odd Couple Cupcakes have definitely gone vogue, and are now flavored with unexpected ingredients, including bacon and Guinness Stout. But the most unlikely pairing may be from Roanoke’s Viva la Cupcake. Their Sweet Texas Heat is a chocolate cupcake with jalapeno and serrano peppers in the batter, dark chocolate buttercream frosting and a dollop of whip cream dusted with cayenne and hot chili chocolate sprinkles. Now that’s hot.

Best Chocolatier Cocoa Mill 115 W. Nelson St., Lexington, 540-464-8400 At the Cocoa Mill, even the air tastes like chocolate. Owner Laura de Maria’s secret to luscious bites: “Use the best ingredients, and you’ll have the best product.” Some of her most popular truffles come in boxes made out of smooth, mouthwatering chocolate. Dieters, beware, these chocolates are irresistible. second place: Shenandoah Fine Chocolates, Winchester, 540-535-0010 third place: Giancarlo Fine European Pastries, Staunton, 540-885-8919 p r e v i o u s p a g e : D r e ss a nd S i ng l e B r e a st e d J a c k e t b y Ar m a n i C o l l e z i o n i , P a i l l e P a t e nt P u m p b y Y S L , a l l f r o m S a k s F i f th Av e n u e , R i ch m o nd . 1 9 2 0 s B o w l e r H a t, B y g o n e s , R i ch m o nd .

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Best Food Cart Mama’s Caboose Bowman Road, Dayton, 540-908-0029 Diane Roll has been fighting hunger in the Harrisonburg area since 2011. Call ahead, text or email (just get in touch with her somehow – she’s flexible), and order one of her “Mom’s Meals,” which not only taste great, but are made fresh. second place: Dank-U Truck, Harrisonburg third place: Tacos El Primo, Harrisonburg, 540-560-2315

Best Happy Hour Union Station 128 W. Market St., Harrisonburg, 540-437-0042 The bar alone inside Union Station has more character than many restaurants you’ll walk into this year. From the brickwork on the outside to the photographs and architecture inside, the place has a timeless feel. The drinks are pretty good too. second place: Clementine Café, Harrisonburg, 540-801-8881 third place: Griffin Tavern, Flint Hill, 540-675-3227

Best Ice Cream Shop The Split Banana Co. 7 W. Beverley St., Staunton, 866-492-3668 It doesn’t matter what kind of day you’re having; ice cream can help. At the Split Banana, choose from velvety smooth ice cream, gelato or sorbets. Find your smile in a traditional flavor or be adventurous with the White Chocolate Grisbi— white chocolate gelato with lemon custard and Italian Grisbi cookies. second place: Kline’s Dairy Bar, Harrisonburg, 540-434-6980 third place: Sweet Things Ice Cream Shoppe, Lexington


Best Locavore Restaurant Zynodoa 115 E. Beverley St., Staunton, 540-885-7775 Zynodoa is named for a legendary Indian brave whose strength and appreciation for the land led his people to name the local river and valley after him, which we call Shenandoah. Today, the restaurant is gaining legendary status on Virginia’s rapidly expanding “farm to food” circuit. second place: Local Chop & Grill House, Harrisonburg, 540-801-0505 third place: The Red Hen, Lexington, 540-464-4401

Home Grown Uses are many for the forbidden fruit. All the varieties of apples grown in our own Shenandoah Valley certainly make for good cooking. Try to think of the apple as more than the obvious—it can be a starting place for appetizers, entrees, salads and, of course, desserts. Here’s a recipe from Rhoda Kriz of Long Hill Bed and Breakfast in Winchester that you surely would not have thought of on your own.

Butternut Squash & Apple Soup 1 medium butternut squash 3 tart green apples, peeled and coarsely chopped 1 medium onion, chopped 1/4 teaspoon rosemary or marjoram, optional 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 3 cans chicken broth, 10 ounces each 2 cans water 1/4 cup heavy cream or half and half chopped fresh parsley for garnish Peel squash, remove seeds and cut into chunks. Combine all ingredients except cream, and garnish and bring to boil. Simmer uncovered 45 minutes. Cool slightly and puree soup in blender. Return mixture to saucepan and bring just to boiling point. Reduce heat. Before serving, add cream and sprinkle with parsley. Refrigerate if there is any left.

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• Food & Drink

Best Piano Bar

Best Vegetarian Restaurant

Village Square Restaurant

The Little Grill Collective

Best Winery Cave Ridge Vineyard

103 N. Loudoun St., Winchester

621 N. Main St., Harrisonburg

1476 Conicville Road, Mount Jackson

The food on the menu at the V2 Piano Bar and Lounge—the more casual half of Village Square Restaurant—is worth singing about, as are the cocktails. But on second thought, you might want to focus on your martini and leave that to the musicians, who provide live entertainment regularly.

Who knew how delicious being socially responsible could be? This veggie hangout has offered alternative home cookin’ since the 1940s. And for die-hard meat-eaters, don’t worry—grass fed hamburger is also on the menu.

Cave Ridge is making a name for itself among a growing number of standout wineries sprouting up along the Shenandoah Valley Wine Trail. All of their wines are produced from grapes grown only by sustainable farming methods.

second place: The Darjeeling Café, Staunton, 540-886-2851 third place: Cranberry’s Grocery & Eatery, Staunton, 540-885-4755

second place: North Mountain Vineyard, Maurertown, 540-436-9463 third place: Rockbridge Vineyard, Raphine, 540-377-6204, 540-667-8961

second place: Sorrel’s at Stonewall Jackson Hotel,

Staunton, 540-885-4848, 540-434-3594, 540-477-2585

Best Place for a Power Lunch Dave’s Downtown Taverna 121 S. Main St., Harrisonburg, 540-564-1487 Walk into Dave’s Taverna and enjoy quality American or Greek food at a price that will make you want to stick around for dinner (on the roof if the weather is right). If you’re really in a hurry, try Dave’s Taverna Express nearby. second place: Pampered Palate Café, Staunton, 540-886-9463 third place: Capital Ale House, Harrisonburg, 540-564-2537

Best Place to Buy Wine Woodstock Café and Shoppes 117 S. Main St., Woodstock, 540-459-8888 Offering over 175 different brands of wine, the café’s selection is constantly growing thanks to customers’ suggestions. Join the Woodstock Café Consumer Wine Panel (it’s free) and get involved with their daily wine tastings. second place: The Wine Cellar, Staunton, 540-213-9463 third place: Washington Street Purveyors, Lexington, 540-464-9463

Best Place to Take the Family for Dinner Joe’s Steakhouse

Curbside service is alive and well in Staunton.

124 S. Main St., Woodstock, 540-459-5637 Whether you just want a quick bite to eat with mom and dad, or you’re planning a blowout family reunion, at Joe’s Steakhouse they’ll work with you to make it happen. All you need to do is show up. second place: Mill Street Grill, Staunton, 540-886-0656 third place: Baja Bean Company, Staunton, 540-885-9988


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Dining curbside has not gone out of style at Wright’s Dairy-Rite in Staunton, which has been offering this service since 1952. And what could be more fun? Just press a button to order, and your food is delivered to your car window. Need a refill? Once upon a time, you would flash your headlights. No more. Jim Cash, owner of Wright’s, tells us there is a certain etiquette to indulging in curbside service. Push the button again, he says, or call the dining room when you need something. “Or you can catch the eye of one of the kids,” says Cash. So, what should you tip a curbside server? “Most people tip five to 10 percent,” says Cash, but your hard-working waiter probably deserves more.

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Best Horse Show

Inn at Old Virginia

Bonnie Blue National Horse Show

1329 Commerce Road, Staunton

487 Maury River Road, Lexington

Sure you could stay at a larger hotel, but you would be missing out on the down-home feel of the Inn at Old Virginia. Owner Eve Carter says she likes “to give visitors tailor-made accommodations,” so the Inn gets to know their patrons before they arrive. They even know your dietary preferences. Now, that’s Southern hospitality.

Held at the Virginia Horse Center in May, this horse show is like a family reunion for the saddle set. Spectators and competitors come from all over the East Coast and even from as far north as Canada to compete. You never know who will turn up. Captain Kirk—er, William Shatner has even shown here., 540-248-4650

second place: Narrow Passage Inn, Edinburg, 540-459-8000 third place: Iris Inn, Waynesboro, 540-943-1991

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Best Bed and Breakfast

Best Boutique Hotel Stonewall Jackson Hotel 24 S. Market St., Staunton, 866-880-0024 You would be hard pressed to find an occasion when the Stonewall Jackson Hotel wouldn’t be the perfect place to go. A Historic Hotel of America, the Colonial Revival-style hotel was built in 1924. You can experience some of this history in the lobby with their original Wurlitzer organ, which was also built in 1924., 540-464-2950

second place: Bridgewater College Horse Show,

Bridgewater, 540-515-3764 third place: Middlebrook Ruritan Club Horse Show, Middlebrook, 540-348-1414

Best Hotel Stonewall Jackson Hotel 24 S. Market St., Staunton, 866-880-0024 Although the Stonewall Jackson Hotel is a historic one, it went through a complete renovation in 2005, which updated their pool and business and fitness centers. Rooms accommodate those looking for a taste of old school grandeur without sacrificing modern conveniences.

second place: The Bard’s Nest, Staunton

second place: The Homestead, Hot Springs, 540-448-3175 third place: Hotel Strasburg, Strasburg, 540-465-9191, 540-839-1766 third place: Hampton Inn, Woodstock, 540-459-7111

Best College or University James Madison University 738 S. Main St., Harrisonburg, 540-568-4750

U.S News and World Report ranked JMU as the sixth best university in the South. (Go Dukes!) With 69 undergraduate and 31 masters degree programs, we can see why. Total enrollment is around 20,000, so we’re betting no one feels lonely here. second place: Washington & Lee University,

Lexington, 540-458-8469 third place: Shenandoah University, Winchester, 540-665-4510

Best Golf Course Shenvalee Golf Resort 9660 Fairway Drive, New Market, 540-740-3181

Golfers, you can sleep with a clear conscience when you take your family to this golf resort. While you play where the famous Bobby Jones played, the rest of your team will be lounging at the pool and enjoying fine cuisine. This is no-guilt golf. second place: Bryce Resort, Basye, 540-856-2124 third place: Lakeview Golf, Harrisonburg, 540-434-8937

Camp Contraband It used to be that just candy and snacks were verboten at summer camp. Now some camps, like Camp Virginia in Goshen, ban cellphones and laptops, too. Want to share something on Facebook they say? Share it face to face instead. The latest tweets? Go bird spotting. Need to send a text? Write a letter. After a few days in nature, kids will forget they ever owned that iPhone!

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CELEBRATED ~ Sunnyside Communities is celebrating 100 years of excellence!

Since 1912, one home with six residents has grown to three award-winning continuing care retirement communities across Virginia.

ADMIRED ~ No one else in Virginia’s retirement industry can proclaim …..A Century of Caring! Hear from our residents online at

Contact us now to benefit from our special Centennial Incentives!

SUNNYSIDE 540.568.8411 | 800.237.2257 3935 Sunnyside Drive | Harrisonburg, VA

KING’S GRANT 276.634.1000 | 800.462.4649 350 King’s Way Road | Martinsville, VA

SUMMIT SQUARE 540.941.3100 | 800.586.5499 501 Oak Avenue | Waynesboro, VA

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• Living & Recreation

Best Private School Stuart Hall School 235 W. Frederick St., Staunton, 888-306-8926 With a 100 percent college placement rate, Stuart Hall grads get a head start over the competition, because as Director of Communications Sally Day says, “We teach our students mind, body and spirit, showing them that education is a journey, not a destination.” second place: Massanutten Military Academy, Woodstock, 540-459-4881 third place: Eastern Mennonite High School, Harrisonburg, 540-236-6000

Best Resort The Homestead 7696 Sam Snead Highway, Hot Springs, 540-839-1766

The Homestead has been a haven of relaxation since before the American Revolution. This year will see the start of a $25 million transformation, which will include a natural spa, wellness center and a family adventure area. Mountain air and a massage? It doesn’t get better than that. second place: Massanutten Resort, McGaheysville, 540-289-9441 third place: Bryce Resort, Basye, 540-856-2124

Best Retirement Community Sunnyside Communities 600 University Blvd., Harrisonburg, 540-568-8200 Sunnyside Retirement Community is no run of the mill nursing home. Celebrating its centennial this year, Sunnyside is one busy place. Director of Communications Nancy Wayland says, “Lots of people wish they had gotten here sooner, because we encourage them to keep loving life with tons of activities and classes.” second place: Bridgewater Retirement Community,

A Town By Any Other Name How to pronounce place names like a real Virginian. Some places in Virginia aren’t what they seem. Or sound. Take Dante in the Southwest. Instinct tells you it should be pronounced DAHN-TAY, like the author. But no. Some say DAYNT. Some say DANT (rhymes with “can’t”). (We discovered no one says DAHN-tay, by the way.) The Shenandoah region puts their own spin on names, too, like Buena Vista (Bee-YOO-nah, please). And, Staunton? Locals say STAND-TUN. (Unless you want to give yourself away as a tourist, don’t say STAWN-TUN.) Some valley visitors even stumble over Galax, although we don’t know why. It’s obviously pronounced GAY-lax. Isn’t it?


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Bridgewater, 540-828-2550 third place: Westminster-Canterbury, Winchester, 540-665-0156

Best Summer Camp Camp Virginia P.O. Box 10, Goshen, 804-513-9236 Feeling guilty about shipping the kids off this summer? Then send them somewhere they actually want to go. At Camp Virginia, activities like archery, hiking and horseback riding will keep youngsters occupied. Parents, don’t be sad if your kids don’t want to come home. Just enjoy the quiet. second place: Camp Strawderman, Edinburg, 540-984-4738 third place: Camp Mont Shenandoah, Milboro, 540-997-5994

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Best Historic Museum

Fall Foliage Festival

Frontier Culture Museum

126 S. Wayne Ave., Waynesboro

1290 Richmond Ave., Staunton

The Fall Foliage Festival combines big city art with small town charm. Visitors can stroll through the quaint streets of Waynesboro admiring 200 booths featuring arts and crafts from artists all over the country. And of course no festival is complete without wine and music. They have that too.

Ever wonder what life was like for the first wave of immigrants in the 1600s? The Frontier Culture Museum has buildings from the era that “give us an appreciation of who we are and where we came from,” says Museum Director Mike Sutton., 540-949-7662

second place: Art in the Park, Staunton, 540-885-2028 third place: Art for Gifts, Staunton, 540-885-2028

Best Art Museum Museum of The Shenandoah Valley 901 Amherst St., Winchester, 888-556-5799 The museum contains native art dating back to the 18th century that was inspired by the verdant Shenandoah Valley. There is plenty here for history buffs and art connoisseurs alike, plus six acres of lush gardens for those who just want to enjoy a pleasant stroll. second place: Staunton Augusta Art Center, Staunton, 540-885-2028 third place: OASIS Fine Art & Craft, Harrisonburg, 540-442-8188


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second place: Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, Winchester, 888-556-5799 third place: Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum, Staunton, 540-885-0897

Best Local Theater Group American Shakespeare Center 10 S. Market St., Staunton, 540-885-5588 If you think Shakespearian performances are highbrow productions, then you have never been to the American Shakespeare Center. Productions here stick to Elizabethan staging conditions, where the audience can actually sit on the stage and interact with the characters, creating a show that’s real, raw and fun. The Bard would approve. second place: Wayside Theatre, Middletown, 540-869-1776 third place: Theater at Lime Kiln, Lexington, 540-463-7088

Best Bar for Live Music Mockingbird 123 W. Beverley St., Staunton, 540-213-8777 Mockingbird features what Manager Brent Schoenburby calls, “Southern inspired dishes with a modern twist.” Just as good here are the bluegrass and folk artists who take the stage regularly. Get lost in the music, without the loud, squeezed-in feel of a concert hall.




E n t e r t A i n m e n t

Best Art Event

second place: Clementine Café, Harrisonburg, 540-801-8881 third place: Baja Bean Company, Staunton, 540-885-9988

Best Food Festival Staunton Restaurant Week, 434-295-8700

Eating out can be expensive, but during Staunton’s Restaurant Week you can eat, drink and be merry without breaking the bank. Eight local restaurants create prix fixe menus with three different courses for only $26. Foodies flock to this annual event, so get your tickets early.

second place: Highland Maple Festival, Highland County,


Appalachian Translation The American Shakespeare Center brings the Bard’s words to life in Staunton. Ever wonder how he would sound today if he were writing for an Appalachian audience? Here’s an example: ROMEO: What love can do, that dares love attempt. Therefore, thy kinsmen are no stop to me. APPALACHIAN TRANSLATION: I don’t care if your daddy does have a shotgun. I’m comin’ up!

third place: Woodstock Autumn Fest, Woodstock, 540-459-2542

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Best Alternative Health Services

Best Bike Shop

Downstream to Wellness

121 S. Lewis St., Staunton

158 Front Royal Pike, Suite 104, Winchester, 540-270-7601 At Downstream to Wellness, balance is key. Chris Crawford discovered and offers what he calls the “Capstone Method” to restore balance to the body and eliminate chronic pain through a combination of manual therapy and cranial work. Try out this innovative technique and you may find yourself pain free. second place: Pathways to Wellness, Winchester

540-667-0044 third place: Rockbridge Traditional Medicine, Lexington, 540-463-2882

Best Antiques Mall Factory Antique Mall 50 Loge Lane Suite 106, Verona, 540-248-1110 At this, the largest antique mall on the East Coast, you can grab a piece of Americana from almost any era. Prop managers from Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” film frequently bought items from the Factory Antique Mall to be used on set. second place: Stasburg Emporium, LLC, Strasburg, 540-465-9626

Black Dog Bikes, 540-887-8700 Located in the historic Wharf District of downtown Staunton, Black Dog can tune up your bicycle in just 24 hours if you need them to. But if your ride is damaged “beyond tune-up,” they stock a full range of replacement parts, too. second place: Shenandoah Bicycle Co.,

Harrisonburg, 540-437-9000 third place: Mole Hill Bikes, Dayton, 540-879-2011

Best Cigar Shop Beverley Street Cigar Shop 106 E. Beverley St., Staunton


Beverley Street Cigar Shop also has a lounge where cigar-lovers can gather and talk. About cigars, of course. Owner Aaron Miller’s personal favorite, from the Hoyo de Monterrey line, is he says, “full bodied, smooth and creamy with a touch of espresso and cocoa.” Despite the delicious description, keep in mind it’s not edible. second place: John B. Hayes Tobacconist, Winchester, 540-545-7000

third place: The Antique Mall, Lexington


Best Auto Mechanic Hershey’s Tire Co. Inc. 624 N. Augusta St., Staunton, 540-886-3438 Hershey’s is in it for the long haul. Founded in 1967, they base their business on “The Golden Rule,” and promise to be honest and professional. They won’t find any “problems” with your car that don’t really need fixing. We think that is why they have been in business for nearly 50 years now. second place: Foreign Affairs, Staunton, 540-337-3686 third place: Bridgewater Exxon, Bridgewater


Best Baby Store Grandma’s Bait 24 E. Beverley St., Staunton, 540-886-2222 With a name like Grandma’s Bait you know this store is full of adorable items, sure to generate a chorus of “Isn’t that darling!” among the grandmother set. In business for 30 years, Grandma’s specializes in baby clothes, toys for toddlers, and gifts to celebrate your new bundle of joy. second place: Pufferbellies Toys and Books, Staunton, 540-886-3516 third place: Children’s Place, Winchester, 540-665-0786

Resort Shopping It’s been a great weekend, so you want to take home a tangible memory of your resort stay. At Bryce Resort, you don’t even have to leave your room, you can order online. Massanutten Resort has seven shops to choose from aprés ski, while The Homestead’s Cottage Row has 17!

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Best Consignment Shop Queen City Consignments 126 W. Beverly St., Staunton, 540-887-8919 Queen City Consignments is all about green. Not the green of dollar bills, but the green of encouraging the local community to be more environmentally conscious through the reuse of gently used clothes, goods and decorative items. second place: Second Time Around, Harrisonburg, 540-564-2773 third place: Dorothy Brown’s Fine Things, Woodstock, 540-459-7467

Best Cosmetic Surgeon Dr. Saied Asfa, Asfa Plastic Surgery 1502 Brookhaven Drive, Harrisonburg, 540-432-0303 Dr. Asfa seems to be on the cutting edge of cosmetic surgery. The latest treatment offered, known as CoolSculpting®, is a non-invasive procedure which breaks down fat cells down using cold temperatures. It turns out the cutting edge involves no cutting at all. We like that. second place: Dr. Alan Haspel, Winchester Oral Surgery Center, 540-536-3100 third place: Dr. Laura Knox, Augusta Plastic Surgery, Fisherville, 540-932-5771

Best Dentist Dr. Stephen French 228 Mill Road, Woodstock


Are you still scared of seeing the dentist? OK, those sharp tools and high-pitched drills probably don’t help, but Dr. Stephen French will put you at ease. His gentle hand and comforting voice will make you laugh about how nervous you were in the waiting room. second place: Dr. Harry H. Heard III, Front Royal, 540-635-4567 third place: Dr. Jeff Bang, Staunton, 540-885-8667

Best Dermatologist Dr. Jerri Alexiou, Harrisonburg Dermatology 2062 Pro Pointe Lane, Harrisonburg, 540-433-8700 Seeing a new blemish in the bathroom mirror can ruin your morning. But fortunately, we have great dermatologists like Dr. Jerri Alexiou to turn to for help. Dr. Alexiou treats diseases for the skin, hair and nails, so you can start your day without a worry. second place: Dr. Keith A. Knoell of Blue Ridge Dermatology, Waynesboro, 540-949-6934

Is It Hot in Here? Bikram yoga turns it up a few degrees. Yoga is everywhere. Its devotees swear by its deep breathing and peaceinducing meditation. But it takes practice to master downward-facing dog and lotus. As if it wasn’t hard enough, now it has gone hot! Done in 105 degree heat, hot yoga has participants squatting, bending and twisting ... and sweating. So why do it? Says Suzanne McCahill Perrine, founder of The Center, a yoga and Pilates studio in Harrisonburg: “Hot yoga is an excellent way for the body to purify itself through excessive perspiration, but also a calming way to achieve an intense workout by moving loosened muscles deeper into yoga positions.” Convinced? Don’t forget to bring a towel.

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• Shopping & Services

Best Farmers Market

Best Greenhouse and Nursery

Best Haute Couture

Staunton/Augusta Farmers Market

Milmont Garden Center and Greenhouses

Design @ Nine

Byers and Johnson Streets, Staunton, 540-448-1937 The “Producers Only” rule means that everyone you meet selling goods at this famers’ market was involved in the growing or production of those goods. The market celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. It is open every Wednesday and Saturday from April through November. second place: Harrisonburg Downtown Farmers Market, Harrisonburg, 540-476-3377 third place: The Shops at Dayton Farmers Market, Dayton,, 540-879-3801

48 Milmont Drive, Waynesboro, 540-943-8408

Started in 1973, this family business is now in its 40th year. And though it now offers endless varieties of flowers and foliage, its first offering was tomatoes. They are still a specialty, and today Milmont sells 80 or more varieties. second place: Fort Valley Nursery, Woodstock, 540-459-5151 third place: Staunton Plant Company, Staunton


9 E. Beverley St., Staunton


Elegance is worth the price. Design @ Nine boasts a wide selection of designer clothing made in the USA, including JWLA, Three Dots and Weston Wear. Sensitive to affordability, owner Kristi Gorny Napier says, “As far as boutiques go, we offer good price points.” Most of their collection is priced under $100. second place: Fashion Gallery, Verona, 540-248-4292 third place: Scarpa Alta, Winchester, 540-665-2828

Best Fine Jewelry Crown Jewelers 6 E. Beverley St., Staunton, 540-885-0653 We think Crown Jewelers is a charming place. Not just for the lovely variety of jewelry they carry, but also for their friendly service, which enhances the experience of selecting a beautiful piece of jewelry for yourself, or someone you love. second place: Hess & Co. Jewelers, Lexington, 540-463-1652 third place: Rocky’s Gold and Silver Shop, Weyers Cave,, 540-234-8676

Best Florist Honey Bee’s Florist 2211 N. Augusta St., Staunton, 540-887-1221 Honey Bee’s may be small, but they are indeed mighty when it comes to flower power. Dedicated to providing the freshest flowers in creative arrangements, Honey Bee’s can take any occasion or space and make it breathtaking. second place: Blue Ridge Florist & Gift Shop, Harrisonburg, 540-434-9931 third place: Valley Flower Shop & Greenhouse, Woodstock, 540-908-0029

Best Gift Shop Solace Studios Fine Handcrafts 193 W. Spotswood Ave., Elkton, 540-298-5222 Have you ever seen someone wearing your outfit, or given someone a gift she already has? The solution may be a visit to Solace Studio Fine Handcrafts, where gifts like phone cases and handbags are given an artistic twist. It is nearly impossible to find two items that are alike in this shop. second place: Turtle Lane Gifts, Staunton, 540-886-8591 third place: 10,000 Villages, Harrisonburg,

Food for Thought Chip-makers and bovines team up to go green. Sustainable snack-maker Route 11 Potato Chips runs an energy efficient, lowwaste facility with help from some neighbors in Mount Jackson. Although they lost their eponymous address when they moved from the Winchester area in 2008, Route 11’s new facility was built with green principles, from construction (no cutting down of trees) to an energy-conserving white membrane roof and their own water pre-treatment system. In their quest to be waste-free, Route 11 also employed local cows to eat the leftover potato peelings and rejected potato chips. The bovines may be bulking up, but Route 11 is down to one small dumpster a week! And, the chips are still delicious!



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Shopping & Services • shenandoah


S’more, please! Sweet finds at Shenandoah National Park. Tumbling bear cubs, winsome wildflowers and winding trails that lead to crystal cascades—these are the things we expect to find at Shenandoah National Park. But shopping? Rest assured, gift shop connoisseurs, there is something here for you, too. One of SNP’s specialties is s’mores, both edible and decorative. Handy s’more kits come with everything you need to make a dozen of these delectable woodsy treats. Gift shops in the park even sell s’more-themed shot glasses and figurines of black bears roasting marshmallows over an open campfire, if you’re looking for a quirky tchotchke. Who says you can’t have a shopping spree and enjoy Mother Nature’s bounty at the same time?

Best Home Décor Store Arthur’s Home Gallery 13 E. Beverley St., Staunton, 540-885-8609 Arthur’s Home Gallery has been tapping into what owner Nancy Artley calls “a treasure trove of talent” in the Shenandoah Valley, and featuring traditional hand-crafted furniture and art pieces that won’t be swept away by the waves of passing trends. second place: The Home Store, New Market, 540-740-8855 third place: 10,000 Villages, Harrisonburg, 540-442-1010

Best Lawyer to have on Speed Dial

Best Pet Boutique

Mike Zimmerman, Bennett and Zimmerman Attorneys at Law

1671 E. Market St., Harrisonburg

407 N. Main St., Edinburg, 540-984-9144 Speed dial is for people you know and trust. They take your call seriously at the law offices of Bennett and Zimmerman and, with 50 years of combined experience, we believe they have earned that spot on your keypad. second place: Victor M. Santos, Nelson, McPherson, Summers & Santos, 540-885-0346

Best Hospital Augusta Health 78 Medical Center Drive, Fisherville, 540-332-4000

We hope you never have to visit the hospital. But if you do, Augusta Health is the place to go. It was recognized by Thomson Reuters as one of the 100 Top Hospitals in the nation in both 2011 and 2012. second place: Rockingham Memorial Hospital, Harrisonburg, 540-689-1000 third place: Winchester Medical Center Valley Health, Winchester, 540-536-5325

PetSmart, 540-432-6460

PetSmart is more than a boutique; it’s the purrrfect department store for furry, feathered and scaled friends alike. Food, toys, beds—if you want it or need it for your pet, they have it. The store also offers veterinary, grooming and training services for one-stop pet care. second place: Pets-n-Pals, Staunton, 540-886-5056 third place: All Dogs Great and Small Grooming Salon, Strasburg


Best Man-Cave Store

Best Shopping Area

Shenandoah Attic Inc.

Downtown Staunton

17 S. Main St., Lexington


It’s not all man stuff at the Shenandoah Attic, but it is the place to go for guys who want to create their own space. This gift-filled store wins the men over with charming little gestures: “Most men are sold after receiving a free cup of apple cider upon arriving,” says owner Al Hocaday.

Staunton’s compact downtown area has over 100 unique, locally-owned businesses and restaurants. Even better, the businesses complement rather than compete with the Victorian architecture. Shop here once, and you’ll never go big box again., 540-464-8383

second place: Blue Canoe Crew, Woodstock, 540-459-2520 third place: Crutchfield, Harrisonburg, 540-434-1000, 540-332-3865

second place: Downtown Harrisonburg,

Harrisonburg, 540-432-8935 third place: Downtown Lexington, Lexington, 540-463-5375

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Best Performing Arts Company

Katelyn Wilkins, Joe’s Steakhouse

American Shakespeare Center

124 S. Main St., Woodstock

10 S. Market St., Staunton

The bartenders at Joe’s Steakhouse are much more than mixologists. And Katelyn Wilkins is a fine example. Folks say she’s not just a bartender but a buddy too, who makes friends out of customers. Energetic bartenders like Katelyn make ordering the drink almost as fun as drinking it. Almost.

The American Shakespeare Center hopes to change perceptions of Shakespeare. “It’s not stuffy or elitist; it’s still fresh and real,” says Director of Marketing Cathy Marsh. We agree. Tales of starcrossed lovers are relevant to any era., 540-459-5637

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Best Bartender

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second place: Susan Weeks at The Bard’s Nest,

Staunton, 540-448-3175 third place: Lorraine Gilb at Griffin Tavern, Flint Hill, 540-675-3227

Best Local Radio Personality Chris and Rosie, Q102 510 Pegasus Court, Winchester, 540-667-2102

Virginia natives and best friends Rosie and Chris offer up silly and hilarious antics every morning. Chris’ favorite game is the “Wheel of Livestock,” where callers make animal noises to win prizes. They are so familiar to their listeners that tuning in is like hanging out with old friends. second place: Hobart, Q101, Harrisonburg, 540-434-0331 third place: Karl Magenhofer, WSVA 550, Harrisonburg, 540-434-0331

Best Local Sports Team Staunton Braves 14 Shannon Place, Staunton, 540-886-0987 Craving peanuts and Cracker Jacks? Then join Staunton fans as they cheer on their cherished Braves. You may catch a rising star in action. Braves alumni have gone on to bigger ball clubs, such as the Houston Astros and the Florida Marlins., 540-885-5588

second place: Shenandoah Academy of Dance

Ensemble, Buena Vista, 540-570-0848 third place: Shultz Theatre, New Market, 540-740-9119

Best Tattoo Artist Art and Soul Tattoos 334 Lee Highway, Verona


A tattoo is a pretty permanent form of expression, so the decision to get one should not be made lightly. The inksters at Art and Soul Tattoos pride themselves on taking your artistic vision and—if you’re game—enhancing it, so your original idea becomes a work of art you’ll be happy to keep. Forever. second place: Painted Lady Tattoos and Piercing,

Harrisonburg, 540-433-5612 third place: Dreamland Tattoo, Harrisonburg 540-433-3036

>> For more winners go to

What’s My Line? Bartender Katelyn Wilkins of Joe’s Steakhouse in Woodstock, tells us the top three pick-up lines NEVER to use, and why: “Do you come here often?” I work here, so yes. “Do I know you from somewhere?” You come here five times a week. “What time do you get off?” After we close, so you’ll already be gone.

second place: James Madison University Dukes,

Harrisonburg, 540-568-4750 third place: New Market Rebels Baseball, New Market, 540-740-4247

Best Movie Theatre Visulite Cinemas, Staunton 12 N. Augusta St., Staunton, 540-885-9966 Walking into the Visulite is like walking back in time to when going to the movies was an adventure. Parents and children can come together for any of the many family films featured. On occasion the theatre also offers opera performances. second place: Zeus Digital Theater, Waynesboro, 540-416-0536 third place: Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Winchester, 540-313-4065

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In a Class All by Himself… Dad’s the Man! This Father’s Day, Adopt-A-Manatee®

Call 1-800-432-JOIN (5646) Photo © David Schrichte

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Reimagine retirement.


years of thriving! But who’s counting?


e’re very busy at Shenandoah Valley WestminsterCanterbury! Celebrating our 25th anniversary in 2012, we’re looking forward to providing many more years of incomparable service to you, a vibrant community of seniors. At Westminster-Canterbury, you’ll embrace the good life – free of concerns about home maintenance and secure in our financially predictable Lifecare program. You’ll dine on fine cuisine in our bistro, tavern, and formal dining room, swim in our oversized pool, hike on our 65-acre campus, and enjoy concerts by world-acclaimed musicians. Most important, you’ll share the best of times with friends old and new. Again in 2011, Shenandoah Valley WestminsterCanterbury earned the prestigious CARF accreditation, claimed by only 12 percent of

continuing care retirement communities in the nation. We also celebrated AARP’s selection of Winchester, Virginia, as one of the top five spots to retire in the U.S. To learn more, join us for a Lunch & Learn session. Reserve your seat for May 8, May 22, June 5, July 17, August 14, September 11, or September 25. All programs begin at 10:30 a.m. RSVP at 540.665.5914 or 800.492.9463. In the meantime, explore our community – and browse floor plans of apartments and cottages – at Discover why nearly 400 residents love calling Shenandoah Valley Westminster-Canterbury home!

Shenandoah Valley Westminster-Canterbury | 300 Westminster-Canterbury Drive, Winchester, VA 22603 | 540.665.5914 or 800.492.9463 |

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Best of Virginia 2012