Enjoy a Bird Walk for Beginners at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello 8 Feb 2016, 11:04 am
When you think of Thomas Jefferson and his home at Monticello, you probably associate it with U.S. history, Virginia wine, and school field trips. Chances are, bird watching isn’t the first thing that pops into your head in regards to Jefferson’s historic home. However, Monticello happens to host a Bird Walk on one of its many picturesque trails, and this is a must-attend for advanced avian admirers and beginning bird watchers alike.
The Monticello Bird Walk for Beginners will be taking place on March 5, 2016, starting at 8:00 a.m. and going to 10:30 a.m.: “Learn the basics of bird identification and binocular technique with Jerry Therrien as you explore the bird habitats at Secluded Farm.” At only $18 per ticket, you definitely won’t want to pass up on the chance to explore some of Virginia’s bird varieties.
– Secluded Farm offers two miles of paths through natural grasslands, perfect for runners, walkers, and dog owners. These trails are part of a 100-acre property leased from the Thomas Jefferson Soil & Water Conservation District.
– If you’re looking for fellow bird lovers in the area, you might try out the Monticello Bird Club in Charlottesville. This informal group holds field trips and monthly meetings, so even if you’re not a member, feel free to attend and enjoy some informational sessions.
– The Bird Walk isn’t the only fun event coming up at Monticello. Check out their calendar to stay up-to-date with their latest happenings throughout the year.
Wine 201 with Marc Supsic of Wine Living 1 Feb 2016, 12:00 am
Did you enjoy 2015’s Wine 101 Weekend or 2016’s Wine 101 Weekend, featuring Marc Supsic of Wine Living? Maybe you wanted to, but you couldn’t quite make the date work with your schedule. Whatever the case may be, you have the chance to attend and enjoy Wine 201, coming soon on February 5-6, 2016.
This weekend will include dinner, wine pairings, informational sessions, Sensory Exploration, and much more, leaving you with happy taste buds and a wealth of new knowledge. It’s all the fun of Wine 101, but amps up the challenge with blind wine tastings! The Sensory Evaluation/Blind Tasting will also include a blind competition—Virginia wine vs. the Old-World.
Date: February 5-6, 2016.
Menu (prepared by Chef Caitie Maharg):
– Spring greens with English cucumbers, radishes,
strawberries, ricotta solata and a honey balsamic
– Shrimp & Grits
– Apple crisp with maple, bacon & bourbon ice cream
Stay tuned for more information about the specific wines you’ll be enjoying! We look forward to seeing you at this wine lovers’ weekend! Click here to book your room now.
Get ready to race in the Man Anthony Mud Run, Waynesboro, Virginia 20 Jan 2016, 10:35 am
Challenge yourself, burn off some calories, and enjoy the Shenandoah Valley scenery at this year’s 5th Annual Mad Anthony Mud Run!
This is not your normal 5k or 10k. With an in-between distance of 4.5 miles, unpredictable weather, and series of obstacles to overcome, you have the chance to participate in this unique Waynesboro, VA race on February 27, 2016. Let’s check out a few aspects of this upcoming mud run:
- The race was named for Waynesboro’s namesake, General “Mad” Anthony Wayne, who led the Marquis de Lafayette’s forces against the British in 1781.
- You have the option of running solo or on a team of three to eight participants.
- Prizes will be given out at the end for Overall Male, Overall Female, Overall Male Group, Overall Female Group, Overall Mixed Group, Best Costume – Single, Best Costume – Tandem, and Best Costume – Group (3+).
- There will be a series of “Battles” for you to face during the run, each of which reflects one of Mad Anthony’s historic fights.
Battle of Monmouth: Tire Pit
Battle of Green Spring: Balance Beam
Battle of Brandywine: Scale the Wall
Battle of Stony Point: Hay Bale Climb
Battle of Fallen Timbers: Log Challenge
Battle of Trois Rivieres: Swamp Terrain/Tunnel
Battle of Paoli: Mystery Obstacle
Battle of Germantown: Tunnel Crawl
- All participants who finish the race will receive a custom-made Mad Anthony Mud Run Medal.
- There just might be some local brews to enjoy (along with a few other surprises).
Spark Your Romance at Iris Inn 12 Jan 2016, 12:00 am
“What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined together to strengthen each other in all labour, to minister to each other in all sorrow, to share with each other in all gladness, to be one with each other in the silent unspoken memories?” — George Eliot
There is no place quite like a B&B to spark romance and rekindle the love and affection. What makes the Iris Inn such a romantic place for a Valentine’s Day getaway? Continue reading to find out more:
- The location. We are nestled in the forest, encircled and shaded by mountains. It is a woodland setting befitting any fairytale romance.
- Our in-room massages. A good massage can increase your flexibility, ease your depression, increase your concentration, and strengthen your muscles. Not to mention, a couple’s massage is a wonderful way to relax with a loved one.
- Our hot tubs. What’s more romantic that watching the sun set while immersing yourself in the soothing bubbles of a hot tub? Each of our cabins has a hot tub on a screened in porch, giving you an ideal view.
- Our chocolate covered strawberries. Make your arrival extra special by requesting fresh, luscious strawberries, hand-dipped in rich chocolate.
- Our Specialty Cake for Two. Like the strawberries, you can request a cake to share with your sweetheart to make a fun getaway exceptional.
- The nearby romantic restaurants. Dine by candlelight at a fine restaurant in Charlottesville. Sip a cappuccino at a café in Staunton. Whatever you choose, you are sure to find a place with an atmosphere appropriate for two people in love.
16 Things to Do in 2016 4 Jan 2016, 1:48 pm
It may be difficult to accept, but we’re already a few days into 2016! This year promises a lot of fun and many new adventures to enjoy. Here are some of our favorite activities that you can experience on your next getaway to The Iris Inn. With everything from restaurants and microbrews to live theater and historic locations, there’s something to pique everyone’s interest:
- Sip your way up and down the Brew Ridge Trail
- Take in movie at Zeus Digital Theaters
- Indulge in a Sip & Simmer Cabin Dinner at The Iris Inn
- Browse the art vendors at the Fall Foliage Festival
- Celebrate fall at Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello
- Blow your own glass ornament at Sunspots Studio
- Take a winery trail ride with Rebel’s Run
- Browse the books at the Green Valley Book Fair
- Celebrate a juxtaposition of nature and history at Historic Garden Week in Virginia
- Cast a line at the Annual Virginia Fly Fishing and Wine Festival
- Watch history come to life at the Blackfriars Playhouse
- Grab a meal at Burton’s Grill
- Create artwork from fresh flowers
- Observe the Civil War signatures at the Grand Caverns
- Pick fresh fruit at a local orchard.
- Enjoy an extended stay vacation in an Iris Inn cabin.
Happy 2016 from your innkeepers here in Waynesboro, Virginia! We look forward to seeing you soon. (Don’t forget to reserve your cabin, cottage, or suite.)
The Brew Ridge Beer Trail 14 Dec 2015, 9:26 pm
Virginia has become increasingly popular for its production of wine, and even more recently, it’s craft brews. Virginia does, in fact, make some fantastic beers, and if you would like to spend some time on a unique tour of this area, try out the “Brew Ridge Trail.” (These brews also make great holiday gifts for the beer lovers in your life!)
The Brew Ridge Trail includes five different breweries that create a nice little loop for you to traverse:
First, there is Blue Mountain Brewery in Afton, VA. Blue Mountain is a farm brewery, meaning they grow their own hops, and they offer an excellent selection of ales and lagers (including nearly twenty seasonal drafts!).
The next beer destination is Devil’s Backbone in Roseland, VA, and at this establishment, you can sample the gold medal-winning Gold Leaf Lager and the silver medal-winning Vienna Lager.
Third is South Street Brewery in Charlottesville, VA, providing beer that is “always fresh” and a “friendly, relaxed atmosphere.”
Moving on, we come to Starr Hill in Crozet, VA, the home of many award-winning microbrews. Starr Hill’s motto includes a promise to provide people with “the Gift of Great Beer.”
The fifth destination along the Brew Ridge Trail is the Wild Wolf Brewing Company, a five-year old brewery located in Nellysford, VA. Their beers on tap include the Alpha Ale, the Spiced Honey Saison, the Primal Instinct, the Dry Stour, and the Blonde Hunny.
Overall, the Brew Ridge Trail is a fun way to explore various places in Virginia as well as having the opportunity to try out some delicious beers! Grab your designated driver, and “hop” to it! (Okay, yes, that was a horrible pun…but you can rest assured that their beer is better than our punning.)
Enjoy a Movie at Zeus Theater in Waynesboro, Virginia 7 Dec 2015, 1:00 am
There is something special about seeing a movie in a theater. While it’s not quite as convenient as viewing Netflix from the comfort of your bed or popping in a DVD in your own living room, theaters allow you to enter the world of the film. From the intensity of the surround sound to the larger-than-life scenery, you’re immersed in this visual medium.
We are lucky to have a fantastic movie theater only a few minutes away from the Iris Inn. Zeus Digital Theater, independently owned by Brett Hayes, is an 8-screen, all digital theater that is remarkable in its personal touches, cleanliness, and high quality. With a business meeting room, café seating in the lobby, an arcade room, and the opportunity for private screenings, Zeus caters well to its patrons. (Sometimes the decor will even reflect a current movie showing…an astronaut made an appearance during the run of “Gravity.”)
One specifically impressive area in which Zeus has excelled is in closed captioning for the hearing impaired. Every screen in the theater is “hearing impaired capable” by means of a wireless infrared receiver unit that plugs into the cupholders. (How hi-tech is that!)
So, if you’re looking for a great theater to enjoy the new Star Wars movie coming out in a couple weeks, we highly recommend Zeus Digital Theaters! (Follow the Zeus Facebook page for all of the latest updates.) We look forward to seeing all of you movie lovers here at The Iris Inn!
5 Winter Activities Near the Iris Inn 1 Dec 2015, 12:00 am
“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” ― Edith Sitwell
During the cold, winter months, it’s tempting to hole up indoors and wait out the frigid weather. But really, winter doesn’t mean you have to hide away and hibernate; it just means that you have to slip on a few more warm layers of clothing before heading out on your excursions. Furthermore, activities in and around the Shenandoah Valley don’t stop because of a little snow, so if you’re wanting a winter adventure, check out these fun options:
- Go ice-skating. Both Wintergreen Resort and the Charlottesville’s Main Street Arena offer this enjoyable winter activity, so lace up a pair of skates (which they provide if you don’t have your own), and slide out into the arena.
- Go snow tubing. Slide your way down the slopes of Wintergreen and Massanutten, ending in a pile of laughter and snow.
- Go skiing. If you’d like an activity that’s a bit more challenging than snow tubing, then how about some skiing? Both Wintergreen and Massanutten offer these activities as well.
- Create a glass ornament. Sunspots Studio in Staunton, VA allows you to blow your very own glass ornament, creating a beautifully unique gift or keepsake.
- Enjoy a Winter Lantern Tour at the Frontier Culture Museum. “Visitors will enjoy vignettes at England, Ireland, Germany, 1820s America, and 1850s America including a Mummer’s play near the Irish Forge and a horse-drawn wagon ride from the Old World to the New World.”
Book your suite, cottage, or cabin at the Iris Inn, and enjoy the upcoming winter season!
4 Reasons You Need an Iris Inn Gift Card 16 Nov 2015, 2:00 am
“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!” ― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
The holiday season is almost here, and that means that the madness of the shopping season will arrive soon as well. But if you’re less than impressed with stores’ garish displays of uniformed “gifts for him” and “gifts for her,” then we have an alternative you might like—an Iris Inn gift certificate.
- It’s a unique gift that will appeal to a variety of people. Not sure what to get that semi-acquaintance coworker? Drawing a blank as to what to give your mother-in-law? How about your picky brother, who already owns everything you can think of? Give them something different than the norm—a break from the “real world.”
- You don’t have to fight off the holiday crowds who jostle you around and run over your toes with their gift-laden carts. Our gift certificates are available to purchase online, so you won’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home to pick one up.
- You’ll be done with your shopping a few weeks early. Knowing what you’d like to buy for someone for Christmas is probably the hardest part of the process, but we can help ease the trouble.
- An Iris Inn gift card offers much more than a simple, physical gift. Many gifts will wear out or be forgotten over time. Those fuzzy socks from Grandma? They’ll fray and tear after a year’s use. The iPod from your significant other? It’ll break after too many uses or become obsolete as technology upgrades. A B&B gift certificate, however, offers the chance to make fond memories that you’ll recall in years to come.
Interested? Click here to purchase your gift certificate.
A New Wine 101 Weekend for 2016! 10 Nov 2015, 1:00 am
Did you enjoy 2015’s Wine 101 Weekend, featuring Marc Supsic of Wine Living? Maybe you wanted to, but you couldn’t quite make the date work with your schedule. Whatever the case may be, you’ll have another chance to attend and enjoy three different wonderfully wine-themed weekends! Along with Wine 101, we will be offering two other more challenging (but still fun and informative) weekends—Wine 201 (also led by Marc Supsic) and Wine 301 (led by King Family Vineyards).
All of these upcoming weekends include dinner, wine pairings, informational sessions, Sensory Exploration, and much more, leaving you with happy taste buds and a wealth of new knowledge.
Pricing: $196/couple from now through December 31, 2015. Starting January 1, 2016: $246/couple
So, what will the event look like?
Wine 101: January 8-9, 2016
5:30: Virginia Wine and Cheese Pairing– We will be pairing Virginia Viognier with cheese from Caramount Farms, and Virginia Cabernet Franc with Gouda from Our Lady of the Angels.
8:30: Port and Chocolate Pairing– What day is complete without a rich dessert? This pairing will feature treats from a local chocolatier, truffles dusted with cocoa powder, and chocolates with orange, perfect paired with sweet, young, ruby Port.
8:00-9:30: Breakfast and Sparkling Wine– Your day will start with a Spanish Cava paired with a savory egg dish. What a way to wake up in the morning!
1:30: Sensory Exploration– For 50 minutes to an hour, Marc will introduce you to an aroma/flavor kit to train your palate, and as you learn, you will have the opportunity to win some prizes. (Your Sensory Exploration includes lunch.)
Dinner– Indulge in a mixed or Caesar salad paired with New Zealand (Marlborough) Sauvignon Blanc, stuffed chicken with tomatoes and spinach paired with a Meritage from Karamoor Estate in PA, and bread pudding paired with a Malmsey (Sweet) Madeira. If you think your mouths are watering now, just wait until it’s all sitting right in front of you!
Wine 201: February 5-6, 2016
Enjoy all of the experiences of Wine 101, but do with it with all blind tastings.
Wine 301: To Be Determined
Click here to make your reservation.