For the past few years, each spring I have found myself making my way towards beautiful Lake Anna in central Virginia. I spend five weeks there in May and June for the annual Virginia Renaissance Festival. Though I’m called to Virginia for work, I really look forward to the time I get to spend there each year.
Lake Anna is one of the largest lakes in Virginia, spanning more than 20 square miles in Louisa, Orange, and Spotsylvania counties. Lake Anna is an ideal vacationer’s lake. It is clean and well maintained by Lake Anna State Park, several campgrounds and marinas along it’s edges, and plenty of homes with private water access.
Come out for a weekend and a chance to relax and get back to nature. The best times to visit are spring and summer, but I’ve heard winters can be beautiful as well. Soft white snowfall covers rolling hills, and dark brown barren winter trees line a still grey lake making for a quiet nearly mono-chromatic beauty that is incredibly peaceful and restful.
I’ve yet to visit in the winter, but in the summer there is plenty to see and do around Lake Anna.
Consider camping inside Lake Anna State Park, where you will find your standard state park campground amenities: well maintained roads, wide level camp pads, fire pits, and rustic bath houses. For those disinclined to stay in a tent, there are several cabins of various sizes available for rent. Lake Anna State Park has over 15 miles of trails to hike and access to a sandy beach perfect for families to spend the day at the lake. Sunbathe in the sand while the kids swim in the lake shallows. There is also a public boat launch point from within the state park.
Also available for camping is nearby Christopher Run Campground. It too has a small beach and boat launch available for campers.
While on vacation, consider spending some time at the nearby Lake Anna Winery. The Winery is open Wednesday – Sunday each week. Tours of the winery are available upon request. If you sit down to a tasting, definitely ask to try the Lake Side Sunset, charmingly peachy/rose-colored, fruity, semi-dry wine. Sweet, refreshing, and incredibly easy to drink chilled on a hot summer evening, the Lake Side Sunset is my personal favorite of the Lake Anna Winery wines.
Lake Anna Winery is part of the Virginia Wine Trail, which provides a leisurely self-driven tour of six of central Virginia’s wineries. They also host many events throughout the year including fireworks, concerts, and more. Check their website to find out if there is anything exciting happening during your visit.
And of course, I should mention the Virginia Renaissance Festival. Come out to the Lake Anna Winery in May and early-June and travel back in time with us! Visit their website to learn more about this year’s dates and times. Come dressed like a princess or pirate and browse the high quality artists and craftsmen selling their wares at the Renaissance faire. See incredible live performances of musicians, actors, and entertainers. Drinks some wine and ale and have yourself a day of merriment and fun. Look for me at The Silk Road Traders, custom blend perfume oils booth! I’ll make you smell real nice.
Whatever time of year you decide to visit, Lake Anna is sure to delight you with its beauty and tranquility. This year I was doubly happy to arrive, exhausted after my three-week long tour of the United States. I left Santa Barbara, California and made stops in Las Vegas, Zion National Park, Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Colorado, and Pittsburgh before finally landing at Lake Anna in time for the faire. You can read all about those adventures in the previous weeks’ blogs.
I took every opportunity to relax in Virginia. We had lazy lake days, cook outs, plenty of leisurely evening walks and spent a nice overnight trip in Washington D.C (see next week’s blog post).
It was good to relax, because coming up next is a six week adventure in Europe! Stay tuned for stories from London, England; Malaga, Spain; and various parts of Italy including Rome, Assisi, Florence, Naples, and Cefalu`, Sicily.
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Have you ever had the urge to just drop what you were doing, pack a bag, and set out on an adventure? Seven years and over two dozen countries later, Aeri Rose is proof that excitement, independence, and discovery await those who are bold enough to say “yes” to life’s craziest choices. When not exploring the world with her little grey backpack, Aeri Rose an be found living a nomadic lifestyle traveling the United States as an artist and entrepreneur. To follow Aeri on all her adventures, check her out online at travelingwithaeri.com; or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/aerirose.