H. & Clarice Smith Auditorium, the Mount
Vernon Inn restaurant for dining and
receptions, and the East Lawn for outdoor
gatherings of up to 1,200 people. Groups
can also hold intimate events at the fully
functioning reconstructions of Washington’s nearby Distillery and Gristmill.
Battlefield Park, Chesapeake
Chesapeake played its own pivotal part in
the founding of the United States of America. Settled in 1620, this historic center
was the site of two epic conflicts in 1775,
the Battle at Kemps Landing and Battle of
Lasting only 30 minutes after 11 days of
skirmishes, the latter saw Patriot volunteers
triumph over their professional British
counterparts in the first land victory of the
Revolutionary War. Denying the British
access to the Norfolk seaport, the win also
inspired the Virginia Convention to adopt
the first public declaration expressing a
spirit of independence just four days later.
The result was the removal of British government from colonial Virginia—a key step
forward toward July 4, 1776.
Created in tribute to these events, Bat-
tlefield Park offers docent-led
tours by appointment, and
on the first weekend
of each December,
reenactments of the
two battles. Plans
have been put for-
ward, with a capital
for a visitor center
and museum with
space for social and
Home to some 285 wineries, Virginia has
taken root as one of the nation’s top five
grape and wine producers. Stretching west
of the Northern Virginia and D.C. area,
scenic Loudoun County offers some 40
wineries and tasting rooms, including this
event-capable draw about 17 miles north
of group favorite the Salamander Resort &
Spa in Middleburg.
Set on 100 acres, the family-owned
vineyard sweeps up nearly 1,000 feet,
leading to its hilltop tasting
room and event facility with
views from the outdoor
patio. Approaching its
10th anniversary in
2017, Bluemont hosts
weddings and private
parties, as well as
tastings for groups
ranging in size from
seven to 100 guests.
At the bottom of the
hill, the family’s Dirt Farm
Brewing has a taproom for
beer tastings, while its Great Coun-
try Farms is for festivals, pick-your-own
fruits and vegetables, as well as corporate
meetings and events.
GEORGEWASHINGTON’S MOUNT VERNON
Latest + Greatest
➜ The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (www.wmata.
com) has added five new stations in Reston and Tysons Corner
under Phase I of its extension of the Silver Line Metrorail in
Fairfax County. Phase II, underway and targeting completion by
2020, will add four more stations to Reston, Herndon and into
Washington Dulles International Airport, plus two stations in
neighboring Loudoun County.
➜ Opened in April 2015 next to Tysons Corner Center and the Metrorail, the 300-room Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner Center (http://
tysonscornercenter.regency.hyatt.com) offers 15,000 square feet
of meeting space.
➜ In Falls Church, The Westin Tysons Corner (www.westintysons
cornerhotel.com) recently completed the $10 million refresh of
its 405 rooms and 12 suites, meeting space, lobby, restaurant
➜ After a recent renovation including its 4,140-square-foot col-umn-free ballroom, the recently rebranded Hyatt Regency Fairfax
( http://fairfax.regency.hyatt.com), with 9,000 square feet of
total space, recently commenced a $14 million renovation that
includes its 316 rooms and potential plans to enhance the hotel
entrance and meeting space.
➜ Crowne Plaza Dulles Airport Hotel ( www.cpdulles.com) recently
unveiled a $7 million renovation that includes major upgrades to
all 327 guest rooms and suites, its prefunction area, lobby, club
lounge and fitness center.
➜ Set to open in spring 2017, The Main
( www.themainnorfolk.com) is a new
$150 million mixed-use development on the Elizabeth River that will
include the 20-story, 300-room Hilton
Norfolk, with a 1,500-person Grand
Ballroom and junior ballroom among
its group spaces. The Main will also
introduce three signature restaurants
and The Exchange, set to become
Norfolk’s largest convention space.
Featuring 42,000 square feet of high-tech, high-design meeting space, the
facility will offer 39 meeting rooms,
an innovative “collaboration” room
and two boardrooms. Accommodating 1,200 seated guests, the
18,500-square-foot Main Ballroom will be the largest in Virginia,
prefunction space included.
➜ Opened in September 2015, the Quirk Hotel ( www.destination
hotels.com/quirk-hotel) offers 71 artful rooms in downtown’s resurgent Arts District, with conference rooms and the Rooftop Bar,
a first for the city, with event space for up to 200 people.
THE MAIN, NORFOLK