As we near Cinco de Mayo, the DMV's favorite mariachi band is sharing the importance of the genre in the U.S. True mariachi is a serious music genre that deserves much more than an annual flirt on Cinco de Mayo.
As we near Cinco de Mayo, the DMV's favorite mariachi band is sharing the importance of the genre in the U.S. True mariachi is a serious music genre that deserves much more than an annual flirt on Cinco de Mayo.
This quaint 18th-century town provides the perfect romantic getaway. Fragrant blossoms, sparkling wines, terrace dining, and spectacular views - it's springtime in Paris, and a trip there is closer and more affordable than you might think.
"I love a fun challenge," says tile maker Joan Gardiner, looking up from a set of oversized Van Gogh prints and smiling in anticipation. "And these will be gorgeous." Gardiner is the most sought-after designer of custom tile in Loudoun County.
Maureen Cura remembers exactly when and where she was the first time she saw a Little Free Library. It was 2016 and she was attending the National Book Festival in Washington when she spotted a dollhouse-sized wooden box built with the sole purpose of sharing books and spreading a love of reading.
Some historic treasures don't fit inside a museum. Take the 300 miles of gravel roadways that wind through Loudoun County's pastures and ridges. "These are the same paths traveled by early colonists, Revolutionary War soldiers, and George Washington when he surveyed the Shenandoah Valley," says Douglas Graham, an award-winning photojournalist who is among those spearheading their preservation.
Last year, a new adventure zone brought 25 giant inflatables and a sandy beach area to this longtime favorite area for water sports. Almost heaven, West Virginia ... it's almost impossible to not sing the old lyrics while meandering along the country roads leading to Tygart Lake State Park.
Dodge the water cascading from the splash park's 40-gallon bucket, skip through fountains, and leap from floating mountains at this fun zone-or spend a quiet afternoon angling. Spectacularly perched on the east rim of the Bluestone River Gorge in southern West Virginia, Pipestem Resort State Park checks a lot of boxes when it comes to lakeside vacation destinations.
The shop sells high-end used bikes, but is also teaching local students to work with their hands. When you peer in the floor-to-ceiling windows at Phoenix Bikes in Arlington, it looks just like other glitzy bike shops in the area.
The officer who responded to the accident in White Post, Virginia, must have been new to the area. He pulled up to the intersection of Berry's Ferry and White Post Roads, where locals were gathering, and he began to fill out a report.
Like a classic lake oasis on steroids, this mammoth resort has everything from Jet Skis to water skis-if it floats, you'll likely find it here. Smith Mountain Lake has over 500 miles of gorgeous shoreline, so it's no wonder boating is one of the most popular activities here.
Does your ride need a refresh? From the whimsical (handlebar streamers!) to the wise (a bike lock in the prettiest shade of tangerine), add some pop to your trail presence. Now that bike season has officially started in NoVA, make sure you take your next ride in style.
Not all canoes are created equal, and master woodcrafter Jim Dodd, owner of Lazy River Canoes in Buchanan, is proving that point. Dodd specializes in hand-built solo wood strip canoes, which he says are traditional in "big water" states in the north and west, but not commonly seen in Virginia.
Weatherproof your vacation with a trip up North for endless adrenaline-pumping water slides, wave pools, and splash zones. Superlatives matter, so when a place touts itself as the largest indoor water park in the nation, you naturally want to pack a swimsuit and go check it out.
Old Rag has been named one of the top hikes in the world, but you'll now need a little more planning to hike it. It's nice to be popular, but for Old Rag Mountain in Shenandoah National Park, enthusiastic visitors are almost loving it to death.
From Vienna to Switzerland, this hockey player's Olympic journey has been a long and bumpy road. There will be moments during February's televised Winter Olympic Games when viewers across the world drop everything to watch the screen in quiet unity. Television makes clear what stands in front of the athlete: the competition, judges, scores, and medals.
It's got one of the most scenic ends to a hike in all of Virginia. Flip through any calendar or coffee table book of Shenandoah National Park, and you will likely find a photo of one of the park's most iconic features: a 70-foot cascading waterfall, spilling like silver ribbons over moss-covered boulders to misty pools in the forest below.
Maame Biney was also the youngest skater to make the U.S. Olympic women's short-track speed-skating team. She's back this year. There will be moments during February's televised Winter Olympic Games when viewers across the world drop everything to watch the screen in quiet unity.
Ashburn native Ashley Caldwell shares how her life in NoVA took her from gymnastics to skiing to the Olympic Games. There will be moments during February's televised Winter Olympic Games when viewers across the world drop everything to watch the screen in quiet unity.
Hiking the entire Appalachian Trail is something many people muse about as a "bucket list" item, something to daydream about. But Sierra Wharton turned that daydream into a reality. On Sept. 28, the Ashburn native climbed Mount Katahdin in Maine, stretched out her hand and touched the iconic sign that marks the trail's northern terminus.
Everything from seriously extra signage to open-cockpit plane rides are available in NoVA. Want to really wow your sweetheart this Valentine's Day? Then trade in that box of chocolates for a memory that will last forever. Northern Virginia offers plenty of ways to make that special someone swoon.
It's morning in the tiny village of Waterford, an hour from bustling Washington, D.C., and Linda Landreth pauses to check on her sheep before rattling open the weathered door of Waterford Market, built in 1883. Landreth pokes some wood into the cast iron stove and readies her spinning wheel.
Skip the crazy holiday airport traffic and enjoy a European getaway in neighboring West Virginia. Picture this: a timbered Bavarian chalet, cradled by snow-kissed evergreens and perched high above a frosty, winding river. A romantic European getaway? It could be, but this is actually in nearby Shepherdstown, West Virginia, less than two hours from Northern Virginia.
The decision that changed Carl Johnson's life came in 1945, and it was one he did not make for himself. It was delivered in an envelope to his home in Bellaire, Ohio, in the form of a military draft notice.
A jug made by Winchester's White House Foods is said to have survived the sinking of the Titanic. In 1908, apple cider vinegar was a staple in every pantry, including the White House kitchen in Washington, D.C.
It's nice to catch up with old friends, which we did 30 years later in White Post, Virginia, to talk again to some unique, world-class car guys. Pull up at One Old Car Drive in the tiny village of White Post, Virginia, and you'll meet the Thompson family, owners of one of the largest and most elite full-service antique car restoration businesses in the country.
By Jill Devine Visiting West Virginia's Blackwater Falls State Park in the winter is a bit like stepping into a Currier and Ives holiday card - or maybe one of those ornamental snow globes.
When it comes to making life decisions, local NBC News4 anchor Wendy Rieger suggests a method that has never failed her: "If you really want something, don't wait - make it happen NOW." Rieger attributes most milestones in her life to moments of epiphany: sudden and crystal-clear realizations of where to step next.
Believe it or not, an affordable and easy day trip to the beach is possible. Here's how to dodge the traffic and that overpriced, reheated Boardwalk pizza (yes, we said it!). No matter where you live in Northern Virginia, the sand and surf of an ocean beach are just a few hours away.
"Life as I would like it to be." That's how Norman Rockwell, one of the most beloved American illustrators of the 20th century, described his signature images of an idyllic America.
By Jill Devine Seeing a 10-million-year-old shark's tooth in a museum is cool, but who wouldn't rather find one at the beach? Look no further than Calvert Cliffs State Park in Lusby, Md., where finding such fossils is an everyday occurrence. About five miles north of Solomons Island, the park entrance is less than a two-hour drive from Ashburn.
Every summer, tens of thousands of tourists head to Williamsburg to see the historic colonial sites and buildings and go on tours led by actors - called "historical interpreters" - wearing tri-corner hats or linen aprons. From Ashburn, it's roughly 175 miles to Williamsburg.
Tori Nelson has the kind of hands you might expect of a 12-belt world champion boxer. Broad and thick, they are hands capable of knocking a person flat out - and she has done that 20 times, according to official fight records.
Enchant Christmas is back at Nationals Park, ready to make Christmas bigger and brighter. When it comes to festive Christmas light displays, Enchant Christmas takes the cake. With millions of lights scattered throughout Nationals Park, the larger-than-life light maze will bring out your inner child just in time for the holiday season.
Nothing says fall like a drink made with real pressed apples. Sip the season at these amazing cideries, pubs, wineries, and more. Apples are a gift that keeps on giving. Long after the fruit is picked, the pies are baked, and the leaves have fallen, apple juice, ciders, wines, and cocktails keep the party going all year long.
Ray Pugsley, owner of Potomac River Running and a beloved figure in the local running community, tells us all his favorite and overlooked spots. Anyone who owns running shoes in Northern Virginia has likely encountered Ray Pugsley at some time or another, either through one of his 10 Potomac River Running Store retail locations or at one of the hundreds of local races or running events that his company supports.
Sri Kolla first learned a love for badminton from his parents when the family lived in his native India. He carried that love with him when they moved to the United States when he was about 12 and settled in Ashburn Village.
How an Arlington-based company found fans around the globe. Lauren Cleary was decorating her daughter's nursery and wanted to add a splash of natural color, so she gathered some dried flowers into bundles and fashioned them into a circle for the wall.
Ashburn barber Ethan Del Hierro knows the mirror never lies, so it's the first place he looks when he's finished with a cut. "I wait for the smile," said Del Hierro, the new owner of the Grooming Store on Ashburn Road.
From giant heart-shaped gingerbread cookies to fruit Bavarian cake, the desserts from these bakeries both capture the spirit of the holidays and instantly elevate your celebrations. In the idyllic world of Betty Crocker, holiday baking is something that brings families together.
Neurodiversity is a concept in which neurological differences are recognized and respected as any other human variation. These differences can include those identified with dyspraxia, dyslexia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyscalculia, Asperger syndrome, autistic spectrum, and Tourette syndrome, among others .
Stores closing early, toilet paper limits coming back, NoVA cities passing plastic bag taxes-as grocery shopping gets complicated, here's everything you need to know. At one time, few routines in life were as predictable as shopping for groceries: make a list, follow a budget, fill the cart, and unpack the items once home.
Metro Flower Market's Margaret Fleegal has some insider tips and tricks that could make your at-home displays swoon-worthy. Flowers and happiness go hand-in-hand. Behavioral research studies confirm that flowers have the ability to relieve stress, reduce anxiety, improve mood, increase productivity, and enhance personal relationships.
Junior Ian Wallace skipped the usual landscaping project to instead teach students how to build their own computer. It was an enormously satisfying moment that 16-year-old Ian Wallace says he will never forget.
A new study has named D.C. and Virginia as some of the most expensive places to raise kid. Four families around NoVA share how they deal with the rising costs of child rearing. It's an old saying most of us have heard before: "If you wait to have kids until you can afford them, you'll probably never have kids at all."
Early last year, Jack Gray and his family were out for a walk when they noticed old headstones in the woods near the golf course at Brambleton Regional Park. The Brambleton family had stumbled upon the remains of the Lyons Family Civil War Cemetery.
"As the demand for bicycles continues to exceed the supply, bikes remain a prime target for criminals," says Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman. Not long ago, finding a shattered lock dangling from the rack where you parked your Schwinn was more of an annoying lesson learned than a financial setback.
Goats eat between 3 and 9% of their body weight each day, and put on a bit of a show while they do it. No, Goat Busters isn't a movie (yet!), but the spectators are gathering. In fact, one Buckingham County (Virginia) family plans its annual vacation around what one goat farmer is calling agri-tainment.
In a challenging year, students at Virginia Virtual Academy never skipped a beat.
Recognizing nearly 200 of Virginia's public and private schools. Every year, we research the programs, achievements, and curriculum of schools across the state to create a snapshot of education in Virginia. Late last year, asking schools to tell us the good things happening on campus sounded like an impossible request.
Whether commuting daily to work, riding for pleasure, competitively training, or pedaling the distance, here's the on-trend gear that will actually improve your ride. It's not your imagination-bicycles are everywhere these days. During quarantine, those who already had bikes rediscovered the joy of pedal power, while others stood in line to buy them.
Extending across over 10 cities and towns, this 45-mile trail has some worthy stops along the way. If you've spent any time in NoVA, you've likely crossed paths with the Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park -or, more commonly, the W&OD-at some point.
Based in Alexandria, the program teaches children introductory flying instruction at no cost. The world looks different when viewed from a Cessna cockpit high in the sky. Problems below suddenly appear smaller, while the horizon ahead expands with possibilities.
Stephen Hanna, professor at University of Mary Washington, is at work on a new book detailing how plantations can improve education on slavery. Do plantation museums do justice to the memory of the enslaved?
COVID isn't over, but as we head into fall, working from home might be. Here's a psychologist's advice on how to cope with the changes. Lisa Kelly knew this day was coming, but that didn't make it easier.
The history of the state is all around us. Virginia's affinity for wrought iron began as far back as 1607, when Capt. John Smith wrote of the Jamestown settlement: "Our best commoditie was Yron which we made into little chissels."
Schoolyard sports are making a comeback among adults eager to play. Remember the sports we loved growing up, back when getting a game together was as simple as calling a few friends or heading over to the rec center?
Congratulations! The test came back positive, and you're going to have a baby. Whether it's your first pregnancy or your fifth, you will want support as you deal with a range of emotions, questions and decisions. Should you deliver at home or in a hospital? Will you choose natural birth or pain medication?
Behind the scenes of the bubble business. It's hard to pass a display of homemade soap without buying a creamy, scented bar. Every detail of a soapmaker's booth is designed to stop customers in their tracks: wafts of essential oils, swirls of natural colors, and the offer to touch and sample the enticing, moisture-rich products.
When retired IBM executive Dave Bauer moved from his long-time Fairfax City home to Ashburn's Ashby Ponds in December 2016, he wanted to stay active and make friends. An invitation from another resident to play pickleball, a sport that combines elements of tennis, ping pong and badminton, delivered more friends, fun and fitness than he ever expected.
By Jill Devine Watching 17-year-old Amya Caldwell gracefully float across the stage in a beaded ball gown at this year's Miss Teen USA pageant, it's tough to believe she ever struggled with self-esteem or confidence.
By Jill Devine Photos by Natalie Whitehead Photography "It's not about what it is, it's about what it can become." ― Dr. Seuss, Like every item displayed in Ashburn's A New View Home Decor, the large eucalyptus wreath hanging in the foyer holds a bit of history.
Customize your beer head. No drink should be naked, according to Ripples, an Israeli-based company that produces a machine originally designed to print images on lattes but that now dresses up beer foam heads and cocktails as well.
Creating cocktails with lower alcohol content. A new study by the London-based International Wines and Spirts Record found that more than half of Americans want to reduce their alcohol intake. Yet low- and no-alcohol products currently account for only 0.5 percent of the total domestic beverage alcohol market.
Drink industry trends, tips, and tastemakers. Save the bees with a sip of your mead at Melo Lion Meadery. The refreshing, semisweet acidity of Melo Lion Meadery's Blackberry Mead is reason enough to enjoy a glass of the bestseller. Tack on the knowledge that your purchase supports local beekeeping, and you have yourself a deal!
By Jill Devine The handful of dog treats in her coat pocket made Heidi Cummings' heart crumble on Valentine's Day this year. She scooped some beef-flavored nuggets out with her car keys as she prepared to drive home to Virginia, and the tears started to fall. "I cried all the way home," Cummings said.
Parents often go to great lengths to make sure their children are not bored, but Washington, D.C., artist Sara Bardin is living proof that boredom isn't necessarily a bad thing for children. Boredom is what launched Bardin's love of colors and art.
Many years ago, I was navigating a challenging life event when a dear friend pulled me into her kitchen and said, "What we need is a good cup of tea." After a few minutes of fiddling at the stove, she joined me at the table.
When Loudoun artist Saya Behnam produces a piece of art, she never works alone. The Iranian American artist says she always co-creates with nature, not just as a source of inspiration, but in a very physical, tactile sense. Behnam has learned to extract pigments from materials foraged from her surroundings, such as grasses, flowers, leaves, berries, bark, spices, rocks, and minerals.
By Jill Devine "There is no success without hard work." Those are the words of Samvrit Rao, an eighth-grader at Stone Hill Middle School in Ashburn. But Samvrit isn't just any eighth-grader. In the world of science, he's something of a superstar - coming up with ideas and creating inventions that could one day change the world.
Vienna florist Maris Angolia tells a story that unfolds as sweet and lovely as the blossoms in her shop. Meet Maris Angolia, President and CEO, Karin's Florist It's a story that begins in the early 1900s with a handsome Greek immigrant selling flowers on a street corner in New York City.
By Jill Devine Five years ago, a teacher at Briar Woods High School gave her students an assignment - spend 20 percent of their time in class exploring something they were passionate about and turn it into a project.
By Jill Devine Whether you're in New York City, Los Angeles, London or here in Loudoun County, the next time you're dining out at a nice restaurant, look at the place setting. Pick up the stemmed water glass. Feel the weight of the fork and knife.
By Jill Devine Francesca Maniff was relaxing on her living room sofa in early 2019 when she had a "lightbulb" moment that changed her life. Her pup, Chewey, a Maltese-Yorkshire terrier mix, had climbed on her Roomba vacuum cleaner and accidentally turned it on.
Article about student docent program at National Air and Space Museum
By Jill S. Devine Juan Carlos Sanabria, owner and chef of Aldie Mexican food restaurant t'KiLa Latin Kitchen & Bar, says that his customers tend to fall into two camps: those who know what Mexican mole is and those who do not.
By Jill Devine Anyone who enters Ashburn's Steuart W. Weller Elementary School will notice a feature that is unique in Loudoun County schools - a large custom-laid mosaic lion that graces the foyer floor.
By Jill Devine Imagine this scenario. You've driven to Dulles International Airport, parked in the long-term lot, checked your luggage, made your way through security, hopped a train and finally arrived at your gate - only to hear an announcement that your flight is delayed. Maybe it's just a short delay.
How lovely is it when your greatest life-long passion gets channeled into a career? Antje Freygang knows. Owner and manager of Montaire Icelandic Horses in Middleburg, Freygang says she wakes up every morning feeling blessed to work with animals she has loved her whole life in a setting of breathtaking beauty.
Business spotlight on beloved local restaurant
by Jill Devine Sometimes a happy accident can take your life in a whole new direction. Last year, Ashburn Farm mom Jenna Myers was searching for the Dollar Tree in the Broadlands Village Center when she noticed a storefront sign announcing that Board & Brush Creative Studio would be opening soon.
Loudoun County teacher Denise Corbo truly is a woman who has it all. A radiant beauty by any measure, many would envy Corbo for her large and loving family, fulfilling lifetime career, stellar professional accolades, business savvy, and community service. The kicker? Corbo also has Lyme disease, which she has battled for almost 20 years.
Poverty and despair in the midst of economic prosperity is a theme that's all too common across Northern Virginia, including Fairfax County. For many residents, the high cost of living makes it difficult to make ends meet, even for those who work multiple jobs. Fortunately, the area also flows with compassion and generosity.
Parenting comes with many responsibilities, perhaps none as important as making sure your child is situated in the right educational setting. For many in Northern Virginia, this means attending one of our many excellent public schools. For others, it means finding the right private school setting.
All parents want the best experiences for their children, and no time is that more important than during the long days of summer. Finding a safe, nurturing environment that offers just the right balance of unstructured time to think and dream with opportunities to explore new interests or develop new skills is no easy task.
Who doesn't love to give and receive gifts? Gifts express appreciation for the people in our lives, and no matter what's inside the box or how pretty the wrappings, we know that sentiment is the heart of every gift exchanged. Why then have we allowed holiday gifting to become so complicated and stressful?
By Jill Devine There's something about an autumn corn maze that can make even the busiest families put on the brakes. Every fall, Lansdowne mom Malinda Mahaffey's calendar fills up with back-to-school and sports obligations. "So much to do, but I make sure we block out time for our family to be together," Mahaffey said.
Local teacher promotes literacy through nonprofit StoryBook Treasures
Getting expensive lawn equipment prepared for winter storage.