It’s been stated that groups (and athletes) are like an army. They move on their stomach. Virginia’s food and beverage trails are certainly the paths that are sure to please every appetite. Wherever your event takes place, there’s a food trail stop nearby.

Fields of Gold Farm Trail

Once known as the bread basket of the Confederacy,the Central Shenandoah Valley has deep agricultural roots. Whether you’re visiting for a day or have a full week, your trips should include stops on the Fields of Gold Farm Trail. There are more than 230 agritourism locations on the trail as it winds through eight counties and their communities. Interstates 81 and 64 converge in the heart of the region. There are fruits to be picked, tours of 55 working farms to experience, countless farm festivals and so much more. 32 restaurants specialize in locally sourced foods. Fields of Gold has responded in a big way to consumers demanding local foods and authentic experiences. Even if you’re just passing through there’s so much offered at any of the 37 farm stands offered along the trail. Begin planning your adventure before the games begin.

Virginia Oyster Trail

You don’t have to be a culinary traveler to stop and enjoy Virginia oysters before or after the competition. Early in 2011 a group of eight oyster lovers gathered 18 times to taste oysters from Virginia’s different waters. Their results identified eight regions, each with slightly different levels of saltiness and sweetness. To best experience each flavor factor you should chew your oyster a few times. Surrounding the Chesapeake Bay there is a wealth of Agri Artisan businesses. One of the best places to begin is the VA Institute of Marine Science. Public tours at the Gloucester Point campus are often scheduled for Fridays. Your next step might be a Taste Virginia Tour. Locals lead their popular Local Oyster and Wine/Brew Tours. To see a working aquaculture oyster farm make an appointment to visit Fat N’ Happy Oyster Company. However, if you’re ready to proceed directly to a plate of oysters, there are dozens of locally owned Virginia restaurants throughout the state featuring Virginia oysters on a regular basis. There’s no better place to enjoy a Virginia oyster than in Virginia.

Virginia BBQ Trail

With cooking methods that date back to the earliest settlers,Virginia barbecue is an historic food culture. Smoked meats are still prepared with traditional open fire cooking methods. Little of that style has changed over the past hundreds of years. From Appalachia to the Coastal Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley to Southern Virginia there are hundreds of BBQ restaurants and a festival almost every weekend in Virginia’s 10 regions. In its simplest terms the Virginia BBQ Trail connects pitmasters whose passion is making barbecue with barbecue lovers. Don’t forget the sauce, since Virginia cooks are creating some very good ones.

The Salty Southerns Route

If your competition is in Virginia’s Southeast, you’re in luck. This area is known for its salt-cured hams, pork products and peanuts. Smithfield is home to Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer and the legendary Smithfield Ham. Only peanut fed hams that are cured and smoked within the city limits can be labeled genuine Smithfield hams. In nearby Suffolk is the world headquarters of Planters Peanuts. Throughout the five county southeast region there are a dozen things to see and do. There are more than two-dozen restaurants to experience a taste of the region. You’ll find a taste of Virginia to take home home at two-dozen shopping spots.

Virginia is for Farmers Market Lovers

Regardless of your length of stay you can’t leave Virginia without stopping at a farmers market or two. Did you know that most food consumed in the U. S. travels on a 1,200-mile journey to your table? From Virginia’s more than 13,000 acres of farmland that’s in production by vendors it’s only travelled 45-miles to the farmers market. Regardless of where you play, there’s a Farmers Market close-by. You can search for a farmers market close to your Virginia destination on the new website being launched in early 2020 lovevamarkets.orgor

Brew Ridge Trail

Since its establishment in 2009 as Virginia’s Original Beer Destination, craft brewing has burst out in Virginia and across the U.S. Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains contains five breweries, all in Nelson County and a few in neighboring Albemarle County. Opened in 2007 Blue Mountain Brewery sits in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Afton, VA. By 2011 Blue Mountain beer sales exceeded capacity at the Afton location. From that challenge the Blue Mountain Barrel House in south Nelson County increased production by almost tenfold. You’ll find Devils Backbone Brewing Company in Roseland and Lexington, VA. At the former you’ll discover the Basecamp Brewpub & Meadows, a wonderful spot to enjoy varieties and a meal. Charlottesville was home to Starr Hill Brewery when they opened as Virginia’s second oldest craft brewery. In 2005 Starr Hill moved to nearby Crozet, where they serve great craft beer and have a regular schedule of food trucks. With locations in Nellysford and Charlottesville, the Wild Wolf Brewing Company serves award-winning craft beers with delightful lunch and dinner menus.

Virginia Wine Trails

With nearly 300 wineries and dozens of wine trails Virginia truly is a wine destination. If you plan a stop along any of the food trails, you’ll find a wine trail stop overlapping. Even the Brew Ridge Trail runs past wineries on the Nelson 151 and the Monticello Wine Trails. Live music and festivals are important parts of Virginia’s wine culture and there are multiple events almost every weekend. For the wine aficionados in your group, take a look at extending your stay for a day or two with a Wine Package. Available online, the package includes winery visits, accommodations, frequently meal discounts and goodies. rails Begin planning your Virginia food experience online at