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Travel Ideas: The Tides in Virginia with Dogs

By: Tracy Grinnell

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When planning your next all-American family vacation complete with fun, sun, golf, water sports, excellent food and relaxation, why not bring your four-legged friend to make your trip complete? Situated on two separate peninsulas separated by Carters Lake in Irvington, Virginia, are the Tides Inn and Tide Lodge – two 3-generation, family-owned vacation resorts that proudly have been accommodating families and friends for over 53 years.

The Tides Inn

This 121-unit inn is located on a bluff that overlooks majestic lakes and bays. Each of the five types of rooms at the inn is designed to make all guests feel at home and many have balconies and patios for beautiful water views. Each room is filled with amenities – remote color TVs, coffee makers, hair dryers and nightly turn-down maid service. For guests in search of a vacation with no worries or cares, the inn offers an all inclusive vacation plan that includes traditional Virginia breakfasts and dinners, along with a long list of activities and things to do that will keep all visitors entertained for hours if they choose to partake in them.

The water babies of your group have access to sailboats, canoes, paddle boats and yacht cruises on the Rappahannock River, while golf fanatics can play on the nine-hole, par 3 golf course-located right on the grounds of the inn-free of charge. Two other golf courses on the Tides property are open to the public and charge fees. Health nuts can walk on beautiful beaches, swim in the beachside heated pool, play tennis on clay and all-weather courts and ride bicycles through historic Irvington. If this isn't enough, on-site shuffleboard courts, croquet areas, playgrounds and areas for horseshoe pitching are also available.

Special activities are planned daily for children, and kids of all ages can enjoy nightly movies and parlor games and spend time in the air-conditioned game room/arcade. Eight dining facilities on The Tides property cater to all tastes and a water taxi is accessible to take guest across the river to the Tides Lodge.

The Tides Lodge

This cozy 58-unit lodge has an a-la-carte payment plan that lets guests pay only for their room and charge any activities and services they choose to partake in to their account. The lodge allows guests to utilize all of the Tides restaurants and facilities and also boasts a list of activities and amenities available to guests free of charge.

Like inn guests, visitors to the lodge can enjoy a putting green, a game room/arcade, biking, swimming in a salt water pool, playing tennis, croquet, shuffleboard and horseshoes. Fitness buffs can also enjoy a waterfront fitness room. And, of course, children can enjoy specially-planned activities daily. The lodge has standard water view rooms and deluxe water view rooms. Like the Inn, each room is designed with a home-like feel and holds similar amenities to Inn rooms.

Perfectly Private

The Innview House is perfect for special occasions, such as family/school reunions, golf outing, business retreats, etc. This two-story house – located on the lodge side of the property overlooks Carter's Creek – can easily sleep 10 people and has two full baths. The living room, den, sunroom and full kitchen make this an ideal place for guest to feel comfortable and not cramped.

If you're looking for a more spacious and private place to bring your next family, school reunion, etc., you may want to inquire about The Cove Cottage. Also located on the Lodge side of the property, this two-bedroom waterfront cottage has one bath, a living area and large deck overlooking Carter's Creek. A sleep sofa makes room for extra guests and the fireplace and kitchenette – stocked with dining and cooking utensils-will make any get-together a great experience.

Perfectly Pampered

All guests of The Tides can become queens or kings for the day when they escape into the world of the Tides Spa. For a fee, you can enjoy beautiful views, a private bath, a manicure or pedicure, an aromatherapy massage and many other wonderful treatments that will make your stay relaxed and memorable.

It's Not Truly Perfect Without Your Pet

According to John Dufour, the director of sales and marketing for The Tides, the two vacation resorts have been owned and operated by the animal-loving Stephens family for 53 years. Because this family knows how important peoples' pets are to them, they've accommodated cats and dogs since they've been in existence.

"There's a lot of land and space on both properties," Dufour says, "so there's really no reason why we can't accommodate a cat or dog." Dufour explains that about 20 of the 121 units at the Inn and about 10 of the 58 units at the Lodge are pet-friendly. Guests, he says, must only pay a pet fee of 10 dollars per day.

"I'm also a dog lover," Dufore adds, "and I get a warm feeling when I see people interacting with their dogs here on vacation. And, as a dog owner, I know that being able to take your pet with you on vacation causes less stress and helps owners relax and enjoy their vacations more because they aren't worrying about their animal back home in a kennel."

Defour describes The Tides as an "all-American resort" that provides its guests with warm, casual and fun feelings. "Our services extend to pets and owners because pets are our guests too," he says. "Allowing pets seamlessly fits in to who we are," he continues, "and the view of our grounds will-at times-remind you of a Normal Rockwell painting."

For reservations or for more information, call: (800) 843-3746 or access their Website www.tidesinn.comm

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