Virginia, a state in the southeastern part of the U.S.A. is steeped in a rich history that dates back to the 1500s. It got its name ‘Virginia’ in honor of Elizabeth “Virgin Queen” of England. The state is known as “the birthplace of a nation” and also the “Mother of Presidents”. Do you know why? It is all because eight of this land’s sons have held positions in the country’s highest office. And that includes four of the first five presidents too! Not only that, this beautiful state is home to wonderful seafood, thanks to its proximity to the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Things to do in Virginia include everything from visiting its lovely beaches to admiring the serene rolling hills and mighty national parks.
The beauty of fall foliage here is breathtaking and not to miss its scenic Skyline Drive. From heading to Williamsburg’s famous President Heads to exploring the culture in Chesapeake, there are a plethora of things to do in Virginia, the star of the U.S.A’s east coast.
The state has many alluring big cities. And you will also fall for the smaller cozy towns. Tazewell in southwest Virginia is one such small town. The state has romantic getaways, outdoor locations, great family attractions – enough to keep you occupied for a week. Best time to visit Virginia? Usually, April through November. Fair weather, a lot of events will keep you delighted. If you want to experience Virginia’s Christmas days, the colder months would be fantastic. Its exclusive range of attractions makes the state one of the top-ranking places to visit in the U.S. Let’s go through our list of the best things to do in Virginia.
Best Things to Do In Virginia For a Lifetime Experience:
Miles of beaches with warm, clear water, Virginia Beach is your perfect beach getaway in the state. It is a beautiful resort city with excellent piers, restaurants, hotels, motels, and that happy vibe a resort city usually has. The region, every year hosts the East Coast Surfing Championships and a lot of other beach soccer tournaments too.
The area also has a great number of water parks, museums, a beautiful 3-mile boardwalk to take a stroll. Visit the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center to catch some amazing exhibitions of sharks, rays, and sea turtles. First Landing State Park, False Cape State Park, and the beautiful Cape Henry Lighthouse are also some of the must-visit attractions. Among the water parks, make it a point to visit Ocean Bridge Waterpark. Have a splash in the water and the kids in your group will enjoy being there thoroughly.
Shenandoah National Park:
Lying along the Blue Ridge Mountains, this 2,00,000 acres of a protected wilderness park is your perfect family getaway. Skyline Drive runs through the park and driving along this beautiful road is the best way to explore the surreal beauty of the park. It is the East Coast’s oldest national park and encompasses parts of eight counties. To get the best view of the park, you must visit it during the fall. The outstanding beauty of the fall foliage makes the park drop-dead gorgeous.
The park has several hiking trails for the outdoor enthusiasts that range from easy to strenuous. Among the hikes, you may consider Little Devil Stairs, Passamaquoddy Trail, Turk Mountain Trail, and many more. White Oak Canyon Trail is one of the most popular hikes in SNP. Also, consider the waterfall hikes. There are four entrance stations to enter the park and you must avoid the time between late November to mid-March as most of the lodges, gift shops, and visitor’s centers are closed during this time.
Though the tourism of Williamsburg city is based on the restored Historic Area of Colonial Williamsburg, the city has much more to offer to its visitors. A heaven for the history buffs, Williamsburg, in the 17th and 18th centuries served as the capital of the colony of Virginia and played a crucial role in the American Revolution. There is a field in the city where there are 43 giant bust statues of U.S presidents. If you love to explore offbeat places while vacationing, go and visit Mariners’ Museum and Park, explore Public Hospital Museum which is also known for its haunted ambiance. Take part in the AleWerks brewery tour for a guided tasting session.
Colonial Williamsburg Historic Area is a living history museum and it presents a part of the historic district. You can see hundreds of restored or re-created buildings that are of the 17th to 19th century. It portrays a colonial American city that you have to explore by walking.
Arlington National Cemetery:
This is a military cemetery that is situated in Arlington County and visiting this historical place is one of the best things to do in Virginia. The cemetery lies across the Potomac River and is the place where some of the most famous people of the United States of American have been buried. The cemetery and the Arlington House, Memorial Drive, the Arlington Memorial Bridge, and the Hemicycle are designated as the historic places on the National Register of Historic Places.
You can also visit John F Kennedy’s gravesite and Arlington Memorial amphitheater here. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers is a monument that has been dedicated to the departed U.S soldiers whose remains could not be identified. Throughout the year, every single day the memorial is guarded and the memorial is dedicated to the soldiers of World War I, II, Vietnam War as well as the Korea War.
Sitting just west of Luray, Virginia, this cavern system that is originally known as Luray Caves is a fascinating natural site to visit in Virginia. The cave is the largest cavern in Eastern America and was discovered in the year 1878. Take part in the walking tour to explore the breathtaking cave that has a variety of formations inside and some humungous rooms that reach up to 10 stories in height. The walkways are paved, well-lit, and you will get to see ravishing stalactites, stalagmites, columns, and clear mirrored pools. Get to hear amazing sounds of the rocks as produced by the ‘Great Stalacpipe Organ’. This is such an underground marvel that you can not just miss out on.
Natural Bridge State Park:
Beautiful karst terrain and that iconic 215-foot-high natural arch – it is situated within a gorge that has been carved by Cedar creek from the surrounding mountainous limestone terrain. The bridge is also a Virginia Historic Landmark as well as a National Historic Landmark.
The park is an excellent place to hike on some enthralling trails. More than six miles of trails wind through the park, the main trail being the Cedar Creek Trail. This trail takes you through beautiful paths and you pass beneath the limestone bridge. Also, visit Monacan Indian Village to go through the native American’s life. There are also picnic areas available at the visitor center and along the Cedar Creek Trail.
George Washington’s Mount Vernon:
On the banks of Potomac River in Fairfax County, northern Virginia, is this former plantation estate and landmark that was the historic home to America’s first president George Washington and his wife. This is one of the most iconic 18th-century homes in America and was named after British Admiral Edward Vernon. The iconic structure still stands today and you can visit it. It is a short drive from Washington D.C and pays homage to the father of the country and preserves his heirloom.
There is a mansion inside the field. You can visit the first floor for that you need a time toured ticket. Besides, there are beautiful gardens, tombs, the slave memorial, a museum, heritage breed animals, a working farm, and more that you will love to visit.
The tour at Mount Vernon may take up to several hours. After you are done enjoying the beautiful garden and mansion, head straight to the Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant and grab some classic American delicacies.
Chincoteague And Assateague Islands:
Virginia’s Eastern Shore welcomes you to abundant nature and wildlife. If you are up for a more relaxed and chilled out Virginia vacation, head out to these two remote islands that are Virginia’s pride. Assateague Island is a 37-mile long barrier island where you will visit the wonderful Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and Assateague Island National Seashore. Catch the herds of feral horses and stare at the outstanding migratory birds. It is a wonderful experience amidst wildlife and nature. The beach is unspoiled and the beauty of bays, coves, and Assateague Lighthouse is amazing.
On the island of Chincoteague, you will get numerous small hotels, Airb&b, and campgrounds. Taste the delicious ice creams from the chain of Island Creamery and also check out the two museums that are on the island.
So these were some of the not-to-miss things to do in Virginia. We hope you got some travel inspirations going through the post. If you have visited Virginia please share with us your travel experiences and tell us about the places you really liked the most. Share this post with your travel enthusiast friends and provoke the wanderlust.