Virginia, a state steeped in history, blessed with breathtaking natural beauty, and brimming with cultural delights, offers an array of attractions that cater to every traveler’s desires. From exploring majestic national parks to immersing in the rich heritage of Colonial Williamsburg, and from indulging in culinary delights to experiencing the vibrant wine culture, Virginia has something for everyone. Let’s embark on a memorable journey to the best things to do in this captivating state.
Embrace Nature’s Majesty
Shenandoah National Park: A Wilderness Wonderland
Nestled within the Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah National Park is a treasure trove of natural wonders. Hikers can explore over 500 miles of trails, including a part of the renowned Appalachian Trail, offering breathtaking vistas and encounters with wildlife. For a scenic drive, venture along the picturesque 105-mile Skyline Drive, showcasing numerous overlooks and picnic spots. Embrace the serene beauty of Shenandoah, and consider staying overnight in lodges, cabins, or campgrounds to fully immerse yourself in nature’s embrace.
Relive History in Colonial Williamsburg
Colonial Williamsburg: A Living History Museum
Travel back in time to the 18th-century colonial capital of Virginia at Colonial Williamsburg. The living history museum meticulously recreates the essence of the past, with restored buildings, gardens, shops, and taverns. Interact with costumed actors portraying historical figures and ordinary people, and gain insights into the American Revolution, the lives of enslaved individuals, and the culture of Native Americans. Colonial Williamsburg offers an array of tours, programs, and events suitable for visitors of all ages, making history come alive in an engaging and immersive manner.
Indulge in Virginia’s Culinary Delights
Taste the Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs
A visit to Virginia would be incomplete without savoring the iconic Chesapeake Bay blue crabs. Head to one of the many waterfront restaurants and relish these delectable crustaceans, known for their sweet and succulent meat. The Chesapeake Bay’s bounty is a culinary experience not to be missed.
Delight in Virginia Ham
Virginia’s renowned salt-cured ham is a culinary tradition cherished by food enthusiasts worldwide. Taste the delicious and flavorful Virginia ham, reflecting the state’s culinary heritage and mastery in preserving this beloved delicacy.
Explore Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello
Monticello: Thomas Jefferson’s Legacy
Step into the world of Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, and the visionary behind Monticello. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is an architectural masterpiece and offers a glimpse into the life of the iconic statesman. Tour the house, discover Jefferson’s personal belongings, inventions, and collections, and stroll through the beautifully curated gardens boasting over 250 varieties of vegetables and fruits. Monticello also highlights the stories of the enslaved individuals who worked on the plantation, providing a comprehensive view of history.
Unwind at Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach: Sun, Sand, and Serenity
Virginia Beach beckons travelers with its pristine sandy shores, stretching for miles along the Atlantic Ocean. Enjoy leisurely walks on the 3-mile-long boardwalk, lined with shops, restaurants, hotels, and entertainment venues. For a fascinating marine experience, visit the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, home to over 10,000 animals and captivating exhibits on marine life and conservation. The beach offers a myriad of activities, from relaxing under the sun to thrilling water sports like surfing, kayaking, parasailing, and fishing.
Sip and Savor Virginia’s Wine Culture
Virginia Wineries: A Toast to Excellence
Wine connoisseurs will delight in exploring Virginia’s wine country, boasting more than 300 wineries. Sample award-winning wines crafted from a variety of grapes such as Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, Viognier, and Norton. Bask in the picturesque landscapes of vineyards, valleys, mountains, and rivers that complement the wine-tasting experience. Must-visit wine regions include Loudoun County, Charlottesville, Northern Neck, Shenandoah Valley, and Hampton Roads. The wineries offer tours, tastings, events, and even accommodations, ensuring a memorable and delightful wine journey.
Thrilling Adventures Await
Outdoor Adventures in Shenandoah
For the adrenaline-seekers, Shenandoah offers thrilling experiences like white-water rafting along the Shenandoah River. Navigate the rapids and immerse yourself in the beauty of the river and its surroundings. Additionally, explore the enchanting Natural Bridge, a National Historic Landmark featuring a stunning limestone arch and scenic nature trails. For adventurous souls, zip-lining through Virginia’s adventure parks promises an exhilarating journey above the treetops, providing captivating views of the state’s natural wonders.
Engage with Art and Museums
Virginia’s Art and Cultural Treasures
Discover a world of art and culture at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, housing an extensive collection of artistic masterpieces spanning various eras and styles. Art enthusiasts will find themselves enchanted by the diversity of exhibits, from classical to contemporary works. The Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk is another gem, showcasing an impressive assortment of paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts. For a deeper understanding of Virginia’s rich history, the Virginia Museum of History & Culture offers fascinating exhibits and artifacts, illuminating the state’s heritage and narrative.
Serenity in Parks and Gardens
Maymont: Nature’s Sanctuary
For a tranquil retreat, explore Maymont, an enchanting estate in Richmond, that offers lush gardens, a wildlife center, and a historical mansion. Stroll through themed gardens and unwind in the midst of nature’s beauty.
Celebrate at Festivals and Events
Virginia State Fair: An Agricultural Extravaganza
Join the festivities at the Virginia State Fair, celebrating the state’s agriculture, entertainment, and community spirit. Enjoy a variety of events, exhibits, and fairground attractions for all ages.
Virginia’s myriad of attractions beckons travelers to explore its diverse landscapes, embrace its rich history, and indulge in its culinary delights. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or simply seeking relaxation, Virginia offers an unforgettable journey that promises cherished memories for a lifetime. Plan your visit to this captivating state and embark on a journey of discovery and delight.
Q: What is the best time to visit Virginia?
A: Spring and fall are considered the best times to visit Virginia due to the pleasant weather and beautiful foliage.
Q: Are there any admission fees for Shenandoah National Park?
A: Yes, there is an entrance fee for Shenandoah National Park, which varies depending on the season and mode of transportation.
Q: Can I go swimming in Virginia Beach?
A: Yes, swimming is allowed at Virginia Beach, and it’s a popular activity for visitors during the summer months.
Q: How far is Colonial Williamsburg from Richmond?
A: Colonial Williamsburg is approximately 50 miles southeast of Richmond, and the drive takes about an hour.
Q: Are pets allowed at Busch Gardens Williamsburg?
A: Only service animals are allowed inside Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Other pets are not permitted.