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15 Best Places to Visit in Virginia

15 Best Places to Visit in Virginia

Photo: Sherry V Smith / Shutterstock.com

Want to find the best places to visit in Virginia? Here’s an updated guide for 2020 with interesting and beautiful destinations to include on your Itinerary. 

Perhaps the most significant fact to be mentioned first about Virginia is that it’s the birthplace of America. Here is where English colonists established the first permanent colony in the New World at the beginning of the 17th century.

The birthplace of America is also the birthplace of more US presidents than any other state. Since its establishment, Virginia played a major role in the American Revolution, and more than half of the historical conflict battles were fought here.

Today Virginia is home to headquarters of many governmental institutions. Furthermore, visitors can enjoy scenic landscapes and historical places or the endless miles of pristine coastline, savoring award-winning wines, and much more.

Old Town Alexandria

Located close to America’s capital, Old Town Alexandria is a historic center of Alexandria city and is famous for its rich history and unique charm. This nationally designated historic district was founded in the late 18th century and is home to very well preserved architectural buildings of its time.

The quaint historic Old Town is continuously being rated as the prettiest city in the South.  Popular attractions here include Old Town Farmer’s Market, Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, Torpedo Factory Art Center and King Street, which is often named as one of the great streets in America.

Old Town Alexandria

Photo: Jon Bilous/Shutterstock

Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah is Virginia’s first established national park and is a popular destination for travelers who look for a perfect recreation within Virginia’s Appalachians.

The park is the Virginian part of the Blue Ridge Mountains and stretches about a hundred miles along the mountains offering a great wilderness area and incredible picturesque landscapes.

This is a great destination to escape from the city and grasp some peaceful vibes of nature. The park is full of diverse flora and fauna, waterfalls and panoramic views, dedicated trails for hiking, around 75 overlooks with breathtaking scenes, and a lot more to experience and admire. 

Shenandoah National Park

Photo: Jon Bilous/Shutterstock

Chincoteague Island

This is where wild ponies roam on over 20 miles of coastline! Yes, the trademarks of the island are the wild ponies, which as per legends, are the descendants of the survived mine horses from the shipwreck of a Spanish ship in the 16th century. 

Being the only resort island in Virginia, Chincoteague is far from high rises and traffic jams and is a small bustling place. This conveniently walkable tourist destination offers a relaxed, serene atmosphere and the beauty of unspoiled wild nature.

Chincoteague Island

Photo: The Old Major / Shutterstock.com

Williamsburg

Williamsburg is a city that shares the most about America’s abiding history and is a popular tourist destination in the country. It was the capital of Virginia in the 18th century and is known as American democracy’s birthplace.

Nowhere else like here can be sensed the true aura and life during America’s colonial times. Top attractions of Williamsburg are the Governor’s Palace, Virginia’s first Capitol Building, College of William & Mary, and others.

Strolling the paved streets of Williamsburg gives an experience of being in a history-museum under the open sky, where you can even try colonial time outfits for free, learn how to make shoes and take a tour in the old printing office. 

Williamsburg in Virginia

Photo: Bob Pool / Shutterstock.com

Virginia Beach

Virginia beach is a unique part of coastal Virginia, which thrives year-round and offers to enjoy many attractions, such as the iconic oceanfront boardwalk lined with bars, restaurants, shops, and museums.

Every corner of the coastal city has its unique vibe and is preferred for its closeness to calm, shallow waters of the ocean. The southern shore of Virginia Beach is a secluded island-like area and is called Sandbridge.

Additionally, you can admire spectacular views on the borders of Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. 

Virginia Beach

Photo: Sherry V Smith / Shutterstock.com

Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon is America’s most visited historic estate, which was the home of George Washington and his family. In addition to being Washington’s former residence, it also includes buildings from the colonial era, spectacular gardens, gristmill, a working distillery, museum, and an educational center.

This is the best place to get to know the real George Washington and the true story of his life. 

Throughout the year Mount Vernon hosts many events, festivals, commemorations, so before visiting it’s better to check the calendar for the chance of making the visit even more remarkable by being a part of a special event. 

Mount Vernon

PhotosbyAndy/Shutterstock

Luray Caverns

Near the Luray town and deep beneath the Blue Ridge Mountains you can find Luray Caverns, which covers 64-acres large area and is the largest cavern in the eastern US.

The caverns were formed millions of years ago but discovered only in 1878. Walking through pave floored and well-lighted limestone caverns is an unearthly experience, especially when you also hear the sound of the stalactite organ, which was constructed in the caverns in 1956 near to 37 stalactites to make it the largest natural musical instrument.

Luray Caverns

Photo: Joe Ravi/Shutterstock

Natural Bridge State Park

Located in Rockbridge County, Natural Bridge State Park features the famous Rock bridge – an enormous and spectacular limestone gorge, which is a National Historic Landmark and indeed one of Virginia’s treasures.

The park attracts thousands of tourists year-round and also features beautiful forests, impressive scenes of the surrounding mountains, the James River valley, and many other natural attractions that can be accessed by designated trails. 

Natural Bridge State Park

Photo: William Silver/Shutterstock

Virginia Creeper Trail

This 35-mile long trail was born in 1987 from many abandoned railroads. It was the efforts of local citizens, the US Forest Service, and the government combined to turn the old train tracks into this scenic and multi-use trails.

The trail begins in Abington then goes to Damascus through rolling farmland offering remarkable scenery and fascinating railroad history along the way. It is bordered by beautiful fields and pastures full of animals, birds and incredible flora.

If you enjoy spending time outdoors and go hiking, the Creeper Trail is one of the best places to visit in Virginia. 

Virginia Creeper Trail

Photo: digidreamgrafix/Shutterstock

Manassas National Battlefield Park

Manassas National Battlefield Park is a 5000-acre large historical site of the First and Second Manassas Battles. It is located just outside Washington D.C and is a living history demonstration of the famous battles.

The first took place in 1861 and the second one in 1862, where the Confederates got the victory and the height of their power. Visitors of the Park can explore the battlefield through walking and driving tours and also take part in annual battle commemorative events.

Manassas National Battlefield Park

Photo: Zack Frank/Shutterstock

Arlington National Cemetery

This is the largest and the most famous cemetery in the US, which honors the memory of the nation’s greatest heroes and more than 400,000 veterans from different conflicts, such as World Wars I and II, The Cold War, America’s Civil War, the Korean conflict.

The site was originally built to be a memorial to George Washington, but it expanded to a national cemetery over the years, which has also become the gravesite of President John Kennedy.

Arlington National Cemetery

Photo: Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

Fredericksburg

Fredericksburg is a city where both rich history and many modern attractions await you. Known for being the childhood home of George Washington, Fredericksburg has many elements of colonial America, including civil wartime buildings and historic sites.

The majority of them are concentrated in the historic downtown area. The city is also full of many modern attractions, such as arts, wineries, golf courts, culinary experience, shopping and more. 

Fredericksburg

Photo: Real Window Creative/Shutterstock

George Washington Birthplace National Monument

Born on his father’s tobacco farm, George Washington spent three and a half years there before his family moved to Mount Vernon. Later in 1779, the house where America’s founding father was born, got burned. Here is where the memorial house was built in 1930.

Today, the George Washington Birthplace Monument has become a historic area and includes also the burial ground and the working colonial farm, which shows farming techniques used during the colonial era.

George Washington Birthplace National Monument

Photo: Zack Frank/Shutterstock

Richmond

Richmond is Virginia’s capital and is only 2 hours away from America’s capital Washington D.C. It was also the capital of the confederacy during the times of the civil war.

Much of the heritage has been saved and make up an essential part of America’s history within its historical districts, monuments, memorials, museums, and other sites. Today the city thrives in the cultural active atmosphere and outdoor fun and is an ideal destination for both exploring America’s history and modern time attractions. 

Richmond Viriginia

Photo: Konstantin L/Shutterstock

Abingdon

Abingdon is one of the best cultural places to visit in Virginia as the town is home to the longest-running professional theater in the whole United States. The Barter Theater is well-worth visiting, and there is a wide variety of shows periodically throughout the year.

Furthermore, the local brewing company Wolf Hills is a popular stop for beer lovers. The town is also the starting point of the Virginia Creeper Trail and a gateway to the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Barter Theatre in Virginia


Want more tips on places to visit in Virginia? Leave a comment below!

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