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It can be overwhelming without a travel guide to figure out what to see and what to do, so to help you out, here are 50 fun things to do and places to visit in Virginia. Three different beaches stretch across the span of 14 miles, providing sand, surf, and boardwalk galore. Of course, though we refer mainly to the beach area, Virginia Beach is about more than just that. The Natural Bridge of Virginia is a huge limestone arch, carved out over the span of multiple millennia by the flowing of the Cedar Creek. In , George Washington came to the site and surveyed it as a young man and carved his initials into it.
But before American colonists got their hands on it, the bridge was considered sacred by the Monocans, a tribe living in the area. The Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center is one of the best ways to travel across the world without even leaving the state!
One of the popular exhibits here is the Bay and Ocean Pavilion, which showcases bodies of water of the state and their journeys through it. An aviary of half an acre sits in the middle of the venue, an outdoor nature trail offers insight into even more animals, there are feedings of the very rare sea turtle to watch, and a small fee will let you swim with seals! The Luray Caverns are among the most beautiful places in Virginia.
They were first stumbled upon by four men from Luray in and are now the biggest cave system of commercial variety in all of America. The Luray Caverns are a National Natural Landmark, situated feet underground with a huge size and gorgeous features that make it one of the best spots to stop by during your visit to the state. The Luray Caverns are packed with natural wonders, including flowstones, draperies, stalagmites, stalactites, and mirror pools, and the entire system has a degree Fahrenheit temperature all throughout the year. One of the stops along the way is the Great Cavern, which is so huge that it has hosted weddings.
Before it even opened its doors, since the early s, the state had received multiple art-related gifts, including ones from famous donors like Judge John Barton Payne. Already quite a large building to begin with, and loved for its housing of famous works by great artists such as Picasso and a wide range of works from all around the world, the museum became even larger in Among the various galleries, you can view collections in varying genres, including American art as well as Art Nouveau and Art Deco from Lewis.
It was first built on Confederate General Robert E. Arlington National Cemetery covers acres of ground and has been the final resting place of many who lost their lives in national and international conflicts since the year Among them are George C. Marshall, President John F. Kennedy, and Admiral Grace Hopper. One of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers, which is the final resting place for soldiers whose identities are unknown that lost their lives during the Korean, Vietnam, and world wars.
It is essentially an outdoor adventure that allows visitors to explore the early life of various continents and regions as they walk around. Exhibits give you a glimpse into the culture of American frontier through the contributions of the indigenous peoples, as well as African and European contributions, including those from Germany and England. Essentially, the museum is a living one that tells a tale, weaving a story of those who arrived in America, their lives, and what happened next.
The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most famous Virginia attractions, especially for sightseeing. With forested lands covered in relaxing trees, the route is filled with gorgeous panoramas and flora. If you want to hike, trails leading up the Roanoke and Onion mountains are a sight for sore eyes.
Historic Jamestowne is another one. The Jamestown Settlement was built years after Jamestown itself was founded, meaning it opened in It now is host to a large array of galleries and museums that showcase the history of the English colonization over the New World in some of the best ways.
More than 4, artifacts live in an archaearium museum, most of which were unearthed from James Fort over the course of 2 decades, some of which had been in the ground, buried, for more than 4 centuries. This particular stone was meant to outline the District of Columbia, which had been newly created at the time. Busch Gardens is among the most famous places in Virginia, with an interesting southern Germany theme.
The spot is essentially a theme park, suited for all ages, ranging from activities for kids to roller coasters with foot drops and multiple hills for adults. Rides are themed on European cliches and famous locations, such as the Loch Ness Monster and the Alps.
Live entertainment, Bavarian bands, and dancers dressed in dirndl all make up the best features of Busch Gardens. At the end of summer, Bier Fest is held here, where there are more than kinds of craft beer to try. Planning to visit Williamsburg? Be sure to check out our list of things to do in Williamsburg, VA! Inspired by a villa in Italy, the home is full of eye-catching architecture, inventions made by Jefferson himself, a discovery room, a media center that plays interactive videos, exhibitions, and of course, the historic and much-loved gardens, also deed by the late former President himself.
You can take a tour to learn even more, including about aspects of the grounds, the gardens, or the slavery that took place here. There are plenty of aviation-focused museums in America — and even in Virginia! Restorations and care have allowed the planes to be restored using either their genuine parts or impressive replicas, creating a hangar full of stunning displays that look as though they could take off flying at any moment — and some can!
During air shows in fall and spring, some plans are flown and showed off in an incredible spectacle, alongside other activities! The Norfolk Botanical Garden is one of the very best of Virginia attractions that you can find. It is open throughout the year and showcases tons of different themes gardens, with varying locations that will appeal to all ages. An indoor exhibit, hosted in the Barker Hall Visitor Center, features art, painting, and photography exhibits that rotate throughout the year.
Outside, the gardens can be walked through, or you can bike rides in the evenings, and there are lots of benches to sit down at. The Edith J. Carrier Arboretum is among the top things to do in Virginia. It is located in Shenandoah Valley, Harrisonburg, on the campus of James Madison University, and is one of the few dog-friendly locations in Virginia that you can visit.
Taking up acres of land, the Edith J. Carrier Arboretums lined with a forest of Oak-Hickory, flowers, plants, and more. Throughout the area, you can walk on paved paths, take in the cool, rustic atmosphere, admire statues, sit on well-crafted seats, and feed the ducks. There is also a planting area for experimentation that houses hybrid azaleas, an herb garden, and even a wetlands garden. Manassas National Battlefield Park was the site of two different American Civil War battles, so history buffs should add it to their list of things to see while in Virginia. They took place on the 21st of July in and from the 28th to the 30th of August in , respectively.
It is in this very field that the famous General Thomas J. All information is easy to understand, and tours are fun and led by rangers to take you over the scene of Bull Run. Other than that, at this Virginia site, you can visit the hiking trails, check out the museum to view artifacts left behind from the battles, buy souvenirs at the gift shop, or even just go birdwatching, since over species of birds flock to Manassas National Battlefield Park.
There is also the Stone Bridge, which still stands today, and was used when the Union Army retreated in both of their fights. Ferguson and Archer Milton Huntington. It has artifacts that will take you on a trip from the European age of exploration all the way up to the work of the US Navy. Over 32, objects, of artifacts, and 1. The island sits on the eastern coast of the peninsula of Delmarva and is considered a National Natural Landmark. Some believe they are not actually ponies originally, but horses who became shorter to adapt to the environment over the many, many years.
Some believe they are descended from escaped equines from a shipwreck, and there is the historically accurate tale of La Galga, a Spanish galleon that was wrecked nearby in However, no one has been able to find the galleon yet — though some have reason to believe that the wreck is not buried in the sand of Assateague Island. But this spot in Virginia where the first American president was born back in has since been sufficiently recreated to mimic the style of his upper-class home, stuffed with interesting period furnishings. Within the grounds, you can visit the Memorial House and the Kitchen House, both of which are staffed by reenactors dressed in period outfits to give you a taste of old Virginia.
Walk around to the Colonial Herb and Flower Garden to learn about plants from the era, or head to the Colonial Living Farm to check out traditional farming methods and meet a pair of Red Devon oxen directly descended from those owned by Washington himself. With miles of hiking trails, of which are a part of the Appalachian Trail, there is lots to enjoy in Shenandoah National Park.
Great Falls Park is a National Park Service site, making it one of the smaller tourist attractions with this status in Virginia. The National Firearms Museum is situated in Fairfax, Virginia and is one of the most fascinating historical points of interest you can find in the state. The National Firearms Museum is operated and owned by the National Rifle Association and seeks to showcase the importance of firearms in the country, as well as the innovation used in their technology. The Virginia museum features 15 galleries, all divided into different eras, typically with titles that indicate the attitude and usage of the weapons displayed.
The Hollywood Guns gallery has famous weapons like the. The building is tall with a foot height, built to look just like the Lighthouse of Alexandria of old. The memorial was completed and dedicated in and so many people attended that the House of Representatives closed for the day. This includes the fourth floor with the George Washington Museum, the Ark of the Covenant replica on the fifth floor, the Memorial Library on the sixth floor, the Temple of Solomon on the seventh floor, and a recreation of the throne room of King Solomon on the ninth floor.
Literature lovers will appreciate the celebration of the grim, gothic author, his works, and his life. His penchant for gambling and drinking means that this is one of the only establishments that honors him, as his reputation prevented the city of Richmond from honoring him wholeheartedly. Apart from all the intricacies that make this one of the most fun things to do in Virginia, cat lovers will be delighted by Edgar and Pluto, two resident black cats on the property!
America has made very little concrete ships in its time, and nine of them make up this collection, slowly decaying in a poetic, whimsical, and somewhat eerie manner off a nondescript fishing pier. Eventually, the terminal and its ferry shut down in , as the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel near to the area. Still, the breakwater is crucial to marine life, providing a home for shellfish, coastal fish, and birds while protecting the pier. Mount Vernon is one of the must-see spots in Virginia, especially if you seek historical points of interest. It is a place that George Washington himself called his home for a whopping 45 years while he led a revolution army and supervised the construction of the home.
The iconic and much-loved landmark is one of the best ways to get a peek into the life and times of the Washington family. Years later, in , Walter P. Chrysler Jr. The museum was promptly rebranded and is now one of the most influential and important art museums in the southeast of the nation. Today, this museum in Virginia hosts more than 30, different objects from different points of history, some dating back 5, years.
American and European works, sculptures, and more make this one of the most interesting vacation spots for art-lovers. Daily demos for free, workshops, and classes are all held here, and there is an event that happens every third monthly Thursday that provides live performance art. The U. Marine Corps War Memorial often referred to as the Iwo Jima Memorial is a national monument recognized as one of the most iconic points of interest not just in Virginia, but all over the world.
It was deed by an architect named Horace W. Visit this Virginia site to pay respects to those passed, or simply to bask in its historical relevance.Chill date 26 Virginia 26
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