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VIRGINIA TRAVEL GUIDE

Natural Bridge in Natural Bridge, Virginia Neptune statue in Virginia Beach, Virginia Foamhenge, Virginia

Welcome to the bigroads.com travel guide to Virginia! Hopefully this page helps provide some inspiration and tips to help you plan your next trip to Virginia.

Take note that I build and maintain this website as both a hobby and public service. I take joy in performing travel research and sharing my experiences and adventures. I do not make any profit from this website, and you will see no ads on it. Your constructive feedback about this site and its content is encouraged. Please email me if you have any suggestions or ideas for improvement.

Author/Contributor: Greg Parsons

OVERVIEW



Virginia should be at the top of your list if you enjoy amusement parks, beaches, historical sites, scenic drives, or wineries. There's actually a little bit of everything in Virginia, and just about every corner of the state is interesting and worth exploring.

TOP 10 ATTRACTIONS IN VIRGINIA



Are you short on time or struggling to choose something to do or see in Virginia? Here are my selections for the top 10 attractions or experiences in Virginia, in no particular order:

Ride the world-class rollercoasters at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg
Visit some of Virginia's 300-plus wineries
Take a guided tour of Thomas Jefferson's estate/gardens at Monticello in Charlottesville
Walk around Arlington National Cemetery and see the Tomb of the Unknown Solider
Engage in history at Colonial Williamsburg
Cycle some or all of the famous Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park ("W&OD") trail
Go underground in one of Virginia's show caves (e.g. Luray Caverns)
Hit the beach at Virginia Beach or Assateague Beach
Drive a portion (or all) of the Skyline Drive and/or Blue Ridge Parkway
Spend a day (or two) at Water Country USA, one of the very best water parks in the U.S.

If I could select only one place to visit in Virginia, I would choose the Williamsburg area. There are many theme parks, and it's only about an hour from Virginia Beach too.

For a list of 10 great attractions in each U.S. state, click here.

5-STAR ATTRACTIONS IN VIRGINIA



Here is my opinionated list of 5-star attractions in Virginia. I believe each of these attractions should be on your Virginia bucket list since they are all noteworthy from a national perspective:

Northern Virginia (including Alexandria, Arlington, Leesburg, and Luray)
Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington - the most famous military cemetery in the U.S.; the home of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park, Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania - visit the sites of four Civil War battlefields
George Washington's Mount Vernon, Alexandria - visit the 40-year home of George Washington
Great Falls Park, McLean - a huge and wide waterfall on the border of Maryland and Virginia
Luray Caverns, Luray - guided tours of one of the best show caves on the East Coast; there is also a historic car museum on site too
Manassas National Battlefield Park, Manassas - visit the site of two Civil War battles
National Museum of the Marine Corps, Triangle - arguably the finest museum in the country covering the history of the U.S. Marines
National Firearms Museum, Fairfax - a firearms museum with more than 2,500 guns on display; located at the NRA headquarters
Old Rag Mountain, Oldrag - one of the most popular hiking destinations in Shenandoah National Park; offers excellent views
Old Town District, Alexandria - a lively historic district with tons of shops and restaurants; one of the most popular tourist areas in Virginia
Rocking S Ranch, Winchester - a top-rated horseback riding experience
Shenandoah National Park - one of the best national parks in the East; famous for its scenic drives, waterfalls, views, hiking, and wildlife
Skyline Caverns, Front Royal - offers great underground guided cave tours
Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park - a 105-mile paved scenic drive through Shenandoah National Park; great views, hiking, and wildlife
Sky Meadows State Park, Delaplane - a scenic park north of Shenandoah National Park that offers scenic views and hiking/biking trails
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center (Smithsonian), Chantilly - features 2 hangers' worth of aviation and space history; compliments the D.C. museum
Stony Man Mountain, Luray - take a short hike to one of the best views in Shenandoah National Park
U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial / Iwo Jima Memorial, Arlington - see the famous statue of 6 U.S. Marines raising the U.S. flag
Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Trail (W&OD) - an excellent 45-mile, partially paved, continuous rail trail from Arlington to Purcellville
Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, Vienna - visit the only performing arts center administered by the National Park Service

Central Virginia (including Charlottesville, Natural Bridge, Richmond, and Staunton)
American Shakespeare Center / Blackfriars Playhouse, Staunton - a re-creation of Shakespeare's indoor theater
Barboursville Vineyards and Historic Ruins, Barboursville - visit the remains of a brick mansion that was designed by Thomas Jefferson
Blue Ridge Parkway - a 469-mile scenic drive from Virginia to North Carolina with many scenic views and diversion opportunities
Byrd Theatre, Richmond - a historic cinema and performing arts theater in the lively Carytown area of Richmond
Carter Mountain Orchard, Charlottesville - a popular country farm with wonderful scenic views
Dinosaur Kingdown II, Natural Bridge - a tourist attraction feature dinosaur statues; not everyone will appreciate this roadside attraction
Foamhenge, Natural Bridge - a replica of England's Stonehenge that is made of foam; a quick and classic Virginia roadside attraction
Frontier Culture Museum, Staunton - bills itself as the "biggest open-air living history museum in the Shenandoah Valley"
Grand Caverns, Grottoes - guided underground tours of a limestone cave
High Bridge Trail State Park, Rice - a 31-mile unpaved rail trail that includes a 125ft high, 2,400ft long bridge over the Appomattox River
Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond - a beautiful cemetery with scenic views and the resting place of two U.S. presidents
Kings Dominion & Soak City, Doswell - one of the top rollercoaster parks in the U.S.; includes more than 60 rides/attractions
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond - often rated one of the best botanical gardens in the U.S.
Maymont, Richmond - tours of a grand Gilded Age (19th century) estate; features gardens, a farm, a nature center, mansion tours, and more
Monticello, Charlottesville - guided tours of Thomas Jefferson's estate/gardens
Museum and White House of the Confederacy, Richmond - guided tours of a national historic landmark
Natural Bridge State Park, Natural Bridge - one of the largest and most impressive natural bridges in the U.S.; 215-feet tall!
Natural Chimneys Park, Mt. Solon - an interesting geologic attraction; the park also has a campground and some short hiking/biking trails
Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond - a large and highly-rated scenic museum
Shenandoah National Park - one of the best national parks in the East; famous for its scenic drives, waterfalls, views, hiking, and wildlife
Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park - a 105-mile paved scenic drive through Shenandoah National Park; great views, hiking, and wildlife
University of Virginia, Charlottesville - consistently rated one of the prettiest college campuses in the country
Virginia Capital Trail - an excellent, mostly paved, 51.7 mile rail trail from Richmond to Jamestown
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond - the best art museum in Virginia
Virginia Safari Park, Natural Bridge - a highly-rated wildlife attraction that is part zoo, part drive-thru safari park
Virginia State Capitol / Virginia Capital Building, Richmond - take a guided tour of the Virginia state capitol building

Southwestern Virginia
Barter Theatre, Abingdon - the longest running professional theatre in the U.S.; features concerts, musicals, and plays
Grayson Highlands State Park, Mouth of Wilson - known for its scenic views, excellent hiking/backpacking trails, grassy balds, and wild ponies
Hungry Mother State Park, Marion - features a scenic lake with a sandy beach & boat rentals; also has great hiking trails (e.g. Molly's Knob)
Mabry Mill, Meadows of Dan - this historic watermill is one of the most photographed spots on the famous Blue Ridge Parkway
Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, Marion - an exceptionally scenic and large recreation area with 400 miles of trails and scenic roads
Virginia Creeper Trail - an exceptional 34-mile unpaved rail trail that travels from Abingdon to Whitetop; one of the best rail trails in the East

Southcentral Virginia (including Danville, Lynchburg, and Roanoke)
AAF Tank Museum, Danville - an excellent military tank museum with more than 120 tanks and artillery pieces on display
Appomattox Court House National Historic Park, Appomattox  - visit the site where the Confederate Army surrendered during the Civil War
Blue Ridge Parkway - a 469-mile scenic drive from Virginia to North Carolina with many scenic views and diversion opportunities
Cascades, The / Cascade Falls, Pembroke - take a 4.0-mile hike to visit this awesome 66-foot tall waterfall (arguably Virginia's best)
McAfee Knob, Appalachian Trail - hike up to an iconic protruding rock formation along the Appalachian Trail; an outstanding photo op
Mill Mountain Star & Park / Roanoke Star, Roanoke - see the world's largest freestanding illuminated man-made star (88 feet tall!)
National D-Day Memorial, Bedford - a moving memorial that commemorates the Normandy invasion in World War II
Virginia Museum of Transportation, Roanoke - an excellent transportation museum with many cars, airplanes, and trains on display

Southeastern Virginia (including Jamestown, Newport News, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, and Yorktown)
American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, Yorktown - an outstanding living history museum next to the Colonial National Historical Park
Assateague Beach, Chincoteague Island - one of the best beaches on the East Coast and home to wild ponies; part of a 37-mile barrier island
Boat tours in Chincoteague Island - various sightseeing tours and watersports are possible on Chincoteague Island
Boat tours in Virginia Beach - various sightseeing tours and watersports are possible on Virginia Beach
Busch Gardens, Williamsburg - one of the most largest and most famous amusement parks in the U.S.; has "eight world-class rollercoasters"
Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge - a beautiful refuge on a long barrier island that has beautiful beaches and wild ponies
Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk - an art museum famous for its 1900s European & American art
Colonial National Historical Park - includes Historic Jamestowne, the Yorktown Battlefield, and 23-mile scenic drive (Colonial Parkway)
Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg - the largest living history museum in the U.S.; has historic sites, costumed interpreters and art museums
False Cape State Park, Virginia Beach - one of the last remaining undeveloped areas along the Atlantic coast; beaches, trails, and kayaking
First Landing State Park, Virginia Beach - the "crown jewel of Virginia state parks" offers trails, beaches, cypress swamps, and more
Fort Monroe National Monument, Fort Monroe - visit the largest stone fort ever built in the U.S.
Go Ape Zipline & Adventure Park, Williamsburg - fun aerial adventure park with zip-lining
Governor's Palace, Williamsburg - tour the residence of the royal governors of the Colony of Virginia
Historic Jamestowne, Williamsburg - visit the site of 1st permanent English colony in America
Jamestown Settlement, Williamsburg - a living history museum with costumed interpreters; the site of America's first English colony
King Neptune Statue, Virginia Beach - see the famous statue on the Virginia beach boardwalk; one of VA's most famous roadside attractions
Mariners' Museum and Park, Newport News - an excellent and very large maritime museum; one of the premier maritime museums in the U.S.
Military Aviation Museum, Virginia Beach - features one of the world's largest collections of flying vintage military aircraft (e.g. WWI & WWII)
Nauticus / U.S.S. Wisconsin, Norfolk - a maritime museum where you can also tour a large U.S. Navy battleship
Norfolk Botanical Garden, Norfolk - a huge botanical garden with more than 60-themed gardens; one of the best botanical gardens in the U.S.
Sandbridge Beach, Virginia Beach - 5 miles of beautiful beaches away from the hustle and bustle of the main beaches of Virginia Beach
U.S. Army Transportation Museum, Fort Eustis - excellent military museum with tanks, helicopters, planes, and many other types of vehicles
Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, Virginia Beach - a large aquarium with more than 10,000 animals from 300-plus species
Virginia Beach - a large coastal city famous for its beaches, 3-mile long beach boardwalk, and many tourist attractions/family-fun parks
Virginia Beach Boardwalk, Virginia Beach - this 3-mile beach boardwalk is one of the most famous beach boardwalks in the U.S.
Virginia Capital Trail - an excellent, mostly paved, 51.7 mile rail trail from Richmond to Jamestown
Virginia Living Museum, Newport News - a varied museum with an aquarium, aviary, zoo, botanical garden, dinosaur sculptures, and more
Water Country USA, Williamsburg - the largest water park in the Mid-Atlantic and one of the best water parks in the U.S.

There are more than 300 wineries in Virginia, and they are scattered all across the state. There are so many fantastic wineries in Virginia that I couldn't possibly even attempt to describe them above without overcrowding the lists. Do a search for "Virginia wineries" or "Virginia winery map" on Google and you'll quickly see what I mean.

Are you aware of any other 5-star attractions in Virginia? If so, please email me at gparsons66@hotmail.com. ✉

For a list of 5-star attractions in neighboring states, click on any of these links:  KY  |  MD  |  NC  |  TN  |  WV

BEST TOWNS & CITIES TO VISIT IN VIRGINIA



These towns and cities in Virginia are generally regarded as the most interesting to travelers:

Alexandria - a medium-sized city famous for its lively Old Town district; packed with colonial history; walkable with many boutique shops
Charlottesville - a medium-sized city famous for its great restaurants; close to many outdoor activities, wineries, breweries, and historical sites
Chincoteague - a small town on the Eastern Shore that is famous for its beaches, wild horses, and boat tours/water sports
Virginia Beach - a large coastal city famous for its beaches, 3-mile long beach boardwalk, and many tourist attractions/family-fun parks
Williamsburg - a small city famous for its historical attractions (e.g. Colonial Williamsburg; Jamestown Settlement) and amusement parks (e.g. Busch Gardens and Water Country USA)

Leesburg and Fredericksburg may also be worth a look, but I haven't visited either of those towns yet. Richmond also has its lively Carytown district, which is worth a visit.

Click here if you'd like to see a complete list of towns and cities that I find interesting across the entire U.S.

WHAT IS VIRGINIA FAMOUS FOR?



Here are some things that Virginia is famous or well-known for:

amusement parks
apples
beaches
birthplace of America
black bears
caves / cave tours
Civil War history/battlefields
Colonial history
historic houses/buildings
internet / technology companies
museums
presidential homes/birthplaces
Revolutionary War history/sites
scenic drives
tobacco
wineries / vineyards

Click here if you'd like to explore what other U.S. states are famous for.

NATIONAL PARKS IN VIRGINIA



Virginia has one national park and also many other federally-managed parks and properties, including:

National Parks
Shenandoah National Park - one of the best national parks in the East; famous for its scenic drives, waterfalls, views, hiking, and wildlife

National Monuments
Booker T. Washington National Monument
Fort Monroe National Monument
George Washington Birthplace National Monument

National Recreation Areas
Mount Rogers National Recreation Area

National Forests
George Washington & Jefferson National Forest

National Historical Parks / Other National Parks & Properties
Appalachian National Scenic Trail
Appomattox Court House National Historical Park
Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial
Assateague Island National Seashore
Blue Ridge Parkway
Booker T. Washington National Monument
Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail
Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historical Park
Chesapeake Bay
Civil War Defenses of Washington
Colonial National Historical Park
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park
George Washington Memorial Parkway
Great Falls Park
Green Springs National Historic Landmark District
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site
Manassas National Battlefield Park
Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail
Petersburg National Battlefield
Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail
Prince William Forest Park
Richmond National Battlefield Park
Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail
Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail
Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts

For more information on Virginia's national parks, visit the Virginia page of the National Park Service. For an overview of all U.S. national parks, click here.

STATE PARKS IN VIRGINIA



Virginia has more than 40 state parks. I think many would agree that these represent Virginia's finest state parks:

Northern Virginia (including Alexandria, Arlington, Leesburg, and Luray)
Sky Meadows State Park, Delaplane - a scenic park north of Shenandoah National Park that offers scenic views and hiking/biking trails

Central Virginia (including Charlottesville, Natural Bridge, Richmond, and Staunton)
Douthat State Park, Millboro - Virginia's 2nd largest state park has 40 miles of hiking trails, great mountain scenery, swimming, and fishing
High Bridge Trail State Park, Rice - a 31-mile unpaved rail trail that includes a 125ft high, 2,400ft long bridge over the Appomattox River
Natural Bridge State Park, Natural Bridge - see one of the largest and most impressive natural bridges in the U.S.; 215-feet tall!

Southwestern Virginia
Grayson Highlands State Park, Mouth of Wilson - known for its scenic views, excellent hiking/backpacking trails, grassy balds, and wild ponies
Hungry Mother State Park, Marion - features a scenic lake with a sandy beach & boat rentals; also has great hiking trails (e.g. Molly's Knob)
Natural Tunnel State Park, Duffield - known for its large-mouthed cave, geologic attractions, and canoe trips on the Clinch River

Southeastern Virginia (including Newport News, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, and Yorktown)
False Cape State Park, Virginia Beach - one of the last remaining undeveloped areas along the Atlantic coast; beaches, trails, and kayaking
First Landing State Park, Virginia Beach - the "crown jewel of Virginia state parks" offers trails, beaches, cypress swamps, and more

To see my list of the top 100 state parks in the country, click here.

BEST WATERFALLS IN VIRGINIA



Virginia has more than 100 natural waterfalls. Here is a list of many of the best waterfalls in Virginia:

Northern Virginia (including Alexandria, Arlington, Leesburg, and Luray)
Dark Hollow Falls in Shenandoah National Park
Great Falls in Great Falls Park in McLean
Whiteoak Canyon in Shenandoah National Park

Central Virginia (including Charlottesville, Natural Bridge, Richmond, and Staunton)
Cascade Falls in Jefferson National Forests
Crabtree Falls in George Washington & Jefferson National Forests
Roaring Run waterfalls in Roaring Run Day Use Area in Jefferson National Forest

Southwestern Virginia
Devil's Bathtub in Devils Fork Conservation Area near Fort Blackmore and Norton
Upper Little Stony Falls in Jefferson National Forest

Southcentral Virginia (including Danville, Lynchburg, and Roanoke)
Stiles Falls in Camp Alta Mons

For a listing of all known waterfalls in Virginia, visit the World Waterfall Database.

BEST SCENIC DRIVES IN VIRGINIA



Here is a list of the best scenic drives in Virginia:

Blue Ridge Parkway - an exceptional 469-mile paved route from US-441 in North Carolina to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia
Colonial Parkway - a 23-mile paved route from Historic Jamestowne to Yorktown Battlefield
George Washington Memorial Parkway - a 25-mile paved route from Mount Vernon to McLean along the south bank of the Potomac River
Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park - an outstanding 105-mile paved route that runs north to south through the entire national park

The two best scenic drives in Virginia are the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive. Take note that the southern end of Skyline Drive continues on as the Blue Ridge Parkway.

There may also be a scenic drive or two worth recommending in George Washington National Forest, but I haven't driven any of those roads yet.

For a list of great scenic drives in each U.S. state, click here.

BEST OCEAN BEACHES IN VIRGINIA



Virginia has several nice Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay beaches, including these favorites:

Northern Virginia coastline:
Assateague Beach, Chincoteague

Southern Virginia coastline:
Buckroe Beach, Hampton
Chesapeake Beach, Virginia Beach
First Landing Beach, Virginia Beach
Grandview Beach, Hampton
Ocean View Beach, Norfolk
Outlook Beach, Hampton
Sandbridge Beach, Virginia Beach
Sarah Constant Beach Park, Norfolk
Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach is by far the most popular beach on this list. You'll find miles of beaches plus a ton of family-friendly seaside amusements and other tourist attractions.

BEST RAIL TRAILS IN VIRGINIA



Here is a list of some of the best rail trails (or similar cycling paths) in Virginia:

Northern Virginia (including Alexandria, Arlington, Leesburg, and Luray)
Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park ("W&OD") - this trail is often rated one of the best rail trails in the U.S.

Central Virginia (including Charlottesville, Natural Bridge, Richmond, and Staunton)
High Bridge Trail State Park
Jackson River Scenic Trail
James River Heritage Trail
Virginia Capital Trail - an excellent, mostly paved, 51.7 mile rail trail from Richmond to Jamestown

Southwestern Virginia
New River Trail State Park
Virginia Creeper Trail - this trail is often rated one of the best rail trails in the U.S.

Southcentral Virginia (including Danville, Lynchburg, and Roanoke)
Huckleberry Trail

Southeastern Virginia (including Jamestown, Newport News, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, and Yorktown)
Dismal Swamp Canal Trail
Virginia Capital Trail - an excellent, mostly paved, 51.7 mile rail trail from Richmond to Jamestown

For detailed information on all known rail trails in Virginia, visit the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy website.

BEST AMUSEMENT PARKS / THEME PARKS IN VIRGINIA



There are many excellent amusement parks in Virginia. Some of the best amusement parks in the state include:

Northern Virginia (including Alexandria, Arlington, Leesburg, and Luray)
Great Waves Waterpark, Alexandria
Massanutten Indoor WaterPark, Massanutten
SplashDown Waterpark, Sudley

Central Virginia (including Charlottesville, Natural Bridge, Richmond, and Staunton)
Kings Dominion & Soak City, Doswell

Southeastern Virginia (including Newport News, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, and Yorktown)
Atlantic Fun Park, Virginia Beach
Busch Gardens, Williamsburg
Great Wolf Lodge, Williamsburg
Ocean Breeze Waterpark, Virginia Beach
Water Country USA, Williamsburg

BEST MUSEUMS IN VIRGINIA



Virginia has many excellent museums. The best museums in Virginia include:

Northern Virginia (including Alexandria, Arlington, Leesburg, and Luray)
Car and Carriage Caravan Museum (part of Luray Caverns), Luray
Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park, Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania
George Washington's Mount Vernon, Alexandria
Manassas National Battlefield Park, Manassas
Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, Winchester
National Museum of the Marine Corps, Triangle
National Firearms Museum, Fairfax
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center (Smithsonian), Chantilly

Central Virginia (including Charlottesville, Natural Bridge, Richmond, and Staunton)
American Civil War Museum- Historic Tredegar, Richmond
Children's Museum of Richmond, Richmond
Frontier Culture Museum, Staunton
Maymont, Richmond
Monticello, Charlottesville
Museum and White House of the Confederacy, Richmond
Poe Museum, Richmond
Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond
Virginia Holocaust Museum, Richmond
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond

Southwestern Virginia
Birthplace of Country Music Museum, Bristol

Southcentral Virginia (including Danville, Lynchburg, and Roanoke)
AAF Tank Museum, Danville
Appomattox Court House National Historic Park, Appomattox
Tank Museum, Danville
Virginia Museum of Transportation, Roanoke

Southeastern Virginia (including Newport News, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, and Yorktown)
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, Williamsburg
American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, Yorktown
Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk
Colonial National Historical Park
Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg
Fort Monroe National Monument, Fort Monroe
Governor's Palace, Williamsburg
Historic Jamestowne, Williamsburg
Jamestown Settlement, Williamsburg
Mariners' Museum and Park, Newport News
Military Aviation Museum, Virginia Beach
Nauticus / U.S.S. Wisconsin, Norfolk
U.S. Army Transportation Museum, Fort Eustis
Virginia Living Museum, Newport News

BEST DAY HIKES IN VIRGINIA



Virginia has hundreds, if not thousands, of miles of hiking trails. Here are some of the best day hikes in Virginia:

Northern Virginia (including Alexandria, Arlington, Leesburg, and Luray)
Bearfence Mountain, Shenandoah National Park - accessible from a trailhead on Skylive Drive
Buzzard Rock, George Washington & Jefferson National Forest
Great Falls Park trails
Hawksbill Summit, Shenandoah National Park - accessible from a trailhead on Skylive Drive
High Knob Fire Tower Lookout
Hightop Peak Trail, Shenandoah National Park - accessible from a trailhead on Skylive Drive
Manassas National Battlefield Park trails
Mary's Rock, Shenandoah National Park - accessible from a trailhead on Skylive Drive
Old Rag Mountain, Shenandoah National Park
Raven Rocks, Appalachian National Scenic Trail
Stony Man, Shenandoah National Park - accessible from a trailhead on Skylive Drive
Whiteoak Canyon, Shenandoah National Park
Wild Oak Trail, George Washington & Jefferson National Forest

Central Virginia (including Charlottesville, Natural Bridge, Richmond, and Staunton)
Blackrock Summit, Shenandoah National Park - accessible from a trailhead on Skylive Drive
Crabtree Falls, George Washington & Jefferson National Forest
Devil's Marbleyard, George Washington & Jefferson National Forest
Humpback Rocks, George Washington & Jefferson National Forest
Mount Pleasant, Mount Pleasant Special Management Area
Spy Rock, George Washington & Jefferson National Forest
Three Ridges Trail, George Washington & Jefferson National Forest
Turk Mountain Trail, Shenandoah National Park - accessible from a trailhead on Skylive Drive

Southwestern Virginia
Breaks Interstate Park trails
Buffalo Mountain
Cascades National Recreation Trail, George Washington & Jefferson National Forest
Devils Bathtub
Great Channels / Brumley Mountain Trail, George Washington & Jefferson National Forest
Molly's Knob, Hungry Mother State Park
Mount Rogers, Mount Rogers National Recreation Area
Wilburn Ridge, Grayson Highlands State Park

Southcentral Virginia (including Danville, Lynchburg, and Roanoke)
Dragon's Tooth, Jefferson National Forest
McAfee Knob, Appalachian National Scenic Trail
Rock Castle Gorge Loop, Rocky Knob Recreation Area
Sharp Top Trail, Blue Ridge Parkway
Tinker Cliffs, Appalachian National Scenic Trail

The highpoint of Virginia is Mount Rogers (5,729'), located within Mount Rogers National Recreation Area in southwestern Virginia. A challenging day hike is required to reach the top.

BEST BACKPACKING TRIPS IN VIRGINIA



Virginia offers several great backpacking opportunities. Some of the premier backpacking routes/areas in Virginia include:

Appalachian Trail
Massanutten Trail
Ridge Trail, Cumberland Gap National Historic Park
Three Ridges Wilderness Circuit
Triple Crown Loop - this loop combines the classic views of McAfee Knob, Tinker Cliffs, and Dragon's Tooth
Wild Oak Trail, George Washington National Forest

CLASSIC OUTDOOR ADVENTURES IN VIRGINIA



Virginia offers many great outdoor adventures, including:

Backpacking the Appalachian Trail
Backpacking the Triple Crown Loop
Bouldering at Cascades
Bouldering at Guest River Gorge
Bouldering at High Knob Landform
Bouldering at McAfee's Knob
Bouldering at Grayson Highlands State Park
Canoeing/kayaking the Clinch River
Canoeing/kayaking the James River
Canoeing/kayaking the Little River
Canoeing/kayaking the New River
Canoeing/kayaking the South Fork of the Shenandoah River
Cycling the New River Trail State Park
Cycling the Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail
Cycling the Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park ("W&OD")
Day hiking Dragon's Tooth
Day hiking McAfee Knob
Day hiking Mt. Rogers
Day hiking Old Rag
Mountain biking in Carvin's Cove Natural Reserve in Roanoke
Mountain biking in Douthat State Park
Mountain biking Dragon's Back & North Mountain
Mountain biking in Fountainhead Regional Park
Mountain biking Reddish Knob
Parasailing in Virginia Beach
Rock climbing at Breaks Interstate Park
Rock climbing at Great Falls
Rock climbing in/near Harrisonburg
Rock climbing at Rawley Springs
Skydiving in Midland, Orange, Shacklefords, Suffolk and Victoria
Tubing the Clinch River
Tubing the James River
Tubing the Little River
Tubing the New River
Tubing the South Fork of the Shenandoah River
Whitewater rafting the James River

SKI RESORTS IN VIRGINIA



There are only four ski areas in Virginia, and all are generally small. The largest is the Wintergreen Resort, which has 25 trails and a vertical drop of 1,003ft.

VIRGINIA TRAVEL TIPS



For offbeat and unique Virginia attractions, visit one or both of these amazing websites: Atlas Obscura and Roadside America

UNIQUE / SPECIALTY FOODS TO TRY IN VIRGINIA



Here are some unique / specialty foods to try while you are in Virginia:

blue crab
oysters
peanut soup
Virginia (country) ham

For a list of unique foods and mom-and-pop type eateries and restaurants in Virginia (or any other U.S. state), visit the Roadfood.com website.
For a list of unique foods to try in each of the 50 U.S. states, click here.
For a list of the top-rated beers to try in Virginia (or any other U.S. state), visit the Beer Advocate website.

OTHER KEY VIRGINIA INFORMATION



State Capital:
Richmond

Major Airports: ✈
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) in Arlington, VA and Dulles International Airport in Dulles, VA (both are near Washington D.C.); Richmond International Airport (RIC) and Norfolk International Airport (ORF) are smaller airport options as well

Largest Cities:
Virginia Beach (463,766), Chesapeake (254,864), Arlington (244,847), Norfolk (237,045), Richmond (231,090), Newport News (187,353)

Primary U.S. Interstates:
I-64, I-66, I-77, I-81, I-85, I-95

State Highpoint:
Mount Rogers (5,729') in Mount Rogers National Recreation Area in southwestern Virginia; a challenging day hike is required to reach the top

Professional Sports Teams:
None, although the Washington Commanders (NFL) and Washington Capitals (NHL) both play in northern Virginia

Funny or Unique Town/City Names:
Dumfries, Goose Pimple Junction, Lick Fork, and Onancock

Take note that in general this travel guide intentionally excluded restaurants, lodging/hotels, breweries, wineries/vineyards, and certain other types of attractions (like arcades, ax-throwing, bowling alleys, and escape rooms). These types of places tend to come and go, and keeping up with that would be too challenging. I encourage you to use Google Maps, Tripadvisor, Yelp, and other travel sites that have reader reviews to find the latest and greatest places that I haven't covered here.



Grand Caverns in Grottoes, Virginia
Grand Caverns in Grottoes, Virginia

wildlife along the Skyline Drive of Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
wildlife along the Skyline Drive of Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

Foamhenge in Natural Bridge, Virginia
Foamhenge in Natural Bridge, Virginia

Natural Bridge State Park in Natural Bridge, Virginia
Natural Bridge State Park in Natural Bridge, Virginia

Neptune statue in Virginia Beach, Virginia
Neptune statue in Virginia Beach, Virginia

Natural Chimneys Park in Mt. Solon, Virginia
Natural Chimneys Park in Mt. Solon, Virginia

Giant Roller Skate in Bealeton, Virginia
Giant Roller Skate in Bealeton, Virginia

Hot Air Balloon water tower in Wytheville, Virginia
Hot Air Balloon water tower in Wytheville, Virginia

Virginia winery
one of 300+ wineries in Virginia

Dinosaur Land in White Post, Virginia
Dinosaur Land in White Post, Virginia

Virginia Beach, Virginia
Virginia Beach, Virginia

Spy Rock, George Washington & Jefferson National Forest, Virginia
view from Spy Rock, George Washington & Jefferson National Forest, Virginia


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