101 Incredibly Awesome Things To Do In Virginia

When you visit Virginia for the first time, you could get overwhelmed with all of the things to do. So, we’ve created a list of our favorites within a two hour drive of Washington, D.C. to help you narrow down your list.

We’ve got loads of free things to do across Virginia and some things worth a little splurging. Whether you want an educational experience, parks, Virginia waterfalls, museums, beaches or to meet a few critters, Virginia is a place that you will continue to discover with every visit.

credit Workhouse Art Center

Table of Contents

Visit all of the museums in Virginia

Below is just a small sample of the museums in Virginia that are worth a visi. You’ll learn more about the Civil War, the Shenandoah Valley, and even Edgar Allen Poe. 

There are also plenty of museums that kids will have a blast at, like Dinosaur Land, the Children’s Science Center Lab, and the Science Museum of Virginia.

As always, please remember to check museum and attraction websites for opening dates and times before you arrive, as dates and times are subject to change.

Plumb House Civil War Museum

Listed on both the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register, the Plumb House is situated between the Civil War battle firing lines. 

The exhibits share stories of the daily lives of the Plumbs and artifacts from the skirmishes. Explore the period furnishings, slave-built brick patio and bullet holes.

National Sporting Museum and Library
credit Virginia Tourism Corporation

National Sporting Museum and Library

The 6-acre complex within Virginia’s prime hunting area lies a world-class research library and fine art museum where you can find rare books, archives, and art collections dealing with horsemanship, foxhunting, polo, and wildlife.

Tour the library’s rare book room, participate in educational programs, or participate in family activities throughout the year.

Children’s Science Center Lab in Fairfax County Virginia
credit Visit Fairfax

Children’s Science Center Lab

At the Northern Virginia Children’s Science Center Lab, families of all ages will explore technology, engineering, science, and math through hands-on activities, exhibits, and programs.  

Take time to experience each of the four zones.

Children’s Science Center Lab in Fairfax County Virginia
credit Visit Fairfax

Discovery Zone

The Discovery Zone is the perfect place for the little ones to build until their heart is content.

Inspiration Hub

Head to the Inspiration Hub to get your hands on some STEM exhibits.

Children’s Science Center Lab in Fairfax County Virginia
credit Visit Fairfax

Experiment Bar

At the Experiment Bar, learn more about the wonders of science through a menu of experiments.

Tinker Shop

Finally, at the Tinker Shop, become an engineer and design, create and build a design challenge.

Winchester VA Dinosaur Land
credit Winchester Frederick County Tourism Office

Dinosaur Land

Any dinosaur enthusiast will want to put a stop at Dinosaur Land on their list. The park features over 50 dinosaurs that have been created over the last several decades.

Turn back the clock and explore the prehistoric past. This roadside attraction does have a section of more violent dinosaur scenes like a T. Rex being gouged by a triceratops or an Apatosaurus being eaten by a Megalosaurus.

You can also see a giant cobra, a praying mantis that stands 14-feet tall, and a 60-foot-long shark at the park.

George Washington Office in Winchester VA
credit Winchester Frederick County Tourism Office

George Washington Office Museum

Visit the military office that George Washington used for 16 months from 1755 to 1756. Here you will see personal artifacts of Washington’s, such as some of his surveying equipment and hair.

Outside of the museum, there is a Fort Loudoun cannon.

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond Virginia
credit Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

With nearly 40,000 pieces of artwork, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is one of the United States’ largest museums. It is free to explore and open every day of the year.

Their collections include one of the largest Fabergé, Art Nouveau, and American art collections.

You can also explore galleries of Chinese art, British sporting, English silver, African and South Asian art.

Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond Virginia
credit Richmond Region Tourism

Edgar Allen Poe Museum

The Poe Museum, dedicated to the gothic author, is located in Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom section. The museum features Edgar Allen Poe’s works and life through manuscripts, letters, artifacts, and even his socks.

Workhouse Art Center in Lorton Virginia
credit Workhouse Art Center

Workhouse Art Center

Stop into the Workhouse Art Center to visit over 100 of the area’s artists at work. Inside, you will find art galleries and studios that are open to visitors Wednesday – Sunday.  

On the second Saturday of the month, they offer an Art Walk where the artists work in their studio or exhibit their creations in the galleries.

Visit the Lucy Burns Museum, where you will discover the facilities’ history when it was the D. C. Workhouse and Reformatory for 91 years.  

American Civil War Center in Richmond Virginia
credit Richmond Region Tourism

American Civil War Museum

The American Civil War Museum is housed in three areas around Richmond, showcasing more than 120,00 artifacts and sharing unique stories during the Civil War.

American Civil War Museum at Historic Tredegar

Along the James River, you will find the American Civil War Museum at Historic Tredegar. The Tredegar Ironworks ruins surround the museum that offers two exhibit galleries to explore.

Golf Cart Tour

The museum also offers a 1½ hour golf cart tour through Richmond’s historic areas entitled Civil War, Slavery, and Emancipation. During the ride, the tour guide shares stories of the fall of Richmond during the Civil War.

American Civil War Center in Richmond Virginia
credit Richmond Region Tourism

White House of the Confederacy

The White House of the Confederacy was built in 1818 and was home to Jefferson Davis, the Confederate President, and his family. The staff provides guided tours that offer insight into their lives.

American Civil War Museum at Appomattox

At the American Civil War Museum at Appomattox, over 400 photographs, documents, and artifacts tell stories of the missions, soldiers, and life at home.

The Fed Experience

On select Friday mornings from 10:00 – 11:00 AM, take a free group tour through the Federal Reserve Museum in Richmond. You will learn exciting facts about the economy and the Federal Reserve’s history through educational exhibits that focus on quality decision-making, how your choices impact the economy, and the Fed’s role in the economy. 

After the tour, you can explore the various exhibits on your own.

Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond VA
credit Richmond Region Tourism

More Museums to Explore

  • Museum of Hounds and Hunting
  • Washington Heritage Museum
  • Science Museum of Virginia
  • The Virginia House
  • Virginia Museum of History and Culture
  • Museum of Shenandoah Valley
  • Virginia Museum of the Civil War
  • Torpedo Factory Art Center
  • Maggie Walker House
  • John Marshall House
  • Virginia War Memorial
Chincoteague Pony - Chincoteague Virginia- Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge Wildlife

Animals, Animals and More Animals 

Virginia is full of a variety of wildlife. Head to one of the zoos, animal parks, or see the wild horses of Assateague in Chincoteague.

Luray Rescue Zoo

If you are traveling with children, they will enjoy this privately owned 3-acre rescue zoo. Mark and Christine Kilby have accumulated all their animals, many of whom have been abused, from animal control or families who no longer wanted their pet.

Their 80+ exhibits feature 200 primates, mammals, birds, felines and venomous snakes. They have a petting zoo where you can feed and pet sheep, wallaby, emus and goats.

Chincoteague Island Ponies- Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge Wildlife

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and Pony Swim

The Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is home to about 150 ponies, migrating birds and butterflies, sika deer, and many other mammals and waterfowl.

Head to the beach for a day of sunshine and sand, where you may have to share it with a pony or two.

Crabbing and Clamming

Bring your crabbing net, string, and a chicken back and try your hand at catching dinner. Check restrictions for keeping crabs.

If you are not into crabs, but clams are your thing, try a little digging at low tide.

Chincoteague Virginia Pony Swim
credit Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce

Pony Swim

Mark your calendars for the 4th Wednesday in July. This is when you can watch the Saltwater Cowboys lead the wild ponies from Assateague Island, across the channel, and onto the fairgrounds padlock. The swim usually happens between 7:00 AM and 1:00 PM, all depending on the low tide time.

If you want to view the ponies swim across the channel, be prepared to get your spot early and head to the marshland near Pony Swim Lane.

After the pony swim, head to Main Street where you can watch the ponies head to the carnival corral.

Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Companys Carnival Virginia
credit Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce

Chincoteague Fireman’s Carnival

The Chincoteague Fireman’s Carnival has lots of rides, games, terrific food, and pony pens where you can see the ponies up close.

Pony Auction

Come back the following day and attend the Pony Auction, where you can purchase one of the ponies to take home.

Hang around until Friday and watch the ponies that remain swim back to Assateague Island.

Metro Richmond Zoo in Richmond Virginia
credit Richmond Region Tourism

Metro Richmond Zoo

The Metro Richmond Zoo is the perfect spot to enjoy watching the antics of over 2,000 exotic animals. Take time to watch the slow-moving sloths, the otters playing at otters’ cave, the cheetahs eying you on the other side of the glass, or the hippos taking a dip in the water.

If you want to get even closer, head to the budgie aviary, visit the 18-foot-tall giraffes and all the barnyard animals where you can feed them out of your hand with zoo food.

More Places to See Animals

  • Frying Pan Farm Park
  • Leesburg Animal Park
  • Virginia Zoo
Shenandoah Skyline Drive

Spend time in Nature throughout Virginia

Virginia has some amazing parks, rivers, gardens and hiking trails to enjoy the day or week relaxing on the beach, white water rafting, or hiking to that beautiful waterfall.

Below you will find a selection of some of the state’s best.

Shenandoah Skyline Drive

Skyline Drive – Shenandoah National Park

If you love the outdoors, a few days along the 110-mile Skyline Drive will be a match made in heaven for you. With over 70 overlooks, 500 miles of hiking trails, and waterfalls, the sightseeing never ends.

Choose to lodge within the Shenandoah National Park boundaries at one of the campgrounds, cabins, or lodge.

The Shenandoah National Park offers visitors so many options of what to do while exploring the park.  

Shenandoah National Park- Dark Hallow falls

Shenandoah Waterfalls

There are nine main waterfalls within the park, including the Dark Hallow and Lewis Falls.

A spring hike is a prime time to visit the waterfalls since some falls tend to dry up to a trickle by late summer. However, a journey to the falls after a rain during the fall foliage peek is also breathtaking.

Blackberry Delight Festival

July in the park means ripe, juicy blackberries and the Blackberry Delight Festival. Visit the Skyland area for live music, dancing, crafts, activities, and all things blackberry.

Tulips picking near me - Burnside Farms Nokesville VA - Virginia

Burnside Farms Tulip Fields

Burnside Farms is like a quick trip to Holland when they have their Festival of Spring each year. Enjoy more than 15 acres of beautiful tulips and daffodils blooming.

Not only is it gorgeous to look at and photograph, but it is an amazing pick-your-own extravaganza in Virginia.

Plan on spending the day exploring the fields, playing corn hole, watching a film, and enjoying a picnic amongst the field of blooms.

The kids will also have a flowery time bouncing in the bounce houses, playing basketball, and walking around in Dutch wooden shoes.

Leashed dogs are also welcome to explore.

Read Our Full Guide to Burnside Farms

Great Falls National Park

Great Falls National Park Waterfall Views

Along the Great Falls National Park’s Potomac River, you will find the beautiful Great Falls.

Spend time wandering the park, enjoying the multiple cascades and views from the lower level zones.

See the Virginia side’s falls by hiking along the 1½ mile River Trail where you can also view Mather Gorge. From the Maryland side, take the Billy Goat Trail. It offers several access points to view the stunning falls. 

Before visiting the park, check the National Park website for flood advisories.

Arlington Virginia

Mount Vernon Trail

Get some fresh air and exercise biking, rollerblading, running, and walking along the Mount Vernon Trail that begins at Mount Vernon and goes through Theodore Roosevelt Island and along the Potomac River.

The views and scenery make for great pictures.

Don’t miss the stunning sunset, and plan some time to sit and relax while watching the planes take off and land at the Regan National Airport.

The trail also gives you a different view of the Washington Monument and the National Mall just across the river.

Belle Isle in Richmond Virginia
credit Richmond Region Tourism

Belle Isle Historic Park

In the middle of the James River in downtown Richmond, you will find a 54-acre island that is perfect for hiking, rock climbing, fishing, biking and sunbathing. 

The flat walking/biking trail around the island is 1.7 miles and is pet-friendly. There is also a 3,263-foot long mountain biking trail that takes about six minutes to make the circuit.

Belle Island Beaches

Within the Belle Isle Historic Park, you will find one of Richmond’s most unusual beaches.

Belle Isle is not a typical sandy beach, but one with flat rock shores that absorb the sun’s warmth and, even though hard, is great for lying out in the sun.

With swift-moving water, there is no swimming, but you can enjoy the landscape, hiking trails, or just dipping your toes in the refreshing water.

To reach the island, take the Tredegar Street pedestrian footbridge.

Chickahominy Bluff

As you stand on this historic bluff overlooking Mechanicsville and the Chickahominy River Valley, imagine 20,000 Confederate soldiers preparing to cross the Chickahominy River. Envision General Robert E. Lee sitting horseback nearby, listening and looking for movement which would become the Seven Days battles and Battle of Beaver Dam Creek.

At the overlook, the platform provides information and an audio exhibit about the battle that began on June 26, 1862.

Look for the remaining part of the outer Confederate earthworks that were built to defend Richmond.

Westmoreland State Park along toe Potomac River in Virginia

Westmoreland State Park

For 1½ miles along the Potomac River, this popular state park in the Northern Neck is a haven of family fun. Spend the day hiking the six miles of trail, fishing from the pier, swimming in the Olympic-sized pool, or walk along the Potomac looking for ancient shark teeth and other fossils.

While in the park, keep your eyes peeled for American bald eagles, great blue herons, and ospreys.  

To get a panoramic view of the Potomac River, head up to the Horsehead Cliffs.

Those wishing to extend their stay in the park, rent a cabin or a site at the park’s campgrounds.

RVA Paddlesports

RVA Paddlesports will help you get out on the James River. Their rafting excursions include flat, relaxing float trips along the Upper James River, and Class 3 and 4 rapids along the Lower James River.  

Kayaking and Paddle Boarding

Kayakers and Paddleboarders can explore the scenic James River while improving their techniques and learning a little of Richmond’s history.

Rock Climbing in Richmond

Do you want to learn to rock climb? RVA Paddlesports will take you to the Richmond and Petersburg Railroad Bridge and the Manchester Climbing Walk to work on your techniques.

Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna Virginia

Wolf Trap

As the National Park system’s only performing arts park, you can come to Wolf Trap during almost any day from May through September and enjoy a musical, jazz concert, dance recital, an opera, or one of the country’s famous music stars or groups.

Concert and Event Venues

Wolf Trap has both indoor and outdoor facilities for its events. The two 18th-century barns called The Barns at Wolf Trap house the Wolf Trap Opera along with winter concerts, while the outdoor Theatre-in-the-Woods is where you will find children’s theater events like storytelling, puppetry, and a wide range of music.

The Filene Center averages nearly 90 concerts at the amphitheater that seats 7,000.

Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts in Vienna Virginia

Wolf Trap Trails

A national park wouldn’t be without beautiful hikes, and Wolf Trap has two great trails for bird watching.

The 1½ mile Wolf Trap TRACK Trail takes you through the woods and across Wolf Trap Run. The Wolf Trap Trail, which is 2½ miles, meanders around the park perimeter through woodlands and the wetlands.

On the first Sunday of the month, join trail volunteers for a hike and other free educational events.

Appalachian Trail - Blue Ridge Parkway-Fallingwater Creek Falls in Virginia

Appalachian Trail

Those who don’t have six months or so to hike the entire 2,190 miles of the Appalachian Trail that stretches from Springer Mountain, Georgia, to Mount Katahdin, Maine, may want to try the Virginia section.

Virginia claims over 555 miles or almost ¼ of the A.T., which is more than any other state.

Hiking the Virginia portion of the trail will take you through parts of Virginia’s acclaimed history, over the rolling Shenandoah National Park mountains and idyllic scenery of both farmlands and forests.

During this stretch, the elevation fluctuates between 265 and 5,500 feet as you hike between Harpers Ferry and the Tennessee/North Carolina line.

If you only want to hike a short piece of it, head to the Shenandoah National Park’s Skyline Drive, where it crosses the Appalachian Trail over 30 times in 100 miles.

Mason Neck State Park

More Places to Enjoy the Outdoors

  • Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge
  • The Turner Farm – Observatory
  • Maymont – Children’s Barn and Nature Center
  • Meadowview Park – Armor House and Gardens
  • Riverfront Canal Walk
  • Mason Neck State Park
  • Pocahontas State Park
  • Prince Williams Forest Park
  • Riverside Outfitters
  • James River Reeling and Rafting
  • VA River Trips
  • River and Trails Route 7 Put-In
  • Rocking S. Ranch
  • Abrams Creek Wetlands Preserve
  • Meadowbrook Botanical Gardens
  • Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens
  • Virginia Capital Trail
  • James River Park System
  • Neabsco Creek Boardwalk Trail
credit Virginia Tourism Corporation

Explore Virginia’s History

Virginia is full of history, from president’s homes, historic battlefields, memorials, and national cemeteries. The history is alive and waiting for you to indulge in the past and learn a little more about how our great nation came to be.

State Arboretum of Virginia in Virginia
credit Virginia Tourism Corporation

State Arboretum of Virginia 

Take to the Virginia Native Plant Trail and paths throughout the 172-acre arboretum, where you will be at home with the 5,000 woody trees and shrubs from around the world.

Here you can view one-third of all the world’s pines species, a grove of 300 ginkgo trees, a Lebanon allee, and explore the herb garden.

Mount Vernon Washington DC Christmas
photo via Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon

From Mount Vernon, enjoy the majestic views as you picnic on the front grounds that overlook the Potomac River.  

Take a tour of the red-roofed mansion and property while learning more about George Washington and how he was an accomplished spymaster.

Mount Vernon in Virginia

The property includes large beautiful gardens, tombs, and a working farm.

In the museum, explore the various exhibits that tell the story of Washington’s life, learn more about the enslaved at Mount Vernon, and plan on watching the 4D and interactive films in the theaters.

Pentagon 9-11 Memorial in Arlington Virginia

Pentagon 9-11 Memorial

The Pentagon 9-11 Memorial is a very moving tribute to all the lives lost at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. The two-acre plot has 184 memorial benches in order of each person’s age and positioned to show if they were inside the Pentagon or on the American Airlines flight 77 aircraft.

The curved wall around the memorial’s outer edge begins at only three inches, representing the youngest victim’s age to a height of 71 inches representing the oldest victim.

You can see a row of different stones representing the aircraft’s tires as it passes over the plot along the ground.

On the entry stone is a phone number to call to listen to a 24-minute audio tour of the site.

George Washington Distillery and Gristmill in Virginia
credit Virginia Tourism Corporation

George Washington Distillery and Gristmill

Take a tour through George Washington’s fully functioning reconstructed Distillery and Gristmill during its open season, April – October.

Things to do in Virginia- Monticello in Charlottesville Virginia

Monticello

Spend at least ½ a day exploring Thomas Jefferson’s neoclassical architectural mountaintop masterpiece and restoration gardens in Charlottesville, VA. 

Explore the grounds and only house on the World Heritage Site list through provided tours. Exhibits explore Thomas Jefferson’s life through political and social content, the lives of his enslaved, and his inventions that we still use today.

House tours are offered throughout the year, but the garden and plantation tours are only available from April through October.

Montpelier in Virginia
credit Virginia Tourism Corporation

Montpelier

Home to the United States’ fourth president and father of the Bill of Rights, James Madison, Montpelier delivers insights into Madison’s life.

The foundation also provides tours that provide details about the slaves that lived at Montpelier and their journey into freedom.

Also, on the grounds are more than eight miles of trails that take you through wildflower meadows, forests, and beautiful viewpoints that look out to the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

The trails are open Thursday – Monday.

Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery

On the rolling hills of Arlington along the Potomac River is the resting place of many great American military heroes and federal government members.

Originally part of Robert E. Lee’s property, Arlington National Cemetery is an ever-growing cemetery that sees more than two dozen interments each week.

Arlington Virginia
credit AmonFocus.com

Touring Arlington National Cemetery

When visiting this solemn site, take one of the interpretive bus rides around the cemetery that points out various gravesites, memorials and makes a stop at the must-see Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

This tomb is exquisitely guarded 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by a group of highly dedicated 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment soldiers through rain, sleet, snow, hurricanes, and the beautiful blue-sky days. 

The sincere changing of the guard ceremony occurs every hour on the hour October – March and every half-hour April – September,

Meems Bottom Covered Bridge in Shenandoah County Virginia

Meems Bottom Covered Bridge

History lovers will want to take a drive over the 204-foot-long covered bridge in Mount Jackson, VA. The bridge is Virginia’s longest covered bridge and one of the few that can support vehicle traffic.

Initially constructed in 1892, the bridge sits 10 feet above the riverbank. The massive stone arches and abutments are crafted from local stone.

Fredericksburg Virginia Battlefield

Fredericksburg Battlefields

Fredericksburg Battlefields NPS Visitor Cernter

To get a full understanding of the Fredericksburg Battlefields’ importance during the Civil War, head to the National Park Service Visitor Center and watch the 22-minute orientation film. At the visitors center, you can also check to see what programs the park rangers have scheduled during your visit and pick up a copy of the NPS Auto Touring CD or use the Fredericksburg Battle App on your phone.

Sunken Road

Visit the Sunken Road and explore the exhibits and walk along this historic road that was the focal point of multiple assaults and where 10,000 soldiers became casualties. For a nice walk, take the Sunken Road/National Cemetery Loop Trail. It is 8/10-mile and goes from the historic Sunken Road to Marye’s Heights.

Chatham

Then head to Chatham, the Georgian-style plantation that served as a hospital and welcomed famous Americans like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

Fredericksburg National Cemetery

Continue to the Slaughter Pen Farm, Prospect Hill, and the Fredericksburg National Cemetery, where over 15,000 Union soldiers are buried.

Lee Hill

At Lee Hill, there is a ¼-mile trail that climbs to the peak of Lee’s Hill, where Robert E Lee set up his command post. There is an exhibit shelter will information at the site. Along Lee Drive, there are two trails. The North Lee Drive Trail is 2.8 miles and the South Lee Drive Trail is 2.4 miles.

Patsy Cline's Home in Winchester Virginia

Patsy Cline’s Childhood Home

In one of Winchester’s working-class neighborhoods, you will find the childhood home of the legendary singer Patsy Cline. From the age of 16 until she was 21, this is where she called home. This small museum offers visitors an inside look into Patsy’s life as curators guide you through a 30-minute tour.

Check museum website for opening dates and times before you visit.

Chatham Manor in Stafford County Virginia
Chatham Manor

More Historical Sites to Visit

  • George C. Marshalls Dodona House
  • Chatham Manor
  • Fredericksburg National Cemetery
  • Gari Melchers Home and Studio
  • Stonewall Jackson’s Headquarters
  • Abram’s Delight
  • Civil War Orientation Center
  • Gunston Hall
  • Pope-Leighey House
  • Stabler Ledbetter Apothecary
  • The Valentine
Shenandoah Wineries - Cave Ridge Winery

More Amazing things to do in Virginia

Monticello Wine Trail

Thomas Jefferson had a vision of growing grapes and making wine near his Monticello home in the Charlottesville area of Virginia. Today you can find more than 30 wineries within a 25-mile radius of Charlottesville along the Monticello Wine Trail.

You can get a view of the Blue Ridge Mountains, enjoy the fresh mountain air, and sample wine of national and international acclaim while taking in a wine festival or enjoying an afternoon or evening of live entertainment. You will find that many of the area’s vineyards are dog-friendly too.

Listed below are just a few to wet your tastebuds.

Barboursville vineyards in Charlottesville Virginia
credit Barboursville Vineyards

Barboursville Vineyards

Barboursville Vineyards began operations in 1976 and has one of the most expansive selections of wine to taste on the Monticello Wine Trail.

Located about 30-minutes from downtown Charlottesville, the winery features about 20 different wines you can sample on their stunning property. This winery is one of the oldest in the area and sits on former Governor James Barbour’s plantation.

Wines

Enjoy an extended stay here as you sample their flagship wines, the Bordeaux blend called Octagon, Cabernet Franc, and Nebbiolo. Visit the ruins of the old mansion built by Thomas Jefferson, then dine at the Palladio Restaurant beside the main tasting room.

Jefferson Vineyards in Charlottesville Virginia
credit Jefferson Vineyards

Jefferson Vineyards

Step back in time when you visit the Jefferson Vineyards. Thomas Jefferson and winemaker Philip Mazzei began cultivating wine on this estate over 200 years ago.

Alexa and Attila Woodward are the third generation of Woodward’s to own and run the vineyard where Wine Spectator magazine recognizes them as having a very dependable track record.

Awards

The Jefferson Winery has won many prestigious wine awards, including the double gold at the 2014 San Francisco International Wine Competition for their 2013 Viognier. As you sit and sip, make sure your try this Virginia flagship wine along with their Chardonnay, Petit Manseng, and Riesling.

Tastings

Check the winery website for the latest on wine tastings.

As you explore this winery, you will be able to envision Thomas Jefferson’s vision for winemaking and the importance of the Monticello Wine Trail.

Before you leave, stop in the gift shop and look for the bottles with Thomas Jefferson’s signature to take home with you.

This winery is just 15-minutes from downtown Charlottesville, and the tasting room is dog-friendly.

Pippin Hill Winery Charlottesville VA
credit Pippin Hill

Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards

Twenty minutes from downtown Charlottesville, Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards provides guests with a stunning Blue Ridge Mountain view and a tasty selection of their perfectly crafted wine. Owned by husband and wife duo Dean Andrews and Lynn Easton, this family-owned winery offers top-of-the-line hospitality and farm-to-table dining.

Classes and Events

Tour the immaculate ground with the in-house horticulturist or take part in a variety of events like cooking classes, live music on Sundays, or the mini-farm market “Featured Farmer Fridays.”

Featured Farmer Fridays

Not only will you be treated to some of the best Virginia wine as you sit down to a 4-course Pippin Hill wine pairing, but you will also enjoy a phenomenal lunch prepared by Sous Chef Tori Cosner. Many of the ingredients she uses have just been harvested at local farms and from her own kitchen garden on the premises.

Awards

Insider and Martha Steward Wedding magazines have repeatedly featured Pippin Hill as a perfect venue for weddings. Wine and Country Life and Park City Home Magazine also featured articles about Pippin Hill’s fall wine dinners.

Don’t miss stopping in when you are in the area to sit under the bistro lights on the winery’s veranda overlooking the amazing Virginia countryside.

Things to do in Luray VA

Luray Caverns

A visit to the East Coast’s largest caverns and U.S. National Landmark means an hour-long visit underground to explore about one mile of fabulous stalactites and stalagmites.

If you have never seen the formations in person, you will be amazed at their complexity and size.  

The Luray Caverns are accessible without going up or down any stairs, and paved walkways offer greater accessibility.

Be sure to take a jacket with you as you venture into the caverns since the temperature is a constant 60 degrees.

After visiting the cavern, you can also explore the Car and Carriage Caravan, Shenandoah Heritage Village, and the Toy Town Junction. They are all included in the cavern ticket.

More things to do in Luray, VA

Kings Dominion Richmond Virginia theme parks
credit Richmond Region Tourism

Kings Dominion

Kings Dominion is one of the two large amusement parks you will find in Virginia.

Roller Coasters

For those who love roller coasters, Kings Dominion has 12 of them, including the Intimidator 305, which after going up 305 feet, plunges you down an 85o slope at 90 mps.

Many people, including myself, have felt the g-forces so much it almost feels like you about to blackout.

The park also features the Rebel Yell, an old-time wooden coaster featured when the park opened in 1975. Even though it has no loops or twists, it still is a fantastic ride. Make sure you try it both frontwards and backwards!  

Kings Dominion Richmond Virginia theme parks
credit Richmond Region Tourism

Soak City

In the middle of Kings Dominion, you will find their water park called Soak City. This 20-acre area is full of extreme water slides, an enormous wave pool, and much more. The best thing is that access to the water park is included in your ticket price, so come prepared.

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
World War II Aviation • photo credit Eric Long

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Center

A visit to the Udvar-Haze Air and Space Center is actually a visit to two airplane hangars.

Inside the hangars, space lovers will find space and aviation artifacts, space shuttles, a Concorde airliner, and a Stealth reconnaissance aircraft.

You will also find an IMAX theater, an observation tower, a simulator, and even an exhibit on aircraft accidents at the center.

Virginia State Capitol in Richmond Virginia

More Places to Visit

  • Virginia State Capitol
  • Shenandoah Caverns
  • White’s Ferry
Arlington Virginia
credit David Hills

Virginia Farmers Markets

Shop to your hearts delight at Virginia’s premier shopping locations and farmer’s markets

As you travel throughout the state, visit the city’s local farmers market and get some fresh produce and home-baked goods to eat as you travel.

Virginia also has some well-regarded shopping centers that you will not want to pass up browsing through their stores for that once-in-a-lifetime outfit or a terrific bargain.

Del Ray Farmer’s Market Alexandria

Walk around Pat Miller Square on Saturday morning and browse the wares of more than 20 farmers and vendors at the Farmers Market during peak season. 

This year-round food and plant-based market offers not only fruits and vegetables but meat, poultry, eggs, Amish cheese, baked goods, yogurt, jams, jellies and cut flowers.

More Farmers Markets in Virginia

  • Vienna Saturday Farmers Market
  • Falls Church Farmers Market
  • South of the James Farm Market
Alexandria Virginia Old Town

Old Town Alexandria’s King Street

Stroll along King Street’s mile-long corridor lined with over 200 independent shops and bustling restaurants.

Take a selfie in front of the colorful curtain mural or the skinniest historic house in America before heading into Penny Post for beautifully-designed greeting cards, The Shoe Hive for designer shoes, or D.C. Metro’s Best Consignment Store, Mint Condition.

Tyson's Corner Center in Arlington Virginia USA

Tyson’s Corner Center

For some of Virginia’s best premier shopping, head to the Tysons Corner Center that features 286 stores and includes Lenkersdorfer, Nordstrom’s, Sephora, Apple, and Restoration Hardware, along with a Hyatt Regency and AMC Theatres.

Tyson’s Corner Center is the largest mall in the Baltimore-Washington D. C. area and the United States’ tenth largest.

Other Places to Shop

  • Potomac Mills
  • Leesburg Premium Outlets
  • Short Pump Town Center
  • Eden Center
Massanutten Resort Virginia

Virginia Outdoor Fun

Massanutten Resort

This premier ski resort offers 70 acres to ski and has eight lifts to take you to 14 runs ranging from beginners to advanced. 

As a year-round resort offers both families and friends a place to enjoy day and night skiing, tubing, zip-lining, and one of the best terrain parks around.

Water Park

The 84o waterpark will have you floating down the lazy river, sliding down the slides, or relaxing in the hot tube after learning to surf on the FlowRider®.

Golf

The two championship golf courses will test your skills across the beautiful mountain landscape.

Spa

Whether you come to ski, hit the links, or relax, The Spa offers the perfect treatment for you. Spoil yourself by enjoying a luxurious body treatment, manicure, pedicure, or indulge in a facial.

Read Our Full Guide to Massanutten Resort

Colonial Beach in Virginia
credit Virginia Tourism Corporation

Colonial Beach

With a 2 ½ mile beachfront along the 6-mile wide Potomac River, Colonial Beach makes a charming destination to enjoy the sun, fish, people-watch along the boardwalk, or enjoy a delicious dinner at a riverfront restaurant.

The beach is pet-friendly between October 1st and March 31st.     

Beaches in Virginia - Lake Anna

Lake Anna

Lake Anna offers 200 miles of shoreline with sandy white beaches. It is a great place to dip your feet in the water or relax on the beach while the kids enjoy building sandcastles and playing in the calm waters.

For those who want to get out on the water, water skiing, wakeboarding, and kayaking are popular. There are marinas around the lake that offer rental equipment and lessons.

Great Meadows in Virginia
credit Virginia Tourism Corporation

Great Meadows

Enjoy an evening at a polo match like the Rockefellers in the Virginia Piedmont countryside. Take a blanket, sit on the grassy hill above the field events center, and steeplechase course.

During the match, you can enjoy a picnic and a glass of wine as you watch the gleaming horses run and the polo ball sail through the air during a Twilight Polo match.  

Matches last about 1½ hours and consist of four seven-minute chukkers or periods.  

At the stadium, you can purchase food from local food trucks and wine from the nearby wineries. If you are interested in learning how to play polo, the local organizations offer polo lessons.

The Flying Circus

Families will have a terrific time watching the antics of The Flying Circus.

Every Sunday from May through October, the fun begins at 2pm when the parachute jumper jumps from the plane carrying the American Flag. The fun continues for about two hours as a wing walker waves to the crowd as he hangs from a biplane’s wing, and barnstormers showcase vintage planes during the airshow.

During a mid-August weekend, be sure to visit The Flying Circus grounds for the annual Balloon Festival.

Loudoun United FC in Loudoun County Virginia
credit Loudoun United/ Visit Loudoun

Virginia Sports Teams

Loudoun United F.C.

Those who enjoy a good soccer game, but don’t want to head to South America for the Copa América tournament, take a quick trip to Leesburg to see the Loudoun United play.

This American professional soccer team has been playing since 2018 and is a reserve team for the D. C. United.

The season runs from the end of April through October, and you can see them at the Segra Field.

Flying Squirrels Baseball team in Richmond VA
credit Richmond Region Tourism

Richmond Flying Squirrels

Catch a fly ball at The Diamond as the Richmond Flying Squirrels of the Double-A Northeast take to the field. The Flying squirrels are affiliated with the San Francisco Giants.

If you are not into baseball, check The Diamond’s calendar of activities to see when the next disc golf or movie night will be on The Diamond.

Richmond Kickers soccer game in Richmond Virginia
Richmond Kickers • credit Richmond Region Tourism

More Sporting Events to Enjoy

  • Fredericksburg Nationals – baseball
  • Richmond Elite -basketball
  • Northern VA Eagles – rugby
  • Richmond Kickers

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