9 Best Vacations in Virginia (2022)

Story by: Travelspiration     Date: 5 July 2022    Image by: Canva | Harlow Chandler

9 minutes reading time United States

People often say that Virginia is for lovers. Visitors will find out quickly that this love isn’t just for romantic relationships. Virginia is full of places to go on the weekend or vacation if you like adventure, the beach, the outdoors, or history.

Virginia has something for everyone, from history buffs at Colonial Williamsburg and the presidential homes to nature lovers at Shenandoah National Park and Chincoteague Island.

This list of the best vacations opportunities in Virginia will help you plan your trips and find the best places to go.

1. Old Town Alexandria

Old Town Alexandria, Virginia

Alexandria is right next to the busy city of Washington, D.C., but Old Town Alexandria feels like it’s on the other side of the world. This city is great for a romantic getaway for couples because it is easy to get around on foot. It has charming old homes from the 1700s, unique shops, and world-class restaurants. The Metro line makes it easy to get to D.C. as well.

Because Alexandria has so much to offer, you might never want to leave Old Town. You can walk down to the waterfront and take a water taxi or cruise with the Potomac Riverboat Company. You can also visit one of the many historical sites, such as the Gadsby Tavern Museum, the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, or the Carlyle House. The Torpedo Factory is an old warehouse that has been turned into artist studios and galleries.

Old Town is a great place to walk. Choose Hotel Indigo Old Town Alexandria if you want to stay right in the middle of the area. The property is a good deal for tourists and is just a few steps from the Potomac River. It’s a favorite weekend getaway for dog lovers because it has free Wi-Fi and welcomes pets.

2. Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Virginia Beach is a great place to enjoy the sun and have some fun. There are state parks, protected beaches, and historic sites in this busy area. In the summer, tourists flock to the clean beaches, which are raked every night. If you rent a condo or stay at one of the many resorts in the fall, you can still enjoy everything they have to offer without the crowds.

Take advantage of the water sports, like parasailing at Beach Parasail or a sunset cruise. But the beach isn’t the only thing to do here. You can also visit the sea life at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Center or the most popular park in Virginia, First Landing State Park.

Want to keep being on the water? The Comfort Suites Beachfront is the place to go. Every room is a suite, and all of them have a view of the ocean so you can watch what’s going on in the water.

3. Chincoteague Island

Chincoteague Island, Virginia

This beautiful barrier island is famous for its sandy beaches and its wild ponies, which have been entertaining people for hundreds of years. Chincoteague Island has more to offer than just the ponies, though.

There are hiking and biking trails all over the island for people who like to be active outside. People also like to go fishing and boating. You can rent a boat at Snug Harbor and take a tour of the island.

Visitors can also book a tour on the Assateague Explorer, which will take them on a cruise to the hidden Chincoteague, where they might see ponies, eagles, or dolphins.

The wildlife refuge is only 1.5 miles from the Hampton Inn and Suites Chincoteague-Waterfront Hotel. The hotel has a free breakfast and an indoor pool.

4. Williamsburg

Williamsburg, Virginia

Williamsburg, the Colonial Capital of Virginia, is best known for Colonial Williamsburg, a living history museum set in the actual buildings used by the country’s founders. Here, they have a lot of events and activities that have to do with this time period’s history and culture.

If you want more excitement than you can find in an 18th-century colony, go to Busch Gardens Williamsburg and ride their world-class roller coasters and rides. Stop by the Yorktown Battlefield and Jamestown for more history.

There are many places to stay, but the Marriott’s Manor Club at Ford’s Colony Vacation Villas have a historic feel and are great for families. They have fully equipped kitchens and washers and dryers, while the smaller guest rooms have kitchenettes. Popular places are only a short distance away from where the hotel is.

5. George Washington and Jefferson National Forests

George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, Virginia

The George Washington and Jefferson National Forest is a peaceful place for people who like to explore the outdoors. Together, these two natural wonders make up one of the largest areas of public land in the eastern United States. This park is great for people who love nature and want to get away from their busy lives. There are designated wilderness areas in seventeen of these parks. These areas have babbling brooks, miles of streams, and thousands of miles of hiking trails.

The Blue Ridge Parkway goes through this lush paradise, making it one of the most beautiful places to drive in the country. Skilled hikers can climb to the top of Virginia’s tallest mountain, Mount Rogers, for 360-degree views, or visit the High Knob Fire Lookout Tower. When you are 4,107 feet above sea level, you can see for miles and miles.

Staying at the Tru by Hilton Roanoke Hollins, which is less than five miles from the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, is a great way to keep recharging. Large rooms for families (kids stay for free) have views of the mountains, and the cheap rates include a hot breakfast.

6. Lexington

Lexington, Virginia

This college town is home to the Virginia Military Institute and Washington and Lee University. Like other old towns in Virginia, it has a lot to do and a lot of history. The campuses are full of historic buildings, statues, and activities for visitors, including one of the largest and best collections of Asian, European, and American ceramics spanning 4,000 years in the United States. On the campus is also the old Lee Chapel.

The Stonewall Jackson House is in the middle of town, and at the Boxerwood Nature Center and Woodland Gardens, you can stroll through the beautifully designed gardens and let the day just melt away.

In 1997, the Col-Alto Mansion, which is a historic building, was turned into the Hampton Inn Lexington-Historic Area. Ten of the original rooms have been fixed up, and many of them have fireplaces that take guests back in time. The new building has 76 more rooms and sits on seven acres of beautiful grounds.

7. Richmond

Richmond, Virginia

Richmond is full of history from the Colonial Era and the Civil War. It’s also a city with lots of modern conveniences, which makes it a great place for travelers to spend a weekend. Richmond was once the capital of the Confederacy, so history and Civil War fans will want to check out the American Civil War Museum and the Hollywood Cemetery.

Everyone will enjoy a walk around the buildings that are hundreds of years old and a visit to Maymont, a mansion that has been well kept and furnished and is surrounded by grounds with grand staircases and Japanese and Italian gardens. People who like modern art and gardens can go to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. If you want to shop, head to Carytown’s unique shops.

When you stay in Richmond, there are many things you can do. In the middle of downtown, there is a special place. Since 1895, people have been coming to stay at the elegant Jefferson Hotel. The architecture and decor are very grand and remind us of another time. Free transportation makes it easy to get to all of Richmond’s sights.

8. Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park, Virginia

The Shenandoah National Park is the perfect place for nature lovers to get away from the city. It is just over an hour from Washington, D.C. On the beautiful hiking trails, you can see waterfalls that drop into pools, quiet woods, and some of Virginia’s most beautiful views. Spend a weekend here exploring the protected land that covers 200,000 acres.

The Luray Caverns, which are the biggest in the eastern US, are a must-see when you’re in Shenandoah National Forest. You can see some impressive stalagmites and stalactites, and you can also go to the Car & Carriage Caravan Museum, the Luray Valley Museum, and Toy Town Junction.

9. Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon, Virginia

When you go to Virginia, you must go to Mount Vernon. The first president of the United States, George Washington, lived in this plantation house. It is on the National Registry of Historic Places. The beautiful estate is near Alexandria on the banks of the Potomac River. The house was built in the middle of the 1700s. There is a lot to see and do on the grounds, like walking through the well-kept gardens or touring the Mansion.

As you walk around the plantation, you will see farm animals and see how people of that time wove, spun, blacksmithed, and ground corn in Washington’s water-powered gristmill.

You should visit two other plantations close to Mt. Vernon that George and Martha Washington often went to. The plantation that is now Woodlawn Mansion was originally part of George Washington’s large estate. He had the house built as a wedding gift for his step-granddaughter Nelly Parke Custis and her husband Lawrence Lewis. The history of the plantation kept getting more and more interesting, and it is now where one of the biggest needlework shows in the country is held.

George Mason, a friend of Washington’s and a fellow patriot, lived in Gunston Hall, which was a few miles down the Potomac River from Mount Vernon. On his plantation, you can see the reconstructed kitchen, dairy, and laundry, as well as the gardens and archeological sites.

The Best Western Plus Mount Vernon – Fort Belvoir, which is only 2.6 miles from Mt. Vernon and has rooms that are big enough for a family and don’t cost too much, is a good choice for families who want to visit these historic sites.

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