100 Best Things to Do in Virginia

Virginia is a state in the south-eastern area of the USA. It runs from Chesapeake Bay to the Appalachian Mountains, and has a long coastline on the Atlantic Ocean. The Colonial period of American history is closely tied to Virginia. Jamestown was the first permanent settlement to be founded in the USA, in 1607.

Because eight US presidents have been born there, it is known as the ‘Mother of Presidents’.

Originally tobacco was the main industry, but this has slowly been replaced by livestock, with Virginia being the country’s leading producer of turkeys. The state fruit is apples, and you will find apple orchards in abundance. Virginia also produces huge amounts of crab and oysters, with coal coming from the mines.

Virginia is a state of vastly differing sights and places of interest, with many monuments and museums to visit.

1. Williamsburg

1. Williamsburg

Williamsburg used to be the capital of Virginia between 1699 and 1780. It is part of what is commonly known as ‘the Historic Triangle’ of the state, along with Yorktown, and Jamestown. You will find the historic district well worth exploring.

There is a living history museum, where the actors dress up in period outfits. The streets are made up of buildings representing the Colonial era, with small stores and workshops dotted along the narrow streets.

Allow yourself a full day to explore the area. There are plenty of places where you can stop for lunch along the way.

2. Arlington National Cemetery

2. Arlington cemetery

The area was declared a military cemetery in 1864, and you will find veterans of every American war buried there. There are over 260,000 graves in the cemetery, among them being three unidentified ones, which are at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

It is a profoundly moving experience to see this cemetery, do not be surprised if you are moved by the sight of so many headstones.

Spend as long as you like reflecting on why the graves are there, and what they mean to the country.

3. Virginia Beach

3. Virginia beach

Where Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean is where you will find this coastal city. There is a boardwalk of over three miles long where you can walk onto the beaches.

Pay attention to the First State Landing Park marker which indicates the spot of the arrival of the colonists from England.

Spend a full day here, as, apart from the promenade, there are many different things to do in the vicinity, such as the Aquarium & Marine Science Centre.

4. Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

4. Steven F. Udvar Hazy Center

This National Air & Space Museum opened its doors in 2003, and you will find two enormous hangars filled with thousands of air and space artefacts.

If you enjoy looking at anything ‘aircraft’ then be sure to visit here! You will see interesting things from Concorde, Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, and the Space Shuttle ‘Discovery’.
Make sure to check out the observation tower where you will have a great view of Dulles International Airport.

Pay a visit to the restoration hangar where you can see the work in progress.

There are daily tours which you can take, and educational activities for kids, making this a full day out for everyone to enjoy.

5. Mount Vernon Trail

5. Mount Vernon trail

This is a 17-mile paved hike between Rosslyn and Mount Vernon. You will pass through the Arlington Cemetery and the city of Alexandria. It also forms part of US bicycle route 1.

You will see stunning views of the Potomac River and the city of Washington DC. At times you will pass through forested places.

Allow yourself a full day for this hike and be sure to wear sturdy shoes. Rainwear is also recommended. This is not for young children or anyone who is unfit.

6. Fredericksburg

6. Fredericksburg

This city is located on the Rappahannock River, just south of Washington DC. You will find 4 battlefields here! It is also home to Spotsylvania National Military Park.

Battlefields to visit are Chancellorsville, Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, and Fredericksburg.

Spend a while at the National cemetery where thousands of Union soldiers were laid to rest.

7. Pentagon Memorial

7. Pentagon memorial

This is a very poignant place to visit, you can be sure that you will meet someone who has lost a loved one in the 911 occurrences.

The memorial is dedicated to the lives of all those who were lost that fateful day, be prepared to be extremely touched by this visit.

Although it will not take too long to see the memorial, be prepared to spend some time in the area, remembering that others may be grieving there.

8. Tomb of the Unknowns

8. Tomb of the Unknowns

Although the tomb is guarded round the clock by the 3rd infantry, you are allowed to get fairly close to the tomb. The memorial is to the unidentified soldiers from both the World Wars, and the Korean War.

If you are lucky you can see the changing of the guard at the tombs.

Although looking at the tomb will not take too long, try to spend some time in the area, as there in plenty to see close by.

There are walking tours which you can join where you will be taken through the cemetery and through the town.

9. Museum of Fine Arts

9. Museum of fine art

This is in the city of Virginia, and is widely thought to be one of the most comprehensive museums in the USA. There are over 5,000 pieces of art from all over the world.

The museum is open every day of the year, with a bonus being that entrance is free.

Plan to spend a half day here, although it may take longer if you are an avid art spotter.

10. Washington and Jefferson National Forests

10. W J Nat Forests

Combined, the forests make up one of the biggest public places in the eastern states. The 1.8 million acres cover parts of the Appalachian Mountains, some of West Virginia, and into Kentucky.

Over 1 million acres are undeveloped and are classed as wilderness. These areas are not allowed to be developed.

If you are an avid walker or hiker, then this is a good spot to take an RV, set yourself and get walking.

Make sure to carry in all your provisions, and take waterproof clothing, as rain may occur without warning.

11. Charlottsville

11. Charlottesville

This city is home to the University of Virginia. Thomas Jefferson designed the main campus.

The city has many interesting sights to visit, namely the home of President James Monroe, and the plantation which belonged to Jefferson himself. This is where you will find the mansion and the slave quarters, which have since been rebuilt.

The city is regarded as the gateway to the Shenandoah National Park, which runs at the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

There are plenty of hotels where you can stay overnight while you explore the city and all it has to offer.

12. Virginia War Memorial, Richmond

12. Virginia War Memorial

There is a small museum next to the memorial, where you can learn more about those who gave their lives in the war. The museum gives a small insight into the wars that were fought in the USA.

You will find all the names of the fallen engraved. Look out for the memorial to the grieving mother.

Parking is free, as is admission. It is a small memorial and museum, but is well worth looking at. Kids are allowed, and there is an area where they can run around to let off steam.

13. Washington DC Big Bus Tour

13. Washington DC

The ‘hop on, hop off’ bus is one of the best ways to see the city. For a set fee, you can take the bus and get off at any of the many places of interest. When you have finished looking, you simply wait for the next bus to pick you up.

Stops along the way include Georgetown, Arlington Cemetery, the Smithsonian, Washington Monument, and the White House. There are in fact, forty stops to choose from.

Try to sit on the top level of the bus as the views are obviously better. If possible buy the 2-day pass, which includes a night tour.

14. Shenandoah National Park

14. Shenandoah National park

If you enjoy nature and all that this entails, then you should add this to your list. The park runs along the Blue Ridge Mountains, and there are many trails you can follow. You will also find the Appalachian Trail here.

The terrain is made up of waterfalls and rocky outcrops, wetlands, and forests, and is home to many creatures such as deer, squirrels and even the Black Bear.

This is not for anyone who is unfit, and is not suitable for small children. Older children may enjoy easier trails as an introduction to nature.

You can take an RV here and stay for a few days while you hike. Be sure to take enough water.

15. Norwegian Lady Statue

15. Norwegian lady statue

This statue is found in Virginia Beach. It is in honour of the many women who stayed at home while their men went off to sea.

Make sure you read the writing on the statue, which will tell you why she is there, and why she faces the way she does.

The statue is easily spotted as you walk down the boardwalk, and it replaced an original wooden figurehead from the Norwegian which was wrecked in 1890.

It will not take very long to have a look at the memorial, but it is interesting to read about events which have shaped the country. There is plenty to see as you continue along the boardwalk.

16. Stonewall Jackson Grave

16. Stonewall Jackson grave

You will find this in the town of Lexington. The beautiful, historic site is well kept and worth a visit.

After looking at the house, you should then proceed to the graveyard to see this president’s grave.

A point of interest is that the house was the only one he ever owned by the general and his wife. The house contains some original items and many personal things such as a favourite hat, uniforms, and the raincoat which he wore when he was shot.

Allow a half day to look at the house and the graveyard. The town is interesting to walk around if you have extra time.

17. The Air Force District

17. Air Force District

You will find this in Washington DC. You must check online for a schedule of events, as this is the only times the area is open to public.

Members of Veteran and Military organisations often host events there. It is an outdoor Air Force Memorial.

Part of the job of the Air Force there is to provide ceremonial honours when needed in the capital region, and in fact worldwide when required.

Depending on the event, allow for at least a half day. Check whether cameras are permitted, as this may vary with each event.

18. Holocaust Museum, Richmond

18. holocaust Museum

The museum was founded with the intention of educating the community, and the state about the tragic events of the holocaust.

You will find documentation and exhibits which tell the story about these atrocities.
There are exhibits and programmes which seek to teach about the history of genocide through the ages.

This will not take more than a half day, and is not suitable for younger children.

19. Virginia Beach Brewery Tour

19. Brewery tour

If you are interested in finding out about brewing and craft beers, then this tour is for you! It is a very comprehensive coach tour which leaves from many hotels in Virginia Beach. The trip lasts about four hours, and during that time you will enjoy a peek into the city’s top local brewers and brewpubs.

You will get a guided tour of each pub and learn about your favourite beers. The tour is excellent value for money. Not only will you learn about beer making, you will also find out a little about folklore in the city.

Sit back, and let someone else do the driving! The tours run every day at different times, and you can choose where you would like to be picked up and dropped off at. Allow a half day for a tour.

20. Chesapeake city

20. Chesapeake

This city is the third most populated in the state, and the 17th largest city in the country. Most of the city is along the Intracoastal Waterway, and you will find it rich in natural wonders, and history.

The river provides a great place for family entertainment, with 22 miles of water. You may be lucky to spot rare birds and wildlife along the banks.
The city hosts many festivals throughout the year, and there are plenty of fine restaurants to get an evening meal. You will find many hotels, in varying price range.

Plan to stay a few days here as there is enough to see and visit to make it worth your time.

21. Museum of the Confederacy

21. Museum of the Confederacy

You will find this in Richmond, in the downtown historic area called Court End. The museum covers three floors which are filled with chronicles of the war years. You will be able to see personal effects of leaders of the Confederacy like Robert E. Lee. There is also a collection of items from common soldiers and citizens who played a part in the war.

Allow a half day to look at the museum, and then spend some time in Richmond city. You can do the guided tour of Jefferson Davis’ house. The tour leaves from the lobby of the museum, so the two can easily be combined.

22.Newport News

22. newport news James River

You will find the city of Newport News situated on the James River. A visit to the Mariners’ Museum is well worth doing. You will find articles about maritime history, with plenty of model ships, figureheads, and artefacts.

There is a model of the USS Monitor, which was a Civil War ship.

Another museum worth visiting is the Virginia War Museum, where you can see and learn about American military history.

Close by is the Virginia Living Museum, which has exhibits of bald eagles and red wolves.

Allow yourself a half a day to explore the city. There are hotels where you can stay overnight, and plenty of places to eat.

23. Mount Vernon Water Cruise

23. Mount Vernon

This is a three-hour long cruise which takes you along the Potomac River. There is narration all along, telling you about interesting places you are passing.

The cruise stops at the estate of George and Martha Washington, where you can get off and look around. The price for this is included in the cruise, making it very good value for money.

Children must be supervised at all times on the cruise, and you should be ready to spend a full day as there is plenty to see afterwards.

24. Fort Monroe National Monument

24. Fort Monroe

Up until 2011 this was an active military base. Now it is open to the public, with all the original buildings. You cross over the original moat to enter the fort.

There is an information area where you can read all about the history of the fort and the people who lived there. It has been in existence since 1609.

Be aware that there are still people living there. Another thing to remember is that the bridge over the moat will only take regular sized cars. Oversize vehicles will not fit as it is very narrow.

Allow a half day to look around here.

25. Natural Bridge

25. Natural Bridge

You will find this amazing rock formation in Rockbridge County. It is a natural arch which is 215 feet high and spans 90 feet. The surrounding mountains are limestone and the river is a tributary of James River.

What is noteworthy here is the rock formations and the remains of the roof of the cave where the Cedar Creek used to flow.

The bridge is recognised as an historic landmark in Virginia. This is a great area for walkers and hikers, so allow a few hours or more to take in the scenery.

26. Lone Sailor Statue

26. Lone sailor statue

This statue is found in Norfolk, right next to the Battleship Wisconsin. It represents the US Navy tradition and the plaque reads as a tribute to the sailors who have lost their lives sailing from Norfolk.

It seems a very fitting tribute to the sailors and their families, as it stands so close to the battleship, looking out to the ocean.

It will not take long to look at the statue, but the surrounding area merits looking at as it is full of history.

Plan to spend a day here, there are plenty of places where you can get lunch while looking at the town.

27. Frontier Culture Museum

27. frontier culture museum

This is a living outdoor museum, which tells the story about the people who came to America, and the life they led. Staff are dressed in period costumes and explain any questions you may have. Some of the buildings are original, while others have been reconstructed to add to the allure.

The area is divided into two sections, namely the old America and the new America. It is a good indication of how life has changed over the years, and how American culture has evolved.

It will take about a half day to look around here. You can take a picnic lunch and stop between the old and the new worlds to eat.

28. Custom wine tours

28. Custom wine tours

These run from Charlottesville during the week. You will be led by an informative and friendly guide, and this type of tour is the perfect way for any first-time visitors to the area.

You’ll be taken around some of Virginia’s finest vineyards, and get to taste some amazing wines. The scenery along the way is just as awesome because you will be travelling close to the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Most tours visit three or four wineries and include wine tasting, a picnic lunch and refreshments, so they are well worth the money.

This is not recommended for children. Allow a full day for any tour.

29. Hampton

29. Hampton

The town of Hampton was founded in 1607 when the first English settlement arrived there.

Hampton University was built after the American Civil War, and provided education for former slaves.

You will find Langley Air Force Base here, as well as the Research Centre. It is also home to Virginia Air and Space Centre. The town has miles of beaches and waterfronts.

There is a wide mix of old and new in the town, with many shops and restaurants.

You will find that there are plenty of hotels in all price ranges, so plan to stay a night or two while you look around the town.

30. Chesapeake Arboretum

30. Chesapeake arboretum

Because of all the vegetation, you will find that even on a hot day, the area is cooler, which makes walking around a pleasure.

The arboretum is staffed by volunteers who all maintain the area. The trails around the arboretum are often narrow and tree lined, as if you are walking through a tunnel.

Be alert for Copperhead snakes as there are some in the forest areas. Another point to remember is that you should take a can of mosquito repellent with you as at times, the mosquitoes will be out in force!

Spend a half a day here, enjoy the coolness of the walks and the lovely scenery.

31. Craft distillery tours

31. Craft beer tours

Williamsburg has plenty of tour companies who offer guided tours of local craft breweries. You can either leave in the morning or the afternoon, and the tour includes trips to two distilleries, with tastings at both.

You can have the choice of going to a Meadery or Distillery. It is advisable that you purchase your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. You can buy lunch along the way or bring your own, and water is freely available, although no alcohol drinking is permitted on the coach itself.

This is not suitable for children, and you should allow most of the day for the tour.

32. Busch Gardens

32. Busch Gardens

This theme park is found in Williamsburg. It is the perfect day out for all ages, with coasters and attractions aimed at kids as well as adults. The new roller coaster is called ‘Invader’, and has a 74- feet drop with nine hills.

If you visit at the end of summer, you may be able to get to the Bier Fest, where you will find over 200 different types of craft beer.

Halloween is a special time when the gardens change into creepy places, with day events for the younger children.

Plan to stay a few days here, and check the events. The night time Halloween events are not suitable for little children, but there are day activities especially laid out for them.

33. Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Centre

33. Aquarium

This is regarded as one of the best sanctuaries and aquariums in the country. There is plenty to do, no matter what age you are. There are hands-on exhibits for the kids, a nature path to stroll along, and marshlands where you can spot birds and wildlife.

For the adventurous, there is a zip line which will take you way above the trees. You will look down onto the scenic area known as Owls Creek.

The adventure park is perfect for younger kids, while older children and adults can work their way around from bridge to bridge along the ropes.

Plan to spend a full day here. Better still, bring an RV and stay longer, the kids will thank you for it!

34. Hahn Horticulture Garden

34. Hahn Garden centre

You will find this on the campus of the Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg. The centre is open every day of the year. You will find perennial gardens, water areas, meadow spots, shade features, as well as the Peggy Lee Hahn Pavilion.

Whichever season you visit, the garden will be alive with plants and foliage. It is a beautiful garden to stroll through and relax.

The garden is available for events such as weddings, so you may encounter these in the summer months.

Pack a picnic lunch and spend a day learning about which plants grow in different conditions.

35. Military Aviation Museum

35. Military Museum

This World War I & II museum is in Virginia Beach. You will see aircraft that still fly from the world wars. This museum is regarded as the top attraction in the area, and if you like anything to do with aviation, you will agree.

As a real treat, you can take a flight in a biplane with an open cockpit. The museum holds tales and history about the first fifty years of aviation and the military.

Allow yourself a half day, although longer if you choose to take a flight in a plane.

36. Walking tour of Front Royal

36. front Royal

The town of Front Royal was established in 1788, and over the years has played a great part in the industrial, educational, and agricultural aspects of the country. The scenery around the town is worth looking at.

Walking tours are a very good way to see the town and learn about the history. They will take you around some of the historical sights, mostly to do with the Civil War.

If walking does not appeal to you, then you may want to take the driving tour, which covers a greater distance, and gives you a better insight into the battle of Front Royal in 1862.

The driving tour lasts about 3 hours and you will see 10 historical places along the way, covering 16 miles.

x37. Stratford Hall Plantation

37. Stratofrd plantation

This was the birthplace of Robert E. Lee. You can either take a guided tour of the house, or see it on your own. The gardens are magnificent as are the beaches, cliffs, and hiking trails.

There are cabins or guest houses where you can stay a night or two, and restaurants which boast local fare. Definitely try some southern cooking!

If you want to combine history and hiking, then is a great combination. If you are planning to hike, make sure you take sturdy shoes and waterproof clothing.

38. J.F. Kennedy Grave Site

38. JFK grave

You will find this grave in the Arlington Cemetery. His wife Jackie, and son and daughter are also buried there. A flame burns constantly in the memory of J.F.K. It was lit by Jackie Kennedy, after the event. A point to note here is that before his death Kennedy said that this was the place where he would spend eternity.

Nearby, you will also see the graves of his brothers Robert and Ted, who have a simple white cross on their graves. Joseph Jr is buried close by although his headstone is in keeping with the other military headstones.

While it will not take you very long to see this monument, you may want to spend time reflecting on the poignancy of the cemetery.

39. Edgar Allan Poe Museum

39. Edage Allen Poe

This museum is in Richmond. You will be able to see the illustrations of the famous poem by Edgar Allan Poe called ‘The Raven’. There are also many artefacts about the life of the great author.

Poe is widely regarded as the father of psychological horror stories, and you can attend poetry readings which are held there.

The museum is quite small although it is packed with interesting artwork and information about the life of Poe.

Make sure you check online for upcoming events so you do not miss anything exciting.

Allow a half day for this, although if you stay for a poetry reading it may take longer.

40. Norfolk Botanical Garden

40. Norfolk Botanical Gardens

You can either walk through the gardens or take a tram, with all trams being wheelchair accessible. You will find benches situated throughout the gardens so that you can stop and admire the plants.

There are over 12 miles of walking paths, so you should be prepared to spend a few hours here.
There is a covered picnic area where you can eat while enjoying the gardens.

Exhibits are held seasonally, and you can find out what is happening online or in the Visitors Centre. There is even a special children’s garden, and a butterfly area.

For snacks while you walk, you will find vending machines.

Plan to spend at least a half day here, although you may want to relax for longer as it is a wonderfully peaceful setting.

41. Harrisonburg

41. Harrisonburg

Here you will find the James Madison University, which is a research facility. There is no actual connection between the city and the president, although the university was named in his honour.

The area was originally inhabited by Pennsylvania Dutch Settlers in the 18th century, and this has seen the city evolve into a diverse ethnic and linguistic place. Interestingly, the language learning company Rosetta Stone has their head office here, and the first multilingual yard signs ‘Welcome your neighbours’ first appeared in this city.

It is an interesting place to spend some time. You will be given a glimpse into a vast array of cultures and cuisines.
If possible stay for a night or two, there are plenty of hotels or bed and breakfast places.

42. Art District Food Tour

42. Art food tour

If you want a tour with a difference, then head to Richmond for this tour! You will find yourself walking through the Art District, sampling the very best foods along the way. You will visit local eateries and learn about the history of the cuisine in the state.

Look out for the pharmacy which is now Tarrant’s Café, serving traditional American food. You will also get to taste Korean, soul, and southern foods.

Allow yourself a day for this tour, and make sure you don’t have too much for breakfast before you start out!

43. U.S. Marine Corps War Museum

43. US Marine Corps memorial

The memorial is to be found in the Arlington Cemetery. It was built and placed there 63 years ago. You will find it near the Ord-Weitzel Gate. It is a dedication to all the marines who perished in the defence of the USA in 1775. It is also known as the ‘Iwo Jima memorial’.

The memorial is based on the iconic 1945 photograph of the six marines seen raising a flag, which you may have seen.

While it will not take very long to see the memorial, it is part of the cemetery and you may want to spend longer there, as there are many iconic things to see.

44. Ghosts and Witches tour

44. Ghosts and witches tour

Head for Williamsburg and – if you are brave enough – take this tour! You will find that it is excellent value for money.

You will have a professional guide who will explain all about the ghosts which haunt places along the way.

The tour takes place at night in the older part of the town. You will learn about the witch hunts that took place in 1626, and about the ways that were used to see if a person was in fact a witch.

Along the way you will see the old jail and the gallows, and finally you will head to the Jones’ family graveyard. Watch out for Ida who is often seen hovering there! Blackbeard adds to the legacy, you may well see the headless body at the Raleigh Tavern!

Allow an evening here. As it will finish late, you may choose to stay a night or two.

45. Oatlands House and Gardens

45. Oatlands House

This house is in Leesburg. You can either take a guided tour, or walk around yourself. There is a greenhouse filled with plants of all sorts.

The gardens are spectacular with local plants and a selection from further afield. The trees are huge! Terraced gardens make it a pleasant walk.

The house itself is well worth looking at, and has some interesting artefacts. There is a visitors’ Centre where you can find books and leaflets on the history of the house and the gardens.

Allow a half day here, then a little longer to look around the gardens, and perhaps have your lunch there.

46. Yorktown Victory Monument

46. Yorktown victory monument

The monument was erected in 1781 in honour of the surrender of the Cornwallis army at Yorktown.
You will find the marble column has inscriptions relating the story about the surrender.

It will not take you very long to see the monument, so make the most of the rest of the day by looking at the town. There is over 300 years of history in this town.

There are beautiful beaches, and eclectic shops to see. Plenty of restaurants to eat. Perhaps stay overnight and explore the area.

Yorktown’s beautiful Riverwalk is worth heading for as you will find a good selection of local foods to taste.

47. Virginia Living Museum

47. Living museum

You will find this amazing place in Newport News. This is literally a huge collection of all types of animals, where you can see how they live. Kids will enjoy the Touch Tank where they can feel the rays.

Lookout for the endangered red wolves, see the loggerhead turtles, and frogs that change colours.
The living museum has exhibits from different natural habitats such as steamy swamps to cool mountain caves.

After you have explored the inside, take a walk along the boardwalk to see coastal birds, otters and beavers. Explore the butterfly garden, and the underwater world. There is something for everyone to enjoy and learn at this amazing place!

Plan to spend at least one day here. It possible come back a second day so you don’t feel rushed.

48. Assateague Island

48. Assateague Island

The shoreline here is protected. This is a very long barrier island which you can visit off the coast of Virginia and Maryland. The area is well known for the beautiful beaches. It is also regarded as a great spot for walkers, with many trails winding through the dunes, before heading into forest and marshland areas.

The southern section of Chincoteague national Wildlife Refuge is where you will find wild ponies, migratory birds, and bald eagles.

Be sure to visit the 19th century lighthouse, which is still active.

The island will take you a day to explore, so plan on this. It is a great way to see the different vegetation as you walk.

49. Car and Carriage Museum

49. Car Museum

You will find this at Luray Caverns. It is home to many rare antique cars, dating back to the 1800’s and early 1900’s. it is a small museum, but is well worth looking at.

The caverns are also there, and the entry to the museum is included in the price. Kids will love looking at cars from the ‘olden days’, although some adults may be more familiar with them!

The whole trip will only take a morning or afternoon, but if you like old cars and memorabilia, then make sure you get to see this.

50. Shenandoah Valley Museum

50. Shenandoah Valley Museum history

This museum in Winchester will teach you all about the history and cultural life of the Shenandoah Valley. You will find a house which dates back to the 18th century, as well as six acres of immaculate gardens. There is a museum housing permanent displays exhibits of decorative art of the Valley.

Be sure to check out the collection of miniature houses. The museum shop has many interesting things to buy as well as leaflets on the area. The museum and galleries are open all year round, although the house and garden are only open between April and October.

If you are going to see the house, gardens, and the museum, then allow yourself most of the day.

51. Armed Forces Memorial

51. Armed Forces museum memoribilia

This memorial is in Norfolk. It is dedicated to the military men and women over the years who lived in the area and went off to war. You will be able to read some original letters written to loved ones at home. The wars date back to the Civil War era.

This is a very poignant tribute to the women and men who were killed, with the letters being their last communication with family.

The memorial is open to the public, in fact it is a very public place, so cannot be missed.

Take an hour or so to read a few of the letters, before exploring the town of Norfolk.

52. Great Falls

52. Great Falls

This is only 15 miles from the capital. It is an 800-acre park, with many water falls along the river Potomac. The river flows through the Mather Gorge, which has steel sides and rugged outcrops.

This area is very popular with hikers, walkers, and ramblers.

This is a great place to bring an RV, spend a few days and explore the area.

Be aware that there is an entrance fee to the park, and that swimming and wading in the river is strictly forbidden. This is due to the water being over 30’ deep in places, with unpredictable currents. Be sure to keep children supervised near the river.

Be sure to keep children supervised and that you know the rules of the river and adhere to them.

53. Naval Aviation Museum

53. Naval Museum

This is to be found at Virginia Beach. It is not a huge attraction, but worth looking at. It is a tribute to naval aviation with plenty of information about the statues. The background is granite, while the statues are etched into it, and are very lifelike.

The monument is very close to the beach, and can be reached from the major hotels.

While it will only take you an hour or so to read the plaques, and look at the exhibits, it is worth looking around the town afterwards, as there are plenty of other things to see.

Virginia Beach has a great selection of iconic shops and restaurants, so you may want to stay a night here and look around.

54. Signature Theatre

54. Signature Theatre

The theatre is found in Arlington, on Campbell Street. It is very popular with theatre-goers, the actors and actresses are all top-class performers.

You will often find performances of West End shows on the agenda, as well as many musical performances.

It is a very intimate place, not too large. The front row will feel as if they are part of the performance!

You must book your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. Plan to stay a night or two as there are many other things to do in Arlington.

55. Monticello

55. Montecello

This plantation belonged to Thomas Jefferson, who was the third president of the USA. He started to design the place when he was just 26 years old, after he inherited the land from his parents. Slaves were used to cultivate the tobacco and crops, later changing to wheat.

The plantation is now a national Historic Landmark. The main part of the house is in the neoclassical design.

The plantation stands on the top of the 850’ peak of the Southwest Mountains. The name ‘Monticello’ means ‘little mount’.

Jefferson was buried in the family cemetery and the property was then sold to Uriah Levy, of the US Navy, who spent his time and money preserving the property. The house is now a museum, and an education institution.

Plan on spending a full day looking around the house, and the various out-buildings. The garden is also worth looking at.

56. Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond

56. Hollywood Cemetery

This is a very well-kept cemetery, with wrought iron fences around some plots. You will find the ‘Presidents’ Circle’ here, which is stunning.

The cemetery boasts beautiful views of the James River and the walking bridges. Everything about the cemetery seems to be old, right down to the stones which adorn it.

Look out for the graves of not only presidents, but generals, judges, and many confederates.

It will take you a half day to walk around it and see the graves of people you may have heard of, but Richmond is a lovely town, so perhaps spend a day there.

57. Mill Mountain Star and Park

57. Mill Mountain Roanoke

This is the largest structure of its kind in the world, being an 88 feet high man-made star. You will find it on Mill Mountain in Roanoke. The city park is beautifully kept, with trails for cycles and walking.

You will find a zoo for the kids, and an area where they can safely run and climb. The views from all over the park are impressive, and this is an inexpensive way to spend a day. There are many places where you can buy food to carry with you while you walk through the park.

The hiking trails are well signed and easy to follow, they are not very difficult, although you should wear good, sturdy shoes as some of the slopes are steep.

Plan a day out in the fresh air. With the spectacular views, you will not regret it!

58. Old City Cemetery

58. Old City Cemetery

This cemetery in Lynchburg has been there since 1806. It is one of the oldest in the USA which is still used today. You will find headstones of mayors and prominent leaders buried there.

An interesting fact is that 60% of the bodies buried here are of African descent, and were both slaves and free slaves.

There is a Confederate Section where you will find graves of over 2,200 soldiers from all over the USA.

Be sure to visit the museum on the site where you can learn a little more about the people who lie there.

The cemetery and gardens are one of the most visited attractions in the state. It has also been designated as a Virginia historic Landmark.

The cemetery visit will take a half day, although the town of Lynchburg is worth looking at afterwards.

59. Barter Theatre

59. Barter theatre gregory peck

You will find this theatre in the centre of the town of Abingdon. It was founded in 1933.
There are about 20 productions each year which you can go and see. The theatre has two stages, namely the Main Stage and the Barter Stage II.

An interesting fact here is that Gregory Peck started his career here, as did Ernest Borgnine.
Shows include comedies, Broadway classics, and musicals.

There are group discounts as well as packages which include dinner.

Plan to stay a few nights here while you see a show or two. The town has many places where you can stay and a vast number of different restaurants to suit every budget and taste.

60. Water Country USA

60. Water Country

This is the largest water park in the county. You will be able to enjoy all sorts of water activities. Raft rides, water slides, or just lazing by the water-side – this park has it all!

They offer swimming lessons for all ages, and there are lifeguards on duty at all times.

You can book a cabana next to the wave pool and stay the full day. There are plenty of places where you can get lunch, so plan on spending the whole day here. Hire a raft, or just enjoy the sunshine next to the water. Whatever you enjoy, this water park has something for everyone.

61. City of Richmond

61. Richmond

This is one of the oldest cities in the county. There was first record of it in 1775, and it was home to Confederate President Jefferson at one time. The house is now a museum, in Court End, and well worth a visit.

The area is well known for the style of housing which is referred to as ‘federal-style’ houses.

The city has many things of historical interest such as the Museum of Fine Arts, the American Civil War Museum, and the Science Museum.

You will find an abundance of restaurants and cafes where you can try some good southern fare, and there are plenty of hotels to stay in all price ranges.
Plan to spend a few days here, while you explore the city. You will not be disappointed.

62. Wolf Trap National Park

62. Wolf trap outdoor theatre

This is a park with a difference, and you will find it in the town of Vienna. It is the only park which is entirely dedicated to the performing arts. You can enjoy either indoor or outdoor shows depending on the time of the year.

The summer times get very busy, so it is important to book in advance. Once there, you will find that there are many concessions selling food and refreshments, and plenty of restrooms.
The building is a beautiful wooden construction with a wide stage so good views from all angles.

It is an uphill walk from the parking area, although there are trolleys for wheelchairs and elderly. You will find in the summer that it is perfect sitting outdoors watching a show. The acoustics are great. You can have supper there if you choose, remember to book this in advance also.

Pick a show, and check into accommodation in the town, and enjoy the summer nights.

63. Roanoke

63. Roanoke

This city is often referred to as the cultural hub of the state. There are unique shops and boutiques in the downtown area, with plenty of food halls and restaurants. From the city you can easily drive out to the Blue Ridge Mountains, and hike along one of the many trails there.

Kayakers take advantage of the Upper James River Water Trail, and this is very popular.

You will be able to take a cruise at sunset on the Smith Mountain Lake and watch the sunset over the mountains.

There is something to do at every turn in the city, it is a very exciting place to spend a few days, and well worth a visit.

Stay at one of the numerous hotels and enjoy the atmosphere and cuisine.

64. Winchester

64. Winchester

This city is absolutely beautiful! You will find it at the top end of the Shenandoah Valley. What you will notice right away is that it has four definite seasons.

The architecture is unique to the area, and the mountain views are spectacular at all times of the year. It has a ‘park- like’ feel to it, while having all the conveniences of a big city.

There are many interesting things to see and do here such as the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, the Old Court House Museum, and the Thomas Jefferson Headquarters.

For Country music fans, check out the Patsy Cline house.

You will find good southern cooking on the menu at most restaurants, and there are plenty of hotels where you can stay a night or two while you look around the town.

65. Kings Dominion

65. Kings dominion fireworks

This is a major attraction for people of all ages, having over 60 rides, shows, attractions and themed areas.

You will find the largest roller coaster on the east coast in this park. You will also get admission to the water park, included in the ticket price.

There are in fact two parks here, although you only pay for one. Events include firework displays and Snoopy Starlight Spectacular for the kids. The water lights display is simply not to be missed.
The park is opened during the summer months, and just at weekends in the spring and fall (autumn).

You can park an RV nearby the park, and spend a few days – the kids will thank you for this!

66. Combined Bus/Cruise tour of DC and Potomac

66. Washington Potomac Cruise

This tour starts in the centre of Washington DC and is one of the best value tours around! It combines a bus tour of the city, with a river cruise along the Potomac.
The whole tour lasts about 6 hours, and you will be given a chance to get off the bus and explore important memorials on foot.

You will see the White House and the US Capitol Buildings, you can walk around the memorials to Martin Luther King, Abe Lincoln, and Roosevelt.

You can either meet the guide at the National Archives Building, or ask to be collected from your hotel.

Your guide will give you some tips on the best place to buy a quick lunch, before heading on to the boat for a cruise down the river.

Washington DC has many places where you can stay a night and enjoy the city after your tour.

67. Fort Chiswell Animal Park

67. Fort Chiswell

While the park is relatively small, you will find that there are plenty of animals to see. You get to take the bus to see the larger animals, and can feed them from the windows. Watch out for the cheeky camel who will want to give you a kiss! The narrator knows all about every animal, and will tell you plenty of stories about each of them.

You will find that the animal cages are very clean, and the animals well taken care of. You can buy food to feed them, you are asked not to feed them your own food scraps.

This is a perfect way to spend a day for a family. It is a great introduction to animals and teaches kids not to be scared of them.

Allow yourself a day for this adventure.

68. Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens

68. Lewis Ginger botanical gardens

This is one of the most visited attractions in Richmond. Once you have seen the gardens, you will agree with this.

Relax in a beautiful garden, walk through the different areas, take a gardening class if you have time, or watch a wedding in place.

Various events are held through the year, such as Oktoberfest, the Dominion Garden Fest of Lights, and the Art and Science of plant Dynamics exhibition. Be sure to check the upcoming events.

October is a very special time for the garden, so it is worth planning your visit, so you see the autumn colour, which are simply magnificent.

Allow yourself a full day to explore this place, you can get a bite to eat and continue your visit.

69. Portsmouth

69. Portsmouth

This town is right across from the town of Norfolk, although the Norfolk Naval Shipyard is located in Portsmouth.

There are miles of waterfront land that you can take walks while watching the boats. There is a ferry which takes passengers across the river to Downtown Norfolk, and back to Olde Town Portsmouth.

Spend a day in this area, take the ferry across to explore Norfolk, and back again to finish up in Portsmouth.

Find out about upcoming events in the city by checking online.

There many restaurants where you can get an authentic southern meal.

70. Neptune’s Park

70. Neptunes Park

You will find this in Virginia Beach. If you are a fan of summer concerts, then make sure this is on your list.

The location overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, and most of the summer concerts are free. There are events which go on all year round, so it is worth checking out forthcoming shows. Often there are up and coming live bands to watch.

You will easily spot the location as there is a huge statue of King Neptune to mark the area. Close by are many seafood restaurants where you can stop for lunch, so allow yourself a day to explore the area.

71. Delmarva Peninsula

71. delmarva sandy beaches

This thin strip became an island after the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal was excavated.it is worth a visit because the island almost regards itself as being independent, with their own style of houses, and local cuisine. They even have a different accent to what you hear elsewhere in the county!

The island is mostly rural, but it is the beach that is the attraction here. It is a hive of action in the summer months, so expect delays when driving there. Once you are there, and on the beach, relax and enjoy the beauty of the ocean.

You will be able to get lunch along the beach as there are many small cafes which open up in the summer months.

72. Blandford Church & Cemetery

72. Blandford

The town of Petersburg is small, with the church and cemetery being probably the main things to see there. Although small, the cemetery boasts to having the grave of the highest ranked British Officer to be buried in the USA. Many of the other graves date back to early 1600’s.

You will find there is a Confederate Section, and the chapel is the only one with stained glass windows designed by Tiffany.

There are guides available if you prefer, and they are very knowledgeable about the history of the chapel and graveyard. The chapel itself is absolutely beautiful, and deserves a visit. This truly is a hidden gem!

73. American Shakespeare Centre

73. Shakespear Centre

You will find the Blackfriars Playhouse in the historic town of Staunton. It is the only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre in the world. The theatre seats 300 people and has year-round productions of Shakespeare and other plays.

The interior of the theatre is stunning, with wooden walls and structures, and the actors are top-class.

Be sure to book your seats in advance to avoid disappointment, then stay a night and enjoy a show.

74. Lee Chapel and Museum

74. General Lee chapel

If you are ever in the Lexington area, then be sure to stop and visit this spot. There are tour guides on hand to show you around and explain about the history of the chapel.

The sculpture of General Lee is of white marble and regarded as one of the finest pieces of marble work in the country. Note the folds of the sheet, which look real.

Outside, you will find the grave of his horse Traveller. There is a small shop and a museum in the basement where you can read more about this general and his family.

While it will only take an hour or two to see everything, the town of Lexington is worth looking at while you are there.

75. Lynchburg

75. Lynchburg

The town of Lynchburg is built along the River James, with the Blue Ridge Mountains in the distant. It is a vibrant town, with plenty to see and do. There is an amazing cultural downtown area, with a great nightlife.

The town is home to the Lynchburg Museum, Appomatox Court House, the Old Cemetery, and Thomas Jefferson’s Retreat, to mention a few.

Accommodation in the town is second to none, with the cuisine being varied with a good selection of southern cooking.

With views of the river as well as the mountains Lynchburg is certainly a pretty place to visit.

Plan to stay a few days in the town and see as much as you can.

76. HOHO Brewery Tour

76. HOHO Brewery tour

This unique brewery takes place in Crozet. You hop on to a bus and can ride to different breweries and vineyards in the area, hopping off at the ones you want to see, hopping back onto the bus when you are done.

This is a great way to see them, not only is it cheap, but also flexible. The tour lasts 7 hours and there are 8 choices for you to stop at. Ideally you should choose three and plan on spending an hour or so at each of them. This will allow for travel to the next spot without rushing.

The bus can collect you from your hotel, and drop you off at the end of the tour.
Allow yourself a full day for this. The tours are not suitable for children.

77. Maymont

77. Maymont

You will find this magnificent park and garden in Maymont, Richmond. The gardens are over 100 acres and well worth spending time strolling through. The mansion was built in 1893, and is filled with antiquities and painting of that era, and later.

You can tour the mansion either by guided tour, or on your own, and then head for the gardens to watch the otters at play or visit the petting zoo.

If walking is a problem, there are golf buggies for hire to make it easier to see the gardens.

Make sure you see the Japanese and Italian Gardens, and the Nature Centre where you will find exhibits of wild animals and other interesting creatures.

There is a shop and a restaurant where you can get lunch before heading out into the gardens.

78. George Washington Birthplace

78. George Washington birthplace

Colonial Beach is where you will find the monument dedicated to the four generations of Washington family. What is good about this is that entrance is free, making it a cheap day for you.

You can walk around the farm and learn about George Washington, and how he lived. The family tree is very clearly explained. The visitor’s Centre has plenty of information on the farm and the people who lived there.

The farm is still active, so it is a great place for kids to visit the animals. They can watch the animals being fed and the cows being milked.

Keep a look-out for Bald Eagles, as they occasionally fly in the area. Allow yourself a day to enjoy the area.

79. Yorktown City

79. Yorktown

There are three cities in the ‘historical triangle’, one of them being Yorktown. The other two are Jamestown and Williamsburg.

If you are into cycling, then you may want to know that this town is the eastern point of the TransAmerica Trail, which is a very popular cycle route.

Yorktown is also known for the beachfront, which you can leisurely walk along. Head for Riverwalk landing and you will find many restaurants and cafes to eat.

It is also of historic importance because of the many battles which occurred there. The architecture is from the 18th century.
You will find plenty to do here such as visit the Living History Museum, or one of the many art galleries.

Plan to spend a day here, there are hotels to suit all budgets, and there is enough to do to merit staying a day or two.

80. Massanutten Resort

80. Massanutteon Resort horse riding

You will find over 6,000 acres of fun things to do here. The resort is in Massanutten, and also offers accommodation, so you can stay longer than a day and see the area.

The place is a sportsman’s paradise with things like horse riding, hiking, golf, kayaking, canoes, mountain biking to name but a few activities.

You will find that the scenery is spectacular and the facilities excellent for a stay. For kids there are things like miniature golf, ice skating, and a games/video room. There is something for everyone.

The resort gets very popular in the summer so best to book well in advance to avoid disappointment.

81. Water Mine Swimming Hole

81. Water Mine swimming hole

You will find this in Reston. It will remind you of something from the Wild West Gold Rush days, with attractions for all ages. Slides, sprays, floatables and flumes, along with a water playground make this a great family day out.

There is a long, lazy river where you can float along at a gentle pace and enjoy the scenery.

In the middle you will find Pete’s Peak, which is a rugged mountain filled with tunnels. Tenderfoot Pond is perfect for the younger children where they can paddle safely. Never ending bubble machines ensure many hours of amusement.

More adventurous kids can try their hands at Box Canyon Crossing, which is a log walk course. Volleyball and tennis will keep older kids and adults busy.

This is a great place for the whole family to relax and have a fun filled day.

Plan to spend a day at least. This is a good place to bring an RV and stay more than a day.

82. Marine Corps National Museum

82. Marine Corps Nat Momument

This is a tribute to marines past and present. You will find it in Triangle, right next to the Marine Corps Base. The exhibits are very well explained and set out, paying tribute to marines in action. You will be able to see many well labelled artefacts explain the role of the marines in the history of the country.

The building itself is spectacular, and you cannot miss it. It is reminiscent of the Iwo Jima monument. Notice the images which are displayed on the sides of the building.

There are two restaurants and a gift shop on site.

Admission and parking are free, making this an affordable day out. It will take a half day to see the museum.

83. Chincoteague

83. Chincoteague ponies

This town is to be found on the island of Chincoteague, which is on the eastern shore. From here you can head to the National Wildlife Reserve on Assateague Island.

There is a museum on the island where you can see artefacts relating to the oyster industry, which used to be the industry there. You will also find a collection of model boats.

The island houses the Veteran’s Memorial Park. Watch out for the Chincoteague ponies which are local to the island. The pony centre is open in the summer months for visitors. You can also find these ponies on Assateague Island.

Although there are no shops on the island, you can still get a bit to eat and take the day to explore. Kids will love to see the ponies.

84. Jamestown

84. Jamestown fort

James Fort was first established in 1607, and this was considered to be where the British Empire began.

There are so many things to do and see in this town, you are best getting a hotel and staying a few days to make the most of it. There is accommodation to suit all budgets, and plenty of restaurants where you can sample southern cuisines.

Interesting things include Jamestown Church, Jamestown Colonial Town, Powhatan Indian Village, Jamestown Glasshouse, to name a few.

Try to get to Beavertail Lighthouse, which is still active. The Fire Memorial Museum is worth taking a look at.

This town deserves more than a day to make the most of what it has to offer, so plan on spending two or more here, you will not regret it.

85. Walking Food Tour, Williamsburg

85. Walking food tour

If you enjoy tasting new things, then this is the tour for you! Along the way you will learn about the food culture of the city.

The tour takes three hours and you should wear comfortable shoes to walk in. You will visit three or four restaurants along the way, as well as three or four eateries including candy stores, tea and spice shops, and chocolate shops.

You will have an opportunity to sample things at 7 different locations along the way. The tour only departs from St. Merchant’s Square, so you must make your own way back to your hotel.
This tour is great value for money, as well as educational about the local cuisines and traditions of the area.

86. Nauticus

86. Nauticus

This is also known as the National Maritime Centre and it can be found in Norfolk. It is a science centre with a difference because it is themed, and also has a museum in the building.

Make sure you check out the upcoming events as some have to be booked in advance.

It is a great place to spend an afternoon, especially if you are interested in anything naval.

87. Masonic National Memorial

87. Masonic National Museum

You will find this in Alexandria. It is a dedication to George Washington. There is a short walk up some steps to get to the memorial as it is on a hill.

The building is very stately, and was built by the Freemasons, and stands 333 feet high. You will find nine floors of artefacts dedicated to the Freemasons, and the library.

You can take the tour, or see it on your own. The tour guide is very knowledgeable about the artefacts there, and will answer all your questions.

Look out for the replica of the Ark of the Covenant on the 5th floor, and a replica of King Solomon’s throne on the 9th floor.

This will take a little over a half day to see, so allow yourself enough time that you are not rushed.

88. Women in Military Memorial

88. Women in Military Museum Arlington

This was constructed in 1997 so is relatively new, but worth looking out for. You will find it at the Arlington Cemetery, at the entrance.

The memorial is dedicated to women in all aspects of military service through the years. Inside the memorial building you will find a video to watch, which covers many interesting points about the women who served and died for their country.

The gift shop is well stocked, and there are guides on hand to answer all your questions.
This will take about two hours to see, and is worth doing, so try to include it in your visit to the cemetery.

89. Richmond Historic Tour

89. Richmond Historic Tour

The best way to see the city of Richmond is to take a trolley tour. You will learn about the city and the many landmarks along the way. There are many tour companies who do these tours, and you will find information in every hotel, and also the Visitor’s Centre.

The tours go past the State Capitol, Monument Avenue, Libby Hill, the White House, and St. John’s Church, to mention a few.

There are many museums in the city, namely the Black History Museum, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and the American Civil War museum, as well as many others.

It is well worth spending a few days in this city. There are plenty of hotels where you stay, and many restaurants to choose from.

90. Dinosaur Kingdom

90 Dinosaur Kingdon

This amazing place can be found at Natural Bridge, and will be the delight of every child who has ever wondered about dinosaurs! They are huge, and full of surprises! The park mixes history and fantasy, and makes for a great day out.

There is a story attached to the theme park, where the dinosaurs are fighting a war against the Union Army. You are guided along the route showing various stages of the battles between the two, and find out right at the end, who the victory goes to.

Plan on spending the day here, kids will love the huge beasts!

91. Seabee Memorial

91. Seabee Memorial

This is in fact called the National Seabee Memorial and you will find it in Arlington. The monument is dedicated to the work of the Naval Construction Battalion, and pays respect to the heroes of the country.

You can combine this with a visit to the cemetery as it is close by. It is a very moving tribute to men and women who have served the country not only in war, but also in peace times, in construction work and building for the country.

After you have looked at this memorial, why not head to memorial Bridge and the Lincoln Memorial, which is over on the other side.

92. Washington DC Sips and sights tour

92. Washington Sights and sips tour

A good way to see some of the distilleries as well as sights in the city of Washington DC is to take a guided tour. This way you will learn about interesting places along the way. An experienced guide will be able to answer any questions you may have.

Most tours will take about 3 – 4 hours, and include visits to a local distillery or brewery as well as memorials and landmarks.

Most tours will leave from your hotel, although you should check this out. All of them provide samples along the way, of foods and craft beers.

You may visit places like the Air Force Memorial, the Pentagon, and the Jefferson Memorial.

Plan to spend more than a day in the city. There is plenty to do and see, and restaurants of all cuisines to tempt you!

93. Tredegar Iron Works

93. Tredegar Iron Works

This historical site is located in Richmond. The machines are still working, and the building itself is quite unique.

You can watch a film show in the small theatre upstairs, which will give you a glimpse into the early days of the iron works.

These iron works were the biggest at the time of the Confederacy and the Civil War, in fact they supplied over half the artillery used at that time.

An interesting fact is that the works took the name of Tredegar from the Welsh Industrial town where most of the workers originated from.

This has been designated as a Natural Historic Landmark, and it is very close to the Richmond national Battlefield Park, making it an ideal day outing.

94. Casemate Museum

94. Casemate Museum

You will find this museum in Fort Monroe. It is full of military history spanning the Civil War and well after. The museum is huge so be prepared to walk a lot.

There is a walking tour which you can take, or you can see it by yourself. The guides are very informative. The collection of memorabilia is extensive, and the views from outside the museum and amazing.

One thing to note is that it is really quite cold inside the fort, so remember to bring a jacket or sweater.

It will take you a half day to look at all the exhibits.

95. NRA Firearms Museum

95. NRA Gum Museum

Even if you are not a fan of guns, this will interest you. There are guns which show off beautiful craftmanship, which are well worth looking at. The collection is vast, with many rare guns on display.

There is a section on famous shooters, with historical notes on most of the guns. Many of them are custom made and are one-of-a-kind guns.

The staff who work there are all gun experts who can answer any questions you may have.

There is a café where you can get a bite to eat, and the parking is free, which makes it a cheap morning or afternoon.

96. Williamsburg Ghost Tour

96. Williamsburg Ghost tour

A visit to Williamsburg would not be complete without doing a night tour of ghost spotting! The best way is to take a guided tour, which should last about an hour.

You will learn all about the ghosts that haunt the area, and get to see Peyton Randolph House, which is the most haunted house in Virginia.

You may find the tour leads you through scary places such as the jail and the cemetery, and down through dark streets.

You will learn about the secret vault which is hidden in the cemetery, and find out which houses in the town have bodies buried behind them!

Most tours end up at the town pillory, where you may be brave enough to stick your head through the stocks – or not!

97. Washington Monument Cruise

97. Washington Monument cruise

Taking a river cruise is a great way to see Washington DC from a different angle. You will be cruising along the Potomac River, and pass places like the Lincoln Museum, Arlington National Cemetery, and Washington Monument.

Cruise boats will have narration about the history of the city and the famous landmarks along the way.

Afternoon cruises are best because you will see the sun setting over the city, which is very stunning.
Plan to stay in the city for a day or so, and visit one of the places you see from the boat. There are many places where you can stay, and plenty of food choices.

98. Taste Virginia BBQ

98. BBQ

A trip to Virginia will not be complete without tasting BBQ! Many hotels offer a BBQ outing where you are taken to a local BBQ kitchen and introduced to a chef who will cook the most delicious meal for you.

BBQ is a speciality in Virginia, and you will find your lunch served up with sides of corn-bread, pumpkin muffins, and pork ribs, slow cooked to perfection.

BBQ is thought to have originated in Virginia, and their recipes are certainly tasty!

You can ask the pit-master all about his techniques while he slowly cooks your food. He may let you into his secret rub recipe which makes his ribs the best in the state!

99. Edith J. Carrier Arboretum

99. Arboretum

You will find this arboretum in Harrisburg. It is one of the few that are ‘dog friendly’. Take time to wander along the rustic, paved paths, dotted with statues and seats where you can sit and enjoy the tranquillity.

Bring some bread for the ducks – and a picnic for yourself. This is the perfect place for a relaxing afternoon.

100. Gari Melchers Studio

This is an American artist who lived in Belmont from 1916 until he passed away in 1932. He was a famous impressionist, and used to live in Paris until WWI, when he moved to the states.

The studio is open to visitors, and so are the gardens. You will find many lovely trails to walk along. The studio has been designated as a National Historic Landmark, and it is well worth spending a morning or afternoon looking at the personal furnishings of the artist, as well as at some of his finest works.


Virginia is a state with a diverse landscapes, cultures, and cuisines. Rolling hills and clean white beaches, delightful towns and monuments are just a handful of things that make this state such a great holiday destination. Whatever your age, and holiday preference, you will find something to see and do in Virginia.