Virginia is located between the tall Appalachian Mountains in the west and the beautiful Atlantic Ocean in the east – the state has one of the most interesting histories of all the states.
History is not the only thing it has to offer, Virginia is also a place where you can see beautiful nature as well. Being the first colony, it played a significant part in the war for independence against Great Britain, the American Revolution, as well as the Civil War which ensued later. During the Civil War, the most substantial battles and skirmishes between the Confederate Army and the Union Army happened right on the soil of Virginia.
Historical stories and even myths, surrounding Pocahontas the Native American princess and John Smith, can all be heard about and witnessed in Virginia because it is where they happened in the first place.
And of course, the culture in Virginia, which is very rich and can be thoroughly explored wherever you wind up in the state. You can, for example, see many statues of notable people from the past, such as George Washington, Robert E. Lee, Thomas Jefferson, to name a few; and you can also visit their houses (now turned into museums open for public) and see what their daily lives resembled like. Spoiler: you may be a bit surprised when you look at Thomas Jefferson’s bed!
Thomas Jefferson’s first and primary plantation in Charlottesville, it represents an age of past and is a significant monument for the US history as Jefferson himself is buried on its grounds. When Jefferson was alive, he used to grow crops on this 5 thousand acres large piece of land, varying between tobacco and wheat. Now, a museum, many of the household items and furniture dating from that period are preserved or restored, so Monticello is in full glow, waiting for its visitors.
Address: 931 Thomas Jefferson Pkwy, Charlottesville, VA 22902
Open hours: 8:30 AM – 6 PM
Price: $10 – $62, depending on age and tour type. Regular tour: Adults – $29; Youth 12 to 18 – $17; Children 5 to 11 – $10
Another house-turned-museum, this time it is George Washington’s plantation which he inherited from his father. When you come here, you can see how the first American president lived, what his usual day consisted of, where he dined, where he slept, and even hear a couple of interesting facts about him, his life and his time. It is a great place to see if you wish to find out more about the history of Virginia and the United States as well.
Address: 3200 Mount Vernon Hwy, Mt Vernon, VA 22121
Open hours: 9 AM – 5 PM
Price: Adults – $20; Seniors (62+) – $19; Youth (6-11) – $12
The world’s largest living museum with over forty sites, Colonial Williamsburg is a must-see for anyone who comes to Virginia. The idea behind this vast museum is as if the whole city is stuck in the 18th century when the United States of America was only beginning to form. When you visit this museum-town, you can see original clothing and fashion, buildings made in the 18th-century architecture, and many more. You can even ride an open horse carriage to and from sites!
Address: 101 S Henry St, Williamsburg, VA 23185
Open hours: 9 AM – 5 PM
Price: $10 – $203.70, depending on the location you wish to visit and the time you want to spend.
Single day ticket: Adults – $40.99; Youth (6-12) – $20.49. Multiday ticket: Adults – $50.99; Youth (6-12) – $25.49. Annual pass: Adults – $66.99; Youth (6-12) – $33.49
Shenandoah National Park
Located on the Blue Ridge Mountains, this is a long and narrow national park which includes Shenandoah River and Valley on one side, swiftly meandering below the road. As the park is located on the Blue Ridge Mountains, the highest peak is Hawksbill Mountain with its 4050 feet in height. You can come here and enjoy nature and recollect, hike the surrounding mountains and ridges, have a picnic with your family and enjoy your day a bit away from civilization.
One of the best and most beautiful parts of Shenandoah National Park is its road – the Skyline Drive. The drive is like from a dream-like world: slight curves and the road slicing through the forest until at one point you do not see the vast clear space between the trees as the horizon expands. Then, dive into the woods again as another curve takes you among the woods. It is indeed a great experience to take your car here for a spin, regardless of the weather or time of the season, as each day it can be a unique experience.
Jamestown and Yorktown
When staying in Virginia, you have to visit Jamestown and Yorktown – the original site where the James Fort and later Jamestown were erected in 1607, thus serving as the first settlement in North America. Also, Yorktown, one of the first colonial counties, is another must-see site for the stories these sites hold are amazing and should be seen by anyone.
Address: Colonial National Historical Park, Yorktown, Virginia
Manassas National Battlefield
This is the location of a couple of battles that took place during the Civil War when the Confederate armies won decisively, thus lengthening the war for a couple of more years. Today, it is a monument which serves a purpose to recreate and re-enact the battles that took place in the past here. So, you just may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of firing cannons and a full open charge.
Address: 6511 Sudley Rd, Manassas, VA 20109
Virginia State Capitol
A national historic landmark first conceived by Thomas Jefferson, this monument represents the essence of the first American people who erected it. Housing many statues of former presidents, the State Capitol is truly a remarkable building you should pay a visit to when in Richmond.
Address: 1000 Bank St, Richmond, VA 23218
Open hours: Monday through Saturday 8 AM – 5 PM; Sunday 1 PM – 5 PM
Packed with roller coasters, fun rides, and carousels, this theme park should be in everyone’s itinerary when they’re coming to Virginia. The park bears a theme that resembles Europe and its design and architecture, while at the same time providing fun rides and an adrenaline rush!
Address: 1 Busch Gardens Blvd, Williamsburg, VA 23185
Open hours: 10 AM – 9 PM
Price: One-day: $90 ticket only; $130 ticket, dining, and drinks
Birthplace to many presidents and notable people, Virginia has a lot to offer to its visitors and locals respectively, so make sure you put these places on your to-do list when you visit Virginia.