Virginia, the Old Dominion, offers a wealth of diverse, vibrant, and beautiful locales that can make your visit an unforgettable journey. Beyond the well-trodden paths, this article aims to spotlight five of the most exotic locations in Virginia, uncovering their unique charms and providing useful tips for your visit. From serene natural escapes to bustling urban landscapes, here are the gems you can’t afford to miss.
Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park also provides a delightful array of outdoor activities all year round. In the winter, visitors can engage in snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
The park boasts over 500 miles of trails, including 101 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Don’t miss Dark Hollow Falls, one of the most popular waterfalls in the park. For birdwatchers, the park is home to over 200 bird species, including the elusive peregrine falcon.
If you’re lucky, you may spot some of the park’s larger residents, such as black bears, bobcats, or white-tailed deer. The park also has picnic facilities and campgrounds, enhancing the outdoor experience for families and groups.
The Virginia Tech Lane Stadium
This colossal stadium, with a capacity of over 65,000 spectators, is renowned for its ‘Enter Sandman’ entrance and electrifying ambiance, ranked by ESPN as one of the “scariest” places for opponents to play.
The spirit of camaraderie and sportsmanship here is a true reflection of Virginia’s passion for college football. In addition to the games, Lane Stadium is famous for its tailgating traditions, where fans gather to enjoy food, music, and the shared love of the game.
Visitors can explore the stadium’s facilities, including the impressive South End Zone complex, which houses training facilities, administrative offices, and luxury suites.
Don’t miss the Hokie Walk, where fans line up to cheer on the players as they make their way to the stadium. Finally, make sure to visit the HokieShop for exclusive Virginia Tech merchandise to remember your visit.
Old Town Alexandria
Old Town Alexandria offers the Torpedo Factory Art Center, a hub of creativity showcasing the work of over 80 artists. Its red brick facades, colonial houses, and gas-lit streets transport you back to the 18th century.
The rich history can be felt in landmarks like the Carlyle House and Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum. The King Street Mile, the heart of Old Town, is a shopper’s paradise with its unique boutiques and antique stores. Stay at the luxurious MGM National Harbor, where you can enjoy exceptional service, fine dining, and stunning views of the Potomac River.
Don’t forget to attend one of the city’s festivals like the King Street Art Festival or the Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend. This is a place where history and hospitality intersect, making every visit an unforgettable experience.
When in Old Town Alexandria, if you are lucky enough to stay at the MGM National Harbor luxury resort, make sure to take advantage of the BetMGM promos available.
Chincoteague and Assateague Islands
These beautiful coastal islands, known as Assateague and Chincoteague, present a rich natural spectacle. Birdwatchers will be in paradise as the islands are a significant stop on the Atlantic Flyway, providing a haven for migratory birds.
The untamed beauty of Assateague Island National Seashore invites visitors to enjoy kayaking, fishing, and swimming. Here, the Chincoteague ponies, feral horses allowed to roam freely, are a must-see attraction.
The annual Pony Swim and Auction event, which is a beloved tradition, sees the ponies swim across Assateague Channel to Chincoteague.
Close to the action, the Refuge Inn offers homely comforts and pony-themed decor to immerse you in the island’s unique culture.
For a touch of local history, visit the Museum of Chincoteague Island, and don’t miss trying some fresh seafood at the local restaurants. These islands truly provide a one-of-a-kind East Coast getaway.
Lastly, Luray Caverns, tucked in the scenic Shenandoah Valley, is an enchanting destination for geological exploration. Renowned as one of the most extraordinary cave systems in the Eastern United States, it boasts dramatic formations like giant stalactites, stalagmites, and crystal-clear subterranean pools.
Don’t miss the Stalacpipe Organ, the world’s largest musical instrument that produces mesmerizing tones by tapping stalactites.
During the summer, the caverns offer a respite from the heat with its constant 54-degree temperature. Proximity to the Blue Ridge Mountains allows for more outdoor activities like hiking or picnicking.
After a day of adventure, unwind at the Mimslyn Inn, a charming establishment that echoes the region’s rich history with its colonial architecture and sumptuous southern cuisine.
The exploration of Luray Caverns delivers a sense of wonder, making your Virginia trip truly unforgettable.
Each destination in this Virginia Bucket List offers its unique charm, whether you are looking for an adrenaline rush, a quiet commune with nature, or a step back in time.
Virginia’s rich tapestry of experiences ensures something for every traveller. So pack your bags and prepare to explore the unexplored.