Nicknamed “Old Dominion,” Virginia is a state with a rich and colorful history. Adding to that are the state’s natural wonders and the long golden beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see. Here are the most beautiful places to see in Virginia, and everything should be on your US state bucket list!
1. Colonial Williamsburg
Williamsburg was the capital of Virginia from 1705 until the entire revolution ended. A politically active state, Williamsburg is a hotbed of the independence movement. It provides a great setting for the American Revolution unlike no other place in America. Even until today, the buildings from the 18th century continue to stand proud witnesses to the glorious events of the past.
Williamsburg is also home to four of the first five presidents. Here, you can walk the same streets as Thomas Jefferson and enjoy the meals that George Washington loved. Stand on the exact spot where the post-colonial governor, Patrick Henry, gave his moving speech!
Locals of the state help tell the story of how Williamsburg came to be the place it is today. There are costumed interpreters that exhibit the way of life of the farmers, the slaves, and the common people who have lived and worked here. Re-enactments of these daily scenes make this place such a unique attraction for the tourists.
You can also visit museums that feature decorative arts and refurbished colonial gardens while you’re here!
2. Shenandoah National Park
Nestled deep in the country is one of the most beautiful places to see in Virginia. Shenandoah National Park is one of the best spots for a long drive in the state. It also protects parts of the Blue Mountains, which stand over 4,000 feet tall.
The beauty of the flowering shrubs and trees blossom the best during spring and summer seasons. However, it is absolutely stunning during the fall due to the explosion of orange and red hues. Stroll around and relax, surrounded by warm vibes of autumn. You may also explore the park through the number of hiking trails around the park.
Side Trip tip:
- Along the side of the mountain is the Skyline Drive that extends over the entire length of the park. It features a breathtaking view of the mountains and hills across the Shenandoah National Park. While on a road trip here, you can stop by at the old Cave Cemetery just below Dark Hollow Falls, and at the summer house of President Hoover.
3. Virginia Beach
One of the most beautiful places to see in Virginia is also a beloved tourist destination. It boasts a long boardwalk, hotels, and attractions. Virginia Beach also features a wide area of golden sand that the locals and tourists are crazy about.
This over 9,000 acres of shoreline is protected by the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, where you can find a number of hiking and walking trails for you to explore. With over 10,000 different species of birds that visit this place annually, it’s a perfect spot for bird-watching enthusiasts. You can see falcons, ducks, snow geese, and piping plovers all over the place during this season.
Other attractions include:
- The 19-acre Ocean Breeze Water Park, which features the Caribbean- themed water slides, a water, playground, and a wave pool
- The Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Museum that has an 800,000- gallon aquarium, which explores the seafloor, the climate, and fauna of the coast, and a touch tank
- The 19791 Old Cape Henry Lighthouse which you can access by passing through security at the Fort Story Military Base.
4. Mount Vernon
Mount Vernon was president’s George Washington’s home from 1754 until his death in 1799. While he was residing here, Mount Vernon was always a work in progress, with multiple adjustments happening frequently. This 21-room plantation house features an exquisite interior decor and architectural design that Washington curated himself. The vivid colors of the walls in the entire house was a trend back in the late 18th century, making the bright green walls in the “New Room” his personal favorite.
Mount Vernon, unlike other historical homes, is brimming with old trinkets, family portraits, and crests – all personal belongings of George and Martha Washington.
One of his greatest points of pride in the mansion is the grounds and gardens that overlook the Potomac River, as he was very hands-on in planning and taking care of it. He reshaped the paths and lawns and planted native species of shrubs and trees.
The structures beside the house have either been reconstructed or preserved, and you’ll see a number of skills that were used in the plantation exhibited at the water-powered gristmill.
5. Luray Caverns
This underground wonder features amazing calcite formations that is considered a true national landmark. As you walk inside the caves, you’ll get to see limestone crystals that have formed impressive landscapes over the centuries.
One of the highlights here is the Titania’s Veil- a flowstone structure of pure calcite in white color, and one of the most beautiful places to see in Virginia. Other attractions include the massive Double Column, the interior lakes which amplify the scene, and a unique musical instrument that makes music using the stalactites themselves called the Great Stalacpipe Organ.
You can also check out other attractions up above such as the Luray Valley Museum which features the history of the Shenandoah Valley and is filled with authentic and reproduced artifacts, and the Car and Carriage Caravan Museum which has a wide collection of historic vehicles such as a Toy Town Junction- an antique train set from the 1940’s and an 1897 Mercedes Benz.
6. Natural Bridge of Virginia
The Natural Bridge of Virginia is one of the oldest tourist sites in America. Standing at over 215 feet tall and 90 feet long, this beauty is on the National Register of Historic Places. A collapsed cavern millions of years ago, in which the Cedar Creek flowed, gave way to the formation of the cavern.
It is one of the two popular attractions for European visitors, up to par with Niagara Falls during the 18th to 19th centuries. As the legend goes, the first president Washington examined the bridge for Lord Fairfax and signed his initials and survey marks that were discovered in 1927. One of the founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson took a liking, owned the land for some time, and built a log cabin as a retreat house.
The Natural Bridge is a designated state park since 2014. Since then, it continues to welcome visitors with a number of amazing attractions. Hike along the Cedar Creek Trail from Cascade Falls to Lace Falls, then visit an exhibit on the local American tribe of the Monahans. Explore a saltpeter mine used during the War of 1812. So much to see and learn, for kids and kids at heart!
Ready to explore Virginia?
With all of its natural beauty, Virginia will never run out of picturesque landscapes, state parks, and golden beaches. Make sure to keep this list in mind as you plan for the best vacation ever in this Mother of States.
Arizona2 months ago
These 8 Charming Towns in Arizona Are Hidden Gems That Are Perfect for a Day Trip
Arizona5 months ago
6 Surreal Places in Arizona That You Need To Visit Before You Die
Arizona2 months ago
Take a Trip to these 5 Hidden Beaches in Arizona for an Unforgettable Summer
Arizona4 months ago
Here are the 7 Most Terrifying Drives You Can Take in All of Arizona
Arizona4 months ago
This Hike in Arizona is Said To Be One of the Most Dangerous in the World
Arizona5 months ago
Go on an Epic Kayaking Tour Through an Emerald Cave in Arizona
Arizona1 month ago
Take a Trip to This Beautiful Blue Beach in Arizona to Escape the Scorching Summer Heat
Arizona4 months ago
15 Hilarious Memes You’ll Only Understand If You Live in Arizona