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5 Cities To Visit In Virginia This Summer

Travelers Today       By    David Thompson

Updated: Apr 27, 2022 03:20 PM EDT

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5 Cities To Visit In Virginia This Summer

(Photo: STEPHEN POORE via Unsplash)

With many of us getting our summer plans lined up, plenty is sticking to stateside road trips for the season. While it's enticing to travel to far-off destinations like Paris, Ibiza, or Dubai, with inflation rising and other restrictions, many families decide to keep things continental. If you're in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. and looking for a state that is rich in history and culture, Virginia should be at the top of your list. Let's look at all the wonderful and exciting things to do in the great state of Virginia. 

Richmond, Virginia 

Once the confederacy's capital before the Civil War, Richmond has a dark past but now is a bustling, progressive small city. With historical sites like Maymont - a former plantation now home to gorgeous botanical gardens, stunning vistas, and a petting zoo. Richmond is also home to the VMFA (Virginia Museum of Fine Arts), which features a rotating list of jaw-dropping exhibits and a gift shop you'd expect in more prominent museums in much bigger cities. The food in Richmond is nothing short of spectacular, with options for everyone's lifestyle, from vegan to good southern BBQ. It's just an hour's drive from the nation's capital, making it a must-stop on your Virginia road trip. 

Washington, D.C. 

While technically not part of the state, Washington D.C. is nestled in Northern Virginia and worth visiting, especially if you've never been. The cherry blossoms are gorgeous, and the White House and Lincoln Monument, and many other historical sites are in abundance. You can find fantastic shopping and dining throughout the small city - only 68 square miles - and tons of Burroughs offering different cultures. Georgetown is an area that is not only eclectic and vibrant but home to some of the best shopping and dining experiences in the city. Of course, you can't forget the Smithsonian American Art Museum or the zoo while you're there. 

Charlottesville, Virginia 

Virginia is known as the "Mother of Presidents" because she can boast of being the birthplace of more presidents than any other state. Her most famous is, of course, Thomas Jefferson, who was born in Charlottesville, Virginia. His touch is felt throughout the must-visit campus of The University of Virginia, where you can view the Rotunda and Edgar Allen Poe's room still in its original form on the lawn. Charlottesville also boasts the longest outdoor pedestrian mall in the country, "The Downtown Mall," so make sure you bring extra collapsible luggage for all the wares you'll buy in town. Charlottesville also has more restaurants per capita than any city in the country aside from New York, NY, which means you'll have no trouble finding something delicious to eat on your visit.

Virginia Beach, Virginia 

While Virginia is, of course, known for being part of the Appalachian Trail and its majestic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, it's also got plenty of waterfront land to enjoy. Virginia Beach is a great stop, especially if you're taking a family vacation, as the boardwalk is vibrant both day and night. The beaches are well maintained, and the shops along the coast are both kitschy and upscale, depending on what you're looking for. Fresh crab from the Chesapeake Bay is second to none in the country, and there are hotels and resorts for every price point and budget. Virginia Beach is also surrounded by plenty of nature reserves within a fifteen to twenty-minute drive from the oceanfront if you want a more immersive, natural experience with Virginia's oceanic wildlife. 

Luray, Virginia 

If you're not claustrophobic and would love to experience the natural beauty of being deep inside caverns, Luray is worth a day trip. You can visit the famous Luray Caverns, where you can spelunk to your heart's content! Learn about stalactites and stalagmites with your little ones and even play the organ made from stalactites! Being immersed so deeply (literally) in some magical, natural creations is an experience you and your loved ones will never forget!

Virginia is a beautiful state, and many already know that if they've experienced it for themselves. While traveling through Virginia, make a point to go down Skyline Drives for some breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge and the small towns nestled at their foothills. Happy trails!

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

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