Summer is right around the corner, and many of us plan our family vacations. With restrictions still in place depending on where you’re looking to travel, many Americans are choosing to stay in the United States for their summer travels this year. While planning a trip to Hawaii with your family may be an option, others stay on the mainland. Virginia is one state worth a flight or a leisurely road trip to have a fantastic time during the summer. Located in the mid-Atlantic region of the US, Virginia has something to offer everyone; hence their state motto – Virginia is for lovers. Let’s take a look at some of the phenomenal locations Virginia has to explore to make a memorable family summer vacation.
While technically not Virginia, as the city of Washington D.C. is its own district, it’s nestled right in the center of Northern Virginia. If you and your family enjoy learning about our nation’s rich history, D.C. is a must-stop on your vacation to Virginia. With all the historical sites in the district, there is also fantastic shopping, restaurants, and museums – the most noteworthy of which is the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. If you’ll be in D.C. during springtime, seeing the cherry blossoms in bloom is an awe-inspiring experience.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Whether you have little ones or teenagers in your family, there is something for everyone in Virginia Beach. The iconic boardwalk is filled with tons of people watching, plenty of restaurants, arcades, and delectable ice cream shops, perfect for a hot summer day. While the central oceanfront is busy during summertime, the further north you head up the coastline, the less active it will be. Virginia Beach is also close to several wildlife reservations for the nature enthusiasts in your family and offers plenty of nightlife if the adults want a night out on the town. So, pack your favorite bikini, some casual boho dresses, and flip flops, and head to Virginia Beach for a day or two while you’re in Virginia.
Tucked at the bottom of the Blue Ridge Mountains lies the famous small city of Charlottesville, Virginia. Virginia is known as the mother of presidents as more presidents are from the state than any other – eight to be exact. The most famous is Thomas Jefferson, whose presence can be felt throughout Charlottesville. Visiting his iconic home Monticello and its wineries is a must in Charlottesville. The campus of the University of Virginia, which Jefferson had a hand in designing, is gorgeous, especially the Rotunda. In addition to the history of Charlottesville, it’s home to high-end shopping, more restaurants per capita than any city in the U.S. besides New York, NY, and the longest outdoor pedestrian mall in the country. While it maintains its small-town feel, Charlottesville has won the accolade of being one of the “happiest places to live in the U.S.” several times.
Williamsburg is rich in history as well and full of natural beauty. Driving through this small sleepy town, you can visit several historic sites that were pivotal during The Civil War. In addition to the historical aspects of the city, the botanical gardens in Williamsburg are renowned. There are many local restaurants to dine in, and you won’t find a more friendly group of people than the locals you encounter. Williamsburg is also where two major theme parks are located – Busch Gardens and Water Country U.S.A. – perfect for hot summer day fun with the family!
While Richmond has a notorious history as once being the capital of the Confederacy in American history, it has blossomed into a progressive and vibrant city. There is so much to do in Richmond during the summer, from the historical Maymont – with a petting zoo and gorgeous botanical gardens – to the VMFA (Virginia Museum of Fine Arts). Richmond boasts tons of eclectic, local, and fresh dining experiences if you’re a vegan or have other dietary or lifestyle restrictions.
If you’re looking to take an exciting road trip this summer, Virginia should be at the top of your list of places to visit, especially if you’re on the East Coast. Let this list be your guide to some of the must-visit locations the state has to offer. Happy Trails!