In honor of 12/12/12 we’ve put together a list of 12 classic, not to miss experiences in Virginia. If you’re following the Mayan calendar, you’ll need to fit them in by December 21. Good luck!
1. Hike the Appalachian Trail. No, not the whole thing, but a chunk of it would make you feel good. Start in Shenandoah National Park or the Blue Ridge Parkway. Hey, did you know Virginia has more miles of the AT than any other state? Trivia and exercise. You’re welcome.
2. Find your way through the Triangle. Not the spooky Bermuda Triangle, but America’s Historic Triangle – Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown. All of America is rooted in the happenings of this area, from the 1607 landing at Jamestowne to the new nation ideas bred at Williamsburg and the conclusion of the Revolutionary War at Yorktown. That’s a lot of historical action in a pretty tight radius.
3. If seeing sites that include words like biggest, endless, deepest or tallest are on your bucket list, we can help you mark them off. Virginia has eight caverns, including the largest in the eastern United States (Luray), one that has no end (New Market), the deepest (Natural Bridge) and one that has the tallest stalagmite in the world (Middlesboro).
4. For one key annual event, you’re welcome to drive the longest boardwalk in the country – the Virginia Beach Boardwalk. It’s the McDonald’s Holiday Lights on the Beach, part of Virginia’s 100 Miles of Lights connecting seven twinkling cities.
5. Walk on cobblestones! There’s nothing neater than cobblestone streets and you can still find them across Virginia. Check out Virginia’s Main Streets and then look in places you wouldn’t suspect, like Richmond‘s Shockoe Slip, the Freemason District of Norfolk and Old Town Alexandria.
6. Have a whale of a time on board a boat bound for winter wildlife viewing off the coast of Virginia. The team at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach is happy to take you into the Atlantic for a chance to see the fin and humpback whales migrating this time of year. Of course, no one controls the whales and where they swim, so don’t get too upset if you don’t happen to spot one.
7. Visit the Mother of Presidents when you visit Virginia. Eight United States Presidents have hailed from the Commonwealth and you can visit their homes and libraries as well as the places they dined, studied and enjoyed the social scene.
9. Strike a chord in the birthplace of country music – Bristol – and travel The Crooked Road to see and hear music history and tradition at places like Carter Family Fold and the Ralph Stanley Museum.
10. Walk in Steven Spielberg’s footsteps when you check out Lincoln – The Movie Trail. The cast and crew were on set in Virginia for 53 days filming the new movie LINCOLN. Go eat where they ate, see the film sites and enter for a chance to win a three-night Lincoln-themed vacation.
11. Zip line through a snowy winter wonderland at Wintergreen Resort. It’s 900 feet at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. Don’t forget to wear a ski mask. Brrr!
12. At the end of everything, what really matters? We’d argue and bet many would agree that LOVE is the answer. Find the LOVEworks location nearest you and take a family photo for posterity’s sake.
So, what would be your 12 Virginia travel experiences not to miss before the end of the world?
We wish you the best and when the end doesn’t come on December 21, 2012, well, you’ll still be able to put LOVE at the heart of every Virginia vacation you ever take! Go ahead and order a Virginia Travel Guide just in case we do make it to New Year’s Day.