10 Classic Virginia Experiences

by Casey Higgins | Posted: Nov 12, 2013 | Updated: Apr 17, 2018

Comments: 5 Comments

Updated November 5, 2015.

Looking for a well-rounded list of things to do, see and experience during the holiday and winter seasons? Consider this one of them.

1. Hike a portion of  the Appalachian Trail. Start in Shenandoah National Park or the Blue Ridge Parkway.

2. Navigate 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 Colonial Williamsburg and the conclusion of the Revolutionary War at Yorktown. That’s a lot of history in a pretty tight radius.

Yorktown Victory Center

Yorktown Victory Center

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, one that has no end, the deepest, and one that has the tallest stalagmite in the world.

4. One key annual holiday event allows you 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.

100 Miles of Lights - Virginia Beach

100 Miles of Lights – Virginia Beach

5. There’s nothing neater than cobblestone streets and you can find them across Virginia. Check out our 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.


Alexandria Holiday TreeAlexandria

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.

7. 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.

8. More than 250 wineries, 100+ craft breweries, and a quickly growing number of cideries and distilleries are toasting the holidays and inviting you to warm from within. Designated drivers are mandatory.

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.


10Zip 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!
What would you add to a list of quintessential things to do in Virginia? Leave a comment!

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Patricia KeppelApril CookjanglinesGarner GoingsonJoanne Groseclose Recent comment authors
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April Cook

I am planning a trip to Virginia this winter, and there are so many things that I want to do. I love historical sites, so I want to do the Historic Triangle, especially Williamsburg. I will also be looking for those cobblestone streets while I’m in Norfolk. I just hope the weather is good so we can enjoy them. Does this area get snow in the winter?


Saturday, December 13, 2014 5:45 pm. to 7 pm. Hometown Christmas Light Parade in Manassas Park, VA. Great event for families, children and friends. Bundle up and pick a spot on Manassas Drive and watch a great little Christmas parade.

Joanne Groseclose
Joanne Groseclose

While you are traveling to Southwest Virginia, be sure to check out the Lincoln Theatre in Marion. You can catch a variety of performances from a taping of a Song of the Mountains show for PBS to a performance of the Roanoke Symphony. Marion is also home to Hungry Mother State Park, a state of the art wellness center, many excellent restaurants, and a thriving downtown. Don’t miss this jewel in the mountains!


I wouldn’t miss the holiday lights at the Botanical Gardens–the original light show in the area, tasteful and charming–and a viewing of IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE at the Naro Cinema. Both Norfolk gems.