Although the year has just begun, we have already started thinking about our travel plans for 2019. While planning vacations can easily become an overwhelming task, we have three suggestions based off of the 2019 Virginia is for Lovers Travel Guide covers to help you get started!
The Destination: Dody Ridge Mountain Biking Trails, Roanoke
In 2018, Roanoke became the first and only community on the entire East Coast to be designated by the International Mountain Bicycling Association as a Silver-Level Ride Center. The surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains have hundreds of miles of mountain biking trails for all skill levels, making Roanoke a prime destination for outdoor lovers in 2019. There are several key trails to take note of as you plan your visit. Dody Ridge Trail, located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, is a challenging 14-mile singletrack course that only the experienced mountain bikers should attempt; trails are rocky and loose, but the spectacular views from the mountain are worth the effort. Carvin’s Cove Natural Reserve offers nearly 60 miles of trails and is known as one of the best places on the East Coast for mountain biking. For a less advanced mountain biking adventure, head to the Mill Mountain Star Trail, which begins at UnderDog Bikes, running along the paved Roanoke River Greenway before climbing up Mill Mountain to the iconic Mill Mountain Star and descending along the Ridgeline Trail back to your starting point.
In addition to mountain biking, many of the trails surrounding Roanoke are multi-use, welcoming hikers to explore the picturesque trails of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains.
The Destination: The Boardwalk, Virginia Beach
Located where the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean converge along the East Coast, Virginia Beach offers miles of sandy shores for you to explore in 2019. Whether you want to take the family for a quiet coastal vacation (book a rental home in Sandbridge) or want to be in the thick of the action (snag a reservation at a hotel right on the Boardwalk), a vacation to Virginia Beach offers something for everyone. Looking for a little luxury in 2019? Stay at the newly renovated Cavalier Hotel, which contains several upscale restaurants, a lavish spa, a stunning indoor pool, and the only distillery located inside a hotel in the United States. Craft beer lovers will find a wide array of breweries all within a few miles of the beachfront, giving visitors a refreshing taste of the Commonwealth’s impressive brew scene, and several notable state parks in Virginia Beach provide pristine hiking trails and a glimpse at coastal wildlife in its natural habitat.
The Destination: Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, Charlottesville
No matter where you travel in Virginia, history abounds. One of the most significant historic sites, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello estate, recently underwent a multi-year restoration of Mulberry Row, the 5,000-acre plot of land that once served as the estate’s industrial center. Tour the historic property and visit the Life of Sally Hemmings exhibit, a poignant display that tells the story of Jefferson’s African American enslaved mistress and the six children that she bore him. A fascinating and courageous woman, Hemmings would successfully negotiate the freedom of those children from Jefferson, saving them and their own offspring from the harsh life of slavery.
In addition to the special exhibits and restorations at Monticello, 2019 marks the 400-year commemoration of several pivotal historic events, including the first representative legislative group to assemble in the New World, the arrival of the first women and Africans to Colonial-claimed North America, and the first official English Thanksgiving in America. Acknowledging these important anniversaries, some of Virginia’s well known historic destinations will host special celebrations and exhibits in 2019, making it the perfect time to brush up on your American history with a visit to Virginia.
Want to find out more about these exciting Virginia travel stories? Order your 2019 Travel Guide to get the magazine mailed to your front door, providing you with even more helpful travel tips and unique trip ideas for the year!
Tell us, what Virginia destinations are on your travel bucket list for 2019?