Virginia is for Lovers turns 50 in 2019, and to celebrate this amazing milestone, we have put together 50 different trip ideas to help with planning the perfect summer getaway in Virginia. Use these suggestions to create your own memorable vacation, and be sure to tag #loveva to share your stories with us!
1. | Head to Virginia Beach for fun in the sun and a luxurious stay at The Cavalier Hotel. Make sure to stop by the hotel’s distillery, Tarnished Truth Distilling Company, the only distillery located inside a hotel in the U.S., for a tour and tasting.
2. | Hike a few of Virginia’s 544 miles of the famed Appalachian Trail.
3. | Visit Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge for a chance to glimpse the wild ponies made famous by the critically-acclaimed children’s book, Misty of Chincoteague.
4. | Learn about the earliest colonial settlers at Jamestown Settlement and Historic Jamestowne.
5. | Travel with your pup to Middleburg’s Salamander Resort & Spa, a pet-friendly resort in Virginia’s Horse Country. The downtown area is known for their antique shops, but even if you’re not keen on going into the stores, the quaint streets provide an excellent place for window shopping.
6. | Pack a cooler and bring some friends for a tubing adventure along the James River outside of Scottsville.
7. | Ride ATVs, dirt bikes, or mountain bikes along Spearhead Trails, a multi-use trail system that winds through hundreds of miles of Southwest Virginia.
8. | Score VIP tickets to Lockn’, a four-day music festival and in Nelson County. This year’s epic lineup will features dozens of noteworthy bands, including the Trey Anastasio Band, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Bob Weir and the Wolf Bros., and Old Crow Medicine Show.
9. | Plan an overnight camping trip underneath a blanket of stars in Shenandoah National Park.
10. | Play a round of golf with a few buddies at one of Virginia’s pro-level golf courses.
11. | Follow the Crooked Road through Southwest Virginia, stopping at notable destinations like the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol, Floyd Country Store, and the Carter Family Fold to learn about Virginia’s rich musical history.
12. | Experience Richmond’s impressive craft beer scene with a brewery crawl through the historic Scott’s Addition neighborhood.
13. | Geek out on space travel at Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, the Wallops Island NASA Flight Facility Visitor Center, or the Virginia Air & Space Museum in Hampton.
14. | Take a road trip to some of Virginia’s most picture-perfect LOVEworks, capturing a memorable moment with your friends or family.
15. | Uncover Virginia’s Civil War history at the American Civil War Museum in Appomattox, then travel down the road to Appomattox Court House & National Historical Park, where Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union leader Ulysses S. Grant, beginning the long process of reunification for the United States.
16. | Get your thrills riding the coasters at Kings Dominion or Busch Gardens, Virginia’s two most intense theme parks. If rides aren’t your thing, there are also a few water parks where you can cool down with the entire family this summer.
17. | Walk through the ViBe Creative District of Virginia Beach, a cultural arts area filled with dozens of colorful murals that showcase a wide array of talented street artists.
18. | Tour Luray Caverns, the largest and most popular caverns on the East Coast. Don’t miss the Stalacpipe Organ, the only organ in the world made using natural stone formations to create haunting sounds that echo off the cavernous ceilings.
19. | Bike the Virginia Creeper Trail in Damascus and Abingdon, a 34-mile rails-to-trail route that winds through the mountains of Southwest Virginia.
20. | Plan a summer vacation for the whole family to Sandbridge Beach, a quiet community along the sandy shores of the Atlantic Ocean just south of Virginia Beach.
21. | Groove in the Blue Ridge Mountains at Floydfest, a five-day music festival packed with outdoor activities, local artisans, and over 100 artists continuously playing on eight different stages.
22. | Fulfill your need for speed at Richmond Raceway, Martinsville Speedway, Virginia International Raceway, or Bristol Motor Speedway. Check their websites to get dates and times for future racing event in Virginia.
24. | Find the freshest fruits of the season at Westmoreland Berry Farm, where you can pick your own strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, peaches, and more.
25. | Plan a girlfriend’s getaway to the beautiful mountains of Shenandoah.
27. | Satisfy your foodie cravings at a farm-to-table restaurant, event, or festival.
28. | Enjoy the upbeat nightlife of Alexandria, spending an evening sipping creative cocktails and bar hopping along the city’s historic cobblestone streets.
29. | Rent paddleboards and set out on the serene waters of Clayton Lake in Southwest Virginia.
30. | Visit Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville, an architectural masterpiece surrounded by pristine grounds and stunning gardens that were restored to the exacting specifications of the former Founding Father.
31. | Conquer the Virginia Capital Trail, a 52-mile bike trail from Richmond to Williamsburg.
32. | Take on the adrenaline-packed trails of Carvins Cove and Mill Mountain in Roanoke, a system of mountain biking trails that were recently given a Silver Level Status by the IMBA, becoming the first and only destination on the East Coast to achieve this ranking.
33. | Book a customized winery outing, Hop-On Wine Tour, or a historic trolley tour to wineries in Central Virginia for a trip to several vineyards without having to designate a driver from your friend group.
34. | Learn about the first President of the United States at Mount Vernon, Washington’s picturesque home on the banks of the Potomac River.
35. | Indulge in a Michelin-star meal cooked by five-time James Beard award winner Patrick O’Connell at The Inn at Little Washington, and if you’re celebrating a special occasion, consider splurging on an overnight stay (the luxury hotel has two AAA Five Diamond Awards and became the first 5 Star country house hotel in America).
36. | Explore the seaside town of Cape Charles on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, a charming coastal community where you’ll find upscale lodging, fresh seafood, locally-owned artisan shops, and a cidery, craft brewery, and distillery all within walking distance.
37. | Stay at the gigantic tipis (fully furnished with bathrooms and air-conditioning!) at Sandy River Outdoor Adventure Resort for a once-in-a-lifetime overnight experience.
38. | Speaking of Williamsburg, a visit to Colonial Williamsburg is a must on any Virginia vacation checklist. This historic attraction allows you to discover a colonial-era village reconstructed to tell the story of Virginia’s earliest days.
39. | Pamper yourself with a few restorative treatments at the Primland Resort Spa.
40. | Drive all 105 miles of Skyline Drive, stopping at some of the 75 scenic overlooks to enjoy the breathtaking views.
41. | Try your hand (or your feet, to be more precise) at wake boarding or wake surfing along the expansive waters of Smith Mountain Lake. Don’t have a boat? Bridgewater Marina offers hourly boat, Jet Ski, and watersports rentals for visitors looking to get out on the lake.
43. | Cast a line in Virginia’s well-stocked waterways with a weekend fishing expedition.
44. | Want an exotic outdoor experience without traveling thousands of miles? Hike to one of Virginia’s cascading waterfalls for jaw-dropping natural scenery.
45. | Book a romantic weekend stay with your significant other at a Virginia inn, resort, or bed & breakfast.
46. | Spend some time in the Great Outdoors when you travel to one of Virginia’s 38 state parks, located in every corner of Virginia, from the mountains to the sandy beaches of the Eastern Shore.
47. | Discover the true flavors of Virginia along the Salty Southern Route, a food-inspired trail that contains peanuts, salt-cured hams, and other pork products that have roots in the rural fields of southern Virginia.
48. | From Picasso to Warhol, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond houses works from some of the most renowned artists in the world. With over 35,000 total pieces of art, you can easily spend more than a single day viewing the massive collections of European, American, Asian, and African art.
49. | Get a peek at Virginia from an entirely new point of view at a rooftop restaurant or bar!
50. | Last but not least, we can’t think of a better way to celebrate 50 Years of Love in Virginia than by attending a 50 Years of Love themed event, happening throughout Virginia all summer long!