The Best Things to do in Virginia

The 25 Best Things to Do in Virginia

From its historic sites to its artsy attractions, there’s just so much to love about Virginia. Whether you’re coming to town to lounge on the sandy shores of Virginia Beach or embark on an epic road trip, you’re sure to have an incredible time in this one-of-a-kind US state!

With attractions like Shenandoah National Park, the Great Dismal Swamp, and Blue Ridge Parkway, it’s no wonder why Virginia is a hot spot for outdoor lovers. Or, if it’s history you’re after, you’ll love exploring the cobblestone streets of Colonial Williamsburg and Old Town Alexandria before ticking off Virginia’s many Civil War and Revolutionary War attractions.

With world-class museums, family-friendly theme parks, and fun-filled annual festivals, there truly is something for every type of traveler. Plus, once you work up an appetite, you’ll find that Virginia is a state for foodies. 

With its incredible seafood restaurants and seasonal farm-to-table cuisine, you’ll never go hungry in Virginia. Add one of the state’s many local wineries, craft breweries, and cideries into the mix, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a carefree getaway!

With so many cool things to see, do, and eat, you might not know where to begin. So we’ve compiled our list of the absolute best things to do in Virginia for you. Stick to these fun and unique Virginia bucket list recommendations, and there’s no doubt you’ll have an amazing time exploring this incredible East Coast city!

The 25 Best Things to Do in Virginia

1. Have Some Fun in the Sun in Virginia Beach

Unique Things to do in Virginia: Beach

Located at the convergence of Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, Virginia Beach boasts a whopping 35 miles of coastline. So not only will you be spoiled with sandy beaches and bayside parks, but you’ll find endless entertainment on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk! 

The boardwalk is three miles long and 28 feet wide, and it’s simply brimming with bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues. You can opt to stroll along the boardwalk or rent a bike from one of the many rental companies. 

Along the way, you can ride the Ferris wheel at Atlantic Fun Park, go fishing off of the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier, or marvel at the 34-foot tall bronze King Neptune statue at Neptune Park. Plus, you’ll find all sorts of concerts, festivals, and events happening in the park during the summer months.

Once you work up an appetite, head over to one of the many sea-to-table restaurants for fresh Virginia oysters or a bowl or she-crab soup!


2. Go Kayaking Around Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Must do things in Virginia: Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Virginia Beach isn’t all about lounging around the sandy beach. If you prefer something a bit more adventurous, take a drive 30 minutes to South Virginia Beach, where you’ll find the beautiful Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. This is a prime spot to do some kayaking in a truly tranquil setting!

As you paddle around the 9,000-acre freshwater refuge, you’ll have the chance to spot a range of wildlife, including birds, fish, and even snakes. Be sure to bring your camera to capture the beauty that is Back Bay.

It’s possible to embark on kayaking tours of the refuge. Surf & Adventure Co. offers a few different tours, ranging from their Back Bay Eco Tours to their Lunch Box Tours. 

For something extra-special, their Blue Pete’s Tour takes you on a sunset paddle trip through Back Bay Wildlife Refuge. At the end of your tour, you’ll paddle your way to Blue Pete’s restaurant, where you’ll enjoy a surf and turf dinner overlooking the water.


3. Bike Norfolk’s Elizabeth River Trail 

What to do in Virginia: Elizabeth River Trail

If you find yourself in the charming city of Norfolk, exploring the scenic Elizabeth River Trail is a must. The 10.5-mile trail runs along an abandoned railroad from Norfolk State University up north to Lochhaven. 

All along the way, you’ll get stunning views of the Elizabeth River while passing through some of Norfolk’s coolest neighborhoods. Whether you’re walking or biking, it’s the perfect way to get to know this unique Virginia city. 

You don’t have to complete the entire trail, but if you do, you’ll have the chance to see the Norfolk State University campus, stop off at Town Point Park, tour the Nauticus and the Battleship Wisconsin, and so much more!

Plus, getting up close and personal with Norfolk’s different neighborhoods is an added perk. If you need a boost, take a break at Cure Coffeehouse in Freemason. Or, if you want to treat yourself, sample a few local craft brews at Benchtop Brewery in Chelsea. 

If you manage to complete the entire 10.5 miles to Lochhaven, you’ll be rewarded by the beautiful gardens and art at the Hermitage Museum & Gardens before heading back to downtown Norfolk.

Book a Norfolk Guided E-Bike Tour


4. Get Your Art Fix at the Chrysler Museum of Art

Virginia Things to do: Chrysler Museum of Art

Norfolk just happens to be home to one of the best art museums in Virginia. Founded as the modest Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences in 1933, the museum flourished after receiving a huge donation of art from automotive heir Walter P. Chrysler Jr. Now called the Chrysler Museum of Art, the museum is home to 30,000 works of art dating from 5,000 years ago up to today. 

Peruse the museum’s permanent collection, and you’ll find masterpieces from the likes of Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Andy Warhol, and Roy Lichtenstein, to name a few. Whether you’re into ancient wonders or modern art, you’ll find it all in the Chrysler Museum of Art. Plus, photography buffs will love spending some time checking out the collection of over 4,000 photographs that date back to the Civil War era up to the modern day. 

You might not expect it, but the Chrysler Museum of Art is home to one of the largest glass collections in the world. Make sure to leave time to visit the famous Perry Glass Studio, which offers free demonstrations (at noon, from Wednesday through Sunday). 

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5. Explore the Beautiful Shenandoah National Park

Best Things to do in Virginia: Shenandoah National Park

Nestled along the Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah National Park is one of the top Virginia activities for outdoor enthusiasts. The national park boasts 500 miles of trails through forests and wetlands, gorgeous waterfalls, sky-high peaks, and jaw-dropping lookout points. 

If you want to get a taste of everything Shenandoah National Park has to offer, fuel up your car and take a drive on Skyline Drive. This road trip is 105 miles long and takes roughly three hours to complete. Be sure to leave plenty of extra time to take a few scenic hikes and enjoy a picnic lunch while soaking up the mountain views from either The Range View Overlook or The Point Overlook.

It’s well worth tackling this drive during the fall to glimpse unreal views of the fall foliage. Alternately, visit Shenandoah National Park in the spring, and you’ll be rewarded with groves of colorful wildflowers!

Get your Shenandoah National Park Self-Driving Audio Guide


6. Get Tipsy on the Monticello Wine Trail

Cool Things to do in Charlottesville: Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello
Images courtesy of Monticello Wine Trail

It might not be common knowledge, but Virginia is a prime destination for oenophiles. The state boasts over 300 wineries, so if wine tasting is on your Virginia bucket list, you’ll be spoiled for choice! 

If you find yourself near Charlottesville, you’ll definitely want to follow the Monticello Wine Trail for a day of sipping, sniffing, and swirling. The Monticello Wine Trail boasts 30 wineries – all within 25 minutes of the Charlottesville city center. 

All you have to do is pick up your Monticello Wine Trail Passport and be on your way. The hardest part is figuring out which ones to prioritize. 

Jefferson Vineyards is one of the most iconic vineyards on the Monticello Wine Trail. Be sure to try their award-winning Viognier. You won’t believe you’re in the same spot Thomas Jefferson grew his grapes nearly 250 years ago!   

Then there’s Dave Matthews’ hip Blenheim Vineyards, the highly-Instagrammable Veritas Vineyard and Winery, and the awesome tours at King Family Vineyards. No matter where you end up, you’ll love sipping local Virginia wines while taking in beautiful vineyard views.

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7. Pick Apples at Carter Mountain Orchard

Unique Things to do in Virginia: Carter Mountain Orchard
Images courtesy of Carter Mountain Orchard

Located in Charlottesville, Carter Mountain Orchard is the place to go if you want to pick your own fresh fruits and veggies straight from the vine or tree. Depending on the time of year, you’ll find all sorts of delicious natural treats on Carter Mountain Orchard – from apples and strawberries to peaches and pumpkins.

If picking fruit isn’t your thing, you can shop for fresh and seasonal fruit and veggies at the on-site Country Store & Bakery. The baked goods are seriously good, and you pretty much have to try one of their famous apple cider donuts!

The setting for this orchard is nothing short of spectacular, and it’s well worth visiting for the views of Charlottesville and the Blue Ridge Mountains. You can even order a flight of Carter Mountain Wine from the orchard’s Wine Store, which you can enjoy while taking in the views from one of the outdoor picnic tables.


8. Explore the Mysterious Luray Caverns 

Virginia Bucket List: Luray Caverns

Visiting the spectacular Luray Caverns is one of the best things to do in Virginia if you’re traveling as a family. Located 90 minutes from Charlottesville, the caverns are 4 million years old and are the largest series of caverns in the eastern United States. 

It’s impossible not to be impressed by the massive caverns. One room is the size of a grand cathedral and boasts ceilings as tall as 10 stories. Throughout the caverns, you’ll glimpse huge stalactites and stalagmites, crystal-studded draperies, and a beautiful mirrored pool. 

One of the coolest things you’ll come across in Luray Caverns is the Great Stalacpipe Organ. Taking up over 3.5 acres of space, Guinness World Records lists the organ as the world’s largest instrument. If you time your visit right, you can watch as these ancient stalactites are delicately played using rubber mallets!


9. Get a History Lesson in Colonial Williamsburg

Best Things to do in Virginia: Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg is hands down one of the best Virginia attractions. Located right in the heart of Williamsburg, Colonial Williamsburg features a mixture of historic homes and replicas of colonial-style buildings, costumed actors re-enacting typical scenes from Williamsburg in the 18th and 19th centuries, and shop workers demonstrating their skills cobbling shoes and forging iron.

The living history museum takes up 301 acres, so you’ll need at least one day to see and do as much as possible. If you’re short on time, you’ll definitely want to see the Governor’s Palace (the seat of Royal power in 18th-century Virginia), Christiana Campbell’s Tavern (George Washington’s favorite seafood restaurant), and the 1715 Bruton Parish Episcopal Church

Be sure to also take a horse-drawn carriage ride around the cobblestone streets of Colonial Williamsburg before seeing a show at the Hennage Auditorium. There’s so much to see and do you’ll never get bored!

Book a Williamsburg Colonial Conspiracy Tour


10. Go for a Bike Ride on Jamestown Island Drive

Cool Things to do in Virginia: Jamestown Island Drive
Images courtesy of Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation (Preservation Virginia)

If you’re ticking off all of Williamsburg’s most historic sites, chances are Jamestown is high on your list of things to do in Virginia. But did you know it’s possible to cycle around Jamestown Island while ticking off some of the area’s historic sites?

Jamestown Island Drive consists of two loop trails that are open to both cars and bikes. The first is 3 miles or, if you want to tackle the whole thing, the whole route is 5 miles long. The 3-mile loop will lead you to historic Swann’s Tavern, the May-Hartwell House, and Historic Jamestowne

James Fort was built on the site of Historic Jamestowne in 1607. This is also the official site of the first capital of the Virginia Colony and the first permanent English settlement in North America. The area is now home to a living museum, where you can get a fascinating glimpse of what happened in the area in the 17th century and beyond. 

After you’ve toured Historic Jamestowne, it’s well worth continuing on the rest of the route to check out Black Point, which was the part of Jamestown Island that was first spotted by colonists back in 1607!

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11. Step Back in Time in Yorktown 

Best Things to do in Virginia: Yorktown

If you’re planning to visit Colonial Williamsburg and Historic Jamestowne, then you’d be remiss not to visit nearby Yorktown. These three attractions make up America’s Historic Triangle, and in Yorktown, you’ll learn even more about Virginia’s role in the American Revolution.

The American Revolution Museum is one of the top attractions in Yorktown, where you can check out old military weapons, remnants dating back to the 18th century, and a variety of interesting exhibits. After that, head outside to the Continental Army Encampment. At this living history museum, you can chat with Continental Army soldiers about their life and their role in the war.

If you’ve got the time, Yorktown is also home to Yorktown Battlefield, the site of the last significant battle of the Revolutionary War. After a long afternoon delving deep into Yorktown’s Revolutionary War past, take some time to relax with a seafood dinner and a classic cocktail at one of the many Riverwalk Landing restaurants. 


12. Dine on Colonial-Style Fare at a Historic Tavern

Must do things in Virginia: Historic Tavern

It’s clear that this state is brimming with history, and one of the coolest things to do in Virginia is to drink and dine on 18th-century recipes in a historic tavern. You’ll find these popular taverns throughout the state, but if you plan on stopping by one, it’s well worth making reservations in advance. 

Williamsburg is home to a bunch of 1700s taverns. Christiana Campbell’s Tavern was one of George Washington’s go-to seafood joints and is still famous for its crab cakes and Gloucester chicken! 

You’ll find the 1772 King’s Arms Tavern just down the road. This is the perfect tavern to visit if you want to sample colonial-style fare served by staff dressed in 18th-century period pieces. 

If you find yourself in Hanover, Hanover Tavern once hosted the likes of George Washington, the Marquis de Lafayette, and Patrick Henry. Make your way to Middleburg, where the 1728 Fox Inn & Tavern serves up seasonal Virginia cuisine in a romantic setting. 

Alternately, if you’re in Charlottesville, stop off at the 1784 Michie Tavern, where staff don period costumes and serve up 18th-century dishes. Think Southern fried chicken, black-eyed peas with country ham, and hickory-smoked pulled pork barbecue.

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13. Get an Art Fix at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Virginia Things to do: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Art enthusiasts will love exploring the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA). Located in Richmond, this is one of the largest art museums in the US, so be sure to allot plenty of time to perusing the VMFA’s diverse collections.

One of the coolest things about the VMFA is that it’s home to the largest public collection of Fabergé eggs outside of Russia. After that, there are vast collections of African art, 20th-century European art, Himalayan art, and even British sporting art!

This impressive museum is open 365 days a year and is always free to visit, which is always a perk! Plus, it’s located in Richmond’s Museum District, so you’ll have easy access to popular museums, including the Virginia Museum of History & Culture and the Science Museum of Virginia


14. Eat Your Way Through Richmond

Fun Things to do in Virginia: Longoven
Images courtesy of Longoven

Richmond is an unabashedly foodie-friendly town. It may come as a surprise, but USA Today listed Richmond as one of the “10 Most Underrated Food Cities” in the US! So, if you’re Richmond bound, come hungry.

Whether you prefer to get dolled up for some fine dining or get your fingers messy with some Virginia-style barbecue, Richmond has got something for everyone. For some seriously good fine dining, you can’t go wrong with Scott’s Addition’s Longoven, where Chef Andrew Manning serves up a seasonal six-course tasting menu. For food truck fans, try the fusion tacos at Boka Tako Truck, the New York-style pizzas at Zorch Pizza, or a Space-a-dilla or Cheesy Spud-niks at Intergalactic Tacos.

When you’re ready for round two, order up some fried chicken from Mama J’s Kitchen, a crab cake sandwich at The Hard Shell, or a breakfast biscuit sandwich at The Fancy Biscuit. If you want to go international, try the birria tacos at TBT El Gallo, dine on Indian dishes at Lehja, or indulge in modern Afghan cuisine at The Mantu

Or, if you’re traveling as a group and can’t agree on one place, head over to the Hatch Local food hall, where you can choose from seven creative dining concepts, all under one roof!


15. Check Out Richmond’s Colorful Street Art Scene

Virginia Bucket List: Street Art Scene

Richmond is a blissfully artsy city, and it’s brimming with massive murals. There’s a good reason The Huffington Post touts Richmond as one of “The 17 Lesser-Known Cities You Should Visit for Its Street Art.”

Explore the city, and you’ll find more than 150 murals slathered on building facades and the most unlikely of objects. If you’re looking for free things to do in Richmond, it’s well worth taking some time to go on a self-guided street art tour of the city. Check out this website for the exact locations of Richmond’s best murals!

You probably won’t have the time and energy to see them all. But be sure to at least glimpse Voices of Perseverance on 504 W. Broad Street, Kiss From Space on 9 W. Grace Street, and Greetings from Richmond on 311 W. Broad Street.

Depending on when you visit, you may even be able to attend the annual RVA Street Art Festival. Each year, street artists from around the world gather in Richmond to transform the city’s streets. Not only will you be able to see these incredible artists in action, but there are all sorts of live music and pop-up events in Richmond during the festival.

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16. Explore Old Town Alexandria

Cool Things to do in Virginia: Old Town Alexandria

Taking a trip to the picture-perfect town of Alexandria is easily one of the best things to do in Virginia. The city is located on the Potomac River, just across the way from Washington, DC. While it’s a convenient base for exploring the US’s capital city, it’s also well worth spending a few days in Alexandria. 

Founded in 1749, Alexandria is best known for its Old Town. Explore the area’s cobblestone streets and red-brick sidewalks, and you’ll find over 200 boutique shops, buzzing cafes, and adorable restaurants. Of course, Old Town is also home to some of the coolest historic sites in Virginia, too. 

Start on the waterfront and head east along King Street. Along the way, you’ll come across the 18th-century Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, the Stabler Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, The Carlyle House Historic Park, and the 18th-century Old Town Farmers’ Market.

King Street will ultimately lead you to the George Washington Masonic National Memorial, where you can browse historic artifacts and take in the stunning city views from the memorial’s observation deck.

Book an Alexandria American Revolution and Civil War Guided Tour


17. Marvel at the Wild Ponies on Chincoteague Island

Must do things in Virginia: Chincoteague Island

If you’re looking for unique things to do in Virginia, Chincoteague Island will not disappoint. The island is famously known as being home to a herd of wild Chincoteague ponies. How the water-loving ponies came to live on the island is up to debate to this day!

You’ll find a herd of 150 ponies at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, which is located at the southern end of Chincoteague Island. Ponies aside, this area offers beautiful shorelines, beaches, dunes, wetlands, and fresh and saltwater marshes that are just teeming with local wildlife.

One of the best ways to explore Chincoteague Island and see its famous inhabitants is by going on a kayaking tour from Chincoteague Island to Assateague Island. Along the way, you’ll see plenty of wild ponies frolicking in the water, as well as hidden beaches, picturesque creeks, and bird-filled marshes. 

When you’re done, it’s also well worth spending some time at one of Assateague Island’s stunning beaches.


18. Take a Public Art Tour in Arlington

Arlington is famous for being home to the Arlington National Cemetery and the Pentagon, but delve a little deeper, and you’ll soon find that Arlington’s got an artsy side!

The city began working on its public art projects in 1979 and saw its first-ever artwork in 1984, with Nancy Holt’s world-famous Dark Star Park. Fast-forward to today, and the city now boasts a whopping 70 permanent pieces of art and a wide range of temporary works.

You can take one of the free Rosslyn Public Art Walking Tours. These cool tours are 90 minutes and will take you to public art pieces like Dark Star Park, Cupid’s Garden, Liquid Pixels, Anna and David, as well as Bennett Park Art Atrium

Head out on your own, and you can marvel at Wendy Ross’ geometric, floral-shaped Bud/Blossom sculpture, Vivian Beer’s bench-cum-stiletto high heel called Dressed Up and Pinned, and Joe O’Connell and Creative Machines’ stainless-steel star called Rising Star, and so much more!

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19. Go Chasing Waterfalls in Great Falls Park

Best Things to do in Virginia: Great Falls Park

Located 25 minutes from Arlington, Great Falls Park is situated on 800 acres of land that stretches out along the banks of the mighty Potomac River. One of the coolest things to do in Virginia is to marvel at the park’s dramatic waterfalls and rushing rapids!

At the Great Falls of the Potomac, the river plunges 76 feet in the relatively short distance of less than a mile. At the same time, the Potomac shrinks from a width of 1,000 feet down to around 60 feet, in places. 

The result is a series of waterfalls and rapids that rush over the craggy rocks. It’s truly one of the best sights in Virginia! 

If you feel like getting a little exercise, lace up your hiking boots and follow the Great Falls River Trail. The 1.5-mile trail will reward you with sweeping views of Mather Gorge below. Or, if you really want to get your heart pumping, you can tackle the Class 5 rapids on the Potomac River.


20. Enjoy Nature at Carvins Cove Natural Reserve 

Best Things to do in Virginia: Carvins Cove Natural Reserve

If you’re craving a little bit of nature and Vitamin D, Carvins Cove Natural Reserve is well worth a detour on your Virginia road trip. Located just 10 miles from Roanoke, this natural reserve sprawls across 12,000 acres of land. Its star attraction is its 630-acre reservoir, which offers all sorts of opportunities for kayaking, boating, and fishing.

Carvins Cove Natural Reserve boasts 60 miles of multi-use hiking and biking trails. This place is so popular among mountain bikers that it’s been dubbed the “Disneyland for bikes!” For a thrill, experienced riders should tackle the jumps and elevation gains on the 15-mile Royal Reach-Around Trail.

For something a bit more relaxing, you can also rent kayaks and rowboats at the lakeside marina and paddle around the calm lake waters. You can also stand up paddleboard on the lake, though you have to bring your own gear. 

If you want to try your luck at fishing, rent a small boat at the marina. The lake is teeming with largemouth bass, hybrid bass, and bluegill!


21. Sample Local Goods at a Farmers’ Market

Cool Things to do in Virginia: Farmers’ Market

As a state, Virginia takes its food and drink very seriously. And there’s no better way to sample all of the state’s local farm-fresh goods than stopping off at as many local farmers’ markets as possible during your trip. 

The thing that makes Virginia such a great destination for foodies is that it’s home to an incredibly diverse range of agricultural productions – from grape-filled vineyards to orchards brimming with fruits and veggies.

You’ll likely find multiple weekly farmers’ markets in the larger cities (depending on the season, of course). One of the coolest things to do in Virginia is to browse the Old Town Farmers’ Market in Alexandria, where George Washington once sold his farm-fresh produce in the 1700s!

Or, if you happen to be in Charlottesville, Charlottesville City Market is the place to be on Saturday mornings. Peruse the locally made goods, and pack up a picnic lunch before heading out to go hiking in Shenandoah National Park. 

From the seasonal fruits and veggies at the Harrisonburg Farmers’ Market to the local meats and cheeses at Falls Church Farmers’ Market, you’ll love sampling all the local goods Virginia has to offer!

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22. Explore the Great Dismal Swamp & Lake Drummond

Must do things in Virginia: Lake Drummond

Taking a day trip to the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is easily one of the most unique things to do in Virginia. Straddling the border between Virginia and North Carolina, you can reach the Great Dismal Swamp in less than an hour from Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and Chesapeake.

Spread out across 112,000 acres of forested wetlands, the refuge is also home to the spectacular Lake Drummond. If you want to stretch your legs, the refuge boasts 20 miles of unpaved scenic hiking and biking trails. Keep your eyes peeled for all sorts of local wildlife – from black bears and white-tailed deer to turtles and otters. 

If you’d prefer to have some fun on Lake Drummond, there are plenty of lakeside activities to keep you busy. If you get a special permit, you can try your luck at fishing. Or, if you prefer to just cruise on the water, it’s possible to go boating, kayaking, or canoeing on this 3,000-acre lake.  

With so many things to do in the refuge, you might even consider camping out at the nearby Chesapeake Campground and staying for a night or two! 


23. Take a Scenic Drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Best Things to do in Virginia: Blue Ridge Parkway

If you’re planning on taking a road trip in Virginia, driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway should be at the top of your Virginia bucket list. This epic 469-mile drive leads from Rockfish Gap, Virginia, to Cherokee, North Carolina! With so much natural beauty, there’s a reason this is known as “America’s Favorite Drive.”

You’ll come across all sorts of hiking trails, historic attractions, roadside eateries and wineries, and stunning vistas all along this drive. If you do want to get out and stretch your legs, you should consider hiking the popular 2-mile Humpback Rocks Trail. Located just outside of Charlottesville, this is a popular spot to catch a magical sunrise or sunset over the Shenandoah Valley.

After that, there’s the Apple Orchard Mountain Overlook – the highest point on the Virginia side of the Blue Ridge Parkway – and all of the lakeside hiking trails at Peaks of Otter and family-friendly activities in Explore Park in Roanoke. You’ll also want to check out Mabry Mill before taking a break with a glass of wine and a light lunch at Chateau Morrisette Winery & Restaurant before continuing your drive across the border to North Carolina. 


24. Follow One of Virginia’s Craft Beer Trials

Best Things to do in Virginia: Blue Mountain Barrel House
Images courtesy of Blue Mountain Barrel House

Believe it or not, Virginia is home to over 200 craft breweries. Wherever your trip leads you, you’ll never be far from one of the state’s boozy Craft Beer Trails!

The Brew Ridge Trail stands proud as the first beer trail in Virginia. Set along the Blue Ridge Mountains, the self-guided trail leads you to the area’s best breweries and cideries, where you can take a break from sightseeing. 

From Blue Mountain Barrel House in Colleen to Devils Backbone Brewing Company in Wintergreen and South Street in Charlottesville, you’ll have plenty of craft brews to choose from.

Whether you want to follow the Coastal VA Beer Trail from Williamsburg to Virginia Beach or the Beltway Beer Trail from Fairfax to Arlington, there’s always a local VA brewery right around the corner. Plus, Virginia’s major cities are brimming with breweries. So expect to find designated beer trails in cities like Charlottesville and Richmond!

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25. Take in the Views from the Birch Knob Observation Tower

If you’re looking for unique things to do in Virginia, take a detour to Clintwood, Virginia. Perched right on the border with Kentucky in the Heart of Appalachia, this city is home to a range of cool attractions, including the Birch Knob Observation Tower.

The observation tower was built in 2003 by the US Forest Service in order to give visitors spectacular views of the region. To reach the observation tower, you’ll climb 183 steps to reach an elevation of 3,144 feet above sea level. From the top, you’ll get views of five different states: Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

But if you’re lucky and it’s an ultra-clear day, you can even see all the way to Ohio! That means you’ll have the chance to see six states at once. This is a beautiful spot year-round, but if you want to take some epic photos, time your visit with the fall so you can marvel at the kaleidoscope of colors.

There you have it! The 25 best things to do in Virginia. What’s your favorite thing to do in Virginia?


Planning a trip to Virginia? Check out our favorite books and travel guides!

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