When most people think of Virginia… well actually, most people don’t think of Virginia. At least not that often. But here we are! Bordering the nations capital, the Atlantic ocean, and home to a few of the wealthiest counties in the nation. In Virginia, there are a few stereotypical places that everyone goes to such as Richmond, Virginia Beach, and Arlington. But there’s more to Virginia than that! SO much more. We’ve got a few hidden gems ourselves.
Located roughly four hours southwest of our nationals capital, situated at the foothills of Appalachia, is beautiful Roanoke, VA. Here you can do everything from hike Virginia’s Natural Bridge to digesting tons of sugar from cotton candy at the Roanoke County fair, all the way as obscure as petting zebras at Virginia Drive Thru Safari Park. My suggestion: visit in the fall when the leaves are changing.
If you’re a history buff, Fredericksburg, VA is a must see on your tour of Virginia. Not only is it the location of Mary Washington’s house, the mother of George Washington, but it is also where the Battle of Fredericksburg was fought. Filled to the brim with history, Fredericksburg is crawling with museums and artifacts dating back to the Civil War. When in town, be sure to stop by the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center, Mary Washington’s house, and the Fredericksburg Battlefields. They’ll all give you goosebumps.
Blue Ridge Parkway
I’m telling you, Virginia is a place to visit in Autumn. Look at the colors on those trees! The Blue Ridge Parkway is a unique piece of infrastructure, earning itself the title of Nations Longest Linear Park. Stretching 469 miles, the Blue Ridge Parkway straddles the Blue Ridge Mountains and provides scenic views for everyone to ogle over. The BRP actually picks up in Roanoke, VA, the city I mentioned earlier!
Most famously known as the city in which the University of Virginia resides, Charlottesville, VA is a spectacular college town that thrives off the brilliant students that attend the university. UVa, a public university founded by Thomas Jefferson, is a well esteemed, highly regarded university that has architecture like you wouldn’t imagine. As pictured above, the Rotunda is the iconic image of UVa and is a symbol of everything Virginia related. If you’re in the area, taking a walk around campus will brighten up your day as you’ll get the vibe that everyone who is present is happy to be there. However, before you depart, be sure to stop by Bodo’s Bagels, Little Johns Deli, or Christian’s Pizza, all eateries that are renowned within the Virginia foodie community.
For all of you AV Geeks, Gravelly Point is the Washington D.C.//Virginia version of Maho Beach. The park, located right on the other side of the river of Ronald Reagan National Airport, plays host to many airplane enthusiasts who enjoy the thrill of being within 100-200 ft of a flying commercial aircraft. Along with the airplane photographers, Gravelly Point also hosts picnic-ers with its picnic tables, and ruggers with its full sized rugby pitch! Beware however, that field is literally covered in goose poop.