Things to Do In Virginia

 

Things to do in Virginia

 

Washington, DC is the nation’s capital.  So, it’s full of history, galleries, restraunts and more.  However, the state of Virginia is close by and is also full of history and things to do.  Furthermore, it boasts beautiful skylines, caverns, wineries and more.  It’s a perfect place to vacation or spend a few days of your vacation.  As a result, check out my list of things to do in Virginia: 

  1. Monticello –  First, the home of Thomas Jefferson is a must see.  Jefferson inherited land from his father when he was 26. He began building Monticello, and it became the primary plantation of Thomas Jefferson. Monticello has approximately 5,000 acres, which 2,000 were tended by 150 slaves.  The grounds consists of slave quarters, gardens, a dairy, a washhouse, store houses etc. The house is approximately 11,000 square feet.
  2. Skyline Drive  –  Second, Skyline Drive is approximately 105-mile road long with several entry points.  It has 75 overlooks, places to lodge and dine along the way.  It takes about 3 hours to drive the route at 35 mph.  It’s most popular in the fall with the colorful foliage, but it’s just a beautiful in the warmer months too.  There’s plenty of wildlife, hiking trails and waterfalls.
  3. Luray Caverns  –  Discovered erroneously in search of cave, the caverns were discovered in 1878.  The guided tour of the Luray Caverns are the most popular caverns in Eastern America. You will also find a replica of a frontier home and Car and Carriage Caravan Museum.  Feeling adventurous, enter the garden maze and attempt to find your way out.  In your in need of a few adult beverages, check out the wine tasting.  There’s also a café to satisfy your hunger.
  4. Shenandoah Caverns  – The caverns are around 56 degrees year round.  The guided tour takes about an hour through 17 rooms.  The Breakfast Bacon has been featured in National Geographic magazine.  Long View Hall and Grotto of the Gods as well as formations like Capitol Dome, Diamond Cascade, and Rainbow Lake.  The Yellow Barn,  American Celebration on Parade, and Main Street of Yesteryear provide great family photo opportunities.
  5. Arlington Cemetery – Visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  You will find John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy Onassis gravesites as well as the Changing of the Guard.
  6. Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens –  Next, the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden was voted as one of the Top 10 Botanical Gardens in the country.  It offers 50 acres of gardens, dining and shopping.  It has more than a dozen themed gardens, which include a Children’s Garden, Rose Garden, Flagler Garden and the Kroger Kitchen Community Garden.
  7. Great Dismal Swamp – The Great Dismal Swamp is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  It inhibits 112,000 acres.  The area is occupied by bobcats, bears, white tail deer, an array of fish, turtles, lizards and more.
  8. Victory Rover Cruises – Last, be sure to add Victory Rover Cruises to your list of things to do in Virginia.  It offers a 2 hour narrated cruise by the captain.  The Norfolk Naval Station  is the largest Naval Base in the world.  You will see Destroyers, Aircraft Carriers, Submarines, Cruisers, Yachts and more.  Additionally, lunch boxes may be available.  

Finally, I hope that you liked my list of things to do in Virginia. Pick a few items and enjoy the day with your family and friends.  Additionally, you may also like 9 Budget Friendly Activities in Virginia Beach.

A Day At Shenandoah Caverns

Shenandoah Caverns

Have you ever been to the Shenandoah Caverns in VA?  If you’re in the surrounding area, you have to make a trip.  I took my 2 year old grandson to visit, and I couldn’t get him to leaveNot only do they have the caverns, but they have an American Celebration building that houses floats from the Rose bowl parade and props from several Presidential Inaugurations.  They have the Yellow Barn which houses antiques, a play area, a train ride and a huge tree full of squirrels to delight youngsters.  The third attraction is Main Street Yesteryear, which is filled with window displays of delightful characters.  

The caverns are owned by a gentleman whose family has been building floats since  1946.  Not only do they build floats, they have been involved with every Presidential Inaugural Celebration since 1949.  I wondered what props they would have on display from Clinton and Obama’s Inaugurations The Shenandoah Caverns were on my list of things to do with my grandson this summer, so I was really excited to make the trip.  

It didn’t disappoint.  We started in the American Celebration building.  It almost ended there as well.  Xavier was so thrilled by the floats I couldn’t get him to leave.  It was a room filled with bunnies, ducks, elephants, dogs, Barney, Dumbo and the list goes on.  He pushed buttons over and over to make the animals move and stirred at them in awe.  I must admit, I had just as much fun as he did.  The photos will make a great scrap book of our summer adventure.  I finished the tour with my grandson standing on the stage that was used for Reagan, Bush and Clinton’s inaugurations. They also had Obama and Biden’s Seal on display.  My grandson wouldn’t go near it.  I wonder if that’s a sign that he’s going to be a Republican, lol.

They had several picnic tables on the grounds where you could bring lunch and enjoy the outdoors.  Had I known, I would have packed a lunch for Xavier and me.  Not to worry if you don’t want to go through the trouble, they have a cafe where you can purchase fare.

things to do in Virginia

We moved over to the Yellow Barn, which featured a cute display of squirrels and a play area for the children.  You can also put your child on a train ride here for a $1.00.  A buck doesn’t get you much these days, but here you make a memory for you and your child.  That’s priceless.  They don’t have as many displays in this particular area as they do in the American Celebration building, but Xavier found the play area and once again I couldn’t get him to leave.  They have a rocker that he fell in love with and an old fashioned rocking horse.  I’m glad there weren’t any other children around, I may have had a hard time getting him to share.  He made pancakes on the antique stove, peeped into the squirrel’s tree house, and played with an adorable family of wooden bees.

Virginia Caverns

They also have wine tastings in this building if you need a little refreshment.  You can also purchase jams, jellies, mixes and just relax while your child plays.  You don’t feel rushed and everyone is friendly.  Unfortunately we had to end the day here.  Main Street Yesteryear and the caverns are still on our list of things to do, so we will definitely be making another trip to the Shenandoah Caverns.  They are open every day except Christmas.  It’s a world of make believe that generates lots of giggles and amazement.  It’s the things that make us wish we were children again.  It’s a time for the young and the young at heart.  It’s childhood innocence.  They have truly built an environment worthy of my time, energy and money.  

Stay tuned for my post on Main Street Yesterday and the caverns.  Leave us a comment and let us know where your family has ventured off to this summer.