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15 Best Weekend Getaways in Virginia, According to Locals

Virginia’s mountains, beaches, and bustling cities are ideal for short weekend trips.

virginia long weekend trips

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If you’ve spent any amount of time in Virginia, you know its residents are deeply passionate about their state — whether they’re cheering on the Hokies or ‘Hoos, sharing their favorite hiking spots, or giving a highly detailed explanation of the merits of Virginia ham. It’s the kind of place that gets in your blood, quietly demanding you to return time and time again to experience more of its magic.

“It’s not just the activities, dining, and accommodations in Virginia that bring visitors to the area,” explains Kate Barlow Clark, director of Capital Artist Collective . “The environment and natural beauty of this state are what visitors should most look forward to when planning their trip. From the marshy wetlands of the Eastern Shore to the highlands of the Allegheny Mountains, there is so much that Virginia offers in terms of outdoor enjoyment.”

Given Virginia’s variety of landscapes and terrain, it has an impressive number of places that qualify as perfect weekend getaways. Mohsin Kazmi, photographer and resident naturalist at Nicewonder Farm & Vineyards , likens it to a “miniature version of California,” as the state “boasts beaches, valleys, rivers, and mountains all within a four-hour driving distance.” No matter where you go, though, be sure to arrive open-minded, excited, and prepared to engage in conversation. “Virginians are a friendly lot, and the best way to explore a new place, I’ve found, is to head to breakfast, sit at a countertop, and chat with the locals,” says Dee Hall, farmer-florist at Mermaid City Flowers in Norfolk.

To help plan your next trip to the Commonwealth, we polled a few locals to get their advice on the best weekend getaways in Virginia. Read on to discover their favorites. 

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“If you’re looking to visit somewhere that feels small-town and slightly English in its architecture and landscape, this is your place,” says Clark. Middleburg is only about an hour from Washington, D.C., but it has all the fixings for a countryside getaway. “My ideal day in Middleburg would be to check into a lovely hotel, sleep in, get breakfast in bed, stroll out and enjoy some midday shopping, get a bite to eat at the Market Salamander, visit a local winery, and then end the day with a cozy meal at The Red Fox Inn & Tavern ,” she adds.

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Hall describes Richmond, the capital of Virginia, as both “historic and modern,” and she says it’s this juxtaposition that makes it such an incredible city. There’s plenty to do to keep you busy over a long weekend, but she suggests shopping on Broad Street, stopping by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA), and stretching your legs at Brown’s Island . “Dinner at Can Can would make the weekend all that much better.”

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Avid hikers may know Damascus as “Trail Town USA.” “The town welcomes thousands of Appalachian Trail hikers every year,” says Kazmi. It’s also an intersection for the Virginia Creeper Trail, Iron Mountain Trail, and the Mid-Atlantic Backcountry Discovery Route, among others. Even if you’re not lacing up your hiking boots, Damascus is a great place to explore. “Small-town hospitality truly permeates throughout Main Street, where you can shop for outdoor gear, apparel, and regionally specific gifts,” he says. While there, he recommends checking out Appalachian Heritage Distillery , Mt. Rogers Outfitters , and Mojo’s Trailside Cafe & Coffee . 


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Sperryville may be small with a population under 300, but it’s ideal for a weekend getaway filled with hiking, relaxing, and amazing food and wine. Start your day exploring nearby Shenandoah National Park, and return to Main Street to fill up at local spots like Rappahannock Pizza Kitchen , the Corner Store , and Three Blacksmiths . As far as accommodations, you can’t go wrong with Blue Rock , located just down the road. 

Related : The 12 Best Small Towns in Virginia to Add to Your Travel List

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“ Alexandria is a great weekend add-on if you’re visiting D.C. There’s lots to see and do, and it has a lovely waterfront and historic district,” says Hall. Old Town, the historic neighborhood Hall references, is known for cobblestone streets, 18th-century town houses, and more than 200 independently owned restaurants and shops. Spend your days walking along King Street and admiring the architecture — and if you’re staying overnight, Hall recommends The Alexandrian .

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Bristol, Virginia, is the twin city of Bristol, Tennessee. “You can even stand on the dividing line to be in both states at once,” says Kazmi. While in town, visit the Birthplace of Country Music Museum , and explore State Street’s restaurants, bars, and shops. Kazmi also recommends planning your visit around the Rhythm & Roots Reunion, which, as he says, is “a local music festival that hosts thousands of visitors each year.” Just be sure to leave time to check out The Tasting Room at Nicewonder Farm & Vineyards , where, he notes, “you can get away from the crowds while taking a tour of the vineyard or partaking in a wine flight.”

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Lexington is a small Virginia city with more than a few selling points. For starters, it’s home to both Washington and Lee University and Virginia Military Institute (VMI). The Shenandoah Valley college town also offers ample opportunities to explore the surrounding mountains, and its downtown has top-tier restaurants, boutiques, and accommodations. For a bit of history mixed in with your visit, stay at The Georges , a 33-room property spread across four buildings on Main Street. 

Eastern Shore of Virginia

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For what Clark describes as an “extremely unique and wild destination for a weekend getaway,” make your way to the Eastern Shore. “The Eastern Shore of Virginia is a peninsula with lots of marshes, refuges, parks, and preserved land,” she says. Seventy miles in length, the area includes destinations like Onancock, Tangier Island, and Cape Charles. “Cape Charles is at the southernmost part of the peninsula, [and] perhaps where I would call my home base for the weekend,” says Clark, who also recommends driving to the Barrier Islands Center in Machipongo, the Volgenau Virginia Coast Reserve , and Chincoteague to see the wild ponies. One thing you absolutely cannot miss? The seafood. “Enjoy fresh oysters, clams, or crabs when they are in season,” she adds. 

Related : 7 Best Places to Retire in Virginia, According to Local Real Estate Experts

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If you want a city escape without the D.C. traffic, opt for a destination like Roanoke. “I recently took a trip to Roanoke and was surprised by the revival and vibrancy of the city,” says Hall. It’s the kind of destination with something for every type of traveler, including museums, hiking, paddling, biking, and shopping. The Historic Roanoke City Market is particularly noteworthy, as it’s the oldest operating open-air market in the state. 


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For wine, good food, and amazing scenery, look no further than the Charlottesville area. “This region is quickly earning a name for itself as a renowned viticultural area ,” says Clark, who recommends Chiswell Farm & Winery , Veritas , Afton Mountain Vineyards , and Septenary — all within driving distance of downtown Charlottesville. Charlottesville is certainly a year-round destination, but Hall says it’s especially beautiful in the fall: “Rolling hills, gorgeous foliage, [and] its proximity to Shenandoah National Park, plus Virginia's brewery and winery trail, make it perfect for a fall weekend getaway.” It’s also incredibly easy to get to from a few major U.S. cities. “If you are visiting from Washington, D.C. or New York City, you can take the Amtrak and arrive right in downtown Charlottesville; it’s a pretty ride and extremely convenient for a weekend trip,” notes Clark.

Meadows of Dan

Courtesy of Primland Resort

Mountain luxury awaits travelers in Meadows of Dan. Located on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the census-designated place is where you’ll find Primland , an outdoor adventurer’s paradise. There’s certainly no wrong way to experience the five-star resort — cozy up in one of the property’s tree houses , play a round of golf, explore the hiking trails and ATV paths, or simply spend hours taking in the breathtaking views.

Hampton Roads

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“The thing that makes Hampton Roads one of the best is the water. Everywhere you turn, there is water and a different way to access it,” says Hall. Made up of seven cities — Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Virginia Beach, and Suffolk — Hampton Roads has more than enough to do to keep you busy for a weekend. “My favorite things to do in this area include visiting Norfolk Botanical Garden , the Chrysler Museum of Art , [and] First Landing State Park , and have oysters at The Atlantic on Pacific ,” she says. 


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It may be known for its top-rated college and colonial ties, but Williamsburg has grown into a multifaceted destination with something for travelers of all ages. Strolling along Duke of Gloucester Street is a must — stopping for lunch at The Cheese Shop , of course — as is a drive down Colonial Parkway, a 23-mile stretch connecting Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown. If it’s a special occasion, treat yourself to a spa day at the Williamsburg Inn , one of Travel + Leisure readers’ favorite resorts in the South .

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“Just off I-81 sits Abingdon, Virginia, a truly one-of-a-kind small town with a vibrant local food and arts scene,” says Kazmi. While you can certainly visit for just a weekend — frequenting places like Jack’s 128 Pecan , Zephyr Antiques , Sweetbay Brewing Co. , and William King Museum of Art — he shares that “most travelers opt to stay in the area for three days or more.” It’s especially appealing to those who enjoy climbing, hiking, or biking.

Alleghany Highlands

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“This place is particularly special to my family and surely one of those ‘hidden gem’ sort of regions that not even every Virginia resident will visit, let alone too many out-of-state visitors,” says Clark. It’s an area known for its outdoor pursuits — including hiking, mountain, biking, and fishing — and general peace and quiet. “There are no interstate highways, minimal traffic lights, and it's a place where the journey to your destination is just as awe-inspiring as the destination itself,” she adds. For an extra luxurious getaway, Clark recommends the Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs.

Related Articles


11 Top-Rated Weekend Getaways in Virginia

Written by Alison Abbott and Barbara Radcliffe Rogers Updated Mar 2, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

As the saying goes, Virginia is for lovers. Visitors will quickly learn that this love doesn't just apply to affairs of the heart. Virginia is filled with weekend getaways for those who love adventure, the outdoors, history, and the beach .

Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia

Virginia has something for everyone , from Colonial Williamsburg and presidential homes for the history buff to Shenandoah National Park and the barrier island of Chincoteague for the nature lover. Plan your adventures and find the top places to visit with this list of the best weekend getaways in Virginia.

1. Virginia Beach, Virginia

2. williamsburg, virginia, 3. old town alexandria, virginia, 4. chincoteague island, virginia, 5. george washington and jefferson national forests, virginia, 6. mount vernon, virginia, 7. shenandoah national park, virginia, 8. monticello and presidential homes in charlottesville, 9. richmond, virginia, 10. lexington, virginia, 11. virginia's eastern shore, map of weekend getaways in virginia.

Virginia Beach at sunset

Virginia Beach is the perfect place to visit to have some fun in the sun. This bustling area is home to state parks, many protected beach areas , as well as historic sites. The pristine beaches (they are raked every night) are filled with tourists in the summer, but in the fall months, you can still enjoy all that they have to offer without the crowds, whether you rent a condo or stay at one of the many resorts.

Some of the most popular things to do in Virginia Beach are water related activities like parasailing at Beach Parasail or taking a sunset cruise. But the beach isn't the only draw here — you can head to the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Center and observe local sea life or visit the First Landing State Park , the most visited park in Virginia.

Want to stay on the water? Look to the Comfort Suites Beachfront . Every room is a suite and has a view of the ocean, where you can watch the action on the water.

Governor's Palace

The Colonial Capital of Virginia, Williamsburg is best known for its 18th-century charm at Colonial Williamsburg , a living history museum set in the actual buildings used by the founders of the nation. Here, they host many historical and cultural activities centered around this time period.

If you're seeking more adventure than an 18th-century colony can provide, head to Busch Gardens Williamsburg to get your thrills on their world-class roller coasters and rides.

For another round of history, stop at the Yorktown Battlefield and Jamestown.

Where to Stay: There are plenty of places to stay, but for a historic feel, try the Marriott's Manor Club at Ford's Colony Vacation villas, which are great for families offer fully equipped kitchens and washer/dryers are included, while the smaller guest rooms provide kitchenettes. The location is just a short distance to popular attractions.

Market Square and City Hall

Alexandria is a stone's throw from the bustling metro of Washington D.C. , but Old Town Alexandria may as well be a world away. With its charming historic homes dating back to the 1700s, unique shops, and world-class restaurants, this pedestrian-friendly city is a wonderful romantic escape for couples . It is also easily accessible to D.C. via the Metro line.

With everything that Alexandria has to offer, you may never leave Old Town. You can take a walk down to the waterfront and jump on a water taxi or cruise from the Potomac Riverboat Company , or visit one of the many historical sites like the Gadsby's Tavern Museum , the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, or the Carlyle House .

Make sure not to miss The Torpedo Factory , a converted warehouse filled with artists' studios and galleries.

Where to Stay: Old Town is a wonderful walking area. For a stay right in the heart of the district, choose Hotel Indigo Old Town Alexandria . The property represents good value for visitors and is steps to the banks of the Potomac waterfront. Free Wi-Fi and a pet-friendly welcome makes it a favorite with dog lovers on a weekend escape.

Wild ponies on Chincoteague Island

This beautiful barrier island is known for its sandy beaches and its world-famous wild ponies, which have been delighting visitors for centuries. The ponies aren't the only draw to Chincoteague Island, though.

Outdoor adventurers will find hiking and biking trails throughout the island. Fishing and boating are also popular activities. Head to Snug Harbor to rent a boat and tour the island.

In addition, visitors can book a tour on the Assateague Explorer , which will take you on a cruise to the hidden Chincoteague, where you might spot ponies, eagles, or dolphins.

Where to Stay: The Hampton Inn and Suites Chincoteague-Waterfront Hotel is just 1.5 miles from the wildlife refuge, and comes with free breakfast and an indoor pool.

George Washington National Forest

Outdoor adventurers will find solace in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest. These two natural wonderlands combine to cover one of the largest public land areas in the eastern U.S.

This nature-lovers playground is perfect for those who want to rest, recharge, and unplug from the daily grind. Among these parks are seventeen designated wilderness areas, which are filled with babbling brooks, miles of streams, and thousands of miles of hiking trails.

You can take a scenic drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway , which cuts through this lush paradise for one of the most beautiful rides in the country. For skilled hikers, make the trek up to Mount Rogers , Virginia's tallest peak, for 360-degree views or check out the High Knob Fire Lookout Tower . At an elevation of 4,107 feet, you can see for miles and miles.

Where to Stay: Continue to recharge with a stay at the Tru by Hilton Roanoke Hollins , less than five miles from the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests. Large family-sized rooms (kids stay free) have mountain views, and the hot breakfast is included in the budget-friendly rates.

Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon is a must-see when visiting Virginia. This was the plantation house of George Washington, our nation's first president and is on the National Registry of Historic Places .

The picturesque Mount Vernon estate is located on the banks of the Potomac River near Alexandria. The house dates to the mid-1700s, and on its grounds visitors will find plenty to see and do, from walking through the beautifully manicured gardens to touring the Mansion .

You will meet farm animals as you tour the plantation, and see period skills demonstrated, such as weaving, spinning, blacksmithing and grinding corn in Washington's water-powered gristmill.

Close to Mt. Vernon, you will want to tour two other plantations often visited by the Washingtons. Woodlawn Mansion's plantation began as part of George Washington's large estate, and he had the home built as a wedding gift for his step-granddaughter, Nelly Parke Custis, and her husband Lawrence Lewis. The plantation continued to have an interesting history, and is now the venue for one of the largest needlework shows in the country.

A few miles along the Potomac River from Mount Vernon, Gunston Hall was the home of Washington's friend and fellow patriot, George Mason. At his plantation, you can see the reconstructed kitchen, dairy, and laundry, as well as the gardens and archeological sites.

Where to Stay: Those exploring these historic sites with children will appreciate the modestly priced family-sized rooms and complimentary breakfast at the Best Western Mount Vernon/Ft. Belvoir , only 2.6 miles from Mt. Vernon.

Shenandoah National Park

A little over an hour away from Washington D.C., the Shenandoah National Park is the perfect retreat for nature lovers. You can hike the beautiful hiking trails through cascading waterfalls, quiet woods, and some of the most beautiful views in Virginia. Spend a weekend here exploring the 200,000 acres of protected land.

A must visit while you are in Shenandoah National Forest is the Luray Caverns , the largest in the eastern US. You can view impressive stalagmites and stalactites, and you also get access to the Car & Carriage Caravan Museum , Luray Valley Museum , and Toy Town Junction .

Read More: Best Caverns in Virginia

Tulips blooming at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello

Among America's most beautiful colonial homes, Thomas Jefferson's Monticello was designed by Jefferson himself, after a visit to one of Andrea Palladio's villas in Italy. From 1768 to 1809 Jefferson continued to make changes in its design and decoration, and on a tour you'll learn of his innovations and see some of his inventions.

Jefferson also designed the gardens, through which you can stroll; you can also learn about the lives of the enslaved people who worked on the plantation. The visitor center displays artifacts and has hands-on activities designed for children.

Just north of Charlottesville is Montpelier , home of the next in the presidential line, James Madison and his wife, Dolley. Behind-the-scenes tours of their home reveal a lot about the couple and how they lived and entertained friends and political associates.

The 5th President, James Monroe and his wife, Elizabeth Kortright Monroe, made Highland their official residence from 1799 to 1823. You can tour the house, the outbuildings, and the gardens in Charlottesville .

Virginia State Capitol building in Richmond

Richmond is filled with history dating back to Colonial and Civil War times. It's also a city filled with modern amenities, which make it a perfect weekend getaway for any traveler.

Richmond was once the capital of the Confederacy, so Civil War and history buffs will want to check out the American Civil War Museum and the Hollywood Cemetery.

Everyone will enjoy a walk around the centuries-old architecture and a visit to the beautifully preserved and furnished Maymont , a mansion surrounded by grounds with monumental staircases and Italian and Japanese gardens.

Those interested in modern arts and gardens can visit the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden ; for shopping, head for the eclectic boutiques in Carytown .

Where to Stay: There are plenty of options for you when staying in Richmond. A special spot is centrally located in the heart of downtown. The elegant Jefferson Hotel has been welcoming guests since 1895. The dramatic architecture and décor speaks to another era. Complimentary transportation insures easy access to the many sites in Richmond.

Washington and Lee University in Lexington

Home to the Virginia Military Institute and Washington and Lee University , this college town is filled with things to do and, like other old, small towns in Virginia , a ton of history.

The campuses are filled with historic buildings, statues, and things to do for visitors, including one of America's largest and finest collections of Asian, European, and American ceramics spanning 4,000 years. The historic Lee Chapel is also on the campus.

In the heart of town is the Stonewall Jackson House and at the Boxerwood Nature Center and Woodland Gardens , you can walk among the beautifully landscaped gardens and let your day just melt away.

The historic Col-Alto Mansion was transformed into the Hampton Inn Lexington-Historic District in 1997. Ten of the original rooms have been restored and transport guests to a bygone era, many complete with a fireplace. An additional 76 rooms are in the new building, located on seven acres of beautiful grounds.

Evening on Virginia's Eastern Shore

Separated from the rest of the state by the waters of Chesapeake Bay, the long narrow peninsula of the Eastern Shore is reached from the north through Maryland or from the south via the 17.5-mile Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.

The irregular Chesapeake Bay shoreline is cut by tidal streams and bays, providing a haven for waterbirds and for kayakers, who could spend weeks exploring the inlets and grassy marshes without ever paddling the same waters.

On the Atlantic side , the coast is largely protected by barrier islands, forming protected bays and sandy islands that interlock like jigsaw puzzle pieces.

The Eastern Shore seems caught in a time warp, with sleepy little villages , tidewater towns, and the unique culture of the Watermen who harvest seafood from the Chesapeake Bay.

Cape Charles was a railway terminus and port for passenger steamers crossing the Chesapeake Bay, and its Old Town Historic District, lined with Victorian-era buildings, is on the National Register of Historic Places.

In the postcard-perfect town of Parksley , you can see old rail cars that once carried passengers into the Eastern Shore.

For a jolt back into the 21 st century, plan a stop at the free NASA Visitor Center at Wallops Flight Facility , where more than 16,000 rockets carrying aircraft, satellites, and science experiments have launched since its establishment in 1945.

The visitor center details NASA's Earth Science program, with hands-on exhibits, videos, and programs about sounding rockets, aircraft, and scientific balloons. A highlight is the interactive Sun Earth Universe exhibit.

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Historic Virginia Travel

15 Unforgettable Virginia Weekend Getaways (Romantic + Fun!)

By: Author Katie

Posted on Published: January 21, 2022  - Last updated: June 1, 2024

Need an escape? From beautiful blue ridge mountains to the shores of Virginia Beach, the Commonwealth of Virginia is full of exciting and romantic weekend getaways, all right across the Potomac River from DC.

The best weekend getaways in Virginia

Virginia is perfect for any weekend getaway, no matter your interests. Virginia is not only rich in culture but also in the outdoors. With all the beauty Virginia offers, traveling to Virginia for a weekend getaway will allow you to experience Virginia’s abundance of nature with all its beauty and glory.

⭐️ Need a quick recommendation? We love Charlottesville for a more active Virginia getaway with historical sites, vineyards, and great restaurants. For seafood, views, and plenty of charm, head out to Cape Charles. For quiet getaways, visit the Homestead Resort in southwest Virginia, one of the most romantic hotels on the east coast. ⭐️

1. Eastern Shore of Virginia

Yes, it’s a little bit of a drive: but it’s worth it! The Eastern Shore is filled with coastal attractions with a remote feel unlike any other waterfront spot in Virginia. There are many weekend getaway options available on the Eastern Shore.

Virginia’s Eastern Shore is home to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, which has some of the best hiking Virginia offers. Also, nearby Assateague Island is famous for its wild ponies that live year-round!

But the very best of the Eastern Shore is to be found in Cape Charles, a small coastal town with many shops and restaurants.

Cape Charles is the perfect place to relax and enjoy time on one of America’s most beautiful coasts. Grab a bite from a local seafood restaurant and sit down for a drink with your special someone.

You can also take advantage of all the fun activities Cape Charles has to offer, including parasailing and kayaking tours out onto pristine

2. Virginia’s Blue Ridge Region

view of wooded mountains in western virginia

Virginia is home to the Shenandoah Valley, which has some of the most beautiful hiking areas in the country. Virginia also offers many outdoor activities, including white water rafting on rapids or kayaking through small rivers where you can spot Virginia’s abundant wildlife ranging from deer to bald eagles.

The Southwestern Virginia region from Lynchburg to Bristol is filled with scenic views and outdoor activities.

If fly fishing and RV camping aren’t your thing, it’s easy to find a charming inn in one of the small towns in this region. Look for a town along the Blue Ridge Parkway to experience a scenic drive in western Virginia.

Some of our favorite towns in this region:

  • Blowing Rock

Virginia also offers plenty of hiking trails, including the Virginia Creeper Trail, which will allow you to take in some of Virginia’s rich history and culture.

The Virginia Creeper Trail stretches from Abingdon to Damascus at an elevation of 2000 feet above sea level and goes through gorges and Virginia’s beautiful Appalachian forest.

3. Charlottesville

If you’re looking for an educational and fun weekend getaway, Charlottesville should be on your list! There are many things to do in this fantastic city, including visiting historical landmarks, eating delicious restaurants, and exploring the art scene.

Charlottesville is also home to the University of Virginia , which is one of the most prestigious universities in the country.

Be sure to stop by Monticello, the historic and beautiful home of Thomas Jefferson, one of the most interesting historic homes on the East Coast.

See the 15 Beautiful Wineries Near Charlottesville that we recommend.

4. Massanutten Resort

The Massanutten Resort is a 60,000-acre resort in the southern part of Massanutten Mountain, located in the middle of the Shenandoah Valley.

You can explore mountains, trails, and rivers, as well as go kayaking on the Shenandoah River at the Massanutten Resort.

After a long day of hiking or biking, you can relax by taking a dip in one of their pools or enjoy a relaxing massage at the Spa.

Massanutten Resort also offers Virginia skiing so that you can see all of Virginia’s beauty by day and night! The resort also has themed weekends throughout the year so check out their website for more information about these special occasions.

5. Shenandoah National Park

If you are spending the weekend outdoors, Virginia offers plenty of outdoor activities to suit your needs. If hiking is your thing, Shenandoah National Park should be on your must-see list when visiting Virginia.

Shenandoah National Park is a huge stretch of wooden hollows, summits, waterfalls, and mountain streams with over 500 miles of hiking trails available.

6. Hot Springs

If you are can afford it and are in desperate need of a relaxing and healing weekend getaway, stay at the Homestead Resort in Hot Springs. This historical resort is an absolute treasure and has even been designated a National Historic Landmark. You’ll love everything from their beautiful outdoor pool to the world-class dining. You’ll find golf, tennis, a large spa, and gorgeous garens. It’s a must-see!

Hot Springs is located in Bath County, in Southwestern Virginia. This area has many stunning historic resorts that you will want to check out for yourself.

7. Charlottesville

This beautiful city is located in the eastern foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Central Virginia.

Charlottesville is situated Virginia’s wine country and you’ll find dozens of vineyards to visit during your weekend trip.

Charlottesville features darling boutiques, antique shops, outstanding bookstores, as well as local wineries. You will also find many excellent hiking trails near Charlottesville.

8. Old Town Alexandria

old brick and white colonial townhomes in city street

Alexandria is very close to Washington DC, so it would be a great place to visit after doing the obligatory tours of the White House, the Capitol Building, and more. A charming town with lots of opportunities for shopping and dining, Alexandria is a popular weekend getaway for those living in the DC area.

One of the first things you will want to experience in Alexandria is the Old Town which has a plethora of local boutiques and fabulous restaurants and cafes, all nestled along the Potomac River.

Also, be sure to check out Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington.

9. Colonial Williamsburg

If you are looking for a unique cultural experience, Colonial Williamsburg is the place to be. This historic district has over 400 restored buildings built during colonial times.

Don’t forget to check out what’s in bloom while visiting Williamsburg; this city is known for its spectacular flower gardens! You can take a walking tour of these gardens and admire all of the natural beauty along the way.

Williamsburg is located only about 2 hours from Richmond or an hour and a half from Norfolk, so it would be a perfect day trip if you find yourself in either of those locations.

Stay in the historic Williamsburg Inn if you’re looking for a romantic escape. And be sure to visit our favorite restaurant in Williamsburg, Food for Thought.

10. Richmond

Richmond, Virginia, is known for its delicious food. Richmond has it all if you are looking for an amazing weekend getaway in Virginia! Richmond should be on your list of Virginia Weekend Getaways for foodies due to its mouth-watering homemade delights.

Richmond is known for its great food and rich Virginia history. A quick weekend jaunt to Richmond can be very fulfilling and educational to those looking for an escape.

If you love food, then head down to Carytown in Richmond for some amazing restaurants to eat at! You will find that there is a variety of places, such as Italian cuisine down to seafood and steaks served fresh off the grill! If you love beer, you will definitely want to check out Richmond’s Beer Trail as well.

While in Richmond, you won’t want to miss the expansive arts scene. You’ll be able to view various street murals, galleries, and more. If you love art, don’t forget to check out the Virginia Museum of Fine Art

11. Virginia Beach

pier at sunrise at virginia beach

Virginia Beach offers an array of amusement parks, aquariums, and other activities for all ages. Much of Virginia’s coastline is on the Chesapeake Bay, but with Virginia Beach’s location directly on the Atlantic Ocean, you can enjoy even more activities such as surfing and paddleboarding.

If you’re looking for a good time with your significant other, then head on down to Virginia Beach and go horseback riding along the coastline!

What Else Does Virginia Have to Offer?

If you’re looking for a shorter, family-friendly day trip, one of these destinations might be more your speed

Virginia is home to beautiful parks, making it an ideal location for Virginia weekend getaways! Virginia contains many national parks, such as Shenandoah National Park, where you can see abundant wildlife.

In addition to Shenandoah National Park, Virginia also contains many more beautiful national parks such as Great Falls National Park, Historic Jamestowne National Park, and more.

Nature lovers will also enjoy New River Trail State Park, where you can ride your bike on a 57-mile trail that follows an abandoned railroad.

Virginia weekend getaways allow you to experience Virginia in a whole new way while being surrounded by nature.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel spans 17.6 miles and is considered to be the world’s most giant bridge tunnel. The Chesapeake Bay connects Southeastern Virginia and the Delmarva Peninsula and offers beautiful routes!

13. For the history buffs

Home to more presidents than any other state and being the heart of the Civil War, there are literally hundreds of weekend trips for history lovers.

Some of the best historic sites:

  • The American Civil War Museum outside Richmond
  • The Frontier Culture Museum near Staunton
  • Colonial Williamsburg is an entire historic city
  • Stonewall Jackson’s house is near many interesting Civil war battlefields.

14. Amusement Parks

If your heart is set on going to an amusement park Virginia has several, including Kings Dominion, which offers wonderful lodging and tickets for over 60 rides and attractions!

Paramount’s Kings Dominion is very fun, especially for kids during the summer months because it is a water park and theme park in one. This amusement park spans 400-acres and has many fun things to do that your entire traveling party will enjoy.

Thrill-seekers will love Kings Dominion’s scariest ride, the Intimidator 305. This ride can reach speeds up to 90 mph, and riders will experience a massive drop of over 300 feet at an 85-degree angle.

Teenagers and brave adults whore young at heart will enjoy the exciting loops and drops of the many roller coasters at this amusement park. One of the coasters that the park features is the Hypersonic XLC, which is one of the world’s first compressed-air launched roller coasters.

15. Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Busch Gardens is a great place to visit if you are up for having lots of fun. The main theme of this amusement park is classic Europe with beautifully landscaped villages inspired by the streets of France, the hamlets of Scotland, and the Oktoberfest celebrations of Germany. Altogether, this park features nine villages inspired by six countries that you will love to explore.

You will also be able to satisfy your craving for adrenaline-fueled adventure with all of the fantastic rides at Busch Gardens. You will find exhilarating rides there, such as the Grover’s Alpine Express, Tempesto, The Loch Ness Monster, Invadr, and more.

Start Planning Your Virginia Weekend Getaway Today!

Virginia is a great place to visit for a weekend getaway. There are many things to do in Virginia, including exploring the Shenandoah Valley, amusement parks, and more. Virginia’s capital city, Richmond, also has some great food options. 

Virginia is also home to many national parks that house some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the country. Virginia offers many other outdoor activities, including white water rafting on rapids or kayaking through small rivers where you can spot Virginia’s large population of wildlife ranging from rabbits to elk.

If you’re looking for a weekend getaway this summer, Virginia may be just what you need! Virginia is an all-time weekend getaway destination no matter what time of year it is! 

Virginia is rich in culture and one of the most beautiful outdoor destinations as well. Both are reasons why Virginia should be at the top of any list for weekend getaways this summer!

Everything from a romantic getaway to state parks

There are many things to do in Virginia, including exploring the Shenandoah Valley, amusement parks, and more. Richmond is also a great city for food lovers. Virginia is home to many national parks that offer beautiful hiking trails and outdoor activities such as white water rafting or kayaking. If you’re looking for a weekend getaway this summer, Virginia should be at the top of your list!

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  • Last Updated On
  • September 5, 2023

29 Best Weekend Getaways in Virginia — Quick Trips!

Christina Rado

Virginia has much to offer if you’re in the mood for quick day trips and adventures.

It’s a southeastern state with many beautiful tiny villages, historical landmarks, and beaches.

But that’s not all.

It’s also the perfect place for those looking for a relaxed weekend getaway.

It’s home to romantic inns, elegant hotels, modern accommodations, and fun resorts.

If you’re planning a trip to Old Dominion, I’m here to help you plan a flawless staycation.

As a parent and a travel writer, I have experienced the struggle of making decisions.

So let’s get started on choosing where you should bunk first, shall we?

I managed to select my top three picks, all of which I am confident I can recommend.

I considered each destination’s room variety, comfort, cleanliness, location, and more.

Of course, they also have to be family-friendly, just in case you’re not traveling alone.

Are you in dire need of a laid-back holiday as soon as possible?

Read on to find the best weekend getaways in Virginia and experience a well-deserved vacay.

Best Weekend Getaways In Virginia Compared

Virginia doesn’t run short on accommodations, from fancy hotels to quaint inns.

Here’s a quick and easy guide highlighting my favorites and their pros and cons.

Editor’s Choice

virginia long weekend trips

The Ritz Carlton, Pentagon City

The Ritz Carlton is in Pentagon City, Virginia’s most desirable neighborhood.

  • Room Variety: 5/5
  • Comfort and Cleanliness: 4/5
  • Location: 5/5
  • Affordability: 3/5
  • Family-Friendliness: 4/5

#2nd Best Choice

virginia long weekend trips

The Omni Homestead Resort

Located in Hot Springs, The Omni Homestead Resort is a luxury resort spread over 2,000 acres in the Allegheny Mountains.

  • Comfort and Cleanliness: 5/5
  • Affordability: 2/5
  • Family-Friendliness: 5/5

#3rd Best Choice

virginia long weekend trips

Hotel Laurance

Hotel Laurance is a small, one-of-a-kind lodging fit for extended stays.

  • Room Variety: 3/5
  • Family-Friendliness: 

Here are the top 29 weekend getaways in Virginia.

1. The Ritz Carlton, Pentagon City (Editor’s Choice)

The Ritz Carlton, Pentagon City

1250 S Hayes St Arlington, VA 22202 (703) 415-5000 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Ratings Criteria

  • Desirable neighborhood
  • Luxury accommodations
  • More average than other Ritz hotels

The Ritz Carlton is in Pentagon City, Virginia’s most desirable neighborhood.

With beautiful artwork covering the walls, this exquisite property delivers luxury at its finest.

The rooms are cozy with plenty of opulent touches, and the beds are comfy to a tee.

For traveling foodies, there is an on-site restaurant with a focus on local ingredients.

Guests will never go hungry and will be treated with kindness and superb service.

It also boasts a convenient location where shops, dining, and airports are nearby.

Consider this if you’re looking for the ideal place to rest or explore the area.

Related: Best Day Trips From Richmond

2. The Omni Homestead Resort

The Omni Homestead Resort

7696 Sam Snead Highway Hot Springs, VA 24445 (800) 838-1766 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

  • Rustic mountain resort 
  • Fun outdoor activities
  •   Expensive rates per night

Since it was built in 1766, the resort has hosted 23 US Presidents over the years and is renowned for its southern charm and gracious hospitality.

The resort offers its guests luxuriously appointed rooms and suites with a classic décor and various amenities including the 2 iconic golf courses, a full-service sauna featuring a Finnish sauna and the serenity garden with its natural geothermal pool and a water park.

The Omni Homestead Resort offers a range of fun outdoor activities such as tennis, kayaking, ziplining, horseback rides, guided hikes, and winter sports during the winter months, making it a great getaway.

3. Hotel Laurance

Hotel Laurance

2 S Court St Luray, VA 22835 (540) 742-7060 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

  • Quaint boutique hotel
  • Quiet and comfortable rooms
  •  Noise from other guests

It only has 12 rooms, but each room has a full kitchen, homey touches, and elegant furnishings.

Every corner is spotless, including the bathrooms, beds, and closets.

There is also a sitting area and a coffee machine with abundant coffee pods. 

Quiet and tranquil, it is the perfect destination for peaceful vacations.

Families, couples, and solo travelers looking for downtime will love this hotel.

Furthermore, it is within walking distance of downtown eateries and activities. 

The concept of an old house transformed into a hotel makes it a home far away from home.

4. The Mayhurst Inn

The Mayhurst Inn

12460 Mayhurst Lane Orange,& VA 2960 (540) 672-5597 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Similar to Hotel Laurance, The Mayhurst Inn is also a homelike hotel for a serene holiday.

However, it’s much more appealing for couples, newlyweds, and honeymooners.

It’s the perfect choice if you’re looking for that sought-after intimate getaway.

Built in 1859 as a plantation home, The Mayhurst Inn with its original architecture and authentic antique furnishings is a luxury bed and breakfast situated in Orange, Virginia.

Spread across 37 acres of the Virginia Piedmont, the 9,200 sq. ft., The Mayhurst Inn is surrounded by many gardens, landscaped lawns, a pond, old trees and fields.

The Manor House features a grand staircase wrapping around the 5 floors of the inn and 8 unique and beautiful rooms, which will transport you to an “Old World Estate Experience”, where you can enjoy the gracious southern hospitality.

There are many places of interest that you can visit while staying at The Mayhurst Inn including 2 museums and 6 Civil War battlefields and also check out the various outdoor activities around the area.

Related: Best Day Trips From Virginia Beach

5. Charlottesville


Charlottesville, VA (434) 293-6789 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Named after Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the last queen of Virginia, Charlottesville is situated in Central Virginia in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Apart from being home to the University of Virginia, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Charlottesville has some of the best historical attractions including Historic Court Square, James Monroe’s Highland, Monticello plantation house, Ash Lawn-Highland home of President James Monroe and the Rotunda at UVA.

If you want some adventure, then you can go kayaking on the James River or hike the trails along the Blue Ridge Mountain peaks, around the farms and orchards in Charlottesville.

Wine connoisseurs are sure to love the Monticello Wine Trail, where you can visit the numerous vineyards in the area and sample their award-winning wines.

And, for a spot of retail therapy, you can simply head to the Downtown Mall, which is popular as the longest pedestrian mall in the country, where you can also enjoy the local cuisine and music.

Recommended Hotel: Omni Charlottesville Hotel

Related: Beaches in Virginia

6. Hot Springs

hot springs

Hot Springs, VA Open in Google Maps

If you’re looking for some “me time” with your partner, then you can consider Hot Springs, one of the most popular romantic getaways in Virginia.

Located in Bath County, close to Warm Springs, Hot Springs is a spa town with several historic resorts such as The Omni Homestead Resort , which is a National Historic Landmark that has a history that goes back to over 200 years.

Hot Springs is popular for the largest hot springs in the Commonwealth area and it also has the oldest alpine ski resort, making it one of the best winter getaways in the state.

Recommended Hotel: The Omni Homestead Resort

7. Alexandria


Alexandria, VA (703) 746-4311 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Also known as the “Old Town”, Alexandria is located along the waterfront of the Potomac River.

One of the popular destinations for Virginia vacations, Alexandria is a charming town with cobblestone streets that is popular for architecture dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries.

A visit to The Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, 1753 Carlyle House, Fort Ward Museum, the Mount Vernon residence of George Washington, World War II munitions factory, Gadsby’s Tavern Museum and Torpedo Factory Art Center will give you your dose of history and culture.

And, if you want to do something more, you can stroll down the waterfront and check out the bustling art scene and over 200 restaurants and lovely boutiques.

Recommended Hotel: The Westin Alexandria Old Town

8. Grayson Highlands State Park

grayson highlands state park

829 Grayson Highland Ln Mouth of Wilson, VA 24363 (276) 579-7092 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Situated near the Whitetop and Mount Rogers Mountains, the highest mountains in Virginia, the Grayson Highlands State Park offers scenic views of the peaks.

Spread over 4,502 acres, the Grayson Highlands State Park is a popular spot for outdoor recreation and has many hiking trails that lead to overlooks and waterfalls, which you can even explore on horseback.

The park has a visitor center and campgrounds, where you can camp with your loved ones and explore the various adventure activities that the park has to offer such as hiking, horseback riding, backpacking and mountain biking.

The park is also famous for the Wayne C. Henderson Festival and Guitar Competition, a popular guitarist and music contest named after Wayne Henderson, the famous local guitar manufacturer.

Recommended Hotel: Evolve Damascus Historic Stone Cottage


Roanoke, VA (540) 387-6078 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Roanoke is a cute town that is a popular weekend getaway in Virginia.

This is a great weekend getaway for families with little ones who are sure to love the science, transportation and art museums, the Mill Mountain Zoo, Discovery Center, underground Dixie Caverns and the Natural Bridge Caverns or the Jeter Farm.

If you love some adventure, then explore the many mountain biking or hiking trails, go horseback riding, motorcycle tours, climbing, paddling, canoeing, kayaking and outdoor activities at the 70 parks in the area and enjoy the scenic beauty around you.

If you’re traveling with your partner and want to focus on the art and culture of the place, then you can check out the museums, art galleries and live music venues, sign up for the food and culture tour and visit the iconic man-made 88-foot Mill Mountain Star, situated on the top of the Mill Mountain or the Black Dog Salvage, a 40,000 sq. ft. warehouse housing a large variety of commercial salvage and antiques.

Recommended Hotel: Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center, Curio Collection by Hilton

Related: Family Beaches in Virginia

10. Winchester


Winchester, VA (540) 667-1815 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Situated in Frederick County, Winchester is an independent city in Virginia, which is home to Shenandoah University.

Although this is a tiny city with a population of fewer than 30,000 residents, Winchester has plenty to do.

This historic city, which was George Washington’s political and military training ground in the mid-1700s and gained importance during the Civil War, is more than 2 centuries old and is among Virginia’s most beautiful old towns.

Stroll through the beautiful town and admire the historical buildings or visit the many historical sites, museums, stores and restaurants in the city.

Some of the other places of interest in Winchester include the Patsy Cline House, Museum of Shenandoah Valley and Handley Library.

Winchester, also known as the “Apple Capital” is surrounded by apple orchards and is the largest apple producer in Virginia and one of the largest apple exporters in the US.

The city is popular for the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival, which is held every year during spring.

Recommended Hotel: La Quinta by Wyndham Winchester

11. Shenandoah Valley Wine Country

shenandoah valley wine country 1

Shenandoah Valley, VA Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

If you’re looking for unique Virginia vacation ideas, then a getaway to the Shenandoah Valley Wine Country with its backdrop of the Blue Ridge, Allegheny and Massanutten Mountains is a great option.

Virginia is renowned for its winemaking history, which dates back to colonial times and the Shenandoah Valley, situated on the western border of the state, attracts visitors by its natural beauty and also by its reputation of being a renowned wine-producing region.

An ideal weekend getaway for wine connoisseurs, Shenandoah Valley Wine Country has numerous wineries spread across the region producing some of the best award-winning wines, which it offers along with high-quality entertainment, restaurants and some breathtaking scenery.

You can visit the family-owned and run vineyards and sip some of the best wines and also stay at a grand old hotel, quaint inn or cozy cabin in the area.

Recommended Hotel: Hotel Madison & Shenandoah Conference Ctr.

12. Norfolk


Norfolk, VA (800) 368-3097 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

An independent city in Virginia, Norfolk was an early English settlement.

Famous for its historic monuments and sites, Norfolk is home to the oldest naval port in the US and also the Battleship Wisconsin.

There’s plenty to do at Norfolk such as taking a harbor tour on the Mississippi riverboat, relaxing at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens, touring the Battleship Wisconsin at Nauticus or enjoying the outdoor concerts, yearly events and food festivals in the city.

If you are an art and culture lover then The Chrysler Museum of Art and Chrysler Hall are must-visit places.

Recommended Hotel: Hilton Norfolk The Main

13. Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

back bay national wildlife refuge

4005 Sandpiper Rd Virginia Beach, VA 23456 (757) 301-7329 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and Back Bay, the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge is a freshwater refuge that was founded in 1938 and is spread across 8,000 acres.

Featuring maritime forests, ponds, sand dunes, freshwater marshes, ocean beach and wildfowl wintering impoundments, you can visit these habitats at Back Bay via bikes, marsh trails, the beach and overlook or boardwalk.

There’s plenty to do for nature lovers at the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, right from wildlife observation to photography, biking, hiking, kayaking and freshwater fishing.

You can also visit False Cape State Park, one of the most beautiful state parks in the state.

Recommended Hotel: Ocean Key Resort by VSA Resorts

Related: Family Vacations in Virginia

14. Williamsburg


Williamsburg, VA (757) 229-6511 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Famous for its 18th-century charm, Williamsburg is also known as the Colonial Capital of Virginia and has a very rich colonial history.

This little town radiates a delightful old-world charm with its beautifully restored historic buildings, lush landscapes and cobblestone streets.

The historic street in Williamsburg, known as the largest living history museum in the world with around 300 acres of reconstructed and restored historical buildings allows you to immerse yourself in the true colonial life experience.

A romantic weekend with your soulmate can include a romantic ride on a horse-drawn carriage, a picnic at the Sunken Garden, a ghost tour or a wine-tasting tour.

And, if you want to do something more thrilling, then a visit to the Busch Gardens Williamsburg with its rides and rollercoasters is a must-do.

Recommended Hotel: Williamsburg Lodge, Autograph Collection

Related: Top Restaurants: Williamsburg

15. Chincoteague Island

Chincoteague Island

Chincoteague Island, VA (757) 336-6161 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Famous for the wild ponies running across the sandy beaches, Chincoteague Island is a gorgeous barrier resort island in Virginia.

With its relaxed and laid-back ambiance, pristine nature and spectacular sunsets, the Chincoteague Island is the perfect place if you’re in the search for serenity.

Explore the gorgeous beauty of the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in your leisure or visit Assateague, the sister island of Chincoteague.

The area is replete with outdoorsy activities like boating, fishing, hiking, biking, horseback riding and kayaking.

Or, you can simply book a sunset cruise and spot wild ponies, dolphins and eagles.

Recommended Hotel: Comfort Suites Chincoteague Island Bayfront Resort

16. Mount Vernon

mount vernon

3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway Mount Vernon, VA 22121 (703) 780-2000 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Situated on the banks of the Potomac River, Mount Vernon is the picturesque plantation house belonging to George Washington, the first president of the United States.

Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, the house dates back to the mid-1700s.

You can tour the mansion, meet the farm animals on the estate, view how weaving, blacksmithing, spinning and grinding corn were done in the past and stroll through the beautifully landscaped gardens of the estate.

You can also visit the two other historical plantations nearby, the Woodlawn Mansion plantation and Gunston Hall.

Recommended Hotel: Best Western Plus Mount Vernon – Fort Belvoir

17. Lexington


Lexington, VA (540) 462-3700 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

A city in the state of Virginia, Lexington is home to the Washington and Lee University and Virginia Military Institute.

These college campuses are filled with historic buildings, the famous Lee Chapel and Museum and the largest collections of ceramics in the country.

In the historic city of Lexington, you can visit the Stonewall Jackson House, stroll through the beautiful Boxerwood Nature Center and Woodland Gardens, take in the scenery from the Natural Bridge Park, watch a performance at the Theater at Lime Kiln and drink beer at the Devil’s Backbone Outpost Brewery.

Recommended Hotel: The Gin Hotel, Ascend Hotel Collection

Related: Things to Do in Virginia

18. George Washington and Jefferson National Forests

george washington and jefferson national forests

George Washington and Jefferson National Forests Millboro, VA 24460 (540) 265-5100 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

If you love the great outdoors, then you’re sure to love the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, which combine to form one of the biggest land areas in the eastern part of the country.

The parks are home to 17 designated wilderness areas, filled with gushing streams, brooks and hiking trails, offering some great recreational activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, hang gliding and caving.

You can also take a scenic drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway or trek up to Mount Rogers, the tallest peak in Virginia for a panoramic view or the High Knob Fire Lookout Tower.

In the winter, you have options for winter sports such as snowboarding, skiing and snowshoeing.

Recommended Hotel: Hampton Inn Covington VA

19. Massanutten Resort

massanutten resort

1822 Resort Drive Massanutten, VA 22840 (540) 289-9441 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Spread across 6,000 acres, the Massanutten Resort is situated in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia and is a fun-filled destination for you and the kids.

This unique breathtaking resort with its amazing landscapes and nature is among the premier resort destinations for all seasons and offers a variety of amenities, as well as hotel and condo accommodations.

Truly a one-stop destination for family getaways, the Massanutten Resort, includes an indoor and outdoor water park, adventure and ski park area, two golf courses, shopping, recreation, a day spa and farm-to-table dining experiences.

20. The Inn at Little Washington

the inn at little washington

309 Middle St Washington, VA 22747 (540) 675-3800 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

One of the most romantic getaways in Virginia, The Inn at Little Washington started as a little country inn in 1978 in Washington, Virginia.

Frequented by politicians, celebrities and culinary enthusiasts, the historic inn gained international recognition.

The inn became the first and only 3 Star Michelin restaurant in Washington DC in 2019 and it has the distinction of being a AAA Five Diamond and Forbes 5 Star restaurant for the longest tenure.

The Inn at Little Washington has 24 luxuriously appointed rooms and suites that offer an ambiance of utmost relaxation.

You can stroll through the beautifully landscaped grounds of the inn, enjoy the delicious cuisine whipped up by Patrick O’Connell, the award-winning chef and owner of the property or taste the choicest of wines from the 14,000-bottle wine cellar of the inn.

If you want some activity, then you can play golf, visit the village market, go on a fruit picking tour, a winery tour or go antiquing.

For some outdoor adventures, you can head out to the Shenandoah National Park or the Luray Caverns.

21. Salamander Resort & Spa

salamander resort spa

500 N Pendleton St Middleburg, VA 20117 (540) 326-4000 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Looking for a romantic getaway with your partner, then you can head to the Salamander Resort & Spa for complete rejuvenation of your body and mind.

Located in Middleburg, the wine and horse country of Virginia, the Salamander Resort & Spa is nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains on a 340-acre property.

This Forbes 5-Star resort has beautifully-appointed rooms and offers luxurious amenities like an indoor pool, outdoor infinity pool, poolside cabanas, a 23,000 sq. ft. spa and wellness center with 14 treatment rooms, a full-service salon, a well-equipped fitness center and gourmet dining.

You can also take part in activities such as playing tennis, horseback riding, biking or wine tasting.

Related: Things to Do in Virginia with Kids

22. Eastern Shore of Virginia

eastern shore of virginia

Eastern Shore of Virginia (757) 331-1660 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

One of the most popular weekend getaways in VA, the Eastern Shore of Virginia is the longest stretch of stunning wild coastline located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay and stretches across 70 miles.

A nature lover’s paradise, the Eastern Shore of Virginia is home to 14 seaside barrier islands, the Tangier Island and the historic towns of Onancock and Cape Charles.

There are many historical buildings, small fishing villages and family farms that you can visit and see the watermen tilling tides and also experience the area’s rich history.

Visit the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, one of the most popular destinations in the area, where the Pony Swim and Auction is held every year.

Another popular place to visit is Assateague Island, which has beautiful beaches and you can see wild ponies grazing on the marsh grasses.

Recommended Hotel: Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Exmore-Eastern Shore, an IHG Hotel

23. Fredericksburg


Fredericksburg, VA (540) 373-1776 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

A charming little historical town in Virginia, Fredericksburg has plenty of historical buildings, attractions and storied battlefields that are sure to delight the history enthusiast in you.

Home to over 300 historical buildings dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries, Fredericksburg has many Civil War-related attractions to visit including the preserved parts of the battlefields where the Civil war was fought and the Fredericksburg National Cemetery.

If you want to do something that does not involve battle and bloodshed, then you can admire the brick mansion and beautiful gardens at the Kenmore Plantation & Gardens, take a tour of Ferry Farm, the childhood home of George Washington, explore the antique shops, galleries, enjoy the local restaurants and the numerous parks and trails around the town.

Recommended Hotel: Hyatt Place Fredericksburg at Mary Washington

24. Abingdon


Abingdon, VA (276) 676-2282 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Situated in southwest Virginia, Abingdon is a small charming town that is surrounded by the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains.

Voted as one of the “Coolest Small Towns in America” this historic and scenic little town is a wonderful weekend getaway.

A fun place to visit, the artsy and cool Abingdon has some stunning scenery that nature lovers are sure to love.

Stroll down the downtown district of the town with its tree-lined, brick sidewalks and explore the restaurants, shops, cafes and local breweries and visit the famous Abingdon Farmers’ Market.

Take in a show at the Barter Theater, which is renowned as the longest-running professional theater in the country.

Abingdon has loads of outdoor recreation and you can go horseback riding, biking or go hiking at the Virginia Creeper Trail.

Recommended Hotel: Comfort Suites Abingdon I-81

25. The Jefferson Hotel

the jefferson hotel

101 W Franklin St Richmond, VA 23220 (804) 649-4750 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Opened way back in 1895, The Jefferson Hotel is a luxury hotel situated in Richmond, the capital city of Virginia.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this iconic hotel is recognized as among the grandest and finest hotels in the United States.

The Jefferson Hotel combines old-world luxury with vintage décor and provides its guests with luxurious rooms, modern amenities and services.

The hotel is at a close distance from the Old City Hall, Richmond Convention Center, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, the historic Shockoe Slip, museums, restaurants, shopping and other entertainment venues.

Related: Family Hotels in Virginia

26. Iris Inn

iris inn

191 Chinquapin Drive Waynesboro, VA 22980 (540) 943-1991 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Located in the town of Waynesboro, the Iris Inn is perfect for a romantic weekend getaway with your partner where you can relax and rewind.

Spread over 19 acres of land, the Blue Ridge Mountain getaway offers stunning views of the Shenandoah Valley.

The lovely luxury bed and breakfast offers a wide choice of accommodations including luxury rooms, cabins and cottages.

At the inn, you can enjoy the views from the deck of the main inn, roast marshmallows at the fire pits or simply relax in your private hot tub.

Iris Inn is located at a short distance from the local eateries, wineries and sightseeing places such as Crabtree Falls and Humpback Rock and 500 miles of hiking trails with lush greenery, cliffs, waterfalls and creeks.

27. Primland Resort

primland resort

2000 Busted Rock Road Meadows of Dan, VA 24120 (855) 876-6593 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, tucked away on 12,000 acres of land, the Primland Resort is a luxurious, back-to-nature retreat in Virginia.

The resort is a wonderful place to get away with your sweetheart, where you can spend some quality time in the royal lodge or one of the resort’s romantic treehouses or log cabins that are perched over the Dan River Gorge.

The resort offers amenities such as a full-serve spa, meditation and yoga, classes, an 18-hole golf course and stargazing sessions at the resort’s in-house observatory.

There’s plenty to do around the Primland Resort too like archery, fly fishing, hiking, mountain biking, trout fishing or viewing deer.

28. The Goodstone Inn

the goodstone inn

36205 Snake Hill Road Middleburg, VA 20117 (540) 687-3333 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Located on 265 rolling acres of land in Middleburg, the horse and wine country of Virginia, The Goodstone Inn is a luxury countryside inn where you can unwind and relax with your loved one.

The property combines 18-century country-style charm with modern luxury, offering you the perfect romantic retreat.

The luxury inn offers a choice of 18 elegant guest rooms including luxuriously appointed cottages.

The inn’s amenities include a country spa, Carriage House bar, wine cellar, outdoor pool, a working farm and farm-to-table dining experiences.

You can relax with your significant other, cuddling in a cozy hammock, in front of the fireplace in one of the inn’s sitting rooms or on the outdoor patio.

And, in the summer months, you can get out and swim in the outdoor pool, go hiking, biking or canoeing too.

29. Virginia Beach

virginia beach

Virginia Beach, VA (757) 385-4700 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

With more than 30 miles of gorgeous golden beaches, Virginia Beach is perfect for a beach vacation with your family where you can soak up the sun.

The city also has a 3-mile boardwalk with shops. restaurants, nightclubs, bars and rides.

You can visit the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center, the Military Aviation Museum and First Landing State Park or climb to the top of the Cape Henry Lighthouse and take in the stunning views.

Or, you can enjoy various outdoor activities such as cruises, fishing, parasailing, surfing and kayaking and also indulge in some whale watching during the winter.

Recommended Hotel: Hilton Garden Inn Virginia Beach Oceanfront

Getaway Guide 

Comparing destinations: which one is right for you.

When comparing destinations, prioritize your wants and needs for a stress-free stay.

Ask yourself what interests you, what can make you comfortable, and the like.

But along with great features, some drawbacks shouldn’t be overlooked.

For example, The Ritz Carlton is a famous name, offering luxury with its upgraded suites.

Manage your expectations, though, because the quality can be a bit of a letdown.

The Omni Homestead Resort, on the other hand, offers a lot for the average traveler.

It has plenty of outdoor activities, kid-friendly amenities, and various room types.

But being a luxury resort, it can take a toll on your wallet.

Some guests find it too expensive for its decor and other minor issues.

Lastly, the Hotel Laurance is a unique, 12-room boutique hotel that looks and feels like home.

The only con is its need for more room variety.

If you’re looking for an alternative, consider The Mayhurst Inn.

It’s not just a hotel for couples but also for the entire family and even solo travelers.

It’s a beautiful bed and breakfast with plenty of cozy amenities and historical touches.

How I Picked The Destinations 

My work as a travel writer has led me to explore these destinations in person.

Not only did I make quick visits, but I also did extensive research about each location.

I also considered other travelers’ insights, experiences, and opinions, both good and bad.

Our Property Rating Method 

I rate these properties based on the following criteria:

  • Room Variety: I use this to rate the room options offered by every property. What room types are available? Can it accommodate different budgets, group sizes, and preferences? I ask myself these questions when evaluating the property’s room variety. 
  • Comfort and Cleanliness: This measures the overall cleanliness and comfort of the accommodations. Does it have comfortable beds? Are the rooms spotless and dust-free? These are important factors I consider when rating comfort and cleanliness. 
  • Location: This is used to evaluate how convenient and accessible the property is. How close is it to the attractions? Are there good public transportation options near the location? Is it easily accessible for families? These questions are important when I rate the location of every accommodation. 
  • Affordability: I use this to evaluate the property’s affordability. Are the room rates reasonable? Does the property have any additional fees? Does the property offer discounts or packages? I ask myself this in order to rate affordability. 
  • Family-Friendliness: This evaluates the family-friendliness of each property. Does it offer babysitting services and children’s activities? Does it have connecting rooms for families? I use these questions to rate the family-friendliness of the property. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What are the top romantic getaways in virginia.

The top romantic getaways in Virginia include Primland Resort, Alexandria, and Charlottesville.

What Are Some Of The Attractions At Virginia Beach?

Virginia Beach offers beautiful sandy beaches, a boardwalk, the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, and First Landing State Park. It’s a perfect destination for swimming, surfing, and other water activities.

virginia long weekend trips

Cozy, unique, and elegant, these are the best weekend getaways in Virginia.

They not only cater to specific types of travelers, but they’re family-friendly as well.

My kids and I enjoyed The Omni Homestead Resort’s breakfast buffet, hot tubs, and fireplaces.

Professional pianists also play beautiful music all day, every day.

On the other hand, Hotel Laurance is a more laid-back option that even my little kids loved.

We had a simple staycation bonding inside its rooms, which smelled as good as they looked.

Finally, we loved going back in time through The Mayhurst Inn’s historical aesthetic.

We strolled through its beautiful gardens, tasted wines, and fell asleep under the trees in the hammock. 

But what made The Ritz Carlton our top pick was its convenient location and cleanliness.

We had fun exploring the downtown area and coming home to spotless rooms.

It’s even better during important holidays with complimentary luxuries.

Visit during Christmas and enjoy champagne, chocolate, and candy canes at check-in.

Best Beaches In The USA

Virginia Vacation Guide

13 Great Weekend Getaways in Virginia

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If you’re looking for some top weekend getaways in Virginia , then you’re in the right place! One of my favorite things to do is to go on a long weekend vacation to some of my favorite Virginia towns and attractions! 

Whether you’re interested in exploring some of the best parks, historic sites, wineries, breweries, restaurants, or museums, you’re sure to find something to make your next weekend getaway memorable! 

The following list highlights some of my favorite weekend getaway destinations in Virginia. 

1. Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg is one of the top vacation destinations in Virginia, so you definitely won’t run out of things to do in this historic city! 

Building and gardens at Colonial Williamsburg

Williamsburg is a great weekend trip from Virginia Beach, Charlottesville, Richmond, and even Northern Virginia.

Some of the “can’t miss” attractions include the historic triangle of Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown. All three sites feature historic homes, forts, ships, demonstrations, re-enactments, museums, and more. 

Some highlights that I recommend are the excellent and thorough museum at Jamestown, touring the Governor’s Palace and Capitol Building at Colonial Williamsburg, and going on an evening ghost tour of Williamsburg! 

You can learn about even more of my favorite Williamsburg tours that will help you get even more out of your visit! 

Williamsburg has much more than history to offer. For you thrill seekers out there, be sure to check out Busch Gardens Amusement Park and Watercountry USA! 

Merchants Square is also a fun place to explore. The brick sidewalks are lined with boutique shops and some of the best restaurants in Williamsburg . Check out brunch at the Amber Ox Public House, lunch at The Cheese Shop , and dinner at Fat Canary.    

🛏️ Interested in staying in Williamsburg? Book a stay at The Colonial Houses – they have a pool and lots of charm! 🛏️

2. Charlottesville

Charlottesville is another top weekend destination in Virginia. I spent a memorable Labor Day weekend there with friends. 


If you love wine and beer, you will have no shortage of places to visit. Charlottesville and the nearby region are home to over 40 wineries ! 

Some of my personal favorites include Veritas Vineyards (I recommend staying for the four-course dinner at The Farmhouse at Veritas), historic Barboursville Vineyard , and Pippin Hill Vineyard . 

If you’re looking for some of the best breweries in the commonwealth, you’ll find plenty to choose from in and around Charlottesville, including Starr Hill Brewery, South Street Brewery, and Three Notched Brewery. 

And of course, Charlottesville is perhaps most famous as the site of Monticello , the home of founding father Thomas Jefferson. I recommend taking a guided tour inside the home. 

Then, take time to explore the property, which includes beautiful gardens, an excellent exhibit highlighting the life of Sally Hemings, and a family graveyard where Jefferson was buried.  

Another major site worth exploring is the University of Virginia , which features beautiful colonial architecture that was designed by Jefferson. 

And when you’re ready to sit down for a meal, head to the Downtown Mall , which is an outdoor mall where you’ll find many of the top restaurants in town , including The Alley Light (for French cuisine), Nook (for brunch), and C&O Restaurant (for French fine dining). 

Learn about even more of the best of Charlottesville, including the best hiking trails and pizza ! 

3. Alexandria

Alexandria is a large and varied area in Northern Virginia, covering sprawling suburban areas, parks, shopping malls, and more. However, the section known as Old Town Alexandria is a beautiful historic gem just steps from Washington, D.C. It definitely deserves a spot near the top of any weekend getaway list!

virginia long weekend trips

Walking the streets of Old Town Alexandria will transport you back in time to the rich colonial past of Virginia. The sidewalks are brick, and the buildings and houses are classic monuments to centuries past. 

Old Town features many restaurants and boutique shops to explore. I enjoy shopping for vintage clothes and unique furniture at the many local stores. Another highlight of Old Town is the Torpedo Factory Art Center, which is home to the nation’s largest collection of working artists’ open studios!

And you won’t be able to miss the towering George Washington Masonic National Memorial , which is a prominent temple in Old Town. You can book a tour of the memorial to learn more about its history and see artifacts from Washington’s time.

And because Old Town is located along the Potomac River, I recommend taking a memorable and scenic trip on the Potomac Water Taxi. From Old Town, you can book a trip to the Wharf in D.C. and National Harbor in Maryland. You can see schedules and book tickets online .  

Luray is a perfect weekend getaway destination. It’s just an hour and a half from northern Virginia, which makes it an easy drive. 

Luray Caverns - one of the best things to do in Luray, Virginia

Many of the main attractions are also conveniently located close together, so you can easily explore them in a short amount of time. 

Of course, the main attraction in town is the famous Luray Caverns which are the largest Caverns east of the Mississippi River. The caverns are immense and can take an hour or more to explore. Some of the main features of the caverns include the Great Stalacpipe Organ and Dream Lake.  

Right next to Luray Caverns, you can find a number of top attractions in town, including The Garden Maze, Rope Adventure Park, the Shenandoah Heritage Museum, Toy Town Junction, and the Car & Carriage Caravan Museum. 

Across the street, you will see the distinctive Carillon Tower, which features a nice little park and pond nearby. 

When visiting Luray, I also recommend making a stop at several of the other awesome caverns nearby. Skyline Caverns is just 22 miles from Luray and features rare and beautiful Anthodite formations , which like crystal sea anemones.  

Shenandoah Caverns are also nearby and worth a visit. There you can see “Breakfast Bacon” formations, which look like giant pieces of bacon made from rock and hanging from the ceiling in the caverns! 

5. Middleburg

Middleburg is a great destination in Northern Virginia, particularly if you love wineries! You can make a perfect winery weekend by booking a stay at one of the hotels or bed and breakfasts near this charming historic town.  

Greenhill Vineyards - one of the best wineries in Maryland and Virginia

Within a few minutes of Middleburg, you’ll find some of the best wineries in the region, including Greenhill Winery and Vineyards , which is one of my favorite wineries to visit. They feature excellent, robust wines, and the grounds have lovely rolling hills and a large pond nearby for taking a walk. 

The winery is also very dog-friendly. Some of the top wines at Greenhill include “Blanc de Blancs”, which is a delicious sparkling wine; Petit Manseng Reserve; and “Superstition.”

Other popular wineries nearby include Cana Vineyards and Winery of Middleburg, Boxwood Estate Winery, and Chrysalis Vineyards . You can learn even more about my favorite Middleburg wineries !

And definitely spend some time exploring Middleburg, which features a cute, walkable main street with dozens of boutique shops and restaurants.

Some restaurants worth visiting include the Red Fox Inn and Tavern , which is one of the best hotels and restaurants in Middleburg . The historic setting features a Tavern that serves a fabulous four-course meal with wine pairings.  

And if you’re in the mood for seafood, I recommend King Street Oyster Bar , which features a Happy Hour every day from 3:00 pm to 6:30 pm with $7 drinks and $1 oysters. 

6. Colonial Beach

Colonial Beach is a great beach destination in the Northern Neck. It’s one of the best beaches near northern Virginia . In fact, Colonial Beach is the second longest beach in Virginia, second only to Virginia Beach. As a bonus, it is much less crowded than Virginia Beach!

Palm Trees, sand, and water at Colonial Beach, VA

Colonial Beach has 6 different beach areas lined by a sidewalk/boardwalk, plus shops and restaurants like High Tides on the Potomac.  

The Colonial Beach region is also the birthplace of not one, but three founding fathers. You can visit the George Washington Birthplace Memorial Park , which is a gorgeous sprawling property with beautiful water views along Popes Creek.  The national park has a replica of the family home, stables, gardens, livestock, and extensive walking trails.  

The James Monroe Birthplace Memorial is also worth visiting. It features a replica family home that you can tour, a small museum and visitors center where you can learn more about Monroe’s life, and several beautiful wooded trails on the property. 

Other highlights worth exploring nearby include the fabulous Westmoreland State Park , which has campsites, hiking trails, picnic areas, playgrounds, and several beaches. 

And if you love wineries, you’ll find some great options to check out nearby, including Ingleside Vineyards and Monroe Bay Winery. 

Colonial Beach can be a perfect companion destination to visit along with Kilmarnock, which is also located on the Northern Neck. 

7. Kilmarnock

Kilmarnock is a charming small town located on the Northern Neck in Virginia. It features an adorable and very walkable Main Street, where you’ll find many of the main attractions, restaurants, and boutique stores in town. 

Hughlett Point Nature Preserve in Kilmarnock, VA

Make sure to stop at the Kilmarnock Town Centre Park, which has a dog park, amphitheater, playground, and walking paths. Also, I recommend the Northern Neck Popcorn Bag , where you can find dozens of delicious savory and sweet popcorn flavors like Chocolate Peanut Butter and Key Lime Pie.

If you venture a little beyond Kilmarnock, you’ll find the fabulous Good Luck Cellars winery and the Ditchely Ciderworks.  

And if you love nature, I recommend visiting the beautiful and serene Hughlett Point Natural Area Preserve, which includes trails by the beach, waterfowl, and cute crabs scrambling along the beach! 

For families, Compass Entertainment Complex is your one-stop shop for movies, miniature golf, arcade games, rope courses, VR, and much more.  

Finally, stop by the lovely and historic Kilmarnock Inn. The grounds are beautifully landscaped and the property pays homage to U.S. presidents. It’s a great place to stay the night or get a delicious brunch.  

8. Richmond  

The state capital is another great weekend getaway destination. Richmond is centrally located right off of I-95, which makes it a convenient place to visit from Northern Virginia, Charlottesville, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach. 

virginia long weekend trips

Richmond is filled with historical sites like the Richmond National Battlefield Park, which commemorates 13 Civil War battle sites around the city. 

St. John’s Church is another historic site worth visiting. It marks the spot where Patrick Henry gave his famous “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech. 

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts features an eclectic collection that includes Tiffany Lamps, Faberge Eggs, and Egyptian art and artifacts. 

Maymont is another major attraction in the capital city. The gilded age mansion also has 100 acres of gardens and an arboretum to explore.

Richmond is also a great destination for breweries. Some of the top breweries to check out include The Veil Brewing Company and The Answer Brewpub.

9. Stafford

Stafford is a lovely weekend trip that is conveniently located right along I-95. This makes it a great place to visit from Northern Virginia, Fredericksburg, or Richmond. 

Potomac Point Winery - one of the best things to do in Stafford, VA

Stafford County is home to a number of fabulous parks and nature reserves. Aquia Landing Park is one of the best beaches near northern Virginia. It sits along the Potomac River and features calm waters, wide Sandy beaches, and multiple picnic areas. 

Government Island is a tranquil oasis that is popular for dog walking and hiking through the wetlands and forests. 

Crow’s Nest Natural Area Reserve is a beautiful spot to go kayaking or watching the wetland wildlife.  

Stafford is also home to the excellent Potomac Point Winery and Vineyard , which is a great destination for a wine tasting or evening dinner. 

And if you’re interested in learning more about the history of the region, the Stafford Civil War Park is a fascinating drive through park that contains numerous artifacts, including several batteries and rock quarries. 

10. Abingdon

Abingdon is located in southwest Virginia, which can make it a little harder to reach, however, it is definitely worth the trip! 

The Tavern - one of the best things to do in Abingdon, VA

The adorable small-town gem is filled with important historic sites, including The Tavern, which is the oldest bar in Virginia and the eighth-oldest bar in the United States! 

You’ll also want to check out a performance at the historic Barter Theatre, which is the state theater of Virginia and has featured top actors in productions there.  

And if you love the outdoors, you’ll want to spend time exploring the Virginia Creeper Trail , which is a 34 mile trail that runs right through the town. It’s also one of the top rails-to-trails in the country!  

11. Waynesboro

No weekend vacation list would be complete without including the largest national park in Virginia! Shenandoah National Park is over 500,000 acres in size, which means there are many places to stay in and near the park. 

Mountains and Sunset at Shenandoah National Park - one of the best things to do in Waynesboro, VA

Waynesboro, VA is a great option because it’s just 4 miles from one of the entrances to the park, plus it’s only 28 miles west of Charlottesville, VA. In fact, Waynesboro is known as the Gateway to Shenandoah National Park! 

There are even more reasons to visit Waynesboro. You can walk, run, or bike along the Blue Ridge Tunnel Trail. The unique trail actually runs through an old railroad tunnel. It is  2.3 miles in length and is marked by endpoints in Afton and Waynesboro. 

If you love art, make sure to stop by the Shenandoah Valley Art Center . The center is the only full-time exhibition gallery in the city. One of their annual highlights is the Virginia Fall Foliage Art Show , which is the largest art festival in the Shenandoah Valley. 

You can learn more about the rich history of the region by visiting the Waynesboro Heritage Museum. It includes two museums that celebrate the history of Waynesboro: the Waynesboro Heritage Museum and the Historic Plumb House Museum. 

The museums include art, artifacts, memorabilia, photographs, writings, and much more that have been collected over the years.

🛏️ Interested in staying in Waynesboro ?  Book a stay at Residence Inn Marriott Waynesboro ! It has a pool, fitness center, and full kitchen! 🛏️

12. Cape Charles

Cape Charles is a charming historic town that is another perfect weekend destination. The town is at the southern tip of the Eastern Shore, south of Chincoteague. It is only an hour’s drive from Virginia Beach, about two hours from Richmond, and about four hours from Northern Virginia. 

The water near Cape Charles VA

One of the biggest local attractions is the striking Cape Charles Lighthouse , with its unique wrought-iron frame. At 191 feet tall, it has the distinction of not only being the tallest lighthouse in Virginia but also the second tallest in the United States! 

Also, make sure to explore historic downtown Cape Charles , which is home to one of the largest collections of Victorian homes in the country! Many of them were constructed from 1885 to 1920.

If you love the outdoors, I recommend visiting the Cape Charles Natural Area Preserve, which features 29-acres amidst a rare Maritime Dune Woodland.

In the warm weather months, Cape Charles Beach is a calm oasis for sunbathing, swimming, and watersports. 

13. Chincoteague

Chincoteague is the famous home of the wild Chincoteague ponies in Virginia! This makes it another great weekend getaway. 

Chincoteague wild ponies

Chincoteague is located on the eastern shore of Virginia. This makes it a great companion trip to Cape Charles, which is about an hour and a half south of Chincoteague. 

One of the most popular activities is to go on a boat tour around the island to see the wild ponies in their natural habitat. This experience can give you the opportunity to reach parts of Chincoteague that are otherwise inaccessible. 

You’ll also see much of the other wildlife in the area, including bald eagles, ospreys, herons, dolphins, and even whales. 

As you can imagine, water activities are a highlight in Chincoteague. You can rent a kayak or canoe for an even more up-close view of the waterways and wildlife of the island. 

One of the other can’t-miss activities while visiting Chincoteague is to try to see a rocket launch at nearby Wallops Island. You can also visit the NASA Wallops Flight Facility Visitor Center, which includes more exhibits and information about past, present, and future NASA missions. 

You can find the Wallops Island Launch Schedule online.  

🛏️ Looking to stay overnight in Chincoteague? Book a stay at the Comfort Suites Chincoteague Island Bayfront Resort 🛏️


Learn even more about the best things to do in Virginia!

Find out why Virginia is worth visiting

Colonial Williamsburg, VA house and garden

Take an epic car ride between North Carolina and Virginia

Great Smoky Mountains National Park - one of the best stops on the drive from North Carolina and Virginia

Explore the best national parks in Virginia

Shenandoah Mountains

Learn about the best day trips from Virginia Beach

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the view of Richmond Virginia at sunset. this is one of the best weekends get aways in Virginia

15 Best Weekend Getaways in Virginia

Here is a list of the 15 best weekend getaways in Virginia!

September 13, 2023 //  by  Follow Me Away //   Leave a Comment

Are you looking to escape and want to know what the best weekend getaways in Virginia are? Well, you are in luck because we have got you covered! Virginia is truly a gem when it comes to weekend escapes. There are practically any type of landscape and even vibrant cities to explore.

I absolutely love traveling to Virginia! One of my lifelong best friends lives here, it is near DC, one of my close work friends lives here, and I spent a lot of time exploring Virginia as a child!

I am here to show you some of the most unique getaways in Virginia, as I’ve had decades of experience to tell you all the best that you shouldn’t miss.

It doesn’t matter if you are looking for a romantic getaway, an action-packed adventure, or a step back in time, Virginia has got you covered. From the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains to the old-time charm of Old Town Alexandria, from the serene beauty of Chincoteague Island or a beach stay in Virginia Beach, this state is brimming with unique attractions and stunning views.

So, let’s dive in and discover the best Virginia getaways. Grab your overnight bag, it’s time to start planning your next unforgettable trip in VA!

city with lots of buildings, a highway, a river with rapids, and a sunset with orange and yellow sky

Best Weekend Getaways in Virginia

Virginia beach weekend.

Virginia Beach is a beautiful coastal city where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. It’s one of the best staycations in Virginia, any time of the year.

I have many friends who live here and have visited a ton of times, and it is totally worth a trip as there are many options for weekend getaways in Virginia Beach!

Virginia Beach is so much fun for its water-based activities. You will have time to book a whale-watching or dolphin-watching cruise it is an unforgettable experience on the Atlantic. Most boat tours will leave from Rudee Inlet on 5th Street at the oceanfront.

For outdoor lovers, the First Landing State Park is a must-visit. There are over 20 miles of trails plus 1.5 miles of sandy beach shores. It is the perfect place if you are in the mood for a long hike or bike ride. If you’re seeking a thrill, head across the street from the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront to iFly Indoor Skydiving! This fun inside adventure is perfect for any age.

Virginia Beach also has a variety of fun events throughout the year. From music festivals to wine or beer festivals, there’s always something going on. Check out the event calendar on the Virginia Beach website to see what’s on during your visit.

A romantic weekend getaway in Virginia Beach might include checking into the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront which has stunning views of the Atlantic, and all the romantic vibes you are looking for.

a beautiful Ferris wheel in the center of Virginia beach oceanfront with city in the background

The Greenbrier

The Green brier is a luxury resort that is also known as “America’s Resort”. It has been serving guests since America was founded back in 1778. It is situated in the breathtaking Allegheny Mountains near White Sulphur Springs and is a National Historic Landmark. 27 U.S. Presidents have visited The Greenbrier last 200 years.

One of my friends who lives in Virginia is always coming here! It is one of her favorite weekend getaways in Virginia for girlfriends and couples alike. So romantic and fun!

The resort is on 11,000 acres of beautiful mountains that give off such an enchanting setting for its guests. You can explore the huge property on a horse-drawn carriage for one of the most unique Virginia weekend getaways.

The Greenbrier is not just famous for its beauty and history but also for its amenities and activities on site. If you are feeling lucky it features an on-site casino where you can test your luck.

Check rates & dates here: Booking.com

the greenbrier resort in Virginia. This beautiful resort is a historic gem and is in the center of a mountain valley with green tress all around

Shenandoah National Park

Up next is one of the cheap weekend getaways in Virginia, Shenandoah National Park. It is best known for its stunning vistas, waterfalls, and diverse wildlife.

The park’s most famous feature is Skyline Drive. This is a 105-mile road that runs the entire length of the park along the Blue Ridge Mountains. This scenic route offers 70 overlooks that have breathtaking views of the Shenandoah Valley to the west and the rolling Piedmont mountain range to the east.

For hikers, the park offers over 500 miles of trails, including 101 miles of the Appalachian Trail. These trails range from easy treks to challenging hikes that lead to beautiful waterfalls, panoramic viewpoints, and quiet wooded areas.

Also, Shenandoah National Park is full of wildlife. Expect to spot a few deer, black bears, and numerous birds as you walk along.

Shenandoah offers a variety of accommodation options for those wishing to stay the entire weekend. You can choose from traditional lodges, and cozy cabins, or for a more rustic weekend, there are several camping spots to set up your tent.

This is truly one of my favorite weekend getaways in Virginia’s mountains.

the view from one of the hikes at the Shenandoah national park in virginia showing a brown rock with green trees and blue sky in the background

Massanutten Resort

Massanutten Resort is always rated as one of the best Virginia mountain weekend getaways. This breathtaking property is located in the heart of Virginia. It spans over 6,000 acres of mountainous terrain. It’s known not just for its size but also for the variety of amenities you can enjoy year-round.

Regardless of the season, you can enjoy a splash-filled day at the water park. In the summer you can enjoy the outdoor water park, and in the winter, make a splash at the indoor one.

For winter sports Massanutten Resort has the tallest vertical drop in all of Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. There are 1,110 feet of thrilling terrain, and 14 trails so all types of skiers can enjoy the mountain. When the snow stops, Massanutten turns into the coolest bike trail.

The location of the resort also adds to its appeal. It is conveniently located just minutes from the Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive so it is an excellent home base for exploring the natural beauty of Virginia.

Check rates & dates: Hotels.com

the view from the massanutten hike saying the high point is about 110 miles ahead with blue sky and white clouds


Williamsburg, Virginia, is a city steeped in history and tradition and makes for excellent weekend trips in Virginia. If you don’t already know, Williamsburg is on the map for its significant role in the American Revolution. And there is a living history museum that will transport you back to the 18th century.

There is also Colonial Williamsburg to check out. It is the largest outdoor history museum in the United States. Walk down cobblestone streets, visit the historic buildings, and meet interpreters dressed in period-appropriate clothes who bring history to life.

I have gone here so many times!! As a little girl, I used to dress up in a little bonnet and skirt and walk around Colonial Williamsburg with my parents and sister. It was really fun and I still love it as an adult!

In addition to its historical importance, Williamsburg also has a variety of modern attractions. It’s home to Busch Gardens. Which is an action-packed adventure park with roller coasters, delicious dining, and exciting themed events throughout the year.

Williamsburg is also known for its higher education. The most notable is the College of William & Mary, which is the second-oldest college in America. The beautiful campus adds to the city’s charm and attracts students from all around the world.

For outdoor lovers, Williamsburg also offers plenty of parks and trails to explore. Which are perfect for hiking, biking, and picnicking. Williamsburg is one of the best weekend getaways in Virginia for a well-rounded trip.

a horse drawn carriage in the center of historic williamsburg. this is one of the best weekend getaways in Virginia

Alexandria, Virginia, is one of the top places to visit in Virginia for the weekend! This historic VA city is on the banks of the Potomac River and is just a few miles from Washington, D.C. Alexandria is best known for its history, beautifully preserved buildings, and beautiful waterfront.

In the heart of Alexandria is Old Town, which is the city’s historic downtown district. It has cobblestone streets, colonial-era architecture, and plenty of boutiques shops, and dining options. King Street, the main street, is often ranked as one of the “Great Streets” of America.

One of Alexandria’s most iconic landmarks is the Torpedo Factory Art Center. It was once a naval torpedo factory, but now the building displays artists’ studios, and galleries, and there is even an archaeology museum inside.

If you are traveling with any history buffs, Alexandria offers numerous historic sites and museums. The George Washington Masonic National Memorial, the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum, and the Carlyle House Historic Park are a few of the top museums to check out.

And of course, we have to talk about Alexandria’s proximity to Washington, D.C . You can be in the nation’s capital in just under 30 minutes. You can also visit national landmarks like the Smithsonian museums, the National Mall, and the U.S. Capitol can be just a short metro ride away.

If you are looking to get outside during your weekend getaway in Virginia the Mount Vernon Trail is the perfect place to start. This is a scenic 18-mile path that runs along the Potomac River from Mount Vernon to Theodore Roosevelt Island. And, Alexandria’s waterfront is also a popular spot for boating, kayaking, and paddleboarding.

the view of the town of Alexandria VA with rivers and plenty of waterfront things to do . this is one of the best weekend getaways in virginia

The Omni Homestead

The Omni Homestead Resort is located in Hot Springs, Virginia. This is a luxurious retreat that offers plenty of activities and experiences for one of the most romantic weekend getaways in Virginia. This unique resort in VA is home to a two-acre water park or you can soak in the sun, take a refreshing dip, or simply relax by the pool.

There is also hiking to be done at the nearby Cascades Gorge. This picturesque trail features beautiful waterfalls and diverse blooms that provide a perfect blend of adventure and nature. Pack your clubs too because the Omni resort has one of the top-ranked golf courses and the nation’s oldest first tee.

And if you prefer staying indoors, the Omni Homestead resort has you covered there too. There is a private movie theater and a family game room that is the perfect place for some downtime. A weekend at The Omni Homestead Resort wouldn’t be complete without booking one of the spa services. Try one of the relaxing couple’s massage or refresh in the mineral hot springs that the area is famous for.

You can also book a daily historic tour which gives you a chance to learn about the resort’s history and hot springs. And for dining, there is everything from casual quick eats to fine dining right on the resort.

a beautiful view of the omni homestead resort with the beautiful greenery all around


Spending some time in Richmond is the best mini-vacation in Virginia. Richmond has a bright cultural scene, a rich history, and impressive foodie spots.

Start your visit in Richmond by exploring the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Here you can see a wide range of art from all around the world. To get your history filled in the American Civil War Museum and the Virginia State Capitol are must-sees.

Richmond is also known to have an active outdoor community. The James River Park has a variety of trails for hiking and biking. And the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden is another great spot to enjoy the great outdoors. One unique way to explore downtown Richmond is through the 1.25-mile urban walk along the James River. This will teach you about the importance of Richmond while learning and enjoying some fresh air.

For a taste of local culture, head to Richmond’s oldest neighborhood, Church Hill. Here you’ll find The Roosevelt, a Southern-style restaurant known for its Southern dishes and delicious craft cocktails.

You will also love shopping at the local boutiques in the Carytown district. And if you’re visiting on a weekend, don’t miss the chance to explore one of the local farmers’ markets, where you can find everything from fresh produce to homemade gifts.

Finally, make sure to visit Maymon. This is a 100-acre Victorian estate featuring beautiful gardens, a nature center, and a historic mansion. It’s the perfect spot to unwind and soak up some local VA history.

a beautiful view of the Alexandria town in Virginia with buildings and a railroad running through the center with a orange sunset in the sky and green trees


Charlottesville is one of the best locations for a Virginia girl’s trip ideas. It is a perfect blend of history, culture, and outdoor beauty.

Start your visit to the historic Monticello which was once the home of Thomas Jefferson. This beautifully preserved plantation gives guided tours that provide insight into Jefferson’s life and his many contributions to the nation’s history.

Just a short drive from Monticello is James Monroe’s Highland. This is another historic presidential home that’s worth a visit. And the University of Virginia, founded by Jefferson himself, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a stunning campus

For lovers of the great outdoors, Charlottesville, VA is a start of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah National Parks. There are numerous hiking trails, beautiful drives, and opportunities for wildlife spotting. Closer to town, you can enjoy a leisurely stroll or bike ride along the Rivanna Trail, a 20-mile urban wilderness trail.

Charlottesville VA is also known for its vibrant arts scene. The downtown pedestrian mall has art galleries, theaters, shops, and restaurants. After that try to catch a show at the Paramount Theater or enjoy live music at one of the many venues around town!

Foodies will fall in love with Charlottesville’s culinary scene. From farm-to-table restaurants to food trucks, there’s something for everyone. And don’t miss the chance to visit one of the area’s many vineyards. Charlottesville is in the heart of Virginia wine country and offers plenty of opportunities for wine tasting.

Finally, all bookworms should visit the New Dominion Bookshook. This is the oldest independent bookseller in Virginia. It’s the perfect place to pick up a new read and enjoy the cozy and welcoming atmosphere. Heading in Charlottesville is one of the best weekend getaways in Virginia!

the beautiful Monticello home in virginia. this is a historic brick building with beautiful tulips out front.

Lexington, Virginia, is a charming small VA town known for its rich history, natural mountain beauty, and walkable downtown area. It makes for one of the best and inexpensive romantic getaways in Virginia filled with a variety of activities.

Start your visit at the Visitor Center of Lexington. Here, you can map out your itinerary and learn about Lexington’s history. The University Chapel and Galleries are also worth a visit, offering a glimpse into the educational and artistic legacy of the region.

The outdoors is one of the reasons Lexington is special. You can spend time hiking in parks or exploring the Rockbridge County area. Food lovers will find plenty to savor in Lexington. The town boasts numerous restaurants, ranging from cozy cafes to upscale dining establishments.

The Main Street in Lexington has everything you want in a shopping experience. There are a number of boutiques, galleries, and restaurants just steps away, it’s an ideal place to spend a leisurely afternoon picking up one-of-a-kind finds. You will be so happy you picked Lexington, it is one of the best weekend getaways in Virginia.

the streets of downtown Lexington. lined with red brick buildings and this old downtown is one of the best weekend getaways in Virginia

Cape Charles

Cape Charles, Virginia, is a hidden gem on the Eastern Shore. It is the perfect place for a quiet family weekend getaway in Virginia. It has a very laid-back small-town vibe. You will love the historic charm, beautiful beaches, and a relaxed atmosphere.

During your stay, start by exploring the downtown’s sweet little shops that offer unique local goods. The downtown area is full of life and perfect for leisurely strolls. You find a local brewery, distillery, ice cream shop, and oceanfront restaurants. In the evenings, there’s nothing like ending the day with a beautiful sunset over the Chesapeake Bay.

One of the top attractions in Cape Charles is the beachfront. This is the perfect place to relax, soak up the sun, and take a refreshing swim in the clean water. You can also visit Kiptopeke State Park, which is an excellent place for hiking, fishing, and camping. Both of these locations allow dogs on the beach year-round. So bring the whole family and enjoy one of the best weekend getaways in VA.

the beautiful cape Charles marina at sunset you can see boats and the sunsetting perfectly

Lake Moomaw

Lake Moomaw is located in the mountains of western Virginia. This beautiful lake is a quiet haven if you are looking to escape for the weekend. The 2,530-acre lake is ideal for boating, canoeing, and fishing. Rig your poles for Trout, bass, and catfish.

If you’re more of a land-lover, the area surrounding the lake has plenty of hiking trails. These trails offer stunning views of the lake and the nearby Alleghany Mountains. Moomaw is also surrounded by 3 campgrounds. Most camp spots are first come first serve, so try and get there early to the best spots.

For those who prefer to be in the water rather than on it, there are also plenty of places to swim. The lake’s beaches are a great place to relax and enjoy a picnic or campfire. If you are looking for one of the best weekend getaways in Virginia on a budget, Lake Moomaw is the perfect place for you!

a photo of the gorgeous lake moo maw in Virginia. the mountain tops are green and the lake is very calm.

Luray Caverns

Luray Caverns, located in Luray, Virginia, is a popular destination for weekend getaways in VA and is known for its breathtaking natural beauty.

This was my Dad’s favorite place growing up and we visited many times. It is worth it and a great weekend getaway in Virginia for families. I know, because I did it growing up, and it is still cool!

The main attraction at Luray Caverns is the cavern itself. A self-guided tour reveals 19 different stops, each with a special geological formation. Be sure to take some time checking out the Luray Cavern Organ. This is a natural lithophone that produces musical tones when struck. There is also an underground lake that has the most beautiful reflections of the stalactites above.

Admission to Luray Caverns will also give you access to several museums in Luray. Check out the Toy and Car Museum for a look into the past. And the Luray Valley Museum will give you an insight into the local history of Luray.

If you have more time on your weekend trip, you can also explore the surrounding area as the Luray Caverns are located very close to the Shenandoah National Park. This is one of the best places to visit if you are looking for one of the weekend getaways in Virginia on a budget!

inside the wishing well of the luray caverns in virginia. the reflection of the light makes the wishing well look green and the beautiful caverns a dark orange.

Natural Bridge

Natural Bridge, Virginia is one of the best quick trips in Virginia. This small town has been an important part of US history and is a great place to relax in nature.

One of the main attractions is the Natural Bridge State Park. Here, you’ll find the famous natural limestone arch. It stands at an impressive 215 feet high and is a truly breathtaking sight. The park has beautiful forests and beautiful rock formations.

For animal lovers or people traveling with children, the Virginia Safari Park is a must-visit. This is a drive-thru zoo that allows you to get up close and personal with a variety of animals. You can purchase animal food, and the animals will come right up to your window and eat the food. Hold on tight to your bucket because the animals will try and knock it out of your hand and eat the entire thing.

Nearby there is also the Great Valley Farm Brewery and Halcyon Days Cider. Both are set in amazing outdoor venues and have a very relaxed atmosphere. All of these attractions make Natural Bridge VA one of the best places to go in Virginia for the weekend.

the natural bridge in natural bridge VA. this is a historical land mark where a natural bridge connects the two pieces of land.

Assateague Island National Seashore

Up next for fun Virginia weekend getaways, is the Assateague Island National Seashore. The Assateague Island is best known for its herd of wild ponies. These ponies freely roam around the island. For the best chance of seeing them, head to the marsh areas, this is their favorite place for a snack.

There is more to this VA barrier island though. It is 37 miles long and is located off the eastern coast of the Delmarva Peninsula. The sandy beaches, salt marshes, maritime forests, and coastal bays provide a range of areas that are the perfect place for exploration.

Assateague also offers fun activities like fishing, biking, kayaking, and hiking. The island’s south entrance is a quarter-mile east of Chincoteague, Virginia, and Ocean City, Maryland, making it easy to create no matter where you are coming from.

the wild ponies of assateague island national seashore in virginia. this island is one of the best weekend getaways in virginia

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11 Weekend Getaways in Virginia for Every Type of Traveler

virginia long weekend trips

Virginia’s history, variety, impressive wine industry, and beauty know no bounds. From charming towns a short drive away from the nation’s capital, like Alexandria, to idyllic horse farms in Middleburg to vineyards in Orange, Virginia is full of weekend getaways just waiting for history buffs, thrill-seekers, honeymooning couples, and vacationing families to experience. Spend the weekend exploring the former homes of America's founding fathers, including Monticello, Mount Vernon, and Montpelier. Or, try listening to folk and bluegrass tunes in Bristol, otherwise known as the birthplace of country music. Head to Shenandoah National Park, ride an ATV through the Blue Ridge Mountains , learn all about the life of poet Edgar Allen Poe, or just settle in with a nice glass of wine. No matter where the state takes you, or what type of sojourn you're seeking, we guarantee each of these Virginia destinations is worthy of a weekend drive.

Courtesy of Visit Loudoun

Northern Virginia is known for its horse farms and vineyards, and there is perhaps no place more charming to experience them both than Middleburg. Explore the town's main street, and pop into shops like Crème de la Crème , where you can find hand-selected French and Italian home goods, and Highcliffe Clothier , which sells custom and tailored clothing that works equally as well in Virginia or the English countryside. Grab artisan pizza and chocolate chip-and-Virginia peanut cookies at Knead Wine before exploring the National Sporting Library & Museum 's collection of equine paintings and sculptures. Sample the area’s viticulture at wineries like Boxwood and Greenhill Vineyards , or stop for a taste of the local cider at Mt. Defiance . Middleburg’s hotels are reason enough to visit, and gems like the Salamander , Goodstone Inn , and the Red Fox Inn , a favorite of Jackie Kennedy Onassis, will make you want to extend your stay.

Courtesy of Richmond Tourism

Richmond is many things at once: a modern state capital, a college town, and a history-rich city. The best part about Richmond is that it embraces its multifaceted persona and provides a kaleidoscope of choose-your-own adventures for visitors. Start at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts before continuing your exhibition adventure at The Poe Museum , which offers a fascinating look into the life and death of Edgar Allan Poe. After a tour of the city’s rich collection of museums, head outside to Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden , a 50-plus-acre site with a butterfly-filled conservatory, children’s garden, and Victorian restoration garden. Richmond’s hip, art-filled hotel, the Quirk , is a welcome place to lay your head after a day of exploring.


Courtesy Virginia Tourism Corporation

While many people arrive in Sperryville on their way in or out of Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive, the tiny, blink-and-you-miss-it town packs a punch for those who choose to stay. Sperryville is a jumping-off point for several fantastic hikes, like the  Hazel River Trailhead , which offers a challenging 12.7-mile out-and-back trail, and the 7.5-mile  Little Devils Stairs Loop , which rewards climbers with several waterfalls and sweeping vistas. Right off one of Sperryville’s main streets, Sperryville Pike, the Rappahannock Walking Trail offers a stroll rather than a sweat.

After your hike, relax at  Pen Druid Fermentation , which makes native beers and natural ciders, or  Copper Fox Distillery , which concocts bourbons, brandies, and ryes. Stop into Sperryville’s compact  Corner Store  for local produce, fresh bread, pies, and quiches, plus an expertly curated selection of wines from Virginia and beyond. Further up the road, you’ll find galleries, potters, and a great place to refuel with a cup of coffee: Before & After . Don’t leave without trying the pizza at Rappahannock Pizza Kitchen , a cocktail at Francis , or an intimate, candlelit dinner at the renowned 20-seat restaurant The Blacksmiths . The historic inn—and ale house— Hopkin’s Ordinary makes for a fantastic place to stay the night.

Courtesy of Virginia Tourism Corporation

Half in Virginia, half in Tennessee, Bristol is known as the town quite literally cut in two by the state line. This corner of the South has also been putting country music on the map since the early 20th century when talent scout and music producer Ralph Peer traveled to Bristol from New York City to record the songs coming out of the area’s hills and hollers. The most famous of those 1920s recordings, called the 1927 Bristol Sessions , were those of A.P. Carter and his family, of whom the legend, and reality, still loom large around Bristol today.

Start at the Smithsonian-affiliated The Birthplace of Country to immerse yourself in music history. Stroll Bristol’s State Street, divided by the Virginia-Tennessee state line, and explore a vibrant tableau of storefronts, lunch counters, and restaurants. Stop at gems like Willow Creek Antiques and Cheap Thrills Records , and grab a bite at mid-century-styled Burger Bar or  Blackbird Baker for dessert. Return to music in the evening at local venues like  The Paramount . Make the 35-minute drive to the Carter Family Fold  in Hiltons, Virginia. Part museum, part concert venue, and part dancehall, it doesn’t get more country, local, or authentic. Members of the Carter family introduce the evening, rock their grandchildren to sleep on the stage, and encourage the audience to join in the dancing. Stay at the in-town Bristol Hotel or at the luxurious country inn, Nicewonder Farm and Vineyards .


Charlottesville is known as the home of the University of Virginia, which has one of the most beautiful campuses in the South, but the town also stands on its own, thanks to its charming downtown and surrounding countryside. Start your weekend on campus exploring the interior of the Rotunda and walking the grounds. Remember to look into the dorm that once housed a young Edgar Allen Poe and visit the university’s cemetery, which dates back to 1828. From the campus, make your way to Monticello , Thomas Jefferson’s sprawling estate, to learn about the Renaissance man and his complicated legacy.

When you’ve had your fill of history, shift to filling your glass and sample the local terroir at vineyards like Pippin Hill Farm and King Family , which are noteworthy both for their grapes and their views. For a casual lunch, stop at student-favorite Bodo's Bagels or head to Dairy Market , the sprawling food hall in town with local options galore. Opt for dinner at 1799 , the restaurant at The Clifton , once the home of Jefferson’s daughter and now one of the area’s best places to stay. If you’re looking to stay closer to the university, it doesn’t get better than Oakhurst Inn , a boutique hotel located right next to the UVA campus.

Meadows of Dan

In the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Meadows of Dan stuns with natural beauty at all times of the year. Most know of this countryside—just 30 minutes north of the North Carolina state line—thanks to Primland , a mountaintop report that stretches across 12,00 acres. Arriving at Primland feels like arriving at a private grand estate that has been around for generations, even though it was only built in 2009. Explore the wilderness on the many hiking trails and ATV paths or during an afternoon of clay shooting. The highlight of a visit here is Primland’s observatory. The state-of-the-art facility allows for inspiring views of the night sky and includes lessons from a resident astronomer. While soaking in the Blue Ridge views and grounds makes it hard to leave Primland, outside the resort’s gates you’ll find the town of Meadows of Dan with its can't-miss sweet shop, Nancy’s Candy Co ., and nearby market and lunch counter, Poor Farmer’s Country Store .

Virginia Tourism Corporation

Escape to Orange for award-winning wineries, abundant history, and a rich food scene. Make your home base the Inn at Willow Grove , a tried-and-true historic inn with gorgeous views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The hotel was one of the leaders in establishing the county’s Edna Lewis Menu Trail, which honors one of the greats of Southern cooking, Edna Lewis. One of the first African-American women to write a cookbook that didn’t conceal her race or gender, Lewis is celebrated throughout the area. Sample your way through her cuisine at restaurants including the BBQ Exchange ,  Spoon & Spindle , and  Gordonsville Ice House .

When you’ve eaten your weight in barbecue, spend a few hours at James Madison’s Montpelier . As the home of one of both the United States and Virginia's founding fathers, Montpelier offers a view into Madison's life, legacy, and role in shaping the country. The house's powerful exhibit Mere Distinction of Colour shines a light on the story of the enslaved workers at Montpelier. Stop by the Orange County African American Historical Society , too. Later, make time to sample the award-winning wines at Barboursville Vineyards and Horton Vineyards . Shop the best of the area’s vintage clothing and quilts at Folkling in the charming town of Gordonsville and garden and home goods at the beautiful and expansive The Market at Grelen .

Just across the Potomac River from the nation’s capital, Alexandria feels distinctly unique from Washington, D.C. As one of the oldest cities in America, the town is brimming with 18th-century history and charm. Soak it in with trips to historic house museums like the Lee-Fendall House and Carlyle House . No visit to the town is complete without a stroll on King Street, the pedestrian thoroughfare that leads down to the water. Stop in at the Torpedo Factory Art Center , a former torpedo factory-turned-lively space for working artists’ studios and shops, and Old Town Books , a small, but well-stocked bookstore housed in a former bank (complete with an existing bank vault).

If you’re lucky enough to have good weather during your visit, head out to the river for a sunset tour aboard the tall ship Providence . Grab lunch at local favorite Virtue Feed & Grain and dinner at Josephine , which brings the romance of a French bistro to a former firehouse in Alexandria’s Old Town. End the evening upstairs at Bar Jo with a nightcap. Make time to venture out to George Washington’s Mount Vernon , which is just 20 minutes away—a visit to the former home of America’s first president is something to add to your bucket list. For the weekend, base yourself at the centrally located, historic Morrison House Hotel or the design-focused Hotel AKA Alexandria .

Bath County

Courtesy of The Omni Homestead Resort

West of the Shenandoah Valley and deep in the Allegheny Mountains, Bath County has been a four-season destination for generations, thanks to its natural mineral springs, rural vistas, historic retreats, and fly fishing. Back in the 18th century—1761 to be exact—an octagonal bathhouse was erected for locals and visitors to bathe in the mineral springs, making it America’s very first spa structure.

Since then, different iterations of the bathhouse have been built, and today you can enjoy the waters from the comfort of the historic Omni Homestead Resort . The hotel has been in operation for over 250 years and has welcomed an impressive 24 American presidents. Through the years (and a recent $140 million renovation), it has remained one of the country’s most beloved resorts. It’s far from the only place to stay in Bath County, however. The Fort Lewis Lodge & Farm mixes luxury and rustic charm on its 3,300-acre property. Base yourself here for a weekend of quiet swimming, stargazing, and country walks. Whether you’re a seasoned fisher or eager to take your first lesson, it would be a shame to come here without indulging in the county’s pastime. For some guidance, local experts like Matt Miles or Wesley Hodges will show you the ropes. Don’t leave without stopping by Troddenvale at Oakley Farm , a National Register of Historic Places site renowned for its cider made with homegrown apples. 

Front Royal and Shenandoah National Park

Courtesy of Virginia Tourism

Front Royal is known to many as one of the main routes into Shenandoah National Park, but it's a destination in its own right, too. The town is full of mid-century nostalgia. Its main street and roadside motels and attractions harken back to the tourism boom of the late 1930s when Skyline Drive was first extended into town. One spot, The Catamount Lounge , which opened in 2023, is embracing that throwback feeling. The cocktail lounge is an intimate space with retro decor and classic American cocktails and light bites. It’s a good place to spend an evening after spending the day hiking Shenandoah, cruising Skyline Drive , or visiting nearby Luray Caverns . Skyland and Big Meadows Lodge , the comfortably rustic lodges within Shenandoah National Park, can’t be beat for overnight stays in the area.

Rocky Mount

Less than an hour south of Roanoke , Rocky Mount never disappoints for a weekend trip. The small town offers it all: a walkable downtown, great restaurants and breweries, and a lively music scene. That’s a lot, especially considering the year-round population hovers around only 5,000. Rocky Mount might be best known as the gateway to The Crooked Road , the state’s heritage music trail. The Crooked Road guides you through the area’s rich bluegrass music heritage with information panels along the route that provide instructions on how to listen to audio recordings about each stop’s musical history.

Rocky Mount is also known for its current local music scene. Grab a ticket to a show at the Harvester Performance Arts Center , or opt for something more casual at bars that double as music venues, like The Alley Cat . Rocky Mount’s county, Franklin, is known as the Moonshine Capital of the World, so no visit is complete without sampling the local libations. Twin Creeks Distillery is a great place to wet your whistle. While Rocky Mount has some big hotel options, opt for a stay at one of the area’s historic inns, like The Claiborne Bed and Breakfast or the Early Inn at the Grove .

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Weekend Getaways in Virginia: Adventure, Battlefields, and Southern Charm

Imagine standing in the midst some of the nation’s most sacred grounds — battlefields that serve as the final resting place for thousands of fallen soldiers from this country’s bloodiest conflict. A thick fog creeps down from the peaks of the  surrounding Blue Ridge mountains  through a nearby valley as the hills glisten in patches of emerald green from the sun’s powerful rays.

This is early morning in Virginia, a state deeply-rooted in tradition and the early origins of a free nation. Nearly every town and city bear the contrast of a solemn scar in our nation’s more sinister history as well as reminders of the significant progress in our nation’s existence with landmarks, Civil War battlefields, and historic estates at every turn.

While rich in history, there’s a lot more to Old Dominion than meets the untrained eye. From wild ponies and white sand beaches to some of the best wineries in the world, you’ll find it all in these weekend getaways in Virginia.

Cradled between charming 18th-century cobblestone streets and the busy shorelines of the Potomac sits the quaint yet centrally-located seaside oasis of  Alexandria , Virginia. Whether traveling across the country or simply across the Potomac, Alexandria has everything visitors could ever want at their immediate disposal: high-end shops, wholesome food, gorgeous views, and southern hospitality of the highest caliber.

Also known as “Old Town,” Alexandria has become a must-see destination for travelers who come from near and far to experience the town’s sophisticated architecture and unparalleled arts and culture. Here you’ll find some of the nation’s most sought-after scenic hiking  and bike trails , quality brewed beers and specialty cocktails by the world’s top mixologists. Alexandria might sit in close proximity to the nation’s capital, but it’s never in its shadow.

Featuring hundreds of museums, restaurants, and historical sites, including George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate and a former World War II munitions factory, turned art gallery, Torpedo Factory Art Center, Alexandria has become an epicenter of extraordinary attractions and exquisite cuisine.

King Street, the city’s most popular path spanning more than five miles, offers visitors a swath of top attractions all on its own. Boutique shops, such as The Christmas Attic sell locally-sourced products and crafts, high-end eateries including  Blackwall Hitch  and Grape + Bean boast large outdoor patios, and ghost tours highlighting unsolved mysteries, murders, and legends are easy to find.

Hotels & Vacation Rentals - Alexandria

Where to stay in alexandria.

There’s no shortage of lodging options in this colonial town, either. From well-respected international chains to more intimate boutique hotels, Alexandria offers an impressive variety of accommodations to fit every visitor’s comfort and budget. Included among these top options is  Hotel Indigo Old Town Alexandria , a newly-established waterfront hotel that features rooms with wonderful views, a large outdoor patio, and a must-try seafood restaurant called Hummingbird.

Hotel Indigo Old Town Alexandria, An Ihg Hotel


Home to Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, this buzzing college town is full of decades-old history. Though tragedy has, unfortunately, put  Charlottesville  in the headlines, any local or University of Virginia alum will tell you that the ugliness seen last August is not representative of this historic, diverse hub in Central Virginia. The fact is, Charlottesville has something to offer visitors of all ages, no matter what their interest.

For history-buffs , Charlottesville is a must-see for Jefferson’s historic Monticello plantation house, the Rotunda at UVA, and President James Monroe’s Ash Lawn-Highland home. These popular historic landmarks are the trifecta for any U.S history lover and the sites provide in-depth tours to give all visitors glimpses of colonial life.

Any visitors looking for a unique shopping experience will also have the Downtown Mall at their disposal. The longest pedestrian mall in the U.S., you’ll find over 120 shops lining its brick walkways, offering a one-of-a-kind   arts and fashion experience. For visitors looking to try local cuisine, the Downtown Mall is also home to the fantastic  Whiskey Jar , preparing Virginian southern cuisine to a soundtrack of live music, and topped off with an abundance of whiskey.

Outdoor enthusiasts will love hiking along the beautiful peaks of the Blueridge Mountains or kayaking down the James River. The roads and trails around Charlottesville have been carefully preserved for generations, protecting the beautiful orchards and farms along the trails. This makes it the perfect spot for any avid hiker or biker looking to enjoy the scenery.

There’s a place for wine connoisseurs in Charlottesville, too, with the city’s vast selection of vineyards to spend the day at. With more vineyards than visitors have time to see, Charlottesville’s wine tour service will help all wine-enthusiasts sample award-winning wine from the best vineyards Charlottesville has to offer.

Hotels & Vacation Rentals - Charlottesville

Where to stay in charlottesville.

Omni Charlottesville

Hotel Omni Charlottesville

Chincoteague island.

With the Atlantic Ocean at its back door,  Chincoteague Island , Virginia is different from America’s big city resort beach towns. As the state’s only resort island, there are no crowded boardwalks, there are no traffic jams, and there are no high rises. Instead, visitors flock to this Eastern Shore seaside in search of serenity, a calming and relaxed atmosphere, the Bay’s spectacular sunset scenes, and unspoiled nature.

A short distance from the East Coast seaboard’s major metropolitan hubs, Chincoteague is the gateway to the Virginia portion of Assateague Island, home to the famous Chincoteague Wild Ponies. One of the last herds of wild ponies in America, the Chincoteague ponies are rumored to have arrived on the island after the shipwreck of a Spanish ship in the mid-18th century. As the town of Chincoteague began to blossom over the years, the ponies have been a treasured and protected feature by locals. It even inspired Marguerite Henry to publish the children’s book  Misty of Chincoteague , leading to the beloved film adaption. The book and movie forever changed Chincoteague Island from a small fishing village into a world-class tourist destination.

Today, visitors can sit along the waterfront and take in the beauty of the island at the Village Restaurant, a family-owned mainstay of the island. With only the finest and freshest locally-caught seafood, such as the Chincoteague Oysters and Stuffed Shrimp, it has been a favorite of locals and visitors over the past 40 years.

Hotels & Vacation Rentals - Chincoteague Island

Where to stay in chincoteague island.

Marina Bay and Suites

Marina Bay Hotel & Suites, Ascend Hotel Collection

Another of Virginia’s charming college towns,  Lexington visitors should be sure to take in the thrilling scenery from Natural Bridge Park during their trip down the 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway. Considered one of the most scenic routes in the world, passengers are encouraged to roll their windows down and have their cameras ready.

A town fit for true craft beer connoisseurs, Lexington has made a name for itself among travelers and breweries nationwide. Visitors should head to one of the town’s most popular hoppy stops, the  Outpost Brewery and Tap Room  — a brewery located on a beautiful Virginia hillside. Here, they can sample Virginia’s own Devil’s Backbone brew, while picnicking with some favorite local grub in the Bier Garden.

For the holidays, the Natural Bridge State Park Annual Festival of Trees and Luminary Nights is sure to get visitors in the holiday spirit as trees are adorned with thousands of sparkly bulbs. As an added bonus, attendees can vote for their favorite tree by placing a donation of school supplies or non-perishable foods that are awarded to the local Habitat for Humanity.

Hotels & Vacation Rentals - Lexington

Where to stay in lexington, virginia, the georges.

Forty miles south of the marble halls that fill our nation’s capital, rolling green hills defined by white picket fences, riding helmets, and jodhpurs span as far as the eye can see. Throughout this horse and hunt capital’s short but narrow main street, centuries-old historic buildings and high-end boutique shops share space with the uneven brick and stone sidewalks.

Known as the epicenter of old southern money, picturesque horse stables create cut-outs against the emerald blue sky on days where the sun’s rays hit the blades of grass just right. At first glance,  Middleburg ’s polished exterior emits a sense of guarded privacy unlike other countryside towns of its size, but at its core, the residents of this sleepy southern town embody the sheer grit and grace of southern charm.

In the spring, thousands of spectators flock to the town’s rolling hillsides to catch the steeplechase races while enjoying a glass of chilled sparkling Blanc de Blanc 2015 from the town’s most popular winery, Green Hill. In the summer, groups gather in Adirondack chairs surrounding bonfires at the local resorts to roast marshmallows and sip on mint juleps.

The locals, many whose families have resided in Middleburg for decades, know each and every pub, restaurant, and coffee shop in the town’s mile radius — as well as what to order at each one. One of the most popular destinations for visitors to hang their hat is the Red Fox Inn, where dishes such as creamy “Virginia Peanut Soup” and “Red Fox Fried Chicken” with smashed red jacket potatoes headline the menu. The innkeeper, Turner Reuter, says the original structure of Red Fox Inn dates from 1728.

The town is also home to an array of garden walks and estate tours that are offered both in the spring and at Christmas while polo games are a favorite pastime on Sundays during the summer months.

Hotels & Vacation Rentals - Middleburg

Where to stay in middleburg, virginia.

Goodstone Inn & Restaurant

Goodstone Inn & Restaurant

Nestled firmly in the valley of the Blue Ridge Mountains,  Roanoke  is the go-to location for anyone trying to get the full impact of the sprawling Appalachian Mountains.

Roanoke offers the ideal outdoor adventure for any future-mountaineer, full of hiking, biking, climbing, and paddling to fully take-in the beauty of the surroundings. One of the 10 most bike-friendly areas in the U.S., Roanoke’s incredible trails are great for bird and wildlife watching. If visitors want to take a more unconventional path to touring the mountains, Roanoke’s beautiful rivers are perfect for kayaking and canoeing. All of these paths lead to the must-see iconic symbol of Virginia’s Blue Ridge—the Roanoke Star.

If it is slightly too cold to traverse up the mountain, Roanoke’s natural sites and the Mill Mountain Zoo make sure there is still an adventure to be had. The underground Dixie Caverns and the Natural Bridge Caverns are excellent places to explore any time of the year, allowing for some of the most notable natural wonders on the continent to be seen. If visitors are unable to spot any wildlife during their hike up the mountains, the Mill Mountain Zoo is home to dozens of species to make sure everyone has had their fill of wildlife.

For the people who would rather look at the beauty of the mountains from afar, there is no shortage of activities to be found in the town itself. While the typical major chain retailers and department stores can be found downtown, Roanoke has an obvious preference for farmers markets, boutiques, and antique shops. Black Dog Salvage, a 40,000 square-foot warehouse featured on the popular television show “Salvage Dawgs” on the DIY Network, has a stunning variety of antiques and commercial salvage and is a must-see for anyone in the area.

After a day of hiking up the mountain, Roanoke’s locals show that the best way to wind down is visiting their historic downtown district. Filled with breweries, art galleries, Civil War landmarks, and live music venues like the Crooked Road, guarantee visitors jam-packed, entertaining nights as well. Visitors can also check out the famous  Alexander’s  for a seasonally changing menu based on locally-sourced produce.

Hotels & Vacation Rentals - Roanoke

Where to stay in roanoke.

Hotel Roanoke and the Conference Center

Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center, Curio Collection By Hilton

The beloved capital of Virginia is the epitome of all Virginia has to offer. A sprawling metropolis, downtown, and north, east, south, and west  Richmond  all seem to embody a different feeling. Visitors will be able to experience four separate entities all for the price of one. In each district, there have been a cultural, food, art, and  craft beer revolutions  that have made Richmond a cultural focal point on the east coast.

To truly experience the cultural hub that Richmond has become, visit the Fan district in West Richmond. The center of the City Beautiful movement in the 19th century, the Fan is the location of many boutiques and locally-owned cafes and restaurants, such as the vibrant Cuban  Kuba Kuba  or the quirky Village Cafe (be sure to try their legendary milkshakes!).

The art scene in Richmond has also exploded in recent years, but visitors do not have to visit any of its art galleries to truly experience it. With the Richmond Mural Project working each year to have murals painted throughout the city by local and international artists, the city itself has become an on-going piece of art. This project, which includes famous murals such as “Moonshine” on Grace Street, has turned even the more-neglected areas of Richmond into reinvigorated and beautiful scenes.

Richmond, however, is not just for the city-dweller. With the James River flowing through the city, Richmond has the only class III and class IV urban rapids in the country, making it an excellent option for anyone looking to spend their weekend kayaking and canoeing. The Henricus Historical Park and the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden also connect art and nature in the center of the city.

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Where to stay in richmond.

The Jefferson

The Jefferson Hotel

Virginia beach.

As one of the most popular seaside towns on the east coast,  Virginia Beach  boasts pristine beaches, an active nightlife, and endless amounts of outdoor activities for the whole family. With an array of fine dining restaurants available close to the waterfront and throughout the city, the options are endless.

After a hearty meal of amazing beer battered fish n’ chips at  11th Street Taphouse Bar & Grill , take a stroll down Virginia Beach’s famous three-mile boardwalk. During the day, it is an ideal location for strolling, rollerblading, and biking with friends. Not only will visitors be meandering along the ocean, but they will be able to see the amazing nautical sculptures along the walkway, including the famous 24-foot bronze King Neptune statue. At night, it becomes a hub of live entertainment with musical entertainment along the boardwalk and on its four oceanfront stages.

Looking for more than just a swim in the Ocean? Boat tours allow for families to venture out into the calm waters while experiencing a variety of local wildlife and the picturesque view of the shoreline. For anyone who wants a bit more adventure, get airborne by going on a parasailing tour.

After a day in the sun and running up and down the beach, visitors can take advantage of uptown Virginia Beach, which offers an exceptional shopping experience as well, including the Town Center and the Pembroke Mall. The Town Center offers premier retail, dining, and live entertainment such as the Funny Bone Comedy Club and Restaurant.

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Where to stay in virginia beach.

Hilton Garden Inn at the Virginia Beach Ocean Front

Hilton Garden Inn Virginia Beach Oceanfront


As one of the most historic and oldest settling towns in the United States, Colonial  Williamsburg  takes visitors back to a time when life seemed simple. The historic district is most famously known as the world’s largest living history museum with 301 acres of restored, reconstructed and historically-furnished buildings allowing for visitors to truly immerse themselves in what colonial life was like.

Here, experienced actors are adorned with replica costumes surrounded by realistic backdrops of stores and workshops to give visitors a glimpse of what colonial life was like. Young and old souls alike will enjoy this hands-on exposure to the trials and tribulations of early American settlers in the colonial era, 365 days a year. There is even a ghost tour offered Monday through Saturday that will allow visitors to take in the spookier-side of the historical town.

Adventurous travelers can partake in a number of outdoor activities, such as biking, hiking zip-lining, and boating through companies like Jamestown Discovery Boat Tours. For those looking to achieve the ultimate vacation full of rest and relaxation, Williamsburg also offers a broad selection of quaint upscale restaurants, luxurious spas, and world-class golf courses. According to the locals, the dining hot-spots to consider include Duck Donuts, The Hound’s Tale, and  Old Chickahominy House  right in Colonial Williamsburg.

Family fun can also be had at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, the world’s most beautiful theme park. Designed to look like classic Europe with villages modeled after the French countryside, hamlets of Scotland, and rural Germany, Busch Gardens Williamsburg allows for a day trip around Europe without ever leaving the country. Busch Gardens’ Christmas Town, which runs from November 24 through January 1, 2018, on select days, makes it all the more exciting for visitors, featuring the biggest Christmas light display in North America. With more than eight million lights, thrilling roller coasters, festive entertainment, and wholesome dining, travelers come from near and far to revel in the magic of the holiday spirit.

The lighting of the town tree is also widely attended. Those seeking a dash of holiday cheer gathers every year at the Square of Colonial Williamsburg on December 21 for a reading of the classic book, “The Night Before Christmas.” Surrounded by the twinkling lights of a newly lit tree, people of all ages come to enjoy a memorable evening.

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Where to stay in williamsburg, virginia.

Williamsburg Lodge Autograph Collection

Williamsburg Lodge, Autograph Collection

To get a dose of raw, unfiltered American history with a side of modern flair, a trip to the historic village of  Yorktown  is sure to do the trick. The city’s stunning waterfront paired with a two-acre beach and the famous revolutionary war battlefields make it a top destination for seasoned history buffs and young families alike.

A stroll down the Historic Riverwalk Landing will lead visitors to a number of top-notch seafood restaurants, such as  Riverwalk Restaurant . A short walk from the historic Main Street and the battlefields, the Jumbo Grilled Tiger Shrimp & Polenta is the best introduction to Virginian seafood that any visitor can have. For those wanting to save a few dollars, the landscape is perfect for a picnic spread overlooking the river.

Families can also tour Yorktown by sailing down the York River on the Yorktown Schooner’s  Alliance  and  Serenity . These charters give daily tours that allow visitors to look for dolphins and osprey, take in the historic town, enjoy original sea hymns sung by the deck hands, and learn how to tie sailor’s knots. For those who prefer to stay on solid ground, visitors can tour Yorktown Battlefield, the battlefield where George Washington won the Revolutionary War, is open year-round for tours.

During the holiday season, watch brightly decorated boats compete for “Best in Show” while the Yorktown waterfront twinkles from a spectacular floating parade of lights. A stroll along the waterfront around this time will also include carolers, bonfires, musical performances, and complimentary hot cider.

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Marl Inn Bed & Breakfast

Marl Inn Bed & Breakfast

Have your own favorite weekend getaways in Virginia? Let us know in the comments!

*Feature photo courtesy of Bill Crabtree Jr., Virginia Tourism Corporation


Best Weekend Getaways in Virginia

Shenandoah National Park - Best weekend getaways in Virginia

Virginia, known as the “birthplace of a nation” is beautiful in every season. It offers some amazing weekend getaways from quiant little to towns, to bigger cities and beautiful national parks. It is a great place to visit for couples and families alike. In this post you will find the best weekend getaways in Virginia.

Table of Contents

10 Amazing Weekend Trips in Virginia

Richmond, virginia .

Richmond - weekend getaways in Virginia

Recommended by Tegan and Alex of Why Not Walk Travel Guides

Richmond, the capital city of the Commonwealth of Virginia, is one of the oldest cities in the United States and a fantastic place for a weekend trip. Fans of history, architecture, gastronomy, and Southern culture will feel right at home here, and there are several can’t-miss attractions for a fun trip.

Its prime location on the James River makes it a premier spot for kayaking, swimming, and white-water rafting, as well as long walks along its banks or on Belle Isle if you’re not in the mood for a swim.

Some museums to consider include the Science Museum and the American Civil War Museum, which includes what is known as the White House of the Confederacy, where Jefferson Davis resided during the Civil War. The Hollywood Cemetery, founded in 1847, has unique headstones and mausoleums to explore, as well as guided tours.

Be sure to take a stroll around the Short Pump Town Center for some of Richmond’s best shopping and dining options while you’re here, as well.

Roanoke, Virginia

Mcafee Knob rock ledge landmark in the Appalachian trail

Recommended by Becky of SightDOING

Roanoke doesn’t have a lot of glitz or glamour, but it’s an awesome base for outdoor adventure in the Blue Ridge Mountains! Staying here puts you close to some of the  best hikes in Virginia , like the iconic McAfee’s Knob.

Visitors can also try out the area’s mountain biking trails or stick to paved pathways like the Roanoke Greenway. At sunset, you can hike or drive up to the Roanoke Star for great views of the city below (it’s lovely to see everything lit up after dark).  Best of all, Roanoke has a walkable downtown which is fun to explore.

Don’t miss the historic farmer’s market, which is at its best on summer Saturdays. You’ll also find one-of-a-kind shops, local restaurants, and cold beer to wash everything down.

There’s no bad time to visit Roanoke and its location right on Interstate 81 means it’s an easy and fun Virginia getaway!

Shenandoah National Park

 Little Stony Man Cliffs, Shenandoah National Park

Recommended by Erin Gifford from Go Hike Virginia

Cruise along Shenandoah National Park’s famed Skyline Drive, making stops at spectacular viewpoints, like Signal Knob Overlook (milepost 5.5) and Spitler Knoll Overlook (milepost 48.0) for sweeping vistas across the majestic Shenandoah Valley.

Lace up your hiking boots. There are more than 500 miles of  hiking trails at Shenandoah National Park . The short and sweet hike to Little Stony Man Cliffs wows with sensational views of Massanutten Mountain. Meanwhile, the hike to tumbling 67-foot-tall Rose River Falls rewards with a dreamy swimming hole.

Stay the weekend in a well-appointed guest room or rustic-chic cabin at Skyland, which sits at the highest point on Skyline Drive. The brilliant sunset views from the outdoor patio are among the best in the park.

At the on-site restaurant, Pollock Dining Room, enjoy regional specialties, like pan-seared rainbow trout. For dessert, indulge in a slice of mile-high blackberry ice cream pie while gazing out an elegant wall of windows.

Cape Charles, Virginia

Cape Charles Virginia

Recommended by Megan of Virginia Travel Tips

One of the best weekend getaways in Virginia is the small waterside town of Cape Charles, Virginia.  The town, dating back to the 1800s, only has around 2,000 residents but it is the perfect escape during the summer months.

Cape Charles is located on the Chesapeake Bay on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.  It is in the southern part of the Eastern Shore and is home to one of the most famous historic districts in the state. There are over 500 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places list in the Virginia town and some have even been converted into  Cape Charles summer rentals  that you can stay overnight in.

Some of the most popular things to do in Cape Charles are to visit nearby Kiptopeke State Park, take a stroll around Savage Neck Dunes State Natural Area, and to have a seafood feast at Shanty Restaurant right on the water.  

All of these things and more make Cape Charles one of the most underrated Virginia weekend getaways and one that should be on your radar this year!

Delaplane, Virginia

Sky Meadows State Park

By Jennifer from FamilyTripGuides.com

The rolling hills and beautiful vistas of Delaplane is just one hour outside DC but feels like a whole different world! The foothills in Delaplane lead right to the Shenandoah Mountains and many people think it looks similar to the rolling hills of France or Germany.

The area is known for its many wineries and breweries so many sure to take some time to enjoy. Two great ones are Delaplane Cellars and Barrel Oak Winery. Both have outdoor tasting rooms with heaters.

One of the best state parks in Virginia is right in Delaplane, Sky Meadows State Park. There are lots of different hikes with beautiful views including a hike that takes you on parts of the Appalachian Trail. There is a wonderful “Children’s Discovery Area” which is on your first right after the entrance gate. There you will find much fewer people than the main historic parking lot (5 cars versus 50) and can hike without people in sight!

Lexington, Virginia

Natural Bridge State Park

Recommended by Blair of Expedition Introvert

Far west of Richmond, the town of Lexington is a nice, quiet college town in the middle of the Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains. Lexington is the home to the Devil’s Backbone Brewery, a popular beer brand in Virginia, which offers a lovely brewery tour and hosts an amazing restaurant that pairs their beers perfectly with each plate. Maybe take a brewery tour and stay for dinner after?

A popular place for families is a visit to the Virginia Safari Park, located just 10 miles south of Lexington, where you can feed free-roaming exotic animals from the comfort of your car. The best time to get there is right when it opens at 9 am as the animals will be very hungry and you will likely get plenty of laughs with the animals sticking their heads into your car. Just be careful of the cows with super longhorns! You’ll know when you see them.

Additionally, if you need a breath of fresh air, you can drive south from Lexington for about 20 miles to the Natural Bridge State Park, just a few miles further from the Safari Park, where you can walk under the Natural Bridge and even see where George Washington signed his initials onto the side. Continue the path all the way to the end to see a roaring waterfall at the end and take a nice break enjoying the wildlife

Abingdon, Virginia

Virginia Creeper Trail

Recommended by Catherine from Her Bags Were Packed

Abingdon, Virginia is the perfect getaway spot for a quiet weekend. Voted Best Small Town Food Scene (2019 and 2020) by USA Today’s 10Best.com, this charming little town has a lot more to offer than just great food. 

During your stay, make time to walk or bike the Creeper Trail, a 34.3 mile multi-use trail and member of the Rail-to-Trail Hall of Fame. No need to bring your bike along, there are affordable bike rental spots close to the trailhead.  

Catch a performance at the historic Barter Theater. Opened during the Great Depression, this innovative theater has not let Covid slow it down. Instead they have transitioned to contactless outdoor performances at the local drive-in. 

Other activities in Abingdon to include on your itinerary are shopping the historic Main Street, wine tasting at Abingdon Vineyards, tracking down the Pakalachian (Pakistan and Appalachian fusion) Food Truck, sampling a flight of hard cider at Tumbling Creek, and relaxing at the Martha Washington Inn and Spa.

Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach - Weekend getaways in Virginia

By Neha from  Travelmelodies  

One of the best weekend getaways in Virginia is to Virginia Beach. The vibrant beach is the most popular among residents of Virginia looking for a getaway to the Atlantic Ocean.

Nothing beats the charm of the place as it is where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. There is even the possibility of seeing the dolphins in the waters close to the shore. If getting up early in the morning doesn’t bother you, then watching the magical sunrise is unmatched.

You can choose to sit, relax by the beach and make sandcastles or indulge in the many activities around. Virginia Beach is considered a haven for the surfers. From novice to experts, it is a great place to surf on the East Coast. 

Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center is another place to visit if traveling with kids. From turtles, sharks, seals to crocodiles it is a great way to traverse the aquatic journey. Besides marine creatures, there is even an exhibit of dinosaurs as well. 

Chincoteague Island, Virginia

A Wild pony, horse, of Assateague Island, weekend getaways in Virginia

Recommended by Pamela of The Directionally Challenged Traveler

A wonderful weekend getaway in Virginia is the beautiful Chincoteague Island. Located about two hours north of Virginia Beach, Chincoteague is a more affordable (and less crowded) option for travelers. 

Chincoteague and its neighbor Assateague are a great mixture of nature and relaxing beaches. One of the best things to do in Chincoteague is to see a sunrise at the beach. While the sunsets are also gorgeous, to see the sunrise above the water is truly breathtaking.

For nature-loving travelers, there are a few places to explore other than the beach. The Wildlife Loop Trail is a great paved path for biking. You can see a variety of birds on the trail but also the Assateague Ponies. These ponies are unique to the island and are the stars of the top annual festival – the Annual Pony Swim! This event is held in July to raise funds to take care of the herd. You can also get a beautiful view of the area at the Chincoteague lighthouse.

A mixture of nature and relaxing at the beach makes Chincoteague a great weekend getaway in Virginia.

Williamsburg, Virginia

virginia long weekend trips

Recommended by Margie of DQ Family Travel

Williamsburg Virginia is a perfect place for a weekend getaway. The Historic Triangle Area which includes Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown is filled with activities to soak in the rich history of the area.

Start in Colonial Williamsburg, as it is considered a living history museum where you can walk through a restored colonial town which is a living history museum. Actors dressed in colonial garb play the role of craftspeople and shop owners. Here guests can participate in various demonstrations to explore daily life in the 18th century.

Some examples include taking a carriage ride through the main street, learning how a metalworker crafts a sword, watching a fife and drum parade, eating at a British tavern, or visiting an apothecary. 

Another place to visit in Williamsburg is Historic Jamestowne, as it is the site of the original colony. Visitors can walk amidst the old/restored structures and soak in the beautiful river views.

Close by is the Jamestown Settlement, which includes a museum on Virginian and Native American culture and three re-created outdoor areas, a Powhatan Indian Village, replicas of three ships that carried passengers from England to Virginia, as well as a fort and colonial village.

In Yorktown, guests can walk on the battlefield which was the site of British surrender during the American Revolution, and then learn about the war at the museum with 3-D movies, exhibits, and outdoor military encampment. 

If you are looking for something besides history, you could visit Busch Gardens Williamsburg, go golfing or create your own scents at the Yankee Candle Village. Regardless of when you visit,  the Williamsburg area  offers guests the opportunity to experience history come to life along with theme parks, delicious restaurants, unique places to stay, and fun-filled activities. 

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fall foliage on a virginia road

15 Fun Virginia Road Trips For Your Bucket List

June 3, 2021 //  by  Southern Trippers

There are so many Virginia road trips to enjoy whether you love to explore nature, visit cities, or have niche interests and hobbies. Virginia really has something for everyone!

They say “Virginia is for lovers,” but it is also for history buffs, hikers, foodies, and bird-watchers. There are plenty of Virginia road trips perfect for couples, families, or friends to make memories.

If you have a few days or even a week or more to spend in this beautiful Southern state, you should plan a road trip to make the most of your time and ensure you see everything you want. What are you waiting for? Here are some Virginia road trip suggestions to help you start planning an epic trip!

The scenic Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the best Virginia road trips.

Small Towns In Virginia Road Trip


There are so many cute, small towns in Virginia . It would be easy to make a fun road trip itinerary incorporating these places if you love small-town vibes. Start your trip in the mountain town of Roanoke. Hike to the famous Mill Mountain Star for amazing views of this town nestled in the mountains. Then, check out downtown and enjoy shopping and eating out.

Next, check out Lynchburg. Found on the James River and surrounded by mountains, this Virginia small town is full of civil war history. There are over forty miles of trails that loop through the town perfect for walking or bike riding.

Lexington is a college town in the Shenandoah Valley. This small town has many historic sites and museums as well as plenty of boutiques, art galleries, antique shops, and local restaurants and cafes. There are also great trails for biking.

End your small town Virginia road trip in Alexandria, just south of Washington D.C. and next to the Potomac River. With beautiful brick sidewalks and buildings dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries, you will find yourself in one of the cutest small towns in Virginia. This is where George Washington lived for part of his life and there is plenty of colonial history.

Alexandria is a cute small town in Virginia.

Haunted Virginia Road Trip

  • Wythe House, Williamsburg
  • The Boxwood Inn, Newport News
  • Cold Harbor Battlefield, Mechanicsville
  • Bacon’s Castle, Surry

Virginia is a very old state and there are many historic buildings found here. With a history involving slavery and wars, there are sure to be lingering ghosts. There are many infamously haunted places in the South , and Virginia has its fair share for you to explore. Anyone interested in being spooked or in paranormal investigations will want to take some haunted Virginia road trips.

Williamsburg is a colonial city with a few haunted sites including the Wythe House which dates back to 1753. In 1779, Lady Ann Skipwith died here unexpectedly, but she did not leave. Maybe she stuck around to haunt her husband who married her sister.

The Boxwood Inn in Newport News is another spooky location filled with up to seven ghost residents. After being built in 1896, the building has gone through many stages. Today, visitors can expect a spooky encounter if they chose to walk the halls.

The Battle of Cold Harbor took place in 1864. Since thousands of soldiers died here in such a violent way, it makes sense that some still walk here. Visitors to the battleground have reported seeing lights, smelling gunpowder, or hearing horses.

Lastly, make sure to visit Bacon’s Castle in Surry County. During the home’s long and sordid history, many enslaved people died here which might have lead to it being haunted. If you visit this 1650s era building, do not be surprised to hear strange sounds or see objects moving on their own.

A haunted Virginia road trip would be fun!

Virginia Waterfalls Road Trip

  • Great Falls Park
  • Upper White Oak Falls
  • Dark Hollow Falls
  • Devil’s Bathtub
  • Cascade Falls
  • Stiles Falls

There are dozens of amazing waterfalls dotted throughout Virginia. You could easily do a weekend getaway to find some or make it a longer trip to see even more. No matter which waterfalls you travel to, you will find gorgeous scenery. This is one of the prettiest road trips in Virginia.

Start your Virginia waterfalls road trip at Great Falls Park on the Potomac River and on the border with Maryland. The waterfalls here are not very big, but they are dramatic. If you want, you can get a kayak out on the water and paddle through the white water. There are also hiking trails with great overlooks.

After Great Falls, head to Shenandoah National Park. This beautiful location is a suggestion on many of these road trip lists. There are a few notable waterfalls here to discover, including Upper White Oak Falls and Dark Hollow Falls.

Devil’s Bathtub is a unique waterfall that runs into a pool in a gorge. If you don’t mind cold water, you can go for a dip after the hike there. You can find Cascade Falls by hiking a relatively easy four-mile round-trip trail. Stiles Falls is a 40-foot waterfall found at the end of a picturesque four-mile, round-trip hike.

Waterfall Virginia road trips are so pretty!

Coastal Virginia Road Trip

  • Virginia Beach
  • Cape Charles
  • Assateague Island National Seashore

Virginia is on the Atlantic coast and while there are not a ton of beaches, there are plenty of cute coastal towns to visit. A coastal Virginia road trip is bound to a be fun and memorable. Begin in Virginia Beach, the biggest beach town in the state. Here you will find great family-friendly beaches and unique attractions.

Next, head over to nearby Norfolk. Best known for its military base and large port, there are a ton of fun things to do here for everyone. If you like seeing shows or operas, check out Chrysler Hall and the Virginia Opera. You might also enjoy the Chrysler Museum of Art or the National Maritime Center where you can find the world’s largest battleship.

Drive the iconic Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel to reach the small town of Cape Charles. This cute, coastal town is a great place to find a quaint B&B or camp. Spend time here fishing, boating, or exploring the nature that surrounds the town.

Keep heading north to the Assateague Island National Seashore. You will find the idyllic seaside town of Chincoteague, wild ponies, and miles of beaches perfect for fishing and water sports.

Come to Virginia for a coastal getaway.

Virginia National Parks Road Trip

  • Shenandoah National Park
  • Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge
  • Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
  • Booker T. Washington National Memorial

There are a bunch of national parks and memorials within Virginia to visit whether you are into nature, history, or a mix of both. Shenandoah National Park is one of the most visited natural areas in Virginia. With amazing hiking trails, pretty waterfalls, and gorgeous overlooks, you will have fun exploring and camping in this park.

The Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is the place to go to see birds and wild horses. The famous Chincoteague ponies are the descendants of horses that belonged to early Spanish settlers. Now you can find these majestic animals wandering on the beach.

The Cumberland Gap National Historical Park is a mountain pass that was used by Native Americans, pioneers, and settlers. In the Civil War, both sides fought to control the pass. Now you can hike in the footsteps of famous people like Daniel Boone and visit the historic Hensley Settlement.

There are many famous homes to find in Virginia, including the farm where Booker T. Washington was born. While he was born a slave, he went on to become one of the most influential Black men of his time. At the Booker T. Washington National Memorial, you can walk the quarter-mile Plantation Trail and see where Washington lived as a child.

Shenandoah National Park is prefect for Virginia road trips.

Epic Nature Road Trip

  • Luray Caverns
  • Natural Tunnel
  • Great Dismal Swamp

Virginia is full of epic nature, and it is not all in Shenandoah National Park! Go in search of some unique and hidden gem areas where you can become one with nature. You will fall in love with the amazing Luray Caverns. Their cathedral-sized rooms hold grand stalactites and stalagmites and even a lake.

The Natural Tunnel near Duffield runs 300-yards through the Appalachian Mountains. The tunnel is so large, that it has been used as a train route since the late 1800s. You can take a tour into the depths. If you visit around Christmastime, then check out the light display they create inside.

You might not pair Virginia and swamps in your mind, but the Great Dismal Swamp is found in this state and is worth a visit. This is a great place to see wildlife, including birds, deer, black bears, bobcats, and river otters. The preserved forests and marshland are a great place to get lost.

The Luray Caverns are epic nature in Virginia.

Abandoned Places Road Trip

  • Swannanoa Palace
  • Fleetwood Church
  • DeJarnette Center

If you like exploring abandoned places, there is a Virginia road trip in the making for you! Urban exploration is a popular hobby for many people. Some like to photograph eerie, abandoned places while others like the thrill of walking through these creepy areas. When you visit abandoned places in Virginia, make sure to be safe and follow the law!

One of the best abandoned places to visit in Virginia is Swannanoa Palace in the mountains of Afton. You can take tours of this 1912 palace and witness its grandeur. It is not as decrepit as some of the other places included in this abandoned places road trip but it is definitely worth the visit. It is said to be haunted as well!

Next, Fleetwood Church in Brandy Station is a colorful, wooden structure partially hidden by trees. This church was built in 1850 and stood watch over a Civil War battle. Now it stands with peeling paint and ghosts hiding inside.

In Staunton, you will find the DeJarnette Center, an old sanatorium that practiced eugenics. The building has a long history that began in the 1930s. It has stood empty and formidable since the ’90s.

Swannanoa Palace is beautiful and an abandoned place in Virginia.

Presidents of the USA Road Trip

  • Mount Vernon

Virginia is known as the “Birthplace of Presidents” and if you are interested in history or U.S. politics, then you should plan some Virginia road trips. The one we highlight here focuses on presidential homes only, but there are other sites and monuments related to presidents that you can visit.

Start at the beginning with George Washington’s Mount Vernon, not far from Washington D.C. This estate had been in Washington’s family for years before he eventually inherited it in 1761. He lived there until his death in 1799. You can come tour the home and farm as well as see the tomb of America’s first president.

Next, visit Monticello near Charlottesville. This home was designed by Thomas Jefferson, the third U.S. president. Construction took place from 1769 to1809. Jefferson was a slave-owner and those he enslaved built the home and farmed the land. It is important to learn about this dark and sad part of American history. Visiting Monticello gives you an opportunity to see what it would have been like to live on a plantation.

Montpelier is less than an hour from Charlottesville and is where James Madison, the fourth U.S president, called home. This grand estate has great views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. You can also find Madison’s grave here.

Another historic home to visit belonged to fifth president James Monroe. Also found near Charlottesville, the Highland estate is rich in colonial history. Today, much research is being done to learn about the enslaved people who lived here.

Mount Vernon is a must visit place on a presidential road trip in Virginia.

Fall Foliage Road Trip

  • Grayson Highlands State Park
  • Mount Rogers National Recreation Area
  • Hungry Mother State Park

Virginia is one of the best states for a fall foliage road trip. When autumn rolls around, the trees pop off in bright reds, oranges, and gold. You will need to take multiple Virginia road trips to hit every fall location. People from all over the country flock to Shenandoah National Park for fall foliage viewing, but there are smaller, less crowded areas to discover as well.

Grayson Highlands State Park is near the North Carolina and Tennessee borders. Along with colorful meadow and forest vistas, you might see some of the wild ponies that live here. Make sure to hike the mile-long Rhododendron Trail.

Within the Jefferson National Forest, you will find the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. This gorgeous slice of nature holds mountain peaks, meadows, and plenty of flaming trees. This is a great place for a bike ride or hike.

Next, travel to Hungry Mother State Park. The lake here helps to add magic to your Virginia fall foliage photos by creating a reflection of the pretty trees. There are a few different trails to check out with water and forest scenery.

Virginia road trip s are better in the fall.

Wineries Road Trip

  • Rappahannock County Wine Trail
  • Blue Ridge Whisky Wine Loop
  • Chesapeake Bay Wine Country
  • Loudoun County Wine Trail

Virginia is famous for its scenic wine trails and a road trip to some wineries makes for a great girl’s trip. There are many wine trails throughout the state. You can pick one for an easy weekend trip or check out multiple trails on a longer vacation.

The Rappahannock County Wine Trail is within an hour of Washington D.C. and features many artisanal wineries. For a boutique wine tasting experience, check out Chester Gap Cellars, Gadino Cellars, Narmada Vineyards, and more!

The Blue Ridge Whisky Wine Loop provides great drinks with fantastic mountain views in the Shenandoah Valley. You will be able to taste test not just at wineries. but at whisky distilleries and breweries as well.

Chesapeake Bay Wine Country has wineries surrounded by historic sites and cute, small towns. Plan one of your Virginia road trips to coincide with one of the Oyster Crawls for even more fun. You can also stay the night at some of the wineries.

Loudoun County is D.C.’s wine trail and is known as the “Napa Valley of the Mid-Atlantic.” There are over forty wineries in this area to discover. Some of the wineries offer fun activities such as vineyard hikes, dinners, yoga among the vines, and cellar tours.

Find some wineries on a road trip in Virginia.

Blue Ridge Parkway Road Trip

  • Crabtree Falls
  • Apple Orchard Mountain
  • Natural Bridge State Park

The Blue Ridge Parkway is an iconic U.S. road trip connecting North Carolina and Virginia. Drive through the mountains and lush forests to discover cute small towns, jaw-dropping overlooks , and folk history. This is one of the best scenic drives in Virginia.

Make sure to pull off near milepost 339 so you can hike to Crabtree Falls. The two and a half mile loop trail is ranked as moderate to strenuous and involves steep and rocky areas. The payoff is catching sight of the waterfall flowing down a sixty-foot rock face.

At milepost 171, you will find the historic Marby Mill, which dates back to 1903. It is one of the most photographed stops on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Next, stop at milepost 76.5 and Apple Orchard Mountain. This is the highest point on the parkway on the Virginia side. Make sure to hike to Apple Orchard Falls while you are here.

There are so many stops you can make on your Blue Ridge Parkway road trip that it is impossible to name them all! One last stop to mention, though, is the Natural Bridge near Lexington and milepost 63. This 215-foot tall rock bridge has been awing people for centuries, including Monacan Native Americans and Thomas Jefferson, who actually owned it at one point.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most famous Virginia road trips.

Historic Triangle Road Trip

  • Williamsburg

The famous Virginia historic triangle road trip will take you to the three colonial towns of Williamsburg, Yorktown, and Jamestown. This road trip can be done in just a weekend since the towns are all within thirty minutes of each other. You will drive the Colonial Parkway to each location as you experience one of the most popular Virginia road trips.

Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement in the Americas with the founding year of 1607. Today, you can walk through the living history museum, including a reconstructed Native American village, colonial fort, and other replicas. The archaeological museum has almost two million artifacts.

Colonial Williamsburg is another living history museum. There are 88 original buildings and even more recreations. Re-enactors walk around helping you feel as if you have stepped back in time. Ride down the streets in a horse-drawn carriage for an even more authentic feel.

The last stop on the Virginia historic triangle road trip is Yorktown. This was the site of the 1781 Battle of Yorktown, the last battle of the American Revolution, and where General Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington. You can visit the battlefield and the Victory Center.

Jamestown is part of the Historic Triangle Road Trip in Virginia.

Civil War Road Trip

  • Fredericksburg
  • Appomattox Court House and National Historical Park

Virginia was the site of many bloody battles and important events during the U.S. Civil War. Because of this, Virginia is a destination for serious history buffs. This is one of the best Virginia road trips for anyone interested in America’s turbulent past.

Richmond was the Confederate capital during the war and has a couple of places to visit for a history lesson. Richmond National Battlefield Park was the site of two Union attempts to capture the city. You can also visit the American Civil War Museum in Richmond.

Two battles occurred near Manassas. The First Battle of Bull Run happened in 1861 and is considered the first major battle of the war. Today you can come to the Manassas National Battlefield Park to honor those who died.

Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County Battlefields National Military Park is a somber place to visit but is necessary to see the full scope of this tragic war. Over 100,000 soldiers were killed or wounded over the course of eighteen months. This is the world’s second-largest military park.

You have to visit the Appomattox Court House and National Historical Park in order to see where Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant in 1865. Come stand in the place where the Confederates laid down their weapons. There are reconstructed buildings, a museum, and ranger programs.

Come to Manassas for Civil War history in Virginia.

Virginia Lighthouses Road Trip

  • Jones Point Lighthouse
  • Old Point Comfort Lighthouse
  • Old Cape Henry Lighthouse
  • New Cape Henry Lighthouse
  • Cape Charles Lighthouse

There is just something about lighthouses that draws people in as much as they repel ships. These structures are perfect for nautical photographs and offer great views. You could easily pair this road trip with coastal Virginia road trips.

The Jones Point Lighthouse in Alexandria is the last remaining river lighthouse in Virginia. It has been standing on the Potomac River since 1855. Though you can’t go inside, you can still see it from the ground.

The Old Point Comfort Lighthouse is the second oldest light on the Chesapeake Bay and is found at Fort Monroe. It was commissioned by Thomas Jefferson and built in 1802. It is not open to the public, but you can snap photos of it from the street.

The oldest lighthouse on the bay as well as the third oldest in the country is the Old Cape Henry Lighthouse. It was built in 1792. You can go up this ninety-foot structure for views of First Landing State Park and nearby Virginia Beach.

Just across the street from the old lighthouse, you can see the New Cape Henry Lighthouse which replaced the other in 1881. This one is a bit taller and is a stark black and white.

At 191 feet, the Cape Charles Lighthouse is the tallest in Virginia and second tallest in the country. Unfortunately, it is not open to climb, but you can see it from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.

There are a ton a of cool lighthouses in Virginia.

Bird-Watching Road Trip

  • Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge
  • Kiptopeke State Park
  • Huntley Meadows Park
  • Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve

If you are a birder, then Virginia should be on your radar. Birding in Virginia will allow you to see hundreds of species of birds including raptors, shorebirds, and songbirds. From beaches to mountains to forests, there are plenty of diverse habitats for a variety of bird species.

Virginia was one of the first states to create an official, statewide birding trail. The Virginia Bird and Wildlife Trail features 65 trails throughout the state. You can use this as a guide as you plan your own birding trip.

There are a ton of wildlife preserves and parks in Virginia where birds are plentiful, whether they live there year-round or migrate through. For instance, the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge hosts flocks of migratory waterfowl in the winter. The endangered Piping Plover nests here as well.

The Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge is a good place to spot peregrine falcons, bald eagles, and more. If you are interested in seeing more raptors, head to Kiptopeke State Park where nineteen different species have been spotted. Huntley Meadows Park and Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve are also notable bird areas to visit, but there are so many more places as well.

Virginia is a great place to go birding.

There are Virginia road trips for everyone! Whether you are planning a family vacation, girl’s trip, or couple’s getaway, this beautiful, Southern state has something to offer. Pack your bags, gas up your car, and get ready for memorable road trips in Virginia!

Two people holding hands in front of a church in the French quarter

Reader Interactions

[…] Fredericksburg is full of early American history, the town motto is, “Americans most historic city”. Some of the more well-known facts about Fredericksburg is that the first president George Washington was born there and many of his family members lived there while he was the president. There are so many fun things to do in Fredericksburg with kids, during a romantic getaway, or even if you are a solo traveler you will not regret your time in this cute little Virginia town. […]

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19 most romantic getaways in virginia.

From historic hotels to a national park, Virginia offers plenty of romantic retreats.

Romantic Getaways in Virginia

Sunrise in Shenandoah National Park.

Getty Images

Shenandoah National Park is one of many scenic destinations for a romantic getaway in Virginia.

It's true that "Virginia is for lovers," but in a state that spans around 40,000 square miles, you may wonder: Which areas are truly best for a romantic retreat? To help you plan a dreamy escape with your significant other, we've compiled this list of the most romantic getaways in Virginia.


Williamsburg inn.

  • The Inn at Little Washington

Shenandoah National Park

Chincoteague island, virginia beach.

  • Salamander Resort & Spa
  • The Omni Homestead Resort


  • The Jefferson Hotel


  • Shadow Mountain Escape
  • Lansdowne Resort and Spa
  • The Tides Inn

Primland Resort, Auberge Resorts Collection : Meadows of Dan

Aerial view of Primland on a sunny day.

Courtesy of Primland

Tucked away on 12,000 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Primland is a secluded Virginia resort about 300 miles southwest of Washington, D.C. Enjoy some one-on-one time in luxury in the main lodge, or book a treehouse or cottage for extra privacy. Rooms are equipped with everything you need for a romantic getaway, with perks like fireplaces, private balconies, soaking tubs, and plush robes and slippers (depending on the accommodations you choose). Recent guests recommend a couples escape to one of Primland's treehouses for solitude and scenic mountain vistas.

Across the expansive property, travelers will find a full-service spa with couples massages, abundant nature trails, a scenic 18-hole golf course, and yoga and meditation classes, as well as guided stargazing sessions in the observatory. Twosomes can also bond while learning a new skill together – like archery or fly-fishing.

When it comes to dining, Primland impresses guests with organic, farm-to-table ingredients and tasty meals in each of the resort's four on-site restaurants. Those who feel like getting fancy can head to Primland's fine dining restaurant, Elements, to enjoy the mouthwatering menu filled with dishes like fried quail and cauliflower steak. Or, if you and your loved one would rather keep it casual, grab some hearty fare at 19th Pub or Stables Saloon. At the Schlumberger Wine Cellar, guests can enjoy a celebratory dinner or a wine tasting of vintages from the world's first vineyards in a private, intimate setting. Recent visitors loved the variety of gourmet Southern cuisine at Primland, with many raving over the private cellar dinner and knowledgeable staff.

Address: 2000 Busted Rock Road, Meadows of Dan, VA 24120

Modern townhomes and waterfront property along the Potomac River in the historic city of Alexandria, Virginia.

Situated on the Potomac River less than 10 miles south of the nation's capital, Alexandria is an easily accessible destination – one of the many reasons it's a popular destination in Virginia . Spend your days strolling hand in hand along the cobblestone streets of Old Town, or hop on some rental bikes to glide past rows of charming, centuries-old buildings.

When it's time to dine, you and your sweetheart will have your choice of more than 200 independent restaurants and boutiques, including French-inspired Bastille Brasserie & Bar or BARCA Pier and Wine Bar on the waterfront. For an added layer of fun, consider signing up for a food and history tour , where you can learn all about the city while sampling local dishes.

Where to stay: Alexandria has a number of pampering hotels where you and your partner can unwind. One option is the Lorien Hotel & Spa , which treats guests to cozy Frette linens, sudsy baths in claw-foot tubs and relaxing rainfall showerheads. When you're ready to venture outside your room, head to the on-site spa for an invigorating couples massage or foot rub. Another romantic outpost, Morrison House, Autograph Collection , boasts Italian marble bathrooms, bathrobes and views of the historic city.

Autumn fall foliage season countryside at Charlottesville. View of vineyard in Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia on a cloudy day.

Situated about 70 miles northwest of Richmond, Charlottesville attracts vacationers to Monticello – Thomas Jefferson's historic former dwelling – as well as quaint town squares, antique shops and bookstores. Centuries-old African American historic sites can be explored alongside Black-owned restaurants and boutiques with the digital Discover Black Cville Passport . The town is also home to the University of Virginia: the only university in the U.S. to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lovebirds can take a leisurely stroll through the campus and admire the stunning architecture.

When you need a break from exploring, venture to local vineyards to wine and dine amid views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. There are 40-plus wineries within 30 miles of Charlottesville, a stretch known as the Monticello Wine Trail. Some favorite vineyards among travelers include Jefferson Vineyards and Veritas Vineyard and Winery. An excellent way to experience a few different vineyards (and have a designated driver) is a private wine tour .

Where to stay: Browse romantic hotels in Charlottesville like the luxurious Boar's Head Resort and the Omni Charlottesville Hotel . For a more intimate setting, visit the Foxfield Inn, a small bed-and-breakfast located less than 10 miles from Charlottesville's bustling downtown.

Exterior of Williamsburg Inn at night.

Courtesy of Williamsburg Inn

While Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens Williamsburg make it especially appealing to families, Williamsburg – and particularly the Williamsburg Inn – shouldn't be overlooked for a romantic escape. At this Forbes Five-Star hotel, couples enjoy elegantly furnished guest rooms and suites, including suites named for the famous guests who once slept within their walls – like Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Winston Churchill, and the Rockefellers.

The highlight of a stay at the Williamsburg Inn is the Spa of Colonial Williamsburg. A short walk from the hotel, the spa offers side-by-side treatments for couples, ranging from deep-tissue and Himalayan salt stone massages to aromatherapy body scrubs and prescription therapy facials. After some pampering, take advantage of the steam rooms, signature showers, whirlpools, indoor and outdoor pools, and relaxation lounges.

When booking your stay, consider the "Couples Getaway Package," which includes two nights of accommodations, daily breakfast for two, admission to Colonial Williamsburg, a romantic carriage ride, and welcome amenities upon arrival.

Address: 136 Francis St. E., Williamsburg, VA 23185

The Inn at Little Washington: Washington

What started as a small country inn in a converted garage in 1978 has since turned into a beloved staple among city dwellers and suburbanites alike. Best known for its three-Michelin-starred restaurant, The Inn at Little Washington is a romantic respite about 70 miles west of Washington, D.C., in a Virginia town also called Washington.

Couples can dine on innovative American cuisine – made with produce and herbs from the on-site farm – beneath the soft lighting emanating from silk lampshades. And don't pass up the chance to share some wine from the restaurant's award-winning 14,000-bottle cellar, which includes varietals from Europe, California and Oregon. Recent visitors highly recommend this culinary destination for its creative dishes and artful presentation.

Take your romance to the next level by booking a stay at the inn; you and your loved one will enjoy complimentary welcome cocktails, guaranteed nightly dinner reservations and guest rooms with luxury bath products. The property's remote location in rural Virginia means cellphone signal may be limited, which promises the opportunity to reconnect with your partner without any distractions.

Address: 309 Middle St., Washington, VA 22747

Autumn colors in Shenandoah National Park, above the clouds.

Nothing says togetherness like a camping or cabin trip in Shenandoah National Park . Spanning more than 200,000 acres, Shenandoah sits in the Blue Ridge Mountains about a 70-mile drive west of Washington, D.C. The park's most beloved feature is Skyline Drive, a 105-mile stretch of road boasting 75 scenic overlooks. Roll down your windows and breathe in the crisp mountain air as you make your way through tall trees and around picturesque curves. If you'd like to hop out of your car and get your blood pumping, you'll find more than 500 miles of hiking trails to traverse.

Where to stay: After a day of exploring together, pitch a tent, cuddle up in blankets and roast some marshmallows at one of five park campgrounds, such as Mathews Arm at mile 22.1 or Loft Mountain at mile 79.5. Or, retire to one of many cabin rentals or lodges like Skyland and Big Meadows Lodge. On your drive back to the city, be sure to pick up a box of famous apple butter cinnamon doughnuts at The Apple House in Linden, Virginia; recent travelers say they are to die for.

Read: The Best National Parks in the U.S.

A small group of Assateague Ponies graze on marsh grasses while one of them takes a snooze.

Wild ponies running along the beach may sound like a scene out of a romance novel, but that's exactly what you'll find on Chincoteague Island. Situated on Virginia's Eastern Shore around 100 miles north of Virginia Beach, Chincoteague is an idyllic escape from the hustle and bustle of regular life.

You won't find any high-rise hotels, traffic or boardwalks on the island, but you will encounter one-of-a-kind opportunities to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge on Chincoteague's sister island, Assateague. Spend your days kayaking, hiking and horseback riding together, or take a dreamy sunset cruise to spot dolphins, birds and wild horses.

Where to stay: For the most romantic lodging on the island, consider a charming inn or bed-and-breakfast.

Iris Inn: Waynesboro

Aerial view of Iris Inn with fall colors.

Courtesy of Iris Inn

Overlooking the Shenandoah Valley in the tiny town of Waynesboro, less than 100 miles northwest of Richmond, the Iris Inn is the perfect place to spend some quality time together. You and your sweetie will have your choice of a room in the main inn, a secluded cottage, or a cabin with views the valley or forest. Depending on the accommodation you choose, amenities may include an in-room fireplace, a king-sized bed, a private deck or a personal hot tub.

During your stay, dial up the romance with a special add-on like the "Sweetheart Package," which comes with a dozen red roses, chocolate-covered strawberries and a bottle of Champagne with two flutes. Other options include the "Anniversary Package" – consisting of wine, strawberries, rose petals and robes – or the "Sip & Slip on Your Boots Package," which features a gourmet picnic for two and maps of nearby hiking trails. Past travelers said the 19-acre property was the perfect place for a romantic escape thanks to the privacy of the rooms, the comfortable beds, the gourmet breakfast and the attentive staff. This Blue Ridge Mountain couples getaway is a favorite location for anniversary celebrations and romantic weekends away.

Address: 191 Chinquapin Drive, Waynesboro, VA 22980

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Fishing pier at dawn at Virginia Beach.

If a coastal getaway with your partner piques your interest, head to Virginia Beach , about 110 miles southeast of Richmond. Spend your days strolling down the 3-mile boardwalk along the beach and taking in the sounds of the waves, or unleash your inner children with a trip to the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center.

Where to stay: Lovebirds might consider one of the city's most iconic properties: The Cavalier Virginia Beach, Autograph Collection . This historic hotel overlooking the Atlantic Ocean has hosted U.S. presidents, famous musicians, movie stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood and more. Opulent amenities that you and your partner are sure to enjoy include a plunge pool, an on-site distillery, a beach club offering semi-private beach access and a seaside infinity pool; you can also indulge in the property's restaurants and a full-service spa for couples massages. Recent guests loved the gorgeous grounds, first-class service and comfortable spots to relax while enjoying the many amenities.

Another romantic property that impresses travelers is The Founders Inn and Spa, Tapestry Collection by Hilton . The property's manicured gardens and spa will ease the mind, while the fireplaces found in some suites set the scene for a cozy getaway. Recent travelers praised the inn's landscaping and friendly staff.

Salamander Resort & Spa: Middleburg

Pool cabana with champagne and fruit at Salamander Resort & Spa.

Justin Kriel | Courtesy of Salamander Resort & Spa

Grab your sweetheart and head to Salamander Resort & Spa to rejuvenate the mind and body. Located in the peaceful town of Middleburg, the property sits on 340 acres in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains amid what's known as Virginia's horse and wine country. The rooms and suites are equipped with private terraces, plush bathrobes and more; some even feature fireplaces.

Outside the room, you'll find plenty of activities to occupy your time at this all-inclusive retreat. Spend your days horseback riding together through grassy fields, playing a friendly game of tennis, trying your hand at ax throwing, riding rental bikes through Middleburg's Main Street or enjoying a wine tasting at a nearby vineyard. Better yet, book a "Time for Two" treatment at the spa to make the most of your experience with your partner.

Past guests raved about the clean, spacious and beautiful grounds of Salamander Resort, noting that although the property is only about 45 miles northwest of the nation's capital, a stay at this romantic estate feels like being transported to another world.

Address: 500 N. Pendleton St., Middleburg, VA 20117

Roanoke, Virginia, downtown skyline at dusk.

Located about 165 miles southwest of Richmond, Roanoke is a prime getaway for couples looking for a little bit of everything. At its heart, Roanoke is a mountain town – in fact, it's one of the few cities situated directly next to the Blue Ridge Parkway, and it's touted as "America's East Coast Mountain Biking Capital." As such, visitors will have plenty of access to hiking trails, mountain biking adventures, motorcycle tours, horseback riding, kayaking and more outdoor pursuits across 70 different parks.

Twosomes can also enjoy art and culture on a trip to this Virginia city, as Roanoke boasts galleries, live music venues and museums. Or, you can sign up for a food and culture tour to discover beloved local restaurants and other hidden gems. Popular breweries like Big Lick Brewing Co. and Parkway Brewing Co. are favorites among beer enthusiasts, and no trip to Roanoke would be complete without visiting the iconic Roanoke Star atop Mill Mountain: a nearly 90-foot star statue overlooking the city. Recent travelers say the star and its panoramic views of the city are a must-see, especially at night.

Where to stay: When it comes to lodging, take a look at the majestic Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center , part of the Curio Collection by Hilton. A Tudor-style gem dating back to 1882, this luxurious location offers several romance packages. Recent couples liked the hotel's spacious suites, friendly staff and delectable on-site restaurant.

The Omni Homestead Resort: Hot Springs

Outdoor firepit surrounded by chairs at The Omni Homestead Resort.

Courtesy of Omni Hotels & Resorts

The elegant Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs has hosted almost two dozen presidents in its history – and with its abundance of luxurious amenities, it is no surprise why. The property sits on 2,000-plus acres in the Allegheny Mountains of Virginia, about 80 miles north of Roanoke. This Omni resort features a full-service spa with a Finnish sauna and the Serenity Garden, where guests will find a geothermal pool fed by the area's hot springs. Other fun resort activities to enjoy together include horseback riding, fly-fishing and winter sports.

In your room, you and your loved one will find classic decor and amenities like down pillows and feather beds, as well as fireplaces and porches in select accommodations. Turn the luxury up a notch with the resort's "Romance Offer": This package will get you a bottle of sparkling wine, artisanal chocolates, late checkout and more. Couples who've stayed at the Omni have high praise for the property, complimenting the attentive staff and old-fashioned charm as well as the relaxing spa services. However, some noted that holiday weekends and school vacations often attract families with young children, so keep that in mind if you are looking for a quieter couples vacation. Even guests who stayed amid renovations on the property say it is still a relaxing getaway nonetheless.

Address: 7696 Sam Snead Highway, Hot Springs, VA 24445

An aerial view of Fredericksburg, Virginia with the Rappahannock River in the foreground and the downtown area visible beyond at sunrise.

Best known for its storied battlefield, Fredericksburg played a major role in the Civil War. But even visitors who aren't history buffs can experience the charm of the Georgian-style brick mansion and gardens at Historic Kenmore, in addition to top-notch bakeries and antique shops in Old Town. Couples can also enjoy the outdoors across a number of parks and trails, hop on a downtown trolley tour, or visit George Washington's childhood home at Ferry Farm. The town is located about 70 miles northeast of Charlottesville.

When hunger strikes, enjoy a romantic meal at La Petite Auberge, a bistro serving up French and regional cuisine for more than 40 years, including charcuterie boards, escargot, foie gras and other delicacies. Couples say the restaurant's romantic ambiance will transport you to France and describe the service as friendly and accommodating – perfect for date night. Fredericksburg is also home to the A. Smith Bowman Distillery, which once earned Whisky Magazine's "World's Best Bourbon" award two years in a row.

Where to stay: At the end of the night, retire to Stevenson Ridge, a historic 87-acre inn with private cottages and cabins that sits a short drive from downtown Fredericksburg. The peaceful grounds – also a popular wedding venue – serve as a welcome escape from reality, and accommodations include wood-burning fireplaces, cozy linens and bathrobes. Stevenson Ridge caters to couples with a "Romance by Candelight" package, which comes with silk rose petals, local artisanal chocolates and more.

Shot of building in Abingdon, Virginia.

Surrounded by the rolling Blue Ridge Mountains, the small town of Abingdon provides couples with a pleasant mixture of outdoor activities, local breweries and performance art. In fact, this southwestern Virginia getaway – around 150 miles northwest of Charlotte, North Carolina – is home to the Barter Theatre, the state theater of Virginia; this institution opened in 1933 and is considered the longest-running professional theater in the U.S.

If hiking, biking, horseback riding or simply taking a leisurely stroll together is more your speed, lace up your comfy shoes and head to the Virginia Creeper Trail. Another popular attraction is the Abingdon Farmers Market, where you can pick out the best organic fruit, pastries and locally made jam. Hours and open days change by season at the farmers market, so be sure to check out their hours before you visit.

Where to stay: When picking somewhere to stay, consider The Martha Washington Inn and Spa , which is centrally located in town. The property is a member of the Historic Hotels of America and features period decor and artwork throughout its guest rooms, transporting couples to another time. Past visitors from near and far recommend the inn for a romantic getaway thanks to its friendly staff and perfect blend of historic charm with modern amenities.

Read: The Best Small Towns to Visit in the USA

The Jefferson Hotel: Richmond

Shot of colorful lobby at The Jefferson Hotel.

Courtesy of The Jefferson Hotel

If the capital city of Richmond is your Virginia getaway of choice, look no further than The Jefferson Hotel for a memorable and luxurious stay. Opened in 1895, The Jefferson combines vintage decor and old-world opulence with modern amenities like bathroom mirror televisions and pampering Molton Brown bath products. Past couples spoke highly of the hotel's impressive architecture and high standard of service, and noted that perks like large soaking tubs and cozy robes made their stays especially romantic.

The property's main restaurant, Lemaire, offers upscale American cuisine that changes seasonally, and the hotel's afternoon tea service (available on certain days) is not to be missed. Away from The Jefferson, sweethearts can amble through Carytown, a boutique shopping area, or admire the lush Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. To get the full Richmond experience, take a segway tour to see landmarks like Old City Hall and St. Paul's Episcopal Church, or hop in an open-air tuk-tuk to explore the city in style.

Address: 101 W. Franklin St., Richmond, VA 23220

Shot of building in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

If you and your love enjoy good food, good nature and good company, look no further than Harrisonburg, Virginia. Known as the "Friendly City," this quaint destination is home to Virginia's first designated Arts and Cultural District and Culinary District. With access to Shenandoah National Park as well as the George Washington and Jefferson national forests, Harrisonburg offers the outdoorsy couple an abundance of exciting opportunities to explore Virginia's natural beauty on a hike or bike tour. Couples looking for a more relaxed experience in nature can head to the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum on James Madison University's campus.

When you've finished exploring the outdoors, downtown Harrisonburg will give you a taste of farm-to-table fare and delectable international cuisine with more than 80 locally owned restaurants. Visit the beautifully preserved Court Square Theater at the center of town to catch a local performance or indie film, or head over to the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts for performances by world-renowned artists. As the premier Shenandoah Valley arts destination, the Forbes Center provides all the benefits of a sophisticated evening with the casual comfort of a small town.

Where to stay: When deciding where to stay, look no further than the Friendly City Inn Bed & Breakfast or the Joshua Wilton House. Both locations are within walking distance of downtown Harrisonburg. At the Friendly City Inn, couples will find a charming mansion with exceptional staff, an abundance of special offers catering to couples, and what some travelers call the best breakfast around. The restored Joshua Wilton House is a gorgeous Victorian home featuring five historic bedrooms as well as one of the top restaurants in Harrisonburg.

Shadow Mountain Escape: Luray

Exterior of Shadow Mountain Escape cabin in the winter.

Karen Riddle | Courtesy of Shadow Mountain Escape

Shadow Mountain Escape brings the charm of European-style cabins to Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. This unique adults-only escape sits on 15 lush acres alongside the Shenandoah National Park, about 85 miles southwest of Washington, D.C. Inside the timber frame cabins, couples will find handcrafted joinery and old-world decor and antiques, as well as a deck and a kitchen or kitchenette (amenities vary by cabin). To spruce up your stay, book one of the property's wine or romance packages.

Couples looking to explore the area have no shortage of entertaining activities just a short drive away. If you don't mind crowds, schedule a stop at Luray Caverns: Recent travelers rave about the beautiful formations and say the Stalacpipe Organ is the highlight of the tour, but keep in mind this tourist destination can be busy. If you prefer the peace and quiet, head out for an easy stroll on Shadow Mountain's nature trail or explore the more difficult hikes in Shenandoah National Park with the help of the complimentary hiking sticks in your cabin. If you're hoping to dine off the property, be sure to check out the Blue Ridge Whisky Wine Loop, a cultivated list by the owners of Shadow Mountain Escape that showcases the area's best dining and attractions. Try Gathering Grounds Patisserie & Café for fresh breakfast pastries or sample some British pub fare at Griffin Tavern and Restaurant.

No children, pets or party groups are allowed on the property, ensuring you and your partner will be able to soak in this tranquil paradise undisturbed. Travelers near and far agree these romantic cabins make for the perfect couples getaway.

Address: 1132 Jewell Hollow Road, Luray, VA 22835

Read: The Top Adults-Only All-Inclusive Resorts

Lansdowne Resort and Spa: Leesburg

Firepit with chair at twilight at Lansdowne Resort and Spa.

Courtesy of Lansdowne Resort and Spa

Located on 500 acres around 35 miles northwest of Washington, D.C., Lansdowne Resort and Spa in Leesburg is a decadent escape with scenic views of the Potomac River Valley. The resort is home to nearly 300 guest rooms and suites; select options are equipped with amenities like a whirlpool tub or balcony, so choose accordingly. Boasting 45 holes of challenging championship golf, an abundance of outdoor offerings and a state-of-the-art spa, Lansdowne is the perfect spot for adventurous couples looking to pack their weekend getaway with fulfilling activities and relaxing evenings.

The resort fee added to your room rate will also give you access to the wide range of facilities and activities available at Lansdowne. You can make use of the property's indoor and outdoor pools or visit the 24-hour fitness center and try one of the daily fitness classes. After you've worked up an appetite, grab a meal at one of the on-site restaurants. If you plan to dine at Piedmont's, make sure you freshen up in your room before you arrive: As Lansdowne's upscale dining option, this is a great spot for a romantic dinner, but guests must adhere to the Golf Club's dress code – which means no T-shirts or bathing suits.

While Lansdowne Resort and Spa certainly offers enough on-site to keep anyone entertained, the surrounding area is not something to miss. Couples can venture to nearby Leesburg or Aldie for beautifully preserved historic buildings and quaint downtowns full of antiques and specialty shops. Or, drive less than 2 miles to the Lansdowne Town Center for a lifestyle shopping center with a few dozen restaurants and shops. Art-loving couples can stop by a theater or gallery in the area. Whatever you and your partner enjoy, Lansdowne's beloved staff and accommodations are sure to make your romantic getaway one to remember.

Address: 44050 Woodridge Parkway, Leesburg, VA 20176

The Tides Inn: Irvington

Interior of guest room at The Tides Inn.

Courtesy of The Tides Inn

Open since 1947, The Tides Inn in Irvington has been a peaceful retreat for couples for more than seven decades. Though it has a long history, redesigned rooms and new suites pair with the updated decor to cultivate a refined and modern getaway. Most guest rooms boast private patios, marble-feature bathrooms, and either waterfront views of Carter's Creek or resort views of the gardens. If you're looking to splurge, upgrade to one of the four suites, whose amenities span deep soaking tubs, wet bars or, in the case of the most luxurious option, sitting rooms that can be converted into an extra guest room.

When you venture out of the room, a fitness center, spa services and a specially designed golf course are all available to visitors. What really sets The Tides Inn apart are the luxuries you don't typically find. Crafty couples can enjoy a casual date in the Maker Space, which offers hands-on instruction from local artisans and art workshops run by the resort's art program manager. If you came to The Tides Inn for its proximity to the water, be sure to take a sunset cruise around Carter's Creek. The wine, cheese, seasonal fruit and spectacular sunset vistas can deliver the romance you're looking for. Nature-loving couples can learn about the local waterways and aquatic creatures by checking out the inn's ecologist-led river tours. Afterward, head to the Fish Hawk Oyster Bar for the indoor raw bar and signature cocktails.

Recent travelers praise this beautiful historic property for its exceptional service and say it is the perfect location for a romantic getaway in Virginia. The Tides Inn can be found roughly 70 miles east of Richmond.

Address: 480 King Carter Drive, Irvington, VA 22480

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15 Virginia Romantic (Weekend) Getaways for Couples on a Budget

Posted on November 18, 2022 | Julie J. |

Cheap romantic getaways in Virginia for couples on a budget

Last Updated on June 1, 2024

Planning a romantic getaway in Virginia but don’t want to break the bank? Traveling can seem expensive but there are actually quite a few ways to plan a trip on a budget near you. In Virginia, you’ll find plenty of affordable accommodations that are ideal for a couple’s getaway and are surrounded by free things to do and inexpensive activities.

Whether planning a short weekend getaway or a romantic vacation , below, discover 15 affordable romantic destinations in Virginia for couples on a budget. Each one is unique in its own way, offering a chance to bond, spend time together, and make memories that last throughout your relationship. None of these will break the bank, but all of them will provide happy, safe atmospheres where you can get lovey-dovey with your sweetheart.

Keep on reading to discover the best cheap romantic getaways in Virginia!


15 Virginia Romantic (Weekend) Getaways for Couples on a Budget


15 Virginia Romantic (Weekend) Getaways for Couples on a Budget


15 Virginia Romantic (Weekend) Getaways for Couples on a Budget


15 Virginia Romantic (Weekend) Getaways for Couples on a Budget


Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on any links and make a purchase, we’ll get a small commission, at no cost to you.

Wolf Creek Farm Bed and Breakfast, Ararat

Wolf Creek Farm Bed and Breakfast, Ararat, VA

Average rate: $120 a night – Book here

Wolf Creek Farm Bed and Breakfast sits on 102 acres of a mixed farmstead, woodlands, grassy plains, and rolling hills, and is one of the best affordable romantic getaways in Virginia for couples on a budget. Guests have access to an on-site swimming pool , plus 5 acres of lake to fish, swim, and canoe . There’s a fire pit for smores and good conversation in the evenings, as well as a hayride that you can schedule around the farm for you and your honey. There’s also a beautiful panoramic view of the Blue Ridge Mountains from the farm’s hillsides.

The bed and breakfast offers a buffet-style breakfast of American favorites , like bacon and eggs with fresh-brewed coffee, fresh fruits, and a selection of pastries and juices. Other amenities include your choice of four stay types, like the caravan, mobile home, triple room, and deluxe queen suite.

Nearby you can visit the historic Mabry Mill where you’ll find an ancient mill in scenic surroundings and a couple of trails. If you like hiking, check out the easy trails at Buffalo Mountain Natural Area Preserve (the parking lot is small so make sure to arrive early). On your way back, stop by the Lovers Leap Overlook and enjoy the stunning views over the mountains.

Blue Ridge Manor Bed and Breakfast, Fancy Gap

Blue Ridge Manor Bed and Breakfast, Fancy Gap, affordable getaway for couples in Virginia

Average rate: $150 a night – Book here

Located in Fancy Gap, the Blue Ridge Manor Bed and Breakfast is an affordable romantic getaway in Virginia, serving up American favorites for your morning meal. The property is crisscrossed with hiking trails and nature paths , as well as User password cannot be reset in the current state. that’s well-tended for springtime blooms. The shared lounge area is the perfect spot for a games’ night with other vacationing couples, and the patio is outfitted with rocking chairs for a true Southern sunset.

The bed and breakfast’s rooms are separated into three suite options, each with its own set of perks, like Blue Ridge Mountain views and private living rooms with wood-burning fireplaces . Toiletries are complimentary, the beds are plush and plump with pillows and warm blankets, and board games, card games, and puzzles are available upon request.

In town, you can go window shopping at the many handicraft stores . Check out the antiques at The Nest & Hive Shoppe , or at Vintagity , shop for clothes at the Fancy Gap Dress Shop , and look around the Twisted Feather and Fern and Carolynes Crafts And Gifts.

A bit further out, you can tour the J. Sidna Allen House , a historic Victorian mansion turned museum.

For a place to grab a quick bite in town, the homey Gap Deli at the Parkway is a great option, serving tasty American comfort food.

If you’re up for a bit of adventure, explore the paths and cave at Devils Den Nature Preserve

The Claiborne House, Rocky Mount

The Claiborne House, Rocky Mount

Average rate: $200 a night – Book here

Charming and cozy, the Claiborne House is a Rocky Mount favorite for couples on romantic holidays in Virginia. Guests have full access to explore the grounds, with hiking trails nearby , a BBQ grill with a well-furnished patio and picnic area , and an outdoor fireplace and sitting area for stargazing and relaxing together.

The bed and breakfast itself is outfitted with a large double bed, as well as beautiful garden views from a private balcony .

If you’re up for some outdoor activities, head to Smith Mountain Lake State Park where you can rent a boat, go for a swim, and hike one of the many nature trails. On the opposite side, you’ll find Fairy Stone State Park where you can also find water activities and hiking trails.

For dinner, El Rio Mexican Grill is a short stroll from the Claiborne House. Share a plate of supreme nachos, sip on a pair of delicious margaritas, and finish up with fresh-baked cinnamon sugar churros. Not feeling Mexican cuisine? Frank’s Pizza and The Hub Restaurant are two more options for eats in close proximity to this bed and breakfast.

Longacre Bed & Breakfast, Appomattox

Longacre Bed & Breakfast, Appomattox, VA

Queen rooms and king rooms make you and your sweetheart feel like royalty at the Longacre of Appomattox. This bed and breakfast features a buffet-style continental breakfast for AM meals, which include fresh-brewed coffee, bagels, fruit jams, scrambled eggs, and other favorites. There are five luxurious bedrooms , each outfitted with a personal wardrobe, ensuite bathroom with a shower/tub combo, and views of the gardens and inner courtyard. The living room and dining room are community spaces for all guests to share and converse.

If your sweetie is a history buff, the bed and breakfast is located within a few minutes of the Appomattox Court House National Historical Park . It’s the site where the Civil War drew to a close. Tour the on-site farmhouse and Appomattox village , which includes the famous Court House where the final battle was waged.

Nearby, you can also head to Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest for a day of hiking and canoeing, stop by Holliday Lake State Park to enjoy the beach, and maybe go for a swim.

Sunset on the Pond, Bumpass

Sunset on the Pond Glamping, Bumpass

Average rate: $130 a night – Book here

What’s a more budget-friendly romantic getaway in Virginia than camping? Set up by Tentrr, Sunset on the Pond is a Bumpass campsite with a large canvas tent set on a wooden platform that doubles as a small deck or porch. The interior tent features two nightstands and a comfortable double bed , while the deck features two Adirondack chairs.

Guests have access to a semi-private pond, a picnic area with an on-site stovetop, and a couple acres of nature paths to explore. This campsite includes a composting toilet. There’s a sun shower with a reservoir of 5 gallons of water for washing up. Treat this campsite like you would any other camping experience. Bring blankets or sleeping bags, card games, flashlights, and whatever else you need for a comfortable weekend getaway in the outdoors.

If you want to go on a little “history” road trip, drive to the Louisa County Historical Society, then head to The Exchange Hotel Civil War Medical Museum , and finish with a tour of the James Madison Museum of Orange County Heritage . If you have time, on your way back, you can go for a swim at Lake Anna State Park.

James River State Park Cabins, Gladstone

James River State Park

Average rate: $130 a night for Virginia residents, $150 for non-residents – Book here

The two-bedroom cabins at James River State Park are comfy places for a couple to cozy up for a romantic weekend getaway on a budget in Virginia. Furnished with a queen bed and a private bathroom , the cabin provides a camping experience in the middle of the woods, but with a few modern amenities for comfort and safety from the elements. Cabin guests are welcome to use the shared campfire pits and picnic areas but be respectful of quiet time after 10 pm.

There’s a community building with a wraparound deck, water views, and rocking chairs with end tables for relaxing after a day of hikes, bike adventures, or fishing trips. There are no designated areas to swim, but there are free boat launches for overnight guests.

Cozy MIL Suite, Norfolk

Cheap Vacation Rental, Norfolk, Virginia

Adorable with a quaint charm and modern amenities, the Cozy MIL Suite sits within one mile of 5 parks : Bay Oaks Park, Birds Park, Tarpon Park, Meadow Creek Park, and Guam Parkway Park. Community Beach Park and Ocean View Beach are both within 3 miles of the suite. Ergo, there’s no shortage of opportunities for nature walks, seashore strolls, or birdwatching excursions . Pack a picnic and take your honey down to the shorelines of Virginia Beach , then cuddle up and dip your toes into the ocean while the sun sets.

This suite is a spacious one-bedroom, one-bathroom cottage with cozy outdoor seating and complimentary fresh, clean linens and towels. The homey atmosphere includes all of the amenities that you would expect at home. Plus, there’s a beautiful garden to explore on the property.

Lazy Hog Inn, Danville

Lazy Hog Inn, Danville

Average rate: $100 a night – Book here

Cleverly named because of its farmstead location, the Lazy Hog Inn is a single-bedroom studio-style loft that features a living room with board games and card games, a mini kitchen, and a full private bathroom. There’s a private entrance for guests, as well as a private deck with an overlook of a wild forest of fragrant pine trees.

This cozy loft for couples boasts multiple Virginia attractions within a half-hour drive, such as Ballou Park, The Historic North Theatre, and Danville Science Center.

200-Year-Old Log Cabin, Bland

200-Year-Old Log Cabin, Bland, Virginia

Average rate: $115 a night – Book here

This 200-Year-Old Log Cabin has been updated with modern amenities, but it still holds the charm of a rustic piece of Virginia history. The cabin is surrounded by views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and farmlands , and it sits within a short walk to the nature paths of Jefferson National Forest.

This cozy log cabin is well-furnished with deep-cushioned loveseats and recliners in a living room with a wood-burning fireplace, while the bedroom features two beds – one king-size and one double, both plush and updated for comfort. The front deck is optimum for relaxing and simply taking in the sights with two rocking chairs and an end table for drinks.

The River Getaway, Remington

Affordable Glamping in Virginia

The River Getaway is a camping experience designed by Tentrr and is an ideal destination for a romantic weekend getaway in the wild. The canvas tent is raised on a wooden platform with doubles as a welcome deck. The interior features a comfy double bed , and the tent flaps can be zipped and tied when you and your sweetheart are ready for bed.

Outdoors, there’s a cozy wood-burning firepit with two Adirondack chairs, as well as stepstone access to the local river . Bring camping foods, like hot dogs and a cooler of all the fixings, and use the BBQ grill and picnic bench areas for mealtimes.

Within a short drive, you’ll find a couple of vineyards where you can go wine tasting, as well as several hiking trails.

Camping at Shenandoah River State Park

Culler's Overlook at Shenandoah River State Park

Average rate: $25 and up a night – Book here

Camping at Shenandoah River State Park is something guests can do all year, regardless of the weather. However, bear in mind that you and your significant other should pack for a camping trip, with extra blankets, anything you need in case of rain or cold, bug sprays and sunscreens, a cooler with ice and food, and flashlights.

The campgrounds can accommodate all kinds of camping setups, from primitive camping equipment, like tents and pop-ups, to small RVs with water and electric hookups. There are also four small bunkhouses for first-come first-serve campers.

Pets are allowed at the Shenandoah River State Park campgrounds, as long as guests clean up after their canine companions. Firewood is sold at the visitor center, and each camping area has its own designated campfire ring and tent pads.

Westgate Historic Williamsburg Resort, Williamsburg

Westgate Historic Williamsburg Resort, Williamsburg

Average rate: $70 to $250 depending on selected dates – Book here

Modern amenities and eloquent Virginia history collide at the Westgate Historic Williamsburg Resort. Decorated in colonial styles, the home features one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and studio options, each an apartment-style suite with private kitchenettes (or full kitchens in some rooms), spacious ensuite bathrooms, and cozy beds.

Ironbound Park and Discovery Park are within a mile of the property, Sunken Gardens is less than a ten-minute walk away.

Looking for somewhere with downhome cooking in Virginia? Take a chance on Corey’s Country Kitchen . This local restaurant is a favorite, featuring simple Southern classics, like golden fried chicken with sides of collard greens and potato salad, as well as your choice of fresh-baked rolls or cornbread.

The Historic Schoolhouse, Farmville

The Schoolhouse in Historic Worsham

Average rate: $110 a night – Book here

The Historic School is exactly what the name suggests. Located in the historic Worsham district , the cottage was once a schoolhouse, renovated as a budget-friendly romantic getaway for couples in Virginia. The schoolhouse serves as a guesthouse at the side of the main house. Guests have access to complimentary fresh, clean towels and linens, as well as a private bathroom, well-equipped private kitchen, and a sitting area with a single-room AC system and fireplace. At the schoolhouse, guests are encouraged to experience the beauty of the historic farmstead, complete with a well-furnished outdoor terrace.

Right in town, don’t miss visiting the Robert Russa Moton Museum and its exhibit on the Civil Rights Movement, hike or bike at the High Bridge Trail State Park , and go for a stroll around Wilck’s Lake. A bit farther out, tour the Sailor’s Creek Battlefield State Park, a Civil War memorial and site of Lee’s retreat, or go for a swim at Bear Creek Lake State Park.

Island Resort, Chincoteague

Island Resort, Chincoteague

Average rate: $150 a night ($270 in July and August) – Book here

The Island Resort, located within a short drive of Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, is home to three room types, each with its own modern amenities. The rooms are soundproofed for optimum privacy, and each one features a variation of a balcony or sun terrace with beautiful views of the property gardens. It will make a perfect romantic getaway in Virginia for couples wanting to enjoy the beach without breaking the bank.

Guests have access to a wellness center at The Island Resort. Sign up for fitness or yoga classes , lounge in the hot tubs, swim in the heated outdoor and indoor swimming pools , and schedule couples’ massages to relieve stress. The resort can also schedule walking or biking tours for you and your sweetheart to explore your surroundings.

Love the seashore? Assateague Beach is less than 3 miles from the property , so you and your sweetheart can plan a day at the shoreline after check-in. You could also go picnicking at Donald J. Leonard Park or Waterfront Park . Or take a stroll through the wilderness on well-kept nature paths in Chesapeake Forest .

Lodges at Walnut Hills Campground & RV Park, Staunton

Frontier Museum, Stanton, VA

The lodges at Walnut Hills Campground & RV park are separated into two kinds of accommodations just in case a romantic couples’ getaway turns into a family vacation. The lodges are the largest on the camp’s grounds, with a master bedroom, bunkbed room, and plush pull-out sofa bed. Linens for all of the beds are included, and guests have access to private bathrooms . Each lodge is also equipped with a half kitchen , perfect for cooking romantic meals “at home.”

Nearby, you can visit the Frontier Culture Museum with its colonial farms and costumed staff, tour the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library, and go for a hike at the Augusta Springs Wetlands Park .

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What’s open and closed on Memorial Day

The Associated Press

May 25, 2024, 8:15 AM

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In what had long been celebrated every May 30 to honor America’s fallen soldiers, Memorial Day officially became a federal holiday in 1971, observed on the last Monday in May.

Businesses increasingly have chosen to stay open on the holiday, leading to what is now one of the biggest retail sales and travel weekends of the year.

Here’s what is open and closed this year on Memorial Day:


Government offices, post offices, courts and schools are closed.


U.S. stock markets and banks are closed Monday.

Most FedEx and UPS pickup and delivery services will also not be available on Memorial Day.

Warehouse membership club Costco said it would close on Memorial Day , but the vast majority of retailers will be open, with many trying to lure customers with big promotional sales. Hours may vary by location.

Memorial Day is also considered the unofficial opening of the summer travel season. Auto club AAA projects 43.8 million travelers will head 50 miles or more from home over the holiday travel period, an increase of 4% from last year. If those projections are accurate, that would come close to 2005’s record of 44 million Memorial Day weekend travelers.

AAA projects 38.4 million people will travel by car over the weekend — the highest number for that holiday since AAA began tracking it in 2000 — and that another 3.5 million people will travel by air.

Copyright © 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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5 things to know about Memorial Day, including its evolution and controversies

FILE - The sun shines through the flags in the Memorial Day Flag Garden on Boston Common, May 27, 2023, in Boston. Memorial Day is supposed to be about mourning the nation’s fallen service members. But it’s come to anchor the unofficial start of summer and retail discounts. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, file)

FILE - The sun shines through the flags in the Memorial Day Flag Garden on Boston Common, May 27, 2023, in Boston. Memorial Day is supposed to be about mourning the nation’s fallen service members. But it’s come to anchor the unofficial start of summer and retail discounts. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, file)

FILE - A member of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment also known as The Old Guard, places flags in front of each headstone for “Flags-In” at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, May 25, 2023, to honor the Nation’s fallen military heroes ahead of Memorial Day. Memorial Day is supposed to be about mourning the nation’s fallen service members. But it’s come to anchor the unofficial start of summer and retail discounts. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, file)

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Memorial Day is supposed to be about mourning the nation’s fallen service members, but it’s come to anchor the unofficial start of summer and a long weekend of discounts on anything from mattresses to lawn mowers.

But for people such as Manuel Castañeda Jr., the day is very personal. He lost his father, a U.S. Marine who served in Vietnam, in an accident in 1966 in California while his father was training other Marines.

“It isn’t just the specials. It isn’t just the barbecue,” Castañeda told The Associated Press in a discussion about Memorial Day last year.

Castañeda also served in the Marines and Army National Guard, from which he knew men who died in combat. But he tries not to judge others who spend the holiday differently: “How can I expect them to understand the depth of what I feel when they haven’t experienced anything like that?”


It’s a day of reflection and remembrance of those who died while serving in the U.S. military, according to the Congressional Research Service. The holiday is observed in part by the National Moment of Remembrance, which encourages all Americans to pause at 3 p.m. for a moment of silence.


The holiday stems from the American Civil War, which killed more than 600,000 service members — both Union and Confederate — between 1861 and 1865.

There’s little controversy over the first national observance of what was then called Decoration Day. It occurred May 30, 1868, after an organization of Union veterans called for decorating war graves with flowers, which were in bloom.

A shopper moves past a display of items in a Costco warehouse Saturday, May 18, 2024, in Sheridan, Colo. As many Americans celebrate Memorial Day on Monday, May 27, 2024, there are several stores, government offices and businesses that will be open or closed.(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The practice was already widespread on a local level. Waterloo, New York, began a formal observance on May 5, 1866, and was later proclaimed to be the holiday’s birthplace.

Yet Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, traced its first observance to October 1864, according to the Library of Congress. And women in some Confederate states were decorating graves before the war’s end.

David Blight, a Yale history professor, points to May 1, 1865, when as many as 10,000 people, many of them Black, held a parade, heard speeches and dedicated the graves of Union dead in Charleston, South Carolina.

A total of 267 Union troops had died at a Confederate prison and were buried in a mass grave. After the war, members of Black churches buried them in individual graves.

“What happened in Charleston does have the right to claim to be first, if that matters,” Blight told The Associated Press in 2011 .

In 2021, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel cited the story in a Memorial Day speech in Hudson, Ohio. The ceremony’s organizers turned off his microphone because they said it wasn’t relevant to honoring the city’s veterans. The event’s organizers later resigned .


Someone has always lamented the holiday’s drift from its original meaning.

As early as 1869, The New York Times wrote that the holiday could become “sacrilegious” and no longer “sacred” if it focuses more on pomp, dinners and oratory.

In 1871, abolitionist Frederick Douglass feared Americans were forgetting the Civil War’s impetus — enslavement — when he gave a Decoration Day speech at Arlington National Cemetery.

“We must never forget that the loyal soldiers who rest beneath this sod flung themselves between the nation and the nation’s destroyers,” Douglass said.

His concerns were well-founded, said Ben Railton, a professor of English and American studies at Fitchburg State University in Massachusetts. Even though roughly 180,000 Black men served in the Union Army, the holiday in many communities would essentially become “white Memorial Day,” especially after the rise of the Jim Crow South, Railton told the AP in 2023.

Meanwhile, how the day was spent — at least by the nation’s elected officials — could draw scrutiny for years after the Civil War. In the 1880s, then-President Grover Cleveland was said to have gone fishing — and “people were appalled,” Matthew Dennis, an emeritus history professor at the University of Oregon, told the AP last year.

By 1911, the Indianapolis 500 held its inaugural race on May 30, drawing 85,000 spectators. A report from The Associated Press made no mention of the holiday — or any controversy.


Dennis said Memorial Day’s potency diminished somewhat with the addition of Armistice Day, which marked World War I’s end on Nov. 11, 1918. Armistice Day became a national holiday by 1938 and was renamed Veterans Day in 1954.

An act of Congress changed Memorial Day from every May 30th to the last Monday in May in 1971. Dennis said the creation of the three-day weekend recognized that Memorial Day had long been transformed into a more generic remembrance of the dead, as well as a day of leisure.

In 1972, Time Magazine said the holiday had become “a three-day nationwide hootenanny that seems to have lost much of its original purpose.”


Even in the 19th century, grave ceremonies were followed by leisure activities such as picnicking and foot races, Dennis said.

The holiday also evolved alongside baseball and the automobile, the five-day work week and summer vacation, according to the 2002 book “A History of Memorial Day: Unity, Discord and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

In the mid-20th century, a small number of businesses began to open defiantly on the holiday.

Once the holiday moved to Monday, “the traditional barriers against doing business began to crumble,” authors Richard Harmond and Thomas Curran wrote.

These days, Memorial Day sales and traveling are deeply woven into the nation’s muscle memory.

Jason Redman, a retired Navy SEAL who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, told the AP last year that he honors the friends he’s lost. Thirty names are tattooed on his arm “for every guy that I personally knew that died.”

He wants Americans to remember the fallen — but also to enjoy themselves, knowing lives were sacrificed to forge the holiday.

virginia long weekend trips


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    Shenandoah National Park. Best Places to Stay. Shenandoah is an amazing place to go hiking for your weekend getaway because it has over 500 miles of trails to explore. The park is open year-around, and this is also a popular place for fishing, taking a scenic car trip or biking along Skyline drive, and camping.

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    Eastern Shore of Virginia. (757) 331-1660. Visit Website. Social Media. Open in Google Maps. One of the most popular weekend getaways in VA, the Eastern Shore of Virginia is the longest stretch of stunning wild coastline located between the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay and stretches across 70 miles.

  7. 13 Great Weekend Getaways in Virginia

    1. Colonial Williamsburg. Colonial Williamsburg is one of the top vacation destinations in Virginia, so you definitely won't run out of things to do in this historic city! Williamsburg is a great weekend trip from Virginia Beach, Charlottesville, Richmond, and even Northern Virginia. Some of the "can't miss" attractions include the ...

  8. Top 23 Weekend Getaways in Virginia

    The Colonial Parkway: The 23-mile Colonial Parkway connects Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown in what is known as Virginia's historic triangle. The drive is intentionally slow-paced, so you can take in all the sights around you and easily stop when you get to each town. 5. Visit Wine Country.

  9. 15 Best Weekend Getaways in Virginia

    Lake Moomaw. Lake Moomaw is located in the mountains of western Virginia. This beautiful lake is a quiet haven if you are looking to escape for the weekend. The 2,530-acre lake is ideal for boating, canoeing, and fishing. Rig your poles for Trout, bass, and catfish.

  10. 9 Best Weekend Getaways From Virginia

    The Outer Banks, North Carolina. Best Places to Stay. North Carolina's Outer Banks region is easily accessible from Virginia. This long, narrow strip of land that separates Pamlico Sound from the open waters of the Atlantic is a beach lovers' paradise offering activities that include paddle boarding, surfing and kayaking, as well as lessons ...

  11. Top 10 Weekend Getaways in Virginia

    1: Norfolk. Norfolk is a charming waterfront town that is perfect for a weekend getaway in Virginia. Here you can enjoy the coastline without having to sacrifice the big town amenities. In Norfolk, you can visit botanical gardens, explore museums, and even visit the Virginia Zoological Park.

  12. Weekend Getaway Packages

    Coastal - Hampton Roads Northern Virginia Spend a History-Packed Weekend in Fredericksburg Virginia Mountains Shenandoah Valley Harrisonburg, ... Girlfriend Getaways - Virginia Is For Lovers. History Lovers. History - Virginia Is For Lovers. Winter & Holiday. Holidays - Virginia Is For Lovers.

  13. The 11 Best Weekend Getaways in Virginia

    Virginia's history, variety, impressive wine industry, and beauty know no bounds. From charming towns a short drive away from the nation's capital, like Alexandria, to idyllic horse farms in Middleburg to vineyards in Orange, Virginia is full of weekend getaways just waiting for history buffs, thrill-seekers, honeymooning couples, and vacationing families to experience.

  14. 23 Fantastic Weekend Getaways From Washington DC

    These 23 fantastic weekend getaways from Washington DC offer romance, luxury, family fun, and more in unique lodging at scenic destinations in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. In our list of the best weekend getaways from DC, you'll find a fun mix of popular cities and hidden gems in both urban and nature-focused destinations.

  15. 14 Interesting Weekend Getaways In Virginia

    Colonial Williamsburg is a classic weekend getaway in Virginia. This living-history museum invites you to travel back to a simpler time. There are over 300 acres to explore filled with beautiful historic buildings, art museums, and gardens. This is a great place to visit in Virginia for the whole family!

  16. Weekend Getaways in Virginia: Adventure, History, and Southern Charm

    A thick fog creeps down from the peaks of the surrounding Blue Ridge mountains through a nearby valley as the hills glisten in patches of emerald green from the sun's powerful rays. This is early morning in Virginia, a state deeply-rooted in tradition and the early origins of a free nation. Nearly every town and city bear the contrast of a ...

  17. Best Weekend Getaways in Virginia

    Recommended by Megan of Virginia Travel Tips. One of the best weekend getaways in Virginia is the small waterside town of Cape Charles, Virginia. The town, dating back to the 1800s, only has around 2,000 residents but it is the perfect escape during the summer months. Cape Charles is located on the Chesapeake Bay on Virginia's Eastern Shore.

  18. 15 Fun Virginia Road Trips For Your Bucket List

    Norfolk. Cape Charles. Assateague Island National Seashore. Virginia is on the Atlantic coast and while there are not a ton of beaches, there are plenty of cute coastal towns to visit. A coastal Virginia road trip is bound to a be fun and memorable. Begin in Virginia Beach, the biggest beach town in the state.

  19. 19 Most Romantic Getaways in Virginia

    When booking your stay, consider the "Couples Getaway Package," which includes two nights of accommodations, daily breakfast for two, admission to Colonial Williamsburg, a romantic carriage ride ...

  20. 15 Cheap Romantic (Weekend) Getaways in Virginia for Couples on a Budget

    Average rate: $120 a night - Book here. Wolf Creek Farm Bed and Breakfast sits on 102 acres of a mixed farmstead, woodlands, grassy plains, and rolling hills, and is one of the best affordable romantic getaways in Virginia for couples on a budget. Guests have access to an on-site swimming pool, plus 5 acres of lake to fish, swim, and canoe.

  21. 12 Best Weekend Getaways In Virginia, USA

    Top 12 Secluded Cabin Rentals In Virginia, USA - Updated 2024. 1. Roanoke (from USD 78.0) Show all photos. Nestled in the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains lies Roanoke, a vibrant city located a mere 188.9 miles (304.01 kilometers) or a three-hour drive away from Richmond, Virginia. The Mill Mountain Star is a renowned emblem of the city and a ...

  22. What's open and closed on Memorial Day

    AAA projects 38.4 million people will travel by car over the weekend — the highest number for that holiday since AAA began tracking it in 2000 — and that another 3.5 million people will travel ...

  23. Memorial Day: 5 things to know

    NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — Memorial Day is supposed to be about mourning the nation's fallen service members, but it's come to anchor the unofficial start of summer and a long weekend of discounts on anything from mattresses to lawn mowers. But for people such as Manuel Castañeda Jr., the day is very personal.