Who doesn’t love their summer holidays? There’s the chaos of planning, of choosing where you want to go, of choosing your hotel, cottage, campsite, whatever.
Then there’s the excitement building up towards the Big Day itself. Finally, it’s here. The suitcases are packed, the stove is definitely turned off (you checked twice), and you’re off.
Yes, everyone loves holidays. Whether you plan to have a relaxing two weeks sunbathing on the beach, or you have an action-packed ten days of dedicated sightseeing, it’s fair to assume you’re going to want to do something. Choosing your areas of interest before you leave is a good way to make sure you don’t return from your holiday feeling as if you’ve wasted the last week or two.
In this article, we’ll discuss six amazing things to do in Virginia, regardless of your age, interests, or the size of your family.
- Day Trips
Day tours are a good way to get in some serious sightseeing. A lot of day trips are all-inclusive, meaning you’ll get taken directly to the areas the tour covers, with plenty of time to explore. Then you’ll be taken home.
Day tours can be a handy option for holidaymakers who don’t drive or don’t fancy driving hours and hours to an attraction in another state. You can enjoy wine tasting tours, personal tours of Washing D.C, and much more. Check out more day trips here.
- Explore Culture
It’s easy to combine day trips with a cultural experience. In Virginia, a lot of day trips take sightseers to Washington D.C. Tours of famous monuments by day or night are especially popular.
After all, if you’re going to a well-known area, it’s always great to see famous landmarks with your own eyes. Cultural experiences don’t just stop at the Washington monuments. There are private tours, ghost tours, walking tours, and much more.
- Walks, Parks, and Hiking Trips
If you want to combine your love of walking and culture, you might fancy some of the walking tours suggested here. Of course, not everyone wants to go sightseeing on holiday. Fortunately, Virginia is an area of outstanding natural beauty, and there are plenty of parks, walks, and scenic locations.
The First Landing State Park is a spectacularly beautiful location. It boasts over 2700 acres of hiking trails, areas of beauty, and more. Nature lovers will especially enjoy the swamps, and keen ornithologists will enjoy the bird nesting grounds.
In short, parks like the First Landing State Park are perfect for hiking and a little nature-based relaxation.
- Areas of Beauty
There’s really no cultural landmark that can compare with the breathtaking beauty of nature. Virginia is a beautiful, scenic state, and you definitely don’t want to leave without taking in at least a few of the sights.
Whiteoak Canyon Falls is one of those places. Many areas of natural beauty also have great hiking trails attached, and Whiteoak Canyon is no exception. At 5.6 miles long, the hike is reasonably challenging but not exhausting, and the trail passes by several spectacular waterfalls.
If you’re an avid fisher, Whiteoak Canyon is a good place to fish, operating on a catch-and-release rule.
- Hit the Beach
Would we really be talking about holidays if we didn’t mention the beach? Not everyone likes to lounge in the sun all day, but going to the beach doesn’t need to be all sunbathing and sandcastles.
Let’s take a brief look at some of the best beaches in Virginia:
- Cape Charles Beach
Cape Charles is the perfect family-friendly beach. Taking the kids to the beach is always a trifle stressful (cue nightmares about your toddler getting swept out to sea) but Cape Charles is reasonably safe. At least, as safe as a beach can be.
The waves are gentle, the water is shallow, and the weather is excellent. Cape Charles is a popular tourist town, meaning there’s plenty of restaurants, accommodation, and camping grounds.
- Virginia Beach
As the largest beach in the state, Virginia Beach is hugely popular. There’s so much to do in the tourist-focused coastal town, and there are plenty of places to stay nearby.
And, of course, the beach itself is truly beautiful. In fact, Virginia Beach is made up of several smaller beaches, including the one we’ll mention next…
- Sandbridge Beach
Dog lovers absolutely need to head to Sandbridge Beach. During the off-season, dogs are allowed on the beach before 10 am and after 6 pm (perfect for the morning and evening walks!) and are allowed on the beach anytime during the off-season.
There’s also plenty to do in Sandbridge. Kayaking, fishing, speed boating, and more are all available at Sandbridge Beach.
- Try a New Gourmet Experience
If you’re something of a foodie, you’ll definitely enjoy one of Virginia’s food tours. Whether you’re interested in lunch or dinner cruises, new cultural culinary experiences, or fancy and exciting food tours, you may be interested in some of Virginia’s gourmet experiences.
After all, don’t we all enjoy eating a nice meal on holiday? Holidays are a time to try new things and treat yourself, and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to try something different can add an extra spice to your holiday.
The Bottom Line
Holidays are more than just an expensive sightseeing tour. A holiday is a time to bond with family and friends, get to know yourself, and usually rest up a little.
If you don’t like the idea of packing in lots of sightseeing tours into your two precious weeks off, don’t worry. Virginia is a beautiful and varied state, and there’s plenty to do – with something for everyone.
Perhaps you’d rather relax in your holiday cabin and take a few long walks, instead of piling on a tour bus and heading to D.C. That’s fine! Your holiday is your time. The key is to take the time to get a rough idea of what you’d like to do. For most of us, time off is precious. Make your time count.