Things To Do With Kids In Southside Virginia This Spring
With spring arriving, its time to get outside and have some fun with the family. I know my family is tired of a long winter spent mostly indoors!
When the warm weather finally arrives gather your family to enjoy one of the many kid-friendly events in Southside Virginia this spring! Ive compiled a list of family-friendly activities and events in Southern Virginia for spring.
Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge
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Nature nuts take note Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is an amazing location for those who wish to see the Chincoteague ponies.
An endangered species unique to this barrier island, the feral ponies are largely stunted in size, thanks to their poor diet.
The Virginia half of Assateague Island has a lot more to offer than just endangered horses, however.
You can check out the shipwrecks scattered across the islands shores via snorkeling, or go horseback riding if you rather not drive through in over-sand vehicles.
If you have a valid fishing license, then why not go fishing, clamming, and crabbing too?
Visitors dropping by this island to go site seeing will also find plenty of wildlife to spot.
The island is home to animals such as fox squirrels, red foxes, brown pelicans, merlins, and white-tailed dear.
Other endangered animals you may spot include the likes of the piping plover and sika deer as well!
Address: 8231 Beach Rd, Chincoteague, VA 23336, United States
George Washington National Forest
The George Washington National Forest is one of the best National Parks in Virginia. It is also one of the best options for day trips from Richmond if youre looking to escape the city. Its a popular camping weekend getaway in Virginia, but it can easily be a fun day trip in Virginia as well. Because it is close to Richmond, its one of the more popular National Parks in Virginia, so keep that in mind when you are planning your day trip. Depending on the season, you may encounter more crowds.
The park includes miles of hiking and biking trails and there are also lakes and rivers. In the Summer months, you can enjoy watersports in the lakes in rivers, like swimming, kayaking, and boating. There are also certain trails where you can go horseback riding. One of the coolest things to do in the National Forest is going hang gliding. Its the perfect activity for the thrill-seekers looking for just a little extra jolt of fun at the George Washington National Forest. Of course, the forest is gorgeous in the Fall and you can still enjoy a ton of activities in the forest in Winter and Spring.
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Us Marine Corps War Memorial
Jakapong Paoprapat / Shutterstock
The U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial often referred to as the Iwo Jima Memorial is a national monument recognized as one of the most iconic points of interest not just in Virginia, but all over the world.
The memorial is dedicated to Marine Corps since 1775 who have passed away in service to the US.
It was designed by an architect named Horace W. Peaslee and a sculptor named Felix de Weldom, inspired by a picture from combat photographers Joe Rosenthal that showed six Marines on Mount Suribachi waving a flag during the Iwo Jima battle.
Visit this Virginia site to pay respects to those passed, or simply to bask in its historical relevance.
Address: Arlington Blvd. and Meade St, Arlington, VA 22211, United States
Virginia Museum Of Fine Arts
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, or VFMA, is among the best places to visit in Virginia due to its commonly acknowledged caliber, making it one of the states greatest museums.
Before it even opened its doors, since the early 1900s, the state had received multiple art-related gifts, including ones from famous donors like Judge John Barton Payne.
These works would become viewable by the public when the VFMA opened in 1936.
Already quite a large building to begin with, and loved for its housing of famous works by great artists such as Picasso and a wide range of works from all around the world, the museum became even larger in 2010.
An expansion project burst the VFMA forward to 545,000 square feet.
Among the various galleries, you can view collections in varying genres, including American art as well as Art Nouveau and Art Deco from Lewis.
You can also head to the Sculpture Garden of Lora Robins, or perhaps visit the Library of Margaret R. and Robert M. Freeman.
If you need a break, you can eat at one of the VFMAs two dining establishments or sit in a relaxing area outside.
Address: 200 N Arthur Ashe Blvd, Richmond, VA 23220, United States
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Hike The Appalachian Trail And Try An Outdoorsy Activity
Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains are a playground for avid hikers, and Blacksburg is situated just 10 minutes away from various segments of the Appalachian Trail. McAfee Knob is one of the area’s most popular hikes an 8.8-mile journey round-trip, this hike up Catawba Mountain is no small task, yet its culminating panoramic view makes it one of the most popular spots on the Appalachian Trail.
Keep the exploratory spirit alive with a visit to Mountain Lake Lodge’s Adventure Center, an outdoor adventure zone furnished with treetop climbing and zip-lining courses, archery tag, mountain-biking paths, and an escape room.
Best Things To Do In Virginia
The state of Virginia has a copious amount of history to offer as well as great museums and culture found in its cities. Four of the United States first five presidents were born in Virginia and many of the states attractions relate to its notable residents including country homes and historic cemeteries.
Another historic claim the state can make is the most historic battlefields, these too rank among the states most visited attractions. As well as history galore, the state also has many natural attractions to offer and a wide variety of wildlife and outdoor pursuits. Here is our list of the best things to do in Virginia:
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Things To Do In Northern Virginia: Meadowlark Botanical Garden
The Meadowlark Botanical Gardens are home to 95 acres of local flora and fauna. Conservationists will enjoy the well-preserved wetlands and native plant collections, while families will appreciate the wide variety of outdoor activities available for visitors of all ages that are part of the NOVA Parks Roving Naturalist Program. Special events are held throughout the year, and personalized experiences such as group tours, field trips, guided nature walks, and educational programs can be arranged with a call to the staff. The Meadowlark Visitor Center serves as an interactive exhibit space and also houses a gift shop and a library.
5400 Ox Road, Fairfax Station, VA, Phone: 703-255-3631
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Go To The Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival
One of the most iconic festivals in Virginia in spring is the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival in Winchester. This festival is so much more than just apples! It takes place from the end of April until early May .
You will find wine festivals, a carnival, an 80s dance party, a 10k race, a country music party, and more!
Once youre done hanging out at the festival, be sure to stick around and explore Winchester, one of the most adorable places in Virginia ! The city has a cozy feeling and there are some cool cafes and craft beer bars there.
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Assateague And Chincoteague Islands
The 38 mile long barrier island of Assateague lies to the east of Chincoteague Island.
The island is partly located in Maryland and partly within Virginia and is a protected site serving as a wildlife sanctuary.
Chincoteague itself offers 14,000 acres of shoreline as well as forests, marshes and wetlands which provide an environment suitable for a wide variety of wildlife.
The islands most notable animal residents are the wild ponies found here. As well as wildlife spotting, the island is a great location for outdoor pursuits including hiking, swimming, kayaking or fishing to name only a few.
Hiking Hunting Fishing And Climbing
Hiking attracts all ages, and New River Gorge offers over 100 miles of forested foot, mountain bike, and equestrian trails. Some paths follow the old rail lines, and others go down to ruins of coal mining towns.
The 1.6 mile Grandview Rim Trail provides the expected stunning view of the gorge and New River some 1,400 feet below.
The moderate Long Point Trail, 1.6 miles, offers a panoramic view from Long Point. There is one steep section.
Boomer Travel Tip
Take a look at our day hiking essentials before heading down the trail.
The easily accessible 2.4-mile Endless Wall Trail gives views of the gorge and access to some of the best rock climbing zones. Expect more trails to be developed, including a rim-to-rim route similar to one at the Grand Canyon.
Hunting is permitted in certain designated areas during selected dates. This practice is an allowance that caused much debate before the parks designation, but one that many West Virginians felt was their legacy. Fishing enthusiasts with a license enjoy a variety of bass, walleye, crappie, bluegill, carp, and catfish.
Climbers and rappelers find rugged sandstone cliffs within the park that range from 30-120 feet high. Many routes are rated 5.9 or higher and require climber expertise. Beginners find outfitters provide all the necessary gear and instructors.
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Find Fun Things To Do
Virginia is for mountain hikers, beach-chair-sitters, oyster-shuckers, brewery-hoppers, museum goers, andwell you get the idea. Weve got lots of fun things to do, whether youre here for a quick visit or plan on staying awhile. You could find yourself at an at an iconic historic site, in a garden, visiting an art museum, performance hall or theme park. As you can see, theres a lot of things to LOVE on a Virginia vacation. Plan your trip below and come love it for yourself.
Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historic Park
Cedar Creek was the site of a decisive Union victory in the American Civil War, a battle that took place on October 19, 1864. Today, much of the battlefield is privately owned and not accessible to the public, but ranger-led tours and self-driving tours on public roads highlight the main locations of the battle. Belle Grove is a plantation house that was given as a wedding present by descendants of German settlers it was built of local limestone in 1797 in Federal style architecture.
It still stands to this day and is one of the best-preserved 18th century manor houses in America. Tours of the house and grounds are available, and take in the house itself, the icehouse , the smokehouse, the slave cemetery, and the heritage orchard. The park affords beautiful vistas of the Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains.
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Paddle The James River In Richmond
Did you know that Virginia has some of the best urban whitewater in the U.S.? And, its kid friendly too!
The James River runs through Virginias capital city, Richmond. Its rapids are a favorite for whitewater enthusiasts young and old.
Riverside Outfitters can take families with children as young as six years old canoeing or rafting on the upper section of the river. Teens can enjoy the lower section of the river for some real action.
Richmond, a city once known almost exclusively for its Civil War sites, is now becoming one of the Souths premier urban destinations for families. Now more so than ever, due to the completion of the Virginia Capital Trail for biking.
And, no worries, Richmond is still chock-full of historic Virginia attractions for families including museums and noteworthy Civil War historic sites for the history buffs.
Interesting Virginia Day Trips
July 30, 2021// by Southern Trippers
Are you looking for interesting Virginia day trips? Then youve come to the right place! This list is full of some of the best day trips in Virginia. Virginia is a gorgeous Southern state that is full of fun and unique things to do. It is especially awesome if you are a history buff. So much of Virginias history is tied into the history of the forming of the United States of America and some of the countrys earliest presidents.
Even if American history isnt really your thing, we guarantee there is something fun in Virginia for you to enjoy. Some of these day trips in Virginia are centered around its natural beauty, while others highlight the unique history of the state. Weve also included some fun day trips in Virginia for families as well as fun day trips in Virginia for couples.
Weve also made sure to include interesting and fun Virginia day trips for the history buffs, outdoor lovers, and thrill-seekers. Virginia truly does have something for everyone! So, lets take a look at 15 interesting Virginia day trips!
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Harpers Ferry National Historic Park
The Harpers Ferry National Historic Park is actually in three states West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia. Depending on what youre interested in, the different states offer different experiences. The Maryland section is mainly hiking trails and scenic views along the Potomac River. West Virginia and Virginia share the section of the park that has some really cool historic buildings. Because of its location, its a great option for day trips from Northern Virginia.
Just like so many other places to visit in Virginia in one day, the National Historic Park is bursting with history. Youll find a historic town with 19th-century buildings and see what it was like to live in a port town. There are living history events, local artisans, and more. Youll also find hiking and biking trails as well as enjoy watersports like swimming, kayaking, and boating.
Keep in mind that when you are planning your trip, you may find that the trailheads or destinations you have in mind may be across the border in either Maryland or West Virginia. Either way, its still one of the most fun day trips in Virginia.
Watch A Hokies Game And Visit A Nearby Forest
No visit to Blacksburg is complete without a visit to Virginia Tech’s campus. In the fall, cheer on the Hokies in a football matchup at Lane Stadium then, as a postgame activity, wander the rare old-growth forest near the stadium, where the dozens of white oak trees are estimated to be over 300 years old.
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Enjoy The Changing Seasons In Shenandoah National Park And Along The Blue Ridge Parkway
No matter what season it is, there is no better place to get outdoors than the mountains of Virginia.
In the summer months, families can escape the heat and humidity of the Mid-Atlantic by setting up camp in one of Shenandoah National Parks four campgrounds and taking a hike to one of the parks many waterfalls.
In the winter, Virginias most scenic and family-friendly skiing is right off the Blue Ridge Parkway at Wintergreen Resort. When the Blue Ridge Mountains turn green in the spring time, the parkway is fresh and new with blooms.
The rhododendrons lining the trails by Mabry Mill are photographed by young and old. Alas, all the locals know that the most popular time to drive Skyline Drive is in the fall. Thats when the hillsides turn brilliant shades of red, yellow, and orange.
There are over 300 miles of scenic roadway along the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive.
Trekaroos guide to Shenandoah National Park with Kids and Road Trip through Virginias Blue Ridge Parkway provide all the details you need to start planning your adventure at this popular Virginia attraction for families.
Dont forget to stop by a visitor center for a junior ranger booklet!
Experiencing New River Gorge National Park
NRGNP encompasses more than 70,000 acres, with over 1,300 plant species and more than 100 different trees. But, the destination is not merely a place to drive through, look out car windows, or gaze upon a grand vista from an overlook.
This West Virginia gem begs for interaction with nature. Whether its hiking or biking in the mountains, rafting the river, or star gazing around a campfire, boomers will find plenty of active fun in New River Gorge National Park.
Boomer Travel Tip
Do you enjoy road trips as much as we do? Be sure to !
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Historic Jamestown And Yorktown
On your list of day trips from Williamsburg, you absolutely need to add a trip to Historic Jamestown and Yorktown. You can drive about 30 minutes outside of Williamsburg and end up in Historic Jamestown or Yorktown, which is part of the Historic Triangle in Virginia. Because they are all so close together, we suggest making this a historic tour day trip from Williamsburg. Start in Historic Jamestown, which was originally founded in 1607 by European immigrants.
Jamestown was the first permanent settlement in America for those making the journey from various countries in Europe. Youll find a living history museum, similar to Colonial Williamsburg, but on a smaller scale. There is also a reconstructed Native American village alongside a Colonial fort, so you can see how Native Americans and European immigrants would have lived in the early 1600s in the area.
In Yorktown, there is another similar site. However, Yorktown wasnt founded until 1691, over 80 years later. Youll notice some similarities, but also plenty of differences as generations learned what did and didnt work in the area. The town is probably best known as the site of the Battle of Yorktown in 1781. Its where the American Revolution is said to have finally ended, with the surrender of English General Cornwallis. While you are in Yorktown, you can tour the battlefield as well as the American Revolution Museum. A journey to the two historic cities is one of the best day trips from Williamsburg.