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.
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10 Amazing Weekend Trips 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.
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
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
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!
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!
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
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.
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
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.
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.