If you grew up in Virginia, chances are you were spoiled by the sheer number of field trip options available. A quick trip to the first president’s estate? No big deal. An afternoon spent at the site of the first American colony? Sure. As adults, it’s a bit easier to appreciate the wonder that is Virginia history and culture. And if you haven’t been to these incredible sites since you were on a school bus, it may be time to revisit them. You won’t be disappointed.
Monticello is the beloved home of Thomas Jefferson in Charlottesville. Guided tours of the unique interior and grounds are available.
2. Mount Vernon
The home of George Washington is located in Mount Vernon on the Potomac. This estate is open all year long.
Just in case two presidential homes didn't quite cover it, James Madison's Montpelier can be found in Orange, Virginia. (Looking for more? James Monroe’s Ash Lawn is in Charlottesville, William Henry Harrison’s Berkeley Plantation is in Charles City, John Tyler’s Sherwood Forest is also in Charles City, and Woodrow Wilson’s Manse can be found in Staunton.)
4. Agecroft Hall
Agecroft was built in Lancashire, England in the 15th century. In the 1900s, this house was dismantled and shipped across the Atlantic to its current residence in Richmond. How amazing is that? It presently serves as a museum.
5. Lurray Caverns
A trip to the largest caverns in eastern America is sure to make for a fascinating adventure. And this time you won't be quizzed on the difference between stalactites and stalagmites.
6. Jamestown Settlement
Outdoor living history and exhibitions make for an exciting learning opportunity for students and visitors alike. America's first permanent settlement has many tales to tell.
7. The Virginia Living Museum
Since 1965, the VLM has been teaching Newport News and beyond about the importance of conservation in the natural world.
8. Morefield Gem Mine
One of the coolest geology field trips out there is a day spent searching for gems at Morefield in Amelia.
9. The Oyster and Maritime Museum
The Museum of Chincoteague displays the area's history in a fascinating and interactive way. This is the place to learn about lighthouses, the famous Chincoteague ponies, and vessels.
10. Norfolk Botanical Garden
The Norfolk Botanical Garden is essentially a living museum for plants. In addition to breathtaking gardens, the facility here offers both classes for children as well as adult programs.
11. Virginia Holocaust Museum
This Richmond museum opened in 1997 and serves as a tribute to the historical and personal accounts of the Holocaust.
12. Natural Bridge
One of the seven natural wonders of the world, Natural Bridge is a famous geological formation that is listed as both a Virginia Historic Landmark and National Historic Landmark.
13. Booker T. Washington National Monument
This is the former tobacco farm where Booker T. Washington was born a slave. A visit here explains what life was like for this important American figure.
14. Blackfriars Theatre
Staunton has the world's only recreation of Shakespeare's indoor theatre, and it is a must-see if you never made it for a field trip. The acting and architecture are equally incredible.
15. Virginia Marine Science Musuem
This museum in Virginia Beach has "touch tanks," which allow visitors to touch starfish, stingrays and other sea creatures.
16. Pocahontas Exhibition Mine and Museum
This coal mine in southwest Virginia began in 1882 and was in operation for 73 years. Walking tours of historic small town Pocahontas are also available. This is actually the oldest attraction of its kind.