To get you started on your next adventure, here are 9 more of Virginia’s amazing secrets that you’ll want to experience as soon as possible.
1. Croatan Beach
Just south of Rudee Inlet near Virginia Beach is the residential neighborhood of Croatan Beach. This particular stretch of beach is open to the public and is certainly less crowded than other places along the Atlantic. In fact, this area was once planned to be used for an educational resort called Chautauqua-By-The-Sea.
2. Friday Night Jamorees
It's no secret if you're a Floyd local, but the rest of the state might not realize what they're missing out on. The Friday Night Jamboree takes place year-round as a live-music and dancing celebration. You'll want to dust off the old boots and check it out for yourself.
3. Old Town Trolley
Virginia's proximity to DC has some serious advantages. But why travel all the way into the busy capital when you can enjoy a FREE trolley in charming Old Town Alexandria? Along the way you can marvel at the iconic early American architecture and stop for some fine dining.
4. Marriott Ranch
Marriott is known for its corporate hotels, restaurants, and resorts. But did you realize the company ran a cozy bed and breakfast within a working cattle ranch in Hume, Virginia? The property was bought in 1951 by J. Marriott, Sr and can still be enjoyed by guests today. The Inn has 10 rooms, 4 of which reside in the historic James Marshall Manor House. Many of the guests are horse riding enthusiasts and come out to ride the beautiful grounds. It's also become a popular venue for weddings and retreats.
5. Medieval Dining
Many people don't know about the medieval themed comedy dinner show at John Strongbow's Tavern. It's one of the most unique dining experiences you could hope for in Alexandria. The show is known as "Medieval Madness" and involves a cast of talented characters dressed in time pieces. If you're not careful, you might laugh too hard and choke on your mead.
6. Jamestown Historic Glasshouse
This historic glasshouse is one of the most fascinating spots in Jamestown. The glassblowing industry was the first attempt at American manufacturing by the English in the 17th century. A trip to this historic glasshouse will provide visitors with a chance to hear this detailed history, watch demonstrations, and even see some of the original furnaces that were used by early artisans.
7. Emerald Pond
Tucked away on a beautiful trail in New Market, Virginia, you'll find a crystal-clear body of water that lives up to its name. The Massanutten South Trail circuit also leads to incredible panoramic views of the surrounding area. You'll be amazed to find that the water is surprisingly warm for a mountain pond.
8. The Swinging Bridge Restaurant
With a restaurant that advertises itself as "hillbilly gourmet," you know you're in for a good time. Especially when you factor in the indoor swinging bridge that connects the restaurant to an old timey gift shop upstairs. Located in Paint Black, this spot has some of the best southern cooking in the area, including favorites such as buffalo bbq sandwiches, homemade apple pie, and banana puddin'.
9. Deer Island Park
On Philpott Lake in Henry, there is a breathtaking park that is accessible by boat only. In other words, it's a kayaker's paradise. Deer Island Park also allows camping with a permit (issued at the Salthouse Branch or Bowens Creek gatehouses). A trip to this secret island will be an adventure you won't soon forget.