If you’ve got friends or relatives visiting Virginia, be sure they stay for at least a month…because that’s about how long it would take to show off all of the marvelous and underrated places around here. Chances are this won’t be the case, so we’ve highlighted just a few must-see stops in the state. Whether it’s your boyfriend, your niece, or your third cousin once removed, we’ve made sure there’s something on this list to impress anyone who might be dropping by for a visit.
1. Birthplace of Country Music Museum (Bristol)
Move over, Nashville! (And we mean that lovingly.) Bristol, Virginia is the true birthplace of Country Music. Stop by the museum and learn all about it.
2. Foamhenge (Natural Bridge)
Your eyes do not deceive you...this is a Stonehenge replica made entirely of foam. Created by Mark Cline, Foamhenge has been named in the top 25 best roadside attractions.
3. Hull's Drive-In (Lexington)
Hull's Drive-In theatre has been around since the 1950s. The cars may have changed a bit since then, but the pure fun of seeing a drive-in movie never goes out of style.
4. Carter Mountain Orchard (Charlottesville)
There's nothing quite like fresh picked fruit, especially when paired with a scenic view like the one you'll get at Carter Mountain Orchards.
5. First Landing State Park (Virginia Beach)
It's called First Landing for a reason: this is the area where English colonists first arrived to shore in 1607. From Native American canoes to Colonial settlement and military ships during the War of 1812, these waters have been witness to significant American history.
7. Wolf Trap National Park (Vienna)
A National Park and music venue...does it get much better?
7. Jefferson Pools (Warm Springs)
Pristine spring water flows from the Allegheny Mountains and has a natural temperature of 98 degrees. This makes for an affordable spa treatment that has been enjoyed for centuries.
8. Floyd Country Store
Old fashioned country store by day, music venue by night. Floyd Country Store is home to the famous "Friday Night Jamboree" which has the whole place packed.
9. Maymont Park (Richmond)
There's no wrong time of year to visit Maymont Park. You and your out-of-town guest can pack a picnic and explore the unforgettable Japanese Garden.
10. Powhatan Indian Villages (Jamestown)
The re-created Powhatan Indian village in Jamestown provides such insight into Virginia's culture and heritage. Visitors of all ages will enjoy spending time here. Some of the interactive activities include grinding corn, gardening, and playing corncob darts.
11. Morefield Mine (Amelia)
Morefield Mine is a hidden gem in more ways than one. This is one of the few mines in the country where you can collect and keep what you find. There are at least 10 mineral species that can be found by the untrained eye on a daily basis.
12. The Tea Cart (Berryville)
Need a little rest from all the exploring? Stop in to one of the most charming tea room's you'll ever see. The Tea Cart offers a fine selection of teas and treats worthy of the Queen herself.
13. Old Towne Petersburg
Old Towne Petersburg is the perfect place for a stroll. It's here you'll find a district of antique shops, boutiques, and cafes.
14. Humpback Covered Bridge
It may not seem like much...but that's exactly why this historic bridge belongs on the list. The Humpback Covered Bridge is the oldest of its kind in Virginia (1857), and the only one with a curved design in the country.
15. Irvington Farmer's Market
This local farmer's market offers produce, artwork, breads, cheeses, and hand-made goods from over 100 vendors in the area. Live music playing from the gazebo will set the perfect tone. Come see why this was voted the best market in its region.
16. Gari Melcher's Home and Studio (Fredericksburg)
Tour this beautifully-furnished country house that was once the home of American Impressionist Gari Melchers (1860-1932). The home stands as it did in the 1920s. You can hike the wooded trails and spend time in the formal gardens that make up these 27 acres.
17. Staunton River State Park (Scottsburg)
The largest lake in the whole state is just one of this park's many attractions. Staunton River State Park was one of the original parks that opened in 1936 and offers an impressive range of water sports and activities.
Share your stories below if you’ve seen any of these wonderfully eclectic places. Or, let us know if you’ve got any other places in mind that didn’t make it to the list. We’d love to hear from you!