Do you ever think about how wonderful it is to live in a state as beautiful as Virginia? Framed by both the mountains and the coastline, we’ve got a wonderland of natural attractions to enjoy. Whether you’re a lifelong resident or are new to the Old Dominion, you’ll enjoy reading about the most impressive sights in our great state. Without further ado, here are the most iconic sights in Virginia that just so happen to be completely unique to our state:
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Shenandoah National Park
Shenandoah National Park is the crown jewel of Virginia's natural attraction. Located within the Blue Ridge Mountains, this beloved park stretches over 300 acres of ancient forests, beautiful vistas, and is home to an impressive array of wildlife. The park can be experienced on foot, bike, and even by car for those looking for a scenic drive Skyline Drive.
2. Natural Bridge
Natural Bridge is an incredible wonder that must be seen in person to be fully appreciated. This 215-foot arch was formed hundreds of millions of years ago the water from what was then Cedar Creek flowed through. The area has recently been made into a designated state park, and visitors can enjoy the natural tunnel as well as the beautiful surroundings of Rockbridge County. Natural Bridge is located at 6477 S Lee Hwy, Natural Bridge, VA 24578.
3. Chincoteague Island
Chincoteague Island is a place like no other. It consists of beautiful sandy beaches, incredible marshlands, and even wild ponies. The island is considered a gateway to Assateauge Island, which is shared with Maryland. It's an area that's best explored by boat, and fortunately, there are plenty such tours available in the area.
4. Grayson Highlands State Park
Grayson Highlands State Park is tucked away in the Virginia Highlands in the southwestern region of the state. The 4,500-acre park is situated near the two tallest peaks in Virginia, Mount Rogers and Whitetop Mountain. Hiking trails abound in this breathtaking natural retreat, and you might even spot some wild ponies along with some Appalachian Trail thru hikers. The park is located at Grayson Highland Ln, Mouth of Wilson, VA 24363.
5. Falling Spring Falls
Falling Spring is undoubtedly the most iconic waterfall in Virginia. In the nineteenth century, this famous landmark was surveyed by Thomas Jefferson himself. No matter the time of year you visit, you're sure to be amazed by this picturesque cascade. Unfortunately, the trail that leads to its base has been closed; however, visitors are encouraged to admire the falls from the designated lookout. The waterfall is located along Route 220 in Alleghany County, approximately five miles north of Covington VA.
6. Emancipation Oak
Emancipation Oak is truly a sight to behold. This beautiful oak tree stands at the entrance of Hampton University, a symbol of freedom and educational perseverance of the African Americans who were newly emancipated. This tree was also the sight of the first Southern reading of the Emancipation Proclamation. Hampton University is located at 100 E Queen St, Hampton, VA 23669.
7. First Landing State Park
First Landing State Park offers the unparalleled natural beauty of North Virginia Beach. This park is located along the very shores where the English colonists first arrived in 1607. Its waterways have served many purposes, and when you visit today, you'll enjoy an immersive experience into Virginia's coastal landscape and history. The address of the park is 2500 Shore Dr, Virginia Beach, VA 23451.
8. Luray Caverns
You can bring your love of Virginia to new depths when you visit the underground world of Luray Caverns. It's the largest cavern system in the eastern United States and you'll marvel at the size of these otherworldly rock formations known as stalagmites and stalactites. Another incredible feature of the caverns is that the interior remains at a consistent 54 degrees all year long. Luray Caverns is located at 101 Cave Hill Rd, Luray, VA 22835.
9. Carvins Cove
Framed by the Blue Ridge Mountains, the dazzling turquoise water of Carvins Cove Natural Reserve becomes all the more beautiful. This natural wonder is less than 8 miles from downtown Roanoke and provides visitors from near and far with an array of natural activities. Whether you enjoy horseback riding, kayaking, or hiking, you'll find plenty to do within the preserve's 12,700 acres.
10. Peaks of Otter
The Peaks of Otter refers to three mountain peaks which overlook the scenic town of Bedford, Virginia. The mountains are also known as Sharp Top, Flat Top, and Harkening Hill. At the base of the mountains is a stunning manmade lake known as Abbott Lake with something of a miniature island of trees in the middle. This jaw-dropping view can be admired from the Peaks of Otter Lodge. The location of the lodge is 85554 Blue Ridge Pkwy, Bedford, VA 24523.
11. Huntley Meadows State Park
It's hard to believe that just a stone's throw away from the hustle and bustle of D.C. awaits the serene landscape of Huntley Meadows State Park. Located in Alexandria, this peaceful recreational area offers an intimate experience of marshlands and wildlife. Perhaps most unique of all are the boardwalk trails which meander through the park. Huntley Meadows is located at 3701 Lockheed Blvd, Alexandria, VA 22306.