Hi,Dallas. I see you're going, not for the number of breaths we take, but for the moments that take our breath away:)
Do you have Rodeo Days up that way? Just had a little girl pink cowgirl boot emergency in Houston. None to be had there so late in the game and Go Texan Day was coming up and they were closing down the freeway for the Salt Grass Trail...so the east coast shopping contingent, we in central Virginia where pink cowgirl boot shortages rarely are an issue, found some and overnighted them to the mama.
We are in Houston often so we do know the appreciation for places like Va. and NC. I know much is flat there and, from Dallas, the coast is a lot further than it is from Houston.
Richmond has so many wonderful things to offer just in itself. History, culture, gardens.
You could check out the bay area of Virginia and the beach. Virginia Beach is the fastest growing city in Va. so it's a city with a newer Town Center, upbeat, upscale things to do and still you have the beach with its own beauty and crowds or quiet, depending on where you go. In the search box just on top of the comments type in Virginia Beach or whatever you need and look at those comments. Va. Beach beach area has street performances all summer but I don't know how early in June they start. There are nightly groups that perform on small stages here and there on the concrete boardwalk. I would think they'd be doing that at least on weekends in early June. You can check on much of that at vbfun.com. There are also sporting events at the lower end of the beachfront.
The mountains are fabulous! They are not an hour and a half though as someone said. It's about two hours from the Richmond airport to us and another 30-40 minutes to the Blue Ridge Parkway.
On your way from Richmond you might stop in Farmville to see Greenfront, a series of warehouses with wonderful home decor from all over the world, furniture by top manufacturers, tapestries, oriental rugs and smaller things all at good prices. (greenfront.com) There's a little place for lunch, Charley's Waterfront Cafe, in another restored historic building nearby.
At that point you might want to continue on to the Blue Ridge Mts. through the town of Bedford - quaint, historic, some wonderful mansions - and continue up the mts. You might like to spend the night at Peaks of Otter Lodge (peaksofotter.com). Very rustic and basic accommodations with the most fabulous, fantastic views. It's not very expensive. All the rooms in the two level buildings look out on a lake and the still higher Peaks of Otter. You can sit out on the balcony and enjoy the air and view. The Lodge has a bar area, an enormous restaurant with all glass on one side with the lake and mt. view...two levels with fireplaces here and there and a couple of gift shop areas. You need to book them early though. The ranger station is just a few yards away on the other side of the road. The highest point in Va. is not far. There are several areas along the Parkway where you can park and enjoy magnificent views. You can take the bus up to Sharp Top Mt. From the Ranger Station you can get booklets and flyers and hiking trail info. Be sure to bring bug spray for summer, no matter where you are, and also binoculars for all the views, whether beach or mt.
On your way back to Richmond you might stop at the D-Day Memorial in Bedford. It was built in Bedford because Bedford lost the most men per capita in the country in the D-Day Invasion. There is also a delightful train station where the depot was made into a wondeful restaurant...Olde Liberty Station. The train still goes by a few times a day, which we love to watch, but it no longer stops there. Drive the streets and see the countryside and the town's large homes, some with magnificent views.
You can take the road that will take you through Forest, Va. and Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest, his getaway from the very busy Monticello. It's an interesting tour of the home, grounds, archeological digs, etc. There are a few bargain antique shops and other interesting shops along the way too I can tell you about if you're interested. If you eat at Benjamin's on the way on Rt. 221 you can have a mt. view as well. [Gotta keep those mts. or beaches before your eyes:)]
You might want to pass through Lynchburg Va. During parts of the 1800s, Lynchburg was the second richest city in the country....after New Bedford, Mass. It built up business using the flat bottom boats powered by men and boys using loooong 'sticks' to sort of push it along in the shallow spots on the way to Richmond. Since it was so wealthy, many mansions were built and many remain. Diamond Hill is one of the...I think it's 6 historic districts there.
If you like wine, there are several vineyards both east and west of Lynchburg...so, in the mts. and just east of Lynchburg, which would be on your way back to Richmond.
You would probably really enjoy Charlottesville too. There is a street that is closed to traffic and pedestrians can enjoy going around to wonderful shops in the historic buildings, movie theater...and even an indoor ice skating rink, which your daughter might enjoy for a break. The Omni Hotel there used to have good Sunday brunches but I haven't been to them for a while so you might check on that.
In case you're considering it, I personally wouldn't do Alexandria this trip. You seem to be doing a Beauty of Virginia tour, naturey-some history, and you might want to save the whole DC/Alexandria trip for its own separate trip, since that's a lot to do.
I can give you more specifics as you fine tune your trip.