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A week in Virginia -- any unusual must sees?

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Level Contributor
63 posts
19 reviews
A week in Virginia -- any unusual must sees?

My husband and I are taking a week Mid-Nov to travel around VA. Are plans are Mt Vernon then on to 2 nights in Fredericksburg, 2 nights in Richmond, 2 nights in Charlottesville, and 2 nights Shenandoah National Park.

Are there any small town must sees that are off-shoots to the above?

If the national park is still covered in snow (they currently have a foot of snow) any suggestions for 2 days? Maybe extend our trip at one/two of the locations? We have done Williamsburg area and Eastern Shore.

We love to be outdoors. Walking, hiking. Also enjoy civil war battlefields. But we also like smaller museums, presidential libraries, a few house tours, etc

Any and all suggestions welcome. Thank you!

Level Contributor
67 posts
43 reviews
1. Re: A week in Virginia -- any unusual must sees?

I think you will be able to get to skyline drive just fine as the snow is already melting. My favorite short hike in the park is the hike to blackrock summit. The view from the top is as close to a 360 degree view as you can get in the park. The hike is less than 3 miles round trip. On a clear day the view is stunning.


Brookneal, Virginia
Level Contributor
1,035 posts
76 reviews
2. Re: A week in Virginia -- any unusual must sees?

Appomattox should be on your list, simply for the battle and surrender site of the Civil War,

the new museum, and the charm of the town.


and if you do Appomattox, you are close enough for a quick trip to see Patrick Henry's home and burial place at Red Hill...


There are 520 beautiful acres for hiking and exploring- virtually unchanged since Henry's day- take the trail to the old African American cemetery- it's like a walk back in time.

I hope you have a wonderful visit to Virginia :)

Destination Expert
for Hershey, Harrisburg
Level Contributor
2,225 posts
128 reviews
3. Re: A week in Virginia -- any unusual must sees?

Winchester is a great place. The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley and the Belle Grove Plantation are definitely worth a visit.



There is also Stonewall Jackson's Headquarters, Old Court House Civil War Museum, Washington's Office Museum, and the Patsy Cline Historic House.

Washington DC
Level Contributor
30 posts
44 reviews
4. Re: A week in Virginia -- any unusual must sees?

You might consider James Madison's Montpelier. It's been restored considerably over the past decades and appears to be near your current itinerary. Many people also like the nearby small town of Orange, Virginia.


Richmond, Virginia
1 post
5. Re: A week in Virginia -- any unusual must sees?

I would see Chincoteague Island then get back on the bus, and head out anywhere but east.

Nashville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
65 posts
9 reviews
6. Re: A week in Virginia -- any unusual must sees?

Sounds like a good plan. I was wondering about the two days in Fredericksburg until you mentioned you like battlefields.

I'm surprised that no one's mentioned Luray Caverns as an possibility while in the Shenandoah area.

Regarding hiking in Shenandoah, the best hike is probably Old Rag, but it's a strenuous 8 mile loop that would be treacherous if there was any ice/snow whatsoever, as there is lots of rock scrambling. Humpback Rocks is a short but very steep hike just a few miles south of I-64 along the Blue Ridge Parkway (but not in SNP) and is my favorite short hike in the area. The short hike to Calvary Rocks in the southern part of the park is also nice. Crabtree Falls is a great short hike about an hour south of Charlottesville if you run out of things to do there.

Edited: 1:58 am, November 10, 2012
Destination Expert
for Virginia Beach
Level Contributor
6,257 posts
15 reviews
7. Re: A week in Virginia -- any unusual must sees?

I'm still hooked on the title "unusual".

Lots of historic but don't know what qualifies as unusual.

Great time to be on the Parkway since the leaves are down and from overlooks you can see the vast valleys, mountains, pretty farms.

Maybe stop at Peaks of Otter lodge and restaurant and gift shop. Open till Nov. 30 when the contract expires. Hopefully reopening with new owners in the spring. Walk around the lake. Take the little bus up to Sharp Top for the tremendous beautiful view. Maybe you can hit it close to sunset. (bus part way and climb a little so you feel you've done some yourself.)

Between east and west you might stop at Point of Honor in Lynchburg, Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest in Forest (altho check when it closes for the winter...maybe soon) and the D day Memorial in Bedford. Peaks of Otter is just beyond the city of Bedford area.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
5,915 posts
61 reviews
8. Re: A week in Virginia -- any unusual must sees?

Today is day 15 of our 16 day trp around Virginia. We spent 2 nights in Charlottesville, 1 in Lexington, 1 in Hardy, 1 in Lynchburg, 4 in Richmond, 2 in Norfolk, 1 in Newport News, 1 in Yorktown, 2 in Fredericksburg.

Here are some things we particularly liked (in the order of our trip):



U Va Rotunda, Charlottesville

Woodrow Wilson Museum, Staunton

George Marshall Museum, Lexington

O Winston Link museum, Roanoke

Lynchburg History Museum

Appomattox Court House

State Capitol

Holocaust Museum, Richmond

Museum of the Confederacy/White House

Maggie Walker Site, Richmond

Quartermasters' Museum, Fort Monroe

Naval Base tour, Norfolk

Douglas MacArthur Memorial, Norfolk

Nauticus, Newport News

Yorktown Victory Center & Battlefield

Historic Jamestowne

the sites related to George Washington in Fredericksburg

We were going to spend two afternoons hiking along the Blue Ridge Parkway, but it was closed Oct 29 & 30, so yu are wise to consider a back-up plan to Shenandoah.

Dublin, Virginia
3 posts
9. Re: A week in Virginia -- any unusual must sees?

If you like to shoot or always wondered what it would be like, an absolute must is to visit the new Colonial Shooting Academy, just off I-64 in Richmond! It is the largest indoor shooting range in the US, is very upscale with 51 lanes, large gun store and Cafe. Staff is nice and friendly and wonderful for older children! Anything you need is avaliable for rent, and have lessons for all...

Level Contributor
24 posts
16 reviews
10. Re: A week in Virginia -- any unusual must sees?

While in Richmond, I would visit Hollywood Cemetery. It dates back to the mid 1800s and overlooks the James River. There are 2 US Presidents, the only President of the CSA, hundreds of Civil War soldiers, and many famous Richmonders.