Skip to content

Virginia Travel Guide

Looking for an in-depth Virginia travel guide?

Then you’re in the right place!

There are numerous ways to experience Virginia, a state with so much to offer travelers of all kinds. Whether you’re a history buff, beach lover, outdoor adventurer or foodie, there’s something for you in the Old Dominion.

The state is easy to navigate and gorgeous to drive through, making it perfect for road trips.

In fact, the Blue Ridge Parkway, running from Shenandoah National Park through the Great Smokey Mountains National Park in North Carolina, is known as “America’s Favorite Drive” for its easy views and roadside destinations.

However you choose to explore Virginia, we’ve got you covered.

If you’re looking to venture into Virginia during a trip to Washington, DC, you’ll find that there’s a ton of things to see in Northern Virginia.

Right over the Potomac River is Old Town Alexandria, a gorgeous colonial district that will transport you back in time 250 years. Walk the cobblestone streets, cruise the river or shop some of the local boutiques.

A few miles away, you can visit the historic Manassas National Battlefield, the site of two major American Civil War battles. Take a guided tour with a local historian or just go for a hike on one of the park’s many trails.

Of course, any Virginia tourism guide will encourage you to check out the state’s gorgeous Eastern Shore getaways and Atlantic beaches.

The state’s beaches offer tons of great opportunities to put your toes in the sand and catch some rays, as well as several other unique opportunities you’ll only find in Virginia.

In Cape Charles, you can kayak out to a former World War II cargo ship that’s now a haven for birds and dolphins.

And at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, you can see wild horses roam the shores. You’ll definitely want to bring your camera along!

Keep reading to dive into resources that will help you with planning a trip to Virginia in the United States.

Note: This ultimate Virginia guide contains affiliate links to trusted partners!

Virginia Map

Use this Virginia tourism map to begin planning your trip to this incredible country!

Virginia travel mpa

Click here for an interactive Google Map version of the above graphic.

Virginia Travel Guide Destinations

Looking for the best Virginia tourist attractions and places to visit? These posts can help!

Best Virginia Tours

Explore local culture with a Virginia tour guide through these unique excursions:

  • Spirit of Norfolk Dinner Cruise on the Elizabeth River (Norfolk, Virginia)
  • The Original Ghosts of Williamsburg Tour (Williamsburg, Virginia)
  • Sunset Dolphin Kayak Tours (Virginia Beach, Virginia)
  • Mountain Biking Adventure on Narrowback Mountain (Richmond, Virginia)
  • Richmond’s Street Art Segway Tour (Richmond, Virginia)
  • Virginia Beach Surf Lessons (Virginia Beach, Virginia)

Renting A Car In Virginia

Need a rental car for your Virginia trip?

Use Discover Cars to quickly compare your car rental options.

Their comparison tool does the homework for you, so there’s no need to have up 10+ tabs trying to figure out which company is the most affordable. Actually, you can save up to 70% using their tool!

Public Transportation In Virginia

Getting around Virginia by train, bus, or ferry?

Omio is a must! You can use this tool for all of your public transportation needs when traveling around Virginia.

The site is straightforward and user-friendly — and you can pre-book your tickets in advance at a discount.

They even offer flight and car deals!

Virginia Hotels

Click here to browse the best Virginia travel hotels!

Prefer self-contained stays?

Click here to check out unique local rentals!

You can also use this map to search for local properties:

Virginia Travel Insurance

It doesn’t matter if you’re traveling solo or with a group on a Virginia tour. When visiting Virginia — or any other country in the world — make sure to get travel insurance to protect your health and safety.

In my opinion, the best travel medical insurance for travelers is SafetyWing as they’ve got a large network and offer both short-term and long-term coverage — including coverage if you’re traveling for months as well as limited coverage in your home country).

Additionally, SafetyWing is budget-friendly and offers $250,000 worth of coverage with just one low overall deductible of $250.

With coverage, you’ll have peace of mind as you embark on your Virginia travel itinerary.

Click my referral link here to price out travel insurance for your trip in just a few clicks.

Virginia Travel Guide FAQ

Below, find answers to frequently asked questions about traveling in Virginia.

Q: Where do people vacation in Virginia?

Virginia is home to several unique vacation destinations.

Williamsburg, located in southeast Virginia, is a top spot for history lovers and families. The town and surrounding area are home to several historic sites that give visitors a taste of Colonial American life, such as Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown.

Beyond the historic towns, reenactments and battlefields, you’ll find popular amusement park Busch Gardens Williamsburg and top water park Water Country USA. Both of these parks are favorites of thrill-seekers young and old.

The area also has tons of great parks and waterfronts perfect for hiking and kayaking.

In the summer months, you can catch some rays and relax on Virginia Beach, the state’s top beach destination.

This lively area boats a classic boardwalk lined with hotels, restaurants, and shops that offers easy access to the shore.

The beach’s popularity can make it fairly crowded, so head down the shore to Sandbridge Beach if you’re looking for a bit more peace and quiet.

Want to get up close and personal with some of the local wildlife?

You’ll spot tons of gorgeous birds and marine mammals at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and the next-door False Creek State Park just a few miles down the island.

However you choose to enjoy Virginia Beach, you’re bound to have a great time.

Another popular spot for those looking for outdoor adventures is Shenandoah National Park, located in western Virginia.

This park boasts 200,000 acres of protected land and is particularly gorgeous during the fall foliage months. With 500 miles of hiking trails, there are so many ways to explore this gorgeous park any time of year.

And if you need a break from the great outdoors, check out the Charlottesville.

Here, you can visit Monticello, home of Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, or just take a stroll around the campus of the University of Virginia.

Q: When is the best time to visit Virginia?

Late spring through early fall is probably the best time to visit Virginia. You’ll encounter mild, pleasant weather in the spring and fall and higher temps and humidity in the summer.

The summer months can also bring strong thunderstorms, so keep an eye on the weather during your trip. October is probably also the best time to experience the fall foliage in all its glory.

Q: How much money do you need for a trip to Virginia?

The average traveler spends about $134 USD per day on transportation, accommodations, food, activities, and other travel expenses in Virginia.

This number can vary depending on your itinerary as some destinations are less expensive than others.

Q: How many days do you need in Virginia?

You can see a fair amount of Virginia over a three-day weekend, particularly if you have a car.

The state’s major destinations and attractions aren’t too far apart from each other, making it easy to see a lot in a short amount of time.

You may want to tack on a few extra days if you’re planning on visiting Williamsburg and Virginia Beach, as these destinations have several all-day attractions you won’t want to miss.

Q: What are the best things to do in Virginia?

No USA trip would be complete without visiting Virginia, and here’s why:

Virginia is a top destination for historical tourism — and for good reason! Some of the best examples and recreations of Colonial American life are on display at Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown.

At Colonial Williamsburg, you can tour original 18th-century buildings, watch costumed interpreters demonstrate folk arts and crafts, and learn more about how the United States became a country.

Jamestown is home to the first British settlement in North America, and while only some of the original foundations of those first buildings remain, you can explore several recreations of 17th-century settlements and ships.

Virginia is also home to several important battlefields of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, including Yorktown Battlefield and Manassas Battlefield. Today, these battlefields act as both important historic sites and nature preserves that are definitely worth exploring.

Speaking of nature, there are plenty of ways to explore the great outdoors in the state of Virginia.

The Blue Ridge Mountains, a stretch of the Appalachian Mountains that run from Northern Georgia to Northern Virginia, is a gorgeous and iconic escape for anyone looking for a little fresh air.

The mountains are one of the highlights of Shenandoah National Park, one of the state’s top attractions. They’re perfect for hiking, fishing, canoeing, birding, and even skiing in the wintertime. If you’re big on outdoor activities, you won’t want to miss this area.

Visiting in the summer time? Head down to one of the state’s beach and waterfront destinations for a little fun in the sun.

Virginia Beach is probably the state’s most popular shoreline, offering tons of great spots to eat, stay, and play along the beach.

If you ever read (and loved) Misty of Chincoteague as a kid, you’ll definitely want to visit Assateague Island and see the wild horses of Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge run along the white sand beaches. Further north, you can enjoy some of the beaches on the Chesapeake Bay.

Norfolk is a top destination for fans of the bay, boasting several gorgeous beaches and plenty of great restaurants and breweries to enjoy.

Q: Where is Virginia?

Virginia is located in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern regions of the United States.

It shares borders with the US states of Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia. It also shares a border with Washington DC — which is not technically a US State — and the Atlantic Ocean.

Q: Are credit cards accepted in Virginia?

Credit cards — mainly Visa and Mastercard — are widely accepted around Virginia. That being said, it is always wise to carry some cash for smaller establishments and in case of emergency.

Q: Can you drink the tap water in Virginia?

Yes, you can drink the tap water in Virginia.

Q: What is the local currency in Virginia?

The local currency in Texas is the US Dollar (USD).

What would you add to this Virginia travel guide?

Enjoyed this ultimate Virginia travel guide? Pin it for later!