Things to do / Travel Guide
Virginia and North Carolina Tourist Attractions
The long strip of barrier islands spans three states, offering wild beauty and solitude in the middle of the ocean. Some areas are undeveloped and wild while others feature resorts and picturesque villages. Inland, history is the theme, with Williamsburg the star attraction.
Located just south of Washington, D.C., visitors to the nation's capital often feel inclined to hit up another state and travel down into Virginia—and they'd be smart to do so! Here is a state that flawlessly combines aspects of historical importance with travel priority number one: fun. The never-ending list of historic museums and landmarks is equally matched (if not superseded) by the physical beauty of the area, perfect for trekking, biking, and picnicking, and the manmade elements—that's the amusement parks, zoos, shopping malls, rock climbing centers, and more!
North Carolina offers the same historic-outdoors-amusement layout as its neighbor, Virginia. Also key in the establishment of the United States, North Carolina is loaded with historic sites, museums, and other landmarks that illustrate the state's rich past. On the other hand, the state certainly does not lack in its abundance of national parks, mountains, and seashores, as well as its always growing list of family-friendly tourist attractions like theme parks, zoos, and shopping malls.
Colonial Williamsburg Tourist Attractions
Take a step back in time to the early Colonial days of Virginia. While Williamsburg is a regular modern city with shopping malls, office buildings, universities, and other makings of a modern city, its real attraction is the 300-acre Colonial Williamsburg living museum area. On any giving day you can walk down the main drag of this 18th century look-alike village and encounter men and women dressed as though not a century has gone by since. Colonial-style bookshops, restaurants, and gardens. There's even a gallows on site—don't worry, it's just a model of the real thing!
If you were looking for Williamsburg, North Carolina - you won't find it. It's in Virginia and always was. There is one in Brooklyn, though - but that's another story.
Colonial Williamsburg is located along the Colonial Parkway, a convenient (not to mention stunning) 23-mile road that links Colonial Williamsburg with other historic points of interest, including Jamestown and Yorktown. Keep your eyes peeled for native wildlife, birdlife, and plant life, especially by the York and James Rivers.
Nearby non-historic family-fun activities include a visit to Water Country USA and to Busch Gardens.
Richmond, Virginia Beach Tourist Attractions
Richmond, the capital of Virginia, is home to a wide range of tourist attractions that take advantage of Richmond's rich history and its geographic features. For example, a visit to the Confederate White House or the Museum of the Confederacy will satisfy you history-bug in you, while a rafting trip down the city's James River will have you craving more of the great outdoors…which of course you'll have no trouble finding, especially with the nearby Shenandoah and Blue Ridge Mountains. Seeking entertainment? Enjoy an outdoor concert at Brown's Island or a trip to the roller coaster-filled Kings Dominion.
Virginia Beach, located about an hour and a half east of Richmond, will only further feed your hunger for adventure and entertainment. There are multiple concert venues at Virginia Beach, as well as water and beach activities that cater to the whole family, including boogie boarding, beach volleyball courts, beach side dining and shopping, and the popular VA Beach haunted houses—a real scream!
The Island of Chincoteague is nearby. This mystical resort town is definitely worth a visit, especially if you enjoy adventuring through wild seascapes.
Richmond and Williamsburg Vacation Spots
While most visitors focus on the Richmond and Williamsburg Vacation Spots, get off the Interstate for an interesting detour to the coast. The Outer Banks of North Carolina is a 200-mile long playground for outdoors lovers. This string of barrier islands stretches from Virginia beach and goes about half way down the NC coast. The nearly always temperate weather of the region brings visitors to the Banks all year who enjoy the great NC outdoors, including hiking, biking, beaching, boating, and camping. (Camping is extremely popular at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.)
Tourist attractions that shouldn't be missed in the Outer Banks include the seafront town Kitty Hawk (where you can visit the Wright Brothers National Monument), the English Roanoke Colony, Okracoke Island, and an endless number of golf courses. Cape Lookout National Seashore is another sure bet.
Virginia Beach and North Carolina Vacation Spots
Choose a few inland destinations to see in Virginia and North Carolina and plan to spend half a week (at least) along the coast. Plan your getaway for the warmer months of the year so you can truly enjoy the fantastic VA and NC coasts. Just about every East Coast family seems to do a Washington, DC to Colonial Williamsburg road trip at some point. Take some time, armed with a good map of Virginia, to explore some of the historic sites along the way.
Tourist Attractions and Highlights in Richmond, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, Outer Banks, NC