Are you planning a road trip along the east coast? If so, be sure to add Virginia to your itinerary, specifically a drive down I-95. This stretch of highway offers a plethora of must-do activities for travelers of all ages and interests. From historical landmarks to outdoor adventures, here are 12 activities you won't want to miss on your journey through the Old Dominion State. So buckle up, relax and get ready for an unforgettable ride.
|Kings Dominion||Amusement park|
|Richmond||Visit museums and monuments|
|Fredericksburg||Explore historic downtown|
|Williamsburg||Visit Colonial Williamsburg|
|Newport News||Visit The Mariners' Museum and Park|
|Virginia Beach||Relax on the beach|
|Norfolk||Visit the USS Wisconsin and Nauticus museum|
|Quantico||Visit the National Museum of the Marine Corps|
What You'll Learn
- Visit historic Colonial Williamsburg
- Explore the Virginia Beach boardwalk
- See the animals at the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk
- Visit the Virginia Aquarium in Virginia Beach
- Take a hike at Shenandoah National Park
- Tour the James Monroe's Highland Estate in Charlottesville
- See the D-Day Memorial in Bedford
- Visit the American Civil War Museum in Richmond
- Take a brewery tour in Richmond
- Visit the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle
- Explore the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond
- See the unique exhibits at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond
Visit historic Colonial Williamsburg
Located right off I-95, Colonial Williamsburg is a must-visit destination for lovers of history and culture. Home to one of America's most significant historical landmarks, Colonial Williamsburg is a fully functioning 18th-century town that offers visitors a chance to experience what life was like in the past. Here are some of the best things to do at Colonial Williamsburg:
Take a Tour:
Guided tours are an excellent way to experience Colonial Williamsburg's authentic history. Daily guided walking tours take visitors through the town's historic buildings, homes, and gardens. The tours are available for different levels of interest, from detailed architectural tours to kid-friendly tours.
Visit the Art Museums:
Colonial Williamsburg has an extensive collection of works of art ranging from American folk art to European sculptures. The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum features more than 70 galleries of furniture, silver, ceramics, and textiles. The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum showcases American folk art, including portraiture, textiles, and toys.
See Historic Homes:
Step inside the homes of some of the most prominent figures in Colonial Williamsburg's history. The Peyton Randolph House, the George Wythe House, and the Governor's Palace are must-see attractions. These homes provide a unique insight into 18th-century life, and many feature costumed interpreters who offer an immersive experience.
Shop and Dine:
Colonial Williamsburg is home to several specialized shops and restaurants that cater to visitors. The stores offer reproductions of 18th-century clothing and accessories, books, and musket replicas. Dining options at Colonial Williamsburg range from tavern-style food to more upscale, modern dining experiences.
Attend Live Events:
Colonial Williamsburg features a calendar of events that offer live entertainment, musical performances, and festivals throughout the year. Visitors can learn how to cook, dance, or join in on reenactments and other interactive activities.
No matter what your interests, Colonial Williamsburg has something for everyone. Take a trip back in time and discover what life was like in the 18th century, only a short distance from I-95 in Virginia.
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Explore the Virginia Beach boardwalk
If you're planning a road trip along I-95 in Virginia, make sure to add Virginia Beach to your list of stops. Located just off the highway, this popular coastal city is home to the iconic Virginia Beach boardwalk, a must-see attraction that offers a little bit of everything for visitors.
Stretching for three miles along the oceanfront, the Virginia Beach boardwalk offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, as well as numerous shops, restaurants, and attractions to explore. Here are just a few of the things you can enjoy during a visit to this iconic landmark.
Stroll Along the Beach
The boardwalk runs parallel to the beach, making it the perfect place for a leisurely stroll along the sand. Whether you want to relax in the sun, hunt for seashells, or take a dip in the ocean, the beach at Virginia Beach is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy the natural beauty of the Virginia coast.
Visit the Museums
If you're interested in Virginia history, make sure to check out the museums located near the boardwalk. The Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center features a variety of exhibits about the local marine life, while the Military Aviation Museum showcases vintage aircraft from World War II and other conflicts.
Enjoy the Rides and Attractions
For a fun-filled afternoon, head to the Virginia Beach Amusement Park, which features a variety of rides and attractions, including roller coasters, go-kart tracks, and carnival games. For a more laid-back experience, visit the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier, where you can cast a line and try to catch your own dinner.
Experience the Nightlife
As the sun goes down, the boardwalk comes alive with a vibrant nightlife scene. Visit one of the many bars or restaurants along the boardwalk for a drink or a bite to eat, or catch a live performance at the Virginia Beach Amphitheater.
No matter what you're looking for, the Virginia Beach boardwalk has something for everyone. With its stunning ocean views, shopping, dining, and attractions, this iconic landmark is a must-visit destination during your road trip along I-95 in Virginia.
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See the animals at the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk
If you find yourself driving along I-95 in Virginia and are looking for a fun and family-friendly activity, consider stopping by the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk. Located just off the highway, this popular destination will allow you to get up close and personal with a variety of fascinating animals.
First opened in 1900, the Virginia Zoo has a long and rich history of showcasing a diverse array of wildlife species. Today, it's home to more than 700 animals representing over 150 different species, making it one of the largest zoos in the state. Some of the most popular attractions include the African savanna exhibit, where visitors can view majestic species like lions, giraffes, and zebras, as well as the Red Panda exhibit, which features these adorably furry creatures that are native to the eastern Himalayas.
But the Virginia Zoo is far from just a "zoo in the park" experience. Visitors will also have the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the animals at the petting zoo, where you can feed and interact with a number of friendly creatures. Additionally, the zoo offers a range of educational programs and events throughout the year, including guided tours and wildlife encounters, making it an enriching destination for visitors of all ages.
So, whether you're a Virginia local or just passing through on I-95, consider making a pit stop at the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk. Not only will you have the chance to witness a number of awe-inspiring animals, but you'll also be supporting a beloved community institution that is dedicated to conservation and education. Fun for all ages, the Virginia Zoo is a must-visit destination in the Mid-Atlantic region.
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Visit the Virginia Aquarium in Virginia Beach
If you are planning a road trip along the east coast on I-95 and happen to find yourself in Virginia, there are plenty of fun things to do to break up your journey. One must-visit attraction on the highway is the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach.
Located just off I-264, the Virginia Aquarium offers a unique and educational experience for visitors of all ages. As a premier attraction in the area, it showcases an impressive collection of marine creatures from across the globe. You will find everything from sea turtles and stingrays to otters and sharks.
One of the highlights of the Virginia Aquarium is the Coastal Plain exhibit, where you can learn about the region's rivers, swamps and marshes. The aquarium also features several touch tanks where you can get up close and personal with horseshoe crabs and other sea creatures.
For an immersive experience, head to the 3D theater and watch one of the daily shows featuring marine life and their habitats. Kids will love exploring the outdoor animal compounds, especially the Seal and Sea Turtle exhibit.
The Virginia Aquarium is open daily, and tickets can be purchased online or on-site. If you plan on visiting with a group, there are special discounts available. The aquarium also offers behind-the-scenes tours, animal encounters, and other educational programs for visitors.
Aside from the marine life exhibits, Virginia Beach itself is an excellent destination for outdoor activities and beach fun. If you have more time to spare, take a stroll on the boardwalk, explore the local shops and restaurants or soak up the sun on the beach.
In conclusion, the Virginia Aquarium is a must-visit attraction for anyone passing through Virginia on I-95. With so much to see and do, it's no surprise that it remains a popular destination for families, visitors and locals alike. So make sure you add this stop to your road trip itinerary and experience the wonder of marine life at the Virginia Aquarium.
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Take a hike at Shenandoah National Park
Along the east coast of the United States, there is a legendary highway that stretches from Maine to Florida. The Interstate 95 (I-95) is a great way to explore some of the most beautiful states and cities of the East Coast. If you're traveling through Virginia, there are several things to do along I-95 that will make your journey more enjoyable. One of the best recommendations is to take a hike at Shenandoah National Park.
Shenandoah National Park is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, in the western part of Virginia. It offers incredible views of nature, wildlife, and landscapes. There are over 500 miles of hiking trails, including the famous Appalachian Trail that cuts through the park. Whether you're an avid hiker or just looking for a leisurely activity, Shenandoah National Park has something for everyone.
One of the most popular hikes in Shenandoah National Park is Old Rag Mountain. It is a challenging hike that takes about eight hours to complete, but the views from the summit are worth it. The rock formations along the trail are also a sight to behold. The trail is open year-round, but it can be crowded during peak season, so plan accordingly.
Another popular hike in Shenandoah National Park is the Dark Hollow Falls Trail. It's a moderate hike that takes about 1.4 miles to walk. Along the way, you'll see a series of waterfalls and streams that are perfect for a refreshing dip. The trail is open year-round, but it's recommended that you visit during the spring or fall when the weather is mild.
If you're looking for something more relaxing, you can take a scenic drive along Skyline Drive. It's a 105-mile road that runs through Shenandoah National Park and offers breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. There are several overlooks along the way, where you can stop and take photos or have a picnic.
Overall, taking a hike at Shenandoah National Park is a great way to experience the beauty of Virginia. The park is open year-round, but the best time to visit is during the spring or fall, when the weather is cool and comfortable. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes, bring plenty of water and snacks, and most importantly, take your time to enjoy the stunning views.
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Tour the James Monroe's Highland Estate in Charlottesville
If you’re traveling along I-95 in Virginia and looking for something to do, consider touring the James Monroe Highland Estate in Charlottesville. This historic site offers visitors a glimpse into the life of the fifth president of the United States.
James Monroe purchased the Highland Estate in 1793, and it became his home for over 20 years. The property includes a plantation house, outbuildings, and gardens, all of which have been restored and maintained for visitors to explore. The estate also houses a museum, which showcases artifacts and exhibits related to Monroe and his presidency.
One of the highlights of a visit to the Highland Estate is a tour of the main house. Built in 1799, the house features an impressive collection of furniture and decor from the early 19th century. Visitors can also see Monroe’s private writing desk and his library, which includes a significant collection of books on law, history, and politics.
Outside the house, visitors can stroll through gardens and orchards on the estate’s grounds. The gardens are home to a variety of plants, including herbs, flowers, and vegetables, which were once cultivated by Monroe and his family. The orchards feature apple and peach trees, among other fruits.
If you’re interested in history, the Highland Estate is a great place to learn more about James Monroe and his contributions to American politics. Monroe served as president from 1817 to 1825 and is perhaps best known for the Monroe Doctrine, which declared that any attempt by European nations to interfere in the affairs of the Americas would be viewed as a hostile act by the United States.
In addition to touring the estate, visitors can also participate in events and programs offered throughout the year. These include educational programs for children, lectures, and living history events that bring the past to life. There are also special events held throughout the year, such as a candlelight tour of the property during the holiday season.
Overall, the James Monroe Highland Estate is a must-see attraction for anyone traveling along I-95 in Virginia. Whether you’re interested in history, gardens, or just looking for a relaxing outing, the Highland Estate offers something for everyone. So, if you’re looking for things to do in Virginia, be sure to put a visit to the Highland Estate on your list.
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See the D-Day Memorial in Bedford
If you're driving along I-95 in Virginia, there are plenty of interesting and worthwhile stops to make along the way. One particularly noteworthy attraction is the D-Day Memorial located in Bedford, Virginia.
The D-Day Memorial pays tribute to the American soldiers who fought and died during the D-Day invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. Bedford was chosen as the site for the memorial because the town suffered the highest per capita losses in the United States on D-Day. Of the 30 Bedford soldiers who landed on the beach that day, 19 were killed within the first few hours of combat.
Opened on June 6, 2001, the Memorial features a central plaza that is adorned with a large bronze statue of an infantryman, called "The Final Tribute." There is also a reflecting pool and walls inscribed with the names of all 4,413 Allied soldiers who lost their lives on D-Day.
Visitors to the Memorial can take a self-guided tour through the various exhibits that document the events leading up to the invasion of Normandy. There are artifacts, photographs, and personal accounts of soldiers and families affected by the war. The Memorial offers a truly poignant and moving experience, showcasing the bravery and sacrifice of those who served in World War II.
Aside from the Memorial itself, the town of Bedford also has several other interesting attractions that visitors may want to explore. The nearby Poplar Forest, a historic plantation owned by Thomas Jefferson, is just a short drive away. And the Blue Ridge Parkway, one of the most scenic drives in the country, is also within easy reach.
Overall, a visit to the D-Day Memorial in Bedford is a must for anyone traveling along I-95 in Virginia. This touching tribute to American valor and sacrifice serves to remind us all of the importance of honoring those who have served our country.
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Visit the American Civil War Museum in Richmond
If you're looking for things to do along I-95 in Virginia, consider taking a detour to Richmond to visit the American Civil War Museum. This fascinating museum is dedicated to exploring the history and impact of the Civil War, and it's a great destination for history buffs and casual visitors alike.
One of the unique features of the American Civil War Museum is its three-part approach to storytelling. The museum is actually made up of three distinct locations: the Museum and White House of the Confederacy, the American Civil War Museum at Historic Tredegar, and the Museum of the Confederacy-Appomattox. Each location focuses on a different aspect of the Civil War and provides a comprehensive look at the conflict from multiple perspectives.
At the Museum and White House of the Confederacy, you can explore the former home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. The house has been authentically restored to its appearance during the Civil War era, and you can tour the various rooms and learn about the daily life of the Davis family. You can also explore a range of exhibits about the Confederacy, including the roles of women, African Americans, and soldiers in the conflict.
At the American Civil War Museum at Historic Tredegar, you'll learn about the industrial side of the Civil War. Tredegar was a major ironworks that supplied the Confederate army, and the museum explores the technology and innovation that went into producing weapons, ammunition, and other supplies for the war effort. You can also explore artifacts from the war, including weapons, uniforms, and personal items of soldiers.
The Museum of the Confederacy-Appomattox, located in Appomattox, Virginia, focuses on the end of the war and the surrender of the Confederate army. The museum is located near the site where General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant, effectively ending the Civil War. You can explore exhibits about the end of the war, including the reconstruction period that followed.
Overall, the American Civil War Museum is a fascinating and educational destination for anyone interested in the history of the Civil War. With its three locations, you can explore different aspects of the conflict and gain a deeper understanding of its impact on American history. So if you're traveling along I-95 in Virginia, consider taking a detour to visit this unique museum.
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Take a brewery tour in Richmond
Virginia is a beautiful state that is home to a variety of attractions and activities that are perfect for travelers. For those traveling along I-95 in Virginia, there is no shortage of things to do and see. One of the most popular activities that you can enjoy while in Virginia is taking a brewery tour in Richmond. Read on to learn more about this exciting opportunity.
Richmond is a vibrant city that is renowned for its thriving craft beer scene. The city is home to a variety of breweries and taprooms that produce some of the best beers in the country. Taking a brewery tour in Richmond is a great way to experience the local craft beer culture, learn about the brewing process, and of course, sample some of the fine beers that the city has to offer.
One of the most popular breweries that you can visit in Richmond is the Hardywood Park Craft Brewery. This brewery has been producing some of the best beers in the region since it was founded in 2011. Take a tour of the brewery and learn about the history of beer in the region, the brewing process, and how the brewery uses local ingredients to create unique and delicious beers.
Another great brewery that you can visit in Richmond is the Triple Crossing Brewing Company. This brewery has been getting a lot of attention for its IPA's and sour beers, and a tour of the facility will give you a chance to sample some of these delicious options. Learn about the innovative brewing techniques that the company employs and see firsthand how the beers are made.
If you are looking for a more unconventional brewery experience, you can visit the Veil Brewing Company. This brewery is known for its experimental beers that are brewed using unique ingredients and techniques. Take a tour of the facility and see how the company is pushing the boundaries of what is possible with craft beer.
In conclusion, taking a brewery tour in Richmond is a fun and exciting way to experience the local craft beer scene. With a wide range of breweries to choose from, you are sure to find one that suits your tastes and interests. No matter where you end up going, you are sure to have a great time learning about the history of beer in the region, the brewing process, and of course, sampling some of the finest beers that Virginia has to offer.
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Visit the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle
If you're traveling along I-95 in Virginia and need to make a pit stop, why not check out the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle? The museum is located just off the interstate and is a great spot to stretch your legs and learn something new.
The museum has exhibits that cover the history of the United States Marine Corps, from its beginnings in 1775 to the modern day. The exhibits use a variety of multimedia elements to bring the history to life, including interactive displays, videos, and artifacts.
One of the highlights of the museum is the impressive collection of military vehicles, ranging from early horse-drawn wagons to modern tanks and helicopters. Visitors can get up close and personal with these vehicles and learn about their role in Marine Corps history.
Another highlight of the museum is the immersive exhibits. For example, visitors can walk through a recreated World War I trench, complete with sound effects and recreated smells. There's also a Korean War exhibit that simulates a night attack, with sounds of gunfire and explosions.
The museum also has a variety of exhibits that focus on the experiences of individual Marines. These exhibits include personal stories, letters, and artifacts from Marines who have served in wars and conflicts throughout history.
If you're traveling with kids, the museum has a great hands-on area called the "Kid's Zone" where they can dress up in Marine Corps uniforms, climb aboard a helicopter, and participate in other interactive activities.
Admission to the National Museum of the Marine Corps is free, and parking is plentiful. The museum is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm. It's a great way to break up a long drive along I-95 and learn something new about the history of the U.S. Marine Corps. So next time you're passing through Virginia, make sure to visit the National Museum of the Marine Corps!
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Explore the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond
If you're looking for things to do along I-95 in Virginia, be sure to make a stop in Richmond to explore the Virginia State Capitol. The Capitol is a historic building that serves as Virginia's seat of government. It was designed by Thomas Jefferson and completed in 1788, and it has been the site of many historic events since then.
Once you arrive at the Capitol, start by taking a guided tour. The tours are free and last about 30 minutes. During the tour, you'll learn about the history of the building and its role in Virginia politics. You'll see the House of Delegates, where Virginia's lawmakers meet to discuss and vote on legislation, as well as the Senate chamber and the Governor's office.
After your tour, take some time to explore the building on your own. Check out the beautiful artwork that lines the walls of the Capitol, including portraits of Virginia's past governors and paintings that depict historic events. You can also visit the Capitol Square, which is a park that surrounds the Capitol building. It's a great place to relax and take in the scenery.
If you're visiting during the summer months, you might be able to watch a session of the House of Delegates or the Senate. This is a great opportunity to see Virginia's government in action and to understand how laws are made in the state.
No matter what time of year you visit, you're sure to be impressed by the Virginia State Capitol. It's an important piece of Virginia's history and a must-see for anyone traveling along I-95 in Virginia.
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See the unique exhibits at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond
If you are driving along I-95 in Virginia, you will find many interesting things to see and do. One of the highlights of your journey should be a visit to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. This acclaimed museum is home to an impressive collection of art from around the world, including works by famous artists such as Pablo Picasso and Claude Monet. Here are some of the unique exhibits you can expect to see at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
The Ancient Egyptian Collection
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is home to one of the most prominent collections of ancient Egyptian art in the United States. You will get to see beautiful sculptures, textiles, and other artifacts that tell the story of ancient Egyptian civilization. You can take an immersive journey through ancient Egypt and learn about its art, mythology, and religion.
The Faberge Collection
The museum's Faberge collection is one of the few in the world outside Russia and contains some of the most exquisite examples of Faberge's work. The jeweled eggs and other intricate decorative objects on display are sure to take your breath away.
The Contemporary Art Collection
If you prefer modern art, the VMFA's contemporary collection will impress you. It features works by well-known artists such as Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, and Mark Rothko. The museum also showcases work by emerging artists from around the world.
The Indigenous Art Collection
The museum has an impressive collection of Native American art that spans over 5,000 years. You will get to see pottery, jewelry, masks, and textiles that illustrate the cultural richness and diversity of these indigenous peoples.
The Art Nouveau and Art Deco Collection
Art Nouveau and Art Deco were popular movements that shaped art and design during the first half of the 20th century. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts features a collection of decorative arts that showcase the elegance and glamour of these styles.
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is more than just a museum. It is a place where you can immerse yourself in different cultures, artistic movements, and historical periods. Whether you are a fan of ancient art, modern art, or anything in between, the museum has something for you. So, make sure to put this unique museum on your list of things to do when driving along I-95 in Virginia.
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Frequently asked questions
Some of the most popular attractions include Colonial Williamsburg, Kings Dominion Amusement Park, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
Yes, there are several options for nature enthusiasts including hiking in Shenandoah National Park, exploring Belle Isle State Park, or visiting the James River Park System.
Definitely! Visitors can check out the American Civil War Museum, the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, and the Jamestown Settlement.
Potomac Mills Mall in Woodbridge offers a wide selection of outlet stores, while The Shops at Carolina Furniture in Roanoke Rapids features upscale home décor and furniture retailers.
Yes, families can enjoy Kidz n Play in Ashland, the Children's Museum of Richmond, and the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center.