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Learn how to Plan a Virginia Highway Journey with Children (7-14 Day Itinerary)

Residing in Rhode Island, we’ve taken many east coast street journeys over time as we slowly tick off the entire States. Coming from such a small state, it’s exhausting to think about that you’d want a minimum of every week to correctly discover Virginia, however Outdated Dominion is bigger than you assume. With necessary historic websites like Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Monticello and pure wonders like Shenandoah Nationwide Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and Virginia Seashore, you’ll want to take your time and plan a Virginia street journey that encompasses a little bit of every thing.

The best strategy to see the highlights on a Virginia street journey is to take a round route by means of the state, beginning in Norfolk, Virginia and ending in Washington D.C. (which you also needs to tack on a number of days to see should you haven’t visited but.) Since we have been touring from New England, as a substitute of flying we drove down Freeway 13 by means of the Delmarva (Delaware / Maryland / Virginia) peninsula and throughout the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel to our first stops on our mother-daughter Virginia street journey.

From there, we continued throughout Interstate 64 with stops in Williamsburg/Jamestown and Charlottesville. We then drove by means of Shenandoah Nationwide Park after which continued up Interstate 81, with stops alongside the Shenandoah Valley in Harrisonburg, Woodstock, and Winchester. We completed up simply throughout the border in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia, however it’s simple to circle again to Washington D.C. for a flight dwelling.

Virginia Highway Journey Itinerary

Virginia road trip with kids

When planning your Virginia street journey, you possibly can shorten this itinerary to suit right into a one-week journey or lengthen it with extra time at every cease for a full two-week trip.

  • Day 1: Arrive in Norfolk, Virginia
  • Day 2-4: Virginia Seashore, Hampton, and Newport Information
  • Day 5-7: Williamsburg and Jamestown
  • Day 8-9: Charlottesville
  • Day 10-12: Shenandoah Valley

This map was created utilizing Google My Maps and covers your Virginia street journey itinerary above. You’ll be able to click on on the star subsequent to the title and save this to your Google Maps account or click on on the share icon to ship it to your self by way of e mail.

Day 1: Arrive in Norfolk / Virginia Seashore

Observe: This submit could comprise affiliate hyperlinks. In the event you click on a hyperlink and make a purchase order, I’ll obtain a small fee. All opinions are my very own.

Editor’s Observe: A part of our journey was hosted by Go to Hampton, Newport Information, Go to Charlottesville, Shenandoah County, and Go to Harrisonburg. All opinions are my very own.

In the event you plan on flying to Virginia and renting a automobile, for this itinerary it’s best to fly into Norfolk, Virginia (you will get nice offers on Breeze Airways from numerous cities) and out of Washington D.C. (Dulles or Reagan Nationwide). Alternatively, you possibly can fly into and out of D.C. and make a loop.

When you’ve got a minimum of 10 days in your Virginia street journey and you’re visiting through the hotter months, I’d counsel spending a minimum of your first evening or two in Virginia Seashore. Nonetheless, should you aren’t on the lookout for a seaside trip, head straight to both Hampton, Virginia or close by Newport Information to have a house base in your first few days of exploration.

The place to remain: Hilton Backyard Inn Hampton Coliseum Central in Hampton, VA or the Courtyard by Marriott Newport Information.

Day 2: Hampton, Virginia

Apollo capsule at Virginia Air and Space Center

Hampton, Virginia is an under-the-radar vacation spot for historical past buffs. With the Naval station simply throughout the bay, Hampton sits on the entrance of necessary waterways and has performed an impactful position in U.S. historical past, from its detrimental historical past as a touchdown spot for colonists and the primary place that captured Africans have been dropped at America and enslaved to work the rising tobacco plantations to its extra constructive historical past as a NASA Analysis Middle that earned its “sea to the celebrities” motto by means of its vital position in sending males to the moon.

There may be a lot to see and do in Hampton that you could simply spend two to a few full days exploring its wealthy historical past. In your first day, I’d suggest:

  • Go to the Hampton Historical past Museum for some perception on all the world’s fascinating historical past from the early colonists to the primary astronauts. (Enable one hour)
  • Take a stroll to the close by Virginia Air & Area Middle with a cease first to journey Hampton’s vintage carousel. Get pleasure from studying in regards to the historical past of flight and the manned house program and soak up an IMAX present, included in your ticket. (Enable one to 2 hours)
  • If it’s not a seaside day, cease on the Bluebird Hole Farm to play on the playground and meet their resident livestock or simply head again to the resort for a brief swim within the small pool.
  • Head over to Fort Monroe for dockside eating at The Deadrise.

Learn extra: Issues to do in Hampton, Virginia

Day 3: Hampton, Virginia

Old Point Comfort Lighthouse Hampton Virginia
Outdated Level Consolation Lighthouse

When you’ve got time for a second day in Hampton, there’s nonetheless extra to see. I might suggest:

  • After breakfast, head over to the harbor entrance for a tour boat cruise on the Hampton Queen.
  • Stroll over to Enterprise Kitchen & Bar in downtown Hampton for lunch on their wood-grilled pizzas and do-it-yourself tater tots.
  • Tour the Casemate Museum of Fort Monroe and Fort Monroe to see the place the place the primary African slaves arrived within the U.S. and the cell the place Jefferson Davis was imprisoned after the Civil Struggle. Different well-known troopers stationed right here embody Edgar Allen Poe and Robert E. Lee. (Enable one to 2 hours)
  • Both head over to Newport Information to verify in to the Courtyard by Marriott Newport Information Airport, or lengthen your keep  on the Hilton Backyard Inn (it is just 20-Half-hour away.)

Day 4: Newport Information, Virginia

Virginia Living Museum touch tank
Virginia Residing Museum contact tank

If you’re brief on time, you can mix some Newport Information points of interest along with your time in Hampton, however there are a few gems right here that your youngsters will love.

  • Begin your day on the Virginia Residing Museum, which homes extra habitats, wildlife and plant species than could be encountered in a lifetime of out of doors adventures in Virginia. It’s right here that you could stroll by means of an Appalachian mountain cove and a southeastern cypress swamp, contact a horseshoe crab or a sea star, go eye-to-eye with a crimson wolf and a bald eagle and watch otters frolic on the out of doors pure path!  (Enable two hours)
  • Cease for lunch at Style Limitless at Metropolis Middle in Oyster Level and revel in a stroll across the fountain, stopping to pose for a photograph on the Love NN signal.
  • Subsequent up, go to the The Mariners’ Museum. The actual spotlight right here is the usS. Monitor Middle — be sure you cease into the Battle Theater for an important overview of the battle of the Ironclads at Hampton Roads. Additionally take a look at the detailed craftsmanship on the miniature ships within the Nice Corridor of Steam. (Enable two hours)
  • For dinner you may wish to head again to the Metropolis Middle, the place there are many family-friendly choices to select from.
  • After dinner, take a look at a film on the Paragon Metropolis Middle 12 in Metropolis Middle or head over to Newport Information Park for a stroll or a hayride. Cease at Pelican’s SnoBalls for a snowcone dessert.

Day 5: Williamsburg, Virginia

Battlefield at Colonial Williamsburg

In case your youngsters want a break from historical past and sightseeing, get pleasure from some household enjoyable at both Busch Gardens Williamsburg or Water Nation USA. Nonetheless, you actually shouldn’t miss spending a day in Colonial Williamsburg. In the event you can handle three to 4 days within the Williamsburg space, that may be perfect.

Learn extra: Learn how to spend a day in Colonial Williamsburg

The place to remain: Williamsburg Inn or Membership Wyndham Kingsgate

Day 6: Jamestown & Yorktown, Virginia

Jamestown Settlement -- What to do on a road trip through Virginia with Kids
The Powhatan Village at Jamestown Settlement

This space is so wealthy with early U.S. historical past that you’ll want to spend a day visiting each Yorktown and Jamestown to be taught extra about colonial and revolutionary historical past:

  • Begin off with a go to to Jamestown Settlement. This attraction has recreated the unique Colonial fort, provides an interactive consultant Powhatan village, and has three ships which can be replicas of those that Captain John Smith and the unique settlers used to journey to the New World. There may be additionally an excellent museum on website and a restaurant for lunch, so plan to spend at three hours.
  • Go to Historic Jamestowne, the situation of the unique fort the place English settlers first colonized Virginia. Right here you will notice the define of the unique fort, some ruins from the city, and the archeological digs the place they’re nonetheless unearthing artifacts from the seventeenth century. (Enable one to 2 hours)
  • End your day with a go to to the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown.
  • After dinner drive two-and-a-half hours to Charlottesville.

Learn extra: Jamestown Settlement vs. Historic Jamestowne, Which is Higher?

Day 7: Charlottesville, Virginia

Things to do in Charlottesville - Monticello

Charlottesville is dwelling to the College of Georgia and two of the Founding Fathers together with Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe. Along with historic websites there are wineries and pure points of interest close by.

  • Spend the morning exploring downtown Charlottesville. The pedestrian mall provides an important number of retailers and eating places.
  • Head out to Michie Tavern for an all-you-can-eat colonial mid-day meal of fried rooster, pulled pork, baked rooster, mashed potatoes and gravy and extra! Enable time to go to the tavern museum and discover the quaint retailers subsequent door. Children may benefit from the scavenger hunt and win a sweet persist with boot! (Enable two hours)
  • After lunch, head as much as Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s dwelling. Buy tickets prematurely for the tour of your alternative and be taught all about our nation’s third president. (Enable two to a few hours)
  • To loosen up in spite of everything that historical past, cease by Carter Mountain Orchard, simply down the street, and have a run round their garden overlooking Charlottesville and the valley whereas sampling a few of their recent produce, baked items, or cider. On Thursday evenings in the summertime you too can get pleasure from a free music live performance on the garden and go to the snack bar for a lightweight chunk to eat.
Carter Mountain Orchard in Charlottesville -- What to do on a road trip through Virginia with Kids
Having fun with the view at Carter Mountain Orchard in Charlottesville

Learn extra: Issues to do in Charlottesville, Virginia with youngsters

The place to remain: The Graduate Lodge Charlottesville

Day 8: Charlottesville, Virginia

Bear in Shenandoah National Park
We noticed a bear in Shenandoah Nationwide Park

When you’ve got time, there’s loads extra to do within the Charlottesville space together with:

  • Begin off with a bit extra historical past with a go to to Highland, dwelling of James Monroe, fifth president of the USA. (Enable one to 2 hours)
  • Prepare to go out of city to close by Scottsville and cease for lunch at Tavern On the James.
  • In any case that historical past, it’s time to loosen up and revel in nature with a kayak or raft down the James River with James River Reeling & Rafting (or you can sneak in a little bit wine tasting close by!) (Enable three hours)
  • At this level, we headed out for a drive on the Skyline Drive by means of Shenandoah Nationwide Park (enable two to 4 hours) to Harrisonburg. In the event you can, attempt to lengthen your journey to spend a minimum of a full day mountaineering within the park.

The place to remain: Residence Inn Harrisonburg

Day 9: Harrisonburg, Virginia

Harrisonburg love sign

Whereas it’s simple to spend a number of days mountaineering in Shenandoah Nationwide Park, there are various cute cities and points of interest to see in Shenandoah Valley. Harrisonburg is dwelling to James Madison College and this small faculty city is an efficient place to remain when visiting Shenandoah. If you’re brief on time, you possibly can skip Harrisonburg and head straight to Woodstock.

  • If you’re there on the weekend, begin your day on the Harrisonburg Farmers Market downtown after which spend a while exploring this faculty city.
  • We visited the Rockingham County Honest within the afternoon, but when that isn’t happening, there are some close by hikes, caverns, or arboretums to discover. You may additionally wish to head again to Shenandoah Nationwide Park for the afternoon.
  • Make sure to cease at Klines Dairy Bar on the best way out of city for his or her well-known custard-style ice cream.
  • From Harrisonburg, drive as much as the small city of Woodstock.

The place to remain: Cabin leases in Woodstock

Day 10: Woodstock, Virginia

kayaking on the Shenandoah River

Woodstock is a cute small city within the coronary heart of the Shenandoah Valley, making it an ideal dwelling base for exploring the caverns, river, and native points of interest for a day or two.

  • Begin your day with breakfast on the Woodstock Cafe & Shoppes then head up the mountain to the Woodstock Tower for lovely views of the valley.
  • Prepare for some extra enjoyable in nature with a rafting or kayaking journey on the Shenandoah River. (Enable for 2 to a few hours) OR,
  • Head over to Bryce Resort in in Bayse for some ziplining or different adventures. (Enable half a day)
  • After lunch, cease off at Route 11 Potato Chips to style take a look at their completely different flavors and see how they course of over 14,000 kilos of potatoes a day. (Enable quarter-hour)
  • Close by, go to Shenandoah Caverns and be ready to be wowed by room after room of rock formations. Afterwards, cease in at their different points of interest, together with American Celebration on Parade, a powerful assortment of parade floats. (Enable two hours)
  • End up with an informal dinner on the Woodstock Brewhouse.
Shenandoah Caverns: What to do in Virginia with kids

Learn extra: 10 Enjoyable and adventurous issues to do in Shenandoah Valley

Day 11: Winchester, Virginia

Winchester, VA -- What to do in Virginia with kids

Based in 1744, Winchester is the oldest Virginia metropolis west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Generally known as the Apple Capital, there are many farms close by to go to, together with an enthralling downtown with historic sights and a pedestrian mall.

Learn extra: 3 Days in Washington D.C. itinerary


A sample itinerary for a one to two-week Virginia road trip with kids including stops at Hampton, Williamsburg, Charlottesville,  and Shenandoah.

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