Get out in Virginia
Updated: Apr 6, 2022
More fun stay-cation ideas!
Many of us are so over the whole staying inside and masks and virtual learning and working-from-home. Sigh! If you are working outside of your home then perhaps you're ready to toss your mask in the garbage so you feel like you can breath again. Of course, there are far worse impacts that have been felt by too many thanks to COVID-19 and the simple ones I mentioned above are pittance in comparison. If you are one of those who have felt the worst this pandemic has given, I am extremely sorry and send you my love. Truly!
For those of us seeking to get out of our back yards and our immediate communities, here is a brief list of suggestions for you and yours should you chose to bring them along ;)
Some of these could even work well for holiday get-a-ways!
Fun for All:
Visiting historic homes like Monticello, Montpelier, and Mount Vernon have amazing views and take our historic stories off the pages of books making them tangible. I have been to these homes several times but there is still some thing new to be learned or felt visiting again.
Popping to Washington D.C. has so many no-cost places to check out as part of the Smithsonian. Not only the National Galleries and a trip to the Archives to see the Constitution but one of my all time favorites is the Air and Space Museum. Oh, and guess what? There are two actually.
Hop over to Dulles area and check out the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. Omg, the space shuttle Liberty, an SR71, the Enola Gay, and even some flight simulators are more than enough to get my heart pounding with excitement.
Take a drive to Baltimore and spend the whole day, because it will take it all, at the National Aquarium. This has been on my list of "To Experience" and is still our list of possible places to take the kiddos for Christmas adventure.
Drive down to Norfolk to wonder the boardwalk a bit and visit some incredible relics at the Hampton Roads Naval Museum including the battleship U.S.S. Wisconsin!! Yes, you actually get to step foot on this real, multi-commissioned, battle succeeding battleship. Side note, while waiting for transportation to be arranged to send me to my first command, which was underway in the Persian Gulf, I was sent to help out at the museum. I had the privilege of meeting several sailors who has served aboard during her numerous wartime missions.
Shenandoah National Park has the beautiful natural bridge where you can not only check out the wonders of nature but stay in the lovely Natural Bridge Hotel. There are the Caverns at Natural Bridge as well. Hey, if you like visiting caverns, check out the Luray Caverns and cruise along skyline drive! There is even an opportunity to ride elephants and love on some animals at the privately owned Natural Bridge Zoo. we have not ventured here nor have we stayed at the Natural Bridge Hotel but it is nice to note the many options available right off of I-81 not far from Lynchburg Virginia.
Bush Gardens - COVID procedures and FAQs We have visited both in August and September during pandemic season and have been very impressed with the level of service and cleanliness they provide. Fun rides, LOTS of sanitizer, and smiles will greet you as you wonder in the seasonal decor.
Great Wolf Lodge - COVID procedures and FAQs This is one of those locations we have talked about and have yet to stay in. However, reviewing their posts and website regarding their efforts makes me eager to take the kids for our holiday adventure. As I have mentioned, more experiences and less things! I've often thought of combining a 3 night stay at this water park and fun themed hotel while taking the kiddos around the historic triangle and Busch Gardens Christmas Town. It is also about an hour from Norfolk and Virginia Beach.
Massanutten - COVID procedures and FAQs We have been here however not since before the pandemic. I wish I could provide more information that this, however I can help you envision the look and feel. Think of a really large indoor water park with slides, a massive bucket that fills up and drenches everything within reach. Four, tube slides take you and 1 or two others twirling around outside of the building then with a splash down inside the main pool. A few varying depths of wading pools for those who want to rest and relax. For the thrill seeker, wave riding boogie guard fun with a coach! There are fun scenic drives and hikes around the area as well as other outside fun. The check-in desks can fill you in if you didn't catch it all on the website.
There are So many things for tasting wine, craft beer, distilleries, cideries, and meaderies.
You can even grab at map for the Richmond Beer Trail at one of their locations and once you've filled your stamps, you get some swag. Because there are far more than 5 locations and only 5 stamp place holders, you can keep getting swag!Of course there are a ton of craft beer locations outside of RVA so click here to find some in your area, like the Beltway Beer Trail, LoCo, Coastal, and Nelson County's 151. Also, this is one of our favorite date night fun things to do.
If you love apple cider and want a kick, taste some cider! I LOVE cider and so far my ultimate fave is Courthouse Creek Cider in Richmond, but there are so many more. It is also less than a block away from one of our favorite restaurants for breakfast, Mcleans.
If you are much more of a wine enthusiast, check out this list and see what suites your taste buds. There are countless options and atmospheres to chose from. We are members at Cooper's Hawk here in Richmond, but we also really enjoyed several via route 151 in Nelson County, and Grayhaven is high on our list for the events and tasty wines.
I understand that you might be thinking, Steph there are SO many historic sights on this list? What else??? Truly, there are things that are not history related so please check out this mini-list of ideas.