"Nat, Kristi, Chris, Kathy and Urszula"
Virginia is divided into 8 regions (map here):
1. Eastern Shore
2. Chesapeake Bay
3. Tidewater & Hampton Roads
5. Northern Virginia
6. Shenandoah Valley
7. Blue Ridge Highlands
8. Heart of Appalachia.
I didn't see 1,2 and 8 as well as I skipped quite many interesting places in each other region. That's why I want to list places to visit before my next trip.
Let's start from Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake, a tri-state area (Maryland, Delaware and Virginia), from the south:
1. Driving the 17.5-mile Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel ($12 per car one way; stop at Sea Gull Island rest area - fishing pier, gift shop and display of the construction)
2. Kiptopeke State Park ($2-$3 parking fee) - flat as a pancake little park with fishing pier, Hawk Observatory (hawks, kestrels, osprey from September through November), Bird Banding Station, over four miles of trails and scenic views over the Chesapeake Bay.
3. Wreck and Bone Island Natural Area Preserve accessed exclusively by boat from Oyster (closed from April 15 -Aug. 31) - dunes and beaches.
4. Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge Visitor's Center in Cape Charles.
5. Onancock - charming harbour village (rows of gingerbread porches).
6. NASA Wallops Visitor Center (free) on Route 175 to Chincoteague (10am - 4pm).
7. Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and Assateague Island ($10) - beach, dunes, marsh, and maritime forest + wildlife (Chincoteague Ponies - descendants of colonial horses) + Assateague Lighthouse + Island Aquarium.
Number 5-7 seem to be most attractive for me. Add some seafood local restaurant. Any recommendations?
"Kathy (Kodi01), Chris (balfor) and Kristi (Dabs)"
Chesapeake Bay Region:
1. George Washingtons Birthplace National Monument in Westmoreland County - a colonial farm - kitchen, farm buildings, tour of the memorial house ($4, 9am - 5pm).
2. Richmond County Museum and Visitor Center in Warsaw (what a name! :-)
3. Historic Christ Church (1735) in Irvington (VA-200; 8.30am - 4.30pm)
4. Stratford Hall Plantation in Westmoreland County ($10) - plantation and home (tours 10am - 4 pm), birthplace of Robert E. Lee and boyhood home of Richard Henry Lee and Francis Lightfoot Lee, the only brothers to sign the Declaration of Independence.
5. Westmoreland State Park ($2-3) - cliffs, view over the Potomac River, beach, trails.
6. Caledon Natural Area (2-3$) - viewing bald eagles in their natural habitat; limited tours of the eagle area are offered, however, mid-June through August by reservation only, call: (540) 663-3861; October to March the eagle area is open.
7. Country Stores & Rural Post Offices Driving Tour - tour of twelve country stores and rural post offices starting from Gloucester historic downtown (map at 6509 Main Street - visitor's center 10am-4pm; Sun 1-4pm) incl. Gloucester Museum of History (Mon-Fri 10-3; Sat 11-4; Sun closed).
9. Ingleside Vineyards (Mon-Sat 10-5 Sun 12-5; May-September until 6) in Oak Grove (VA-3) - one of the oldest and largest wineries in Virginia; tasting wine incl. sparkling wine, Virgina Brut; museum of native American culture and natural history.
10. Historic districts of Reedville, West Point and Tappahannock.
11. Little, charming town of Urbanna.
"Nat (b1bob) and our waitress"
Heart of Appalachia (Virginia's westernmost tip):
1. Town of Pacahontas and Pocahontas Exhibition Mine & Museum in Pocahontas (bordering West Virginia, Rt. 659; April-October Mon - Sat: 10am-5pm, Sun: 12pm-6pm, $7 - tour of mine; museum; architecture).
2. Crab Orchard Museum & Pioneer Park in Tazewell (Rt. 19 & 460; Mon-Sat 9am- 5pm; Sun 1-5 April-Dec.; $8).
3. Breaks Interstate Park on the Virginia/Kentucky border (VA-80 north of Haysi; $1 per car) - "Grand Canyon of the South" (the deepest gorge east of the Mississippi River); Lake Laurel; Rhododendron Restaurant (views, April 1 - Dec. 17. 7am-9 pm).
4. A.P. Carter Museum ($0,5) in Hiltons (Rt. 58) - museum of lodal country music + bluegrass music concert/show every Sat in the Carter Fold ($5; 7.30 pm)
5. Big Stone Gap (Rt. Alt 58):
- Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park ($2-3; Mon-Thu 10am-4pm, Fri 9-4, Sat 10-5, Sun 1-5; Labor Day-Dec 31 closed Mon);
- John Fox, Jr. Museum - museum to a famous mountain author of many novels and short stories, his "Trail of the Lonesome Pine" became the nation's first million copy selling novel and was later made into a movie;
- June Tolliver House & Folkart Center
- Harry W. Meador Coal Museum (10-5)
6. Cumberland Gap National Historical Park - the largest national historic park: visitor center (8-5); 2-hour Gap Cave Tour ($8) + Hensley Settlement Tour ($10) - call: (606) 248-2817; Skyland Road to the Pinnacle Overlook.
7. Wilderness Road State Park (Rt. 58 & 923, 5 mi west of Ewing; $2-3) - an outdoor living history museum (Virginia’s 1775 frontier)
8. Natural Tunnel State Park (Rt 23; $2-3) - 100-ft high, 850 ft long tunnel formed through rock, a stream and railroad run through it; hiking trails and chairlift to tunnel mouth.
9. Crooked Road - Virginia's Heritage Music Trail - a driving route which connects 8 major heritage music venues in the Appallachian region, map here.
- Birthplace of Country Music Alliance Museum (10-9);
- Solar Hill Historic District - architecture, Emmanuel Episcopal Church.