A great very many souveneir shops are located along the strip. Some close early, others are open very late (I saw one open until 11PM). Everything from T-shirts to picture frames are located throughout these shops. You are bound to find something memorable from your trip here.
Unique Suggestions: Check out as many shops as you possibly can. Although some of these shops carry some pretty nice things, others carry a lot of cheap junk. Check out the prices, items and anything else you can think of. Be sure to find the best bargains for you.
Many visitors of southeast Virginia head to Busch Gardens Williamsburg, an overcrowded expensive theme park that isn't that worth visiting. This might just be because of my general distaste towards theme parks, but it does seem overpriced and you spend too much of your time waiting in lines. Admission to the park is around $40 per person (prices are always rising, check before you go).
Unique Suggestions: We visited on a summer weekend (bad idea). To get the most out of your trip, visit during the low season (fall, spring) and not during a weekend. We spent over an hour waiting in line for a three-minute ride; it was ridiculous.
Fun Alternatives: Go instead to the historical and less expensive (but not by much) Colonial Williamsburg, which is very nearby.
I haven't been sucked in any tourist trap specific to Virgina. But before my trip I asked my VT-friends about hurricanes which rarely may reach Virginian Atlantic coast and costal area at the time I arrived (October - November). I've got to know that in the North Atlantic, a distinct hurricane season occurs from June 1 to November 30, sharply peaking from late August through September. The statistical peak of the North Atlantic hurricane season is September 10. But it's unlikely to be involved in any hurricane so far up as Virginia is placed in late October and in November when I was there.
Although huriccanes fastly weaken inland and last usually a few hours they may cause longer lasting local flooding with lack of electricity as well as they may damage cars, houses and roads. Later on I saw damaged roads and houses along Gulf Coast especially in Alabama and northern Florida. In Richmond I have seen few closed, damaged streets after a hurricane which hit Richmond a few weeks before my trip.
Unique Suggestions: No hurricane could have ruined my southern trip but it could change my itinerary. During my southern oddysey each evening and morning I watched Weather Channel that is my recommendation for every traveller to coastal states from Gulf states to Midatlantic in hurricane season.
There were no hurricanes during my October - November southern trip but some local tornadoes and heavy rains (storms) with local flooding but NEVER in Virginia :-). In case of any incoming hurricane I would watch TV, listen to the radio hurricane news and ask locals what to do. I'd follow their suggestions and probably I would drive more inland to avoid problems and inconveniences.
Fun Alternatives: Travel out of hurricane season, avoid travelling in late August and September or join a hurricane party :-) as once my VT-friend from Florida suggested exactly at time when I was watching on TV horrible damages caused by violent hurricane close to his hometown.
Ok, I admit that the natural bridge would be a nice place to visit, but it costs ten dollars. It’s just not worth it. I don’t know how they justify it, and I really don’t know how they keep getting people to shill out a sawbuck a pop to look at the thing, but somehow they do. It’s one big con. There are tons of cool places to see and visit in the Appalachian Mountains; you don’t need to waste your money at this one.
You know, the scary thing is that they apparently keep getting people to come here. They’ve go a hotel, a wax museum, and a ridiculously large gift shop. You get a real “South of the Border” vibe here. It’s like they’re a trap and they know it so they’re going to get as much out of you in one visit as they can.
The craziest thing about it all though, is that they offer season tickets. P.T. Barnum must be pleased.
Unique Suggestions: Just don't. Buy a postcard or something.
Fun Alternatives: Visit any of the many scenic rivers in the area. There are lots of great hidden gems that don't cost you a dime.
A horrible idea, gone wrong. There once was a landfill in Va Beach. Someone decided to turn it into a park. They put dirt over all of the trash and grew grass on it to make it
I spent alot of good times at this park as a kid, as you couldnt tell just by looking at it that it was once a landfill.
Unfortunately, this huge tourist attraction, and lovely park, is now leaking and closed off to the public. If and when it is reinstated I suggest that if you want to go, go. It is actually really nice. In summertime though it is horribly over populated.
Theres a park for the kids and a nice little comforting lake to feed the ducks......
so its not all bad I guess.
The whole thing! The beach is GORGEOUS but EVERYTHING is way overpriced! I used to go to the beach when i was in highschool all the time and surf (the little waves they have) all the time. I went back this summer and it was NOTHING like what i remembered, except for the water.
Also beware of parking rates! $5 for 3hrs!!!!
Its horrible what they have done to such a once AWESOME beach!
Fun Alternatives: If you want a nice NON-COMMERCIAL beach, ask for directions to Chicks Beach. Its really nice and they actually get decent waves.
Unless you have money to burn, just about every major hotel in the city is a tourist trap. With more than 100 Embassies here, as well as the World Bank, the IMF, and major universities, the hotels are always of a 'the sky's the limit' mentality. Check out small hotels and out-of-centre places for best deals.
any place selling souveniers...they are always over priced but if you want something for the folks back home there isn't much you can do just remember that VA has the lowest sales tax in the eastern seaboard 4.5%
It's unfortunate that our beautiful Natural Bridge (which was one of Thomas Jefferson's favorite places) has become a real tourist trap. I remember it fondly as it used to be back in the 40s.
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