Vacationing? Come to Virginia and watch a race, ride rollercoasters or bask in the sun

Well, its almost summer time again and, along with that, vacation time.  Virginia is a great place to vacation and offers many sites and attractions.  For history buffs, Virginia has the town of Fredericksburg, the cities of Richmond and Williamsburg as well as Norfolk.  Civil War buffs will want to visit Fredericksburg as there are several battlefields in that area.  They can also visit the Civil War Museum in downtown Richmond.  If you prefer the Revolutionary War era, there’s no better places to visit than Charlottesville, Mount Vernon and Williamsburg.  Williamsburg offers more than just history as well.  It was a world class theme park, the fifth most visited water park in the country, the Williamsburg Pottery, outlet stores and go karts.  The Richmond area also offers up more than just history.  Another world class theme park is just minutes north of the city.  Richmond International Raceway offers a variety of racing including two major NASCAR events as well as two supporting NASCAR events.  If you like Baseball, Richmond has a brand new team, the Flying Squirrels (yeah, I know) and two indoor football teams.  Richmond also has a zoo, an art museum, science museum, lots of wonderful places to eat and is the home of Edgar Allen Poe.  Our sister city to the south, Norfolk, is home to the Atlantic fleet and is also now a cruise ship stop.  The Norfolk area features several museums, a wildlife habitat, is a major concert stop, has a NASA presence and also has a Baseball team.  Norfolk is also just minutes from Virginia Beach, itself a vacation destination, complete with mini golf, go karts and, of course, the beach.

Virginia is also home of the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline drive.  Skyline drive is a scenic drive that shows off some of the prettiest views in the country, especially in the autumn when the trees change colors.  Luray, Virgina features the Luray Caverns.  The caverns are a wonder to see, especially the integrated organ.  I have many fond memories of visits to the caverns and will be taking my family back there soon.

Below are what I think are the highlights of things to do in Virginia:

Sports

NASCAR is the big sport in Virginia and there are currently two major venues that NASCAR visits every year:  Martinsville and Richmond.  Martinsville is a small track and one of the last remaining short tracks on the NASCAR schedule.  Martinsville currently hosts two Sprint Cup races and two Camping World Truck races.  Richmond hosts two Sprint Cup races and two Nationwide Series races.  There are also other types of racing at both tracks.

Amusement Parks

Intimidator305Richmond is home to Kings Dominion, though it is technically in Doswell-a fifteen minute drive north of the city.  Kings Dominion introduced the second ‘giga’  coaster in the United States this year.  The rollercoaster, called Intimidator 305, is three hundred and five feet tall and reaches speeds of upto 100 miles per hour (though the official speed is 94.)  The coaster is one of the tallest in the country.  Kings Dominion also features several other world class rollercoasters, including the tallest and fastest inverted launched coaster, the Volcano and is also home to the relocated Dominator.  Kings Dominion also features Planet Snoopy, a water park and many other attractions.  And from now through the end of May, you can purchase tickets on line for $33.99 each or you can purchase a season pass for twenty dollars more.

Williamsburg features Busch Gardens Williamsburg.  Busch Gardens, which was sold last year as a result of the InBev Griffon take over of Annhueser Busch, has been voted the country’s most beautiful park twenty years in a row now.  The park features a collection of four dynamite rollercoasters, including the first floorless dive machine, the Griffon.  Busch Gardens not only features exciting rollercoasters, beautiful landscaping and fun attractions, but also has wonderful food.  You’ll be able to experience foods from each of the themed lands featured in the park as well as delicious deserts. If you like really fresh beer, the park still features the beers of Annheuser Busch, which has a plant right next to the park.  And, just down the road is Water Country USA, the fifth most visited water park in the country.  Busch Gardens also has several ticket deals, including the Virginia Fun Pass for state residents.  The Fun Pass costs the same as a one day ticket, but is good for unlimited visits until September.  If you are just visiting from out of state, you might consider the Williamsburg Bounce Ticket.  This ticket, good for seven days, gets you unlimited access to the park and the historic tours of Colonial Williamsburg.  To purchase tickets or get more info, click here.

Go-Karts Plus is a small amusement park, with a heavy focus on go karts.  It features several go kart tracks, a mini golf course, several kiddie rides including the frog hopper and a kiddie rollercoaster, the Disc-O, a video arcade, bumper boats and cars and more.  There is no charge for parking or admission, but rides and attractions require from 1 to 5 tickets.  Tickets are $1.25 each when purchased as books of 20 or one dollar each in books of fifty.  The park is just south of Busch Gardens and near the Williamsburg Pottery.

Museums

Below are but a few of the museums and cultural centers in the state:

Virginia offers tons more, I’ve only hit on the ‘biggies’.  For more information, go here.

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2 thoughts on “Vacationing? Come to Virginia and watch a race, ride rollercoasters or bask in the sun

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