There are only nine hundred and forty Saturdays from when your child is born to when they turn eighteen. Sometimes that sounds is a big number, but you may soon come to realize time with the little ones while they are young is short. So, take each Saturday you have with them and cherish it! We’ve put together a list of wonderful family friendly Virginia day trips for you and your loved ones to explore. So, let’s get down to business…
Charlottesville and Monticello Are Great Virginia Day Trips
The first trip we’ll recommend is to head over to Charlottesville to explore Thomas Jefferson’s stomping grounds. His home, Monticello, is a beautiful architectural piece in the rolling green landscape of the Shenandoah Valley.
Have you visited Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s house? It’s beautiful, inside and out. Filled with Jefferson’s inventions. We took a fascinating tour, focused on the family of Sally Hemings. ***************************************** #monticello #charlottesville #virginia #charlottesvilleva #cville #familytravel #travelwithkids #instatravel #travelsouthusa #traveltheglobe #travelblogger #exploretheworld #worldtravel #worldtravelpics #worldtraveler #garden #architectural #architecturelovers #archidaily #worldtravelingmom #tmom
With a vast amount of beautiful gardens to walk through and enjoy, you and your family can spend as much or as little time as you’d like depending on your needs. It’s a beautiful location for Virginia day trips!
Also in Charlottesville, you can check out the University of Virginia grounds, the school Thomas Jefferson founded. If it reminds you of Monticello, you aren’t imagining things.
As an alum of the University of Virginia, I’m deeply saddened by and angry at the events that are unfolding in Charlottesville today. The town and university are amazing places full of lovely and accepting people. Family-friendly and educational places to travel too. I remember my time there so fondly and hope that the town, state and country find a way to end this violence and the hatred that provoked it. I don’t normally get political but this one is personal so it was time to speak up. #tmom #cville #charlottesville #virginia #cvilleaug12 @charlottesvilleva @visitvirginia #virginiaisforlovers
If you’re coming around Halloween, take the kiddos to Trick-or-Treat on the Lawn, or if you come near Christmas, enjoy the Lighting of the Lawn where the magical green space comes alive with Christmas lights, music, singing, and ice sculptures.
In Charlottesville, you can find the perfect mixture of history, modern spunk, fantastic food, and kid-friendly activities during your day trip.
Family Friendly Skyline Drive
If your first trip around the Shenandoah Valley dazzled you, then head over to Skyline Drive. Stretching from Winchester to Waynesboro, this winding road follows the Appalachian Mountains, giving you stunning views of the valleys, rivers, and waterfalls.
The speed limit is 35 mph for all 105 miles, so make sure to plan out which parts you’d like to do ahead of time. With an abundance of scenic views and trails off of either side, let spontaneity lead with outdoor picnics for lunch and an occasional stretch of the legs.
The most popular time to drive is in the fall when the leaves are at their colorful peak, although any time of year you will have spectacular views.
Virginia State Capital: Richmond
A day-trip list isn’t complete without a chance to let the state capital shine. Head on over to Richmond to get the perfect taste of nature in the city.
If your kids are a little older with a mature taste for society, tour the state capital and the seemingly endless array of art galleries, such as the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
If they want to play in the water while you enjoy some of the finer moments of city life, such as Richmond’s phenomenal breweries and eateries, head to Belle Isle Park. You can rent bikes to ride around the car-less island in the Potomac, or even some Stand Up Paddleboards to cruise around the river.
From the high city society to sailing on some waves, Richmond has a mixture to keep the whole family entertained.
Williamsburg or Jamestown
While the whole state seems to be littered with battlegrounds from the Civil War and Revolutionary War, give your family a taste of everyday colonial life in Williamsburg or Jamestown. Both of these southeastern Virginia cities boast wonderful authentic colonial communities.
Whether you want to see glassblowing in real time, learn to weave a basket, make a candle, or simply farm a field, you’ll get a taste of how life worked three hundred years ago. The interactive, often free, activities will give your family the opportunity to enter what seems like a whole new world.
Chincoteague and Assateague Island
There is something to be said about seeing hundreds of wild ponies swim across a large channel of water. This sight will mesmerize any kid, let alone an adult.
To see this, head over to Chincoteague and Assateague Island during the annual pony swim. Saltwater Cowboys will herd the wild ponies across the bay, where many will be auctioned off to profit the local volunteer fire company. The whole day is filled with wonderful food, music, and, of course, ponies!
This is one of those perfect day trips you can find only in Virginia.
Smith Mountain Lake Virginia Day Trip
If your family wants to get wet but avoid a crowded beach, find a spot at Smith Mountain Lake. With over five hundred miles of shoreline, you can find a spot to simply lay in the sun or take a boat out on the water.
If you like to waterski or tube, or just throw out a line for some fish, this is a great spot to be. Rent a paddleboard or a paddle boat if you need help entertaining the kids all day long. Don’t forget your towel and sunscreen for this wonderful, relaxing day trip.
Whatever it is you’re looking for, a good bite in the capital or a wet escape into nature, Virginia has it all.
Virginia is for lovers, meaning for families who want to do life together and enjoy each other’s company. So, head out on one of these Virginia day trips to enjoy a different side of life with your family.
Lauren is a trekbible writer and story maker from Pine Valley, California. She and her husband work in the recreation department at a camp. In their free time, they enjoy mountain biking, building out their Sprinter van, and adventuring with their new puppy, Shadow.