History. Mountains. History. Beaches. Virginia has such a variety of state and national parks that the slogan “Virginia is for lovers” makes perfect sense. If you love outdoor adventures, you’ll love the multiple national and state parks and 10 natural landmarks. The list of parks in Virginia includes 22 national parks, 37 state parks, 5 undeveloped parks, and 63 natural areas. The state parks include more than 127,000 acres and more than 600 miles of parks. Over 25 million visitors explore these parks every year, especially its deep colonial history and close proximity to the nation’s capital. Virginia has over 3,000 places on the National Register of Historic Places, from Williamsburg to Mount Vernon.
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National Parks & Historic Sites
111 National Park Dr, Appomattox, VA 24522
On April 9, 1865, the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia in the McLean House in the village of Appomattox Court House, Virginia signaled the end of the nation’s largest war. Two important questions about its future were answered. Could the nation survive a civil war intact, and would that nation exist without slavery? The answer to both was yes and a new nation was born.
321 Sherman Dr, Fort Myer, VA 22211
Arlington House is the nation’s memorial to Robert E. Lee. It honors him for specific reasons, including his role in promoting peace and reunion after the Civil War. In a larger sense it exists as a place of study and contemplation of the meaning of some of the most difficult aspects of American History: military service; sacrifice; citizenship; duty; loyalty; slavery and freedom.
MD, VA; 7206 National Seashore Ln, Berlin, MD 21811
Want to live on the edge? Visit a place recreated each day by ocean wind and waves. Life on Assateague Island has adapted to an existence on the move. Explore sandy beaches, salt marshes, maritime forests, and coastal bays. Rest, relax, recreate and enjoy some time on the edge of the continent.
Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and North Carolina, NC, VA; one site is Mabry Mill, Burks Fork, VA 24120
A Blue Ridge Parkway experience is unlike any other: a slow-paced and relaxing drive revealing stunning long-range vistas and close-up views of the rugged mountains and pastoral landscapes of the Appalachian Highlands. The Parkway meanders for 469 miles, protecting a diversity of plants and animals, and providing opportunities for enjoying all that makes this region of the country so special.
12130 Booker T Washington Hwy, Hardy, VA 24101
Booker T. Washington was born a slave in April 1856 on the 207-acre farm of James Burroughs. After the Civil War, Washington became the first principal of Tuskegee Normal and Industrial School. Later as an adviser, author and orator, his past would influence his philosophies as the most influential African American of his era. Come explore his birthplace.
Cape Henry, Virginia Beach, VA
English colonists first landed here in April 1607, erected a wooden cross and gave thanks for a successful crossing to a new land. In 1781, Americans could watch from these same sand dunes the largest naval battle of the Revolutionary War. Our French Allies defeated a British fleet just off this shore to set the stage for General George Washington’s victory at Yorktown.
Various States VA, MD, DE, DC, PA, NY
Four hundred years ago Englishman John Smith and a small crew of adventurers set out in an open boat to explore the Chesapeake Bay. Between 1607 and 1609 Smith and his crew mapped nearly 3,000 miles of the Bay and rivers and documented American Indian communities. Smith’s map and journals are a remarkable record of the 17th-century Chesapeake. Come join the adventure on the Chesapeake Bay!
Middletown and Strasburg, VA
The Shenandoah Valley invites you to learn about its rich heritage, from Native Americans who first shaped the land, to pioneers of this frontier; this fertile area became one of the most important wheat producing regions of the entire South. The Valley also witnessed some of the most dramatic events of the Civil War, including the Battle of Cedar Creek, a decisive October 19, 1864 Union victory.
Chesapeake Bay Watershed, DC, DE, MD, NY, PA, VA, WV; one good place is Newport News, VA area
NPS helps you learn about and enjoy the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in North America. Here, you can visit major league cities, colonial towns, American Indian landscapes, farms and fishing villages. You can learn to kayak, pick crabs, go fishing, tour a lighthouse, slurp oysters, and slow down to enjoy the natural beauty of the Chesapeake.
Washington, DC, MD, VA; one site is Fort Marcy in McLean, VA 22101
On forested hills surrounding the nation’s capital are the remnants of a complex system of Civil War fortifications. Built by Union forces, these strategic buttresses transformed the young capital into one of the world’s most fortified cities. This month, we will feature Fort Totten, part of the Northern Defenses and engaged during the Battle of Fort Stevens.
6310 Georgetown Pike, McLean, VA 22101
Step back in time and experience life on a small farm in northern Virginia. Living history programs and demonstrations offer a glimpse of what life was like for a poor farm family, just before the Revolutionary War.
Jamestown and Yorktown, VA
On May 13, 1607, Jamestown was established as the first permanent English settlement in North America. Three cultures came together – European, Virginia Indian and African–to create a new society that would eventually seek independence from Great Britain. On October 19, 1781, American and French troops defeated the British at Yorktown in the last major battle of the American Revolutionary War.
Middlesboro, KY, TN, VA; 91 Bartlett Park Road, Middlesboro, KY 40965
At Cumberland Gap, the first great gateway to the west, follow the buffalo, the Native American, the longhunter, the pioneer… all traveled this route through the mountains into the wilderness of Kentucky. Modern-day explorers and travelers stand in awe at this great gateway and the many miles of trails and scenic features found in the park.
Fort Monroe, VA
Fort Monroe National Monument spans the American story through the 21st century: American Indian presence, Captain John Smith’s journeys, a safe haven for freedom seekers during the Civil War, home of the US Army Artillery School, and a bastion of defense for the Chesapeake Bay. Visit this young national park with a centuries-old tradition and see on-going preservation work in action.
1013 Lafayette Blvd, Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Wilderness, and Spotsylvania–this is America’s battleground, where the Civil War roared to its bloody climax. No place more vividly reflects the War’s tragic cost in all its forms. A town bombarded and looted. Farms large and small ruined. Refugees by the thousands forced into the countryside. More than 85,000 men wounded; 15,000 killed–most in graves unknown.
DC, MD, VA
The George Washington Memorial Parkway was designed for recreational driving. It links sites that commemorate important episodes in American history and preserve habitat for local wildlife. The parkway and its associated trails provide a scenic place to play and rest in the busy Washington, DC metropolitan area.
1732 Popes Creek Rd, Colonial Beach, VA 22443
In the heart of the Northern Neck of Virginia stands a tribute to America’s founding father, George Washington. Although only here a short time, the ideas that Washington learned here, helped shape the man he would become and forever alter the destiny of the United States of America.
9200 Old Dominion Dr, McLean, VA 22102
At Great Falls, the Potomac River builds up speed and force as it falls over a series of steep, jagged rocks and flows through the narrow Mather Gorge. The Patowmack Canal offers a glimpse into the early history of this country. Great Falls Park has many opportunities to explore history and nature, all in a beautiful 800-acre park only 15 miles from the Nation’s Capital.
Louisa, VA 23093
Green Springs National Historic Landmark District in Virginia’s Piedmont encompasses over 14,000 acres. Its farmsteads offer a continuum of rural vernacular architecture in original context with minimal alteration. Landscapes and buildings, many predating the Civil War and connected to one another visually and through family relationships of early occupants, are today preserved through easements.
Harpers Ferry, WV, VA, MD; 767 Shenandoah St, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425
A visit to this quaint, historic community, at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, is like stepping into the past. Stroll the picturesque streets, visit exhibits and museums, or hike our trails and battlefields. Spend a day or a weekend. We have something for everyone, so come and discover Harpers Ferry!
1368 Colonial Pkwy, Jamestown, VA 23081
Walk in the steps of Captain John Smith and Pocahontas where a successful English colonization of North America began. Despite early struggles to survive, the 1607 settlement evolved into a prosperous colony. As the colony expanded, the Virginia Indians were pushed out of their homeland. In 1619, the arrival of Africans was recorded, marking the origin of slavery in English North America.
600 N 2nd St, Richmond, VA 23219
Maggie Lena Walker devoted her life to civil rights advancement, economic empowerment, and educational opportunities for Jim Crow-era African Americans and women. As a bank president, newspaper editor, and fraternal leader, Walker served as an inspiration of pride and progress. Today, Walker’s home is preserved as a tribute to her enduring legacy of vision, courage, and determination.
6511 Sudley Rd, Manassas, VA 20109
On July 21, 1861, two armies clashed for the first time on the fields overlooking Bull Run. Heavy fighting swept away any notion of a quick war. In August 1862, Union and Confederate armies converged for a second time on the plains of Manassas. The Confederates won a solid victory bringing them to the height of their power.
NC, SC, TN, VA; one location is the Town of Abingdon Segment in Abingdon, VA
Stretching 330 miles through four states (Virginia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina) the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail traces the route used by patriot militia during the pivotal Kings Mountain campaign of 1780. Follow the campaign by utilizing a Commemorative Motor Route which uses existing state highways marked with the distinctive trail logo, or 87 miles of walkable pathways.
5001 Siege Rd, Petersburg, VA 23875
Nine and a half months, 70,000 casualties, the suffering of civilians, thousands of U. S. Colored Troops fighting for the freedom of their race, and the decline of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of No. Virginia all describe the Siege of Petersburg. It was here Gen. Ulysses S. Grant cut off all of Petersburg’s supply lines ensuring the fall of Richmond on April 3, 1865. Six days later, Lee surrendered.
Potomac Heritage Trail, Virginia 20165
Linking the tidal Potomac and upper Youghiogheny river basins, the evolving Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail network lies within a corridor rich in historic pathways and waterways. You can travel this historic corridor today—on foot, bicycle, and horse and by boat—exploring contrasting landscapes between the Chesapeake Bay and the Allegheny Plateau.
18170 Park Entrance Rd, Triangle, VA 22172
Prince William Forest Park is an oasis, a respite of quiet and calm. In 1936, Chopawamsic Recreation Area opened its gates to house children’s ‘relief’ camps during the Great Depression. Renamed Prince William Forest Park in 1948, these fragrant woods and trickling streams have welcomed generations of campers, hikers, bikers and nature lovers. Discover Northern Virginia’s best-kept secret!
8761 Battlefield Park Rd, Richmond, VA 23231
The hub of Confederate manufacturing fueled a modern war, one of the South’s largest hospitals gave care to the sick and wounded, violent clashes of massive armies on open fields and miles of formidable defensive earthworks meant that from 1861 to 1865, Richmond’s fate would determine America’s future.
Blue Ridge Mountains near Luray, VA
Just 75 miles from the bustle of Washington, D.C., Shenandoah National Park is your escape to recreation and re-creation. Cascading waterfalls, spectacular vistas, quiet wooded hollows—take a hike, meander along Skyline Drive, or picnic with the family. 200,000 acres of protected lands are haven to deer, songbirds, the night sky…and you. Plan a Shenandoah escape today!
DC, MD, VA; 2400 E Fort Ave, Baltimore, MD 21230
For three years the young United States was embroiled in the War of 1812 and the Chesapeake Bay region felt the brunt of it, choked by shipping blockades and ravaged by enemy raids. Through sites and landscapes in Virginia, the District of Columbia, and throughout Maryland, the Trail tells the stories of the events, people, and places that led to the birth of our National Anthem.
MA, RI, CT, NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA, DC; various locations. One is the Yorktown Battlefield or Prince William Forest Park
In 1781, General Rochambeau’s French Army joined forces with General Washington’s Continental Army to fight the British Army in Yorktown, Virginia. With the French Navy in support, the allied armies moved hundreds of miles to become the largest troop movement of the American Revolution. The effort and cooperation between the two sides led to a victory at Yorktown and secured American independence.
551 Trap Rd, Vienna, VA 22182
No matter what your age or taste in shows, you’ll find something you like onstage at Wolf Trap. From May through September, multiple amphitheaters in the park present performances such as musicals, dance, opera, jazz, and popular and country music. A good time to explore the beauty and history of the park without the crowds is October – April.
1000 Colonial Pkwy, Yorktown, VA 23690
Discover what it took for the United States to be independent as you explore the site of the last major battle of the Revolutionary War. Here at Yorktown, in the fall of 1781, General George Washington, with allied American and French forces, besieged General Charles Lord Cornwallis’s British army. On October 19, Cornwallis surrendered, effectively ending the war and ensuring independence.
For more attractions, go to Virginia is For Lovers Travel Site
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