Escape to Virginia: Experience the Charm and History of the Old Dominion

leesburg virginia cute discover charm building
Credit: Visit Virginia

If you’re planning a vacation at or around the East Coast of the USA, you should definitely prioritize a stop to the historic state of Virginia.

The state is home to over 8.6 million residents. Tens of millions of visitors come to the Old Dominion every year, where they can enjoy Virginia’s special history, culture, nature sites and forms of entertainment.

There is no shortage of compelling activities, sites and entertainment to check out during your visit to “the Mother of States.” Here is a list of what should be atop your wish list for a vacation to the Mid-Atlantic state.

Check Out A Minor League Baseball Game 

This past January marks two years since the state launched legalized sports betting, so you can combine your love of sports betting with travel to Virginia and experience the best of both worlds! Some of the best offers available to new customers include $100 on the house from WynnBET if you bet $20, a “second chance” wager of up to $500 from BetRivers and $150 in bonus bets from FanDuel if you place a $5 bet.

The state of Virginia doesn’t have any professional sports teams. 

That said, the NFL’s Washington Commanders, NBA’s Washington Wizards, NHL’s Washington Capitals and MLB’s Washington Nationals all have wide followings and popularity in the Old Dominion.

There’s actually a push among Virginia officials to secure a deal on the Commanders’ next stadium. Earlier this month, Dan Snyder sold the team to a group led by Josh Harris for the mammoth price tag of $6.05 billion.

Washington is contractually obligated to continue playing its games at FedExField in Landover, Maryland through the 2026 season. But by 2027, or potentially later, it’s quite possible that Virginia will finally be home to a professional sports franchise.

The Old Dominion is home to several minor league clubs who serve as affiliates to Major League teams, so there will always be opportunities to enjoy America’s pastime during baseball season.

The Fredericksburg Nationals — who play in the Carolina League — are the Single-A affiliate of the local Nationals, and they play their home games at the beautiful ballpark of Virginia Credit Union Stadium. 

Virginia has two other clubs in the Carolina League: The Lynchburg Hillcats, the Single-A affiliate of the Cleveland Guardians, and the Salem Red Sox, the Single-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.

If you want to see higher competition, you can see the Norfolk Tides of the International League. The Tides are the Triple-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, who are off to a strong start following a surprise 83-win season in 2022.

And finally, there are the Richmond Flying Squirrels, San Francisco Giants’ Double-A affiliate, of the Eastern League. In fact, the Flying Squirrels only returned to the Eastern League last year after a one-year hiatus. They spent the 2021 season in Double-A Northeast after 11 years (2010 to 2020) in the Eastern League.

Visit The State’s Many Presidential Libraries & Museums 

Virginia State Capitol
Virginia State Capitol. Image by

They don’t call Virginia “The Mother of Presidents” for nothing.

Eight of the 46 U.S. presidents were born here in the Old Dominion — more than any other state. Those presidents are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor and Woodrow Wilson.

So as you can tell, American history lovers will obviously find plenty of experiences to enjoy during their visit to Virginia. 

You can learn all about these iconic American figures by visiting their Virginia-based museums and libraries. Among them: The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington in Mount Vernon, the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library in Staunton, the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies in Charlottesville and the James Monroe Law Office in Fredericksburg.

Enjoy Virginia’s Nature In Shenandoah National Park

It’s hard not to immediately think of John Denver’s legendary song, “Take Me Home, Country Roads”, when you hear “Shenandoah.”

Denver references West Virginia and Shenandoah River in the song that defined his illustrious career. The river itself is near Shenandoah National Park, one of the nation’s most historic and beautiful parks.

Over a million people visit Shenandoah National Park annually. Here, you can enjoy a plethora of outdoor activities that include hiking, biking and camping. If you love spending time outdoors, you may wish to prioritize several days camping at the park.

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