Things to Do in Virginia - page 2
Drink up incredible scenery along with award-winning wines during a visit to Trump Winery, nestled into the foothills of Virginia’s idyllic Blue Ridge Mountains. The winery sits just a few miles from Monticello, the historic home of Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe’s Ash Lawn-Highland. With 165 acres of grapes across the 1,300-acre estate, Trump Winery clocks in as the largest vineyard in Virginia. Its wines are critically acclaimed, especially the sparkling varieties—the 2007 Trump SP Reserve is the highest-rated wine in Virginia—while the Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay rate highly as well.
In the midst of the summer heat, is there any better way to cool down than a visit to the waterpark? Northern Virginia’s SplashDown, just outside of the nation’s capital, has been keeping it cool during the summer months with water slides, fountains, pools, a lazy river, and even a beach area. There are varying levels of thrills for all ages, including the long lazy river for those who prefer to keep it relaxed. There is also an Olympic-sized lap pool for adults who want to swim, and a wading area for smaller children.
Facilities include an on-site snack bar to keep you satiated, a volleyball and tennis court, log walk, and the Kahuna Beach, which contains real sand. There’s also a park nearby if you prefer to have your own picnic. SplashDown offers an area for birthday parties, as well as swim lessons outside of its operating hours.
Located along the Monticello Wine Trail in Virginia, Blenheim Vineyards is a family-owned operation dedicated to making high-quality wines that reflect the climate of the surrounding piedmont landscape. The winery’s two vineyard sites produce chardonnay, viognier, cabernet franc, petit verdot, and cabernet sauvignon varieties.
After stepping foot on the ground where America secured its independence in the final, decisive battle of the Revolutionary War, head to the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown to experience what post-war life was like in the newly free colonies. A living-history museum, the Yorktown Victory Center features indoor exhibitions, a Continental Army Encampment and a 1780s farm.
Two of the most fascinating exhibits include an early draft of the Declaration of Independence, before it was given to Congress members to sign, and one that covers the fates of British ships lost in the York River during the war. At the outdoors Continental Army Encampment, historical interpreters detail the lives of American soldiers at the end of the war. Also outdoors, a fully recreated 18th-century farm showcases the types of crops tended to in that time period and the lifestyles of many Americans during the war.
Explore the first English settlement in the United States at Historic Jamestowne, part of the Colonial National Historical Park. Located on Jamestown Island, the town was founded as James Fort in 1607. Learn about the ongoing excavation work and see the ruins and thousands of artifacts that have been unearthed so far.
Ocean Breeze Waterpark offers family-friendly fun in sunny Virginia Beach. Splash in the wave pool, get thrilled on the park's 30 water slides, or just lounge with the family at a kid-friendly water playground. Beat the heat at the seasonal, outdoor waterpark.
With rides, games, and attractions spread across 400 acres (161 hectares), Kings Dominion is one of Virginia's premier amusement parks. Thrill-seekers enjoy dozens of coasters and non-coaster rides, kids find endless fun at Planet Snoopy, and summertime guests cool off at Soak City Waterpark—all included with admission.
Discover the art of glassblowing, as it was done centuries ago, at the Jamestown Glasshouse. Part of the Colonial National Historic Park, Jamestown Glasshouse is a recreation of a colonial-era glasshouse, complete with costumed artisans and interpreters who create glass products by hand, using traditional tools and techniques.