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Home > Family Travel > Family Travel Guides > Virginia Travel Guide

 

Virginia Vacations Travel Guide

 

General Information

Baby Equipment Rentals - companies in Virginia that rent baby gear and equipment including car seats, strollers, cribs and more

Family Resorts in Virginia - resorts, hotels and other family friendly lodging

Virginia Travel and Tourism - visitors information with maps, places to eat, accommodations, activities, what to see, calendar of events and more.

 


Zoos

Natural Bridge Zoo Park
5784 South Lee Highway
Natural Bridge, Virginia 24578
Phone: 540-291-2420
The Natural Bridge Zoo Park is home to the most complete collection of animals and birds in the state of Virginia and is a breeding and rescue center for rare and endangered species. African Elephant rides are held on the weekends along with a chance to feed the elephant. At scheduled times, photo opportunities with specific baby animals, such as white baby tigers, are held. Take a walk on the wild side with mountain lions, tigers, bears, serval, zebras, various antelope, alligators, and more. Monkey around with numerous species of baboons, capuchins, gibbons, lemurs, macaques, and spider monkeys. Feed herds of Giraffe, llamas, pygmy goats, exotic donkeys, camels, fallow deer, and pot-bellied pigs. Photograph rare cranes, hornbills, and Virginia’s first colony of breeding flamingo. More than 100 babies are born each year. Picnic areas and free parking available.

Virginia Zoological Park
3500 Granby St
Norfolk, Virginia 23504
Phone: (757) 441-5227
The Virginia Zoological Park seeks to increase understanding of the world's flora and fauna and to add to the growing body of knowledge about them; to display animals respectfully, in a natural way that encourages their natural behavior; to conserve animals and their habitats; and to offer opportunities for learning and enjoyment to the public. It will strive to fulfill this mission through education, conservation, research and recreation.

Mill Mountain Zoo
PO Box 13484
Roanoke, Virginia 24034
Phone: (540) 343-3241
Mill Mountain Zoo exhibits 45 species of exotic and native animals on a ten acre site. Winding pathways and observation areas provide close viewing of such animals as a Siberian Tiger, Red Pandas, Golden Lion Tamarins, Hawks, Tree Kangaroos, and reptiles. A popular contact area includes goats and small mammals which children can learn about up close. During the summer season, programs are presented on the Zoo's amphitheater located at the top of Mill Mountain with beautiful views of the Roanoke Valley below.

Luray Reptile Center, Dinosaur Park and Petting Zoo
1087 US Hwy 211 West
Luray, Virginia 22835
Phone: (540) 743-4113
Over 87 different species are exhibited in all! The main building contains over 80 reptile exhibits, ranging from adorable geckos, to roaring alligators! Here you will find most every type of venomous snake that reside in the United States.  Mammoth pythons, king cobras, and some very interesting lizards and turtle species are also on exhibit. In the outdoor section of the center one can roam with tame animals in the petting zoo. The loose animals in the petting area love to be hand fed and loved on. Our African pygmy goats are the star attraction, small, cute, animated, and friendly, the goats are a huge hit with kids and adults. Also in the petting zoo are Fallow deer from Europe, Sicilian donkeys, llamas and sheep. Food for the animals may be purchased at on site feeding stations.

 


National Parks

Appomattox Court House National Historic Park
Appomattox, Virginia
Phone: (434) 352-8987
Walk the old county lanes where Robert E. Lee, Commanding General of the Army of Northern Virginia, surrendered his men to Ulysses Grant, General-in-Chief of all United States forces, on April 9, 1865. Imagine the events that signaled the end of the Southern States' attempt to create a separate nation. The National Park encompasses approximately 1800 acres of of rolling hills in rural central Virginia. The site includes the McLean home (surrender site) and the village of Appomattox Court House, Virginia, the former county seat for Appomattox County.

Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Phone: (540) 371-0802
Approximately 110,000 casualties occurred during the four major battles fought in the vicinity of Fredericksburg, Virginia making it the bloodiest ground on the North American continent. In 1927 the U.S. Congress established Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County Memorial National Military Park to commemorate the heroic deeds of the men engaged at the battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Wilderness, and Spotsylvania Court House.

Shenandoah National Park
Luray, Virginia
Phone: (540) 999-3500
Shenandoah National Park lies astride a beautiful section of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which form the eastern rampart of the Appalachian Mountains between Pennsylvania and Georgia.  Skyline Drive, a 105-mile road that winds along the crest of the mountains through the length of the park, provides vistas of the spectacular landscape to east and west. The park holds more than 500 miles of trails, including 101 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Trails may follow a ridge crest, or they may lead to high places with panoramic views or to waterfalls in deep canyons.

Great Falls Park
Mclean, Virginia
Phone: (703) 285-2965
Great Falls Park, a site that is part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, is an 800 acre park located along the Potomac River 14 miles upriver from Washington D.C. The park is known for two things, it's scenic beauty at the head of Potomac River fall line and the historic Patowmack Canal.

Prince William Forest Park
Triangle, Virginia
Phone: (703) 221-7181
Prince William Forest Park is the largest natural area in the Washington, DC, metropolitan region, consisting of over 17,000 acres (27 sq. miles).  The park offers many recreational opportunities, including wildlife viewing, solitude, picnicking, fishing, 37 miles of hiking trails, and 11 bicycle paths. The park also features a variety of overnight experiences, such as family and group tent camping, backcountry camping, family and group rustic cabin camping, and a full-service, concessionaire-operated RV campground.

George Washington Birthplace National Monument
Westmoreland County, Virginia
Phone: (804) 224-1732
Today this 550-acre park memorializes George Washington and the place of his birth. The park includes: Visitor Center; the brick foundation of the house where he was born; the Washington family cemetery where George’s father, grandfather, and great-grandfather are buried; the historical area with the Memorial House, kitchen, and typical plantation surroundings; the picnic grounds with a nature trail; and the Potomac River beach area.

Colonial National Historic Park
Yorktown, Virginia
Phone: (757) 898-2410
Colonial National Historic Park (NHP) administers two of the most historically significant sites in English North America. Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in North America in 1607, is administer jointly with the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, and Yorktown Battlefield, the final major battle of the American Revolutionary War in 1781.

 


Museums

The Newseum
1101 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22209
Phone: (888) 639-7386 / (703) 284-3544
The Newseum, the interactive museum of news, takes visitors behind the scenes to see and experience how and why news is made. Visitors can be reporters or television newscasters; relive the great news stories of all time through multimedia exhibits, artifacts and news memorabilia; and see today’s news as it happens on a block-long video news wall.

Keeble Observatory
Randolph-Macon College
Ashland, Virginia 23005
Phone: (804) 752-7200
View the sky through a 12" Cassegrain reflector.  Call ahead for public viewing times.

Monticello
600 College Drive
Charlottesville
, Virginia
Phone: (434) 984-9822
The Home of Thomas Jefferson.

Virginia Discovery Museum
East End of the Downtown Mall
524 East Main Street
Post Office Box 1128
Charlottesville, VA 22902
Phone: (434) 977-1025
Located on the east end of the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville, Virginia, the Virginia Discovery Museum is a hands-on children's museum, with exhibits on the arts, sciences, humanities, history and nature. Families are encouraged to explore the Museum together -- visitors of all ages are free to touch, play and explore. Learning and fun are the goal. Creative play is the way!

Virginia Museum of Natural History-UVA
104 Emmet Street
Charlottesville, Virginia 22904
Phone: (434) 982-4605
Programs include children's activities, outreach education, a lending library of teaching materials, field trips, exhibits, summer programs, lectures, and more.

The Science Museum of Virginia
2500 West Broad St
Richmond, VA 23220
Exhibits, shows, programs, films, classes, outreach activities, IMAX theater and much more.

Virginia Air and Space Museum
600 Settlers Landing Road
Hampton, Virginia 23669
Phone: (757) 727-0900
Great exhibits, IMAX theater and much more for everyone in the family.

Hampton Roads Naval Museum
Hampton Roads, Virginia
The museum is an official U.S. Navy-institution that studies and interprets 220-plus years of Naval history in the Hampton Roads region. In partnership with Nauticus: The National Maritime Center and the City of Norfolk, the museum is also responsible for the artifacts and day-to-day management of the battleship Wisconsin, which visitors can tour.

Colonial Williamsburg
Williamsburg, Virginia
Phone: 800-HISTORY
Experience Life in the 18th Century at the country's largest outdoor museum.

 


Theme Parks, Amusement Parks & Water Parks

SplashDown Water Park
7500 Ben Lomond Park Drive
Manassas, Virginia 20109
Phone: (703) 361-4451
11 acres of family water fun.  Water slides, rides, thrills, twists, pools, kiddie rides and many other fun attractions for the family.

Paramount's Kings Dominion & WaterCountry USA
I-95
Richmond, Virginia
Phone: (804) 876-5561
Family rides, kiddie rides, water rides, some of the best thrill rides and roller coasters in the US and many more attractions for the whole family. Great selection of rides for younger children, including many popular theme based rides.

Busch Gardens - Williamsburg
One Busch Gardens Blvd.
Williamsburg, Virginia 23187
Phone: (757) 253-3350
Rides and attractions for the whole family and for any age.  With dozens of thrilling rides and attractions, eight main stage shows, a wide variety of authentic foods and shops, and a magical children’s area, Busch Gardens Williamsburg is the ticket to a world-class adventure.

 


Family Activities

If you know of a family activity in Virginia, let us know and we will add it here.

 


Summer - Family Vacation Hot Spots (Beaches, Lakes, etc.)

Chincoteague Island, Virginia - Chincoteague Island, Virginia's only resort island, is one of the many and perhaps the most beautiful island that dots Virginia's Eastern Shore. World famous for its oyster beds and clam shoals, this picturesque island is the gateway to Assateague Island National Seashore.  The first time visitor to Chincoteague Island will enjoy the outdoor recreation at its very best. Chincoteague Island offers a way of life for those fun minded adventurers who enjoy the land and the water.
For those who would rather stay in town, try exploring the unique shops, or just enjoy the peace and quiet contentment of our small town atmosphere. The island provides services to suit every need and taste, from modern motels, shady campgrounds and Vacation Rentals to permanent home sites.  To see beautiful sunrises and sunsets, cool summer breezes, animals in their natural habitat, beaches that go on forever and friendly people is truly a blessing from God.

Virginia Beach, Virginia - Beaches, amusement parks, shopping and a whole list of other activities for families.

Virginia Beach, Virginia - helpful site with hotel and beach home rental information, calendar of events, answers to frequently asked questions about the area and more.

Colonial Beach, Virginia - Colonial beach offers clean public beaches on the Potomac River. Some of the beaches have public volleyball nets, and playgrounds, making your day at the beach an enjoyable one. Tourists and locals alike, enjoy taking a stroll down our tree lined boardwalk which borders the beach, taking in the spectacular water views which are endless. There are several new playgrounds bordering the boardwalk, and for our outdoors minded there is a free Town pier offering fishing for Rockfish, crabs, Bluefish, Flounder, Spot and more. There are many shops that are a must to visit, including around a dozen or more Antique and specialty shops, all within walking distance of one another.

Norfolk, Virginia - Norfolk, Virginia is packed with galleries, museums, a variety of shopping options, and a wealth of Military History! Theater, opera, ballet and rock-n-roll are also on the agenda. Norfolk sits at the center of the East coast at the base of the historic Chesapeake Bay. A trip to Norfolk can include wonderful activities ranging from attending outdoor concerts, to shopping and dining at Norfolk's Waterside, to historical tours and cruises.

Lake Anna - Boating, fishing and camping. This is a scenic lake located off U.S. 522 and Virginia State Route 208 at Wares Crossroads, which is about 35 miles northwest of Richmond.

John H. Kerr Reservoir (Kerr Lake) - Boating, fishing, swimming, skiing and camping.  This is one of the largest manmade lakes in the southeast.  There are several State Parks located around the lake including Occoneechee on the Virginia side and Satterwhite on the North Carolina side.  Located along the Virginia / North Carolina State line off Virginia State Route 4.

Smith Mountain Lake - Boating, fishing, swimming, skiing, picnicking and other recreational activities.  The lake is next to Leesville Lake (divided by a dam) and features many coves and forks in its 18 miles of length.  The lake itself forms from the Roanoke River and is located 11 miles southeast of Roanoke off the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Zoos, Museums, National Parks, Amusement & Water Parks and during summer months some of  the Winter Park links below will show you summer activities that are available at the parks.

 


Winter - Family Vacation Hot Spots (Ski Resorts, etc.)

Bryce Resort
Rt. 263
Basye, Virginia 22810
Phone: 540-856-2121
Bryce Resort where you can be on the links, the lake, the slopes, or the trail in two hours from Washington, D.C. Bryce has everything you'd want -- golf, skiing, hiking, swimming, tennis, fishing, dining, lodging, and great scenery -- groomed by mother nature. You'll feel yourself relax as you enter Bryce's picturesque valley.

The Homestead Resort
U.S. Route 220 Main Street
Hot Springs, Virginia 24445
Phone: (800) 838-1766
Nestled amidst the beauty of Virginia's Allegheny Mountains, The Homestead boasts 15,000 acres of relaxation and recreation for the whole family. Winter, spring, summer or fall you may choose from among dozens of activities to please a variety of discriminating tastes - from such indoor pursuits as bowling, billiards and movies, to outdoor adventures including mountain biking, shooting and fly fishing. And for those less activity minded, we also offer a full-service Spa and Salon featuring massages, mineral baths, facials, manicures and much more for men and women.  The Homestead boasts nine downhill ski runs and an Olympic-sized ice rink at the base of the slopes. We also offer snowboarding, snow tubing, equipment rentals and a Ski Shop and Restaurant. Renowned in the area as the perfect family and learn-to-ski area, our top-rated Ski School is directed by Austrian instructors, and our Bunny School offers lessons for children ages five to eleven.

Massanutten Resort
Rt. 644
Phone: 540-289-9441
A great four seasons resort with skiing, snowboarding and tubing in the winter to golf, biking, hiking and more in the summer.

Zoos, Museums, National Parks, Amusement & Water Parks and Summer vacation hot spots listed above.

 


Helpful websites and services

Trekaroo – A trip planning website with things to do, places to stay for families with kids of all ages.

 

If you know of a website or company that is helpful to families traveling to Virginia, let us know and we will add it here.

 


Travel Specials & Vacation Packages

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(specials are updated weekly)

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