Fun Things to Do in Virginia: 12 VA Sights and Attractions

Jon Miksis Jon Miksis clock Updated September 15, 2023 tourism Dream Destinations
by Jen
Fun Things to Do in Virginia
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Are you looking for fun things to do in Virginia? Here are some of the coolest and most exciting attractions in Virginia. These VA destinations are guaranteed to leave you with long-lasting memories!

Virginia, affectionately known as the “Old Dominion,” is a playground of exciting adventures and delightful discoveries. From the golden sands of Virginia Beach to the awe-inspiring heights of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this state seamlessly weaves history, culture, and natural beauty into a captivating tapestry.

As one of the original thirteen colonies, Virginia’s stories have left a permanent mark on the nation. Beyond its historical allure, modern-day Virginia bursts with festivals, culinary delights, outdoor escapades, and artistic expressions.

Stroll through the cobbled streets of Historic Jamestowne, where English settlers first made their mark, or experience the exhilarating rides at Busch Gardens. For those who prefer a serene setting, the vineyards of the Shenandoah Valley offer world-class wine tastings, while the depths of the mesmerizing Luray Caverns beckon explorers. From history enthusiasts to adrenaline seekers, nature admirers to food lovers, there is a whirlwind of fun things to do in Virginia for everyone.

In this article, we’ll dive into the vibrant heart of Virginia, spotlighting twelve exciting VA attractions that capture the spirit and joy of this incredible state. So, gear up and let Virginia’s fun-filled charm sweep you off your feet! Here’s everything you need to know about the most fun things to do in Virginia.

The fun places to visit in Virginia right now
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Fun Things to Do in Virginia: 12 Unique VA Destinations

Are you ready to explore all the fun things to do in Virginia? As noted previously, there’s a large variety of exciting sights and attractions in VA that will please all travelers. Keep reading to find out all the fun places to go in Virginia.

Are you looking to explore the majestic peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains? Or would you prefer to enjoy Virginia’s sun-kissed beaches? Whatever you’re planning, there are exciting places in Virginia that can accommodate your needs. Here are all the most fun things to do in Virginia that you should know about.

1. Virginia Beach – Sun, Surf, and Endless Fun

Virginia Beach is truly one of the best places in Virginia to let loose and embrace the coastal vibes. With its expansive golden sands and inviting ocean waves, Virginia Beach offers a delightful blend of relaxation and adventure for visitors of all ages.

Start your day with a refreshing dip in the ocean. The waves are inviting, perfect for both swimmers and surfers alike. Wander along the bustling boardwalk, where entertainers, artists, and food stalls come together to create a vibrant atmosphere. From live music to tantalizing seafood treats, there’s a sensory delight at every corner.

For those on a budget, you’re in luck! There are plenty of free Virginia activities here. Engage in a friendly game of beach volleyball, build intricate sandcastles, or simply lay back and watch the world go by. And as the sun sets, painting the sky in hues of orange and pink, you’ll realize why many consider this the ideal spot where to go in Virginia for unforgettable memories.

Exploring Virginia Beach is one of the fun things to do in Virginia.
Embrace coastal vibes at Virginia Beach—where golden sands and inviting waves blend relaxation and adventure.

2. The Natural Bridge of Virginia – Nature’s Marvelous Masterpiece

Stepping into the realm of the Natural Bridge of Virginia, you’re immediately greeted by a sight that seems almost otherworldly. This limestone arch, towering at 215 feet high, is a testament to nature’s artistry and time’s relentless sculpting. It’s no wonder that it’s often listed among the coolest Virginia places to visit.

Carved over millennia by the waters of Cedar Creek, the Natural Bridge offers more than just a visual treat. Take a leisurely walk along the Cedar Creek Trail, where every turn reveals fascinating geological formations and lush greenery. The whispers of the creek and the songs of local birds create a serene soundtrack to your exploration.

For couples seeking fun things to do in VA, the evening illumination of the bridge is a must-see. As lights cast a gentle glow on the arch, the surroundings take on a magical ambiance, perfect for a romantic evening. And for curious minds, the nearby visitor center provides intriguing insights into the bridge’s history and geology.

If you’re looking for a blend of natural wonder and educational experience, the Natural Bridge is a destination not to be missed. Include it in your Virginia itinerary.

Discover Natural Bridge—a limestone arch showcasing nature's artistry and time's sculpting.
Discover Natural Bridge—a limestone arch showcasing nature’s artistry and time’s sculpting.

3. Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center – Dive into a World of Wonder

If you’ve ever wondered what to do in Virginia on a day when the weather isn’t beach-perfect, the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center has the answer. Located in Virginia Beach, this aquatic haven is home to over 700 species. This makes it one of the most fun things to do in Virginia with kids—and adults too!

From the mysterious depths of the ocean to the vibrant ecosystems of coastal marshlands, the aquarium offers a journey through diverse habitats. Marvel at the graceful dance of the jellyfish, get up close with playful otters, or be mesmerized by the majestic sand tiger sharks as they glide overhead in the tunnel tank.

Interactive exhibits pepper the space, ensuring that learning is as fun as it is informative. Touch pools allow visitors to feel the texture of starfish and horseshoe crabs. Additionally, immersive 3D films transport you to the heart of the ocean’s wonders.

For those seeking fun Virginia activities that combine education with entertainment, the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center is a splash hit. It’s a place where curiosity meets conservation, and every visit promises new discoveries.

Discover indoor fun at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center which features 700+ species.
Discover indoor fun at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center which features 700+ species.

4. Luray Caverns – A Subterranean Wonderland

Deep beneath the rolling hills of Virginia lies a hidden gem that’s among the coolest things to do in Virginia: the Luray Caverns. As you descend into this underground realm, you’re transported to a world where nature’s creativity knows no bounds.

These caverns, the largest commercial cave system in the U.S., are a maze of towering stalagmites, delicate stalactites, and shimmering pools. The caverns’ crown jewel is the Great Stalacpipe Organ, a natural lithophone that produces hauntingly beautiful music when its formations are tapped.

Walking through the winding pathways, every corner reveals a new spectacle. The Dream Lake, with its mirror-like waters, reflects the cavern’s ceiling so perfectly that it’s hard to tell where reality ends and the reflection begins. The Giant’s Hall, with its massive columns, showcases the grandeur of nature’s underground architecture.

For travelers searching for beautiful places in VA that offer a mix of awe and adventure, Luray Caverns is a must-visit. Each step inside this subterranean wonderland is a step into a world where time has crafted perfection, drop by drop.

Luray Caverns is an underground wonder showcasing nature's boundless creativity.
Luray Caverns is an underground wonder showcasing nature’s boundless creativity.

5. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts – A Celebration of Artistic Brilliance

Art enthusiasts and casual visitors alike will find the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to be one of the best places in Virginia to immerse oneself in a world of creativity and expression. Located in the heart of Richmond, this museum is a beacon of culture, housing a vast collection that spans continents and eras.

From ancient artifacts to contemporary masterpieces, the museum’s galleries showcase ultimate human creativity. Admire the intricate details of Fabergé eggs and lose yourself in the vibrant strokes of Impressionist paintings. Alternatively, be captivated by the powerful sculptures from African and Oceanic cultures.

Regular workshops, interactive exhibits, and live performances make it one of the fun places to go in VA for those eager to experience art in all its forms. The beautifully landscaped sculpture garden outside is perfect for a stroll. This offers a blend of nature and artistry.

Anyone wandering where to go in Virginia for a dose of culture and inspiration will find the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to be a destination that promises both enlightenment and enjoyment. It’s a destination that I recommend any traveler to VA to visit.

Experience creativity at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts—a cultural beacon with a vast, continent-spanning collection.
Experience creativity at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts—a cultural beacon with a vast, continent-spanning collection.

6. Busch Gardens Williamsburg – A Rollercoaster of Fun and Adventure

If you’re searching for the most fun things to do in Virginia with kids, or even if you’re a thrill-seeking adult, Busch Gardens Williamsburg should be at the top of your list. This theme park, inspired by various European countries, is a whirlwind of excitement. This offers everything from adrenaline-pumping roller coasters to captivating live shows.

Step into the world of “Griffon,” the park’s floorless dive coaster, and feel the rush as you plunge from dizzying heights. For those who prefer a gentler pace, the park’s carousel and scenic train rides offer a delightful respite. And it’s not just about the rides; Busch Gardens is also home to a variety of animal exhibits, where you can get up close with wolves, eagles, and even Clydesdale horses.

The park’s vibrant atmosphere is further amplified by its regular events and festivals. From the food and wine festival that showcases global cuisines to the Halloween-themed “Howl-O-Scream,” there’s always something happening.

In essence, Busch Gardens is one of the coolest places to visit in Virginia. Here, fun meets adventure, and every visit promises new memories. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or someone who enjoys beautiful VA destinations with a touch of magic, this park has it all.

Experiencing Busch Gardens Williamsburg is one of the fun things to do in Virginia.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg tops the list with European-inspired excitement for kids and thrill-seeking adults.

7. Frontier Culture Museum – Step Back in Time and Have a Blast

When deciding where to go in Virginia for a unique and entertaining experience, the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton is a top contender. This outdoor museum provides visitors with an opportunity to travel back in time. They can experience the daily lives of people from various continents and regions.

The fun begins as you wander through historically accurate farms from England, Germany, Ireland, and West Africa. You’ll also explore early American homesteads during your visit. Each setting is brought to life by costumed interpreters who engage in traditional activities. These range from blacksmithing and weaving to farming and cooking. It’s not just a visual treat; visitors are encouraged to roll up their sleeves and join in! Try your hand at churning butter, tending to farm animals, or even dancing to traditional tunes.

For families and couples seeking fun activities in VA, the museum hosts a plethora of events throughout the year. Seasonal festivals, craft workshops, and interactive storytelling sessions ensure there’s never a dull moment.

The Frontier Culture Museum offers a vibrant, hands-on experience that promises laughter, learning, and a whole lot of fun. At the Frontier Culture Museum, history comes alive in the most delightful way. This makes every visit a memorable adventure in the heart of Virginia.

Staunton's Frontier Culture Museum offers a unique time-travel experience, showcasing daily lives of people from different continents.
Staunton’s Frontier Culture Museum offers a unique time-travel experience, showcasing daily lives of people from different continents.

8. Blue Ridge Parkway – A Scenic Drive Filled with Fun and Wonder

Dubbed “America’s Favorite Drive,” the Blue Ridge Parkway is a journey through some of the most scenic places in Virginia. Stretching over 469 miles and connecting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Shenandoah National Park, this scenic route offers breathtaking vistas, hiking trails, and countless opportunities for fun-filled adventures.

As you cruise along the parkway, each bend and turn reveals panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The mist-covered peaks and lush valleys contribute to the breathtaking scenery. For the adventurous, consider pulling over at one of the many overlooks and embarking on a hiking trail. If you’re in the mood for a leisurely walk or a challenging hike, there’s a trail waiting to be explored.

Picnic areas dot the route, making it perfect for a spontaneous lunch amidst nature. And if you’re wondering about fun things to do in VA for couples, the parkway’s numerous waterfalls and serene spots offer a romantic backdrop for memorable moments.

For those who believe the journey is just as important as the destination, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a testament to that sentiment. It’s a place where nature, adventure, and fun come together in a symphony of beauty and excitement. As such, I recommend this Virginia attraction to everyone visiting the state.

Blue Ridge Parkway is 469 miles of scenic beauty, connecting national parks with vistas, trails, and endless adventures.
Blue Ridge Parkway is 469 miles of scenic beauty, connecting national parks with vistas, trails, and endless adventures.

9. Kings Dominion – Thrills, Spills, and Laughter Galore

When it comes to pure, unadulterated fun, Kings Dominion in Doswell stands out as one of the most fun places to go in VA. This sprawling amusement park is a paradise for thrill-seekers, families, and everyone in between.

Feel the adrenaline surge as you hop onto the “Intimidator 305,” one of the tallest and fastest roller coasters on the East Coast. If you’re in the mood for something a tad less heart-stopping yet equally exhilarating, try the “Wave Swinger” or the “Shenandoah Lumber Company” log flume.

Live entertainment, from music and dance performances to mesmerizing magic shows, ensures there’s never a dull moment. “Planet Snoopy” offers a delightful array of kid-friendly rides and attractions, earning its reputation as one of the most fun things to do in Virginia with kids.

Feeling peckish after all the excitement? The park boasts a variety of delicious dining options, from gourmet meals to quick snacks. And if you’re visiting during the summer, the Soak City waterpark is the perfect place to cool off and indulge in some splashy fun.

In essence, Kings Dominion is where memories are made, laughter is shared, and every moment is packed with fun and adventure. It’s guaranteed to provide visitors with long-lasting memories.

Kings Dominion in Doswell is Virginia's ultimate amusement park for all, offering boundless fun and thrills.
Kings Dominion in Doswell is Virginia’s ultimate amusement park for all, offering boundless fun and thrills.

10. Virginia Zoological Park – Wild Adventures Await

Located in the heart of Norfolk, the Virginia Zoological Park is a haven for animal lovers and those seeking fun Virginia activities. Spanning over 53 acres, this zoo is home to more than 500 animals from diverse habitats around the world.

From the majestic African elephants to the playful red pandas, every exhibit offers a unique window into the fascinating world of wildlife. The zoo’s layout encourages exploration, with well-marked trails leading you through African savannas, Asian mountains, and even the Australian outback.

Interactive experiences elevate the fun factor. Join the zookeepers during feeding sessions or participate in animal encounters. Alternatively, hop aboard the Norfolk Southern Express train for a leisurely tour around the park. For families, the zoo’s Adventure Park offers treetop adventures, zip lines, and obstacle courses. This makes it one of the coolest places to visit in Virginia.

Dining options, gift shops, and regular events, like the Zoo Boo during Halloween, ensure that every visit is packed with excitement, learning, and countless photo opportunities. At the Virginia Zoological Park, every path leads to a new adventure. Each of these adventures is a memory in the making.

The Virginia Zoological Park in Norfolk is a 53-acre haven for animal lovers, featuring 500+ animals from diverse global habitats.

11. Shenandoah Valley – Nature’s Playground

The Shenandoah Valley, with its sprawling landscapes and majestic mountains, is one of the most beautiful Virginia destinations that promises both relaxation and adventure. This vast region, flanked by the Blue Ridge Mountains to the east and the Allegheny Mountains to the west, is a canvas painted with rolling hills, verdant forests, and crystal-clear streams.

Outdoor lovers will find a plethora of fun Virginia activities here. Hiking trails, ranging from easy walks to challenging treks, crisscross the valley, leading to breathtaking viewpoints and hidden waterfalls. For those seeking a rush, white-water rafting on the Shenandoah River offers thrills aplenty.

The valley is also a haven for cyclists, with scenic byways and dedicated bike trails. This offers panoramic views at every turn. And if you’re looking for fun things to do in VA for couples, a hot air balloon ride over the valley during sunrise or sunset is an experience that’s both romantic and exhilarating.

Local festivals, farm-to-table restaurants, and charming wineries add to the valley’s allure. This ensures that every visit is a delightful mix of nature, culture, and fun. In the Shenandoah Valley, the great outdoors beckons, and every adventure is a celebration of life’s simple joys.

Shenandoah Valley: A stunning destination boasting serene landscapes and outdoor adventures.
Shenandoah Valley: A stunning destination boasting serene landscapes and outdoor adventures.

12. Go Ape Treetop Adventure – Swing, Climb, and Soar

For those seeking heart-pounding excitement and a unique perspective, Go Ape Treetop Adventure in Williamsburg is hands-down one of the coolest places to go in VA that you won’t want to miss. This aerial forest adventure park offers a blend of zip lines, Tarzan swings, and challenging obstacles set high in the treetops.

As you harness up and embark on this sky-high journey, you’ll navigate a series of rope ladders, wobbly bridges, and intricate crossings. Each section of the course offers a different challenge, ensuring that both novices and seasoned adventurers get their adrenaline fix.

The highlight for many is the exhilarating zip lines. Here, you can soar through the canopy, feeling the wind rush past as you take in the panoramic views of the surrounding forest. It’s a sensation like no other, combining the thrill of flight with the beauty of nature.

Perfect for families, groups, or couples looking for fun activities in VA, Go Ape provides an unforgettable experience that’s as much about conquering personal challenges as it is about having a blast. It’s an adventure that promises laughter, excitement, and a healthy dose of adrenaline.

Experiencing Go Ape Treetop is one of the fun things to do in Virginia.
Experience heart-pounding thrills at Williamsburg’s Go Ape Treetop Adventure with zip lines, swings, and obstacles in the treetops.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the Most Fun Things to Do in Virginia:

Looking to expand your knowledge on the most fun activities in VA? Here are some common questions I get asked a lot about what to do in Virginia.

Is there anything interesting to do in Virginia?

Absolutely! Virginia is brimming with exciting activities and attractions. From the adrenaline-pumping rides at Kings Dominion to the serene beauty of the Blue Ridge Parkway, there are interesting things to do in VA for everyone. If you’re a history enthusiast, nature lover, or thrill-seeker, Virginia promises a memorable experience.

Is Virginia famous for anything?

Virginia is renowned for its rich history, scenic landscapes, and diverse attractions. It’s the birthplace of eight U.S. presidents and boasts historic sites like Jamestown and Williamsburg. Additionally, Virginia is famous for its wine country, beautiful beaches, and iconic landmarks like the Natural Bridge.

What part of Virginia should I visit?

Every part of Virginia offers something unique. If you’re into beaches and coastal fun, Virginia Beach is a must-visit. For mountain vistas and hiking, the Shenandoah Valley and Blue Ridge Parkway are ideal. History buffs will love Williamsburg and Richmond, while thrill-seekers shouldn’t miss Kings Dominion in Doswell.

Scenic view of Richmond, Virginia's historic architecture and picturesque landscape.
Scenic view of Richmond, Virginia’s historic architecture and picturesque landscape.

What are 3 good things about Virginia?

  1. Diverse Attractions: From theme parks and beaches to historic sites and museums, Virginia offers a wide range of activities for all ages.
  2. Natural Beauty: Virginia boasts stunning landscapes. This includes mountains, forests, and coastlines, perfect for outdoor adventures.
  3. Rich History: As one of the original 13 colonies, Virginia has a deep-rooted history that’s evident in its landmarks, architecture, and festivals.

Is there a lot to do in Virginia Beach?

Yes, Virginia Beach offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors. Here’s a breakdown of some cool things you can do:

  1. Beaches: Virginia Beach is renowned for its beautiful sandy shores. The main resort area offers a lively beach scene, while more secluded spots like Sandbridge Beach provide a quieter experience.
  2. Boardwalk: The three-mile-long boardwalk is lined with restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues. It’s a great place for a stroll, bike ride, or simply people-watching.
  3. Water Sports: With its coastal location, Virginia Beach is a hub for water sports such as surfing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and jet skiing.
  4. Fishing: Whether you prefer pier fishing, deep-sea fishing, or surf fishing, Virginia Beach offers plenty of opportunities for anglers.
  5. Outdoor Activities: Nearby state parks like First Landing State Park provide hiking and biking trails, camping, and opportunities to explore local flora and fauna.
  6. Aquarium: The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center is a family-friendly attraction that offers a look at marine life through interactive exhibits and a large aquarium.
  7. Golf: With several golf courses in the area, Virginia Beach is a great destination for golf enthusiasts.
  8. Cultural Attractions: Explore the history of the area at sites like the Cape Henry Lighthouse or the Military Aviation Museum.
  9. Dining: Enjoy fresh seafood and local cuisine at various dining establishments ranging from upscale restaurants to casual beachside eateries.
  10. Seasonal Events: Virginia Beach hosts various festivals and events throughout the year, celebrating music, food, art, and more.
  11. Nightlife: From lively bars and clubs to more laid-back lounges, Virginia Beach offers a range of nightlife options.
  12. Shopping: Whether you’re looking for souvenirs, fashion, or local crafts, you’ll find plenty of shopping opportunities.
  13. Whale and Dolphin Watching: Depending on the season, you can take a tour to watch these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.

What is the best time to visit Virginia?

Virginia is beautiful year-round, but the best time to visit largely depends on your preferences. Spring and fall offer mild temperatures and the beauty of cherry blossoms or autumn foliage. Summer is perfect for beach outings and outdoor festivals, while winter in the mountains can be a wonderland for snow enthusiasts.

Fun Things to Do in Virginia: A Journey Through the Old Dominion

Virginia, often referred to as the “Mother of States,” is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. Its rich tapestry of history, combined with its modern attractions and natural wonders, makes it a top destination for travelers from all walks of life.

From the sun-kissed beaches of Virginia Beach to the majestic peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains, every corner of this state promises a new adventure. Whether you’re looking to relive history, embark on a thrilling treetop journey, or soak in the beauty of nature, Virginia offers it all and then some. Get ready to pack your bags and bring along your sense of wonder. Prepare to discover the countless fun things to do in Virginia. Trust us; it’s an experience you won’t soon forget!

The fun things to do in Virginia for all types of travelers
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