Learn how to Plan a Virginia Highway Journey with Children (7-14 Day Itinerary)


Dwelling in Rhode Island, we’ve taken many east coast highway journeys through the years as we slowly tick off the entire States. Coming from such a small state, it’s arduous to think about that you’d want at the least per week to correctly discover Virginia, however Outdated Dominion is bigger than you suppose. With essential historic websites like Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Monticello and pure wonders like Shenandoah Nationwide Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and Virginia Seaside, you’ll want to take your time and plan a Virginia highway journey that encompasses a little bit of the whole lot.

The simplest approach to see the highlights on a Virginia highway journey is to take a round route by the state, beginning in Norfolk, Virginia and ending in Washington D.C. (which you also needs to tack on a number of days to see for those who haven’t visited but.) Since we had been touring from New England, as a substitute of flying we drove down Freeway 13 by the Delmarva (Delaware / Maryland / Virginia) peninsula and throughout the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel to our first stops on our mother-daughter Virginia highway journey.

From there, we continued throughout Interstate 64 with stops in Williamsburg/Jamestown and Charlottesville. We then drove by Shenandoah Nationwide Park after which continued up Interstate 81, with stops alongside the Shenandoah Valley in Harrisonburg, Woodstock, and Winchester. We completed up simply throughout the border in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia, however it’s simple to circle again to Washington D.C. for a flight house.

Virginia Highway Journey Itinerary

Virginia road trip with kids

When planning your Virginia highway journey, you possibly can shorten this itinerary to suit right into a one-week journey or prolong it with extra time at every cease for a full two-week trip.

  • Day 1: Arrive in Norfolk, Virginia
  • Day 2-4: Virginia Seaside, Hampton, and Newport Information
  • Day 5-7: Williamsburg and Jamestown
  • Day 8-9: Charlottesville
  • Day 10-12: Shenandoah Valley

This map was created utilizing Google My Maps and covers your Virginia highway journey itinerary above. You’ll be able to click on on the star subsequent to the title and save this to your Google Maps account or click on on the share icon to ship it to your self through electronic mail.

Day 1: Arrive in Norfolk / Virginia Seaside

Word: This publish could comprise affiliate hyperlinks. In the event you click on a hyperlink and make a purchase order, I’ll obtain a small fee. All opinions are my very own.

Editor’s Word: A part of our journey was hosted by Go to Hampton, Newport Information, Go to Charlottesville, Shenandoah County, and Go to Harrisonburg. All opinions are my very own.

In the event you plan on flying to Virginia and renting a automobile, for this itinerary it’s best to fly into Norfolk, Virginia (you will get nice offers on Breeze Airways from a variety of cities) and out of Washington D.C. (Dulles or Reagan Nationwide). Alternatively, you possibly can fly into and out of D.C. and make a loop.

You probably have at the least 10 days to your Virginia highway journey and you’re visiting through the hotter months, I’d recommend spending at the least your first night time or two in Virginia Seaside. Nonetheless, for those who aren’t in search of a seaside trip, head straight to both Hampton, Virginia or close by Newport Information to have a house base to your first few days of exploration.

The place to remain: Hilton Backyard Inn Hampton Coliseum Central in Hampton, VA or the Courtyard by Marriott Newport Information.

Day 2: Hampton, Virginia

Apollo capsule at Virginia Air and Space Center

Hampton, Virginia is an under-the-radar vacation spot for historical past buffs. With the Naval station simply throughout the bay, Hampton sits on the entrance of essential waterways and has performed an impactful position in U.S. historical past, from its damaging historical past as a touchdown spot for colonists and the primary place that captured Africans had been dropped at America and enslaved to work the rising tobacco plantations to its extra constructive historical past as a NASA Analysis Middle that earned its “sea to the celebs” motto by its vital position in sending males to the moon.

There may be a lot to see and do in Hampton that you could simply spend two to 3 full days exploring its wealthy historical past. In your first day, I’d advocate:

  • Go to the Hampton Historical past Museum for some perception on all the realm’s fascinating historical past from the early colonists to the primary astronauts. (Enable one hour)
  • Take a stroll to the close by Virginia Air & Area Middle with a cease first to journey Hampton’s vintage carousel. Take pleasure in studying concerning the historical past of flight and the manned area program and soak up an IMAX present, included in your ticket. (Enable one to 2 hours)
  • If it’s not a seaside day, cease on the Bluebird Hole Farm to play on the playground and meet their resident livestock or simply head again to the resort for a brief swim within the small pool.
  • Head over to Fort Monroe for dockside eating at The Deadrise.

Learn extra: Issues to do in Hampton, Virginia

Day 3: Hampton, Virginia

Old Point Comfort Lighthouse Hampton Virginia
Outdated Level Consolation Lighthouse

You probably have time for a second day in Hampton, there’s nonetheless extra to see. I’d advocate:

  • After breakfast, head over to the harbor entrance for a tour boat cruise on the Hampton Queen.
  • Stroll over to Enterprise Kitchen & Bar in downtown Hampton for lunch on their wood-grilled pizzas and selfmade tater tots.
  • Tour the Casemate Museum of Fort Monroe and Fort Monroe to see the place the place the primary African slaves arrived within the U.S. and the cell the place Jefferson Davis was imprisoned after the Civil Conflict. Different well-known troopers stationed right here embrace Edgar Allen Poe and Robert E. Lee. (Enable one to 2 hours)
  • Both head over to Newport Information to verify in to the Courtyard by Marriott Newport Information Airport, or prolong your keep  on the Hilton Backyard Inn (it’s only 20-Half-hour away.)

Day 4: Newport Information, Virginia

Virginia Living Museum touch tank
Virginia Dwelling Museum contact tank

If you’re quick on time, you possibly can mix some Newport Information sights along with your time in Hampton, however there are a few gems right here that your youngsters will love.

  • Begin your day on the Virginia Dwelling Museum, which homes extra habitats, wildlife and plant species than could be encountered in a lifetime of out of doors adventures in Virginia. It’s right here that you could stroll by an Appalachian mountain cove and a southeastern cypress swamp, contact a horseshoe crab or a sea star, go eye-to-eye with a pink wolf and a bald eagle and watch otters frolic on the out of doors pure path!  (Enable two hours)
  • Cease for lunch at Style Limitless at Metropolis Middle in Oyster Level and revel in a stroll across the fountain, stopping to pose for a photograph on the Love NN signal.
  • Subsequent up, go to the The Mariners’ Museum. The true spotlight right here is the usS. Monitor Middle — remember to cease into the Battle Theater for an awesome overview of the battle of the Ironclads at Hampton Roads. Additionally take a look at the detailed craftsmanship on the miniature ships within the Nice Corridor of Steam. (Enable two hours)
  • For dinner you would possibly need to head again to the Metropolis Middle, the place there are many family-friendly choices to select from.
  • After dinner, take a look at a film on the Paragon Metropolis Middle 12 in Metropolis Middle or head over to Newport Information Park for a stroll or a hayride. Cease at Pelican’s SnoBalls for a snowcone dessert.

Day 5: Williamsburg, Virginia

Battlefield at Colonial Williamsburg

In case your youngsters want a break from historical past and sightseeing, get pleasure from some household enjoyable at both Busch Gardens Williamsburg or Water Nation USA. Nonetheless, you actually shouldn’t miss spending a day in Colonial Williamsburg. In the event you can handle three to 4 days within the Williamsburg space, that will be ideally suited.

Learn extra: Learn how to spend a day in Colonial Williamsburg

The place to remain: Williamsburg Inn or Membership Wyndham Kingsgate

Day 6: Jamestown & Yorktown, Virginia

Jamestown Settlement -- What to do on a road trip through Virginia with Kids
The Powhatan Village at Jamestown Settlement

This space is so wealthy with early U.S. historical past that you’ll want to spend a day visiting each Yorktown and Jamestown to be taught extra about colonial and revolutionary historical past:

  • Begin off with a go to to Jamestown Settlement. This attraction has recreated the unique Colonial fort, affords an interactive consultant Powhatan village, and has three ships which might be replicas of those that Captain John Smith and the unique settlers used to journey to the New World. There may be additionally an excellent museum on website and a restaurant for lunch, so plan to spend at three hours.
  • Go to Historic Jamestowne, the placement of the unique fort the place English settlers first colonized Virginia. Right here you will notice the define of the unique fort, some ruins from the city, and the archeological digs the place they’re nonetheless unearthing artifacts from the seventeenth century. (Enable one to 2 hours)
  • End your day with a go to to the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown.
  • After dinner drive two-and-a-half hours to Charlottesville.

Learn extra: Jamestown Settlement vs. Historic Jamestowne, Which is Higher?

Day 7: Charlottesville, Virginia

Things to do in Charlottesville - Monticello

Charlottesville is house to the College of Georgia and two of the Founding Fathers together with Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe. Along with historic websites there are wineries and pure sights close by.

  • Spend the morning exploring downtown Charlottesville. The pedestrian mall affords an awesome number of outlets and eating places.
  • Head out to Michie Tavern for an all-you-can-eat colonial mid-day meal of fried rooster, pulled pork, baked rooster, mashed potatoes and gravy and extra! Enable time to go to the tavern museum and discover the quaint outlets subsequent door. Children would possibly benefit from the scavenger hunt and win a sweet stick with boot! (Enable two hours)
  • After lunch, head as much as Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s house. Buy tickets upfront for the tour of your selection and be taught all about our nation’s third president. (Enable two to 3 hours)
  • To loosen up in spite of everything that historical past, cease by Carter Mountain Orchard, simply down the highway, and have a run round their garden overlooking Charlottesville and the valley whereas sampling a few of their contemporary produce, baked items, or cider. On Thursday evenings in the summertime you may as well get pleasure from a free music live performance on the garden and go to the snack bar for a lightweight chunk to eat.
Carter Mountain Orchard in Charlottesville -- What to do on a road trip through Virginia with Kids
Having fun with the view at Carter Mountain Orchard in Charlottesville

Learn extra: Issues to do in Charlottesville, Virginia with youngsters

The place to remain: The Graduate Lodge Charlottesville

Day 8: Charlottesville, Virginia

Bear in Shenandoah National Park
We noticed a bear in Shenandoah Nationwide Park

You probably have time, there’s lots extra to do within the Charlottesville space together with:

  • Begin off with a bit extra historical past with a go to to Highland, house of James Monroe, fifth president of the US. (Enable one to 2 hours)
  • Prepare to go out of city to close by Scottsville and cease for lunch at Tavern On the James.
  • In any case that historical past, it’s time to loosen up and revel in nature with a kayak or raft down the James River with James River Reeling & Rafting (or you possibly can sneak in somewhat wine tasting close by!) (Enable three hours)
  • At this level, we headed out for a drive on the Skyline Drive by Shenandoah Nationwide Park (enable two to 4 hours) to Harrisonburg. In the event you can, attempt to prolong your journey to spend at the least a full day climbing within the park.

The place to remain: Residence Inn Harrisonburg

Day 9: Harrisonburg, Virginia

Harrisonburg love sign

Whereas it’s simple to spend a number of days climbing in Shenandoah Nationwide Park, there are lots of cute cities and sights to see in Shenandoah Valley. Harrisonburg is house to James Madison College and this small school city is an effective place to remain when visiting Shenandoah. If you’re quick on time, you possibly can skip Harrisonburg and head straight to Woodstock.

  • If you’re there on the weekend, begin your day on the Harrisonburg Farmers Market downtown after which spend a while exploring this school city.
  • We visited the Rockingham County Truthful within the afternoon, but when that isn’t occurring, there are some close by hikes, caverns, or arboretums to discover. You might also need to head again to Shenandoah Nationwide Park for the afternoon.
  • Remember to cease at Klines Dairy Bar on the way in which out of city for his or her well-known custard-style ice cream.
  • From Harrisonburg, drive as much as the small city of Woodstock.

The place to remain: Cabin leases in Woodstock

Day 10: Woodstock, Virginia

kayaking on the Shenandoah River

Woodstock is a cute small city within the coronary heart of the Shenandoah Valley, making it an ideal house base for exploring the caverns, river, and native sights for a day or two.

  • Begin your day with breakfast on the Woodstock Cafe & Shoppes then head up the mountain to the Woodstock Tower for lovely views of the valley.
  • Prepare for some extra enjoyable in nature with a rafting or kayaking journey on the Shenandoah River. (Enable for 2 to 3 hours) OR,
  • Head over to Bryce Resort in in Bayse for some ziplining or different adventures. (Enable half a day)
  • After lunch, cease off at Route 11 Potato Chips to style check their completely different flavors and see how they course of over 14,000 kilos of potatoes a day. (Enable quarter-hour)
  • Close by, go to Shenandoah Caverns and be ready to be wowed by room after room of rock formations. Afterwards, cease in at their different sights, together with American Celebration on Parade, a powerful assortment of parade floats. (Enable two hours)
  • End up with an informal dinner on the Woodstock Brewhouse.
Shenandoah Caverns: What to do in Virginia with kids

Learn extra: 10 Enjoyable and adventurous issues to do in Shenandoah Valley

Day 11: Winchester, Virginia

Winchester, VA -- What to do in Virginia with kids

Based in 1744, Winchester is the oldest Virginia metropolis west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Often called the Apple Capital, there are many farms close by to go to, together with a captivating downtown with historic sights and a pedestrian mall.

Learn extra: 3 Days in Washington D.C. itinerary

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A sample itinerary for a one to two-week Virginia road trip with kids including stops at Hampton, Williamsburg, Charlottesville,  and Shenandoah.

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