Beautiful Places to Explore in Virginia by Madison Varner
Virginia is a beautiful state with so many different types of scenery. There’s mountains, beaches, farmland, big cities, and the running joke of the state... If you don’t like the temperature, give it 10 minutes and it will change. I absolutely love the beach, but there isn’t much that can beat the view of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
I love going out into the great outdoors. It’s a good way to get active, and also it a great way to just get away from life, and to just be present. I have been to some beautiful places in Virginia, so if you live in this wonderful state, or are ever visiting, then I encourage you to check these places out!
1) Maymont Park, a beautiful 100-acre park, can be found right in the center of downtown Richmond. Now you may think that there is no way a park in Downtown can be a peaceful and relaxing place. Somehow it is, and I don’t understand how. You can’t hear any of the cars or city life. They have so many things to do and see there! There is a nature center, museum, a barn with farm animals, and other wild animals. I also encourage going on the walking trail that they have that takes you through an Italian garden, Japanese garden, through a bamboo forest, and past a waterfall! I should also mention that this experience is absolutely free.
2) Shenandoah National Park, in my opinion, the best thing that Virginia has to offer. Central Virginia has so many overlooks on the side of the road, for you to just pull over, have a picnic, and enjoy the view. I should mention that there is a fee to enter any of the hiking trails. It is $30 per vehicle and $15 for an individual, so I recommend getting a group of friends and carpooling. Shenandoah National Park is 200,000 acres of protected land and located there are two of my favorite, hardest, but most rewarding hiking trails.
3) The first hiking trail that I highly recommend is Humpback rock. This trail is the easier of the two that I recommend. It is about a 6.4-mile round trip hike. It takes about an hour or so to reach the top, and about half the time to get back down. Many people use this trail for sunrise hiking because seeing the sunrise over the mountain is a memory that would last a lifetime.
4) Old Rag is the most popular of all of the hiking trails but it is also the most dangerous. This hiking trail is about 9 miles and takes on average 7 to 8 miles to complete. This is the only hiking trail that I know of that involves actual rock climbing. There are a few points where you have to pull yourself up on large rocks, and there is one point where you have to leap over a small cavern. Though this is the most dangerous hike, it rewards you with the most amazing view in the state.
5) Now if hiking and dangerous rock climbing are not your things, and you want a nice calm relaxing afternoon; then I highly suggest checking out Carter’s Mountain Orchard. This is the perfect place to hang out with friends, spend quality time with your family, and the perfect place for a date. Carter’s Mountain offers seasonal fruit picking. In the fall they have apple and pumpkin picking. In the Spring and Summer, you can pick sweet cherries, nectarines, and peaches. The orchard still offers you those beautiful views, and you can sit and enjoy them on the patio while eating a delicious apple cider donut and sipping on a Bold Rock (if you’re over 21 of course). When you’re done enjoying the view, you can head inside their adorable country gift shop, and buy a cup of fresh apple cider for $1!
I hope that you check these places out and leave a comment below if you visit these places, and let me know what state do you live in!
Madison Varner is the author of Happily Caffeinated. Happily Caffeinated is a blog dedicated to motivating women become their best selves both inside and out. She is a teacher who has discovered her passion for writing and blogging! So grab a cup of coffee and check out her site!