Virginia Holiday and Vacation Travel Information
Virginia is home to a myriad of parks, memorials and historic sites, which pervade every region of the state. In the northwest the rolling hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains bring over five million visitors every year to the Blue Ridge Parkway and Shenandoah National Park. This area along with that surrounding the Allegheny Mountains, in the southwest, supply visitors with a view of rural Virginia. The Appalachian Trail also leads through this region.
Central Virginia is known as the piedmont area, as it lies between the coastal and mountainous regions of the state. This region is known for its rural character epitomized by historic plantations, civil war sites and white fences containing horse pastures. Charlottesville is one of the highlights, and more populated areas, of the Virginia piedmont. It harbors the University of Virginia and Monticello, both initially constructed by Thomas Jefferson.
Coastal Virginia is lined on the east with wide sandy beaches, natural harbors and the Chesapeake Bay. Chincoteague Island is a center for recreation in this region as is the Chesapeake Bay for water-oriented activities. In the southern coastal region Colonial National Historic Park and Williamsburg interpret the first landing site of Europeans and the first capitol in Virginia.
Recreation in the state varies per region. The coast provides the ocean and several harbors for water-oriented activities such as sailing, fishing, swimming and crabbing. Viewing historic sites and scenery as well as road and mountain biking and hiking are popular in the piedmont of Virginia. The mountains present opportunities for backpacking, hiking, mountain biking, scenic driving and fishing.
Virginia, as a whole, experiences high humidity throughout the year. Summers promise high heat and humidity, which can make rigorous activities uncomfortable and difficult. Spring and fall are the best times to visit the area to avoid the heat. The mountains to the coast receive high rainfall during these seasons, so rain gear is recommended. Winter precipitation levels vary from year to year. The humidity makes temperatures feel colder during the winter as it makes the summer temperatures feel hotter. Weather on the coast is generally more mild than that in the piedmont.
Virginia is located along the Atlantic Ocean coast in the eastern area of the United States. This vast Commonwealth is located immediately south of America's capitol city, Washington, D.C.
Description - The misty blue mountains of the Blue Ridge Highlands are famous for the Blue Ridge Parkway, a 45 mph mountaintop road. The vast region is also known for being the home of the Wilderness Road blazed by Daniel Boone. This route became the pioneer turnpike through the Cumberland Gap into the Midwest.
Recreation - This beautiful section of the state offers unlimited mountain biking, hiking, cold and warm water fishing, scenic drives, horseback riding and more.
Climate - The Blue Ridge Highlands Travel Region experiences warm breezy days during the summer often accompanied by unexpected showers. Temperatures average in the low 80's with pleasant mountain breezes dipping into the deepest valley. Spring arrives a little later than the central and coastal regions and fall arrives a little earlier too. Winters can be very cold at the higher elevations with snow staying on the ground for weeks at a time.
Location - The Blue Ridge Highlands are located in southwestern Virginia tucked between North Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky.
Description - This very large area of the Commonwealth is rich in outdoor recreation opportunities. It is home to some of the state's largest lakes and many of it rivers including the rural and urban James River. Civil War battlefields are found at nearly every turn in the road as well as Colonial historic sites including the homes of Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry. Recreation - Central Virginia offers a myriad of outdoor recreation activities including viewing Civil War battlefields, leisurely drives along historic byways, freshwater fishing, horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, whitewater boating, visiting historical monuments and much more.
Climate - Central Virginia experiences high humidity throughout the year and especially in summer. Frequently temperatures hover around 80 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer. Spring and fall are the most comfortable times to visit the area. Winters can be harsh but usually for only several days at a time until the sun and above freezing temperatures return.
Location - The Central Virginia Travel Region encompasses the Piedmont area of Virginia stretching down to the North Carolina state line.
Description - The Northern Virginia Travel Region is home to four state parks, the Appalachian Trail, the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, George Washington Memorial Scenic Byway, the memorial home of Robert E. Lee, Prince William Forest, Wolf Trap Farm and bald eagle preserves and much more.
Recreation - Northern Virginia offers a myriad of outdoor recreation activities. The activities range from water-oriented pleasures along the Potomac River to viewing our nation's fabulous monuments. Our public lands offer the opportunity to camp, fish, swim, hike, boat, view one our nation's largest heron rookeries and much more.
Climate - Summers in Northern Virginia promise high heat and humidity especially in the low-lying area just south of Washington, D.C. West of the capitol, the land rises a few hundred feet offering a bit of relief from the dense moist air. Spring and fall are the best times to visit the area. Cool temperate breezes make visitation very enjoyable. Winter can be pleasantly mild or biting cold with temperatures dropping below freezing.
Location - The Northern Virginia Travel Region lies in the northeast area of the state just south of our nation's capitol, Washington, D.C.
Description - The beautiful Shenandoah Valley Travel Region is a lush green area of the state with wonderful streams and rivers including the Shenandoah River that provides an opportunity for paddleboating, fishing, exploring and swimming. The region includes a rich history of natural and cultural sights.
Recreation - Shenandoah Valley Travel Region is probably best known for being the home of the pristine Shenandoah National Park. Several State Parks are included in the region as well as a portion of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest. Several natural areas are also in the region. This beautiful section of the state offers unlimited mountain biking, hiking, paddleboating, scenic drives, horseback riding, viewing the Catawba rhododendron and much more.
Climate - The Shenandoah Valley Travel Region experiences warm humid days during the summer often accompanied by pleasant mountain breezes. Frequently temperatures hover around 80 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer. Spring and fall are wonderful times to visit this mountainous area. Leaf-lookers flock to the area each October. Winters can be harsh with temperatures dipping below freezing.
Location - The Shenandoah Valley Travel Region is located in northwestern Virginia stretching over to the West Virginia state line.
Description - The great Atlantic flyway brings a myriad of raptors and neotropical songbirds as they migrate each spring and fall. Home of the Chesapeake Bay and some of the best sport fishing and crabbing in America, this region offers tremendous recreational and cultural resources including touring many of our earliest plantations.
Recreation - The Tidewater, Hampton Roads and Eastern Shore Travel Region offers a plethora of outdoor recreation for every taste, age and ability. The public lands offer an opportunity to view bird migrations, view historic sites, bicycle along sandy refuge roads, hike wetlands, swim in the ocean and experience terrific saltwater fishing and estuary clamming.
Climate - Virginia's southeastern area of the state experiences hot, humid days throughout the summer. Many days rise above 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Spring and fall are the best times to visit this area. Pleasant warm temperatures extend the gardening and farming season and offer extended water-related recreation opportunities. Winter brings plenty of rainfall with temperatures rarely dropping below the freezing mark.
Location - This region extends below the Northern Virginia Travel Region along the Atlantic Coast and Chesapeake Bay down to the North Carolina state line.