3 Richmond Road Trips to Slay Your Summer

It’s easy to get caught up in daydreaming of tropical vacations, but you don’t have to go far—or take a week off of work—to have a great time.

If you’ve been wondering how best to fill up the rest of your summer weekends this year, buckle up and check out our round-up of the top three Virginia road trips!

For a romantic retreat: Plan a wine trail getaway for two

Looking for the perfect couple’s weekend? Consider a romantic trip that includes some of the best wine around. Virginia is home to over 200 wineries, so it can be tricky to choose the perfect option for you and your sweetheart, but there are a few no-fail choices depending on how far you want to get away.

  • Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail: Eight excellent wineries can be enjoyed throughout the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula, including Oak Crest, The Dog and Oyster, and Caret Cellars. You can hit up one or two and then make your way back home to enjoy the comfort of your own space—or you can book a room at the Inn at Montross for a central base to relax away from home.
  • Fauquier Wine Trail: Just under two hours away near Warrenton, there are a whopping 26+ nearby wineries. Make sure to stop by Aspen Dale Winery for a taste of Colonial and European wine-making, and Delaplane Cellars for magnificent views of the Rural Historic Crooked Run Valley.
  • Route 211 Wineries: US Route 211 toward New Market features seven different wineries—and one whiskey distillery—peppered along the way. Make your “homebase” at the River Bluff Farm Bed and Breakfast in Quicksburg, a popular spot that offers a charming atmosphere and cozy feel that are perfect for romantic getaways. Plus, you’ll need a resting spot so you don’t overindulge over the weekend.

For a family trip: Explore the Shenandoah Valley

Keep kids and adults alike busy and entertained all weekend in Shenandoah, where there’s something to do or see for everyone.

  • Bone up on VA history. From the Frontier Culture Museum to the Virginia Military Institute and Museum, there is no shortage of historic sites, battlefields, and museums in the area. Check out this historical guide to Shenandoah Valley for a comprehensive list.
  • Get in touch with nature. Nature-lovers will be in heaven hiking, biking, and exploring the beautiful sites of Shenandoah National Park. If you prefer to beat the heat, take it underground at the Caverns at Natural Bridge for stunning rock formations and the popular Mirror Lake.
  • Hit up a roadside attraction. Delight the whole family with prehistoric displays at Dinosaurland or drive through 180 acres of animals roaming their natural environment at Virginia Safari Park.

For fun with friends: Take a musical tour of Route 58

If you and your besties live and breathe music, the Heritage Music Trail (AKA the Crooked Road) is a one-of-a-kind road trip. Depending on how much time you’re devoting to the trip, you can travel as far as you’d like along the full 300 miles of Route 58, starting at the Blue Ridge Mountains. Some must-visit spots include:

    • Bristol: Love country music? This is where it was born. Explore the Bristol museum, watch a show at the historic Paramount Theater, and snap a selfie in front of the Birthplace of Country Music mural downtown. If you can make it, plan to be there for the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival on September 21-23.
    • Blue Ridge Music Center: Most Saturdays all summer long, you can stop by the outdoor amphitheater to catch one of their Roots of American Music Concert Series shows. Don’t forget to peruse their museum exhibit, then enjoy a snack while listening to mountain musicians at the visitor’s center in the afternoon.
    • Carter Family Fold: This music center and museum are dedicated to the Carters, the “First Family of Country Music.” Old-time bluegrass can be enjoyed at the weekly music event on Saturdays (and join in on some clogging or flat-footing) and the old General Store turned museum features a number of Carter-family heirlooms.

Wherever you find yourself this summer, drive safely and have fun!

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