The 8 Most Picturesque Small Towns in Virginia

Virginia is a state that is well known for its natural beauty. Rolling hills, majestic Appalachian mountains, and lush forests populate much of the region. Hiking trails, campgrounds, bike paths and recreational activities are abundant throughout the state, and it is nothing if not beautiful. From winding rivers to Chesapeake Bay, mountain hills and lush valleys, it is a gorgeous state to visit. In and amongst the natural beauty are a number of picturesque small towns that paint the picture of this great state. Visitors can enjoy historical architecture, coastal beaches, quaint streets, bustling art districts, and stunning landscapes playing backdrop to it all.


Downtown Luray in Virginia

In the Shenandoah Valley sits the beautiful town of Luray, Virginia. This beautiful area features picturesque views, woodlands, and a variety of wildlife. Luray is also positioned near the George Washington National Forest, as well as the Shenandoah National Park. The parks are beautiful examples of the natural beauty of Virginia, offering peaceful and picture-perfect escapes from the bustle of the city. Outdoor lovers and nature enthusiasts will love the many opportunities to get outdoors, from hiking local trails to  biking, fishing lake Arrowhead, or kayaking and rafting along the Shenandoah River.

Cooter’s Place in Luray Virginia, via BrianPIrwin /

Another stunning sight in the area are the Luray caverns, which offer unique and other-worldly views. The many pools, stalagmites and stalactites are a stark contrast to the open and expansive hill views above ground, but are a great place to explore and take in another aspect of Luray’s natural beauty. Luray is the ideal balance of small town and natural landscape, making it a truly impressive sight.


Street in Coeburn, Virginia

The town of Coeburn is in the southwest part of Virginia. It has a population of roughly 1,500, and is a small town with big views. Postcard-like scenes are everywhere across the quaint downtown area, including historic red brick buildings, cute footbridges, and a vibrant art scene.

Swede Tunnel Guest River Gorge

Outdoor lovers will enjoy the many scenic hiking trails that connect through Coeburn, including the extensive Guest River Gorge Trail which has great river views. Similarly, the Spearhead Trail is a great way to explore the picturesque natural beauty of Coeburn. Rolling hills and forests make a lovely scene everyone should experience. The town is also close to Jefferson National Forest, which is one of the biggest areas of public protected land in the Eastern United States. The region is a great place to take in the stunning Appalachian Mountains and lush forests, which are particularly popular in Autumn, when the fall foliage turns beautiful shades of orange, red and gold.


U.S. Route 58 in Damascus, via Metayel on Wikipedia

Damascus Virginia is an outdoor lover’s dream. Often referred to as “trail Town USA,” Damascus has several major hiking and biking trails that run through it. Virginia Creeper Trail, Appalachian Trail, Iron Mountain Trail and Mid-Atlantic Backcountry Discovery Route and the transContinental Bicycle Trail are just a few of the well known picturesque trails in the area. The tiny town is overlooked by nearby hills, Mount Roger, and forests, which create a beautiful backdrop for the charming downtown.

Lush greenery mixes with old stone walls, historical buildings and gorgeous woodlands to create a wonderful scene that is the perfect snap-shot picture of Virginia. This gorgeous area in south Virginia is a great place for a short stay, adventure hike, or camping trip.

Cape Charles

Aerial view of the town of Cape Charles Virginia looking Northeast from the Chesapeake Bay with a grid, via Kyle J Little /

The gorgeous town of Cape Charles sits on the picturesque Chesapeake Bay on the eastern shore of Virginia. The town itself was founded in 1884, and continues to hold small town charm and lovely historical architecture. Many of these old homes and cottages are now converted into Bed and Breakfasts or inns, which make for the perfect place to stay on a weekend getaway or vacation.

Sunrise in the Marina at Cape Charles

Cape Charles is one of the best beach towns in Virginia, and its placement along the bay makes for truly impressive scenic views. Extensive sand beaches, well maintained boardwalks, and beach front homes create a wonderful place to walk along the water’s edge and take in the beauty of Virginia’s coastal towns. Whether visitors are looking to relax or enjoy the many attractions in the area, this small town is full of beauty and stunning nature at every turn. 


Wild ponies swim to Chincoteague Island from Assateague Island, via Delmas Lehman /

The town and island of Chincoteague is a unique place full of beauty and charm. This small town and resort island sits along the eastern coast of the United States. The town is just south of the Assateague Island National Seashore, and though small, has become well known for its population of wild horses. In fact, much of the Chincoteague island consists of the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, which houses these special coastal ponies.

The view of the waterfront apartments by the bay, via Khairil Azhar Junos / Shutterstock

Between the white sandy beaches and the gorgeous speckled ponies, Chincoteague is one of the most beautiful towns in the country. The island offers expansive views of the ocean and the bay, and is home to a quaint town of boutiques, restaurants, cafes and homes. For a peaceful escape with unrivaled views, this small town packs a punch and will feel like a true escape.


Aerial View of Kilmarnock Virginia

The town of Kilmarnock has a population of 1,500 and is close to the Rappahannock River in Northumberland County, Virginia. This small town is full of old charm and history, and dates back to the 17th century. George Washington even hailed from Kilmarnock. 

The town center is home to Town Centre park which is a lovely place to enjoy the local gardens, outdoor concert venue and an open air gym. The region also houses several wineries and restaurants.Outdoor lovers will enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Nearby is the Westmoreland State Park, as well as the Hughlett Point Trail which offers scenic hiking trails and lovely views. 


Historical street in Abingdon, via Dee Browning / Shutterstock

The town of Abingdon is in the southwestern part of Virginia. The town is another example of the beauty of Virginia, as it offers wonderful views of the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains as well as the surrounding forests. Hiking and biking are popular here along the Rails-to-Trails and Vrginia Creeper trails. Horseback riding trails are also common in the region, and visitors and locals alike can enjoy taking to horseback to see the beautiful countryside.

The town itself is also picturesque. It boasts a large Historic District, including over 20 blocks of old homes, buildings, museums and shops. Many of the buildings are from the mid 1800s, and provide a historical atmosphere that seems right out of a New England postcard. 


The Woodstock Cafe and Shoppes, a typical business in the historic section of Woodstock, Virginia. DwayneP

Woodstock is another beautiful town located in Shenandoah County, Virginia. The area is rich with history, and is home to one of the oldest still-functioning court houses in the country, as well as a number of historic buildings and historical artifacts housed in the Woodstock Shenandoah Museum. 

Seven Bends State Park outside of Woodstock, VA

The town sits along the Shenandoah River, and offers great picturesque views of the natural landscape. Seven Bends State Park is just outside the town, and offers vista and viewpoints of the village below, as well as expansive views of the river and valley. On a clear day, the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains can be seen in the distance, overlooking this gorgeous region of Virginia. Visitors can hike, explore and camp, all the while taking in the stunning scenery. 

From adorable coastal towns, to scenic mountain views and lush forests, Virginia is a beautiful state full of natural beauty, wildlife, and picturesque landscapes. From Chesapeake Bay to the Appalachian mountains, Virginia is one of the most magical places to visit or live, especially for outdoor lovers, hikers, bikers, or those who simply love to be in nature. Those exploring Virginia for the first time will find a wonderful balance of rich history, friendly neighborhoods, quaint towns, and expansive vistas that are truly awe-inspiring.

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