View of the Shenandoah Valley and Luray at night from Massanutten Mountain, in George Washington National Forest, Virginia

10 Cutest Small Towns In Virginia To Visit In 2024

With a state motto that declares “Virginia is for lovers,” Virginia is famed for its beauty, rich history, vibrant city life, and charming small towns. Its landscape varies from deeply forested mountains to dramatic coastlines and ocean views, and visitors have fallen in love with this state for centuries.

Nestled into the central region of the ancient Appalachian Mountains, Virginia was the first of the thirteen colonies established by European settlers during the colonial period. For thousands of years before that, the area was settled by dozens of Indigenous peoples, who called it Tsenacomoco. Its amazing natural landscapes are still a major draw for travelers today.

Though Virginia has many energetic and cosmopolitan urban areas, its small towns offer a perfect alternative to the hustle-bustle of city life. If you’re looking for somewhere to unwind and explore at a more leisurely pace, pack your bag and check out these ten adorable small Virginia towns.

Cape Charles

Beach homes in Cape Charles, Virginia.
Beach homes in Cape Charles, Virginia.

This small coastal town is tiny but mighty. The streets are lined with historic brick homes and buildings, and sitting out on the porch watching the sun rise or set is a favored pastime for locals and visitors alike. If slow travel is your vibe, put Cape Charles at the top of your list.

Downtown Cape Charles offers locally-owned restaurants and bakeries, unique boutiques, and a thriving arts and music scene up and down Mason Avenue. Book your stay at a charming inn or hotel right in town, or snag a beachside cottage for the ultimate seaside slowdown. It’s hard to beat a day at the beach, especially when you top it off with delicious local oysters and other fresh-caught seafood.

Slow doesn’t mean boring, of course. There’s plenty to do in and around charming Cape Charles, including boat tours along the Chesapeake Bay, exploring the Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge, and getting outdoors in nearby Kiptopeke State Park.

Natural Bridge

Natural Bridge State Park in the State of Virginia
Natural Bridge State Park in the State of Virginia

The town, the landmark, the legend: the cute little town of Natural Bridge is named after a nearby natural rock bridge that stands over 200 feet high. Known as one of the original “Seven Wonders of the World,” this natural formation has been calling to travelers for hundreds of years.

Quaint and quirky, the town of Natural Bridge embraces its unique landscape, adding their own personality to the area with unusual attractions like Virginia Safari Park and Dinosaur Kingdom.

Outdoor activities include plenty of cavern explorations and hiking in Natural Bridge State Park. One of the most popular trails is the Cedar Creek Trail, which takes you up to the bridge, and also passes through the historic living history exhibit of Monacan Village. The indigenous Monacan people were some of the first early admirers of, and visitors to, the natural land bridge.


Front Street in Coeburn, Virginia. Image credit: Brian Stansberry via Wikimedia Commons.
Front Street in Coeburn, Virginia. Image credit: Brian Stansberry via Wikimedia Commons.

Tiny it may be, with an area of only two miles, but Coeburn is packed with charm and personality. It sits on the Lonesome Pine Artisan Trail and is part of the ‘Round the Mountain Artisan Network, a community of artisans in the Southern Virginia area.

Coeburn is also part of Virginia’s heritage music trail, the Crooked Road, marking the town as a haven for musicians. It’s known as the birthplace and longtime home of bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley and has a long history of embracing and supporting its musical and cultural heritage. You can stop by the Historic Lays Hardware Center for the Arts for a show every Friday Night.

Coeburn itself is utterly cute and quaint, with walking bridges and brick sidewalks, and plenty of beautiful scenery. Check out local Jefferson National Forest for even more outdoor fun, including miles of hiking trails, horse and jeep trails, and plenty of kayaking.


Shenandoah National Park, Virginia.
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia.

Just off the beaten path in the gorgeous Shenandoah Valley, Luray is only an hour or two away from Washington, DC. It sits, in fact, near several major local highways and travel routes, yet the vibe around Luray is miles away from the hurry and commotion of high-speed travel.

Its historic downtown is known for its locally owned eateries, small, one-of-a-kind shops, and plenty of personality. Where else can you visit a museum dedicated entirely to “The Dukes of Hazzard” TV show or a car museum with vehicles dating back to the eighteenth century? Cooter’s Luray and the Car and Carriage Caravan Museum offer just that.

Luray’s natural beauty is easy to appreciate. You can spend days exploring and adventuring through nearby Shenandoah National Park and George Washington National Park. But one of the main draws is the Luray Caverns, the largest on the east coast and an absolute underground marvel.


Streetview of Tazewell, Virginia.
Streetview of Tazewell, Virginia.

A trendy and tight-knit community, Tazewell is the epitome of Appalachian small-town charm.

Here, you’ll find the incredibly popular Back of the Dragon, a long, winding road stretching up and down three mountain ranges, attracting motorcycle and sports car enthusiasts.

More sedate travelers can enjoy fine wine and dining and plenty of shopping in downtown Tazewell, with no end to year-round events and festivals. There are First Fridays all summer, Oktobrewfest in the fall, and a jam-packed Winter Market. Like Coeburn, Tazewell is also part of both the Round the Mountain Artisan Network and the Lonesome Pine Artisan Trail, creating an incredibly energetic arts and music scene.

Local natural attractions include Burke’s Garden, an ancient gigantic “bowl” made by a collapsing mountain, the ostriches and emus at Sandy Head Ostrich Farm, and the hundreds of acres of untouched natural beauty at Cavitt’s Creek Park.


Waynesboro, Virginia.
Waynesboro, Virginia.

Located along the Blue Ridge Parkway, the beauty of Waynesboro is difficult to over-exaggerate. The views of the mountains cupping this adorable small town are well on display at every turn, including smack in the middle of downtown.

Once you take in the view, explore the arts, historic landmarks and museums, shopping, and dining. The Russell Museum, The Plumb House, and the Waynesboro African-American Heritage Museum are just a few ways to explore the deep history of the area, and the Shenandoah Valley Art Center and the Valley Music Academy both feature local artists and musicians. And murals dot and decorate the town, turning every stroll into a charming arts walk.

Enjoy the area’s natural splendor in the Shenandoah State Park, or by hiking a part of the Appalachian Trail.

Saint Paul

Saint Paul, VA USA - Welcome sign for Russell County, Virginia
Saint Paul, VA USA - Welcome sign for Russell County, Virginia. Image credit Katssoup via Shutterstock.

Charming Saint Paul's vitality is easy to appreciate all year round. Seasonal festivals and fairs draw travelers and locals alike.

A historic, revitalized downtown welcomes you and encourages you to relax, unwind, and take your time strolling through its cafes, restaurants, and shops. Saint Paul residents make it a point to preserve their history and welcome everyone into their relaxed community.

Outdoor adventures abound in the area as well. Saint Paul sits along the Spearhead Trails, a series of connected trails perfect for hiking, or even ATV riding. Clinch River State Park and Sugar Hill State Park also provide plenty of hiking opportunities, as well as camping, canoeing and kayaking, and much more.


Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.
Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. Image credit Bryan Pollard via Shutterstock.

“Virginia is for lovers” could just as easily be changed to “Virginia loves its visitors.” Lexington, like so many of the cute small towns on this list, is well-known for its laid-back, welcoming vibe.

Shops and boutiques in its historic downtown are filled with local arts and crafts, restaurants serve wine from local vineyards, and some of the hotels and other buildings date back to the Revolutionary War.

Near both the Blue Ridge Parkway and Natural Bridge State Park, outdoor enthusiasts can get their fill of fly fishing, cavern exploration, kayaking and canoeing, hiking, biking, horseback riding, and more.


The aerial view of the boat dock and neighborhood near Currioman Bay, Montross, Virginia, U.S.A.
The aerial view of the boat dock and neighborhood near Currioman Bay, Montross, Virginia, U.S.A.

One of the smallest towns on this list, Montross is a well-kept secret of Virginia’s Northern Neck region. One of its claims to local fame are the downtown murals that decorate both the interiors and the exteriors of over a dozen buildings.

Montross residents are big supporters of local artists, and it’s quickly becoming a popular spot with art enthusiasts. Its rich local history and growing antiques scene are turning it into a hotspot for collectors as well.

Local attractions include dedications to not one but two famous figures. George Washington’s Birthplace is a dedicated national monument and Stratford Hall is the birthplace of Robert E. Lee. If sipping fine vintages is more your speed, there are a number of local vineyards that are happy to have you.

Natural attractions include camping, hiking, and more in Westmoreland State Park, as well as multiple overlooks of Rappahannock River in the Vorhees Nature Preserve.


Seven Bends State Park near Woodstock, Virginia.
Seven Bends State Park near Woodstock, Virginia.

Art is alive and well in charming Woodstock. Local arts initiatives make a point of undertaking projects that add beauty and a touch of whimsy to their town. Take a leisurely walk downtown, and you’ll find mosaic murals, outdoor art installations in cooperation with downtown businesses, and even vinyl wrapping around otherwise bland traffic signal cabinets. Residents aren’t shy about expressing themselves visually, and the town of Woodstock embraces their voices.

Beautification projects around the area run the gamut from local public parks and gardens to the famous LOVE signs created for the highly successful “Virginia is for lovers” tourism campaign.

The historic downtown features a thriving business district full of cafes, restaurants, and shops. And Local Muse Vineyards has several award-winning vintages, a perfect way to wrap up a day of exploring the town.

The area is already popular with cyclists, and a planned thirteen-mile biking trail is developing to welcome bicycle enthusiasts even further. Other outdoor delights include Seven Bends State Park, which has amazing views from the Woodstock Tower.

Virginia has no shortage of small, picturesque towns for visitors looking to slow down and enjoy a more relaxed approach to traveling and exploration. But slow doesn’t mean boring by any means. These adorable small towns have long, rich histories they celebrate with museums, monuments, and tours. State and national parks offer mile after mile of scenic trails, and the coastal region also gives you plenty of seaside and oceanic exploring opportunities.

With many lively arts and music scenes, this area is perfect for old-time music aficionados and art enthusiasts alike. Most downtowns feature museums, arts collectives, and live music. And since good music and good food go hand in hand, many restaurants regularly feature performances and showcases by local songwriters and musicians.

Virginia is, indeed, for lovers. And if you’re looking for a slower pace of travel, with plenty to see and do along the way, then these ten cute and utterly charming small Virginia towns are just what you’ve been looking for.

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