Dusk falls over the Blue Ridge Mountains along the Blue River Parkway. Image credit anthony heflin via Shutterstock.

11 Most Scenic Road Trips To Take In Virginia

Virginia, often called the "Old Dominion," is brimming with natural splendor, rich history, and picturesque landscapes. From the towering Blue Ridge Mountains to the idyllic coastal regions, Virginia offers a treasure trove of scenic road trips that allow travelers to experience the region and all its beauty. Whether visitors are nature lovers, history enthusiasts, or simply seeking an adventure, the following road trips will take visitors through Virginia's most breathtaking vistas, charming towns, and iconic landmarks. Buckle up and get ready to explore the majestic beauty of the Old Dominion on these unforgettable road trips!

Shenandoah Valley: A Majestic Tapestry of Natural Beauty and Historic Charm

Group of tourists standing on trail boardwalk in autumn fall at Cranberry Glades Wilderness, West Virginia at Allegheny mountains Monongahela national forest
Tourists on trail in Allegheny Mountains. Image credit Kristi Blokhin via Shutterstock.

Nestled between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Allegheny Mountains, the Shenandoah Valley beckons with its breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and warm hospitality. This picturesque region in Virginia is renowned for its rolling hills, fertile farmlands, and the meandering Shenandoah River. Whether seeking outdoor adventures, exploring charming small towns, or immersing yourself in the region's fascinating past, the Shenandoah Valley offers a captivating blend of natural beauty and historic charm.

It is a haven for nature enthusiasts and history buffs alike. With its panoramic vistas, cascading waterfalls, and vibrant foliage, the valley displays the stunning beauty of Virginia's landscape. The region's storied past is etched into its historic sites, including Civil War battlefields, grand plantations, and quaint Main Streets lined with beautifully preserved architecture. From hiking along the Appalachian Trail to savoring award-winning wines at local vineyards, the Shenandoah Valley invites visitors to immerse themselves in its diverse offerings and create lasting memories.

The Shenandoah Valley is a treasure trove of natural wonders, cultural heritage, and warm hospitality. It invites travelers to explore its scenic byways, hike its picturesque trails, and connect with the friendly locals who call this region home. Whether you're marveling at the majesty of Shenandoah National Park, browsing through charming boutiques, or indulging in farm-to-table cuisine, the Shenandoah Valley offers a delightful blend of adventure, relaxation, and discovery. So come, experience the magic of the Shenandoah Valley, and create your own chapter in the story of this enchanting region.

Skyline Drive: A Scenic Journey through the Beauty of Shenandoah National Park

Sunset over the Blue Ridge Mountains, from Skyline Drive, in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia.
Sunset over the Blue Ridge Mountains, from Skyline Drive. Image credit Jon Bilous via Shutterstock.

Stretching for 105 miles along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Skyline Drive stands as one of Virginia's most iconic and breathtaking road trips. As the only public road that traverses Shenandoah National Park, Skyline Drive offers an immersive and awe-inspiring experience through the natural splendor of this protected wilderness.

Skyline Drive, a designated National Scenic Byway, takes you through the heart of Shenandoah National Park, a sanctuary of rolling mountains, verdant forests, and abundant wildlife. From the drive's northern entrance at Front Royal to its southern terminus at Rockfish Gap, you'll be treated to panoramic vistas, cascading waterfalls, and an opportunity to explore the park's extensive network of hiking trails. Skyline Drive is a road trip that encapsulates the beauty of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains and showcases the harmonious coexistence of nature and scenic grandeur.

This route is a testament to the majestic beauty of Shenandoah National Park and offers a remarkable road trip experience for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. While winding along the scenic curves of the drive, visitors will be captivated by the ever-changing landscapes, vibrant foliage in the fall, and the tranquility of the surrounding wilderness. Whether taking a day trip or a multi-day adventure, Skyline Drive will leave an indelible mark on everyone's soul. Visitors will not be disappointed by this scenic journey, where the stunning vistas and serene atmosphere of Shenandoah National Park beckon all to connect with the natural world and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Coastal Virginia: Where History Meets the Sea

Fishing Pier at Sunrise at Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA. Virginia Beach, a coastal city in southeastern Virginia, lies where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean.
Pier on Virginia Beach. Image credit Jay Yuan via Shutterstock.

Coastal Virginia is a beautiful region where history, culture, and natural beauty converge along the picturesque shores of the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. From historical landmarks that have witnessed the birth of a nation to pristine beaches that beckon with their sandy shores, this coastal paradise offers a wealth of experiences for visitors. Whether exploring the cobblestone streets of colonial towns, indulging in fresh seafood, or basking in the sun on the region's renowned beaches, Coastal Virginia promises a journey of discovery, relaxation, and unforgettable moments.

The east offers a treasure trove for those seeking a blend of coastal charm and rich history. With its diverse array of coastal landscapes, from tranquil bay waters to the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean, this region offers endless outdoor adventures and seaside relaxation opportunities. Steeped in history dating back to the arrival of English settlers in Jamestown, Coastal Virginia proudly displays its historic sites, including Colonial Williamsburg, Historic Jamestown, and the majestic Cape Henry Lighthouse. Combining history, culture, and natural beauty, Coastal Virginia invites visitors to immerse themselves in its unique coastal heritage.

Coastal Virginia is a coastal paradise that captivates with its rich history, vibrant culture, and breathtaking natural scenery. Whether you're exploring the cobblestone streets of the colonial towns, embarking on a scenic boat tour, or simply lounging on the pristine beaches, this region offers a true escape from the everyday. As you breathe in the salty air and listen to the rhythmic sound of the waves, you'll feel the allure of Coastal Virginia. History and the sea intertwine in this place to create an unforgettable coastal experience.

Crooked Road: A Musical Journey through Virginia's Heritage

Detail view of an Appalachian mountain dulcimer musical instrument on a rustic white wooden background
Appalachian dulcimer. Image credit makasana photo via Shutterstock.

The Crooked Road is a captivating musical journey that winds through the scenic landscapes of southwestern Virginia, celebrating the rich heritage of traditional Appalachian music. This 300-mile route takes travelers on a cultural pilgrimage, leading them to iconic venues, small-town festivals, and hidden gems where the soul-stirring melodies of bluegrass, old-time, and gospel music come alive. Along the Crooked Road, visitors can immerse themselves in the vibrant music scene, connect with local musicians, and experience the timeless traditions that have shaped the region's musical identity.

Much more than just a highway; it is a melodic tapestry that weaves together the Appalachian region's traditions, stories, and rhythms. While embarking on this musical journey, travelers will traverse the scenic byways of southwestern Virginia, where each stop offers a unique encounter with the roots of American music. From the lively fiddle tunes in Galax to the soulful ballads in Bristol, the Crooked Road is a testament to the enduring legacy of the region's musical heritage.

The Crooked Road offers a gateway to the soul-stirring melodies and heartfelt lyrics that define Appalachian music. It invites visitors to explore the small towns and hidden valleys where the music was born and to witness the living traditions passed down through generations. Along this storied route, community gatherings, jam sessions, and world-class performances showcase local musicians' raw talent and passion. Whether a seasoned music enthusiast or simply curious about the roots of American music, the Crooked Road promises an unforgettable journey through the heart and soul of Virginia's musical heritage.

Eastern Shore: A Coastal Escape of Natural Splendor and Tranquility

View of the Chincoteague Bay Waterfront, in Chincoteague Island, Virginia
Chincoteague Bay on the Eastern shore of Virginia. Image credit Jon Bilous via Shutterstock.

The Eastern Shore of Virginia is a hidden gem on the easternmost edge of the Commonwealth. This idyllic region is defined by its pristine beaches, charming waterfront towns, and a laid-back way of life that beckons visitors seeking respite from the bustling world. With its unspoiled natural beauty, abundant wildlife, and rich cultural heritage, the Eastern Shore offers a unique coastal escape that delights the senses and rejuvenates the soul.

Nestled between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, the Eastern Shore of Virginia is a coastal haven that enchants its untouched landscapes and tranquil ambiance. From the pristine sandy beaches that stretch for miles to the picturesque fishing villages and quaint historic towns, this region embodies a sense of serenity and simplicity. The Eastern Shore is where time seems to slow down, allowing visitors to reconnect with nature, immerse themselves in maritime history, and embrace the genuine hospitality of the locals.

The Eastern Shore is a sanctuary for nature lovers, history enthusiasts, and those seeking a slower pace of life. Its unspoiled beaches, scenic coastal marshes, and charming waterfront communities invite exploration and provide a refuge from the demands of everyday life. Whether you're strolling along the shoreline, sampling fresh seafood, or delving into the region's captivating history, the Eastern Shore offers a unique blend of natural splendor and cultural heritage. So come, and immerse yourself in the beauty of the Eastern Shore, where the ebb and flow of the tides match the rhythm of a more relaxed and authentic coastal experience.

Colonial Parkway: A Historic Passage through Virginia's Colonial Heritage

A sunny Spring morning view of winding and scenic Colonial Parkway at one of its many brick bridges in Colonial National Historical Park.
Colonial Parkway and one of its many brick bridges in Colonial National Historical Park. Image credit Sean Xu via Shutterstock.

The Colonial Parkway, a scenic roadway that spans 23 miles, serves as a time machine, transporting visitors to the colonial era of Virginia. Connecting three significant historic sites, Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown, this picturesque drive offers a glimpse into the region's rich history and cultural heritage.

The Colonial Parkway winds along the Virginia Peninsula, linking three pivotal sites in American history. This well-preserved roadway takes travelers on a journey through time, immersing them in the story of America's colonial beginnings. With its carefully designed architecture, stunning views of the James River, and access to iconic landmarks, the Colonial Parkway provides a unique opportunity to explore Virginia's colonial heritage and gain a deeper understanding of the nation's roots.

It stands as a testament to Virginia's significant role in shaping the history of the United States. While en route, passengers will be transported back to an era when the American colonies were taking shape. From the historic settlements of Jamestown, the capital of colonial Virginia, to the beautifully restored streets of Colonial Williamsburg and the decisive battlefield of Yorktown, the Colonial Parkway offers a captivating journey through the birth of a nation. Embark on this historic passage, where past stories come alive, and indulge in the rich heritage that shaped the United States as we know it today.

Blue Ridge Parkway: A Scenic Adventure along the Serene Blue Ridge Mountains

Blue Ridge Parkway in autumn.
Blue Ridge Parkway in autumn. Image credit Anton Ermachkov via Shutterstock.

The Blue Ridge Parkway, often referred to as "America's Favorite Drive," is a meandering ribbon of road that spans 469 miles, offering breathtaking vistas and a tranquil escape into the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. As one of the most iconic road trips in the United States, the Blue Ridge Parkway showcases Virginia and neighboring states' natural wonders, cultural heritage, and outdoor recreation opportunities.

The Blue Ridge Parkway is a scenic marvel that winds through the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, connecting Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. This awe-inspiring road trip takes you through towering peaks, lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and expansive meadows. With its carefully engineered design, the parkway offers countless overlooks, hiking trails, and opportunities to connect with nature, making it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and a gateway to the wonders of the Appalachian region.

A testament to the unspoiled beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains and offers an unforgettable road trip experience for travelers seeking serenity and natural grandeur. Visitors here will experience the incredible tapestry of ever-changing landscapes, from vibrant fall foliage to blooming wildflowers in the spring. The parkway's well-appointed visitor centers, picnic areas, and scenic overlooks provide ample opportunities to pause, breathe in the fresh mountain air, and appreciate the wonders of the natural world. Embark on this epic adventure along the Blue Ridge Parkway, where each mile reveals a new vista and nature's splendor awaits around every curve.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel: A Marvel of Engineering Connecting Land and Sea

Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel aerial shot.
Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. Image credit Main Focus Media via Shutterstock.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel is an architectural wonder that stretches 23 miles across the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, connecting the eastern shore of Virginia with the mainland. This engineering marvel is more than just a means of transportation—it is an iconic landmark that offers a unique experience, blending breathtaking views of the bay with the thrill of driving over and under the water.

This bridge is an incredible product of human ingenuity and a gateway to the beauty of the Chesapeake Bay region. Spanning the vast expanse of the bay, this remarkable bridge-tunnel complex stands as a symbol of connection, linking the Eastern Shore of Virginia with the rest of the state. Visitors on this journey will witness panoramic views of the bay, encounter diverse marine wildlife, and marvel at the sheer engineering feat of constructing a structure that seamlessly merges land and sea.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel is more than just a bridge—it is an experience that combines the thrill of a scenic drive with the awe-inspiring presence of the Chesapeake Bay. Whether a resident or a visitor to Virginia, crossing this iconic structure is always an adventure. From the excitement of driving through underwater tunnels to the serenity of overlooking the vast expanse of the bay, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel offers a unique perspective of the region's natural beauty. So, embark on this remarkable journey, where the merging of land and sea creates an unforgettable experience and reminds us of the power of human innovation.

Monticello Wine Trail: A Journey through Virginia's Premier Wine Region

Meadow run mill and general store building architecture with sign for wine tasting and storewide sale by Michie tavern near Thomas Jefferson Monticello estate
Meadow Run Mill and General Store Thomas Jefferson Monticello estate. Image credit Kristi Blokhin via Shutterstock.

The Monticello Wine Trail is a delightful and enriching journey through the heart of Virginia's wine country. Located in the picturesque Piedmont region, this trail encompasses over 30 wineries, each offering a unique wine-tasting experience. As you explore the vineyards and wineries along the Monticello Wine Trail, you'll discover the rich history, exquisite wines, and warm hospitality that make this region a must-visit destination for wine enthusiasts.

The trail meanders through central Virginia's rolling hills and scenic countryside, weaving together a tapestry of vineyards and wineries. Named after Thomas Jefferson's beloved estate, Monticello, this trail pays homage to his vision of establishing Virginia as a prominent wine-producing region. Today, it stands as a testament to the region's viticultural success. It offers visitors an opportunity to savor a wide range of exceptional wines, from classic varietals to unique blends, while immersing themselves in the beauty of the surrounding landscapes.

The Monticello Wine Trail offers an unforgettable wine-tasting experience where history, nature, and viticulture converge. Whether you're a seasoned wine connoisseur or a curious novice, the trail invites you to sample the fruits of the region's labor and explore the unique terroir that gives each wine its distinctive character. With its scenic vineyards, charming wineries, and passionate winemakers, the Monticello Wine Trail provides a captivating journey through Virginia's premier wine region. So, raise a glass, savor the flavors, and toast to the enduring legacy of winemaking in the heart of Virginia.

George Washington Memorial Parkway: A Scenic Journey Through History and Nature

George Washington Memorial Parkway sign along trail
Trail on George Washington Memorial Parkway. Image credit stockphotofan1 via Shutterstock.

The George Washington Memorial Parkway is a scenic roadway that winds along the banks of the Potomac River, connecting historic sites, picturesque landscapes, and outdoor recreation opportunities. Named in honor of the first President of the United States, this iconic parkway offers a captivating journey through history and nature, highlighting the region's beauty and commemorating the legacy of George Washington. From stunning river views to access points for hiking, biking, and picnicking, the George Washington Memorial Parkway invites visitors to be immersed in its timeless charm.

The parkway is a testament to the rich history and natural splendor that graces the region surrounding the nation's capital. Stretching from the iconic Arlington Memorial Bridge to George Washington's Mount Vernon estate, this scenic roadway provides a convenient transportation route and a gateway to the region's historic sites, cultural landmarks, and recreational opportunities. As you drive along the parkway, tourists will be in awe of the captivating beauty of the Potomac River, surrounded by lush greenery, historic estates, and monuments that pay tribute to the nation's founding.

The George Washington Memorial Parkway uniquely blends history, nature, and scenic beauty. Whether exploring the historic estates, strolling along the riverfront, or enjoying a picnic in one of the parkway's scenic overlooks, this iconic roadway provides a remarkable journey through the past and present. While following in the footsteps of George Washington, tourists gain a deeper appreciation for the region's heritage and be captivated by the stunning landscapes cherished for centuries. The George Washington Memorial Parkway truly is a treasure that invites visitors to explore, connect, and be inspired.

Virginia's Eastern Highlands: A Natural Haven of Serenity and Beauty

Appalachian Mountains, Kentucky and Virginia State Line, scenic sunset
Appalachian Mountains on the Virginia-Kentucky state line. Image credit anthony heflin via Shutterstock.

Virginia's Eastern Highlands is a captivating region of rolling hills, verdant valleys, and picturesque landscapes that exude a sense of tranquility and natural beauty. Nestled in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, this beautiful area invites visitors to explore its scenic wonders, indulge in outdoor adventures, and explore the region's rich cultural heritage. From the iconic Shenandoah National Park to charming small towns and hidden gems, the Eastern Highlands of Virginia offers a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

This hidden gem showcases the state's natural splendor and rugged charm. With its stunning vistas, meandering rivers, and lush forests, this region offers a serene retreat for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. The Appalachian Mountains paint a breathtaking backdrop, providing a playground for hiking, camping, and wildlife spotting. Amidst this scenic beauty lie quaint towns and villages, each with unique character and rich history waiting to be discovered. Whether seeking solitude in nature or craving a glimpse into the past, Virginia's Eastern Highlands promise an unforgettable journey of exploration.

Virginia's Eastern Highlands is a land of captivating beauty and timeless allure. Visitors will discover peace and rejuvenation while exploring its winding trails, breathe in the fresh mountain air, and enjoy its rich cultural heritage. Whether marveling at the vibrant autumn foliage, savoring the flavors of locally produced wines and cuisine, or simply finding solace in the tranquility of the mountains, the Eastern Highlands of Virginia offers an escape from the ordinary and an invitation to reconnect with nature and oneself.

Final Notes

Virginia's scenic road trips offer an escape into a world of natural wonders, historic sites, and captivating landscapes. From the awe-inspiring views along Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway to the serene beauty of Virginia's coastal regions, each road trip presents a unique opportunity to discover the hidden gems of the Old Dominion.

Whether visitors delve into the rich history of Colonial Williamsburg, savor the flavors of Virginia's wine country, or soak in the tranquility of the Eastern Shore, these road trips will leave everyone with cherished memories and a deep appreciation for the beauty that abounds in Virginia. So hit the road and embark on these extraordinary adventures through Virginia's scenic landscapes, where every turn promises a new, breathtaking discovery.


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