Virginia is rock-solid proof that a family vacation can be both educational and fun. Millions of visitors flock to the "mother state" every year to learn about America's rich colonial history; take advantage of the mild climate and the many activities it affords; and spread out along vast stretches of beautiful Atlantic Coastline.
Step into the past and see how America began. Visit some of the many structures from the colonial period reconstructed on their original sites. Authentic colonial homes, a town jail (with authentic stocks), taverns, and shops are among the buildings you can view here.
Want to take on a more active role? You can. "The Revolutionary City" is a daily, two-hour event where you can play a role in the shaping of a new America. But history isn't the only attraction. Nearby Busch Gardens offers modern thrill rides for the whole family. Plus, Virginia Beach is only about an hour's drive away.
The No. 1 reason to come to Virginia Beach is, of course, the beach. Here you'll find miles and miles of beautiful white sand, thanks in part to past sand replenishment and hurricane protection efforts (3.5 million cubic yards of sand were added to Virginia Beach alone).
Then, when you add an energetic boardwalk, parasailing, and a wide range of other water sports activities, you have a coastal showplace that everyone will enjoy.
Frankie's Ribs and More (Virginia Beach). Barbecue aficionados covet Frankie's famous baby back ribs - and chicken, steaks, shrimp, hamburgers, and fresh fish.
The Peanut Shop of Williamsburg. Stop in for hand-cooked Virginia peanuts or a genuine Smithfield ham at this must-stop specialty shop. Gift baskets are available for every occasion.
Aromas Coffee and Café (Williamsburg). Williamsburg's only Old World coffeehouse serves up more than just a fine cup of java. Stop in for a full breakfast, lunch, or light dinner on your way to or from the historic sites.
The Virginia Beach Neptune Festival. This famous festival carries on throughout the summer before culminating in the Virginia Beach Boardwalk weekend (the last weekend in September). Surfing and sandcastle building competitions, fireworks displays, and an air-show are just a few of the events on the calendar.
Busch Gardens Europe (Williamsburg). Named the "World's Best Theme Park" in the 2006 Theme Park Insider Awards, this fun-filled destination includes dozens of exciting rides and attractions. The latest: Griffon, the world's tallest floorless dive coaster.
The Virginia Aquarium (Virginia Beach). The largest aquarium in Virginia takes four or five hours to explore, but the more than 300 amazing exhibits make it worth your while. The Aquarium is a short drive from the beach.
Bassett Hall (Williamsburg). Built between 1753 and 1766, this two-story farmhouse once was the Williamsburg home of John D. Rockefeller Jr. The property underwent an extensive renovation from 2000 to 2002. Like most other buildings, sites, and trade shops in Colonial Williamsburg, Bassett Hall is open most days from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Atlantic Avenue (Virginia Beach). Visiting this stretch of souvenir shops is an important part of virtually every Virginia Beach vacationer's itinerary. The shopping corridor starts where Atlantic Avenue meets 31st Street.
Merchants Square (Williamsburg). Beautifully presented, this 18th century style retail village features more than 40 shops and restaurants.