Here are the best activities to do and places to explore in Virginia
Not sure what to do this summer? The city of Lynchburg and the state of Virginia have several exciting places and activities to explore during your summer vacation.
Ice cream is a summer classic, and Lynchburg offers a variety of places to beat the summer heat with this dessert. Whether you choose to go to Mister Goodies for a swirled ice cream cone or Rookie’s to get an ice cream cookie sandwich, you’ll enjoy a cool, sweet treat in the warm sun.
A short drive from Liberty’s campus is Tiny Town Golf — an 18-hole mini golf course in Lynchburg off Timberlake Road. You can play during the day or at night with their glow in the dark golf on Friday and Saturdays. Another fun option is TopGolf in Virginia Beach where you can play and innovative, high-tech game of golf and enjoy an appetizer or meal between games.
West of Lynchburg, the city of Roanoke is home to one of the most popular local attractions, the Roanoke Star. The Roanoke Star sits on Mill Mountain and is the largest man-made star in the world. It’s illuminated every night and is a great place for fun photo-ops after your Krispy Kreme pitstop.
If you want a more educational experience, then go visit Appomattox Courthouse, which is a historical park 30 minutes east of Lynchburg. This is where the Confederate Army surrendered at the end of the Civil War in 1865. The park is surrounded by beautiful scenery with rivers to stroll down and open spots to have a summer picnic.
Natural Bridge State Park is another historical landmark showcasing the 215-foot-tall Natural Bridge, which is a limestone gorge carved out by Cedar Creek flowing underneath it. Aside from walking under the Natural Bridge, there are seven miles of hiking trails to explore, including Cedar Creek Trail, the Saltpetre Cave, the Monacan Indian Village and the 30-foot-tall Lace Falls.
“There’s a lot of stuff in Virginia history-wise,” junior Kandis Renee Spratley said. “I have lived here my whole life and still haven’t seen everything.”
For the outdoors enthusiasts, one of the most popular activities in Virginia is to go hiking. Some favorite locations include Sharp Top Trail, Cole Mountain and Devil’s Marbleyard. You can get some exercise and enjoy a beautiful view after you’ve made it to the top. Just remember to stay hydrated on your way up and down.
If you’re really looking for a thrill, take a drive to Washington D.C. to visit Six Flags America. There, you can experience all their thrill and water rides as well as their events like live shows and restaurant dining. While you’re in D.C., take a walk and tour various U.S. monuments, such as the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, U.S. Capitol and The White House. On your way back from D.C., drive down the East Coast to visit one of the dozens of beaches, including Virginia Beach, to soak in the ocean and sun.
Aurora Keefe, a junior studying in psychology counseling and interdisciplinary studies, listed the beach as her favorite summer destination.
“Who doesn’t like the beach?” she said. “Even if sand and water aren’t your thing, there’s tons of shops, culture and food to experience.”
Also, near the East Coast in Williamsburg is Ripley’s Believe It or Not, a family entertainment center. It is known for its Odditorium where you can find the weirdest of exhibits and one-of-a-kind artwork. Other attractions include a 4-D theater, laser race and mini-golf.
These are just some of the exciting things you can do this summer in Virginia, but it’s a great place to start. For more ideas on where to go in Virginia, visit Virginia.org. Let the summer adventures begin!
MARSDEN is a feature reporter.