Take a drive down one of Virginia's four National Scenic Byways
The 23-mile Colonial Parkway connects important historical sites within Virginia's Historic Triangle. Free of commercial development, the Parkway is designed to provide an experience - that of motoring through more than 400 years of American colonial history. Sites to see include:
- Historic Jamestowne - the first permanent English settlement in the New World.
- Jamestown Settlement - a living-history museum of 17th-century Virginia history and culture explores the Virginia Indian, English and African cultures who came in contact in 1600s Virginia. There are extensive indoor gallery exhibits and outdoor full-scale re-creations of a Powhatan village, three 1607 ships and a colonial fort.
- Yorktown - one of America's outstanding small towns.
- Yorktown Battlefield - where America won independence during the climactic battle of the American Revolution.
- Yorktown Victory Center - museum of the American Revolution chronicles the struggle for independence from the beginnings of colonial unrest to the formation of the new nation. Features indoor gallery exhibits and outdoor re-creations of a Continental Army encampment and 1780s farm.
- Williamsburg - see some of Virginia's most popular attractions:
The 105-mile Skyline Drive winds along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains starting at Front Royal heading to Waynesboro, where it meets the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Blue Ridge Parkway
Known as "America's Favorite Drive," the 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway meanders from Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina.
The parkway follows the Appalachian Mountain chain and provides some of the most spectacular scenery in the world, ranging from 650 to 6,000 feet in elevation. Scenic overlooks, historic structures, walking trails and waterfalls are just some of the highlights along the parkway, including:
- Mabry Mill - one of the most photographed sites in the nation. Explore the mill, a blacksmith shop, wheelwright's and a whiskey still.
- Blue Ridge Music Center - features an amphitheater, where a Summer Concert Series is featured each Saturday evening June through September.
- Peaks of Otter - The Johnson Farm is a living history site during the summer. The Polly Woods Ordinary served as a lodging establishment for travelers in the early 1830s. Both are two structures reminiscent of a bygone era.
Historic towns entice side trips off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Check out ...
- Charlottesville - See Thomas Jefferson's estate, Monticello; James Monroe's Highland and the University of Virginia, founded by Thomas Jefferson.
- Lynchburg - One of Virginia's Main Street Communities - with four impressive residential districts featuring various architectural styles.
- Staunton - Another Virginia Main Street Community and home to the Frontier Culture Museum with four different historic farms moved from their country of origin and reconstructed at the museum site!
- Lexington - home of Virginia Military Institute, Washington & Lee University and Stonewall Jackson.
- Roanoke - "The Star City of the South" with its Center in the Square museums, Taubman Museum of Art, theatres and farmers' market.
George Washington Memorial Parkway
Just across the Potomac River from downtown Washington, D.C., is a Northern Virginia oasis in the heart of the nation's capital - the George Washington Memorial Parkway. It offers walking and biking trails set amid lush vegetation and a rolling landscape. Take the pedestrian bridge to Theodore Roosevelt Island, an 88-acre memorial to our 26th president.
- For more adventure along the parkway, check out Belle Haven Marina. It's home to the largest sailing school in Virginia!
- Just one mile north is Old Town Alexandria, a delightful colonial community with modern-day restaurants, shops and attractions:
Order your Virginia Scenic Byways Map
Last Updated: 12/14/2016