Virginia is for Lovers: Exploring cities throughout the state
We are fortunate to have family and friends spread throughout Virginia! Michael’s family and friends have lived in various cities of this scenic state. For hiking suggestion in the Blue Ridge, check our Asheville, North Carolina post! This is our roundup, thus far, from our trips throughout the state for lovers.
Fun things to do in Harrisonburg, VA
When we began dating in 2008, we lived 14 hours away from one another. I agreed to visit him during our summer break because he had flown down to see me for spring break. Upon arrival, we drove in his Jeep to meet the family. It was my first time seeing them in 9 years; I was nervous! We drove through the hillsides and winding curves of this small town and, at last, across train tracks to the cutest neighborhood I hadever seen. Their home was nestled between hills and valleys without fences to separate the neighbors. We arrived during a dreamy sunset!
We found some fun things to do in Harrisonburg, VA through the usual small town venues:
- Play in the George Washington National Forest:We could have played here for a week, skipping rocks & mud riding.
- Catch a movie
- Go Bowling
- Sleep under the stars
- Catch the sunset from a hill overlooking a valley
First time visit to Tysons Corner, VA
During my First time visit to Tysons Corner, VA, Michael wanted to take me to the place where he spent most of his youth. We drove 2 hours North and arrived in Loudoun County. We played around the three-story Tyson Corner Center Mall. This was the largest mall I’d ever been inside.
After shopping for 3 hours, we left the city in favor of the countryside for a firework show to celebrate the fourth of July. We parked at Firemen’s Field, and lying on the hood of the Jeep underneath a star-filled sky, watched bursts of red, white, and blue fill the night. Before flying back South, I knew Virginia would always hold a special place in my heart!
Here are some historical sights for your first time visit to Tysons Corner, VA:
1.Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts
2. Meadowlark Botanical Gardens
3. George Washington Memorial Parkway
First Time Visit to Leesburg, VA
On my first time visit to Leesburg, VA 3 years ago, we visited Michael’s best friend Ethan. He lives in a historic and charming town. We only had 2 days to enjoy with him before our stent to D.C. but he gave us the grand tour. We visited 3 or 4 breweries and had 1 of the best pizzas of our life! We retraced military steps and dined at sidewalk cafes. It was nice to be in a new town not overwhelmed with tourists. I also loved hearing Michael and Ethan gab about their childhood memories and old hangout spots.
Here are some ideas for your First time visit to Leesburg, VA:
- Town of Leesburg Parks – the Town of Leesburg’s Parks & Recreation Department maintains 16 parks throughout the Town, and offer ares of land to enjoy the great outdoors!
- Flower & Garden Festival – held annually on the 3rd weekend in April, the Flower & Garden Festival takes place in Downtown Leesburg.
- Play Bocce at the hidden bar of Shoe’s Cup and Cork
- Sip craft beer at Macdowell’s Brew
- Enjoy American eats with a vintage style at Leesburg Brewing
- Indulge in the best oven fire pizza at Fire Works
- Catch a live music show at Tally Ho Theater
First time visit to Richmond, VA
A few years ago, Michael’s family moved to Mechanicsville, just outside of Richmond. We have since visited twice. Here are some hotels that put you right in the action! Our first time visit to Richmond, VA took us to the James river, the capital building, and mile marker zero. The capital was built between 1785-1788 and designed by Thomas Jefferson. We went to the top of the James Monroe building and enjoyed panorama views of downtown Richmond.
We also let our inner child run free at a local amusement park. We headed to Kings Dominion, about 25 miles North of Richmond. We spent half a day jolting around on roller coasters and getting soaked on flume rides!
On our later visit, we played downtown again and joined in on the RVA festival. The summer arts festival was complete with a dog agility show, food trucks, hipsters slacklining, and live music. We strolled along the River walk and imagined our future life in Virginia (you know, if we decide to settle down). We retired at Capital Ale House for stouts and pretzels.
Michael and I ventured our way downtown to explore the Church Hill Historic District. We found Cuban coffee at Brewer’s Cafe, Edgar Allen Poe’s residence, a few microbreweries, and old factories renovated into apartment complexes. We strolled along the James river again, admiring sturdy kayakers paddling along at sunset.
Some breweries to try out on your first time visit to Richmond, VA:
- Triple Crossing
Brewing – Downtown
- Stone Brewing
- Champion Brewing
- Legend Brewing Co
Be Well and Travel Often!!
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