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Day trips

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Busch Gardens
For those who want a taste of 20th-century amusements, there’s Busch Gardens at Williamsburg for entertainment, rides, shops and restaurants and Water Country USA, a large water park.
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Luray Caverns
Best known of Virginia’s caverns, Luray is surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains and is minutes from the Skyline Drive
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Woodrow Wilson Birthplace and Museum, Staunton
One of the few Presidential birthplaces open to the public, is nestled within the Gospel Hill District, one of Staunton’s five National Historic Districts.
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Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest, Bedford County
This is the home Jefferson designed and used as his personal retreat.
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Kings Dominion Theme Park
Rides, shops, restaurants and entertainment. Includes water park.
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Alexandria
Old Town Alexandria’s historic area offers many adventures. The area also has many shopping options neatly packaged along several blocks of the often-bustline King Street. Walk and shop yourself into a frenzy. Then treat yourself to some gourmet ice cream at the Ben & Jerry's shop at the end of the street. History buffs may want to visit the Waterfront Museum, the Lyceum (center of Alexandria’s heritage and culture), the Carlyle House, Christ Church (regularly attended by George Washington and Robert E. Lee), the George Washington Masonic Memorial and Gadsby’s Tavern.
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Gunston Hall
The home of George Mason, father of the Bill of Rights, is at Lorton, off U.S. 1 on State Route 242.
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Morven Park Mansion, Leesburg
A 1,200-acre estate west of Leesburg, was home to two governors. The estate also has the Museum of Hounds and Hunting, a coach house and the Winmillcq Carriage Collection, which displays 25 vehicles including coaches, gigs, a hearse and steam pumper.
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Mount Vernon
The home of George Washington is on the bank of the Potomac River, eight miles south of Alexandria. Mount Vernon ( or ) has the most complete set of outbuildings of any museum house today. Now offers a 30-minute river cruise along the Potomac.
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Oatlands Mansion, Leesburg
The mansion was built in 1804 by George Carter, the great-grandson of Robert “King” Carter. The mansion is surrounded by four acres of formal gardens.
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Woodlawn Plantation
Located three miles west of Mount Vernon, the plantation offers the best of the old and the new. The plantation house was the home of Lawrence Lewis, George Washington's nephew and his wife, Eleanor "Nelly" Custis Lewis, Martha Washington's granddaughter.
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Monticello
Thomas Jefferson’s home sits just outside of Charlottesville. Monticello was built by Jefferson over a period of 40 years.
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Historic Michie Tavern
Located just below Monticello, the tavern, now a museum and general store, was built about 1784 near Earlysville, dismantled and moved to its present site in 1928.
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Ash Lawn–Highland
Located about two miles from the Michie Tavern, this was the home of James Monroe, who moved there at the urging of his friend Thomas Jefferson.
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University of Virginia
At U.Va., many tourists stroll the scenic campus. The main stop is the Rotunda, part of the original complex designed by Thomas Jefferson that was the library and hub of student activity when the university opened in 1819.
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Winchester
Apple Blossom Festival in April; Belle Grove, headquarters of Union Gen. Phil Sheridan in the Civil War; Burwell Morgan Mill; Confederate Lt. Gen. Thomas J. Stonewall Jackson's headquarters.
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Rappahannock River Cruises
Cruises on the Captain Thomas: from Tappahannock up the Rappahannock River, with stops at Leedstown and Wheatland. At Leedstown, passengers travel by bus to Ingleside Plantation Winery for tours, wine tasting and lunch.
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Reedville, fishing
Visit this fishing community at the end of the Northern Neck.
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Pamplin Historical Park
It is a 363-acre park off I–85 near Petersburg at 6125 Boydton Plank Road. It is on the site of the 1864–1865 Petersburg Campaign, and brings Civil War history to life through costumed interpreters, three museums utilizing the most advanced exhibit techniques.
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Stratford Hall Plantation
This is the ancestral seat of the Lees of Virginia, notably two signers of the Declaration of Independence, and the birthplace of Gen. Robert E. Lee.
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Richmond
Virginia’s capital, 50 miles south of Fredericksburg, features the Edgar Allan Poe Museum, St. John’s Church (where Patrick Henry made his famous “Give me liberty or give me death” speech), the White House of the Confederacy, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Valentine Museum, Maymont and the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens, among many other attractions. The Carytown shopping district presents dozens of independent shops and restaurants offerent items you won't find anywhere else.
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Hampton Roads
The area features the Nauticus National Maritime Center in Norfolk, which showcases ocean and maritime technology as well as shipbuilding and weather. Nauticus (757/664-1000 or 800/664-1080) is open 10 a.m.–6 p.m. daily in the spring and summer. Fall and winter hours vary, so call ahead.
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Virginia Beach
This popular area has 28 miles of beaches and diverse recreational facilities, restaurants and shopping.
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Williamsburg
Williamsburg offers a 173-acre historic area restored to its 18th-century charm.
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Jamestown
The Original Site is run by the National Park Service and includes excavations, exhibits and more.
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Westmoreland State Park
Park has a picnic area, an Olympic-size pool, fishing, paddle boats and hiking trails.
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Montpelier
Former home of President James Madison. Estate of 2,750 acres includes farmland, race courses, a large formal garden, a panoramic landscape, a National Landmark Forest and dozens of buildings.
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Natural Bridge of Virginia
In Rockbridge County, near Lexington, Natural Bridge is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. There are caverns and guided tours of the underground wonders, nature trails and a zoological park.
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Shenandoah National Park
A favorite in fall when motorists can enjoy the colors of the 105-mile Skyline Drive.
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Staunton
The Frontier Culture Museum features re-created farms typical of 17th- and 18th-century immigrants to the backcountry of the Upper South and Middle Atlantic region. Open 9 a.m.–5 p.m daily mid-March to Dec. 1; 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Dec. 1 to mid-March.
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Petersburg National Battlefield
Gen. Ulysses S. Grant led the Union Army against Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in a series of battles in the Petersburg region. They have come to be known as the Overland Campaign. The last of these fights was Cold Harbor, which dealt the Union a major loss. Afterward, Grant gave up on his plan to take Richmond with a direct attack.
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Arlington
Visit historic Fort Myer and Arlington National Cemetery.
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Children's Museum of Richmond
The museum features a variety of interactive exhibits for kids of all ages.
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Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Huge variety of national and international artwork on display. Provides a welcome alternative to the south for those looking to tour a high-quality art museum without fighting Northern Virginia traffic.
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