Where to have a relaxed vacation in Virginia?

Aug 1st, 2009, 03:36 PM
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Where to have a relaxed vacation in Virginia?

We're considering attending the Nascar races in Ricmond, VA on September 11- 12th.
We'd also like to take a week to relax and explore some of Virginia. We enjoy local cuisine, small towns with unique shops, historical sites - would prefer (this portion of the trip) to avoid large cities and traffic. We're torn as which direction to go; West to mountains, East to the sea, or stay in the center. We've not visited Virginia before (only attended race at Martinsville!) in this manner. Any suggestions for a relaxing vacation?
HotWheels is offline  
Aug 1st, 2009, 04:44 PM
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For relaxation and scenic beauty, you can't beat the mountains to the West. My first choice would be the lodges along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Second choice would be Big Meadows Lodge on the Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park.
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Aug 1st, 2009, 06:50 PM
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We've heard Fredricksburg is an interesting place to visit, as well as Monticello. Is it an easy drive from Richmond?
What city would you suggest staying in along the way to the mountains?
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Aug 1st, 2009, 07:07 PM
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Sorry to say that although I grew up in Richmond, I've never been to Fredericksburg and have no idea what there is interesting. But if I were heading to the mountains, which is certainly a good choice, I'd go via Charlottesville and visit Monticello. It's a short trip, maybe a couple hours at the most (never been from Richmond to C'ville since the Interstate was finished, though I have been both places from elsewhere). You could get from Richmond to the Parkway or Skyline Drive without stopping for a night since it's not all that far, but if you want to visit Monticello, it would probably be more relaxing to spend a night there.

Williamsburg is only about an hour from Richmond and is a pleasant/interesting place to spend a couple of days if you've never been there. In a week, you could do a couple of days in Williamsburg, then take 64 to Charlottesville and see Monticello, and spend the remaining time in the mountains.
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Aug 1st, 2009, 07:15 PM
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Assuming we would fly into Richmond and work our way west, is there another airport in VA or NC that we could fly out of?
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Aug 1st, 2009, 07:35 PM
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We did the trip you are planning but in the opposite direction, by flying into Greensboro and flying out of the Richmond area (actually we used the Newport News airport instead of Richmond). Anyway it worked really well. So you could fly into Richmond and return home from Greensboro airport, that way you would be seeing the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway. Also, we stayed half way from Richmond to the mountains in Charlottesville, which is very close to Monticello. The University of Virginia is also a great place to visit in Charlottesville.
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Aug 2nd, 2009, 08:59 AM
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Thanks for all your help! It gives us a good place to start planning...
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Aug 2nd, 2009, 06:27 PM
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There's an airport in Roanoke if you stay on Skyline Drive, one in Asheville if you do the Blue Ridge Parkway. Both could be a little more expensive, you'll have to check, but would be more convenient than Greensboro, which is maybe 3 hours from the Parkway. Asheville is right on the Parkway and a very attractive city in its own right. You could also visit the Biltmore Estate, which is very interesting and would fit in with your historic site interest.
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Aug 2nd, 2009, 07:18 PM
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Ditto on Ascheville for flying in or out of for the Blue Ridge Parkway but since it's a smaller airport rates will be higher than the major airports. If it's within your budget, it would be ideal.
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Aug 3rd, 2009, 07:36 AM
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Thanks for your suggestions - we have visited Asheville twice in the past and enjoy the area (did our flights from Charlotte), but would like to explore areas new to us this trip in VA or NC. If we chose to go East towards the sea rather that West, or into NC, what would you suggest we stop to see?
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Aug 3rd, 2009, 08:13 AM
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If you go east, ------Historic Williamsburg and Jamestown.
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Aug 3rd, 2009, 09:01 AM
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Charlottesville, Charlottesville, Charlottesville.

Montereybob covered the reasons: the University, Monticello, the Blue Ridge Parkway. It's a little over an hour from Richmond.
BigRuss is offline  
Aug 18th, 2009, 07:41 PM
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We've made our choices, thanks to your help! After the races, we're spending two days in Williamsburg, on to Charlottesville
Skyline Drive, around to Fredricksburg, then back to Richmond before flying out. We'll post a report when we get back!
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Aug 19th, 2009, 05:21 PM
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I'm in Williamsburg, HotWheels, so let me know if you need any recs for dining, etc.
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Aug 23rd, 2009, 06:02 AM
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I'm sorry I didn't see this thread sooner, b/c I see you've decided . . . but for the future, or for anyone else, let me recommend my absolute favorite Virginia getaway spot.

It's the small Shenandoah Valley town of Staunton, Virginia.

Staunton(pronounced "STAN-ton") has:
- World's only recreation of Shakespeare's indoor theatre, the Blackfriars, at which the American Shakespeare Centre does year-round repertory performance of Shakespeare & non-Shakespeare plays, to professional standard, in period style (meaning no scenery). I go down at least twice a year to see multiple shows in a weekend. (Judi Dench has visited and praised it.)
www.americanshakespearecenter.com
- Adorable little downtown with at least a half-dozen worthwhile restaurants and several coffee shops
- Saturday morning farmers' market downtown
- *Great* small B&B/inn in the downtown: Frederick House. Wonderful breakfast, lovely hosts, 2 minute walk from theatre
- Woodrow Wilson home and museum adjacent to downtown; Museum of American Frontier Culture on the outskirts
- Good no-frills Southern-cooking place, Mrs. Rowe's, near the interstate
- Easy access from DC (about 3-3.5 hours, straight out I-64W and then down I-81S)
tahl is offline  
Aug 24th, 2009, 03:24 PM
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Tahl, don't you mean out I-66 from DC?
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Aug 25th, 2009, 08:01 AM
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Ack -- yes, of course I do, ronkala, thanks! (I-64 runs east-west across VA, connecting for instance Richmond to Williamsburg.)
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