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Virginia Nature & adventure

Our most recommended Virginia Nature & adventure

Williamsburg: Busch Gardens Ticket & Water Country Option

1. Williamsburg: Busch Gardens Ticket & Water Country Option

Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia, is the world’s most beautiful theme park, as voted year after year since 1990. Wander through the classic European themed and artfully landscaped villages, resembling the Parisian streets of France, the hamlets of Scotland and the Oktoberfest celebrations of Germany. Explore all nine villages centered around six countries. Kids can sing with Elmo, feed a lorikeet and ride between mom and dad on a thrilling kid coaster all in the same day! After catching one of the many entertaining shows, head over to award-winning roller coasters inspired by Old World legends like the Apollo, the Griffin, and the Loch Ness monster. From virtual reality to carousels, everyone one in the family will find an activity they love and create cherished memories to think back on for years to come! Animal Exhibits: Spend some time at Highland Stables and take part in a celebration of centuries-old Scottish traditions. Interact with blackface sheep and their border collie guardians. Enjoy demonstrations of traditional herding and hunting methods. Visit Eagle Ridge to meet some gutsy American Bald Eagles, each one a survivor of injuries that left them unable to live on their own in the wild. Hear their inspiring stories and feel the sense of awe that travels with these majestic birds. Stroll through Lorikeet Glen and make a bunch of new friends as colorful birds glide down to greet you from the branches of a fascinating, free-flight aviary. Go beyond the haunting calls and piercing eyes of the mysterious gray wolf in Wolf Valley. Learn what you can do to help these important ancestors of modern-day canines survive and thrive. Theme Park Rides: Take a ride on Alpengeist, one of the tallest, fastest and most insane roller coasters in the world. Before you can say "boo" the floor drops beneath your feet, so get ready for what many coaster enthusiasts still call the ride of a lifetime. Experience the mind-bending climbs and weightless wonder of floating airtime at Apollo's Chariot, one of the mightiest coasters of all time. Hop on the classic Loch Ness monster which hurls its passengers along 3,240 feet of steel track into the air, over water, and through a dark cave. Join the bravest of ride warriors and challenge yourself to the 205-foot, 90-degree, 75 mph free fall of Griffon, a heart-pounding, tour de force roller coaster.

Chincoteague: Assateague Island Sunset Boat Cruise

2. Chincoteague: Assateague Island Sunset Boat Cruise

Discover Assateague Island on a sunset cruise leaving from Chincoteague Island, Virginia. Learn about the many animals native to the island, including the wild horses that roam freely here, and watch as the sun goes down over this unspoiled landscape. Hop aboard Misty, a coastguard-certified vessel, and set out towards Assateague Island. As you sail, listen to live narration, learning about the history of Assateague and Chincoteague Islands from your local guide. Look for dolphins and bald eagles, watch shorebirds such as ospreys, terns and pelicans fly by, and keep an eye out for wild horses along the shoreline. Marvel at panoramic views of the island, made more spectacular by the warm glow of the setting sun. Keep your camera on hand to capture wonderful photos of your wildlife sightseeing cruise. Your boat trip comes to an end back at the town boat harbor on Chincoteague Island.

Norfolk: Virginia Zoo & Battleship Wisconsin Combo Ticket

3. Norfolk: Virginia Zoo & Battleship Wisconsin Combo Ticket

Experience the best of Norfolk, Virginia with the Passport to Fun. With these specially-issued passes, you can explore Norfolk's Battleship Wisconsin, known as the world’s largest and last battleship. Uncover the power of the sea and marvel at maritime science and history at the Nauticus Museum. Step inside the Hampton Roads Naval Museum and discover the history of the United States Navy in Coastal Virginia.  Go wild at the Virginia Zoo and see tigers, lions, and bears. Explore and learn about different habitats and the way that animals live in the wild. Enjoy discounts on a dozen museums, tours, area attractions, and shops with a discount booklet.

From Chincoteague Island: Assateague Island Boat Tour

4. From Chincoteague Island: Assateague Island Boat Tour

Discover Assateague Island on a pontoon cruise leaving from Chincoteague Island. Learn about the many animals native to the island, see the Assateague Lighthouse, and discover the island's fascinating history. Jump aboard Misty, a pontoon boat, on Chincoteague Island, and head over to Assateague Island. As you sail, hear about the history of Assateague and Chincoteague Islands from your local guide. Keep an eye on the shore to see the famous wild horses cantering and an eye on the water for dolphin and bird sightings. Sail past the Assateague Island National Seashore and Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge as you relax and learn about the legendary wild horses. Continue past the Assateague Lighthouse before returning to Chincoteague Island.

Richmond: Guided Hike in James River Park

5. Richmond: Guided Hike in James River Park

Set out on a 4.5-mile guided hike through the natural beauty nestled within downtown Richmond. Admire the rushing water of James River from pedestrian bridges. Across the river, catch a glimpse of bygone eras with ruins on Belle Isle and see the repurposed Pipeline Walk on Brown’s Island.  Meet your guide and begin your tour by crossing the James River, pausing to admire the Class IV rushing rapids of Richmond’s waterway from one of the city’s unique pedestrian bridges. Next, you’ll explore the Manchester Climbing Wall Park, built on top of 150-year-old train bridge ruins.   Continue your hike along the path on Belle Isle. The trails here lead past ruins that hearken back to the Civil War and the industrial age. Soak up the tranquility of the surrounding nature, then cross a second pedestrian bridge to discover the city’s hidden gem on Brown’s Island, the Pipeline Walk.

Shenandoah National Park: Self-Driving Audio Guide

6. Shenandoah National Park: Self-Driving Audio Guide

Explore the Skyline Drive of Shenandoah National Park on a self-guided driving audio tour. Discover some of the beautiful scenery and learn about local history with commentary provided on the app. Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app that will function as your personal guide, audio tour, and map all in one. Begin at the northern end of the park, just outside Front Royal. From here, proceed south onto Skyline Drive and get your first good look at the Shenandoah Valley. The first trail you’ll reach is the Fox Hollow Trail, a great beginner hike with some intriguing history along the route. After passing the Dickey Ridge Visitor Center, arrive at the Signal Knob Overlook, offering not just some incredible views, but also a glimpse into Appalachia’s Civil War history. As you continue south past a few more great overlook points, you’ll hear about Shenandoah’s tribes dating all the way back to the Ice Age. Then you’ll get your first good look at the famous Appalachian Trail, where the nation’s most hardcore hikers test their mettle. Continuing on, learn all about the Iroquois Confederacy, the Iroquois Wars, and what happened when Europeans arrived in Shenandoah. Reach the Stony Man Mountain Trail, a perfect spot for inexperienced hikers or families to get in some steps. That’s followed closely by the Limberlost Trail, featuring educational brochures for younger travelers. Up next is Crescent Rock Overlook, a phenomenal spot to watch the sunset. But don’t worry if the sun’s not setting as you reach it—the views are still spectacular. Drive toward the next pair of great overlooks and hear how the park actually came to be, including how the Great Depression played an important role. At the Point Overlook, up next, you’ll find out all about the rich history of the deceptively humble town of Elkton. Then it’s on to the Bearfence Mountain Trail for the more adventurous and experienced hikers. Beyond that is the South River Falls Trail, offering up-close views of a stunning 83-foot waterfall. Continuing on past another few overlooks where you’ll definitely want to snap some photos. Arrive at the Blackrock Summit Trail, offering the chance to hike just a small portion of the Appalachian Trail to see what all the fuss is about. After a picture-perfect overlook of Crimora Lake, you’ll come to Calf Mountain Overlook, another beautiful spot to catch the sunset. Your tour will conclude just past here, at Rockfish Gap.

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What people are saying about Virginia

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 5 reviews

Unfortunately because of the time of year, we could not see the horses as we wanted. But our guide helped find a hidden herd that we could see at a distance. Very knowledgeable of the area, waterways, and dolphins plus native birds. Enjoyed every minute of the tour.

The app was easy to download and run. The information was interesting and different from park literature focusing more on the human history of the area.

Had a great time but I do wish there was an option online for the quick que to be purchased with ticket. All in all, great time.

The most beautiful amusement park we've ever been to! Both according to me and my 11-year-old daughter.

I enjoyed walking through the ship It was a nice experience