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Virginia

For adults

Our most recommended Virginia Things to do for adults

Mount Vernon: George Washington's Estate with Audio Guide

1. Mount Vernon: George Washington's Estate with Audio Guide

Embark on a tour of George Washington’s estate with the aid of an audio guide. Explore the grounds and learn about the life and legacy of America’s first president. Wander the estate’s four gardens and admire the landscape that Washington designed. Learn about the lives of the enslaved community at Mount Vernon. Look inside the outbuildings to see where they made tools, spun textiles, and processed food. Meet heritage-breed farm animals, including sheep, hogs, and oxen. See costumed interpreters demonstrate farming techniques (from April to October), and step inside George Washington’s treading barn. See the final resting place of George and Martha Washington, where wreath-layings are held daily, and visit the slave memorial that commemorates the enslaved people who lived and worked at Mount Vernon. Watch the American Revolution come to life in a 4D theater where it snows every day. Test your leadership skills in the interactive experience that puts you in Washington’s boots during a moment of crisis. Admire artifacts on display including the chair that George Washington used throughout his presidency, portraits of the Washington family, and objects discovered through archaeological research. Visit George Washington’s Distillery and Gristmill (only on weekends from April - October) to see where grains from Washington’s farms were ground to create flour and cornmeal, and where Washington’s whiskey is still made today.

Colonial Williamsburg: Self-Guided Walking Tour

2. Colonial Williamsburg: Self-Guided Walking Tour

On this self-guided walking tour where an app is your guide, narrator, and map all in one, explore Colonial Williamsburg, a beautifully restored colonial town full of actors living out the lives of 18th-century Americans. Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app that will function as your personal guide, audio tour, and map all in one. Your tour begins at Colonial Williamsburg’s visitor center just north of the town center. As you walk south, you’ll learn about the earliest residents of Williamsburg and the Native Americans who called this place home when the first European settlers arrived. The first major landmark you’ll arrive at is the Peyton Randolph House, a gorgeous home dating back to 1715. Its former owner was a key revolutionary figure, though you might not have heard about him in school. Next, arrive at the Fife and Drum Building, where you’ll learn about the importance these simple instruments had during battles. If you’re lucky, you may also catch a performance of Colonial Williamsburg’s very own fife and drum band as they march through town. Continuing onward, hear about the origins of the Colonial Williamsburg museum project, including how America’s first billionaire, John D. Rockefeller, bankrolled the whole thing. Afterward, you’ll see the Public Gaol, a grim prison that once held prisoners incarcerated for everything from petty theft to murder. It even held But would you Blackbeard’s pirate crew while they waited to be executed. Up next is Bassett Hall, the lavish estate where Rockefeller lived while overseeing the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg. Then, it’s on to the old Capitol Building, where Virginia once declared independence from Britain, just 4 days before the Declaration of Independence was signed. The next stop is Raleigh Tavern. During the 1700s, this tavern’s unassuming facade hid secret revolutionary meetings within. Next, come to the Williamsburg Magazine, an old munitions storehouse. Learn the dramatic tale of a standoff between British troops and Williamsburg residents on the eve of the revolution. As you make your way to the Play House Stage, a recreation of one of the country’s oldest theaters, you’ll hear a few spooky stories about ghost sightings that have taken place throughout Williamsburg. After that, you’ll reach the Governor’s Palace, where Virginia’s Royal Governor ruled over the people of this state, that is until he was forced to flee in the dead of night. Then, see two of the town’s most historic structures: the George Wythe House and the Bruton Parish Episcopal Church. The George Wythe House was home to a signer of the Declaration of Independence who was also a staunch abolitionist. Bruton Parish Episcopal Church predates the town itself and is the whole reason for the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg. Finally, make your way to the historic campus of the College of William & Mary, the nation’s second-oldest university. Finish your tour by seeing one of Williamsburg’s oldest and most impressive buildings and learning a little about the college’s controversial history.

Shenandoah National Park: Self-Driving Audio Guide

3. 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.

16 National Parks Self-Guided Driving Tours Bundle

4. 16 National Parks Self-Guided Driving Tours Bundle

Start any of these tours by downloading the app that will function as your personal guide, audio tour, and map all in one. This bundle includes: Grand Canyon Yellowstone Grand Teton Rocky Mountains Great Smokies and Blue Ridge Parkway Shenandoah Acadia Sequoia and Kings Canyon Joshua Tree Arches Bryce Canyonlands Capitol Reef Zion Grand Staircase Monument Valley Marvel at a mile-deep crack in the earth at the Grand Canyon. Tour the rim, hike eye-popping trails, and learn how this awe-inspiring landscape formed. Watch Old Faithful erupt in Yellowstone, but don’t stop there! See Grand Prismatic, observe the nation’s largest bison herd, get the truth about the Yellowstone supervolcano, and more! Travel to new heights in the Grand Teton mountain range, offering unbelievable vistas, dramatic mountain passes, and tons of history. Explore Colorado’s dramatic Rockies, from gorgeous vistas to the enormous Bear Lake. Plus, learn how this park exists thanks to some very capable women. Discover why Great Smoky is the most-visited national park. Find sparkling waterfalls, verdant hiking trails, and a rich Cherokee heritage. Plus, explore little-known Civil War history at Cades Cove. Cruise through tree-filled mountains on the Blue Ridge Parkway and Shenandoah’s Skyline Drive, both of which offer perfect wilderness sights as well as plentiful wildlife and legends. Get in touch with nature at Acadia, one of the greenest places in the country. Or visit in the fall for a truly unforgettable display of autumn foliage! Visit living giants in Sequoia, home to the largest trees on Earth. Then go beyond those groves to Kings Canyon, boasting dramatic vistas for those seeking the perfect photo op. Cruise through Joshua Tree, where two deserts meet. See great desert hikes, wacky Dr. Seuss-like trees, and some of the best sunsets you’ll ever see. Discover the gravity-defying wonder of Arches, named for impossible rock formations millions of years in the making. Hear how they formed and what they meant to the tribes who lived here. Marvel at the towering hoodoos which dot Bryce Canyon. Dive into the legends behind them, including the harrowing tale of giants who were turned to stone. Visit the staggering beauty of Canyonlands, home to the stunning red desert and more canyons than you can shake a stick at. Stand atop breathtaking vistas, find a piece of history at Aztec Butte, and much more. Tour remnants of a pioneer town in Capitol Reef. Explore striking contrasts as you move from harsh desert to verdant orchards! See why Mormon pioneers thought Zion was heaven on earth! Visit natural wonders from towering rock temples to emerald pools and a hiking trail like no other. Unearth hidden secrets at the Grand Staircase. Visit a petrified forest, sparkling waterfalls, and sweeping vistas. Plus, learn about dino fossils found here! Visit the spot where Forrest Gump ended his famous run at Monument Valley! Explore this valley’s jaw-dropping mesas and spires which made it Hollywood famous.

Colonial Williamsburg: Scavenger Hunt Audio Guide Tour

5. Colonial Williamsburg: Scavenger Hunt Audio Guide Tour

Embark on an educational and fun-filled audio tour of Colonial Williamsburg. Visit a series of important locations including Peyton Randolph House, Basset Hall, and more, and hear about their significance. Look out for clues to answer trivia questions in the included tour app. Your scavenger hunt-audio guide adventure through Colonial Williamsburg begins at the visitor center. From the visitor center, head to the Peyton Randolph House and check it out. Hear then about the connection that John. D. Rockefeller has with this town and how he helped in restoring it. From there if you prefer you can visit the public jail, or move towards Basset Hall and then come back to the jail later. On this part of the tour, hear about several buildings where revolutionaries met and discussed the idea of independence. Learn then about the Magazine. Some trivia questions will pop up while you are taking the tour. You can either answer the questions and advance ahead on the tour or you can skip the questions if you like. Pay attention to your surroundings for clues to answer the questions. Some other attractions on the route are the Governor’s House, George Wythe House, and Bruton Parish Episcopal Church. The tour will end on the William and Mary School campus.

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What people are saying about Virginia

We enjoyed 3 Hours of relaxing immersion in the beautiful historic surroundings of Mount Vernon. Walking back through the forest trail was particularly enjoyable and connected us to nature. It was as if we were transported back in time.

Little hard getting started with app but got the hang of it on about the 4th stop. Overall good self guided tour. I'd certainly use it again on future adventures.

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.