Every corner of Virginia offers an experience that you might be surprised to find. Don’t be caught off guard! Here’s your list of 14 things to bring with you on vacation in Virginia.
1. Cork Screw – Virginia has more than 230 wineries and quite a few wine trails. You’re sure to come across more than a few in your travels, so stop and taste the best of what’s around. Have a cork screw with you for picnics or wherever your path may lead.
2. Guitar Pick – Even if you don’t play, you’ll have the chance to strum a note or two when you travel The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail. Traversing nearly 300 miles through the Blue Ridge Highlands and Heart of Appalachia, the Crooked Road is your go-to destination for authentic old-time, bluegrass and folk music, not to mention some of the finest handcrafted instruments in the world.
3. Oyster Shucking Knife – Virginia is a hot destination for oyster lovers. So much so, that it’s becoming known as the oyster capital of the East Coast. Taste the distinct difference seven oyster regions bring to the table when you attend an oyster festival or simply dine locally.
4. Growler – Craft beer has exploded in Virginia with more than 60 breweries serving their finest ales in on-site tasting rooms and local restaurants. A couple of trails exist or you can try our suggested Howlers & Growlers tour.
5. Binoculars – Bird watching is especially enjoyable in Virginia as much of the state is part of the Atlantic Flyway, a major migratory route. Read more about Virginia’s Birding and Wildlife Trail.
6. Ear Plugs – Virginia is fortunate to have two major NASCAR tracks and one major road course, all hosting multiple national events annually. In addition, Arena Racing USA is the only indoor stock car league in the country, and you can see these half-scale stock cars speed around Richmond Coliseum.
7. Moist Towelette – People who are serious about barbecue will no doubt sample and argue over which BBQ Joint is the best in Virginia (our list is up to 20!). From Food Network and Southern Living to simple local acclaim, these dining destinations won’t let you down.
8. Hiking Shoes – Miles and miles and miles of hiking trails lead to waterfalls, amazing panoramic vantage points, and sheer Virginia solitude. See Hiking in Virginia, a compilation of Facebook and Twitter fan feedback about favorite hikes.
9. Rain Suit or Bandana – Big boy toys are meant for girls, too. Everyone loves ATVing once they let loose and try it. Bring a rain suit in case your ride occurs during the rainy spring season (mud, anyone?!), or a bandana to cover your mouth and nose during drier conditions. Get dirty at one of 8 Virginia ATV Destinations!
10. Water Bowl and Leash – Have a pet? Come on and travel Virginia. An increasing number of accommodations are welcoming pets into their environment. Check out Virginia is for Pet Lovers for pet-friendly travel info.
14. Camera App – What vacation would be complete without memories captured and shared on Instagram, Flickr, Twitter and Facebook? We want to see your amazing time, so tag your fun vacation photos with #LOVEVA!
Can you think of other things to bring for a uniquely Virginia vacation? Name it! We invite you to leave a comment and share your thoughts.
Virginia is for Lovers.
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One last thought … 14 souvenirs to bring home from Virginia:
1. Chincoteague Pony (yes, you can!)
2. NASCAR lug nut
3. Corks from conquered bottles of wine
4. Empty oyster shell
5. Photo of you on a roller coaster
6. Growler, shot glass or wine glass from your liquid adventures
7. Video of you flatfootin’ at Floyd Country Store
8. Bag of peanuts
9. Sea glass from Tangier Island
10. Bottle of Virginia moonshine
11. A cooler of fresh Chesapeake Bay blue crab
12. Freshly harvested Highland County maple syrup
13. Craft beer bottle caps
14. Any officially branded Virginia is for Lovers™ merchandise! Find a retailer.
© Casey for Virginia’s Travel Blog, 2014