18 Experiences You Must Experience When You’re Stationed in Virginia

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From the quiet Blue Ridges, to the Chesapeake Bay, to the hubbub of northern Virginia, to its southern beaches, if you’re stationed in Virginia, you’ll quite literally be able to find something entertaining and exciting for your family.

These cultural experiences are ones that you’ll definitely want to check out during your time in the commonwealth:

18 Cultural Experiences for Military Families Stationed in Virginia

Farmers Markets, Throughout Virginia

Virginia has a fantastic network of farmers markets throughout the week and weekend. Shop local and enjoy the delicious fruits and veggies from the state.

Blackfriars’ Playhouse, Staunton

Tucked into the sleepy town of Staunton, the Blackfriars’ is America’s most renown Shakespearian theater troupe and has the distinction of being one of the best in the world. They perform in the only replica of the Globe Theater in the country.

Not fond of Shakespeare? Their seasons always include a variety of works from different playwrights. Tickets begin at $15.

International Sandsculpting Championship, Virginia Beach

View museum-worthy sculptures made out of nothing but sand and water from some of the world’s best sand sculptors! Tickets benefit a nonprofit, cost $5 for adults and are free for children 12 and under.

Strawberry Festival, Pungo

Just a few miles outside of Virginia Beach, walk the small town streets of Pungo while eating a strawberry taco, strawberry shortcake or strawberry milkshake. The festival is one of the largest dedicated to the delicious strawberry in the U.S. There is no entrance fee and happens every May.

Wine Tasting and Brewery Tours, Western Virginia

Virginia has an outstanding amount of local wineries and craft breweries. From ones that are military-affiliated like Fidelis Beer Co. and Young Veterans Brewing Co., to those that are regionally and nationally known, like Devil’s Backbone, you’ll want to put together a few tours for yourself.

Mount Vernon, Alexandria

Tour the beloved home of George and Martha Washington on the outskirts of Alexandria. Pro tip: Enjoy the attraction on the tourist off-season and during the weekday if possible.

You’ll also want to grab brunch, lunch or dinner at the restaurant on the complex. If you want to get a full picture of George Washington’s life from child to adult, visit Ferry Farm and Pope’s Creek, his childhood home and birthplace, both of which are in Virginia.

Fredericksburg Downtown, Fredericksburg

Fredericksburg is a little town located off I-95, almost smack-dab between D.C. and Richmond. It’s a historic town that has been well-preserved, despite 4 years of being heavily occupied by both the Yankees and Confederates during the Civil War. Now, it plays host to gorgeous small businesses (quite a few of which are veteran-owned) and delicious local eateries.

You’ll also want to visit the Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Wilderness National Battlefields while you’re there.

The President’s Own Concerts, Throughout Virginia

For the music-lovers, you’ll want to make sure to catch a concert played by The President’s Own. The Marine Band tours Virginia (and the world) playing traditional and innovative concerts. Make sure you check out their schedule and head to at least 1 performance.

National Museum of the Marine Corps, Quantico

Need a break from the traffic on I-95? (Who doesn’t?) Pull off at Quantico and visit the National Museum of the Marine Corps (which is located next to, but not on, the Marine Corps base). The museum is both a solemn memorial and celebration of the USMC and is interactive and educational. Little-known fact: the building’s spire is built at the same angle of the flag raised at Iwo Jima.

Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg

Wander the recreated streets of one of the colonies’ most powerful cities as you stroll through Colonial Williamsburg. Colonial Williamsburg is military-friendly and will have no-fee days for military members during the year with discounts through MWR. Make sure you walk the campus of William & Mary, where Thomas Jefferson went to school. While you’re in the area, you can make use of free military tickets to Busch Gardens too.

Other Virginia Experiences of Note:

  • Civil War Battlefields, throughout Virginia
  • Skiing in the Blue Ridges, throughout Virginia
  • Monticello, Charlottesville (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
  • Natural Bridge, Rockbridge County
  • Shenandoah National Park/ Skyline Drive
  • Canal Walk, Richmond

If you’ve been stationed in Virginia, what experiences would you add to this list?

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