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mount vernon plantation

Did you know that Virginia hosts more than 108 million tourists each year? That's an impressive number, but it's not surprising given the state's rich blend of historical sights, natural beauty, and family-friendly activities. As a father, you might be wondering where to take your son on a memorable road trip around this fascinating state. Well, you're in the right place. From the recreated 18th-century city of Colonial Williamsburg to the breathtaking views in Shenandoah National Park, we've picked out six destinations that are sure to make your journey unforgettable. But why limit yourself to our list? Virginia's attractions are as diverse as they are abundant. So buckle up and get ready to uncover the hidden gems that await you on your next father-son adventure.

Tips To Make Your Virginia Father & Son Road Trip Awesome

While we've picked six spots that were - and are amount my favorite spots to visit in Virginia when I was a kid growing up. It is important to focus on the experience of the road trip itself too. After all, each dad and son will have unique interests and passions to explore. So, take the following into account when planning your trip ...

Check Your Vehicle (or consider a rental):

The first step for a successful road trip is to make sure your vehicle is in tip-top shape - after all, you don't want to end up needing a towing service when you have reservations for dinner that you are already late for. Another idea is to rent a vehicle - for instance, get a Mustang convertible or a truck to make the trip extra special.

Build In Plenty Of Extra Time Between Stops:

While there are big destinations you'll plan your trip around, it's likely you'll drive by a fruit stand that has some great-looking peaches or a roadside attraction somewhere that makes you want to stop. Without planning for extra time you won't be able to visit those spots and sometimes it's those unexpected treasures that make the trip uniquely special.


Virginia is 42,775 square miles, one of the biggest states in the country!


Have Important Conversations Exploring Together To:

Part of being a dad is discussing sensitive subjects about history, politics, injustice, etc. with your son and helping him form opinions that will ultimately shape who he becomes as a man. While touring Virginia, there are plenty of opportunities to have these conversations - especially about race relations, the legacy of slavery, as well as the founding principles of the United States, and why this country is so uniquely important to world history.

With those tips in your pocket, it's time to head out on our Virginia road trip to explore the state together ...

Start at Colonial Williamsburg

Begin your unforgettable father-son road trip in Virginia at the historical gem of Colonial Williamsburg. This is not just a collection of museums and old buildings, it's a dynamic tribute to America's past. Here, you'll experience an environment that authentically replicates the 18th century.

Historical enactments will draw you in, as you observe the events of our nation's founding unfold in real time. Experience the excitement of witnessing key moments from the American Revolution, from passionate discussions held by the Continental Congress to the clash of bayonets on the battlefield.

Get involved! Participate in trade demonstrations, where you can try your hand at blacksmithing, carpentry, or even 18th-century cooking. This hands-on history experience will provide a shared adventure for you and your son, creating a unique bond as you both delve into your shared past.

Colonial Williamsburg is more than a location. It's an adventure. It's an opportunity for you to learn, interact, and feel a sense of belonging. It's an ideal starting point for your Virginia road trip, setting the stage for a journey full of history, learning, and shared experiences.

Next Stop: Shenandoah National Park

Once you've fully appreciated the deep-seated history of Colonial Williamsburg, it's time to venture north to Shenandoah National Park. This park is an oasis of natural splendor and outdoor exploration that sprawls across the undulating Blue Ridge Mountains. Shenandoah promises exciting experiences for you and your son to delve into.


Skyline Drive is the only public road running through Shenandoah National Park and is widely considered one of America's most beautiful scenic drives.


The park is teeming with remarkable wildlife; spotting deer, black bears, and a variety of bird species in their natural environment is part of the allure. Numerous hiking trails intersect throughout the park, providing an opportunity to connect amidst awe-inspiring scenery. For those who favor a more relaxed pace, Shenandoah also features stunning drives such as the Skyline Drive, a 105-mile route that traces the mountain crests and offers breathtaking panoramic vistas and overlooks.

This is not merely a park; it's an adventure you share with your son. It's about engaging with the marvels of nature, educating your son about wildlife, and forging memories that will last a lifetime. Whether you're trekking a trail, observing wildlife, or just taking in the scenic drives, Shenandoah National Park provides an experience that will deepen your bond. It's more than a spot on a map; it's a place where you feel at home.

Discovering Luray Caverns

Situated not far from Shenandoah National Park, the enchanting Luray Caverns awaits your visit. This underground maze of caves is a significant historical site, recognized as one of the oldest and most visited caves in Eastern America.

Here's why Luray Caverns should be on your bucket list:

  1. Stalactites and Stalagmites: The sheer size and intricate patterns of these cave formations will leave you in awe.
  2. Reflection Pools: The calm waters mirror the formations above, offering an otherworldly experience.
  3. The Great Stalacpipe Organ: This extraordinary instrument creates music through stalactites, a sound you can't find elsewhere!
  4. Historical Significance: More than its natural allure, Luray Caverns takes you on a journey through Virginia's geological past.

Walking through this natural marvel, you'll feel part of a vast, mysterious world hidden beneath the surface. It's an adventure that will bring you and your son closer, making it a memorable journey. Don't let this breathtaking experience pass you by!

Exploring Virginia Beach

As part of your father-son adventure, the dynamic and lively Virginia Beach is your next stop. With its beautiful coastline, numerous attractions, and rich history, it's the perfect location to make lasting memories together.

The plentiful surfing opportunities at Virginia Beach will excite you. No matter your experience level - whether you're seasoned surfers or beginners ready to ride your first wave - there are suitable spots for everyone. The excitement of catching a wave together will be a memorable part of your trip.

Don't forget to try the delectable seafood cuisine. Virginia Beach is known for its fresh, locally-grown seafood, offering a unique gastronomic experience. From crab cakes to clam chowder, you'll enjoy the ocean's offerings. Be sure to have a meal at a beachside shack, where you watch the sun set as you enjoy your food.

In Virginia Beach, you'll feel like part of the community, not just tourists. So, get involved in the local culture, make shared memories, and strengthen your bond during this remarkable trip.

Last Destination: Mount Vernon Estate

Wrapping up your Virginia trip, the historic Mount Vernon Estate awaits. This is a place where you can delve deep into the life of America's first president, George Washington. More than just a historical landmark, the estate is a symbol of our shared past that you and your child can investigate and appreciate.

While at the Mount Vernon Estate, you'll find a range of activities to keep you both entertained:

  1. Mansion Tours: Experience the grand mansion that George Washington once called home. It's an engaging history lesson that's both entertaining and instructive.
  2. Historical Artifacts: Get a chance to see authentic artifacts from the 18th century, offering a physical link to America's history.
  3. Gardens and Grounds: Take some time to wander through the well-kept gardens and grounds, an ideal location for a parent-child picnic.
  4. Pioneer Farm: Understand 18th-century farming methods at the estate's operational farm.

Extend Your Road Trip With A Sea Trip From Norfolk

Extending your father-son road trip with a cruise out of Norfolk could be the perfect way to relax and bond after your adventures in Virginia. Norfolk offers a variety of cruises via Carnival Cruise Line, including trips to the Bahamas and Bermuda. This addition to your journey allows you to unwind on the Atlantic, enjoy shipboard entertainment and dining, and create more lasting memories together.

Other Awesome Destinations To Consider Including On your Virginia Road Trip

Virginia is an incredible state to explore on a road trip and has so many sights and destinations to explore together as a father and son. Here are some other quick ideas to consider ...

  1. Manassas National Battlefield Park: Walk through Civil War history at this preserved battlefield.
  2. James River Plantations: Tour the historic homes along this scenic byway.
  3. Yorktown Battlefield: Walk the grounds of the final major battle of the Revolutionary War.
  4. Blue Ridge Parkway: Known as "America's Favorite Drive," it offers stunning vistas and outdoor activities.
  5. Udvar-Hazy Center: Explore a huge collection of aviation and space artifacts, including a Space Shuttle.
  6. Monticello: The iconic home of Thomas Jefferson, showcasing revolutionary design and architecture.
  7. James Madison's Montpelier: Visit the estate of the fourth U.S. President, nestled in beautiful rolling hills.
  8. Natural Bridge State Park: Features a natural limestone arch and scenic hiking trails.
  9. Richmond's Museums: Explore a variety of museums including the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the American Civil War Museum.
  10. Chincoteague and Assateague Islands: Known for wild ponies, beautiful beaches, and wildlife refuge.
  11. Great Falls Park: Offers dramatic views of the Potomac River's cascading rapids and waterfalls.
  12. The Historic Triangle: Includes Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown, important colonial and revolutionary-era sites.
  13. Old Rag Mountain: A popular hiking destination with rewarding summit views.
  14. James River Plantations: Explore historic plantations along the James River.
  15. Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center: Features marine life exhibits and an adventure park.
  16. Arlington National Cemetery: The nation's most hallowed ground, home to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
  17. Busch Gardens Williamsburg: A European-themed amusement park with thrilling rides and entertainment.
  18. Skyline Drive: A 105-mile road that runs the length of Shenandoah National Park.
  19. Virginia Discovery Museum: A great place for kids to learn through interactive exhibits and activities.
  20. Virginia's Wineries: Tour and taste in Virginia's scenic wine country.
  21. NRA National Firearms Museum: View a vast collection of firearms from different eras.
  22. Assateague Lighthouse: Historic lighthouse with beautiful views of the coast.
  23. Mariner’s Museum and Park in Newport News: Offers maritime history exhibits and a scenic park.
  24. Appomattox Court House National Historical Park: See where the American Civil War came to an end.

Written by:
#MenWhoBlog MemberBlogging GuruThought Leader

James' passion for exploration and sense of duty to his community extends beyond himself. This means he is dedicated to providing a positive role model for other men and especially younger guys that need support so that they can thrive and be future positive contributors to society. This includes sharing wisdom, ideas, tips, and advice on subjects that all men should be familiar with, including: family travel, men's health, relationships, DIY advice for home and yard, car care, food, drinks, and technology. Additionally, he's a travel advisor and a leading men's travel influencer who has been featured in media ranging from New York Times to the Chicago Tribune, and LA Times. He's also been cited by LA Weekly "Top Travel Bloggers To Watch 2023" and featured by Muck Rack: "Top 10 Outdoor Journalists for 2022".

He and his wife Heather live in St Joseph, Michigan - across the lake from Chicago.