Unique and Unusual Things to Do in Virginia


From the scenic beauty of the Blue Ridge Parkway to the quirky President Heads, this state offers a blend of natural wonders, historical mysteries, and cultural oddities. 

Whether you’re a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or someone who enjoys the road less traveled, Virginia’s off-the-beaten-path destinations provide unforgettable experiences. Let’s delve into some of these unique attractions, each with its own charm and story.

Experience the Beauty of the Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway, known as “America’s Favorite Drive,” is a 469-mile road that offers breathtaking views of the Appalachian Highlands. This scenic route is especially magical during the fall when the foliage transforms into a vibrant palette of colors. The Parkway is open year-round, though some sections may close in winter due to weather. With no admission fee and full accessibility, it’s a perfect way to experience Virginia’s natural beauty. Don’t miss the Humpback Rocks at milepost 5.8 for a short hike with rewarding views.

While exploring Virginia’s scenic wonders, it’s reassuring to know that support, such as that provided by a Virginia Beach car accident lawyer, is available to travelers and residents alike, ensuring peace of mind amidst the beauty of the Commonwealth.

Haunted Discoveries at the Weems Botts Museum

The Weems Botts Museum, located in Dumfries, is rumored to be one of Virginia’s most haunted locations. This historic home-turned-museum has a fascinating past, once serving as the office for Parson Weems, the biographer of George Washington. Ghost tours are available, offering a glimpse into the paranormal activity that many claim to experience. The museum is open from May through October, with a small admission fee. It’s a must-visit for those intrigued by Virginia’s ghostly tales.

Step into Cinema History at the Renowned Exorcist Stairs

Film enthusiasts will recognize the Exorcist Stairs in Georgetown as the iconic location from the 1973 horror classic “The Exorcist.” These steep steps were the site of the film’s climactic final scene. Today, visitors can test their courage (and stamina) by climbing the stairs themselves. Accessible at any time and free to the public, the Exorcist Stairs are a unique photo op for movie fans and thrill-seekers alike.

Visit Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna offers a serene escape with its beautifully landscaped gardens, walking trails, and lakes. The Korean Bell Garden, featuring a traditional Korean Bell of Peace and Harmony, is a highlight. The gardens are open year-round, with an admission fee that supports conservation efforts. It’s a picturesque spot for nature lovers and those seeking a peaceful retreat.

Drug Enforcement Administration Museum

The DEA Museum in Arlington provides an intriguing look into the history of drug enforcement in the United States. Exhibits cover everything from the opium dens of the 1800s to modern-day efforts to combat drug trafficking. The museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday, offering free admission. It’s an unusual yet educational experience that sheds light on the complexities of drug enforcement.

Drive The Crooked Road

The Crooked Road, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, takes visitors on a journey through the heart of Appalachian music country. This 330-mile trail features live music venues, festivals, and museums dedicated to preserving traditional American music. It’s an immersive experience for music lovers, showcasing the rich musical heritage of Southwest Virginia. The trail can be explored at your own pace, with no admission fees to drive the route.

Mount Trashmore Park

Mount Trashmore Park in Virginia Beach is a testament to innovative land reuse. This 165-acre park was created by converting an old landfill into a recreational space. It features two man-made mountains, lakes, playgrounds, and a skate park. Open daily with free admission, it’s a unique example of environmental transformation and a fun destination for families.

Selfie at The President Heads

In Williamsburg, an eerie collection of giant presidential busts sits in a private field, known as the President Heads. These 20-foot-tall sculptures were originally part of a presidential theme park. Today, they offer a surreal photo opportunity, though access may be restricted. Check with local guides or tours for the chance to visit and capture a selfie with these colossal presidential figures.

The Light of Truth and Universal Shrine (LOTUS)

The LOTUS (Light Of Truth Universal Shrine) in Buckingham is a stunning interfaith shrine dedicated to all the world’s faiths. Its unique lotus flower design and tranquil setting offer a space for meditation and reflection. Open to visitors daily with no admission fee, it’s a symbol of unity and peace amid the rolling hills of Virginia.

Virginia’s unique and unusual attractions offer something for everyone, from the natural splendor of the Blue Ridge Parkway to the haunting tales of the Weems Botts Museum. These destinations, each with its own story and charm, invite exploration beyond the typical tourist paths. Whether you’re drawn to the eerie allure of haunted museums, the cinematic legacy of the Exorcist Stairs, or the serene beauty of Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Virginia beckons with open arms. So pack your sense of adventure and discover the hidden gems that make this state truly special.

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Anthony Middleton

A former loser who took a risk. I now live in Chiang Mai, Thailand after visiting over 100 countries. Stay tuned for the next challenge against that clock!
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Hi, I'm Anthony!

In November of 2010, I took on a mammoth challenge against the clock in a quest to upgrade my miserable life. I went out of my comfort zone and turned it all around. Ten years later, I’m completely location independent…

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