VIRGINIA TRAVEL GUIDE
Navigate the Virginia travel guide:
Like this? Share it with others!
WELCOME TO VIRGINIA!
Virginia – the “Old Dominion”, is the 35th largest state in the USA and home the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Monticello and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Entered into the USA as the 10th state (although it is called a Commonwealth), Virginia’s capital is Richmond, and its largest city is Virginia Beach.
Virginia is home to Jamestown, the first English settlement in the U.S., Colonial Williamsburg, the largest Naval base in the U.S., the birthplace of 8 U.S. presidents, Patrick Henry’s famous “Give me Liberty or Give me Death” speech, the Pentagon (the largest office building in the world), tobacco, and peanuts.
Virginia has all forms of transportation, including Carpoolworld, Uber, Lyft, and other possible regional ridesharing services and apps (research in advance if they are in your destination area). There are also taxis and rental cars, of course.
In addition to U.S. holidays, Virginia may observe additional state or local holidays. It may be a good idea to check what state or local holidays they celebrate to see if there are any public service, school, or other closures as this may impact your tourist itinerary, ability to obtain travel or other services, or it could mean more tourists and/or higher prices in your Virginia destination! Take a few moments to see if there are any holidays specific to Virginia to better help you plan your trip.
TIPPING IN VIRGINIA
See tipping guidelines in my USA Travel Guide for tipping in Virginia.
VIRGINIA TRAVEL BOOKING
VIRGINIA ECOTOURISM TIPS
There are ways to reduce your eco and carbon footprint through air travel, accommodations, tours, and activities in Virginia. To help avoid greenwashing businesses, here are some eco-friendly or sustainable travel (also called responsible travel) tips and resources, you can use to book your travel.
ECO-FRIENDLY AIR TRAVEL
Skyscanner provides a ‘Greener flights’ filter highlighting flights that emit less CO2.
Purchase carbon offsets through your airline or through a third party, like MyClimate.org, Carbonfund.org, or terrapass. Carbon offsetting allows you to buy a certificate to reduce carbon emissions, a major contributor to climate change, which in turn contribute community projects across countries to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
ECO-FRIENDLY GROUND TRANSPORTATION
When booking a rideshare in Virginia, select the Uber Green option, instead of a traditional rideshare, to support the use of electric cars and carpooling for cleaner transportation in Virginia.
Look for accommodations with the following self and third-party assessed certifications when you book:
Green Globe – Green Globe certifies hotels, resorts, conference centers, transportation, attractions, tour operators, and other tourism businesses globally on sustainable operations and management. Look for USA Green Global members.
Green Key Global is an internationally recognized environmental certification for the lodging and meetings industries, including hotels and hostels, campsites and holiday parks, restaurants and attractions in 65 countries. Search for Green Key awarded sites.
Living Building Challenge – if you want to stay in a true, sustainable building, find one certified by the Living Building Challenge. LBC’s certification directory shows all project types globally. Hopefully they will put in a filter soon to allow searching by hotels or hospitality type.
LEED Certified – the USGBC’s LEED Certified label on buildings, like many of the Marriott’s hotels, are those that have verifiably employed multiple and varying green building strategies to improve human and environmental health. Search the LEED directory for USA certifications.
GSTC Certified – the Global Sustainable Tourism Council provides global standards for sustainable travel and tourism, as well as international accreditation for sustainable tourism Certification Bodies. Booking sites that offer GSTC certified sustainable are bookdifferent, EcoHotels, and Transat.
Another way to find an establishments implementing eco-friendly or sustainable practices, certified or not, is through Booking.com in which you’ll need to find and review each establishment’s ‘Sustainable Initiatives’ within the booking process. Starting 2022, however, you’ll be able to filter searches for accommodations with the Travel Sustainable badge. Finally!
MORE ECO-TRAVEL TIPS
VIRGINIA SAFETY TIPS
HOW TO TRAVEL VIRGINIA SAFELY
Please see my U.S. travel tips. In addition, if you are planning on going hiking, backpacking or doing any other activity that will take you into remote places, please ensure you research the local travel and weather advisories in advance and respect warnings not to travel; let people know where are you going and provide them your itinerary; and, ensure you have safety and emergency measures provided for in your travel belongings.
VIRGINIA BUDGET TRAVEL TIPS
BEST TIME TO VISIT VIRGINIA
Virginia is blessed with four, full seasons. June to early September has the hottest and most humid weather and winter can be downright cold December to early March, making winter the cheapest time to visit Virginia, with the exception of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. The autumn (mid-September to November) and spring (mid-March to May) provide the best weather and still decent prices to visit. It would be within these months I recommend visiting Virginia in order to avoid tourist crowds and higher prices, yet have nice weather to enjoy the outdoors.
I’ve lived in Virginia on and off for about half of my life. Although I’m a West-Coaster, I have grown to really appreciate Virginia and all it has to offer. Autumns are my favorite season, as I’m sure you can understand with the beautiful foliage color changes. Virginia is diverse, from the Blue Ridge Mountains to Virginia Beach to the D.C. area. If you have not been to Virginia, I encourage you to visit and try to hit the triangle of areas I’ve listed – they are amazingly different from each other yet each is beautiful, fun, and educational.