If you live in the Virginia Beach area and are in need of a break but an exotic getaway isn’t in the cards, may we suggest a home grown USA staycation?
Not only can you save money on airfare, but you also might just find some hidden gems right in your backyard. Here are a few we think you should add to your list when planning that perfect getaway near you.
1. Natural Bridge State Park
Virginia is home to many natural wonders, including a natural bridge made from a limestone gorge carved out by Cedar Creek. The Natural Bridge is located in Virginia’s newest state park and is surrounded by even more wondrous things.
While here, you and your family can walk through forests, run through open, rolling meadows and gaze upon mountain vistas. You can also hike miles of creekside trails, including the accessible Cedar Creek Trail that leads from the bridge to the Monacan Indian Village and Lace Falls’ 30-foot cascade!
If you want to learn more about the history of the area, there is a nearby visitor’s centre that has historical information, as well as exhibits and a gift shop to take some memories home with you.
Find out more about the Natural Bridge State Park here.
2. Red Wing Park
Located just 20 minutes from Virginia Beach, Red Wing Park is the perfect place to spend a day outdoors, away from the seashore.
This park has everything from tennis, basketball, racquetball and volleyball courts to horseshoe pits, playgrounds, picnic zones and nearby hiking areas. This 97-acre park is even home to numerous gardens, including the Reba S. McClanan Fragrance Garden and the Miyazaki Japanese Garden.
A great deal for locals who add this park to their staycation itinerary is there are special deals if you’re looking to reserve a picnic area for the day.
3. Sandy Bottom Bark Park
For many dog owners, finding the right place to leave your canine family member while you’re on vacation is stressful. Even if you’re staying local, it can be hard to leave your pet at home for long periods of time, which is why it’s such a relief to have places like Sandy Bottom Park.
This pet-friendly park is only a 40-minute drive from Virginia Beach, and has hours of fun in store for you and your furry friend. While there, your dog can run free on the three-fourths acre enclosure and socialise with other dogs. The Bark Park is located within the larger nature park that sits on a 456-acre environmental educational preserve that has a lake and nature centre for humans and pets to enjoy.
4. Bacon’s Castle
While bacon may be your dog’s best friend, or at the very least his favorite snack, you’ll need to leave him home if you plan on visiting Bacon’s Castle. But don’t worry, we think he’ll forgive you after he finds out bacon isn’t served.
However, your visit here will be quite enjoyable as you tour the only surviving example of Jacobean architecture in the United States and the oldest brick dwelling in British North America. This 9,300-square foot structure was built in 1665, and Major Arthur Allen, a loyalist supporter of the colonial government and member of the House of Burgesses, originally occupied it.
Allen, however, was driven from his house in 1676 by followers of the patriot rebel Nathaniel Bacon, in an uprising that became known as “Bacon’s Rebellion,” eventually giving the castle its name.
Even with the castle’s dark history, historians and restorers of the castle and lands around it have done a wonderful job creating a peaceful ambiance that includes a breathtaking view of the reconstructed 17th century garden that mirrors much of what it originally looked like.
5. The Beach
The interesting thing about living so close to a tourist attraction like Virginia Beach is that it often loses its allure. In fact, if you were to ask yourself how many times you’ve actually visited the beach, you may be surprised that it isn’t all that often.
During your staycation, take time to see what all the fuss is about. And if you’re worried about crowds, check out one of the less popular beaches like Sandbridge Beach. Here, you can enjoy the sand, waves and a cool drink, without all the people.
To make your staycation feel more like a relaxing vacation, make sure to stay at the Holiday Inn Va Beach-Oceanside, where you can still enjoy time away in your very own Virginia Beach backyard but not have to worry about making the bed every morning. Enjoy your Virginia Beach Staycation!