Natural Treasures

National Parks Within A Short Drive Of Coastal Virginia

April 19–27 is National Park Week, a time to celebrate American citizens’ birthright—more than 84 million acres of natural and historic treasures unmatched anywhere else on the planet. National Park Service officials waive admission fees during the first weekend of the observance, providing ample incentive to pack up the car and head to any of the national parks within a short drive of Coastal Virginia. Already seen all these? Visit for more ideas and information.

1. Shenandoah National Park: Nearly 200,000 acres of wilderness along the northern spine of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Skyline Drive, as well as numerous hiking trails, lead to some of Virginia’s most breathtaking scenery.

2. Wright Brothers National Memorial: You’ve probably enjoyed the Outer Banks’ beaches, but here is an opportunity to take in the birthplace of manned flight, along with the best view in Kill Devil Hills, before all the summer tourists land.

3. Richmond National Battlefield Park and Petersburg National Battlefield: Walk among the silent battlefields where the events of our nation’s greatest crisis played out 150 years ago.

4. Colonial National Historical Park: Make a day (or two) of two significant elements of the American story—Historic Jamestowne, first permanent English settlement in America, and Yorktown Battlefield, where hardscrabble patriots secured our independence.

5. Assateague Island National Seashore: Virginia is home to the country’s longest stretch of coastal wilderness along the Atlantic seaboard. Assateague gives visitors a chance to see firsthand a barrier island unspoiled by development.

Categories: Around the Region