Road Trip in Virginia

VA Road Trip
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For decades, Virginia has followed its popular slogan “Virginia Is for Lovers" due to the state's firm belief that it represents a strong sense of loving life and feeling passionate about travel.

Those who live in or who've traveled the state probably couldn't agree more, but if you're planning your first Virginia road trip (and all the exciting destinations the state has to offer), you need to cover a few important basics, first.

We've outlined some of the most important factors for you below.

Driving in Virginia

Before you start mapping out your travels through Old Dominion, you must make sure you and your vehicle are legal.

You're likely already well aware your car insurance and registration documents must be valid and stored in your vehicle—readily accessible should an officer ask to see them.

Let's take a closer look.

U.S. Citizens

A visiting adult with a valid driver's license can legally drive in Virginia.

However, a visiting teen must check his or her current state's permit or license regulations against those of Virginia's.

For example, let's say your home state uses a Graduated Driver License (GDL) program and you've reached a permit stage that allows you to drive unrestricted; understand this doesn't necessarily mean Virginia will recognize the driving privileges your home state affords you.

Before you hit the road, contact the Virginia DMV to learn more about the state's driving regulations for teens and how your current permit or license privileges line up with those of Virginia's.

Major Roads in VA

Virginia roadways vary from major interstates to dusty country roads -- and everything in between.

The DOT provides Virginia Roads, an extensive website that provides everything from express lanes and scenic roads to travel advisories and weather conditions.

Similarly, numerous interstates run through Virginia, and the DOT provides Virginia Interstates, a website that allows you to both see the interstates' locations on a state map, as well as select a specific interstate for information about length, tolling, other connected states, and more.

From the DOT's Virginia Interstate Exits, you can choose the interstates you'll be traveling and find their exits' numbers, intersects, and associated cities and counties.

Welcome Centers and Rest Areas

Occasionally, every traveler needs to stop and take a break. Check the DOT's section on Safety Rest Areas and Welcome Centers to find the mile marker and location of each area, as well as the various amenities (e.g. restroom facilities, vending, pet-friendly areas) the centers offer.

Virginia Road Trip Destinations

Now, for the good stuff!

Like many of its surrounding states, Virginia offers numerous outdoor adventure opportunities such as mountain bike riding, hiking, rock climbing, winter sports such as skiing, and camping throughout various state and national parks.

Of course, the commonwealth is rich with U.S. history. For example, you might be interested in the Arlington National Cemetery, which was established during the American Civil War and is the final resting place to thousands of eligible U.S. armed forces veterans and family members, as well as other notable gravesites such as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Many tourists seeking less somber destinations are drawn to attractions such as the Metro Richmond Zoo, the award-winning Busch Gardens theme park, and Virginia Beach – which actually offers three beaches for visitors to enjoy the bay, islands, and resort accommodations.

For more information about the many intriguing travel sites throughout the state, visit the Virginia Travel Guide, where you'll find help with planning your trip from guides and directories to places to stay and current entertainment events.