Small Towns in Virginia

15 Small Towns in Virginia for a Relaxing Weekend Getaway

Virginia is known as the Old Dominion, home to the Revolutionary War and Civil War battles and, more recently, a favorite among surfers, craft beer and out-of-the-ordinary gourmet food. And with a land mass larger than all of the northeastern United States, Virginia is also home to some of the most varied landscapes in the country. From rolling hills to virgin forests to beaches, and beyond, you’ll find endless combinations of climate, history, and adventure in Virginia.

Small Towns in Virginia

If you’re thinking about trying some of the best that Virginia has to offer, you’re in luck: it’s easy to make your way down to Virginia. Whether you prefer to wander the urban centers of Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and Richmond, or simply try your hand at hunting, camping, and fishing, there is no shortage of activities that will tickle every part of your soul.

Here are 15 different small towns that offer an abundance of charming activities.

Waynesboro, Virginia

In the North American manner, Waynesboro is a town that lives up to its name. It offers hiking, fishing, excellent dining, and other activities in the process. And since many of the area’s best attractions are located in the town, this isn’t surprising at all. Of course, with a population of only about 10,000, the number of visitors you will get here may seem small. But by spending time exploring familiarly, you will find that Waynesboro feels as if you’re part of a special place.

A stroll along Main Street, the Main Street Arts District, or The Main Street Market will begin to demonstrate Waynesboro’s charms. Stop by Classic Cinema, one of the area’s best vintage movie houses, and catch a classic from the 1950s, a film that would be instantly recognizable to many. There is no charge for classic films, but the theatre is generally reserved for special events. In the meantime, stop by the Artisan’s Co-Op for a cup of coffee or a drink at the outdoor café, before catching a ride to Great Falls Park, just a short distance away.

Get to Great Falls Park for some of the best hiking you will find anywhere in the country, including stunning natural beauty. After hiking for an hour or so, start the walk back to Waynesboro, and stop by Spot of Tea and the Flower Barn for some delicious food. Stroll back to downtown Waynesboro for some browsing at the shops at Waynesboro Brewery and Meadery. Then, when you’re back in the downtown area, continue the party at the Firehouse Restaurant, before dropping into the Cheers bar and checking out the world-class show at Moth Light Factory.

Caryville, Virginia

The tiny town of Caryville, Virginia, with its American Beauty House Museum, offers some of the most beautiful landscapes you’ll find in Virginia. And with Virginia’s breathtaking Shenandoah National Park nearby, this is a destination that offers you a spectacular view of it all. Since Caryville is a relatively small town with fewer than 1,000 residents, you won’t need to worry about congestion at all times.

That being said, you won’t want to spend your entire visit here, either. If you have the time and the inclination, check out the Caryville Antique & Model Railroad Museum, where you will find thousands of pieces of model trains, antique train engines, and hundreds of other things you’ll never find anywhere else. While you’re here, stop in the Barking Dog restaurant for a meal, or just spend some time strolling around Caryville’s downtown area.

Rocky Mount, Virginia

With its historical buildings and unusual architecture, Rocky Mount is a place that will help you imagine what it was like in the days when this area was settled by settlers from England. Its upper town area was once home to the state legislature and now contains the state government buildings, most of which date to the Civil War.

To reach Rocky Mount from major roadways, you have several options. From I-64, you can take Exit 104 and head east on Rocky Mount Avenue. Turn left at East Gay Street, and go straight on to the 400 block of East Chestnut Street, where you’ll find the School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. While here, make sure you visit the late Cleve Galloway’s famous Battle Cross memorial.

Luray, Virginia

The small town of Luray is home to the Hermitage, a stone manor, built-in 1807 by Daniel Boone’s third wife’s family, the Barcoffs. At its peak, the manor was home to thirty-five members of the Barcoff family. The family lived at the Hermitage until 1942, and the mansion was used by the federal government as a rest home until the 1960s. The mansion is now open to the public for free and is surrounded by 2,000 acres of National Parkland.

For those interested in having a beautiful visit to the Hermitage, you can stop by Luray Caverns for a 45-minute cave tour, as well as take a bus tour of the Caverns. Luray is also home to several events that may pique your interest, including the Cherry Blossom Festival, the Black Cat Road Races, and various other events and festivals.

Yorktown, Virginia

Yorktown is home to the last major battles of the American Revolution, as well as a large number of historically significant buildings. The battle at Yorktown took place between June 1781 and September 1781 and marked the end of the American Revolution.

As a major military base, Yorktown is home to numerous historical sites, which give you a chance to learn about the American Revolutionary War and see historic buildings that have been repurposed as restaurants, museums, or bed and breakfasts. In addition to the battles at Yorktown, Yorktown is also home to the Yorktown Victory Center, where visitors can see exhibits about the Revolution, as well as a simulator that allows you to experience being at the Siege of Yorktown.

Cumberland, Maryland

Cumberland, Maryland, is home to Colonial Maryland, a vast area of historic sites and homes that includes many of the homes of George Washington, including the mansion he called Mount Vernon, a nine-room home built in 1758 and maintained by the U.S. National Park Service.

For more than 100 years, visitors could visit Mount Vernon and see the grounds and mansion, but now, the house is open only for special events. But to visit Mount Vernon, you can still visit the Washington Museum, which exhibits many of Washington’s items. Once you’re done touring the museum, you can walk through the barn where Washington stored much of his farm equipment and construction materials.

Cape May, New Jersey

Cape May is one of the most beautiful cities in New Jersey, and home to many historic sights and beautiful homes that have been preserved. Located on the Atlantic coast, Cape May is one of the oldest cities in the United States, with a large settlement dating to 1609.

Some of the most popular activities in Cape May are strolling on the beach, catching a movie at the in-town movie theater, and taking a trolley ride to the Cape May Lighthouse. There are also several art galleries to check out and coffee shops to enjoy.

Historic Alexandria, Virginia

Known as the “Queen City of the South,” Historic Alexandria is a town full of historic buildings that have been carefully preserved. Located on the Potomac River, Alexandria is the site of several historic sites, such as Jefferson’s Monticello and the home of Thomas Jefferson, his wife Martha, and their eleven children.

For those interested in visiting Jefferson’s house, tours are available in the summer months, and in the winter you can visit the house for an audio tour. For a less-formal visit, you can also visit the nearby United States Botanic Garden or visit the Joseph Hewes Tavern, which was owned by Founding Father Joseph Hewes and was the site of many political meetings.

Bluefield, West Virginia

Bluefield is known as the “City of Civilizations” because of its historic significance as a gateway to the Mountain South. Located in the Appalachian Mountains, Bluefield is home to the West Virginia State Capitol and the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts.

Most of the buildings in Bluefield have been restored, and there are many historic structures to explore, including the Home of the Good Shepherd Church, which was completed in 1908. Bluefield is also home to the Levis Commons shopping center, which contains unique restaurants and a vintage candy store.

Panama City, Florida

Panama City is the capital of Florida’s panhandle and is known for its bayfront beach and rich Civil War history. A museum and civil war park are located on the bayfront, and visitors can explore several of the local museums.

The city is also home to one of Florida’s oldest museums, the James O’Neill Museum, which is dedicated to the artist James O’Neill and his famous historical work “Panama City” (1882). The museum displays his works, paintings, and other artifacts, and has an extensive collection of works from other artists.

Cape Girardeau, Missouri

This small city is located on the Mississippi River and has been a focal point of the maritime history of the United States since the late 1800s. Visitors can explore the Chippewa National Heritage Park, which was founded in 2002 and includes several reconstructed American trading vessels, docks, and a jetty. There are also many parks and cultural destinations in the area to explore, including The St. Louis Cultural Center and its three large galleries and several smaller museums.

Wilmington, North Carolina

Wilmington is one of the largest cities along the eastern coast and has played a significant role in the shipping industry since the 18th century. The port has been the location of the United States’ oldest marine railroad, the Cape Fear Railroad, which was founded in the early 19th century and ran until the end of World War II. Wilmington’s historic buildings, including several large wooden churches and a country church dating to the late 1700s, make this town a great destination for any history buff. You can also take in some of Wilmington’s maritime history by visiting the USS North Carolina Museum and visiting the Cape Fear River Islands National Wildlife Refuge.

Dubuque, Iowa

Dubuque is a city located in Iowa’s northwestern corner. Built around the Mississippi River and the Port of Dubuque, Dubuque is known for its distinctive architecture, including several impressive stately homes built in the 1890s.

Some of the most well-known structures are the W.C. Heise House, built-in 1872, and the Riverside Historic District, an area comprising several turn-of-the-century brick buildings. The Mississippi River Scenic Byway also includes several historic bridges in this area, including the iconic Cedar Bridge.

Greenville, South Carolina

Greenville is a historic, antebellum South Carolina city located along the Waccamaw River. At the center of Greenville’s downtown is the Preservation Green, a large, tree-lined park surrounded by over 60 historic buildings, most of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In the park is the Bon Secours Wellness Arena, which hosts over 100 events per year, including the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, the South Carolina Stingrays, and the Big East college basketball tournament. Visitors can also tour several South Carolina state parks while they’re in the area.

Savannah, Georgia

Savannah is the oldest city in the southeastern United States. The city’s origins are believed to stem from an ancient agricultural settlement along the Savannah River, which was settled around 500 B.C. The city was important to the founding of the United States and the establishment of many of the early colonies.

The Liberty Bell makes frequent visits to Savannah, and visitors can tour the Olde Pink House Museum and Old Town, which includes buildings dating back to the 18th century. Visitors can also enjoy the nearby Chippewa National Heritage Park, which contains several reconstructed American trading vessels, docks, and a jetty.


These are 15 towns and cities in Virginia. There are lots more, of course, but if you’re looking for something to do during your next trip, these may be some of the best places to visit.

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