Virginia’s Prettiest Sites

Virginia is a beautiful state. With mountains, trees, waterfalls, history, and plenty of scenic drives, it makes for a spectacular place to visit and a lovely place to live. But what are the prettiest places? How do you decide what to see?

While I obviously think you may as well see it all, there realistically isn’t time for that. So here’s a list of five of Virginia’s prettiest, most worthwhile places to visit (in my humble opinion), in case you are interested.

So check it out!

1. Falling Springs Falls

This has to be number one for me. Hands down, this is one of the prettiest places I’ve seen anywhere in America, let alone in just Virginia (it even rivals Iceland and Mexico, which is saying a lot).

If you don’t like waterfalls, then I can understand why maybe you wouldn’t adore this site as much as I do, but the fact of the matter is that it’s absolutely stunning. Bathtubs of blue water pool at the top and the bottom of these falls, and all the surrounding plants are bursting with green life. It makes for some ideal photography (but be warned: there are now signs warning that you can be fined for approaching the falls beyond certain points).

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2. McAfee’s Knob

This is one of the most photographed sites along the entire Appalachian Trail and for good reason. It’s a relatively substantial hike (about 5-ish miles one way) that is well worth all the effort involved. The iconic knob doesn’t disappoint, and neither do the channel-like rock mazes you can explore at the hike’s summit.

Be aware of its popularity and don’t expect to enjoy the hike alone, but if you’re not afraid of a decent hike and some crazy heights, give this one a go.

3. Sharp Top Mountain

This 3-mile-round-trip hike is popular, and for good reason. It’s an intense walk up, including many steep inclines and a whole lot of stairs, but the 360-degree view you get at the top will take your breath away. You can see for miles in every direction on the top of Sharp Top Mountain. Even on cloudy days, you won’t be disappointed with the view.

You’ll never hike this one alone, though, thanks to its popularity. In fact, you just might end up going with a team of 100+ middle/high-school students by accident because everyone loves this hike.

4. The Channels

I haven’t written a post about this one, but I will, because it was fun. Before exploring this site, I thought you had to head well out West to wander through any sort of canyons, but this maze proved me wrong! While it’s nothing like the Grand Canyon or Angels landing, it’s a fun, alternative option for Virginia.

It’s a relatively long though not entirely difficult hike that rewards you with a maze of sand canyons to explore (and play Marco-Polo in, of course). If you’re looking for something different, give this relatively unknown spot a go.

(I’ll write a post about it eventually, maybe.)

5. The Blue Ridge Parkway

I’ve talked about the Parkway a bit. I think it’s lovely. Virginia has mountains and this is one of the places it gets showcased best. It runs over 469 miles through Virginia and North Carolina, linking the Shenandoah National Park with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There are tons of hikes (Devils Marbleyard, Apple Orchard Falls, Humpback Rocks, just to name a few) along this road, as well as outlooks and pitstops galore.

It’s a beautiful drive in the autumn with all the changing colors, in the spring and summer for ideal hiking and waterfall-swimming, and even in the winter, it displays its hidden treasures. You’ll get a good feel for Virginia if you give the Parkway a try.

 

So there’s my list! What’s yours?

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