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Discover the Treasures of Outdoor Virginia

Recreation in the Old Dominion – From the Appalachians to the Coast

Thanks to its lush national parks, beautiful beaches and impressive park systems, Virginia is an open-air haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

From the memorable hiking trails of Great Falls Park, to the expansive adventures of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, Virginia is sure to impress even the most rugged out outdoorsmen. Get ready for great fishing, scenic byways, intense kayaking and even bolder-top picnics. With everything from bird watching in the Kiptopeke State Park to crabbing at the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia will make its way to the top of your vacation-spot wish list in no time.

Some suggestions? You got it. Here are a number of lively Virginia cities more than ready to accommodate outdoor lovers of all walks of life, in all sorts of walking shoes, throughout the year.


Known as the “The Star City of The South,” Roanoke is a scenic spot in western Virginia’s Appalachian Mountains. Easily accessed from I-81, Roanoke is a sterling example of outdoor activities perfect for solo travelers looking to explore, or to the family hoping to make life-long memories. Be sure to visit some local lakes for fishing and boating – and don’t miss out on some jet-skiing and wake-boarding in the summer.

Make the trip to Douthat Lake, set just within the beautiful Alleghany Mountains. Here, visitors enjoy this 50-acre lake fit for trout fishing, summer swimming and boating adventures. Many guests of the Best Western hotel in Roanoke also enjoy a fun day-trip to Claytor State Park, set just along the western shore of Claytor Lake. For some dry adventure, lace up those hiking boots and head over to the Appalachian Trail for some wonderfully scenic hikes with the Virginia section of the trail. While you’re out, keep those eyes peeled, as Virginia is home to nearly 400 species of birds.

Thanks to tranquil hikes, great fishing, and bird watching galore, the outdoor activities of Virginia can put you to some fun work. Rest up at the Best Western hotel in Roanoke, and set out for another day in Virginia’s legendary Appalachian Mountains.


Make sure you’re hydrated, because we’re heading to Luray. Set in northern Virginia, Luray is home to the Luray Caverns, the South Fork of Shenandoah River, and the Luray Caverns Country Club golf course – not to mention the headquarters of Shenandoah National Park.

Shenandoah National Park is a short day trip away from Luray, nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains along the Shenandoah River. For a real tour of this scenic national park, drive, bike or hike along the famed Skyline Drive – a National Scenic Byway more than 100 miles in length coursing through the Shenandoah National Park. A perfect trail during fall foliage, Skyline Drive is ideal for wildlife viewing, horseback riding, and the thrill of the 700-foot Mary's Rock Tunnel.

When you’re ready for a break from Skyline Drive, try out the many other activities in Shenandoah National Park. Hike up to Overall Run – the park’s tallest waterfall – or get your camera ready for the park’s other falls like Dark Hollow Falls, Cedar Run, and Whiteoak Canyon. If you don’t have much time in Shenandoah National Park, head straight for the Stony Man Trail – an ideal sunset trail said to be the most breathtaking hike in the park.

Catch that breath at the Best Western hotel in Luray, just a short drive back along Skyline Drive. Take in the beauty that is northern Virginia, and enjoy your time in the Old Dominion.


For fabulous parks and outdoor recreation, head to the charming city of Richmond, the capitol of Virginia. Set in the central part of the Old Dominion, Richmond plays host to one of the nation’s oldest municipal park system – totaling over 1,500 acres of parkland.

Hike, bike or simply stroll along the James River for stunning panoramic views of Richmond, or stop for a picnic at one of the many parks in the James River Parks System. Take the afternoon to enjoy a casual stroll through the renowned Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden – home to a healing garden, a glass conservatory, and a simply stunning rose garden. Here's to garden inspiration.

Another major attraction in outdoor Richmond is Belle Isle – a 54-acre escape and one of Virginia’s liveliest city parks. Treat yourself to wildlife viewing, bird watching, and even sunbathing on Belle Isle, or turn up the intensity with kayaking, mountain biking, and rock jumping. Go for a swim in the James River, enjoy a boulder-top picnic, and enjoy a night in at a Best Western hotel in Doswell, Glen Allen, or Hopewell – or even Sandston, Warsaw and Williamsburg. There’s no better way to enjoy yourself in outdoor Virginia than Richmond’s impressive parks.


Maybe you’re looking for a coastal escape during your time in Virginia. Look no further than the picturesque port of Hampton – found in the Virginia Beach area between Norfolk and Newport News. A historic town nestled against the Chesapeake Bay, Hampton is home to spectacular fishing piers, bay beaches, and nature parks.

Guests of the Best Western hotel in Hampton may make their way to Sandy Bottom Nature Park – nearly 500 acres of outdoor fun neighboring Sandy Bottom Lake. Head to the lake for canoeing and kayaking, or reel in some large mouth bass - currently on catch-and-release status. Trek down the scenic Shelton Trail, sign up for horseback riding, or get the best view of the Sandy Bottom Nature Park from the Observation Tower.

For more outdoor fun in Hampton, try the fairways at the Woodlands Golf Course or the Hamptons Golf Course, or stretch out in the sand at the Buckroe Beach and Park. With so much to do in the beautiful Old Dominion, it’s hard to know where to start in outdoor Virginia.


Best Western Hotels Along the Way:


Best Western Plus Glen Allen Inn

8507 Brook Road, Glen Allen VA 23060-4019
Phone: +1 804-266-3500  |  Fax: (804) 266-3528  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Plus Hopewell Inn

3950 Courthouse Road, Hopewell VA 23860-5600
Phone: +1 804-452-0025  |  Fax: +1 804-452-0025  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Plus Newport News Inn & Suites

500 Operations Drive, Newport News VA 23602-6989
Phone: +1 757-952-1182  |  Fax: (757) 952-1183  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Plus Holiday Sands Inn & Suites

1330 E Ocean View Avenue, Norfolk VA 23503-2208
Phone: +1 757-583-2621  |  Fax: (757) 587-7540  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Plus Governor's Inn

9826 Midlothian Turnpike, Richmond VA 23235-4812
Phone: +1 804-323-0007  |  Fax: (804) 272-0759  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Executive Hotel

7007 W Broad Street, Richmond VA 23294-3717
Phone: +1 804-672-7007  |  Fax: (804) 672-3251  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Plus Inn at Valley View

5050 Valley View Boulevard NW, Roanoke VA 24012-2038
Phone: +1 540-362-2400  |  Fax: +1 540-362-2400  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Plus Richmond Airport Hotel

5300 Airport Square Ln, Sandston VA 23150-1232
Phone: +1 804-222-8200  |  Fax: (804) 222-4915  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »


Best Western Plus Historic Area Inn

201 Bypass Road, Williamsburg VA 23185-2920
Phone: +1 757-220-0880  |  Fax: (757) 941-2060  |  Hotel Details & Reservations »

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