There’s a well-known advertising tagline that says “Virginia is for lovers.” But with its wide variety of scenic and historic locations, Virginia is also for drivers. Specifically, for those drivers who like to rent an RV
and take leisurely rides where hidden vistas and significant national milestones beckon travelers to slow down, take in the beauty – and maybe even learn a thing or two.
Many tourists taking in Washington D.C. never think to step outside the city to explore the surrounding area, which some residents refer to as “NoVa.” It’s a serious mistake to skip it! While so much of the country’s history is documented in the nation’s capital, Northern Virginia is where much of that history actually occurred.
Fredericksburg: “America’s Most Historic City”
That motto might sound a bit of an exaggeration, until you realize that two major Civil War battles were fought in this town. It sits midway between Washington D.C. and Richmond, the two opposing capitals during the later years of the war. You can learn about both battles at the Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park
, which commemorates a total of four Civil War battles that occurred in the area. Explore all the area has to offer in your RV rental in Fredericksburg, VA
Park living historians reenact battles with artillery fire during special days of the year.
Photo Credit: National Park Service
Alexandria: Stop to Shop and Dine
A drive to Alexandria takes you through charming small towns and past incredible wooded areas – perfect for fall foliage drives in an RV rental in Alexandria, VA
. Once you arrive in this southern suburb of Washington D.C., you’ll notice right away it’s filled with civil servants and military personnel. The U.S. Department of Defense is located in Alexandria, as is the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The city’s historic Old Town is a perfect place to grab lunch or do some window shopping. But if you need something to fill the time before the weekday lunch crowds disperse, take a quick trip to nearby Mount Vernon
, home of First President George Washington.
Did you know – the cupola of the mansion is topped with a weathervane
in the shape of a dove of peace?
Photo Credit: George’s Washington’s Mount Vernon and Buddy Secor
Visitors to this region will enjoy landscapes dotted with old barns and manicured lawns – a view made more perfect by the elevated vantage point of an RV rental in Manassas, VA
. In this city, the first major land battle of the Civil War was fought – now known as the First Battle of Manassas (or the First Battle of Bull Run). Almost exactly a year later, a second battle was waged near the town. To learn more, you can visit the Manassas Battlefield, which features rolling pastures of green with wide open spaces.
Monuments and marker dot the landscape, giving visitors a unique peek into history.
Photo Credit: National Park Service
Winchester: The Edge of the Shenandoah Valley
Located in the Shenandoah Valley, just a quick one-hour drive north from Manassas in your RV rental in Winchester, VA, sits the Shenandoah Valley. Views along the drive can be nothing short of spectacular, particularly when fall foliage colors the treetops or a luscious green overcomes the landscape following spring and summer rains.
Winchester’s battle history abounds, beginning with Native American tribes fight for the land and going until the numerous battles fought there during the Civil War. The annual Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival occurs here each year (as it has since 1924).
Every year, Civil War Reenactment volunteers recreate the Battle of Shenandoah.