Arlington Convention and Visitors Service, 2100 Clarendon Ave., suite 318, Arlington, (703) 228-3988.
Richmond County Museum and Visitor Center, Warsaw, (804) 333-3607.
Virginia Tourism Corp., 901 E. Byrd St., Richmond, (800) 932-5827, www.virginia.org.
Williamsburg Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Williamsburg, (800) 368-6511, www.visitwilliamsburg.com.
A.P. Carter Museum, Hilton, (540) 386-6054. The Carter family is legendary in the world of Appalachian music, and this museum tells its story.
Adam Thoroughgood House, 1636 Parish Road, Virginia Beach, (757) 431-4000. See how the other half lived long ago by taking a tour of this former home of wealthy Virginia colonists.
Art Museum of Western Virginia, Roanoke, (540) 342-5760, www.artmuseumroanoke.org. This museum is not in West Virginia. It is in western Virginia. West Virginia was once western Virginia, until it became a state of its own, making central Virginia western Virginia. Confused? Don't worry, none of that matters. What's important to know is that this museum houses a permanent collection of 19th- and 20th-century Southern art, plus an interactive exhibit for kids.
Association for Research and Enlightenment, 67th Street and Atlantic Avenue, Virginia Beach, (757) 431-4000. Considering the political and religious climate in this neck of Virginia--home of the Pat Robertson empire--you might be surprised to find a place called the Association for Research and Enlightenment. When you later learn it was founded by "psychic" Edgar Cayce, you're less surprised. Anyway, at the visitor center here you can get the background on the late Cayce (the "father of holistic medicine)," attend special programs on ESP, dreams, and spirituality, or sit a spell in the meditation room.
Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia, Richmond, (804) 780-9093, www.blackhistorymuseum.org. Artifacts and visual, written, and oral records tell the story of African-Americans in Virginia at this museum located in Richmond's historic Jackson Ward district.
Busch Gardens and Water Country USA, Williamsburg, (757) 253-3350, www.buschgardens.com. An all-wet version of Europe, this theme and water park also sells lots of beer, of the Anheuser-Busch variety.
Chincoteague Island, Chincoteague Island Chamber of Commerce, (757) 336-6161, www.chincoteaguechamber.com. The famous yearly Pony Swim and Auction is July 24-25, but anytime is a good one to enjoy the peace and quiet of this barrier island on the Virginia shore.
Colonial Williamsburg, (800) 447-8679, www.history.org. At least more authentic than the faux Europe at nearby Busch Gardens, this 173-acre "living museum" claims to show visitors what life was like for New World colonists and their slaves back in the 1700s.
Edgar Allan Poe Museum, 1914-16 E. Main St., Richmond, (804) 648-5523, www.poemuseum.org. Remember Poe with a visit to this museum, which contains many of the writer's personal items and illustrator James Carling's rendering of "The Raven."
Jefferson Hotel, Franklin and Adams streets, Richmond, (804) 788-8000. Even if you don't stay overnight, just walk through the lobby of this gorgeous old hotel in downtown Richmond for a glimpse of bygone Southern grandeur.
Kings Dominion, Doswell, (804) 876-5000, www.kingsdominion.com. The theme at this theme park is Paramount films, but you don't give a damn about that. You want the roller coasters--Kings Dominion has a dozen of 'em. Special summer events include fireworks July 3-6.
Luray Caverns, Luray, (540) 743-6551, www.luraycaverns.com. Stalagtites are cave formations that hang from the ceiling, and stalagmites rise from the ground. Or is it the other way around? Here's how to remember: Stalagtites hold on tight (to the ceiling), while stalagmites try with all their might to reach the roof. Isn't that cute? Keep that in mind as you visit this large commercial cavern well-known for its "stalacpipe organ."
Monticello, Charlottesville, (804) 984-9822, www.monticello.org. Monticello was the home of Thomas Jefferson, and Mount Vernon is where George Washington lived. Or is it the other way around? Here's how to remember: Jefferson's good friends called him "Monty," and Washington once mounted a fish on his head at a party for laughs. Neither is true, but it works.
Mount Vernon, near Alexandria, (703) 780-2000, www.mountvernon.org. George Washington loved his hilltop estate so much that he was buried there. Go see why.
Norfolk Botanical Garden, 6700 Azalea Garden Road, Norfolk, (757) 444-5838, www.virginiagardens.org. By boat or by train, the 155 acres of azaleas, camellias, roses, and rhododendrons smell as sweet.
Patsy Cline Memorial, Kurtz Cultural Center, 2 N. Cameron St., Winchester, (540) 722-6367. Country singer Patsy Cline was born in Winchester, and this memorial pays homage to her with photos, some of her belongings, and her gold record Patsy Cline's Greatest Hits. Keep an eye out for k.d. lang.
Virginia Discovery Museum, east end of the downtown pedestrian mall, Charlottesville, (804) 977-1025, www.vadm.org. Don't say "don't touch" here, because kids are welcome, even expected, to do just that.
Blackberry Harvest Festival at Hill Top, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Aug. 3-4, Hill Top Berry Farm, Arrington, (800) 282-8223, www.nelsoncounty.com. Blackberry harvest is truly a reason to celebrate, and the folks in Arrington do that this weekend.
Lest We Forget Civil War Weekend, May 23-27, Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center, 1013 Layfayette Blvd., (540) 373-6122, www.fredericksburgva.com. Ceremonies and walking tours commemorate Fredericksburg's critical role in the Civil War.
Vintage Virginia, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. June 1-2, Great Meadow, (800) 277-2675, www.showsinc.com, $5-$20. Food, art, live music, and wine from dozens of Virginia vineyards. Designated drivers get a discount.
SPORTS & RECREATION
Extreme Speed, Extreme Excitement, June 29-30, Richmond International Raceway, 602 E. Laburnum Ave., (804) 345-7223, www.richmondracewaycomplex.com. This annual weekend of auto racing is, like, extreme, ya know?
Fredericksburg International Scottish Highland Games and Irish Festival, June 8-10, Maury Stadium, Fredericksburg, (800) 678-4748, www.fredericksburgva.com. Traditional Celtic sport, plus music and dancing.
Shenandoah National Park, Blue Ridge Mountains, (540) 999-3500. Maybe they're not as big and high and mighty as the Rockies out west, but the Blue Ridge Mountains are awfully pretty, and the 500-plus miles of trails that wind through them are great for hiking. Cabin rentals and camping are available too--but watch out for bears.
Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 N. Union St., Alexandria, (703) 838-4565, www.torpedofactory.org. Art made from torpedoes--what will they think of next? An open studio where artisans sell their ceramics, jewelry, paintings, photography, sculpture, stained glass, and such, that's what.
Williamsburg Pottery Factory, Lightfoot, (757) 564-3326. "My parents went to Williamsburg and all I got was a piece of cheese." That's what your kids will say, while you find places for all the pottery, china, glass, stemware, wines, plants--and cheeses--that you bought for yourself at the 200-acre Williamsburg Pottery Factory.
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201