It’s an understatement to say 2020 was a tough year, but when travel stalled and Virginia tourism companies struggled to stay afloat despite constant uncertainty, many rose to the challenge with innovation and adaptability. Historic sites and museums offered virtual tours and online training, restaurants, wineries, breweries, and distilleries with outdoor seating and roadside pickup, and Virginia travel destinations hosted WanderLove, a celebration of road trips, nature, and lesser-known, safe travel inspiration .
We still have a difficult road to go through 2021, but we also have many new things to look forward to in Virginia. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of Virginia’s most anticipated openings for 2021, including new hotels, attractions, and exhibits. Save this list for future travel inspiration and we’ll be here to greet you when the time is right.
Keswick Hall, slated to reopen in the spring of 2021 after several years of renovation and expansion, offers visitors a first-class luxury experience just minutes from downtown Charlottesville. The resort also features the renowned Full Cry golf course designed by Pete Dye as well as 80 luxurious guest rooms and suites, a new spa and a new restaurant run by the famous chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
Nearby in downtown Charlottesville, Central Virginia’s first ever food hall concept, Dairy Market, opened in the historic Monticello Dairy Building in late 2020. Dairy Market will have a capacity of up to 18 stalls and 11,500 square feet of retail space. In addition to the many grocers, the dairy market is anchored by the Starr Hill Brewery. So add this to your trip to experience some of the best food and drink in the area!
Photo credit: Jack Looney
The Crozet Tunnel Greenway is located in Crozet, approximately 30 minutes from downtown Charlottesville. After almost 20 years, it was opened to the public in November 2020. The path offers a unique outdoor experience for railway enthusiasts, hikers, bikers, history buffs and cave dwellers. From sunrise to sunset, visitors can explore the 2.25-mile trail that goes through an abandoned railroad tunnel that sits more than 700 feet below the Blue Ridge Mountains. After your hike, head to the Nelson 151 Trail to sample some of Virginia’s finest artisanal drinks and farm-to-table cuisine.
The Richmond Mending Walls map released in December 2020 guides visitors to all of the Mending Walls project murals. The Mending Walls Project is a public art project that brings together artists from diverse cultures and backgrounds to create murals that address the issue of where we are now in society and how we can move forward through understanding and collaboration.
Apex Entertainment opened in Virginia Beach in late 2020 and offers Virginia’s largest city 85,000 square feet of family fun. Located in downtown Virginia Beach, Apex offers family fun for all ages with 24 lanes of bowling, virtual reality experiences, arcade games, laser tag, mini golf, ax throwing, go-karts, escape rooms, and more.
The Virginia Aquarium is also undergoing a $ 25 million renovation. The aquarium’s Marsh Pavilion will reopen on Memorial Day weekend 2021, featuring the aquarium’s popular otters, live jellyfish from around the world, a giant Pacific octopus, and a touch pool of Indo-Pacific invertebrates. The aquarium will open a new veterinary wing and animal welfare center in 2021.
The Marriott Autograph Collection of the Glass Light Hotels & Gallery is a 113-room boutique hotel and exceptional glass artworks by world-renowned artists throughout the hotel. The Glass Light Hotel Gallery section will open in March 2021 and Norfolk will have the world’s largest free collection of glass art. Visitors can enjoy works by prominent artists such as Dave Chihuly and Louis C. Tiffany at the Chrysler Museum of Art, Barry Art Museum, Perry Glass Studio, Glass Light Gallery, and more for free.
In addition, the Norfolk Botanical Gardens will host the return of LanternAsia in April 2021 – art by day and magic by night, with a FantaSea theme where the world of fantasy collides with the enchantment of the sea. The display of larger-than-life Chinese lanterns is displayed in the 175-acre garden, where guests can experience large marine animals, butterflies, a continuous shark tunnel and much more.
Phoebus is an area in Hampton, Virginia known for its charming architecture, adventurous dining options, and antique bargains. Phoebus combines past and present to offer unique shopping and dining in a historic waterfront community. That community is growing with new droolable restaurants and a new brewery. In January 2021 1865 The brewery opened as the first black-owned brewery with a wide range of beer styles, including recipes using coffee and CBD. The Baker’s Wife Bistro & Bar with French and American cuisine was opened.
Capital One Center, Capital One’s sprawling headquarters complex, will open as the new mixed-use entertainment epicenter in Tysons in the summer or fall of 2021. Highlights are The watermark Hotel and Capital One Hall, a performing arts center with 1,600 seats and a black box theater with 300 seats. There will also be a 1.2 acre Skypark, beer garden, dog park, public art and a pop-up food truck experience. This place will have it all!
Make sure to check out ShipGarten when you visit Tysons. It will open in early 2021 and is Northern Virginia’s first outdoor lifestyle experience. It offers four separate food and beverage experiences, each served from a 40-foot shipping container. Nearby, the Archer Hotel Tysons will open in the summer of 2021 with seven floors, 178 rooms, polished event rooms and a roof terrace.
Also in Fairfax, the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial will unveil the long-awaited national memorial for the women’s suffrage movement in spring 2021. After visiting the memorial, head to the new Lucy Burns Museum in the Workhouse Arts Center – a central location in the struggle for women’s suffrage and the passage of the 19th centuryth Modification.
Alexandria will launch a new self-guided tour on civil rights, and the Freedom House Museum, located on the site of the 19th century slave trading firm Franklin & Armfield, will reopen in 2021 to preserve the stories of thousands of people who they were forced through the doors. In addition, the city’s newest public art project, Groundswell, will be on view from March to November 2021. The installation will introduce an element of the game on the changing coast of the Potomac River with an immersive ecosystem of 130 raw wood stakes with etched blue mirrors.
Rosies Gaming Emporium offers travelers the chance to try their luck at historic horse racing, electronic devices and jackpots. In addition to four game locations in Virginia, the newest Rosie location will open in Dumfries in 2021.
The new Fredericksburg Nationals Stadium and the Fredericksburg Expo Center are next to each other. Four hotels are within walking distance. In addition to fun baseball games, the stadium and exhibition center will be a venue for sports and corporate events, weddings, and more.
In downtown Lexington, the 39-room Gin Hotel from 1926 is based on Choice Hotels’ Ascend Hotel Collection. The former Robert E. Lee Hotel was renamed and the in-house Italian restaurant was renamed Juniper Lounge. The 12-room sister property Tonic Restaurant and Inn has also been renamed, with an emphasis on healing and therapeutic mood. The updated outdoor terrace has a bohemian, garden-like feel to it.
The trails at the Shenandoah Valley Museum, which opens in mid-2020, will be the largest outdoor art exhibit in Virginia and include more than three miles of trails.
Photo Credit: Shannon Terry
Natural Bridge State Park will add a children’s discovery area, an outdoor family adventure area to the one The Kids in Parks Track Trail features four self-guided brochures about wildlife in the area. Overnight guests can check-in at the 152-room Natural Bridge Historic Hotel & Conference Center, which was renovated 750,000 times in 2020.
The Springston Regals at the Massanutten Resort, 140 new luxury two bedroom duplex units, will be available in late 2020.
Originally built as a bank headquarters in 1910 in downtown Roanoke, The Liberty Trust, will be historically restored and converted into a luxurious lifestyle hotel with 54 rooms. The hotel is scheduled to open by September 2021.
The Niceworder Inn, a luxury 28-room boutique inn, a world-class kitchen and wine program, and beautifully appointed rooms, all of which opened in the summer of 2021 on Nicewonder Farm in southwest Virginia, overlook the beauty of 400 acres Property.
In southwest Virginia, the new Appalachian Trail Center, currently slated to open in the spring of 2021, will be a hub for the Appalachian Trail and the city of Damascus, known as Trail Town USA, as seven nationally known hiking trails are within the boundaries of the Cross small town. Located just steps from the AT in downtown Damascus, the facility is the fourth official visitor center on the 2,190 mile walkway that provides visitor information and information. Visit and plan your epic journey along the 544 mile Appalachian Trail in Virginia.
Long Way Brewing, The old stone church, which opened in Radford in December 2020, has been converted into a brewery selling themed beers that pay tribute to colonial heroine Mary Draper Ingles. The Radford / Fairlawn Daily Bread is located on the lower floor of the brewery and offers free meals to people in need.
Are you dreaming of your next trip? Use this guide to our new accommodations, attractions, and destinations, and plan an epic road trip to feed your WanderLove in Virginia.
Where to WanderLove in 2021 appeared first on Virginia’s travel blog.