If you are planning a vacation or trip to Virginia, you will find there is plenty to experience and learn, as it is a state that is ripe with history in every city. With that in mind, there are a few places that you should definitely visit, while a few that you might want to research before you stopover. Here are some places you’ll want to both checkout and avoid when you visit Virginia. 

Places to Visit




Williamsburg is one of the places you should consider adding to your list when visiting Virginia. This is the perfect place for history buffs and enthusiasts. Williamsburg has a rich history that dates back to the 18th century, which is on display not only through their museums and monuments but also in the architecture of the homes and communities. There are many people in the town that still hold some of the practices, continuing to build and create crafts and tools in traditional ways. In addition to the history that is all around, there is also more variation in the types of attractions available, with there being two different amusement parks located in Williamsburg. This is a perfect place to visit for families.


Shenandoah National Park


For those that are seeking different ways to travel and relax, Shenandoah National Park is a place that you should visit if you are the type of person that likes to stay active while on your vacation. This is a perfect place to take in the great outdoors, with many hiking paths and trails to explore. If you are traveling with family, this is a great spot to have a picnic or to take a break as you make your way through the countless valleys and hills. There is plenty of wildlife and scenery to enjoy as you hike the Shenandoah National Park while in Virginia.




Richmond is the capital of Virginia, and as such, is one of the more populated and busy cities you will find while traveling through or vacationing in the state. There is a wide variety of Richmond activities you can partake in. From visiting different museums for fine arts and satisfying your cultural side, to traveling to the state capitol and seeing different landmarks, or even taking a break and heading to the amusement park in Kings Dominion, there is a lot to take in. 




When considering attractions, Jamestown is another city where you will find quite a bit to do. In Jamestown, you will experience more of the outdoors, as you will experience where the pilgrims settled in when the English first colonized the land. There are historical places of interest in the James Fort, as well as Powhatan Village and Memorial Church. As mentioned, Virginia is teeming with history in every corner, and Jamestown is no different with a lot to offer.


Virginia Beach


If you are looking for a little rest and relaxation, or need a break from all the learning of historical facts and information, a visit to Virginia Beach might be what you need. The beach spans roughly fourteen miles along the shore, with plenty of spots for tourists to shop and dine locally. There is a ton of entertainment to find along the boardwalk, meaning there is always something to find no matter who is in your group. This makes Virginia Beach a must-visit for any and all travelers.

Places to Avoid




As exciting as Richmond is, as a tourist, you need to always be aware and considerate of any risks. Richmond has had a history of being a troubled city with a lot of crimes, varying from excessive and violent to a misdemeanor. If you are staying in the city, keep this in mind. This is not to deter any travelers, just to ensure that everyone stays safe and enjoys their time while visiting Virginia. There will always be risks wherever and whenever you travel, but doing your research and being prepared will allow you to minimize those risks.


Norfolk is a city you might consider avoiding when you are visiting or passing through Virginia. This city has many crimes ranging from assault to property crimes and damages. Norfolk is considered one of the more dangerous cities within Virginia to visit, with a lot of property crimes happening here. So unless you know someone in the city or are well aware of the area, it is best to do your research before staying.


Speaking of property crimes, Portsmouth is another city that ranks up there when you are considering these types of risks and places to avoid. It may be safer than Norfolk comparatively. Although they are both high in property crimes, as mentioned, Portsmouth has fewer violent crimes. 


Roanoke is another city to watch for when considering places to avoid when traveling through Virginia. This is because the frequency of crimes is up there along with other cities. What differentiates Roanoke from other cities is that occurrence of violent crimes such as murder is less likely to occur here. Property crime is again popular in this city, contributing to the majority of the problems and risks here.


Many of the cities are places to avoid due to the fact that there is a large risk of crime, but if you are prepared and prioritize your safety, there is quite a lot to see. Petersburg falls under this same umbrella. The city is beautiful being next to the James River, with a rising economy and places to eat, shop and entertain yourself. The problem, again, is the history of crime that the city is trying to push past. 

Consider the fact that many cities that are listed as ones to avoid are often struggling with crime due to poorer socioeconomic factors within the cities and neighborhoods. These cities need the opportunity to prove themselves successful and be allowed to grow and soon will improve their attraction to visitors and tourists. None of the cities named should be outright avoided, as all cities around the world have their own risks and reasons to be wary and mindful. Virginia will have gems to find no matter where you go, you just need to be curious as you are cautious.