Top 10 Virginia Day Trips for Spring

After hiding inside this winter, you're probably ready to enjoy warm weather. Whether you want a beautiful nature hike, fast-paced thrills or wildlife spotting, here are 10 awesome Virginia getaways.

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Satisfy your inner history buff at the home of the first president and first lady. Of course there's colonial-era buildings, farms and reenactments, but also plenty of special events. The estate will hold a Revolutionary War Weekend this May 5-6, a spring wine festival and sunset tour May 18-20, a birthday celebration for Martha Washington on June 2, and plenty more (see all upcoming events <a href="http://www.mountvernon.org/plan-your-visit/calendar/" target=blank>here</a>). The nearby trail is also great for biking and running. <strong>DISTANCE:</strong> 21 miles from downtown D.C.
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When spring hits the D.C. area, everyone wants to enjoy the beautiful weather. This huge national forest offers hiking, fishing and plenty of gorgeous views. The <a href="http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/gwj/recreation/bicycling/recarea/?recid=77723&actid=24" target=blank>North River Ranger District</a> is closest to D.C., but the 66-foot Cascade Falls are worth the longer drive. <strong>DISTANCE:</strong> 240-295 miles from downtown D.C.
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If you've ever had a cool dream about flying and woke up disappointed, well, there's always skydiving. Jumping out of a plane two miles high is a total adrenaline rush. Google users rated <a href="http://www.skydiveorange.com/" target=blank>Skydive Orange</a> one of the best skydiving centers in Virginia; it offers packages for everyone from first-timers to experienced divers. <strong>DISTANCE:</strong> 84 miles from downtown D.C.
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Courtesy of the Omni Homestead
Vacations in Virginia often come with a side of history, and the Omni Homestead is no different. Case in point: Thomas Jefferson once soaked in the resort's hot springs every day for three weeks, according to <a href="https://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/homestead-virginia/wellness/hot-springs" target=blank>the resort's website</a>. You can soak in the hot springs for a day yourself, or stay at the resort for an upscale weekend trip. The resort was founded in 1766, making it the first resort in America. Bonus: It's located between Shenandoah and George Washington and Jefferson National Parks. <strong>DISTANCE:</strong> 214 miles from downtown D.C.
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Spring is <i>the</i> season to visit the roller coasters and carousels at King's Dominion. The park is now open weekends in spring, and is open daily from March 30 through April 8 for spring break. (It'll stay open daily starting in late May.) New this season: the wooden coaster <a href="https://www.kingsdominion.com/explore/twisted-timbers" target=blank>Twisted Timbers</a>. <strong>DISTANCE:</strong> 86 miles from downtown D.C.
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Subterranean stalagmites (the ones that grow from the ground) and stalactites (the ones you might hit your head on) are the main attraction in this natural wonder that's millions of years old. The grounds at <a href="http://luraycaverns.com/" target=blank>Luray Caverns</a> also feature an "Alice in Wonderland"-style garden maze and an aerial ropes course. <strong>DISTANCE:</strong> 95 miles from downtown D.C.
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This D.C.-area classic is near the city, beautiful, and offers kayaking, hiking, guided tours and more. Take a picnic to <a href="https://www.nps.gov/grfa/index.htm" target=blank>Great Falls</a> and enjoy the weather. <strong>DISTANCE:</strong> 17 miles from downtown D.C.
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At <a href="http://www.fortvalleystable.com/" target=blank>Fort Valley Ranch</a>, you can see spring from horseback, western-style. Go on a guided trail ride, or bring your own horse (if, of course, you're lucky enough to have one... and if you are, can we hang out with you?). The ranch also offers getaway packages, wagon rides and <a href="http://www.fortvalleystable.com/events.html" target=blank>special events</a>. <strong>DISTANCE:</strong> 97 miles from downtown D.C.
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You can catch a drag race or a NASCAR race, or enjoy some go-karting at <http://www.dominionraceway.com/" target=blank>Dominion Raceway</a> in Woodford, Virginia, but the spot also hosts <a href="http://thegroovemusichall.com/" target=blank>live music at their Groove Music Hall</a>. Upcoming events include a tribute to funk bands (March 31) and a Cinco de Mayo bash (May 5). <strong>DISTANCE:</strong> 65 miles from downtown D.C.
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You can wander on the trails; go fishing, crabbing or horseback riding, or climb to the top of <a href="https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Chincoteague/visit/RefugeTrekandLigthouseClimbs.html" target=blank>the Assateague Lighthouse</a> while hoping to see some wildlife. But if you want to get up close to see wild ponies and bald eagles, think about taking the <a href="https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Chincoteague/visit/RefugeTrekandLigthouseClimbs.html" target=blank>Refuge Trek bus</a> or booking a cruise. (The picture above shows the ponies making their annual swim from from Assateague Island to Chincoteague, which happens each summer). <strong>DISTANCE:</strong> 65 miles from downtown D.C.
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Looking for even more fun close to home? Check out our <a href="http://www.nbcwashington.com/blogs/worth-the-trip/Spring-Getaways-10-Maryland-Day-Trips--373101121.html" target=blank>Top 10 Maryland Day Trips for Spring</a>.
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