Experience All of Virginia
A few years ago I set a goal for myself to have an experience in every county in Virginia (there are 95! Plus 38 independent towns and cities.). I was born and raised in Virginia, but it wasn't until I started working for the Commonwealth that I realized I knew very little about the place. In my job, I often work with people from the most remote, unheard of parts of Virginia, and I kept finding myself having conversations with them like they were foreigners. The things they described to me were as new and exciting as if I were talking to an Italian or an Egyptian. I wanted to know more about the unique micro cultures they inhabited, and then I decided I needed to experience all of these places for myself. So that's how the goal was born, and pretty much the only rule is that driving through an area doesn't count.
I have experienced some really cool, weird, and beautiful things that I didn't even know existed before I set this goal. I have met people that grew up very differently than me, and have seen all sorts of shades of gray on some hot button issues. As I write this, I still have 20 counties to go, and I have several counties I would like to revisit. In the meantime, I will provide you with some sample itineraries based on my favorite experiences thus far. Virginia is chock full of hidden gems and is a fabulous destination for anyone looking to get off the beaten path.
Have you ever pushed yourself to be a tourist at home or get off the beaten path?