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One Tank Trip for Virginia Camping
Total mileage / average drive time:
175 miles – 4 hours, 4 minutes
With a geography and climate shaped by the marvelous Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia is as historically significant as it is beautiful. Despite its position on the East Coast, nearly half the people in the US live within a 500 mile radius to the capital—which has us thinking---a trip to this wonderful state is long overdue!
The perfect start for our trip is Topping. This well-kept secret is a favorite for outdoor enthusiasts due to its prime location on the Chesapeake Bay. Boating enthusiasts flock to the Locklies Marina, the largest charter fleet in Virginia, and for the angler there is Rappahannock River, the perfect place to cast a line, sit back, and wait for the fish to come to you while you dangle your feet in the water.
8.7 miles – 14 minutes
Head out of Topping via VA-3 E, merge onto VA-33 W, and after several miles, turn right onto VA-227 N to arrive at our next Virginia RV camping stop, Urbanna. Picturesque Urbanna is located on the Rappahannock River, and was established as a port for the shipment of tobacco to England. Travelers can find remnants of the past at the tobacco warehouse, built in 1766, which now serves as a visitor center. Another architectural beauty is the Urbanna Courthouse. Built in 1784, the building is on the National Register of Historic Places, and is one of only 11 colonial era courthouses still standing in Virginia. For those lucky enough to visit in November, you won’t want to miss the Urbanna Oyster Festival. Attracting thousands every year, you will be treated to several oyster specialties and other exquisite Chesapeake Bay seafood, as well as a parade, art exhibit, and several fine crafts from local artisans. This is a huge event, and one worth spending some time exploring.
20.7 miles – 35 minutes
Continuing our one tank trip, leave Urbanna via SR-602, and left onto SR-615. Continue on SR-615, making a left onto US-17 S, and in approximately 40 minutes, you’ll have arrived at our next destination, Gloucester. Settled in 1651, Gloucester is the perfect place to take in several historic sites, including the Rosewell Ruins, one of America’s greatest colonial mansions and once the centerpiece of an impressive 3000-acre plantation. Although a fire destroyed much of it in 1916, there is still enough left to explore, especially the intricate 18th century brickwork. For the angler, there is no place better than the 625-acre Beaverdam Park. This is the only public freshwater fishing on the Middle Peninsula, and a great place to cast your line or do some hiking on the scenic nature trail.
14 miles – 20 minutes
Our next Virginia RV camping stop is Yorktown. A short drive on US-17 S will get you there in around a half an hour. If you’re looking for total immersion in 300 years of history, you’ve come to the right place! Yorktown is filled with plenty of 18th Century homes and Revolutionary War battlefields for you to explore. A great place to start your walk through history is in the Yorktown Victory Center, which chronicles the history of the last battle that secured our great nation from British rule and covers the rest of the Revolutionary War as well. All that history is sure to spark your appetite, and the town’s picturesque streets are filled with charming restaurants, many of which have a wonderful view of the York River. After you’ve sated yourself, stroll along the scenic riverwalk, or browse through the many antique and specialty shops where you’re sure to find something you just can’t live without.
15.9 miles – 27 minutes
Heading onward, take Colonial National Historic Parkway out of Yorktown. Turn left onto VA-132 S to arrive at our next destination, Williamsburg. For those that want to get a glimpse of where America, democracy, and revolution began, take a tour of Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the New World. Colonial Williamsburg is the nation’s largest living history museum, encompassing 301 acres rife with stores, homes, taverns and buildings painstakingly restored to their beautiful 18th-century appearance. Along the way, travelers will experience historical interpreters and character actors, as well as 90 acres of gardens and greens. Williamsburg is an experience for all ages, and one that is sure to hold everyone’s attention (even those who don’t love history). Watch out, you just might learn something after a visit here!
30.5 miles – 41 minutes
Leaving Williamsburg, take US60 E out of town and directly to our next Virginia RV camping location, Newport News. An exceptional Peninsula city with much to offer on land and sea, it is a history lover’s paradise with several key Civil War battle locations, including the site of General McClellan’s only major attempt to break through the Confederate defenses. For history and military buffs alike, visit the Virginia War Museum, which traces American military history from the Revolutionary War to the present. An impressive collection of over 65,000 artifacts is contained within the museum.
41.4 miles – 49 minutes
Heading out on I-664 S with a slight left at I-264 E to Virginia Beach. Way before the Spring Break crowd discovered Virginia Beach as the go-to place for fun, Europeans settled in this gorgeous area in 1607, and they’ve been flocking here ever since! Maybe it’s the beautiful beaches, the incredible history or wealth of outdoor recreation? It’s probably all of these, and then some. On the boardwalk, visitors get spectacular views of the ocean on one side, and an endless array of attractions on the other—from amusement parks to shops! Visitors can take guided tours and come face-to-face with dolphins and whales, or kayak, golf, fish or swim. Sightseers will enjoy taking in some of the oldest homes in the country, or the first government lighthouse. The possibilities are endless in Virginia Beach!
43.6 miles – 56 minutes
Our last one tank trip location takes us to US-60 out of Virginia Beach, and after a partial toll, turning right on US-13 N. Continue across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, and when you get to VA-184, go west towards Cape Charles. With one of the largest concentrations of late Victorian and turn of the century buildings on the east coast, the entire town of Cape Charles has been designated as a Historic District on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the beauty of this area will stun you. Birdwatching opportunities abound in this area, so bring binoculars!
Check out the 2011 One Tank Trip For Virginia
Check out the 2010 One Tank Trip For Virginia
Woodall's Recommended Campgrounds in Virginia
Back to One Tank Trips for 2012