To say that 2020 was a tough year is an understatement, but as travel stalled and Virginia tourism businesses struggled to cope amid constant uncertainty, many rose to the challenge with innovation and adaptability . Historic sites and museums launched virtual tours and online education, restaurants, wineries, breweries, and distilleries with outdoor seating and curbside pickup, and Virginia destinations provided safe travel inspiration with WanderLove, a celebration of road trips, the great outdoors, and lesser-known destinations .
As we move into 2021, we still have a tough road ahead, but we also have a lot of new things to do in Virginia to look forward to. With that in mind, we've compiled a list of Virginia & # 39; s most anticipated openings for 2021, including new hotels, attractions, and exhibits. Save this list for future travel inspiration and we'll be there to welcome you when the time is right.
Scheduled to reopen in Spring 2021 after a multi-year renovation and expansion, Keswick Hall offers visitors a first-class luxury experience just minutes from downtown Charlottesville. The resort will still feature the famed Full Cry Golf Course designed by Pete Dye, as well as 80 luxurious rooms and suites, a new spa and a new signature restaurant run by renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
Close to downtown Charlottesville, Virginia's first dining room concept, Dairy Market, opened in the historic Monticello Dairy Building in late 2020. By capacity, Dairy Market will have up to 18 merchant stalls and 11,500 square feet of retail space. In addition to the many food vendors, Dairy Market will be anchored by Starr Hill Brewery, so add this to your trip to experience the best food and drink in the region!
Photo Credit: Jack Looney
Located in Crozet, about 30 minutes from downtown Charlottesville, The Crozet Tunnel Greenway opened to the public in November 2020 after nearly 20 years in the making. The route offers a unique outdoor experience for railroad enthusiasts, walkers, cyclists, history buffs and cave dwellers. From dawn to dusk, visitors can explore the 2.25-mile trail that passes through an abandoned train tunnel, which lies more than 700 feet below the Blue Ridge Mountains. After your hike, head to the Nelson 151 Trail to sample some of Virginia's best craft drinks and farm-to-table food.
The map of Richmond & # 39; s Mending Walls, 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 different cultures and backgrounds to create murals that show 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, adding 85,000 square feet of family fun to Virginia & # 39; s largest city. Located in downtown Virginia Beach, Apex offers family fun for all ages with 24 bowling lanes, virtual reality experiences, arcade games, laser tag, mini golf, ax throwing, go-karts, escape rooms and more.
The Virginia Aquarium is also expanding with a $ 25 million renovation. The aquarium's Marsh Pavilion will reopen on Memorial Day weekend 2021, featuring the aquarium's beloved otters, displays of live jellyfish from around the world, a giant Pacific octopus, and a touch pool featuring Indo-Pacific invertebrates. The aquarium will also open a new veterinary wing and animal protection center in 2021.
The Glass Light Hotel & Gallery Marriott Autograph Collection is a 113-room boutique hotel featuring exceptional glass artwork from world-renowned artists throughout the hotel. In March 2021, the Glass Light Hotel Gallery portion of the venue will open and Norfolk will have the largest free collection of glass art in the world. Visitors can enjoy pieces 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 – all for free.
In addition, in April 2021, Norfolk Botanical Garden will host the return of LanternAsia – 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 life-size Chinese lanterns is showcased in the garden's 175 acres, where guests can see large sea creatures, butterflies, a shark tunnel and more.
Phoebus is an area in Hampton, Virginia, known for its charming architecture, adventurous culinary establishments, and antique bargains. Phoebus unites past and present to offer unique shops and restaurants in a historic waterfront community. That community is expanding with new drool-worthy eateries and a new brewery. In January 2021 1865 Brewing opened as the first microbrewery in the Black area, offering a wide variety of beer styles, including coffee and CBD recipes, and The Baker & # 39; s Wife Bistro & Bar opened with French and American cuisine.
The Capital One Center, Capital One's sprawling headquarters complex, will debut in the summer or fall of 2021 as a new mixed-use entertainment epicenter in Tysons. Highlights include The Watermark Hotel and Capital One Hall, a 1,600-seat performing arts center and a 300-seat black box theater. There will also be a 1.2-acre Skypark, Biergarten, dog park, public art and a pop-up food truck experience. This place has it all!
If you visit Tysons you should definitely visit ShipGarten. Opening in early 2021, it will be Northern Virginia's first outdoor lifestyle experience, featuring four separate food and drink experiences, each served from a 12-foot shipping container. Nearby, The Archer Hotel Tysons will open in the summer of 2021 with seven floors, 178 guest rooms, polished event spaces and a rooftop terrace.
Also not to be missed in Fairfax, the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial will unveil the highly anticipated national monument honoring the women's suffrage movement in spring 2021. After visiting the monument, head to the new Lucy Burns Museum in the Workhouse Arts Center – a central location in the fight for women's right to vote and the passage of the 19th Amendment.
Alexandria will launch a new civil rights themed self-guided tour and the Freedom House Museum, located on the site of the 19th-century slave trade Franklin & Armfield, will reopen in 2021 to preserve the stories of thousands of people. forced through the doors. Additionally, the city's latest public art project, Groundswell, will be on view from March to November 2021. The installation will introduce a game element to the changing coastline of the Potomac River with an immersive ecosystem of 130 rough wooden posts topped with blue mirrors etched on top.
Photo Credit: Shannon Terry
Natural Bridge State Park adds a Children's Discovery Area, an outdoor experience area for families with a Kids in Parks Track Trail with 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 will undergo a 750,000-room renovation in 2020.
The Springston Regals at Massanutten Resort, 140 new luxury two-bedroom duplex units, will be available by the end of 2020.
Originally built as a bank headquarters in 1910 in downtown Roanoke, The Liberty Trust, is undergoing a historic restoration and transformation into a luxury lifestyle hotel with 54 rooms. The hotel is scheduled to open in September 2021.
The Niceworder Inn will open in summer 2021 at Nicewonder Farm in Southwest Virginia, a 28-room luxury boutique inn featuring a world-class culinary and wine program and beautifully appointed guest rooms, all overlooking the beauty of the 400-acre estate.
In Southwest Virginia, the new Appalachian Trail Center, currently opening in Spring 2021, will be a hub for the Appalachian Trail and the city of Damascus, known as Trail Town USA, due to seven nationally known trails that intersect within the boundaries from the small town. . Located a stone's throw from the A.T. as it passes through downtown Damascus, the facility will become the fourth official visitor center along the 2,190-kilometer pedestrian path, providing visitor information and education. Visit and start planning your epic journey along Virginia & # 39; s 544 miles of the Appalachian Trail.
Long way brewing, which opened in Radford in December 2020, is an old stone church turned into a brewery with themed beers that pay homage to colonial heroine Mary Draper Ingles. The lower level of the brewery houses the Radford / Fairlawn Daily Bread during the morning hours, offering meals at no cost to those in need.
Daydream about your next trip? Use this guide to our new accommodations, attractions, and destinations and start planning an epic road trip to fuel your WanderLove in Virginia.