RICHMOND – Today, the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) released Share What You LOVE in Virginia 2020, the agency’s curated guide to what is new and newsworthy for the travel industry for the coming year. The guide is produced annually and offers a regional look at what’s to come in 2020.
To view the full Share What You LOVE in Virginia 2020 guide, visit pressroom.virginia.org/whatsnew.
Highlights From This Year’s Guide:
Overall in Virginia
- Fairfax County will commemorate the centennial anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment with two new attractions opening in 2020: In August 2020, there will be a dedication for the new Turning Point Suffragist Memorial at Occoquan Regional Park. The 1.6-acre national memorial to the suffrage movement will feature replica White House gates, 19 informational stops, and a beautifully landscaped meditation garden. The Workhouse Arts Center, once a DC prison that notoriously housed incarcerated members of the National Women’s Party, will open the Lucy Burns Museum in early 2020, which will focus on the Party’s efforts to win the right to vote.
- Ken Burns’ documentary ‘Country Music’ lives on in Bristol, the Birthplace of Country Music. After several years of fundraising and renovations, the highly anticipated Sessions Hotel will open in Spring 2020 on State Street. The 70-room, $20 million project includes Southern Craft BBQ Restaurant, indoor and outdoor music venues, rooftop space and a luxury spa.
- 2020 will be a big year for music festival anniversaries, including the 20th Anniversary of FloydFest, the 85th Anniversary of the Galax Fiddlers’ Convention, the 20th Anniversary of Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion, the 10th Anniversary of HoustonFest in Galax, the 25th Anniversary of the Columbia Pike Blues Festival in Arlington, the 30th Anniversary of the Rosslyn Jazz Fest, in Arlington and the 50th Anniversary of Ralph Stanley’s Hills of Home Bluegrass Festival in Southwest Virginia.
- The National Museum of the United States Army will open to the public on June 4, 2020. The 185,000-sq-foot museum will be in southern Fairfax County, adjacent to Fort Belvoir, and will be the first and only museum to tell the 244-year history of the U.S. Army in its entirety. The state-of-the-art museum will be a technological marvel incorporating the latest advances in museum exhibits while providing advanced educational opportunities.
- January 2020 brings the reopening of Arlington House: the Robert E. Lee Memorial. Located at the top of Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington House has been closed since mid-2018 for a $14M renovation project. When the project is completed, visitors will see Arlington House as it was in 1860, with rooms restored to their historical appearance. Additionally, the quarters for the enslaved people of Arlington House will be restored to better represent and tell their stories.
- Fairfax County and Washington, DC will soon be even more accessible than ever as Phase II of the Silver Line Metrorail extension is set to open in July 2020. This extension will finally connect Washington Dulles International Airport and several new stations in Herndon and Reston with the existing Washington Metrorail service, which feeds Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.
- A new hotel is coming to King Street in Alexandria. The Hyatt Centric Old Town Alexandria, Hyatt’s first hotel in the city, will open in January 2020. The hotel will include 124 guest rooms and a French, southern-inspired restaurant.
- The historic Keswick Hall is set to reopen late Summer 2020, following the completion of an extensive and loving restoration that marries the resort’s classic style and sophistication with luxurious comfort and modern amenities. The entirety of Keswick Hall has been expanded and transformed, including a new guest wing that will increase the number of accommodations to 80 guest rooms, as well as the addition of a redesigned spa, a new infinity pool and cabanas and reimagined resort grounds.
- Canopy Adventure Park is a new ropes course located in Powhatan County that opened end of October 2019. It has four courses ranging from easy to difficult, 10 ziplines and are already looking at expansion opportunities to include a lower-level course for younger groups.
- The Quirk Hotel will open its second location in Charlottesville in early 2020.
- The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond will celebrate its 125th anniversary in 2020 and will be offering a variety of lodging packages throughout the year to highlight the hotel’s heritage.
- Busch Gardens Pantheon®, the Fastest Multi-launch Coaster in North America, debuts in 2020.
- The Looking Glass opens January 18, 2020 at the IX Art Park in downtown Charlottesville and will be the first fully immersive art space in Virginia. The Looking Glass is a 3000 sq foot enchanted forest designed and built by 14 Virginia artists.
- Lynchburg has a new brewery coming to town. 3rd Street Brewery, a second location for the Three Roads Brewing Company in Farmville, will open this coming year in the old Ford Motor Co. building in Downtown.
- Well Hung Vineyard has opened a new tasting room and restaurant in Gordonsville in the Historic Main Street District.
- Opening in late 2020, Good Ship Brewing Company will be the City of Hopewell’s first brewery. It will have a five-barrel system with about 20 beers on tapas well as a 6,000 sq foot outdoor beer garden.
- The Grizzly Hatchet House is a new ax-throwing range and bar opening in Danville in 2020.
- Buggs Island Brewing is moving to a new lakeside location in downtown Clarksville in 2020.
- The 63rd annual Urbanna Oyster Festival will be Nov. 6-7, 2020. The VIP Oyster Lovers Experience is the “pearl” of the festival offering access to exclusive amenities to pamper yourself at the festival.
- Rosie’s Gaming Emporium recently opened their newest location in Hampton, bringing thrilling gaming experiences to coastal Virginia visitors. Rosie’s is in the Power Plant shopping district of Hampton Roads.
- Samuel D. Outlaw Blacksmith Shop and Memorial Museum, a completely intact blacksmith shop in Onancock opened as a museum and community gathering place that will promote awareness of the contributions of African-Americans to the region.
- Onancock Harbor Challenge, a fun new event complete with water races, food, and music comes to Onancock September 11-12, 2020.
- New Key West Cottages will be built on Main Street in Chincoteague. The cottages will begin construction in Spring 2020 with an opening date of Fall 2020.
- In Rockingham County, Horizons Edge Sports & Event Campus is set to open January 18, 2020. The field house will consist of approximately 90,000 sq. ft. and include four basketball courts, six volleyball courts, a multipurpose/indoor soccer field and a family entertainment center.
- The best BMX racers across the country will be performing at The BMX Blue Ridge Nationals at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington January 24-26, 2020.
- Opening March 2020, the Stonewall Jackson House Museum’s new orientation center will be showcasing artifacts owned by the Jackson family and rarely seen by the public.
- The Trails at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, opening mid-2020, will be the largest outdoor art exhibit in Virginia and will have more than three miles of trails.
- Shenandoah County will welcome its first cidery in March 2020. The Sage Bird Ciderworks will be located in Harrisonburg, and will use locally-sourced fruit and flavor to produce small-batch, hand-crafted hard cider.
- A new and innovative concert venue is coming to tradition-rich Bristol Dragway. The legendary dragstrip, which has showcased the world’s fastest race cars and iconic drag racers, will now add a new chapter to its legacy when it moonlights as a premier outdoor concert venue known as the Thunder Valley Amphitheatre at Bristol Dragway.
- The Carilion Clinic IRONMAN® 70.3® Virginia’s Blue Ridge triathlon will be held on June 7, 2020 in the Roanoke Valley in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. The race will include a 1.2-mile swim at Carvins Cove, a 56-mile bicycle ride through Botetourt County and a 13.1 mile run on the Roanoke River Greenway.
- A new cycling event, The Appalachian Journey, will take place April 11, 2020 in Floyd County, one of the least populated and highest mountain plateaus east of the Mississippi. Three cycling trails, ranging from 36 miles to 110 miles, will suit any rider.
- Dream Rock Silo, an up-cycled 1950s Dairy Barn in the Blue Ridge Mountains, was converted into a bed and breakfast with three separate accommodations.