Central and Southern Virginia
- Charters of Freedom in downtown Orange, at the James Madison Museum grounds debuted March 2022. Bronze replicas of our Founding documents which provide education to the community and visitors for years to come.
- To mark the 50th year Lake Anna has been open and to highlight the historical timelines of the lake, visitors can participate in events throughout 2022. Events are expected to include but are not limited to: Lake Anna Love Concerts, a restaurant week, and a lighted holiday boat parade.
- Wintergreen Resort has added a new 9-hole putter disc golf course.
- Nelson Memorial Library will hosted the Smithsonian’s Museums on Main Street Crossroads exhibit March 12-April 17.
- The Poe Museum, located in Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom neighborhood, is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2022. Celebrations and events will occur April – October 2022, with April 26 being the actual 100th anniversary date. Celebratory events will include a Poe-Rade, a ‘Masqued Ball’ in honor of Poe’s short story The Masque of the Red Death, and the ever-popular monthly UnHappy Hours. The museum has received a major gift of Poe artifacts which was unveiled in early 2022.
- Kings Dominion debuted Virginia’s first 4D Spin Coaster in March. Tumbili suspends riders on either side of the track as the cars flip continuously throughout the ride. Featuring state-of-the-art magnetic technology that induces and controls spinning, this 4D Spin Coaster gives riders the feeling of weightlessness as they cruise along the track tumbling and spinning head over heels in the rainforest tree canopy.
- The historic Paramount Theater on the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville celebrated its 90th anniversary in November 2021 and has special $0.25 screenings into 2022 as a throwback to what prices were upon the theater’s opening in 1931.
- The Virginia Museum of History and Culture completed a nearly $30 million renovation project in spring with a grand reopening May 14. The renewed museum complex of nearly 250,000 square feet includes multiple new exhibition spaces; a new immersive orientation theater; a new interactive learning space for families; a new research library with a state-of-the-art rare book and manuscript suite, and multiple new education/meeting rooms; a new café, museum store and other amenities; and multiple new and renewed community and event spaces, including a new great hall, a second floor event terrace, an outdoor event lawn, an expanded parking lot, and an improved Virginia Museum of Fine Arts campus connector.
- Art Alley in Downtown Lynchburg opened in October 2021. The project serves as a gateway into the Bluffwalk, a pedestrian walkway where visitors can view the James River, Blue Ridge Parkway, and dine at one of the several restaurants located on the walkway. Art Ally is a bright and vibrant outdoor art gallery with large scale murals and a colorfully painted street. The alley features artwork from 14 Central Virginia Artists.
- The National Park Service (NPS) has reopened Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, following a three-year closure for a complete rehabilitation of the site and transformation of the visitor experience. New exhibits and research allow the NPS to interpret the history of the Custis and Lee families alongside that of the more than 100 enslaved people who labored on the plantation. Together, their stories reveal a complex, more complete picture of life at Arlington House and of the people and events that changed our nation.
- After more than two years of careful planning, design, and construction, the DEA Museum in Arlington, Virginia, reopened November 4, 2021. The Museum, which originally debuted in 1999, has been reimagined by staff and partners to engage and educate the public in a colorful, contemporary space. Interactive exhibits featuring hands-on activities, artifacts, and diverse, personal histories make the Museum a modern and compelling exploration of the long, dynamic history of drug use, misuse, and law enforcement unlike any other.
- Capital One Center, a vibrant, mixed-use entertainment epicenter has arrived in Tysons! Features include a new performing arts center called Capital One Hall and a 1.2-acre skypark that brings an amphitheater and biergarten anchored by Starr Hill Brewery, a dog park, a sculpture garden, a pop-up food truck experience, and mini-golf to Fairfax County. Capital One Hall’s 1,600-seat theater will host more than 200 pop/rock, Broadway, and comedy performances annually. The site is Metro accessible and also home to the new all-suites Watermark Hotel.
- In fall 2021, Arlington County opened the Long Bridge Aquatics & Fitness Center, a 92,000 square foot modern aquatics and recreation facility that serves the needs of health- conscious, fun-seeking and active individuals and families. Located near I-395 along the Potomac River, the center also features three full-size athletic fields overlooking views of Washington, DC.
- The National Museum of the United States Army has officially opened to the public after decades of planning. This 185,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art museum is the first and only museum to tell the comprehensive history of America’s oldest military service branch. These stories are told through the eyes of the U.S. soldier and the impressive museum features several interactive exhibits, a multi-dimensional theater, a Medal of Honor Garden experience, and a kid-friendly and G-STEM anchored Experiential Learning Center where guests can simulate the work of Army soldiers.
- The Ballpark Loudoun opens July Fourth weekend. The Ballpark Loudoun is America’s Favorite Pastime…Re-Imagined. The Ballpark Loudoun will be a unique and fun active entertainment experience that combines integrated cutting-edge technologies, top-of-the-line skill development opportunities and a full-service restaurant and bar, to create a custom experience for all ages and skill levels. The Ballpark Loudoun will have four HitTrax™ Suites, which are interactive batting cages that combine eSports with our national pastime. Game opportunities range from team competitions to home run challenges and can take place in a virtual backdrop setting of more than 40 ballparks from across the country.
- Following the City of Alexandria’s purchase of Freedom House in early 2020 and extensive renovations, the museum reopen in May with a brand-new multi-room exhibit elevating the stories of the thousands of men, women and children who were held in the headquarters of the nation’s one-time largest domestic slave trading firm.
- The City of Alexandria will debut a southern route of the self-guided waterfront African American Heritage Trail.
- I Love You, the latest temporary art installation on Old Town Alexandria’s waterfront, is a luminous declaration of affection from the city to the public, creating a photo-ready postcard of Alexandria which represents the city’s welcoming spirit and a message of hope through the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be featured from March to November 2022.
- Chill-Axe-In’ axe throwing recently opened in Brandy Station. A perfect spot for friends who want to try out axe throwing and have a great time.
Coastal Virginia – Chesapeake Bay, Hampton Roads, Eastern Shore
- Iron Pony Adventure Park, Chincoteague Island’s newest attraction for family fun, recently opened to the public. Guests can climb to new heights & experience the thrill of 30+ aerial obstacles on 2 full levels. Take yourself to the edge and try the pony plunge, a 26-foot-high leap of faith.
- After a rare two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Annual Pony Swim at Chincoteague returns to the Easter Shore in July.
- Smithfield’s new family friendly festival, The Smithfield Arts Festival, debuted May 21.
- Lost Planet Selfie Museum recently opened in Virginia Beach. Explore this new immersive museum designed specifically for your Insta feed with wacky landscapes and over-the-top props.
- The Perry Glass Art Collection, a gallery located in The Glass Light Hotel in Norfolk opened October 2021. This private collection encompasses two floors of over 65 glass art pieces from world renowned artists. Artwork displayed will be rotated out to feature new artists. This Gallery is free to hotel guests and the public.
- The Hampton Virginia Aquaplex is set to make a big splash this summer. This state-of-the-art facility is the largest of its kind in Virginia. Purpose-built for competitive aquatics, the Aquaplex was designed to host Mid-Atlantic and national competitive swimming and diving events, artistic swimming, water polo, and more. Spectator seating for 1,500 overlooks the eight-lane, 50-meter pool with two moveable bulkheads. Seating for 760 athletes occupies the wide, spacious pool decks for the smoothest of swim and dive event execution.
- The Mary M. Torggler Fine Arts Center at Christopher Newport University is a stunning new gem among Virginia’s visual arts organizations, the Torggler Center features a magnificent rotunda topped by cascading glass domes; a spacious main gallery presenting art by nationally and internationally-recognized artists; a community gallery devoted to the work of local and regional artists; a microgallery for experimental projects; and an academic gallery displaying the work of students and faculty. An interactive gallery for kids and families will open in 2022.
- Bryce Resort, is opening a new sports complex late 2022.
- Seven Bends State Park is adding a Natural Play Area on the Hollingsworth side of the park mid 2022.
- Buttercup, a small-scale women’s boutique in New Market will be expanding and opening their second location in Woodstock.
- Harrisonburg has just added a new African-American Heritage Tour. It highlights significant sites associated with Harrisonburg’s African-American residents and history. The tour is called Roots Run Deep and was made available through a printed brochure and the TRAIPSE app (a free app which can be downloaded from any app store).
- In early 2022, an additional round-trip Amtrak train to Roanoke will depart DC in the morning and serve Alexandria, Burke, Manassas, Culpeper, Charlottesville, Lynchburg, and Roanoke.
- Mill Mountain Zoo will celebrate their 70th anniversary/birthday on July 4, 2022.
- The Taubman Museum of Art newest exhibit “Afrofuturism in Costume Design” features unforgettable designs from Academy Award-winning costume designer Ruth E. Carter spanning nearly four decades of her career within an Afrofuturistic installation incorporating original artwork by artist Brandon Sadler, whose murals were prominently featured in Black Panther. The exhibit runs from November 14, 2021 through April 03, 2022.
- Thomas Road Outpost is an adventure camp that is building a conference center with plans to have it complete by fall of 2022. They will be promoting availability for meetings, events, business retreats, church group retreats and more. They have onsite lodging, dining, trails, aerial course, ziplines, various activities for team-building, and more.
Southwest Virginia – Blue Ridge Highlands, Heart of Appalachia
- Blue Ridge Discover Center opens summer 2022 at its new campus in Troutdale, Smyth County. The family-friendly center is your gateway to the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, with ADA-compliant walking trails through the restored wetlands area, and interpretive programs for all ages.
- The Back of the Dragon, Virginia’s only designated motorcycle route and the premier riding road on the East Coast, has new improvements, including new, motorcycle-friendly lodging on the Smyth County side, new scenic overlook at Hungry Mother State Park completed fall 2021, and new Back of the Dragon Welcome Center in Tazewell.