There are more than 2,500 miles designated as scenic byways in Virginia.
The regions highlighted here offer a very small sample of the wonderful variety you'll find on these scenic and historic roads across the commonwealth. Click the links for maps and more details.
Scenic Route 39 carries you up steep mountains and along deep gorges. You'll come upon the Virginia Horse Center and Goshen Pass, then you can enter the George Washington National Forest and pretty soon, you've entered the town of Warm Springs.
As you continue on Route 39 toward the West Virginia state line, you'll pass the Hidden Valley and Blowing Springs recreation areas, with opportunities for camping, hiking and fishing.
Connecting the state and confederate capital of Richmond with the colonial capital of Williamsburg, this byways tour starts with a visit to the Capitol Building in Richmond, or with St. John's Church.
You can stop by Civil War sites within the Richmond National Battlefield Park, then drive by the historic plantations along Route 5. The byway ends in Colonial Williamsburg, where you can park your car and travel centuries back in time to the first days of our new democracy.
Virginia's Millennium Legacy Trails
Virginia boasts many miles of trails for those who want an up-close experience with nature.
Featured here is the 57-mile-long New River Trail State Park, meandering through southwest Virginia.
The park follows a former railroad right-of-way through two tunnels and across nearly 30 picturesque bridges and trestles which parallel the north-flowing historic New River for 39 miles.
There are a number of scenic byways to choose from in Northern Virginia. You can begin on Route 15 traveling north from Loudoun County towards Maryland and the Potomac River. You might stop at Oatlands Plantation in Leesburg, or at Ball's Bluff Regional Park.
As you continue north on Route 15 through the rolling countryside, you'll come across the small town of Lucketts and Tarara Vineyard and Winery. Go south onto Route 662, and you'll find picturesque villages in Virginia's horse country.
Another option from Route 15 is to take Route 672 to Route 673 and head south on Route 690 to Route 719. This drive takes you parallel to the Appalachian Trail.
Veer towards the trail on Route 7 and you'll come to the Breaux Vineyard. Pick up Route 734 further south in Bluemont, and you'll come to Willowcroft Farm Vineyards.
A typical byway drive in southwest Virginia would be Route 52 north out of Wytheville.
You can stop at Big Walker Mountain Lookout for a breathtaking view. Then follow Route 42 southwest to Route 16. Going south will take you to Mount Rogers. North on Route 16 takes you toward Tazewell and Burke’s Garden.
Virginia Civil War Trails
Virginia has more important Civil War battlefields and sites than any other state.
The Virginia Civil War Trails consist of 260 stops in five interconnected campaign driving tours marked with trailblazing signs.
Many stops are located on or near Virginia's scenic roads. To obtain a statewide Virginia Civil War Trails map, and a map of each campaign driving tour, visit the Virginia Civil War Trails Web site at www.civilwar-va.com.
Click on the links for a map and description of a stop on each campaign tour.
The U.S. Army occupied Fort Monroe during the war to secure the entrance to the James River and Chesapeake Bay. Follow the trailblazing signs from Fort Monroe to Richmond.
In 1862, Stonewall Jackson drove the federals from the Shenandoah after a brilliant campaign. Follow the signs from Winchester through the valley to Roanoke.
Lee vs. Grant
In May 1864, Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant accompanied Maj. Gen. George G. Meade's Army of the Potomac as it maneuvered south from Germanna Ford toward Richmond to lure Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia into a decisive fight.
Forced from Richmond and Petersburg by the encircling federals, Gen. Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia retreated west. Follow the trailblazing signs from Petersburg to Appomattox and other southside sites.