Virginia is supposedly for lovers, and also somewhere I’ve traveled a fair bit. Born and raised in the area right outside of Washington D.C., I’ve taken my fair share of roadtrips, attended school here, and fallen in love in Virginia. Come along for the ride of some of my favorite cities and towns.
Although not necessarily the most gay friendly, Williamsburg is a cute college town with a lot of history, culture, and cute eateries. I ended up living here for a whole year while working on my master’s degree, so I ended up getting to know the area very well. My favorite thing about Williamsburg was the accessibility to little waterfront getaways. The year I lived here, I was often stressed due to my strenuous program, and these getaways provided the perfect place to unwind and breathe.
Be sure to see the different James River overlooks, Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown Beach/Colonial Parkway, and Merchant Square. For drinks, be sure to check Dog Street Pub, and for coffee check out Aromas Coffeeshop. This town is perfect for a weekend waterfront gettaway.
Arlington is an overlooked city less than 10 minutes from Washington D.C. Arlington has many similar perks to large cities with just a hop and a skip away from DC itself. It has quirky coffee shops, eclectic nightlife and karaoke hits, and delicious brunch spots.
Asha and I ended up taking a weekend trip to Charlottesville for Valentine’s Day last year. Charlottesville is your typical mountain college town with quirky shopping, restaurants, and venues for its small size, in addition to wineries, hiking, and great live music. Be sure to see Monticello for history buffing, the downtown mall for shopping and eateries, and Skyline Drive for hiking.
Home of the Hokies, you probably won’t find another college town in Virginia with more school spirit and pride. Surrounded by mountains and filled with a wholesome local attitude, a phenomenal farmer’s market, and eateries with distinct personalities, Blacksburg is a must visit for those stopping through Virginia.
Eat at Gillies for phenomenal vegetarian food and The Cellar for local comfort food; explore the Virginia Tech Campus and hike the Cascades during the day; and chill at Shesha Lounge in the evening for live music and a laid back atmosphere.
You knew I wouldn’t possible forget the best small city in Virginia, right? Richmond is a quirky artsy city with a great music scene, hipster culture, and community feel.
- For you outdoorsy queers – check out a hike along Belle Isle, a famous island right off the James
- For you hipster coffee queers – check out Lamplighter Coffeehouse
- For you shopping queers – take a stroll down Carytown
- For you dancing queers, check out Babes or Goddfrey’s clubs
- For you 3 in 1 queers, check out downtown Richmond (Shockoe Slip) for nightlife, used bookstores, and quirky shops
- And for a longer more detailed list, check out my Queer Guide to Richmond.
Now tell us: what are your favorite places in Virginia?