In the third installment of a series entitled Ecotourism in America that focuses on the natural beauty and wildlife viewing opportunities available within the U.S., consider a family eco-getaway to Virginia. In its state sponsored website, Virginia Green, one can find travel tips, green vacation packages, eco-lodging by region and dining options as well as information about holding green conferences. There is also a special emphasis on eco-events, which from birding to dolphin watching to scavenger hikes to farm tours to park restoration days promises fun for each member of the family.
Depending on your proximity to the Washington, D.C metro area (DMV), you can either take an Amtrak Virginia train or rent a hybrid vehicle from Enterprise, Hertz, or Budget.
- Front Royal in Shenandoah Valley is spectacular when showing off its autumn colors. While there, you can go rafting, birding or fishing along the Shenandoah River. You can go biking and horseback riding in the Shenandoah River “Raymond R. Guest” State Park or enjoy a great hike along the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail.
- Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge near Virginia Beach that provides refuge to snow geese, ducks, loggerhead sea turtles, piping plovers, peregrine falcons and bald eagles.
- Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. With more than 14,000 acres of beach, maritime forest, salt marsh and freshwater marsh, it’s home to a variety of migratory birds, plants, and other animals.
- The Blue Ridge Parkway is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year with plenty of opportunities to explore areas such as Floyd County where you can hike Buffalo Mountain or Rock Castle Gorge National Recreational Trail or bike, fish, camp and photograph till content.
- Miracle Farm B&B Spa and Resort near Floyd, Virginia is a green certified sustainable living center/animal sanctuary that serves an organic breakfast right in your room. Their energy sources are derived from water, wind and solar panels. Besides hiking, fishing, and birding, the Resort offers massage, Pilates workouts and spa packages.
Part 1 of this series focused on New England and Part 2 focused on New York.
Part 4 of this series will focus on ecotourism in North Carolina.
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