Hi, We are traveling from Central Jersey to Winston Salem, NC in first week of July to see family. We will be breaking the travel in Virginia Beach on our way to NC and at Luray Caverns in VA on our way back. Wanted to see what else we can do on our way to NC and back besides these two pit stops. We have around 8 days to make this trip and we will also have a 9yr old and a 7 yr old with us. Thank you.
Got a bunch of thoughts for you! In Winston Salem, definitely do not miss Pilot Mountain, which is wonderful. Pilot Mountain State Park | NC State Parks
The town of Staunton, near Luray, is a fantastic place to stop for lunch or dinner
If you divert to Williamsburg (possibly worth it, though less enjoyable than Old Salem IMHO) you might want to try to see this field filled with busts of presidents. https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/president-heads
Richmond is a gorgeous city to walk through, especially the Fan District, and your seven year old will love love The Grand Kugel, a 29 ton ball that you can move with one hand. https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/the-grand-kugel-richmond-virginia
It’s quite a popular site but Natural Bridge is a great one with kids!
While you are in the area try to see one of Mark Cline’s crazy creations!
For more info on Mark check out:
If you go camping near the Smoky Mountains, keep your eyes out for synchronous fireflies! They usually flash earlier in the season (“Peak flashing for synchronous fireflies in the park is normally within a two-week period in late May to mid-June.” ) but you never know, they are unpredictable! And if you miss them, (and maybe even better with the kids) take a “blue ghost” firefly tour! Blue ghost fireflies are shining brightly now across Western North Carolina
Check out the Cape May - Lewis Ferry. A great change from I-95 in the Wilmington-Baltimore-DC area. The ferry crossing is a nice change and it will put you out in the beach area of Delaware. No doubt a lot of vacation there, but at the end you will be able to take The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel right into Virginia Beach.
If your children like animals, you might take them to Assateague Island, VA to see the wild ponies (made famous in “Misty of Chincoteague”). http://www.chincoteague.com/ponies.html
Also, Ocean City, MD has a boardwalk, a family-friendly amusement park and fireworks.
The Warf Fish market in DC is always a good time and good food, its really become an attraction over the years