There are about 110 miles of road from Richmond to the end of Interstate 64 East, and sometimes, pit stops are necessary. Make these detours more than just a chance to stretch your legs; take these chances to see some interesting sights in Virginia. Add a few of these 12 detours to your itinerary and get the most out of your next road trip.
Note: Due to COVID-19, some of the attractions mentioned in this article may be closed, have limited hours of operation, or be operating with additional safety measures in place; check business websites before visiting.
As Virginia’s capital, you could spend weeks in Richmond and still not see all the sights. We have highlighted a few quick stops that take only a few hours and give visitors a real taste of Richmond. Exits 186 and 190 off of I-64 East will help you navigate the city of Richmond, on the west and east sides, respectively.
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– Get a little retail therapy in the Carytown shopping district.
– Right off of Boulevard Avenue, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is a perfect pit stop for culture lovers.
– The Science Museum of Virginia houses interesting exhibits as well as hands-on activities that the kids can have fun with.
Surrounding Richmond on three sides, Henrico County offers a lot that make it a distinct destination and a welcome stopover when going through the city. Exits 192, 193, 195, 197, and 200 all lead to Henrico County off of I-64 East of Richmond City.
– The Richmond Dragway is another popular location in Henrico. The quarter mile track is used for drag racing and is open every weekend March-November for races, local events, and live entertainments.
New Kent County runs all the way up to the York River on the northern border, and I-64 East goes straight through the middle of the county. The area boasts beautiful scenery as well as producing some exceptional Virginia wines. Take Exits 205, 211, 214, and 220 off I-64 East to stop in New Kent County.
– New Kent Winery & Vineyards is open for wine tastings and tours of the vineyard 7 days a week, or come by Saude Creek Winery & Vineyards every day except Tuesdays to try award-winning wines. These New Kent wineries are true masters at blending delicious wines, friendly staff, and gorgeous scenery that you can take in from the covered porches that wrap around their buildings.
– Tour St. Peter’s Parish Church, called the “First Church of the First First-Lady”, where Colonel George Washington wed his beloved Martha in 1759.
-Colonial Downs & Rosie’s Gaming Emporium to play historical horse racing (HHR) electronic gaming for a chance to win big!
Most popular for the Jamestown Historic Settlement, James City touches both the York and James Rivers. Exits 226 and 231 lead to James City off of I-64 East.
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– Go Karts Plus has plenty of options for kids to have some fun and parents to take a break from a long car ride. With go-karts, mini golf, bumper boats, rides and an arcade, it’s the perfect pit stop to get some air.
– Spend 2-3 hours at Go Ape Treetop Adventure, a unique and highly interactive treetop course with ziplines, rope bridges, and other fun obstacle course gear. They have both adult and children’s courses so the whole family can participate.
Unspoiled, unhurried, uncommon…these three words are the unofficial motto of Charles City and a way of life for the residents. There is plenty of beauty and history in the region if you have time for a visit. Take Exit 205 off of I-64 East to get to Charles City.
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– Visit Virginia’s oldest plantation, Shirley Plantation, which dates all the way back to 1613, and take a guided tour of the estate’s Great House. After the historic visit, head over to Upper Shirley Vineyards next door to sample some excellent Virginia wine.
-Just down the road from Shirley Plantation, Berkeley Plantation was the site of the first official Thanksgiving in Virginia in 1619.
– Bike along the Virginia Capital Trail, a paved bike trail which runs from Richmond to Williamsburg, connecting Virginia’s past and present. If you’re up for the challenge, get dropped off in the capital and try the ride all the way to Williamsburg!
York is well-known for its historic homes, hands-on museums, and battlefields, but there are also a wide array of art galleries, specialty shops, great restaurants, and sunny beaches. Exit on 234, 238, 242, 243, and 247 to reach York County off of I-64 East.
Photo Credit: Fred DeSousa
– Enjoy specialty shops, riverfront dining, museums and entertainment along the scenic pedestrian Riverwalk Landing, then rent a bike, kayak or paddleboard from on-site vendors to take out on the water.
– Learn more about America’s historic beginnings at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown and Yorktown Battlefield, best known as the site of the final battle of the American Revolution.
– Take a detour to Watermen’s Museum and see how the Chesapeake Bay Watermen helped shape our nation, from pre-colonial times all the way to today’s current fishermen.
It’s not all about history in Williamsburg. There is shopping, dining, and modern entertainment that can fill up a few spare hours during a road trip detour. Williamsburg exits off I-64 East include 234 and 238.
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– Stop and shop at Williamsburg Premium Outlets, where you’ll get brands like Coach, Burberry, Kate Spade, Michael Kors, and Polo Ralph Lauren at discounted prices.
– Colonial Williamsburg visitors can get a taste of what a town was like during the Revolutionary War, with dozens of the buildings and homes still with their original foundations.
– The Virginia Musical Museum exhibits Virginia’s history in music, displaying rare instruments and outfits from Virginia music stars like Patsy Cline.
– If you’ve got a green thumb, stop at the Williamsburg Botanical Gardens to view stunning gardens that include a butterfly garden, herb garden, wetlands, and a wildflower meadow.
Confined by the James River and the Hampton Roads Harbor, Newport News is a port town through and through. Come to this coastal city and get a taste of what makes Virginia’s coastal region so popular. Exits 250, 255, 256, and 258 take you to Newport News off of I-64 East.
– Virginia Living Museum lets you get up close and personal with over 250 animals in their natural habitats. Unlike a zoo, the goal at the Virginia Living Museum is to teach you about these animals and their conservation. Kids can even touch sea stars and horseshoe crabs in the Touch Tank.
– Calling all ocean lovers! The Mariners’ Museum and Park has more than 35,000 nautical items like ship models, navigational instruments, and hundreds of artifacts from the Civil War. The park has free admission and is open daily.
On the southern tip of the peninsula, Hampton is the last stop before taking the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel. Exits 261-268 all lead to Hampton off of I-64 East.
Photo Credit: Craig Anderson
– At the Hampton Roads Naval Museum, you’ll discover more than 230 years of U.S. Naval history from the region. This museum is one of only 12 Navy museums in the United States in operation, and admission is free.
– Climb in to a real cockpit and experience a pilot’s view, or suit up in an authentic astronaut’s spacesuit at the Virginia Air & Space Center.
There are many ways to reach Norfolk off of I-64 East, but any of the exits between 272 and 284 will get you there.
Photo Credit: Andrew Richard
– See more than 500 animals at the Virginia Zoo, from baby tiger cubs to pandas to kangaroos. The zoo also has a few restaurants located within the grounds if you need to grab a bite during your detour.
– Want to see an actual battleship? At Nauticus, a maritime museum in Norfolk, you’re even allowed to take a tour of the inside of the U.S.S. Wisconsin and see what life on a battleship would look like.
Virginia Beach is a great stop for a few hours (or days!) of sand, sun, and fun. Get off on Exit 286 to reach Virginia Beach from I-64 East.
– The beach! Virginia Beach is a popular spot to soak up some sun.
– Walk or ride bikes along the Boardwalk, where you can stop off for a snack or a souvenir in the shops that line the beachfront walkway.
– Stop at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art to explore regional, national, and internationally renowned modern art.
– Tee off at TopGolf, a state-of-the-art entertainment complex that lets you practice your golf game without expensive club fees.
– Visit the Virginia Aquarium for over 800,000 gallons of aquarium, as well as hands-on exhibits and a nature trail that let you get a more active experience with sea animals. Still have a lot of energy after the aquarium? Next door, you can climb, swing, and zip through the trees of The Adventure Park at the Virginia Aquarium. Ages five and up are suited for this adventure.
Portsmouth is big on family fun and easy on your wallet, plus it is only 20 miles from the Virginia Beach coast. To get to Portsmouth off of I-64 East, take Exit 284.
– From its antique and specialty stores to its tree-lined streets, historic Olde Towne Portsmouth is a history lover’s dream come true. In a single square mile, the District contains one of America’s largest collections of architecturally noteworthy 18th and 19th century homes and churches.
– The Virginia Sports Hall of Fame and Museum showcases the state’s sports legends and provides a hands-on, interactive experience that the whole family will enjoy. The nine exhibit areas showcase 20 sports where you can test your skill at baseball, football, soccer, basketball, NASCAR racing, and many others.
– The largest museum in Virginia, the Children’s Museum of Virginia has 72,000 square feet of fun, interactive exhibits that educate kids while also entertaining them.
Add some adventure to your itinerary and stop off at a few of these I-64 East exits for a few hours of extra fun.