Looking for new restaurants, exhibits, and experiences to kick off 2020 in Virginia? We’ve compiled a list of the latest and greatest opening around Virginia this spring, helping you start off the year in a fresh and exciting way!
- Abingdon’s first ever Restaurant Week will kick off at the Barter Theatre on Wednesday, March 4 with Southwest Virginia native and celebrity Chef Sean Brock. Chef Brock will sign copies of his new cookbook South: Essential Recipes and New Explorations, and discuss his career, his philosophy and his Abingdon roots.
- A new cycling event, The Appalachian Journey, will take place April 11 in Floyd County, one of the least populated and highest mountain plateaus east of the Mississippi. Three cycling trails, ranging from 36 miles to 110 miles, will suit any rider.
- In spring 2020, GearHead Moto Tours will be offering all-inclusive adventure motorcycle tours throughout Southwest Virginia.
- The Virginia Highlands Festival and William King Museum of Art are hosting a special opportunity for artists April 23-25 in Abingdon. “Plein Air Abingdon” is a plein air paint-out and pop-up gallery for creating new work, selling work and networking with fellow artists and creators.
- Opening in spring 2020, Snow’s Fine Meats & Provisions is Abingdon’s first whole animal butcher shop and delicatessen. Located on Main Street, Snow’s Fine Meats & Provisions will offer pastured local meats, deli items and grab-n-go sandwiches, as well as cooking classes.
- Nicewonder Farm, located on 400 acres in Southwest Virginia, offers award-winning Nicewonder Vineyard wines and Appalachian cuisine at Taste, a wood-fired kitchen restaurant. In February 2020, Nicewonder Inn & Spa and Hickory, a fine dining restaurant, will open.
- The Virginia Museum of History and Culture is promoting the following exhibitions:
- Determined – The 400 Year Struggle for Black Equality – Through March 29, 2020.
- Agents of Change – Female Activism in Virginia from Women’s Suffrage to Today – March 7, 2020 – September 27. 2020.
- Fredericksburg will welcome a new semi-pro baseball stadium in Spring 2020.
- The Looking Glass opens January 18, 2020 at the IX Art Park in downtown Charlottesville, and it will be the first fully immersive art space in Virginia. Inspired by the growing trend of immersive, interactive and hands-on art, the Looking Glass is a 3000 square foot enchanted forest designed and built by 14 Virginia artists. Visitors will be able to relax in a jungle hammock, travel through a 50 foot caterpillar, engage with augmented reality vignettes, play music on golden goddesses, get to know a friendly family of gnomes and more.
- The Quirk Hotel will open its second location in Charlottesville in early 2020.
- A “Military Through the Ages” event takes place March 21-22, 2020 at Jamestown Settlement. This one-of-a-kind event features a re-enactors presenting a military timeline, from the Vikings and Roman period through the Virginia Army National Guard.
- In February 2020, Portsmouth Living History will roll out a Living History program dedicated to Black History, with several actors portraying notable figures from Portsmouth’s past.
- Busch Gardens Pantheon®, the Fastest Multi-launch Coaster in North America, debuts in 2020.
- The “Forgotten Soldier” special exhibition at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown runs through March 22, 2020. The exhibit features the contemporary artwork by Titus Kaphar and tells often-overlooked stories of Black Americans on both sides of the war, free and enslaved.
- Marriott Virginia Beach Oceanfront Hotel will open in March 2020, offering a breathtaking oceanfront venue for lodging, meetings and events.
- In Rockingham County, Horizons Edge Sports & Event Campus is set to open January 18, 2020. The field house will consist of approximately 90,000 sq. ft. and include four basketball courts, six volleyball courts, a multipurpose/indoor soccer field and a family entertainment center. Outdoor facilities will include a regulation size multipurpose/soccer lighted artificial turf field.
- The best BMX racers across the country will be performing at The BMX Blue Ridge Nationals at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington January 24-26, 2020.
- Opening March 2020, the Stonewall Jackson House Museum’s new orientation center will be showcasing artifacts owned by the Jackson family and rarely seen by the public.
- Shenandoah County will welcome its first cidery in March 2020. The Sage Bird Ciderworks will be located in Harrisonburg, and will use locally-sourced fruit and flavor to produce small-batch, hand-crafted hard cider.
- January 2020 brings the reopening of Arlington House: the Robert E. Lee Memorial. Located at the top of Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington House has been closed since mid-2018 for a $14M renovation project. When the project is completed, visitors will see Arlington House as it was in 1860, with rooms restored to their historical appearance. Additionally, the quarters for the enslaved people of Arlington House will be restored to better represent and tell their stories. As visitors move between the mansion and the new museum and bookstore, they will pass along accessible paths that stretch through the restored grounds, including heirloom gardens. People who cannot visit in person will enjoy a robust experience through virtual tours, complete with detailed displays of the rooms and objects that belonged to George Washington and the Lee family.
- Alexandria’s biggest story is happening at the waterfront. In March 2019 the City opened a new park at the foot of King Street, seamlessly connecting Old Town’s historic retail corridor with the water. At Waterfront Park , visitors enjoy Adirondack chairs overlooking the Potomac, swings, a rotating public art series and special events like the Portside in Old Town Festival, occurring in the fall and summer. In March 2020, the next temporary public art installation in Waterfront Park will be unveiled. Brooklyn-based artist Olalekan Jeyifous, recognized for his 50-foot-tall installation at Coachella 2017 and currently designing a monument to Shirley Chisholm in Brooklyn with Amanda Williams, is the 2020 artist. His work, which will be up until November, will capture Alexandria’s cultural, architectural and merchant history.
- Coming in 2020, visitors can learn more Alexandria’s African American heritage through expanded interpretation and experiences presented by the Office of Historic Alexandria, including expanded interpretation along the Duke Street corridor, a series of film screenings and lectures, expanded programming at Freedom House Museum and special tours such as the African American Cemetery Tour in April.
- The Workhouse Arts Center, once a DC prison that notoriously housed incarcerated members of the National Women’s Party, will open the Lucy Burns Museum in early 2020, which will focus on the Party’s efforts to win the right to vote.
- A new hotel is coming to King Street in Alexandria. The Hyatt Centric Old Town Alexandria, Hyatt’s first hotel in the city, will open in January 2020. The hotel will include 124 guest rooms and a French, southern inspired restaurant.
- Bringleton’s Coffee House will open in early 2020 in South Hill.
- Lily Pad Campground & RV Park opens in the Spring of 2020, offering pads for recreational vehicles and tent camping as well as amenities to complement a camper’s stay. Built in phases, the site will eventually offer 191 spaces for RVs and 50 for tents. The RV pads will be a mix of both concrete pads and pull-throughs and will include water, sewer and electrical hook-ups. Additionally, the park will include a bathhouse, kayak/canoe rentals, walking trails and more. An on-site convenience store will offer camping supplies and basic equipment, as well as a short-order grill. Future plans also include a large meeting space. The majority of the park will be for guests only; a small portion, including the store, will be open to the general public. The site of Lily Pad is roughly 15-18 acres, with over 60 additional acres surrounding it. Campsites are nestled between the Smith River and a small creek, giving the park access to the water and creating a tranquil atmosphere that is sure to attract visitors.