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Pleasing everyone on a trip to BGE


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So here's my dilema: I am an outright coaster maniac, sick beyond cure, but my fiance isn't entirely thrilled by them. She enjoys them, don't get me wrong, and she'll get on anything, but she doesn't like the trips we've taken in the past going from park to park and just going 24/7 to get as on as many coasters as we can in our week off during the summer.

 

My question for advice is how can I get to one of my most sought after parks : Busch Gardens Euroburg, without making it just a coaster trip. Some things Julia (my fiance) likes to do: camping, white water rafting, caving, hanging on the beach, hiking, kayaking, etc. Any ideas on what to include in a 3-4 day trip that would be doable on a budget of less than $500 for 2 people?

 

I'm speaking especially to those of you around the park or places along the travel route (From Cincinnati to Virginia), as we would be driving. Any info on things to do in the area outside of Busch Gardens is greatly appreciated, and I'll look into every suggestion.

 

Thanks upfront,

 

-James Dillaman

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BGE has TONS of other things to do around it within 10 miles. I mean, it is in Williamsburg. When I was there there were signs all over the place for different "attractions". I don't know exactly what because I didn't go to any of them but you can probably browse around the net and find some fun, interesting things to do.

 

The park also has a lot more than coasters to it. The shows are nice, and the park is beautiful as well.

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^ yes but I need non-park things around there. And tourist trap sort of things are not her style. For example, when we went to Dollywood, we went to the National Park and drove up to the top of one of the domes to take some pictures, we also hiked down a rocky creek for a couple hours. We're not as interested in the popular tourist strip areas that tend to pop up around major themeparks.

 

Also what's the cheapest and best camping sites for tent camping nearby? I know there's a lot to do at BGE, but we can't spend the whole vacation at the park, that's the point of my questions.

 

-James "also, cheap or even free things are better" Dillaman

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Williamsburg is not a tourist trap. It's a rather impressive historical display.

 

But it sounds like you're looking for more outdoors stuff, so it may not be right for you. There is a good amount of white water rafting in VA, but it's not going to be free or cheap. Though there may be some self-guided tours that would be cheaper. I'm not familiar with any state/national parks in the Williamsburg area, but going to Skyline Drive might be something for you to look into.

 

dt

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James,

 

There is "urban whitewater" rafting through Richmond. As Dave said Colonial Williamsburg is pretty impressive, and if the ocean is her style, it isn't too far to Virginia Beach. Yorktown has a nice "Riverwalk" area (with a beach on the York River), and the battlefield is worth checking out. Jamestown, the first "permanent" colonial settlement is worth a look. Jamestown Island is the actual site (run by the National Park Service), and Jamestown Settlement is a re-creation of the fort and a Native American village (with costumed interpreters). Yorktown, Williamsburg, and Jamestown are all connected by the Colonial Parkway, which makes for a nice drive.

 

I think you and Julie will find that this area has a lot to offer beyond Euroburg.

 

Chuck

 

PS--You might want to check this site out: http://www.virginia.org/site/content.asp?MGrp=1&MCat=14&MItm=212

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The Jamestown attractions are excellent, I was as impressed with Yorktown. I would look for some of your "nature" stuff to do on the way out or back as breaking the drive into smaller drives usually leads to a lot of fun.

 

I do think the budget is a little low, but the camping will help. Williamsburg is just an excellent area so request some travel guides and have a good time.

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I agree with what people have said so far. When my girlfriend was living down in the Newport News area, we found plenty to do on weekends that I visited aside from our nightly visits to Busch Gardens. Like mentioned, Virginia Beach is worth the 45 minute - hour drive, and there are a lot of interesting historical factors that makes Colonial Williamsburg very interesting. Are you into golf? Because there is plenty of that around also. There are a few really nice hiking trails in the Newport News area that we really enjoyed taking our dog on too.

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^ Thanks for the info, guys. Yeah the more I look into it we might be looking to stop and camp/whitewater raft in the New River area of West Virginia. This would also break up our drive down into 2 parts, so it isn't a straight drive. My main concern now is the cost of camping in Williamsburg, combined with the unpredictable weather. That website helps out a lot, Chuck.

 

I was just wondering because it seems so many trips people on here take are only themepark oriented.

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The park you have chose to want to visit has so much other stuff around it to do. This is such an easy trip for you to get to see your park and coaster away one day and enjoy so many other things to fill out your vacation. New Port News, Virgina Beach, coast line galore, come on 10 minutes seaching the area on the web and your set man!!!!!

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Colonial Williamsburg is a lot of fun to just walk around and take in. I know how you feel about trying to find a balance. I would love to do more multiple park trips, but Melissa, while she likes going, isn't as fanatical about them as I am. I always try to find other things to do on our trips as well to kind of compliment the amusement parks we go to. Like when we make our second attempt at SFOG next month, we are also going to take a couple hour stop at Myrtle Beach.

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For rafting, I would definitely recommend the New river/ Gauley river area in West Virginia. The "whitewater" in Richmond is usually pretty lame.

 

I would recommend doing nature/ hiking things in the VA mountains. Try Skyline drive or the Blue Ridge parkway. There's plenty of camping, hiking, and photo opportunities along those roads, and you can pretty much make a day trip out of it without much of a plan.

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Avoid Newport News if you can, there's construction everywhere. Trust me, I live in Newport News. But, we do have the USS Monitor Center at the Mariners' Museum

 

There is a lot to do in Wiliamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown. The Jamestown settlement just recently opened their new building and has many new attractions, and a re-make of the Jamestown fort.

 

In Virginia Beach, you have the beach of course, but also the Virginia Aquarium and Ocean Breeze Water Park, among a lot of other attractions. In Hampton, you have the Virginia Air and Space Center. In Norfolk, you have downtown where you can see random mermaids.

 

There's basically just a lot of things you can do in the Hampton Roads area besides BGE and Williamsburg. The Southside has a lot to offer as well.

 

I hope I've helped somewhat.

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Whenever I go down to Virginia, I always spend a few days in Virginia Beach before heading over to Williamsburg. Its great just to relax on the beach and do nothing. I also find that the Fishing Pier is totally worth the $2 to go out on. I just stand at the end and gaze out onto the ocean. I find the entire area very therapeutic. That, and the Aquarium/Marine Museum is AWESOME.

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Just make sure that if you are camping and decide to stay at the Anvil campground that you ask for a site away from the train tracks! I do believe that this is advertised as one of the closest campgrounds to BGE. While it is a nice little family campground and reasonably priced, it takes some getting used to with the freight trains running through the area all night. Being that they do not have a lot of sites, you will hear the trains no matter where you camp. I would recommend that if you stay, try for one near Rt. 603 on the right side of the legend below. We just happened to get placed at one fifteen feet from the tracks on the left side. Notice that they do not show the train tracks on the legend below. I do not think that this was one of the amenities mentioned on their website either!

 

As far as things to do, I think that recent posts have addressed those questions. Me and my partner went last year to see his kids/grandkids (they live in Richmond) and we found lots of fun things to do besides theme parks. I agree that the Colonial Parkway is very beautiful and would be great for trekking.

 

My partner is a historical buff, so we did just about everything that we could do in Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown. While I am not into the historical sites quite as much, I very much enjoyed them and walking around. A nice way to spend a day, or two.

 

Virginia Beach was nice, but very crowded! Make sure you give yourself plenty of time if you head there for the day. I would recommend going early in order to find a decent parking spot.

 

Hope you enjoy your trip! I can't wait to go back, as I think the area is picturesque and full of wonderful things to do...I guarantee you will not be bored!

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About fifteen feet from our tent!

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Left side right next to the tracks.

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^Ha! I drive by Anvil Campground almost every day. Yeah, get used to coal trains if you stay there. The KOAs are farther from the town (and the tracks), but not too far from I-64, which will take you right to BGE.

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^One caution--I stayed with some friends at the Williamsburg KOA in the 1980s, and back then, the place was crawling with very aggressive raccoons. Really, they had no fear of anything or anybody as they rooted through garbage cans. If you shouted at them, they'd actually come after you!

 

But that was a long time ago.

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