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Although you'll be pressing to see everything in Virginia in 2 weeks (Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown together can easily eat up a week), you can see the tip of the iceberg in a week if you really hurry and see only the top attractions. In devising this route, I have eliminated all but the best.

Day 1: The Shenandoah National Park 

Drive directly to the entrance of the Central District of Shenandoah National Park, on U.S. 211, at Thornton Gap. Go south on the Skyline Drive, take in the views, hike, or go horseback riding. Spend the night at the park's Big Meadows Lodge or Skyland Lodge.

Day 2: Charlottesville 

Drive south on the Skyline Drive to U.S. 33 east, then to U.S. 29, and then south to Charlottesville. Spend the afternoon touring the University of Virginia and other downtown Charlottesville attractions. The next morning beat the crowds to Jefferson's magnificent Monticello. Do lunch at nearby Michie Tavern before visiting President James Monroe's Ash Lawn-Highland. When done, follow I-64 east to Richmond.

Day 3: Richmond 

It will be all you can do in a day to visit the Museum and White House of the Confederacy, the Richmond National Battlefield Park, St. John's Episcopal Church, and the capital city's other top sights.

Days 4 & 5: Williamsburg, Jamestown & Yorktown 

Spend one of these days in Colonial Williamsburg, the next seeing Jamestown and Yorktown.

Day 6: Fredericksburg 

Depart Williamsburg early and drive north to Fredericksburg, where you can spend the rest of the morning exploring George Washington's boyhood home. Tour the Civil War battlefields in the afternoon.

Day 7: Alexandria & Mount Vernon 

Beat the crowds by spending the morning seeing the historic sights in Old Town Alexandria and the afternoon at Washington's Mount Vernon plantation.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.