Road Trip For Good: The 7 Greatest Things To Do In Virginia

Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

June 7, 2016

This article is part of our Road Trip for Good series with the incredible humans behind the popular 2 Traveling Dogs! Each week they will share their adventure in a new state, and their pups, Peanut Butter Brickle and Digby Pancake, will pick their favorite “Marked Territories.” Each state will highlight one special rescue organization that is doing fantastic work to help the dog community. For more detailed coverage, be sure to visit!

Our favorite realization on this Road Trip For Good is that there are people in the world trying to make a big difference in their communities for animals.  We’ve heard the saying before, “Virginia is for lovers” and we can see why after traveling to this state and after visiting Hope For Life Animal Rescue in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Brickle and Digby’s Paw-Picked Virginia Rescue: Hope For Life Animal Rescue

For the animals that are fortunate enough to call this place their temporary home, volunteers work around the clock to save lives in this community and beyond every day. Nothing says true love more!


What makes their facility different? As soon as we walked in, we saw cats AND dogs roaming freely together! No cages here! It was incredibly clean and relaxed – I wanted to take a nap and stay awhile! Their Hope Center includes six rooms designed with tempered glass for animals that need their privacy due to behavior or health issues, and two large dog runs. They don’t believe in caging animals, so their rescues either free roam or live in beautifully decorated glass rooms until they go to their permanent homes. They pay for all medical expenses including the spay/neuter.


The night before our visit, Pilot N Paws delivered a sweet girl named Gloria to their care. About to be euthanized and needing medical care, Hope For Life Animal Rescue agreed to take her in. Since our visit just a few short weeks ago, Gloria has found her forever home. The volunteers let us know immediately that the animals entrusted in their care will either be adopted or live out the rest of their lives with them.


All the work that they do cannot be done for free. They raise funds in a special way to support their rescue operation. Just a few doors down from their adoption facility, they run Hope’s Garden Resort, a boarding and daycare facility that truly is a blessing to this community with the services they offer.


A visit to Hope For Life Animal Rescue is one you will never forget if you are in the Virginia Beach, Virginia area. Meeting the dedicated volunteers and staff who run this place with nothing but love will inspire you to adopt, too.

When you do adopt your new best friend, or you’re in the area with your best friend, here are seven of the greatest things in Virginia to do together! Learn more about these great people and how we “hounded” them! Then, find out how to foster, adopt and donate by visiting

1. Step Back In Time With A Day Trip To Jamestowne and Historic Colonial Williamsburg


You may have not been a fan of history in school, but you will be after a visit to Jamestowne and Historic Colonial Williamsburg. To fully experience both areas, plan two days to take it all in. On day one, explore the grounds of Jamestowne. Jamestowne Settlement tells the story of 17th-century Virginia and the outdoor exhibits and ruins are not to be missed. On day two, head to Historic Colonial Williamsburg with your dog. Walk your dog straight through the expansive Visitor Center to a pathway leading to the city along a creek and fields of sheep and cows. People dressed in time period appropriate clothes and accents line the streets. You will literally feel like you have stepped back in time. With so many photo opportunities, we highly recommend planning enough time to fully enjoy this experience with your dog. It’s two days you won’t ever forget. As they say here, in Historic Colonial Williamsburg, it is throw-back Thursday #tbt every day!

2. A Camping Weekend At Pocahontas State Park

poco (1)

Twenty miles from downtown Richmond, Pocahontas State Park is worth a drive from almost anywhere. With everything from friendly campground employees that welcome dog parents with hiking and camping suggestions, to expansive grounds with trails that your dog will drool over, this state park has it all. Pitch a tent or bring your RV and start a hike literally out your door. As soon as you set up camp, pack a picnic and go straight to Beaver Lake Trail. This 2.5 mile excursion takes you around a peaceful lake on beautifully maintained trails, boardwalks and bridges. For dog parents that love biking too, let your dog sleep off his day of adventure and hit the bike trails said to be some of the best for mountain biking enthusiasts. At night, enjoy the lightening bugs and the smell of campfires. This is truly a magical place.

3. Chateau Morisette Winery And Restaurant


Along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Floyd, Virginia, if you love wine and you love your dog, you must stop here.  Bring your dog inside the Tasting Room to keep you company while you taste!  They even hold pet adoption days! Make sure to visit with the official winery dog too!

4.  City Dogs Restaurant/The Fan


Located off Main Street in Richmond, this location allows dogs on their outdoor patio.  If you love hot dogs, and you love dogs, why wouldn’t you go here? A great place to relax with a casual vibe, bring your appetite and fuel up for all that Virginia has to offer!

5. Take Your Dog On A Epic Ride Along Skyline Drive


Have you ever just wanted to get in the car and drive? Well, your dog does too!  Skyline Drive in Virginia makes you slow down for a little while and enjoy the journey with your dog.  The Skyline Drive runs 105 miles north and south along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah National Park and is the only public road through the park. The speed limit is 35 mph, so roll down your windows, feel the breeze through your hair (or fur) and enjoy this epic drive.  There are 75 overlooks that offer stunning views. You can enter Shenandoah at four places: Front Royal near Rt. 66 and 340, Thornton Gap at Rt. 211, Swift Run Gap at Rt. 33, and Rockfish Gap at Rt. 64 and Rt. 250 (also the northern entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway). It takes about three hours to travel the entire length of the park on a clear day. The best part of this drive? You can stop and hike with your dog at most of the trails! Check their website for rules and regulations.

6. Canine Cruise


Departing out of Alexandria, Virginia, take your dog on an hour long cruise of Alexandria’s Seaport with Potomac Riverboat Company. With numerous departure dates, this is a cruise that your dog will bark about for years to come! Did we mention that dogs ride free? Make sure and get your ticket ahead of time! These cruises book fast and they don’t take dog bones as payment.

7. Watch The Sunset On Virginia Beach At First Landing State Park


In a state known for love, stop and enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets you will ever see with your dog. Take a picture, but then put that phone away and truly appreciate the beauty before you. Walk out to a peaceful beach, take a blanket and sit down for awhile. Smell the salt air and find out why Virginia is not only for lovers, but for people that love and want to spend time with their dog.

Be sure to check 2 Traveling Dog’s pupcoming schedule to see if Brickle and Digby will be in your neighborhood!

Next stop…Maryland!

Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

June 7, 2016

Toothbrush-free dental care for dogs.

Fresher breath in 1–2 weeks.



A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.


A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.