by Arundhati Bhand Updated on 15 Oct 2018
An essential guide to the very best things to do in and around Quantico.
Image Source: wikipedia.org
Quantico was earlier known as Potomac and is nestled in Virginia’s Prince William County in the United States. As per the stats of 2010, around 500 people inhabited the town whom Marine Corps Base Quantico’s U.S. military installation surround from three sides and from the remaining side, Potomac River borders it.
The town is dotted with a number of parks and tourist hotspots for entertaining people of all ages and interests and has something to offer to everyone! Here are top tourist attractions in Quantico.
Let's explore Quantico points of interest and 15 best things to do in Quantico:
1. Revel in recreational activities at Leesylvania State Park
Leesylvania State Park is considered as a historical spot in because of the fact that Captain John Smith paid a visit here. Moreover, it was also the ancestral abode of Fairfax and Lee families of the state. Other than its historic value, there’s a lot for vacationers to take pleasure in.
Hikers will find it interesting, as it boasts of five hiking trails but at the same time, it’s good for families as well, because they can enjoy a fun-filled picnic in one of its many picnic shelters. If fishing is what suits your interests, the place won’t disappoint you. Other than fishing, you can also enjoy a lovely boat ride. What’s more, there is a natural sand beach, visitor center and a group-only campground too.
2. History buffs can take a tour to Air-Ground Museum
It focuses on US Marine Corps and exhibits items associated with US military’s history. Visitors can opt for guided tours inside the Air-Ground Museum which features military-related objects such as trucks, guns, tanks and so on. The museum is one of the worth visiting tourist spots on your tour to Quantico and is said to be cost-effective and kid-friendly.
3. Find escape in nature at picturesque Locust Shade Park
If you want to soothe your eyes with lush greenery and are seeking refuge amidst of nature, Locust Shade Park is the place to go. It’s ranked among the prettiest parks of the county and has a lot to offer to visitors other than innate exquisiteness, scenic trails and tranquil water. There is absolutely no comparison of the wide range of activities and amenities that Locust Shade Park provides to holidaymakers.
4. Delve into the history by paying a visit to the National Museum of the Marine Corps
If history is your thing, then the National Museum of the Marine Corps has to be in your list of places to see in Quantico. It is United States Marine Corps’ historical museum which was opened on 10th November 2006, and is presently counted among Virginia’s prime hotspots attracting more than 500,000 tourists every year.
Spread over an area of about 100,000 square feet, it’s open for people to visit and explore. After several years of its construction, it made an announcement of expanding and added sections related to modern Marine Corps history; for instance, a war on terror gallery and a combat art gallery.
5. Experience a wide range of exhibits at the historical museum
Marine Corps Heritage Foundation was established in the year 1979. This private organization extends support to Marine Corps’ historic programs. This foundation included National Museum of the Marine Corps in the year 1999 when it expanded.
Talking about the historic things displayed at the museum, they are exhibits related to World War II, Vietnam War, Korean War, Making Marines, Legacy Walk, Leatherneck Gallery, etc. Later in the year 2010, the museum opened three other exhibits related to World War I, Age of Expansion and Defending a New Nation. Besides, visitors can also find a statue of Sergeant Reckless, a horse that served in Korea with the Marine Corps. Other than these, there is also a theatre, rifle range laser simulator, restaurant, bar, gift shop and classrooms. A section in the Korean War gallery simulates sounds as well as the cold temperature of Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. Moreover, there are two areas where kids can play inside the museum.
6. Kids N Motion ensures utmost fun for children
This is an entertainment center for children and has a number of inflatable play structures, enjoyable slides, and climbing walls. Other than visiting it for the purpose of entertainment, people can also host a party here as Kids N Motion even has a dining area as well as a different section for kids below the age of five.
7. Enjoy quality time at Government Island while immersing yourself in various entertaining things to do
It is a well-known place to immerse in a wide range of amusing activities; however, people can make it to Government Island only by boat. If fishing is what draws your attention, you are going to love this spot as there is a shoreline of 15 miles which makes it ideal for fishing. Besides, you can opt for hiking, take pleasure in swimming, sooth your eyes with greenery and bird watching, enjoy a picnic and a lot more. Another remarkable thing about Government Island is that visitors can also bring pets along with them but should be attentive enough and carry leashes too.
8. Smallwood State Park offers a lot of recreational activities
It’s a historical preservation and public recreation site lodged in the Charles County’s Mattawoman Creek. Preserving Smallwood’s Retreat, General William Smallwood’s plantation home, this state park is spread over an area of 984 acres. The natural retreat offers vacationers a plethora of activities, such as campsites, marina, amenities for the picnic, boat ramps, beautiful trails, nature center and cabin.
When a successor left the plantation house in a ruined condition, a group of natives had been formed in the year 1934. The group had the responsibility to protect Smallwood’s Retreat and it was from 1954 to 1958 that it got restored.
9. Shopaholics just can’t miss to stop at Potomac Mills
If shopping bug has bitten you, Potomac Mills can satisfy your senses to a great extent as it is dotted with more than 200 shops and only after paying a visit to the mall, you will realize why it is the biggest outlet mall of Virginia. Apart from shopping, visitors can also take great delight in I-MAX theater and savor their taste buds with delectable food at one of the many restaurants available inside the malls.
10. Smith Lake Park
Have an interest in sports? A visit to Smith Lake Park is a must! Spanning on 17 acres, this park is positioned on Smith Lake’s edge and faces Aquia Creek Dam. It’s a nice place to visit if a sport is your cup of tea in view of the fact that it has a playground along with amenities for several games including soccer, baseball and football. Additionally, there’s a walking trail, sites for a fun picnic and horseshoe pits.
11. A visit to Veterans Memorial Park assures a day full of entertainment
Veterans Memorial Park houses a community center that hosts classes and camps. There is a pool of 50 meters, lovely hiking trails, duck pond and facilities for a picnic. Moreover, if you are interested in sports, the site will not let you down as it has tennis, volleyball and basketball courts.
12. Have a sneak peek at the history at Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park
It covers the areas where Civil War’s battle climax happened and hence has a great historical value. People who pay a visit to the site have an opportunity to gain knowledge with regard to the war along with particular battles that took place in the area. For this, they need to explore the museum and take a stroll across battlefields.
13. Take your kids to Fantasy Playground
Fantasy Playground is a little different from other recreational spots for children. The park’s dark wood and equipment give an impression as if the kids are playing in a tree house. In addition, it features one more equipment that kids find entertaining by climbing over, under and on it. Overall, it’s a good place for kids to revel in some amusing moments.
14. Explore the home environment of United States’ first President at Birthplace National Monument
People will definitely enjoy taking a tour to George Washington Birthplace National Monument as it makes them acquainted with the home environment where the US’ first President grew up. There are farm buildings, gardens, livestock, etc. and people can opt for tours or take delight in watching a movie at a visitor center or immerse in special programs.
15. Take a tour to Rippon Lodge Historic Site
Rippon Lodge Historic Site is one of the oldest houses of Prince William County and attracts a number of tourists every year. In the beginning, it was actually a tobacco plantation but at the present time, it has turned into a home museum where visitors can take trips to grounds and house and unveil the history.