Veterans Day weekend is a time to honor and thank the many men and women who have served our country in the U. S. Armed Forces. Local and national parks are taking this opportunity to add their thanks with free admission to sites throughout the area.
Free Veterans Day Entrance to US National Parks, Nov 11
National Parks across the country are honoring veterans with free admission for all visitors. This is the last fee-free entrance day of the year. There are several national parks in Northern Virginia, all of which normally have admission fees that will be waived on November 11th.
Great Falls is a popular park for tourists who want to explore nature and history close to Washington DC, and it's also a favorite for locals. The park offers excellent hiking and provides good, wheelchair accessible views of the falls from several overlooks. The Visitor Center features displays and movies about the park's interesting history, including George Washington's role in the creation of the Potowmack Canal. Note: The Visitor Center is closed in 2021.
Plan your visit: 8 Great Things to Do in Great Falls and Tips for Your Park Visit
Gettysburg National Military Park and the David Wills House both offer free entrance on Veterans Day. Veterans also get free admission to the Film, Cyclorama & Museum Experience. Plan your visit with our guide to historic Gettysburg.
Manassas Battlefield preserves the site of two important Civil War battles, looking much as it did during the time of the conflict. Accessible activities include visiting the excellent displays at the Visitor Center and visiting battle sites on the 20-mile self-guided driving tour. We enjoyed hiking the 5-mile First Manassas loop trail, and a similar 6-mile trail follows the Battle of Second Manassas.
Most of the fall foliage will be past peak, but the views along Skyline Drive are as spectacular as ever. If time allows, stop at the accessible Byrd Visitor Center to learn more about the history of the park. Plan a day trip to Shenandoah National Park Central District.
37 miles of beautiful hiking and a 12-mile scenic drive immerse you in nature at Prince William Forest. Biking is another popular way to explore this Northern Virginia hidden gem. Take time to learn about the interesting history of the park, from its time as a CCC-built camp for under-privileged city children to a training camp for spies.
Special Veterans Day Events in Northern Virginia
Flags for Our Veterans, Quantico National Cemetery, Nov 6
The 3rd annual “Flags for our Veterans” Event honors our departed Veterans at Quantico National Cemetery. Help place over 2000 flags on the graves of loved ones and veterans. Meet at Shelter B at 11:00 to place flags on the newest section of the cemetery.
Veterans Day Parade, Manassas, Nov 6
Honor our veterans at the annual Manassas Veterans Day Parade. Military and veterans groups, scouts, and entertainers will march through Old Town Manassas in five divisions. Free; 11:00 – 12:30.
Arlington National Cemetery Veterans Day 2021, Arlington, Nov 9 – 11
Annual National Veterans Day Observances at Arlington National Cemetery honor the men and women who have served and continue to serve in the U.S. armed forces during war and peacetime. There are new Veteran's Day events at the cemetery in 2021.
- For the first time in 100 years, on November 9 and 10, members of the public will be allowed to walk on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Plaza and place flowers at the tomb. Registration is required. Free; 9:00 – 4:00. The event is wheelchair and stroller friendly and children are welcome to participate.
- On November 11, the public can observe a joint full honors procession and a joint service flyover with aircraft from all branches of the military.
- The annual Veteran's Day wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the observance program at the Memorial Amphitheater is by invitation only.
George Washington's Mount Vernon, Alexandria, Nov 11
In honor of Veterans Day, George Washington’s Mount Vernon honors those who served our country with a day of special programming. All active duty, former, or retired military personnel are admitted to the estate free and are welcome to place a flower at Washington’s Tomb. Mount Vernon will host patriotic performances by the Harmony Heritage Singers and the United States Air Force String Orchestra. 9:00 – 4:00.
Veteran's Day Commemoration, George C. Marshall's Dodona Manor, Leesburg, Nov 11
The annual Veteran's Day ceremony at Dodona Manor begins at 10:30 and features presentations, local veterans-focused nonprofits, and a vintage military vehicle display.
Fairfax County Rec Centers, Nov 11
The Fairfax County Park Authority (FCPA ) honors veterans with free admission to military personnel and their immediate families at all nine Recreation Centers. That includes admission to pools and spas, fitness rooms, drop-in fitness classes, gyms, and racquetball courts at the county’s nine recreational facilities. It’s the Park Authority’s way of saying “thank you” for service to our country.