Virginia Tech: College Tour Tips and Itinerary

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Planning to take a tour of Virginia Tech with your child this summer? Learn what to expect from your time on campus and discover fun ways to make your day trip to Blacksburg, VA one to remember.

A prospective student stands outside the Virginia Tech stadium.

This summer my oldest daughter and I are hitting the road to visit college campuses throughout the south east.

While we live in Charlotte, NC, we are considering schools both in and out of state.

Our first trip of the summer was a day trip to visit Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA–an easy 3 hour drive from Charlotte.

I’m sharing all my tips and tricks and a peek inside the tour to help you and your student navigate a college tour of your own. But don’t miss my general college tour tips here, too!

Getting There

Virginia Tech
For parking for your college tour, you’ll add this address to your GPS:
901 Prices Fork Road
Blacksburg, VA

For more general directions on how to get there, Virginia Tech has a very helpful page here.

If you’re starting from the south side of Charlotte, NC like we did, plan for about 3 hours in the car. The worst traffic we hit was just getting over the north side of Charlotte by Huntersville. It was smooth sailing after that.

Register for Your Tour Before You Go

Virginia Tech offers virtual tours, like so many colleges and universities now do.

However, if you want to see campus in person, take part in an information session with an admissions officer, and get a guided tour with a student guide, you’ll want to register for a campus visit before you go.

Be sure to sign up with one of their open dates, you can find all the information you’ll need to register here.

A mom and daughter visiting Virginia Tech.


Once you’ve registered as an official visitor, they will send you all the details you need once you arrive on campus.

During our visit, we were asked to park at the The Inn at Virginia Tech and sent a printable parking pass to put in our car dashboard so we didn’t have to pay a parking fee.

You’ll park near the Visitor and Undergraduate Admissions Center which is up a small hill. You’ll spot the staircase next to this statue of the Hokie Bird:

A statue of the VT Hokie bird outside the visitor center on campus.

Our Itinerary

We left home in Charlotte at 8 am so we could arrive in Blacksburg, VA by 11 am.

We drove through downtown Blacksburg and past the university so we had a better sense of where we’d have to park for the tour.

Then the rest of the day went as follows:

  1. Buy Donuts at Carol Lee: Save them for the drive home.
  2. Have Lunch in Downtown Blacksburg
  3. Campus Tour at 1:30 pm
  4. Visit the Bookstore After the Tour
  5. Take Pictures
  6. Drive Around Campus
  7. Head Home: We got home around 8pm

Information Session

Be sure to arrive at your parking spot early so you are not late for your information session and tour.

Once you’ve parked, head up to the Admissions center and check in with the team at the front desk.

The lobby is filled with interesting displays of the historical facts about the university.

You’ll be assigned an information session with an admissions officer who will present the basic information you need for applying to Virginia Tech.

This is an excellent place to ask any general questions you have about the admissions process. The presentation lasted about 30 minutes.

Walking Tour

After the information session, you’ll be lead down the hill towards a campus tour guide for your walking tour of the campus.

During our visit, the walk was gentle and easy and did not involve any stairs or difficult inclines.

There is a spot on the website to request an accessibility-friendly tour when you register if that is a concern for your family.

The walking tour lasted for about an hour and a half and covered about 1 mile on campus.

NOTE: If you visit campus during summer, be prepared for construction projects throughout campus. They expedite these “spruce-ups” during the times when students are home for the summer.

The outside of Burruss Hall is covered in scaffolding as it undergoes a surface update.
Burruss Hall, Virginia Tech

We walked through the heart of the university past major landmarks on campus including:

  1. Burruss Hall
  2. Torgersen Hall
  3. The Pylons and War Memorial
  4. The Drill Field
  5. Newman Library
  6. The Bookstore
An inside view of Torgersen Hall shows red couches and tables.
Torgersen Hall, Virginia Tech

The only buildings we entered during the the tour was a peek at the lobby of the chemistry building, the Newman library, and a brief hallway tour of Torgersen Hall.

Our guide pointed out the dormitories and dining facilities along the way.

If it is important for you to see the inside of these things, be sure to ask your tour guide about how to make that happen.

The 8 pillars of the warm memorial on Virginia Tech's campus.
The Pylons at Virginia Tech

Our tour guide was an extremely recent graduate (she just graduated 2 weeks ago) and so very helpful during our tour.

She wore a microphone headset so that the entire group was able to hear her narration and she stopped for questions every several minutes.

We ended the tour at the Pylons, in the center of the campus, and she stayed for 30 more minutes to answer any additional questions and offered suggestions for where to head next on our own.

Where to Eat

If you plan to eat before or after your tour, there are several places to eat near the university.

Two pizzas on a table inside The Cellar restaurant in Blacksburg, VA.

I wanted to share a special meal with my daughter somewhere just off campus since it was our first college tour together but it could make for a really interesting experience to eat like the students do right on campus.

The Cellar

We chose to visit The Cellar which is in Downtown Blacksburg, a very easy 8 minute walk from the university bookstore.

The menu had a little something for everyone: pizza, sandwiches, salads, fresh specials, and tons of appetizers.

We arrived starving and every plate of food brought out from the kitchen looked amazing.

Our server recommended the pesto chicken pizza as one of their more popular dishes. (See photo above.) My daughter picked that and I was extremely jealous. I’d definitely order that next time. My gyro pizza was good but didn’t come close to hers.

As luck would have it, our server was also a very recent graduate of Virginia Tech. Once she heard we were going on tour, she bubbled over for 10 minutes about how it was the best experience of her life and she just wanted to spend one last summer there before heading on to graduate school in the fall.

She was a fountain of great advice, so be sure to chat up to the people you meet around campus!

On-Campus Dining Halls

If you really want to get a feel for student life, our tour guide mentioned it was possible to eat in one of the student dining halls during your visit.

Be sure to ask them for more information if this is of interest to you!

8 Things to Do During Your Visit

The 2 hours of your information session and tour are just 1 part of your day at Virginia Tech. Be sure to plan for some extra time before or after your tour so you can experience more than the area offers your student.

1. Visit the Bookstore

If your teen is anything like my kiddo, a visit to the campus bookstore is a Must-Do. We purchased a t-shirt for her to enjoy wearing between now and her final decision, it will also possibly come in handy for our decision day announcement in the spring.

A prospective student visits the Virginia Tech bookstore.

2. Check out Lane Stadium

If you have a student athlete or marching band kid, you’ll want to make time to drive or walk over to the football stadium on campus.

While not part of the official tour itself, Lane Stadium is easy to find and very impressive to see.

3. Stroll by Duck Pond

Very close to the drill field, Duck Pond is a popular student hang-out spot and was voted “most romantic date spot” for picnics, etc.

4. Drive through Greek Village

If your student is interested in rushing a fraternity or sorority, you can find all the Greek housing nestled together just off campus behind the golf course.

5. Take a Student Photo

Once we bought my daughter’s VT tee, she changed into it so we could take an on-campus picture to potentially use in her announcement later next spring.

I’m saving all the campus pics in an album on my phone for easy grabbing when the time comes.

NOTE: This was my daughter’s idea, not my own. If you think your child would feel way too much pressure with this, skip it! They don’t need any more stress placed on their shoulders. For us, there was just a simple feeling of excitement and potential and hope surrounding that pic. We know she’s an awesome kid who will land some place that is the right fit. Maybe that will be Virginia Tech, maybe not.

6. Walk Through Downtown Blacksburg

There are several shops and restaurants down the cute main street that is Downtown Blacksburg.

You can easily walk there from the bookstore or you can drive over there and park your car in on-street parking.

7. Visit the Blacksburg Farmer’s Market

If you’re in town on Wednesday, there is a local farmer’s market near campus that would make for a fun visit.

Unfortunately for us, the timing didn’t work out. The market opens at 2pm and we were ready to head off campus. You can get all the details you need for your visit here.

8. Visit Carol Lee Donuts

When I was researching things to add to our itinerary, I discovered that Blacksburg is home to a donut shop that was listed among the “Top 100 Donut Shops in the Country” by Yelp’s online community.

We were not about to spend 6 hours in the car and be that close to a best donut shop and not stop in!

The photo collage shows the donuts and outside of the donut shop.

Carol Lee Donuts is a very tiny donut shop just a couple minutes off campus by car. They have very limited hours so we made it our first stop of the day once we arrived.

We bought a half dozen donuts in a variety of flavors, they were already picked over by 11 am when we arrived! We tried to select flavors that wouldn’t melt in the car heat and saved them as a special end-of-day treat for the drive home.

When I asked for the Toasted Coconut donut, our server mentioned it was specifically chosen at the Best Donut in Virginia. I can totally see why. It was absolutely amazing — light and fluffy, glazed all over, with perfectly crispy toasted coconut on top. Worth the visit for that alone!

Final Thoughts

My daughter and I had the best time during our day trip to Blacksburg, VA together. This was the first of several college campus tours we have planned for the summer and I’m already looking forward to the next one.

Virginia Tech blew us away and we fell in love with the campus and the amazing list of student activities she could participate in.

Every single person we met that mentioned they were a recent grad expressed a huge amount of love for their school.

The in-person tour helped the university move up several notches on her list of favorites and she is eagerly looking forward to applying this fall.

The photo collage shows the VT logo at the stadium next to an arched bridge on campus.

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