2024 Virginia Visitors Guide
Virginia is composed of a vast landscape. The Virginia Mountains region to the west is home to the famous Appalachian Mountains. Skyline Drive winds along approximately 105 miles of a natural paradise. It stretches from the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains along Shenandoah National Park – 200,000 acres of nature’s playground. Central Virginia is brimming with southern hospitality.
Mitchie Tavern is a popular destination in Charlottesville, as is visiting the 2,700-acre National Battlefield in Petersburg, where the Confederate soldiers lost their battle for Richmond. The Museum of the Confederacy and the Valentine Museum pays homage to the tragedy of the Civil War. Recreational enthusiasts will find a great selection of activities in the Chesapeake Bay area which dominates the eastern coastline. Arlington is across the Potomac River from the Nation’s Capital, Washington, DC, and home to the National Cemetery, the final resting place for such famous people as John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and Joe Louis.
Central Virginia is one of the historical hearts of Virginia and the United States. Former U.S. presidents, including James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe, called this area home. The stately homes of Jefferson (Monticello) and Madison (Montpelier) are located near Charlottesville and are open to the public.
As well, the American Civil War was fought throughout Central Virginia in towns such as Fredericksburg and Lynchburg. In Appomattox, visit the site where Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant. Civil War museums, monuments, parks, and interpretive centers are scattered throughout the region.
The beauty and magnificence of Virginia’s mountains extend along the western portion of the state, encompassing the Appalachian Mountain Range. Ample opportunities for recreation can be found in this region’s many forests and wilderness areas, exemplified by Shenandoah National Park. Virginia’s Explore Park, near Roanoke, features an Outdoor Living History Museum, in addition to canoeing, kayaking, hiking, fishing and mountain biking. Natural Bridge is also in Virginia’s mountains, where the remnants of a collapsed limestone cave attract visitors. Below this 215-foot arch, the Natural Bridge Caverns can be toured.
Chesapeake Bay Visitors Guide
The Chesapeake Bay dominates the eastern coast of Virginia. In addition to a host of recreational activities, Virginia’s colonial heritage has formed the basis for the thriving tourism industry found in this area. Colonial Williamsburg, the seat of power of England’s largest and most prosperous colony, was the capital of Virginia from 1699 to 1780. Today, Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown are collectively known as the Historic Triangle and make up one of the most popular tourist destinations in the area. The Chesapeake Bay region also is home to Norfolk and Newport News, a city of 171,000, situated on the front of the James River. Virginia Beach was developed as a holiday retreat and sees a younger group of tourists flocking to the lively six-mile beach. With ten lovely parks to explore and more than 30 miles of waterways, Chesapeake is an outdoor wonderland
Arlington Visitors Guide
On the banks of the Potomac River, and overlooking the Nation’s capital, the Arlington and area is very much affiliated with Washington, DC. The centers of Arlington and Alexandria only have a population of 117,000 people, but are connected with the District of Columbia – via public transit and several bridges – and allow visitors to experience the highlights of both metro areas. The Arlington National Cemetery is the burial ground of 225,000 military personnel and their dependents and is also home to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where the Changing of the Guard is one of Arlington’s most popular attractions. John F. Kennedy’s grave is also here, and the eternal flame sees more visitors than any other site in the graveyard. Alexandria, a charming district featuring streets lined with old brick homes transformed into restaurants, shops, and taverns, offers a number of interesting stops. Alexandria’s Torpedo Factory Art Center sits on the waterfront and houses a range of work from local artists. Mount Vernon is one of the country’s most visited national historic sites. The former country estate of George Washington features tours of the mansion and grounds.
Charlottesville is steeped in history. This town’s beauty is reminiscent of the entire state of Virginia – the Blue Ridge Mountains provide a backdrop for the magnolia-lined streets and fine examples of early American architecture. Thomas Jefferson’s former residence, Monticello, is Charlottesville’s most extraordinary attraction. Guided tours are offered daily, which reveal many of Jefferson’s eccentricities. The University of Virginia is also a noteworthy attraction. Jefferson himself attended to every detail in the establishment of this educational institution and its grounds. For a truly historic experience of Charlottesville, visitors are encouraged to enjoy a meal at Michie Tavern where servers are costumed in period attire.
Portsmouth is a city rich with history. Visitors can take either a self-guided walking tour or a narrated trolley ride through the historic Old Towne, which features 18th and 19th-century houses. Other local attractions include the oldest operating naval hospital in the U.S. and various Civil War sites. For a memento of the trip to Portsmouth, visit High Street, which offers many different shops and boutiques. The Seawall is another prominent attraction in Portsmouth and is an ideal spot to watch all manner of ships in the Portsmouth harbor.
Richmond Visitors Guide
Richmond has many diverse sights and attractions that will appeal to most interests. The capital of Virginia, Richmond is also known as the Capital of Confederacy. Renowned for its appreciation and preservation of its history, Richmond is brimming with historical sights and attractions detailing its past. History buffs will love Agecroft Hall, originally built in Lancashire, England, and brought to Virginia in the 1920s, and the Valentine Museum, where Richmond’s diverse past is honored. Visitors can transport themselves back in time and take a guided walking or driving tour of Historic Downtown Richmond, where some of the oldest buildings still stand. This city is also home to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, one of the largest and most extensive fine arts collections in the south.
Millions of people have flocked to Virginia Beach. First, Europeans settled here in 1607 in search of a new life. Today, people come to explore this past, and for the boundless fun, this city offers. For a piece of history, visit some of the oldest homes in the country, or the first government lighthouse.
A new 3 mi (5 km) boardwalk borders a sandy beach on one side, and lines of endless attractions—from shops to amusement parks—on the other. Fish, swim, kayak, or cruise. Or, take a guided tour to come face-to-face with dolphins and whales. Wildlife refuge parks promise a variety of animals and miles of trails for recreational use. Nearly 30 golf courses in the area will keep golfers challenged. With a great variety of attractions, Virginia Beach is for landlubbers and water babies alike.
Williamsburg is a unique destination that wholeheartedly embraces its colonial roots. Colonial homes are everywhere, and many of them now serve as distinctive accommodations. Williamsburg is home to a number of museums, including the Rockefeller Archaeology Museum, and the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Gallery. Busch Gardens Williamsburg is a good place for vacationing families, as it features a number of rides and other amusements. At the Jamestown Settlement, visitors can learn about the hardships and triumphs of the area’s early settlers. The Williamsburg area also features a number of plantations that can be visited.
Virginia’s Presidential Homesteads
Virginia is known as the cradle of American’s dramatic history. Not only was Virginia the largest of the 13 colonies before the revolution, but it was also home to the first college in North America and during the 18the Century could be described as the best educated of the original colonies.
The colony of Virginia and the state was also home or birthplace to 8 of America’s presidents including 4 of the first 5 gentlemen to hold the office. Today those homes are available for the public to visit and not too far from Williamsburg, Virginia.
George Washington’s Mount Vernon
Located about 2 hours north of Williamsburg is the home of America’s first president, George Washington. However, I-95 can be a bit of a challenge during rush hours. 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Alexandria, VA 22309
Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello
Located about 2 hours from Williamsburg, but only a few minutes from James Monroe’s Ash Lawn homestead and about 45 minutes from Monroe’s Montpelier located northeast of here. 931 Thomas Jefferson Parkway, Charlottesville, VA 22902
James Madison’s Montpelier
Montpelier was the lifelong home of James Madison, Father of the Constitution, the architect of the Bill of Rights, and fourth president of the United States. 11395 Constitution Highway, Montpelier Station VA 22957
James Monroe’s Ash Lawn
James Monroe 5th President of the United States is located about 2 hours from Williamsburg. 1000 James Monroe Parkway, Charlottesville, Virginia 22902
John Tyler’s Sherwood Forest Plantation
James Monroe 5th President of the United States is located about 2 hours from Williamsburg. 14501 John Tyler Memorial Highway
Charles City, Virginia 23030
Harrison’s Berkeley Plantation
Benjamin Harrison was 23rd President of the United States is located about 2 hours from Williamsburg. 2602 Harrison Landing Road, Charles City, Virginia 23030