Delve into the roots of American history by planning a trip to Virginia, home of the the first permanent English settlement in North America, Jamestown. Travel to the “Old Dominion” to discover unmatched historic destinations and beautiful landscapes consisting of soaring mountains, glistening beaches and charming towns. As you make your journey across the state jumping from cultural attraction to historic institution, make sure you take the time to stop and let the delicious produce of award-winning wineries soak into your tastebuds. One needs to rehydrate somehow!
A gateway to the south and a state filled with beauty and history, Virginia offers accommodation which reflects its beautiful nature. Choose a charming bed and breakfast run by friendly hosts who are happy to offers tips about an area the love and know so well. If nature is really your thing then choose a snug rental within a country farmhouse. If you are travelling with a big group and space is on your list of requirements, than book a self-catering apartment or holiday home and spend your time in Virginia as if you were a local! No matter what the final decision on accommodation is, be assured that a true Virginian experience will be had!
Where to stay
- Jamestown was the first English settlement in the U.S. and was founded for the purpose of silk cultivation!
- While the World’s Largest Peanut may have its home in Georgia, the first peanuts ever grown in the United States were grown in Virginia!
- In Virginia, about ¼ of its workers work for the United States government which is more than for any other industry!
- Visitors to Chincoteague Island can see the world’s only oyster museum!
- Virginia is the birthplace of Presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor and Woodrow Wilson!
Nature lovers will have much to explore when holidaying in Virginia. Hours can be spent trawling through Shenandoah National Park. Pack a picnic to fuel yourself as your experience scenic hiking trails and bird watching sites. Be careful not to run into a black bear who has taken a few tips from Yogi about stealing picnic baskets! The First Landing State Park is another beautiful area and a wonderful place to watch the sun set over the back dunes of the beach. If you want to take the weight off your feet but still enjoy picturesque landscapes, then drive through Cumberland Gap.
Things to see and do in Virginia
The guide books are not lying when they write that Virginia has the best historic sights in the United States. Mount Vernon is America's second-most-visited historic home. Why wouldn’t it be? George Washington made his home at the plantation! Keeping it in line with the American President theme, drive to Charlottesville to view the 2 monuments Thomas Jefferson built, his hilltop home and the University of Virginia. Visitors can pay their respects to Presidents William Howard Taft and John F. Kennedy, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and Robert Kennedy at the Arlington National Cemetery. Plan your trip carefully and also fit in the former battlefields at Fredericksburg, the Appomattox Court House and the Historic Triangle of Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown.
So when all that is done and more, how else can visitors fill their time in Virginia? Entertainment venues are not hard to find. Those finding themselves in Bristow can catch a show at the Jiffy Lube Live. NorVa is a performing theatre whose name gives away its location in Norfolk. The state also houses the Jefferson Theatre, the Barter Theatre and the Hampton Coliseum. Or maybe it is a museum you are after but history is not exactly your thing. Fear not! Virginia is home to the Virginia Living Museum and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
Virginia is as known for its wide variety of food as its is for its many splendid attractions. While most may be aware of the mouthwatering wine it produces, the state is the nation's third largest seafood producer. It won’t take long to find a restaurant serving dishes made from blue crabs, oysters, clams, sea scallops and many other species of fish. Have seafood one day and on the next base your meals around country hams which have been popular since the 17th century. The famous Smithfield Hams are sure to tantalise your tastebuds! A wide variety of fruits and vegetables are grown throughout Virginian farmlands and are readily available in dining establishments, or in local grocery stores where they can be cooked in your holiday accommodation.
Eating and drinking in Virginia
Visitors wishing to arrive by plane will be happy know that Virginia has many major airports which service its main cities. Washington-Dulles International Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport are present in Northern Virginia. Both have their positives. Washington National Airport is closer to the Washington Metro Rail system while Washington-Dulles is more convenient for international passengers. Travellers to Central and Southern Virginia destinations can land at Richmond International Airport, while Norfolk International Airport serves Eastern Virginia. Other smaller regional airports service Roanoke, Lynchburg, Charlottesville, and Harrisonburg. If coming to Virginia from inland, Amtrak offer services to many of the state’s cities as well as a commuter rail service via the Virginia Railway Express. Journeys from Maryland and Washington, DC are easy via Metro Rail and Metro Bus. Virginia is also easily accessible by car as it is connected to other states by secondary roads and Interstate highways.
When travelling around the state itself, it is probably more efficient to travel by car. However, public transportation in Northern Virginia is relatively widespread. Amtrak trains run from Norfolk/Newport News out to the western panhandle, north and south between Richmond and the Northern Virginia/DC area and from the western panhandle up to Northern Virginia. Virginia Railway Express (VRE) and Washington Metro also offer a number of stations.