The State of Virginia was one of the first British colonies on the North American continent. The British courtiers-turn-explorers named this stretch of land on the east coast after the Virgin Queen Elizabeth I.
There are some of America’s most amazing beaches, unique natural sites and historical attractions in Virginia. Many a president was born, lived and was buried here. Due to its strategic position on the coast, the territory of the state often served as a battlefield. Nonetheless, some sites demonstrate its peaceful character. When you consider a visit to Virginia, only think about history and magic at your fingertips.
Williamsburg was the capital of Virginia between 1699 and 1780. A visit to Williamsburg is a must to learn what life was like in the 18th century. Some buildings survived the passage of time; those that did not were faithfully restored to their bygone splendor. The Revolution began and ended here. You will walk the streets that once heard the voices of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, and visit the parish church that has welcomed the congregation since 1715. You will see the re-enactments of historic life scenes throughout the day and take a ride in a replica historic coach. The decisive Civil War battle was also fought at Williamsburg in 1862. This is an ideal place for a day trip full of history, fine dining, and family fun.
It is amazing to think that the first American presidents were not mere soldiers or politicians – they were good architects, too. The 21-room plantation house where Washington lived from 1754 till 1799 was constructed under his personal attention even as he was leading the nation through the War of Independence. It loses in splendor and grace to Jefferson’s Italian-style Monticello, but has retained the character of its own creator – a strong, no-nonsense leader who served two terms as the First President of the United States. The house overlooks the Potomac River, and Washington personally helped to plan the grounds and gardens here. The mansion is full of the Washington family personal belonging, making a visit another breathtaking journey to the dawn of American history.
Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington stretches across 600 acres and contains memorials to some of the greatest people in American history. John F. Kennedy is buried here, as well as Pierre L’Enfant who designed Washington, D.C. However, this is primarily a military burial ground, and a lot of memorials are dedicated to outstanding people and events in American military history. The Iwo Jima Memorial is dedicated to a pivotal battle fought by the U.S. marines in the Japanese territory in 1945. The Women in Military Service for America Memorial pays a tribute to all courageous women of American history. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier contains the remains of the soldiers from the two World Wars, the Korean and the Vietnam wars. Arlington House where the Civil War General Robert E. Lee had lived with his wife up until the war broke out stands nearby.
There are many more historical places to visit in Virginia. As for what other things to do in Virginia, remember that it boasts some superb natural attractions.
This is a sea resort loved by visitors of all ages. It is washed by the Atlantic Ocean and can get a bit chilly, but there are a plenty of indoor facilities. The Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Museum study the climate and sealife. There is a huge aquarium that both kids and adults will adore. The Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge contains a few nature trails and picnic facilities. There are two historic lighthouses to explore, while the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum showcases the past and present of the waterfowl in the region.
If you visit Virginia by car, make sure you go to Shenandoah National Park and its stupendous Skyline Drive. This stretch of land runs along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. There are several points to stop and enjoy the breathtaking views that will stay in your memory forever. Some attractions include President Hoover’s summer house, the Old Cave Cemetery, and Luray Caverns with awe-inspiring stalactites and stalagmites.