The state of Virginia is located in northeastern USA. It is a place steeped with history. Virginia is nicknamed Old Dominion for being the first colony of the British in North America. It has also earned the nickname ‘Mother of Presidents’ for being the birthplace of 8 US Presidents. With the Atlantic Ocean on its east and the Appalachian Mountains on the west, Virginia is blessed with beautiful natural scenery. Of special mention is Shenandoah National Park, which has some of the most picturesque trails in the US. The state also has many historical sites and neighborhoods, several of which are linked with the American Civil War. Here is our pick of the top 10 tourist attractions that the state of Virginia has to offer.
- Manassas National Battlefield
The Manassas National Battlefield was the site of two very important battles fought during the Civil War. These two battles were fought in the years 1861 and 1862. The battlefield has been preserved exceptionally well. You can stand at the site and almost visualize the battles taking place. The first battle which took place at the site was the Battle of Bull Run. The second battle had ensured a win for the Confederates. Today, the site is not only a historic war memorial but is also home to several species of migratory and resident birds.
- Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach is a vast expanse of golden-colored sand. It’s a very popular beach and is often crowded. There is a boardwalk, a large number of hotels and other forms of entertainment lined up along the beach area. Other than swimming in the Atlantic Ocean, you can visit the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Museum which explores the fauna, the climate and the sea floor of the coast. There is also an aquarium, a touch tank and several other exhibits. Then there is the Ocean Breeze Water Park which features slides based on a Caribbean theme. If you are more into nature, then you can explore the Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
Monticello has one of the finest presidential homes in the US. It is also one of the most-visited such homes in the country. It is a mansion which Thomas Jefferson had designed himself. The architecture was inspired by a villa located at Vicenza, Italy. As you go around the house, you will be able to see several of his inventions. A garden designed by him is located at the back of the house. The family cemetery is located below the garden.
- Mount Vernon
Mount Vernon was the home of George Washington from 1754 onward. He lived in this house while it was still being built. Washington supervised the construction himself and lived here until his death in 1797. The personal attention resulted in the beautiful house which stands today. It consists of 21 rooms and is surrounded by a huge plantation. The walls are covered with bright wallpaper colors and paints. These types of bright attention-seeking colors were very popular during the 18th century. There is a ‘New Room’ whose walls are painted in bright green. This room was reportedly Washington’s favorite.
- Chincoteague and Assateague Islands
Assateague is an island located toward the east of Chincoteague Island. The first one protects the second one from the Atlantic Ocean. The island of Assateague lies in both Maryland and Virginia and enjoys the status of a National Wildlife Refuge. It consists of more than 14,000 acres of saltwater and fresh marshes, shorelines and habitats of more than 300 species of waterfowl and shorebirds. However, the island is most famous because of its wild ponies. They draw about one million visitors to the island every year. Along with seeing the wild ponies, you can go on boat tours, swim in the sea or walk the nature trails.
- Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive
The Skyline Drive does total justice to its name. It runs through the Shenandoah National Park and is a popular hiking and cycling trail. The park protects parts of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. The Skyline Drive is actually the continuation of another drive, known as the Blue Ridge Parkway. It contains several picturesque stopping points. One of the points includes the summer residence of President Hoover. Another popular stop is the Cave Cemetery which is located below the Dark Hollow Falls. The best time to visit the park and drive is during the summer or spring months. This is when the shrubs and trees are in full bloom.
- Arlington National Cemetery
The Arlington National Cemetery is spread across 600 acres and overlooks the capital city of Washington D.C. The cemetery is the resting place of some very famous Americans. The most visited graves include the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the grave of President John F Kennedy. The first one is watched by honor guards 365 days in a year. It contains remains of soldiers who fought in the Vietnam War and the World Wars along with the remains of a World War I soldier who could not be identified. Another popular site at the cemetery is the Iwo Jima Memorial. Other notable attractions include the Seabees Memorial, the Marine Corps War Memorial and the Women in Military Service for America Memorial.
- Colonial Williamsburg
Colonial Williamsburg is a beautiful recreation of life as it was in the 18th century. Colonial Williamsburg was one of the most prosperous capitals of the colonial era. Very few places have been able to replicate the era of the American Revolution and this is one of those. Some of the buildings were built during the 18th century and are still standing. Some buildings which crumbled have been rebuilt at their original site. Williamsburg was the capital of Virginia throughout the American Revolution. The last battle of the war was also fought near this place.
- Natural Bridge of Virginia
Natural Bridge of Virginia is a natural bridge soaring to more than 215 feet in height. It is one of the oldest tourist attractions in the US. It enjoys a place in the National Register of Historic Places. This Natural Bridge was one of the most popular attractions of this region even during the 19th century. European visitors were mostly attracted to this bridge along with Niagara Falls. The bridge was formed because of a cavern collapsing. A river named Cedar Creek flowed through the cavern. According to legends, George Washington surveyed the bridge himself. Thomas Jefferson built a log cabin in here and used it as a retreat.
Richmond is the capital city of Virginia and is a wonderful mix of old and new. Amidst the rising skyscrapers, you will find remnants of the past. Richmond was the center of the independence movement of America. It is home to the State Capitol which was designed by Thomas Jefferson. Then there is the Canal Walk which was the idea of George Washington. Do not forget to visit the Church Hill Historic Area which has preserved houses from an era before the Civil War. Named after St. John’s Episcopal Church, it is home to 70 antebellum houses.
Originally posted 2017-07-19 06:16:41.