Virginia Is For Lovers
Rich in American History, National Monuments, Military Bases
Explore the Blue Ridge Mountains and Many Other Natural Wonders
Get To Know Virginia
They say Virginia is for lovers, and there’s good reason. Its residents tout its diverse cultural landscape, countless activities, and rich history. If you book a bus ticket to Virginia, prepare to be a little surprised, too. Depending on where you arrive — Springfield in Northern Virginia, Amtrak Charlottesville near the University of Virginia or quaint Wytheville in the western part of the state, for example — you’ll experience vast differences in atmosphere, attitude, and culture. Here’s just a taste of what’s in store for your adventure.
There's no shortage of things to do in Virginia.
A Brief History of Virginia
At one time, a vast portion of the East Coast was called Virginia. It was named by Queen Elizabeth I and stretched all the way from modern-day Virginia to coastal Maine. Jamestown was the first English settlement in the country, and today it’s among the state’s most important places to visit if you want to delve deep into local history. Several key battles occurred in Virginia, including the Battle of Fredericksburg and the Lynchburg Campaign in the Roanoke Valley during the Civil War. Virginia is often referred to as the “Mother of Presidents” because eight of the country’s leaders were born here, including George Washington and Woodrow Wilson. It achieved statehood in 1788. The College of William and Mary, located in Williamsburg, is the second oldest university in the country and home to the nation’s first law school.
Must See List
- 1st to 32nd Streets along the Virginia Beach Boardwalk
- Riverwalk Landing
- Exmore Town Park
- Hickory Hill Vineyards & Winery
- Blue Mountain Barrel House
- Octoberfest in the Town of Lovettsville
- Cunningham Creek Winery
- Hollins University
- Bedford County Fairgrounds
- Washington Street Purveyors
- Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
Top Cities To Visit in Virginia
The state’s capital, Richmond, offers a veritable wealth of history. Brush up on your Civil War knowledge at the Virginia Historical Society and the American Civil War Museum, and don’t miss a visit to the Virginia State Capitol — it was designed in part by the country’s third president, Thomas Jefferson. If you booked a bus ticket to Virginia with the kids, then they’ll be intrigued by Kings Dominion. It’s just north of Richmond and features 400 acres of amusement park rides, water parks and entertainment for the entire family.
Norfolk, settled in the 17th century, is home to a major naval base and is less than half an hour from the shores of Virginia Beach. You can visit Fort Norfolk, view the Battleship Wisconsin or take a walking tour through the city. If your kids are with you, make some time for Nauticus. It’s an interactive museum filled with hands-on opportunities to learn about science and technology.
Hampton provides visitors with the very best of coastal Virginia. Its proximity to the Chesapeake Bay and the Hampton Roads metropolitan region makes it a hotspot for travelers who seek diverse activities to entertain the entire family. The beloved Virginia Air & Space Center is here, as is the Hampton History Museum and The Casemate Museum at Fort Monroe National Monument. Take a walk along the public pier or indulge your sporty side at the Langley Speedway.
When you’re not busy being mesmerized by the Appalachian and Blue Ridge mountain vistas around you, take some time to explore Lynchburg. It’s a noteworthy location because it’s where the Civil War officially ended. There’s plenty to see here, including Thomas Jefferson’s retreat, Poplar Forest, the 300-acre Blackwater Creek Natural Area and the striking Monument Terrace that honors the veterans of many different battles.
Offering country life at its finest, Charlottesville is home to the University of Virginia — but this is no ordinary college town. While you’re here, tour the grounds of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, visit James Monroe’s Highland house and get yourself better acquainted with what the city does best: produce incredible wine. There are plenty of vineyards here, including Blenheim and Jefferson.
A Look at Culture in Virginia
Northern Virginia, or NOVA, is home to the Washington, D.C. suburbs. In many ways, the area is a state unto itself — it’s vastly different from its southern counterparts in that fast-paced living is the norm. Given its proximity to the nation’s capital, it’s also packed with traffic that resembles what you might encounter in Los Angeles or New York City. Two of the nation’s wealthiest counties, Fairfax and Loudoun, are situated in NOVA. Many choose to stay in Arlington or Woodbridge to spend quality time in the District. But if you prefer a quieter vacation, all points south feel dramatically calmer and more relaxed. The small-town vibe is unavoidable, especially as you pass through central and southern Virginia. Towns like Staunton, Smithfield, Middleburg, and Abingdon boast a quaint, old-world vibe. Before long, scenery shifts from tightly packed homes and tall buildings to vast, sprawling greens and rolling hills. Life in these parts is considerably slower. But if you’re coming to the state with the intention of exploring its history, you can learn something fascinating and encounter a smiling face nearly anywhere you go.