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Nov 032011
 

Virginia is an interesting state for tourists. The very motto of the state is that ‘Virginia is for Lovers’. True to its name, you will find a number of romantic getaways here in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This state is also a treat for history lovers. Virginia was the place where the first English colony was set up in the New World. You can also see a number of Civil War sites and museums. Virginia has a deep rooted English feel. What more, the famous English past time of hunting is very popular in the state.

Start your trip with a visit to an area known as the ‘historic triangle’. This region comprises of Williamsburg, Yorktown and Jamestown. Here, you can see the exact spot where Washington defeated Cornwallis. Also see the first settlements built by the English and also replicas of the ships that they sailed in across the Atlantic. Located in Williamsburg is one of the grandest and largest open air history museums in the world. Also this region is known to be a centre for research and ongoing restoration. This town is a very well restored colonial community, which will take you back to the eighteenth century. Apart from numerous re done buildings, you will find many other buildings like shops, workhouses and taverns which retain the colonial feel. The main street in Williamsburg is known by the name of Duke of York Street and links the capitol building to the marketplace located in Merchants Square. Many authentic signs and things which will remind you of the colonial era like the British Flag, Thomas Jefferson giving a speech, a trial taking place at the courthouse, a market place scene with women tending the vegetable gardens. You must have a meal in the King’s Arms Tavern or one of the other inns.

Located nearby is a small community of Jamestown, where the first English settlement took place. About a hundred building frames have been excavated. Watch the process of making of brick making and glassblowing.

The third part of the “historic triangle’ is Yorktown, place where the last major battle of the revolution took place. Take a tour of the battlefield. Also see an indoor exhibit of artefacts which shows the hardships faced on shipboard life. Apart from history, there is much to do in the Williamsburg area like visit the theme parks such as Busch Gardens and Water Country and some excellent outlet shopping malls.

Another popular historical place is Monticello. This is the home built by Thomas Jefferson over a period of 40 years. The house is an architectural wonder and is engraved on the nickels in your pocket. The estate, including the house and gardens, have been restored to resemble the original estate. The furniture in the house is the same which was used by the family.

A beautiful scenic road in Virginia is the one running between Williamsburg to Richmond. The John Tyler Highway has many plantation houses, dating back to the time of tobacco plantations in Virginia. You can take a guided tour of the estate and enjoy a relaxed dinner. Richmond is huge in size and has a number of older districts. Also visit the Museum of the Confederacy, canal sidewalk and also the church where Patrick Henry shouted the famous words Give me liberty, or give me death!.

A large number of battles were held in the state of Virginia during the Civil War. You will find a number of places signifying this chaotic time in the form of museums, battlegrounds and historical markers. Many bloody battles took place in the town of Fredericksburg due to its important location between the rival capitals of Richmond and Washington. You can tour a number of battle grounds from Fredericksburg. Petersburg and Fredericksburg are interesting towns apart from the war memorials. They have an old world charm and also scope for plenty of antique shopping.

Apart from a historical tour, there are many open air activities which can be enjoyed by tourists in Virginia. Visit the magnificent Shenandoah and Blue Ridge mountains. The Blue Ridge Parkway runs along the western edge of the state. You can enjoy a number of activities here like hunting, fishing and hiking. You can see a number of caverns here. One of the best being the Luray Caverns and probably the most visited in the Eastern United States. The cavern system has rooms made from stone which are 140 feet high. The unique placement of the stalactites produces a number of beautiful melodies. For accommodations you can stay in one of the usual motels or bed and breakfasts or rent a rustic cabin. Roanoke, Lexington and Lynchburg are great towns to spend a holiday in. From these towns, you can explore the neighboring stunning countryside.

Another must see place is the Natural Bridge. This bridge formed a part of the first surveys of the state, which was conducted by George Washington who carved his initials into the stone. This town now contains a waxworks display, a hotel and souvenir shops. However, the main attraction of the town still is the bridge itself.