Last updated: 12:47 PM ET, Fri December 16 2022
Richmond, Virginia, USA downtown skyline. (photo via SeanPavonePhoto / iStock / Getty Images Plus)


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Natural Bridge, Virginia (photo via zrfphoto / iStock / Getty Images Plus)
Natural Bridge, Virginia (photo via zrfphoto / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Whatever your passion, whether it’s hiking the Blue Ridge Mountains, sailing the Chesapeake Bay, listening to Appalachian mountain music or strolling through 18th century villages, you will find it in Virginia.

The Commonwealth is bordered by Washington, D.C., the nation's capital, and Maryland to the north; the Atlantic Ocean to the east; North Carolina and Tennessee to the south; and West Virginia and Kentucky to the west.

From the fragile barrier islands off the Eastern Shore, through the rolling Piedmont or horse pastures, to the Appalachian mountain in the western highlands, you’ll find the scenery at once dramatic and therapeutic. In 2010, Virginia celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Blue Ridge Parkway, one of the most popular roadways in America. This historic roadway runs along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains for 470 miles, beginning near Waynesboro and running south to the state’s border.

City street in Old Town, Alexandria, VA. (photo via PhotoNotebook / iStock / Getty Images Plus)
City street in Old Town, Alexandria, VA. (photo via PhotoNotebook / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

The landscape of Virginia was the backdrop for the nation’s most important historic events, from Jamestown, which celebrated its 400th birthday in 2007, through the birth of country music and the dawn of the space age. Battlefields witnessed the opening and closing salvos of the Civil War. State-of-the-art museums and iconic sites and memorials illuminate this history-making state.

Virginia’s capital is Richmond, and whether you’re passionate about history, arts, gardens, antiques, fine dining, outdoor recreation, theme parks or NASCAR, there’s something for every taste in the historic Richmond region. Williamsburg is the “Colonial Capital” of Virginia and is internationally known for its restoration activities and recreation of 18th-century America at Colonial Williamsburg.

While in the state, try not to miss a taste of its Atlantic Ocean beaches, more than 140 wineries urban centers, museums and historical attractions that make Virginia an unforgettable vacation destination. Virginia also is home to two major theme parks – Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Kings Dominion – as well as other water parks and zoos.

Sandbridge Beach in Virginia Beach, Virginia with beach grass on dunes and ocean background. (photo via Sherry Smith / iStock / Getty Images Plus)
Sandbridge Beach in Virginia Beach, Virginia. (Photo via Sherry Smith / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

The different regions welcome Virginia visitors to a wide range of outdoor activities, such as snow skiing in the mountains and playing golf in the valley both in the same day! Golfing, hiking, bicycling and camping are year-around activities in Virginia, and the coastal regions provide plenty of opportunity for year-round water sports.

The major international gateway to Virginia is Washington Dulles International Airport, and fares can be less to fly in and out of here than other airports in Virginia. Also serving northern Virginia is Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, two miles north of Alexandria. Virginia's other gateways include: Richmond International Airport, Norfolk International Airport, Newport News/Williamsburg Airport, Charlottesville/Albemarle Airport, Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport, and Roanoke Regional Airport.

Having your own vehicle is by far the best way to see the state. Highway I-95 runs north-south through Virginia between Alexandria and Emporia. From western Maryland and eastern Tennessee, the major highway is I-81, which runs north-south the entire length of the state. In northern Virginia, I-66 traverses the state east-west between Arlington and I-81 at Strasburg. All Amtrak trains between New York and Florida stop at Washington, D.C., and Richmond; some stop at Alexandria, Quantico, and Fredericksburg. Another train follows this route from New York to Richmond, and then heads east to Newport News via Williamsburg.

Virginia's weather has been described as a "Goldilocks Climate" – not too hot; not too cold – and is officially considered a humid, subtropical region due to winter frost. During the summer, it can get a bit "sticky" due to the abundant water along the East. But the air is cooler with less humidity in the mountains.