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For many years, "Virginia is for lovers" has been the state's tourism slogan, and it's an apt one, but these days Virginia's attractions appeal to a broad spectrum of visitors. Whether it's exploring Civil War sites, playing in a theme park, hiking the Blue Ridge Mountains, or relaxing on Virginia Beach, the state matches activities with just about every interest.

The Commonwealth of Virginia was first explored by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1584, who named it in honor of Queen Elizabeth I of Great Britain, the Virgin Queen. The first English settlement, Jamestown, was founded in 1607 by Captain Christopher Newport and Captain John ...

For many years, "Virginia is for lovers" has been the state's tourism slogan, and it's an apt one, but these days Virginia's attractions appeal to a broad spectrum of visitors. Whether it's exploring Civil War sites, playing in a theme park, hiking the Blue Ridge Mountains, or relaxing on Virginia Beach, the state matches activities with just about every interest.

The Commonwealth of Virginia was first explored by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1584, who named it in honor of Queen Elizabeth I of Great Britain, the Virgin Queen. The first English settlement, Jamestown, was founded in 1607 by Captain Christopher Newport and Captain John Smith, British colonialists, on land grants from the London Virginia Company. The Virginia territory was vast, so much so that it was eventually divided into other states: Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois and parts of Ohio.

This is an area that is proud of its history. The commonwealth was one of the original thirteen colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution. It is the birthplace of eight United States presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor and Woodrow Wilson. To absorb some of this history, the best areas to visit are Richmond, the state capital, and an area known as the Historic Triangle encompassing Jamestown, the living museum of Williamsburg, and Yorktown. These areas make up the National Park Service's Colonial National Park.

Frances Folsom
About the Expert

Frances Folsom is the author of CitySpot Palermo, a contributor to the Reiskits guides to Milan and Italy's Lakes Region, and Thomas Cook's Independent Traveller USA.

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Frances Folsom for Triporati

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