Explore > Virginia > Welcome to Virginia

Places Welcoming You

Lake Gaston Americamps
Bracey, Virginia
Bull Run Regional Park
Centreville, Virginia

Welcome to Virginia

The tourism ads say, “Virginia is for lovers,” and those who love history, mountain views and coastal getaways will find lots to love in this Mid-Atlantic state. Walk in the footsteps of the first Colonists to live on American shores, peer into the lives of America’s Founding Fathers or pay your respects to American’s finest — all in Virginia.

Waterways and Hunting

Endless mountain streams help put Virginia high on the list of trout fishing destinations. These waters are also popular spots for kayakers seeking adventurous rapids. Check out the Southern Virginia Wild Blueway, with 100 navigable miles. Located on Virginia’s southern border, the 50,000-acre Kerr Lake is a fishing and watersports paradise. Don’t miss the Chesapeake Bay, a top spot for striped bass and other saltwater species. Visitors also will find great hunting grounds across the state.

D.C. Delights and More

The state’s northern tip borders Washington, D.C., making this area a prime base camp for visiting the nation’s capital. On the Virginia side of the Potomac River, Arlington buzzes with history, including the famous Arlington National Cemetery, resting place of famous Americans like President John F. Kennedy. Heading inland, the state’s historic capital, Richmond, is home to the Richmond International Raceway and a premier NASCAR stop. The mountainous terrain of the Appalachian and Blue Ridge ranges dominate the western part of the state, with Roanoke drawing lots of visitors to the famous Roanoke Star. This neon landmark soars 1,045 feet above the city.

From Appalachia to the Atlantic Coast

Near the Atlantic shore, visitors to Virginia will find some of the nation’s earliest settlements, including Jamestown and Williamsburg. For a fun coastal vibe, head to Virginia Beach. Separated from the mainland by the Chesapeake Bay is the Eastern Shore, boasting protected lands, public beaches and natural barrier islands, making it a prime place to get away from it all.

History Dominates the Old Dominion State

Known as the “Mother of Presidents,” Virginia is home to George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and more presidential estates. The state was also pivotal during the Civil War, enduring many battles and rising to prominence with the capital of the Confederacy in Richmond. Ultimately, the war also ended here at the Appomattox Courthouse. The soldiers of that war and those since may find their final resting place at the Arlington National Cemetery. Visitors are drawn here to pay their respects to those who have served the nation.

Mountain Peaks and Shimmering Seas

From the rippling hills and jagged peaks of western Virginia to the seaside escapes on the coast, this state is packed with scenic backdrops for outdoor adventures. A drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway or the Skyline Drive offers sweeping views around every bend. Tucked into these peaks and valleys are many hiking trails (including the famed Appalachian Trail). Make time to visit Shenandoah National Park for hiking, biking and wildlife watching. On the eastern coast, visitors can hit the waters or relax on the shores. Visit one of the state parks for diverse recreational opportunities: First Landing State Park is a top pick, where you can head out into the sand dunes or cypress grove to explore the unique flora and fauna of a coastal habitat. On Norfolk, America’s history comes to life in a bustling harbor and aboard the famous USS Wisconsin.

Chesapeake Charm

The sight of wild ponies running across sandy shores is something you won’t find everywhere, which is what makes the Eastern Shore’s Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge such a memorable place. Aside from the horses, this area is a prime place to take in all that the Atlantic coastal region has to offer in a tranquil environment. Across the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia Beach offers a contrasting experience, with all manners of fun and recreation. A stroll along the 3-mile boardwalk is a quintessential Virginia experience, replete with public art, restaurants, shopping and endless ocean views. Be sure to enjoy some freshly caught oysters for a taste of the state.