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Virginia Travel Guide
Colonial Williamsburg © Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Natives of the Commonwealth State of Virginia on America's east coast are enormously proud of their local history and have put a great deal of effort into preserving their historical landmarks, homes and public buildings. The bountiful land of Virginia is where America's first permanent English colonists put down roots, founding the town of Jamestown in 1607. They stepped ashore originally on a sandy beach at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay, a large estuary that became their gateway to the scenic hinterland.
Following the rivers inland, the early pioneers found rolling hills and then the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains towering over fertile valleys in the western part of the state. Today, 400 years later, a great deal of Virginia's wilderness areas remain in their untouched pristine condition, making it the perfect destination for lovers of the outdoors as well as for those intent on discovering some living history.
Virginia has not just preserved its historic relics, it actually uses them as settings for living history displays. Historic parks and even whole towns, like Williamsburg, act as time machines to transport visitors to a bygone age, where bewigged gentlemen stroll the streets and craftsmen ply their trades along cobblestone streets.
The State has also preserved numerous battlefields and monuments associated with the Civil War, in which Virginia played a central role, with its capital, Richmond, being the seat of the Confederacy. Many of Virginia's sons have played a vital role in politics during the centuries: the state has produced eight United States presidents, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, whose homes are national treasures and open to the public.
Even Virginia's popular seaside resort city of Virginia Beach is steeped in history, so visitors who come simply to enjoy the State's many miles of Atlantic Coast sandy beaches cannot help but absorb some of the region's historic importance along with their suntans.
Virginia's worth as an enjoyable destination can be proven by the fact that tourism is a main source of state revenue, employing more than 200,000 people and bringing in about $15-billion each year.
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