| As the site of the first English colony in America, birthplace of nine presidents, and home of such famous Americans as Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Douglas MacArthur, the state of Virginia cannot be matched for well-preserved history and natural beauty.|
From the historic heart of the Old Dominion to the beautiful Shenandoah Valley, there is almost no end to the attractions Virginia offers. Virginia is steeped in Colonial history, including the famed reconstructions of Williamsburg and Jamestown. Virginia was also the scene of many important Civil War battles, as well as of the final Confederate surrender at Appomatox. But as the gracious plantation homes of the Tidewater and the many historic buildings throughout the state show, all eras of American history are portrayed in Virginia history.
The Tidewater region of Virginia, on the coast, is, naturally, the oldest. Early settlers found both good farmland and safe harbors, but the area has historically looked seaward, and still does, to a large extent. The Tidewater area is divided into distinct sub-regions. The Eastern Shore, Virginia's share of the peninsula that also includes part of Maryland and the state of Delaware, is one such sub-region. Rivers flowing into the Chesapeake Bay divide Tidewater into culturally distinct units--the south shore of Hampton Roads (Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Portsmouth and surrounding areas); the Virginia Peninsula (Newport News, Hampton, the historic triangle of Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown, and several surrounding counties); the Middle Peninsula (Gloucester, Matthews, and Middlesex counties and the town of West Point); the Northern Neck (birthplace of George Washington and the Lees); Richmond (the state's capital); and Northern Virginia (the suburbs of Washington, D. C.).
The Piedmont breaks roughly into two sub-regions--southside and the central Piedmont. The western area is separated by geographical features of the mountains--the beautiful Shenandoah Valley, and the southwest, where you will find the state's highest peak, Mount Rogers, and the city of Bristol, which straddles the Tennessee border.
This tour will show you Virginia, a state of great beauty, of great accomplishment, and of great tragedy. Virginia is a state of mind, really, as much as a political entity, because Virginians identify with the past while looking towards the future. Virginians, then, have the best of both worlds.