Top 10 Most Famous Virginia Landmarks Travelers Talk About
Virginia is an incredibly popular tourist destination for both residents of the United and those from elsewhere around the world. Providing visitors both a unique blend of beachfront beauty as well as historical, famous Virginia landmarks, pivotal in the formation of the great country they’re contained in – there is something for everyone in the Old Dominion State. Past guests have their favorites that have garnered their rave reviews, and first timers and repeat visitors alike should make sure to include some, if not all, of our top ten picks based on them.
1. Colonial Williamsburg: There are few places like it in the world, a fully restored and fully realistic representation of an important Colonial city. Here, workers dress in traditional garb and provide tours and educational lectures about the people that once called the area home and the city they resided in. Comprised both of historic Virginia landmarks like schoolhouses and churches as well as stands and shops, guests are taken back in time on a journey through the centuries. Special events are regularly held here, and many choose to combine the sight and sounds of Williamsburg with the nearby tall ships found at Jamestown.
2. Virginia Beach: There is little doubt that if you ask anyone under the age of ten what their favorite of all Virginia landmarks is, they will say the beach. This is because it’s not just the clean sand and warm water that draw so many visitors to the boardwalk town. The street performers juggling their fiery batons and the free circus that sits at the water’s edge keep people coming back night after night. Live music, a towering statue of Neptune and a wide array of aquatic sculptures ensure that no matter how many times you visit, you’re sure to see something new.
3. Cape Henry: In 1607, Cape Henry marked an historic landfall that marked the beginning of an English Colony. And, the history at the cape stretches further, all the way to the Revolutionary War, some of which was fought just beyond the dunes found here. But, it’s the Cape Henry lighthouses that keep visitors coming back time and time again. A pair of seaside beacons, the taller of the two was built due to concerns about the structural integrity of the shorter tower that is closer to the water. What makes the shorter lighthouse unique is that it was not only the first lighthouse built in the country making it one of the most important of all Virginia landmarks, it was also the first construction project federally under the Constitution of the United States of America.
4. Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel: Bridges and tunnels don’t normally go together. One is made to go over and above things, while one is made to go through or underneath them. Perhaps that is why so many people find this popular and often necessary transportation path so exciting, and one of the most well known of all Virginia landmarks. It’s a frequent path for people traveling to the areas beaches and historical sights, and takes drivers and riders first over the water, and then right down into and through it. Over one hundred million vehicles have passed over and into the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay via the 23 mile long modern marvel, one of just ten in the entire world.
5. Arlington National Cemetery: Virginia is a state very rich in American history, playing home to some of the most important events in the founding of the United States of America. As a result, many of the most well known and iconic Virginia landmarks are as important to the entire country as they are to the seaside state. Few examples of this are as precise as Arlington, a military cemetery comprising over six hundred acres where the fallen from conflicts like the American Civil War and beyond have been laid to rest. The nearly always attended Tomb of the Unknowns found here houses unknown soldiers from major global conflicts like World War I and World War II, and is a powerful testament to the nation’s dedication to preserving the memory of its serving military.
6. Shenandoah Valley: There is so much culture in this vast valley that various festivals are held here each and every year. Celebrating music and art are some of the area’s highlights, but Shenandoah doesn’t just focus on the here and now. It also pays tribute to some of the important historical Virginia landmarks found in the area including Civil War trails and picturesque mountain vistas. Visitors of all kinds find Shenandoah remarkable, whether coming for a scenic bike ride or a local music jamboree. Dining, lodging and shopping is found in great abundance here, making it an ideal one stop vacation destination.
7. Luray Caverns: Discovered in the late 1800s, Luray has remained a tourist attraction and popular selection amongst natural Virginia landmarks for decades since. Characterized by various formations like stalactites, stalagmites, mud flows, mirror pools, columns and more that are found within the cave system. Points of interest that are most raved about by past visitors include the fried egg formation made from mud that remarkably resembles the popular breakfast fare, as well as the stalacpipe organ, which rivals some of the most modern of musical instruments in terms of harmonious tunes.
8. Mount Vernon: Step right on up to the plantation estate of first President George Washington, situated near Alexandria. Although the main mansion is arguably the most impressive structure found at the site, there are also numerous other important Virginia landmarks found here. Washington’s tomb, for instance, is another of the more important features, but there is also a farm and two museums on site as well. What’s perhaps the most interesting fact about the property is that the plantation is open to the public each and every day of the year and always has been, since Washington was alive and well inviting guests to view and visit the estate.
9. Monticello: Washington’s home isn’t the only former Presidential plantation that makes up the famous residences included in Virginia landmarks. Jefferson’s primary residence was also situated here, near Charlottesville. Originally a slave manned tobacco plantation, the estate later converted its farming efforts to wheat, cultivating Jeffersons’ plant breeding interests in various ways. The on site cemetery holds the burial site of the third President, a major tourist draw. Together with the University of Virginia, the area comprises a World Heritage Site.
10. Natural Bridge: Even the most brilliant of engineers would have a hard time constructing this natural phenomenon carved from limestone by a gently flowing creek through either a cave or tunnel that was once where the arch now stands. Ninety feet high, the bridge arches over the remnants of the creek that formed it along with a walking path that draws visitors from all over the country. Not only has the bridge been declared historic amongst Virginia landmarks, this site is also named a National Landmark as well.