"Virginia is for lovers," proclaimed
the Virginia Tourist Boards TV ads a few years back. It was a catchy slogan,
but what kind of "lovers" is Virginia supposed to be for? Nature
lovers? History lovers? Beach lovers? The answer, as anyone who has visited
Virginia knows, is all of the above.
Perhaps a better motto to lure tourists to Virginia
would be "something for everyone." In Western Virginia, the landscape
is broken by the rugged Appalachian Mountains. As you move east, though, the
mountains give way to Virginias fertile Piedmont region, and even further
east, the coastal Tidewater area. Placid beaches backed by small fishing towns
dot the Chesapeake Bay, while those more inclined to party can head south
to Virginia Beach, Virginias largest city and spring break hotspot.
No state could be better for students of Americas
past. Its hard to pass an open field in Virginia without passing a Civil
War battle site (the two armies clashed in Virginia more than any other state
during the conflict). A living, breathing, butter churning re-creation of
Virginias 18th century colonial capital stands at Williamsburg and you cant
get more authentic than George Washingtons Virginia manor, Mount Vernon or
Jeffersons plantation at Monticello.
Of course, having seen a 14.4% jump in population
during the 90s, Virginia isnt living in the past. Virginia has emerged as
a hub of high tech business activity, and with the new class of brainy entrepreneurs,
Virginias cities - Richmond and the D.C. suburbs most notably, have assumed
a more sophisticated, cosmopolitan accent.
Now that youre moving to Virginia, there are
a couple facts youll want to keep in mind:
- Virginias population is 7,196,750. Virginias state capital is Richmond.
- Eight Presidents were born in Virginia, and seven are buried here.
- Virginias nickname, "Old Dominion," was bestowed by King Charles
II of England while it was still a colony, in recognition of residents
loyalty to the monarchy during the English Civil War.
- Tobacco has been Virginias cash crop since the leafy plant turned the
hardscrabble Jamestown colony into a commercial bonanza in the early 17th
- Patrick Henry made his famous, "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death,"
speech in St. Johns Church in Richmond.
- In Culpeper, Virginia local bylaws prohibit anyone from washing a mule
on public sidewalks.