Are you planning your trip to Virginia but don’t know what to do there and how to have a great time? Our excursion is going to help you to choose which places will be the most interesting to spend time on. Start your journey now and you won’t regret having chosen Virginia as your sightseeing destination!
- Place to visit number 1: Busch Gardens Williamsburg
- Place to visit number 2: The Luray caves
- Place to visit number 3: Tredegar Iron Works
- Place to visit number 4: Virginia State Capitol
- Place to visit number 5: The Eiffel Tower
- Place to visit number 6: Female US Army Museum
- Place to visit number 7: Natural Bridge in Virginia
- Place to visit number 8: Thomas Jefferson Manor
- Places to visit number 9: The Byrd Theater
- Place to visit number 10: The Great Dismal Swamp
- Place to visit number 11: Brunch House
- Place to visit number 12: Ward Jackson District
- Place to visit number 13: Masonic Temple in Alexandria
The theme park Busch Gardens Williamsburg is one of the two parks which is located 5 kilometers south-east of the town of Williamsburg. The park is decorated in European themes.
Park Busch Gardens Williamsburg was founded in 1975. It merged into one set all entertainment areas of the company that had been previously opened. Today, the park area is ??157 hectares, where there are more than 10 zones can be found. All of them imitate the different European countries. Do you dream to visit all of them but don’t have such an opportunity?
Visit Virginia and Busch Gardens Williamsburg will provide you with the chance to feel like being in:
- Germany and other countries with dozens of attractions.
Each park zone reminds the style of the country because it is decorated according to the lifestyle of the definite European country and makes it easy to imagine that you travel around Europe.
In addition, the park operates a mini-reserve and a stable, as well as the narrow-gauge railway with steam locomotive traveling about on it.
Interesting: Every year, Busch Gardens Williamsburg park is visited by about 3 million people, according to this indicator it is inferior to the same park in Florida which is decorated in African style and is visited by about 4.5 million visitors annually.
Do you like mystery? Then you should definitely visit the Luray caves complex which is one of the most mysterious attractions of Virginia. Besides the amazing beauty of the landscape, you can see the oldest traces of:
- human habitation,
- mysterious caves,
- optical illusions.
The complex of the Luray caves was discovered in the summer of 1878. During the walk, a group of people came across a powerful jet of water that flowed from unknown rocks. Interested travelers began to deepen the hole and, four hours later, found the entrance to the cave. With a candle in the hands the pioneers went down and were shocked by the magnificent and slightly terrifying views. In front of their eyes huge stalactites and stunning vaults appeared. They found bone fragments, including bones of a human being. It became clear that people were aware about the cave before.
Today only a part of caves is opened to tourists, but it does not prevent them to admire their beauty and monumentality. Illuminated by artificial lights walls mysteriously play different shades of colors and create a magnificent backdrop for stalactites. Descending from the ceiling of the cave to the waters of an underground lake, it seems that stalactites look into it, allowing travelers to imagine amazing pictures in the minds.
Interesting: The bottom of another underground lake – the Well of desires has been strewn with coins, a layer of it is several centimeters. The crystal clear water of the lake has the effect of shallow depth, but this is an illusion and the true depth is almost two meters.
This place should be visited if you are fond of history and everything that is connected with the World Wars.
This is a historic factory in Richmond, which is now a museum and also a part of the National Park called Richmond National Battlefield Park. In the middle of the XIX century it was the third largest steel production in the United States of America, and later it played an important role during the Civil War and during the two World Wars.
There are some significant facts in the history of this place:
- The factory was founded in 1837, during the mass construction of the railway network in the United States, and what the owners have decided to take advantage of.
- Soon, however, Tredegar Iron Works faced economic problems and had to reduce the production costs in manufacturing. That’s why they decided to use the labor of slaves.
- Since the beginning of the Civil War, the factory has become a major supplier of metal and munitions of the Confederate Army.
- Later, the factory continued to work during the First and the Second World Wars.
Interesting: At the beginning of the XXI century, it was decided to convert the plant into a historical museum. Today in the Tredegar Iron Works, visitors have the opportunity to learn more about the history of the plant and its many exhibits, including interactive, for which a variety of programs have been prepared.
There are no tourists who come to Virginia and forget about visiting Virginia State Capitol. It is understandable because it is considered to be a living attraction of the American government.
Since 1788 it has been home to the General Assembly that is the oldest operating assembly in the western hemisphere. Capitol was the first public building in the New World that was built in a classical monumental style.
More than during two thousand years it served the prototype for:
- countless capitols,
- municipal buildings,
- even churches,
- residential buildings.
The building of the Capitol as it is today is the eighth one that was built as the residence of the state of Virginia because of the fire in the colonial period. In 1960, it was added to the National Historic Landmark.
The building was designed by Thomas Jefferson, together with French architect Charles-Louis Klerisso who based on the ancient Roman and Greek orders. The cornerstone was laid on August 18, 1785 by the Governor Patrick Henry.
In 1847, the collapse happened, which led to death of 62 people in the building. The damage from the tragedy was restored and in 1904 two wings was added to the building. In 2007, restoration work which cost almost $ 104 million was finished.
The area around is known as the Capitol. It contains several monuments of prominent representatives of Virginia and its major events.
Interesting: Capitol is often used as an imitation of the White House for the filming, for example, in the film “The Contender” and “Dave” you could see this place.
If you have been in France then you will see that the Eiffel Tower in Dosvelle looks like a small copy of the famous Eiffel creation located in the amusement park Kings Dominion, near the small town Dosvell that is about twenty miles north of Richmond.
If you are going to visit the Eiffel Tower you it will be interesting for you to know that:
- It was built by Bristol Steel in 1975 on a scale of one to three of the original Eiffel Tower.
- The height of the tower is about 101 meters.
- 450 tons of steel were necessary for its manufacturing.
The Eiffel Tower in Dosvelle is installed in the central part of the amusement park with the fountains at the main entrance.
Interesting: It is the highest structure of the park. On the tower there is an observation deck. You can a lift by Austrian company Haushahn Elevator and go there. Recently the elevator has had its modernization. The Eiffel Tower is one of the attractions of Kings Dominion amusement park.
Have you travelled a lot but have never seen the museum devoted to women who took part in the war? The reason is that such museum can be visited only in Virginia. The only museum in the world devoted to the women who took part in war actions. It is situated in Fort Lee, Virginia.
The museum space is divided into several halls:
- “The American Revolution”,
- “The Civil War”,
- “The First World War”,
- “The Second World”,
There are mannequins in forage caps or sitting on an iron bed are the showcase for the visitors who can feel here the atmosphere of bygone times. By the way, there are female uniforms from different eras, and you can try them on and be photographed in them for free.
In the museum you will find out a lot of heroic stories. After listening to them you will start respect women even more and understand that they can be not only mothers and wives but also they can serve the Motherland as the defenders of their country. For example, all tourists like the story about Margaret Corbin and her husband defended Fort Washington at the north of Manhattan in 1776 – shot from a cannon at the invaders, the British. You will definitely like the story about Kathy Williams, who is considered to be the heroine of the Civil War, known more under the male name William Cathay.
Interesting: Women at that time were not allowed to be so brave and Katie had to pretend to be a man and wear the uniform of the soldier. After visiting the museum, the film “GI Jane” with Demi Moore in the title role seems not a Hollywood fiction but it is the worldly American history.
Natural Bridge in Virginia is a geological formation, which is a natural arch with the following measures:
- height of 66 meters
- length of 27 meters
It is really great, after looking at it you will be surprised how mysterious our nature is and how many wonderful things it can create without any instruments.
Natural bridge has long been a popular tourist attraction – even Thomas Jefferson, the third US president, who used to call it the one of the most amazing works of nature.
Later, during the XVIII and XIX centuries, a natural monument was visited by a great number of European tourists which made it famous together with the Niagara Falls.
Interesting: as the highway passes an arch, anyone can enjoy the scenic views from a height, but to see the bridge from below you will have to purchase a ticket which costs about $ 18.
Monticello Manor was established by the third US President from 1769 to 1809. Does it have any value to the state? The answer is definitely yes because:
It is considered to be a valuable historical and architectural monument which has been even inscribed:
- on the UNESCO
- the National Register of Historic Places World Heritage List.
Monticello Manor is a reference example of the architecture of early American classicism. A feature of the estate’s project is that it has been developed by Thomas Jefferson by himself. He was inspired by the works of the famous Italian architect Andrea Palladio. In the process of construction the project has been changed several times under the influence of European fashion trends of the XVIII century.
The total area of ??the estate is approximately 20 square kilometers. Originally it was the land which was used for the cultivation of tobacco, while the slave labor was widely used. Later, under the influence of the situation on the market, the plantation was used for growing wheat.
Interesting: The year 1923 is very important for this building because the estate became the museum of Thomas Jefferson, who was buried on its territory.
Do you like visiting theaters? Then don’t miss the incredible opportunity to visit the first cinema in Virginia! Yes, The Byrd Theater was the first one in this state, I think you can imagine how many interesting things can be found there as its history is really great. Today it is equipped with a sound system. It is named in honor of William Byrd II, founder of the city of Richmond. The residents affectionately call him “Richmond castle of pictures”.
Byrd Theatre was opened at the 24th of December in 1928. The construction cost about $ 900 000.
The talented architect Fred Bishop contributed to this nice building. The building was designed in the style of the Italian Renaissance. Inside the main hall is equipped with 916 seats and 476 seats in the balcony. The interior design features a generous Arthur Brunet of the New York studio.
The elements are made of:
- velvet curtains,
- handmade oil canvases,
- murals of Greek mythology.
Above the audience there is a chandelier which weighs two and a half tons! Can you imagine this?
Since the theater was built in the transition between silent and sound cinema, the designers have equipped it with two audio systems.
One of them is Vitaphone, sound synchronization system while the second one is Wurlitzer organ music from the switching system to help in the selection of pipe organists and other acoustic effects.
In 1953 it was replaced with the projectors 35mm. In 2004, the creator of the Dolby Digital sound system sound equipment donated to the theater.
Nowadays the theater shows movies 365 days a year for $ 1.99 per ticket. In the theater, film festivals are held annually. If you plan visiting this theater you will be able to be present at the festival and enjoy really top-quality pictures that are definitely worth watching.
Interesting : During its long life in 1979 the Byrd Theatre was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The Great Dismal Swamp is a vast marshland extending on the coastal plain in the southeast Virginia. This corner of nature is probably one of the last in the United States which refer to the untouched places which didn’t experience any human influence.
The territory of the National Park covers:
- almost 500 kilometers of water area,
- impenetrable forests.
The unique ecosystem of the Great Dismal Swamp is its water resources, which have become home to many animal species, as well as the diverse nature. By its great historical significance the Great Dismal Swamp is one of the unique places on the map of the United States of America.
Scientists believe that the swamp has been formed as a result of one of the latest developments of the continental shelf.
However, there is a great number of legends about the origin of the swamp.
Do you like legends? If yes, then listen to one of them: according to the Indian legend one of the lakes appeared out of the nest, which is a giant Firebird platted in the swamp. Later, rainwater filled them. Archaeological excavations have shown that the first people appeared in these places about 13 thousand years ago.
Interesting: For centuries, the wood was mined here, and the trees growing directly out of the water couldn’t appear there, but in 1974 the area was declared a nature reserve. Despite its harsh title, Great Dismal Swamp is not a boring place at all. It is a great place to stay with a tent, take a boat trip and enjoy this amazing deserted place with your partner.
If you are interested in the American history then this place will definitely be of interest to you.
The Brunch House was designed in 1916 by one of the most prominent architectural firms of the early 20th century country – by John Russell Pope as a private residence of the financier John Kerry and his wife Bela Gould. This is the only house in such a unique style. All interiors have survived till today. The house is situated in the historic district of Monument Avenue that was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.
The Brunch House accurately reflects the period of American history in the first decades of the twentieth century when the British architectural styles were fashionable among the rich industrialists and financiers. Inside the house there is a large collection of artifacts of the Renaissance which was collected by the owner. Its design had a few basic features of English country houses of XVI century. In order to maintain the illusion of age, the architect added a patina.
After the death of the owners, the house welcomed many different owners until in 2003 it was purchased by the center of the Virginia Foundation for Architecture and then reopened in 2005.
Interesting: There are several places in this building:
- the Fund’s headquarters,
- the office of the Institute of Architecture in Virginia,
- Editorial Board,
- a branch of the International Confederation of Architectural Museums,
- antique store of rare books
- two galleries.
This place should be visited if you would like to know more about the African-American history and life.
Jackson Ward District is a neighborhood in Richmond. In 1978 it was listed as a National Historic Landmark.
State occupied a central place in the civil rights movement in Richmond. After the American Civil War the freed slaves and their descendants have created here a thriving African-American business community, which became known as “Black Wall Street of America.”
Jackson Ward is also often called “South Harlem.” It flourished as a center of commerce and entertainment for black Americans. Celebrities liked to visit this place. Today, in the city center you can see a statue of the dancing on the stairs Robinson.
The architecture of the area is a mixture of different styles of all peoples living in the territory:
- the German,
The following places are located here:
- career development centers;
- sports fields;
- Episcopal and Baptist churches;
- Museum of African American History.
Interesting: Every first Friday of the month you can see the Artwalk in the Broad Street. Art galleries open their doors for parties with live music. Local restaurants, bars and cafes are serving customers during the whole night, coming on the Friday outing.
Masonice Temple is a memorial which was dedicated to George Washington. All visitors are impressed by this majestic building which can be seen on a hill crowned with a stepped pyramid with an arch. The Greek style inside entrance has been framed by columns, its marble hall accommodates monument to the first president of the US which is depicted with Masonic attributes. It is believed that the prototype of the huge facilities became the lighthouse in Alexandria, Egypt, which is recognized as one of the wonders of the world.
In fact, the impressive building is not a church, but a museum where a lot of information about Freemasonry in the United States has been collected. It is also:
- a full-fledged information and research center,
- a library,
- a concert hall.
Interesting: First of all it is a grand monument to the phenomenon called “Masonry” which has a special significance for the United States.
Have you enjoyed our virtual trip to Virginia? If yes, then it is high time to start your real journey to the place which has something for everyone!