There is much to do and see in Virginia, so plan your Virginia flights and travel itinerary in advance. Once your flight to Virginia lands, the options are endless.
Richmond is the capital of Virginia and also known as the capital of Confederacy. Both the American Revolution and the Civil War ended in Virginia, and today Virginia is home to more presidential tourist attractions than any other state. George Washington built his home in Mt. Vernon; Monticello is the home of Thomas Jefferson; and the Lees set up camp in Stratford. To date, eight U.S. presidents were born in Virginia and seven of them are buried here. Booking a flight to Virginia is the first step in enjoying a perfectly historic vacation.
The nation’s largest defense barrier – the U.S. Pentagon – is based in Virginia, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is located at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. Travelers booking flights to Virginia will find easy access to Washington, DC, and Old Town Alexandria, where American history comes alive.
On the flight to Virginia, see if you can name all eight U.S. presidents born in Virginia and the seven presidents buried in Virginia.
Virginia has four seasons, and the coastal areas are typically warmer and more humid than the mountains. On average the mountains are 10 degrees (F) cooler year-round, and they get some snow in winter as does Northern Virginia. Summer can have extremely hot and humid spells that are usually short but can last several weeks. Spring and fall are long seasons with mild temperatures and beautiful scenery.
Best Time to Fly to Virginia
October is the busiest time when the leaf peepers come for the foliage. The Shenandoah National Park, Skyline Drive, and Blue Ridge Parkway are especially busy. Summer is the second peak season when visitors come to see the historic sites, theme parks, beaches, and mountains.
Colonial Williamsburg is busy most of the year, particularly in summer and over Christmas. Monticello is very busy on weekends in spring, summer, and October. The last Wednesday and Thursday of July is when the wild ponies of Assateague Island are herded up to swim the channel to Chincoteague.
The best time to visit Virginia is spring. Flowers, shrubs, and trees are blooming across the state, and Virginia is the least crowded and least expensive. Travelers willing to visit during the off season can usually find cheap flights to Virginia and discounted hotel rates.
Getting around Virginia
Virginia flights from local airports can get travelers around the state quickly. Trains run north-south through Charlottesville, Fredericksburg, and Richmond, and east from Richmond to the Historic Triangle (Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown). Buses also provide service to cities and smaller towns.
Two of the major attractions are highways. The Skyline Drive goes along the Blue Ridge Mountains and, once out of Shenandoah National Park, becomes the Blue Ridge Parkway, which continues to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Parkway alone attracts 20 million visitors a year. Driving is also the easiest way to explore the battlefields and plantations. If prefer tours, there are escorted bus tours of the historic sites.
The Colonial Williamsburg Historic Area is closed to all but a few cars. Shuttle buses get you from the parking areas to the historic district, and the Williamsburg Area Transport is the easiest way to get around outside the historic area.
Throughout the state there is ample opportunity for cycling, hiking, and walking. Colonial Williamsburg is best explored on foot or bicycle, and a 20-mile bike path tours the Historic Triangle. Richmond and Charlottesville are easy to explore on foot. Norfolk requires a car, but has free trolleys downtown.
Virginia Travel Information
- This year America commemorated the 400th anniversary of the landing at Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the Americas, with 18 signature events and several partner events including a voyage up the James River in the Godspeed, a replica of the ship that sailed in 1607.
- Visit Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s estate near Charlottesville, Virginia. Jefferson – third president and author of the Declaration of Independence – designed the house himself. The west front of the house is featured on the back of the 5 cent coin.
- Virginia is often called the mother of presidents as eight of the early U.S. presidents (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, and Woodrow Wilson) were born there. Several of their homes are open to visitors including Mount Vernon, George Washington’s home, Montpellier, James Madison’s residence, and Ashlawn Highland, James Monroe’s estate.
- Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania is, the national military park Web site says, “the bloodiest landscape in North America. No place more vividly reflects the Civil War’s tragic cost, in all its forms”. Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center is open year-round.
Bristol was the location of the first country music recordings made for national distribution. In 1927, Ralph Peer of Victor Records traveled to Bristol to record local musicians. In 1998, U.S. Congress recognized the town’s contribution to music history and passed a resolution recognizing Bristol as the "Birthplace of County Music".
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