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Virginia – What to See in ‘23

Historic Sites in VIRGINIA

If you’re looking for a road trip theme this spring, you won’t find a better one than discovering the historic sites in Virginia. From the Chesapeake Bay to the Blue Ridge Mountains, the state of Virginia is filled with delightful and moving places that honor some of America’s most important locations and leaders.

Colonial Areas

Colonial Williamsburg is a living museum of American history and a must-visit destination with the kids and grandkids. On the 301-acre site are Virginia’s first Capitol building and Governor’s Palace, restored churches, authentic working tradespeople from blacksmiths to wigmakers, antique art galleries, taverns where you can dine like a patriot, and on-site lodgings within walking distance of everything.

Also located nearby are Historic Jamestowne, the site of the first permanent English settlement in North America, and the Yorktown Battlefield, where British General Cornwallis surrendered to General George Washington and ended the Revolutionary War.

Presidential Estates

Four of the first five American Presidents made their homes in Virginia and you can visit them all, starting with George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate, located 15 miles south of the nation’s capitol on the Potomac River. The 3,000-acre site features the presidential mansion, a demonstration farm and distillery, and four gardens laid out by Washington that include one of America’s first greenhouses.

A fertile mountaintop in western Virginia is where you’ll find Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s iconic mansion and botanical gardens that he built and rebuilt over 40 years in residence. With its presidential library and museum, Monticello is the only U.S. private home designated as a World Heritage Site. Nearby places to see also include the University of Virginia campus, which Jefferson designed in 1819, and historic downtown Charlottesville.

Two other Founding Fathers had homes in the Virginia mountains: Like Monticello, James Monroe’s Highland Estate is located just outside of Charlottesville, while James Madison’s Montpelier, with its beautiful gardens and hiking trails, is about 25 miles north.

History Never Ends

Among the other Virginia sites that mark pivotal moments in the nation’s history are the Manassas National Battlefield Park and the Appomattox Court House National Historic Park. You can also visit the Harper’s Ferry National Historic Park, which features 22 miles of hiking trails at the midpoint of the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail, and the Booker T. Washington National Monument, which pays tribute to the renowned African-American educator, as well as the Edgar Allen Poe Museum in Richmond.

St. John’s Church, where Patrick Henry gave his famous “Liberty or Death” speech, is also in Richmond, and the Arlington National Cemetery is the final resting place of more than 4,000 American military service members. In addition, you can stroll through the 40-block downtown district with 350 historic buildings in Fredericksburg or take a trip along The Crooked Road through 19 Blue Ridge Highland counties to trace Virginia’s contributions to the history of American folk, country, and bluegrass music.

For more about these and other historic sites in Virginia, along with a 2023 calendar of special events, go to

Find Your Ideal Home in Virginia

There are many reasons people choose to relocate to or retire in Virginia. For one, the cost of living is hard to beat. There’s no state income tax, and property prices are notably reasonable. Find your ideal home here.

By JG Walker

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