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Tell us what to see and do in Virginia

Old Jun 1st, 1999, 10:24 AM
  #1  
Lawrene
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Tell us what to see and do in Virginia

HI, like history and beautiful places so am picking Virginia. Can you suggest something not to miss. I have two weeks.
 
Old Jun 1st, 1999, 10:33 AM
  #2  
stephanie
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Charlotte - Monticello, University of Virginia; Williamsburg; Blue Ridge Mountains.
 
Old Jun 2nd, 1999, 07:29 AM
  #3  
lisa
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Yes, another vote for Monticello (near Charlottesville) and Mt. Vernon (near Alexandria/DC).
 
Old Jun 2nd, 1999, 08:47 AM
  #4  
Neal Sanders
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For history and beautiful places, you're going to the right state. Virginia has plenty of both, and in two weeks, you can cover a lot of ground. Remember also that Virginia abuts Washington DC, which has its own share of history.

Smith Island - Technically in Maryland, but accessible by ferry (daily at 10:00 a.m.) from Virginia's northern neck at Summerfield. Smith Island is a speck of land out in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay with absolutely nothing to recommend it except the world's best and freshest soft shell crabs, served any way you like them. The ferry returns at 3:00, you return sated. What a great day.

Glen Burnie - a wonderful house and garden just outside Winchester. In the same family since 1800, it is a visual delight with "themed" gardens. Recently restored.

Museum of the Confederacy - don't go here expecting some rear-guard defense of States Rights. This little museum, penned in by a medical center in the middle of Richmond, is a very well curated look at the Civil War's impact on the South. Intelligently told and unvarnished, it is well worth a visit for anyone with an interest in history.

Chincoteague - One of the best beaches in Virginia. Broad, sandy, and with wild ponies thrown in for the bargain. To be completely truthful, Assoteague island, the next island up, is even nicer, and less crowded.

Old Town Alexandria - Do a search under "Virginia" and "Alexandria" for an extended essay on this remarkable little city at Washington's doorstep. Park the car and get out and walk, and in the process discover a wonderful town with a very human scale. The best part of Old Town is east of Washington St. and south of King.

Manassas National Battlefield - Bloody but unavoidable history, told with an unflinching eye for detail. There were two battles of Manassas, the site allows you to trace both.

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts - Most state-run museums have a well-deserved reputation for mediocrity, but most state-run museums don't have Paul Mellon as a patron saint. VMFA in Richmond is as first-rate as a museum gets, with the late Mr. Mellon having supplied both a wing of the museum and a not-inconsiderable amount of the (primarily British) art in it. VMFA's holdings are excellent in American art, art nouveau, and furniture; and has the world's second-largest collection of Faberge eggs.

Chrysler Museum - Norfolk's cultural attraction, and not bad for a small city. An impressive collection of Tiffany glass.

Horse Country - Centered around Middleburg but also including Upperville and a wide swatch of land south of Route 50, Virginia horse country shows what a devotion to things equestrian and a lot of money can do. Admire the farms (there are also several tours each summer, check the Washington Post's web site for details), preferably from a convertible. This is glorious country with quaint, winding roads with miles of ubiquitous white fences.

Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive - It was built in the 1930s to give employment, it provides pleasure 60-plus years later. You don't have to drive the entire length to appreciate it, but the vistas constantly change.

Presidential homes - Yes, plan to spend at least half a day each at Monticello and Mt. Vernon, and it will be both historic and educational. But also plan a drive to Orange, about an hour away, to Montpelier, the home of James and Dolley Madison. Montpelier was Madison's lifelong home, and he was the third generation to live there. Madison is generally considered the principal architect of the Constitution, and chief proponent of the Bill of Rights. The National Trust for Historic Preservation acquired Montpelier in the 1980's and has done a spectacular job of restoring the home to Madison's era.

 
Old Jun 2nd, 1999, 06:42 PM
  #5  
Diane
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Lawrence - Neal's list is right on. Except there aren't beaches on Chincoteague, just a delightful small town you stay in so you can visit the extraordinary National Seashore on Assateague. (Been going there for almost 30 years!) Great restaurants, laid back, once much better fishing than now!

The Charlottesville area is just magnificent. You might want to splurge and stay at a B&B in Orange. The countryside is not only historic, but lovely, and there are a number of wineries to be visited, as well! Montecello is an amazing tribute to Thomas Jefferson's incredible imagination and engineering expertise.
 
Old Jun 3rd, 1999, 02:47 PM
  #6  
Lantell Star
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Definatly go to, Virginia Beach, Dismal Swamp, Norfolk, Williamsburg, Roanoke and Arlington, The Delvamare penninsula is extremely nice this time of year.
Any specific questions? E-mail me
[email protected]
 
Old Jun 3rd, 1999, 08:11 PM
  #7  
Nicole
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I am a Chicagoan who married a Virginian and the first trip we took to Williamsburg included a side shopping trip to some huge "Pottery Warehouse" place that had the most incredible bargains in it. Huge airplane hangers full of stuff. No other way to describe it but amazing.
(this is assuming that you will need to take a shopping trip while out there. There are too many items to pass by..especially the antiques!)
 
Old Jun 4th, 1999, 11:43 AM
  #8  
Vicki
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We thought Williamsburg was terribly expensive and decided to just walk around inside the area.

We enjoyed the Jamestown area, our kids are studying colonial history, it was very appropriate to their studies.

Beautiful area. We also enjoyed Virginia Beach, just for fun.
 

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