Richmond, Fredericksburg and the Northern Neck Travel Guide
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Plan Your Richmond, Fredericksburg and the Northern Neck Vacation

A host of patriots and presidents have lived and worked in the heart of the Old Dominion, an area that takes in Richmond, Fredericksburg, Petersburg, and the Northern Neck.

Virginia is often called "The Mother of Presidents," since eight of America's leaders, including George Washington, were born here. The birthplaces, boyhood homes, or graves of notable figures such as George Washington, James Monroe, John Tyler, William Henry Harrison, and Robert E. Lee can be found here, and the area has many associations with other leaders, including Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson. William Byrd II named the city Richmond in 1737 because the bend in the James River reminded him of the Thames in Richmond, England. George Washington designed the nation's first canal system here, the Kanawha, and Richmond has been home to many other "firsts," including the first African-American governor in the country, the first hospital, and the South's first television station.

Richmond's renovated State Capitol was originally designed by Jefferson, and its rotunda features portraits and statues of Virginia's presidents, including the famous Houdoun marble sculpture of George Washington. At St. John's Church, in one of the city's oldest neighborhoods, Patrick Henry gave his incendiary "Give me liberty or give me death" speech that helped ignite the American Revolution.


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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Soak Up Art from around the World After a massive expansion that doubled its exhibition space, Richmond's Virginia Museum of Fine Arts welcomes visitors to the new James W. and Frances G. McGlothlin Wing. Spectacular expanses of glass allow natural light to pour in, and also give visitors stunning views of the new E. Claiborne and Lora Robins Sculpture Garden and Mary Morton Parsons Plaza.
  2. Experience the Civil War Sesquicentennial Richmond, with more Civil War battlefields than any other state, will see a host of special events and educational programs running through 2015, emphasizing the experiences and effects of the war on the nation.
  3. Contemplate Colonial Design and Revolutionary History Patrick Henry delivered his fiery "give me liberty or give me death" speech at historic St. John's Church in Richmond, and several gems of Colonial art and architecture survive at the working river plantations of Stratford Hall, Shirley, and Berkeley.
  4. Visit Presidents of the Past Tour the boyhood homes, birthplaces, and final resting places of several U.S. presidents. George Washington grew up on Ferry Farm on the Northern Neck, home to the George Washington Birthplace National Monument, and Thomas Jefferson spent some of his boyhood years at Tuckahoe Plantation in Richmond. William Henry Harrison was born at Berkeley Plantation, and James Madison, James Monroe, and John Tyler are buried in Hollywood Cemetery.
  5. Explore the Virginia Wine Trail With more than 160 wineries throughout the state, Virginia is on the oenophile radar and is considered a top wine region for travelers. The Heart of Virginia Wine Trail is a group of four Virginia Wineries located near Richmond, including Cooper Vineyards, Grayhaven Winery, James River Cellars Winery, and Lake Anna Winery.

When To Go

When to Go to Richmond, Fredericksburg, and the Northern Neck

Richmond's mild climate welcomes visitors year-round. Since Virginia Commonwealth University is spread throughout the downtown area, traffic...

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Richmond, Fredericksburg and the Northern Neck Travel Tips

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