Getting Oriented

Richmond is south of Washington, D.C. Interstate 95 runs north-south and easily connects this region of Virginia, bordered by the Chesapeake Bay to the east. Interstate 64, running east-west, offers easy access to Williamsburg, Charlottesville, and most of central Virginia.

Richmond. The capital city of Virginia is easily reached from interstates 95 and 64. Richmond is the former capital of the Confederacy and the home of numerous Civil War sites. It contains several historic neighborhoods including the Fan District, full of 19th-century homes; the Museum District, which contains several world-class Virginia institutions; historic Monument Avenue, the only street in America with a historic designation; the vibrant shopping district known as Carytown; and a wealth of restaurants and nightclubs in Shockoe Slip and Shockoe Bottom. In nearby Ashland (about 20 mi north of Richmond), Patrick Henry honed his oratory skills at the historic Hanover Courthouse. This quaint railroad town is also home to charming shops, the Henry Clay Inn, Randolph Macon College, and Henry's former residence, Scotchtown.

Petersburg. Thirty minutes south of Richmond, Petersburg is a delightful antebellum city with many historic attractions. Besieged by the Union Army in 1864, the townspeople did their best to protect the Confederacy. The Petersburg National Battlefield, Pamplin Park, and the historic Blandford Church and Cemetery are must-sees for Civil War buffs. Blandford Church has an incredible collection of 15 stained-glass windows designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany as a tribute to the Confederate states and their soldiers.

Fredericksburg. Less than an hour north of Richmond sits the appealing city of Fredericksburg, a quaint historic city full of both Colonial and Civil War history, with hundreds of impressive 18th- and 19th-century homes and a treasure trove of art and antiques stores. The nearby Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania National Military Park presents the story of the area's role in the Civil War.

The Northern Neck. East of Fredericksburg, away from the blood-soaked and fought-over grounds, peace and quiet reign in a 90-mi-long peninsula Virginians call "The Northern Neck." This outdoorsman's escape was the birthplace of three presidents, including the Father of Our Country. Don't miss George Washington's birthplace and the quintessential seaside town of Irvington. Here wide rivers and the briny Chesapeake Bay entice water lovers and sports anglers.

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