The state of Virginia is known as both the Old Dominion and the Mother of Presidents, reflecting its hugely important role in American history. From the establishment of the New World’s first English settlement at Jamestown in 1607, to the Revolutionary War in which Virginia played a significant part, and the writing of the US constitution, Virginia is in many ways the birthplace of the modern American nation. Virginia is also the site of more Civil War battlefields than any other state, many of which are now historic landmarks that are open to visitors.
A historic tour of Virginia’s notable sites and museums can be a hugely rewarding experience for all the family. For children, it’s a fun and engaging way to learn about their country’s history, giving them a memorable hands-on experience they can’t get in the classroom. It also enables them to feel closer to their ancestors and to bygone ways of life.
The Presidential State
The historic old town district of Alexandria, in the Washington DC metropolitan area, still evokes the era of the earliest US presidents. Just eight miles to the south is George Washington’s plantation at Mount Vernon. This restored location is the second most visited historic home in America. Located 38 miles to the east of the city of Fredericksburg (the site of two major Civil War battles) is the birthplace of George Washington. Charlottesville hosts two monuments to Thomas Jefferson, his home at Monticello and the University of Virginia itself.
The settlement on the James River is now a national historic park, with much to see and do. You can visit the Jamestown Memorial Church with its brick tower dating back to 1690, and the reconstructed Jamestown Fort. The park is open daily, and under-15s get in free.
Planning your visit
Traveling around Virginia is relatively straightforward, but for peace of mind, why not plan your trip with a reputable travel firm? Outdoor Traveler Destinations offers a wide range of outdoor activities, vacations, and accommodations across North America; check out Outdoor Traveler News for more details. The company specializes in activity-based vacations centered on outdoor pursuits, from hiking and mountaineering to fishing and bird-watching. Their properties include a 60-acre lake resort in Virginia’s picturesque Shenandoah Valley.
Whether you’re visiting important Revolutionary and Civil War battle sites or wanting to experience the grandeur of the Colonial period, Virginia is the place to come to immerse yourself in America’s history.