Thursday, October 22, 2015

Top Historical Sites in Virginia

Virginia is a popular tourist destination, both for Americans and foreigners. Virginia was the first British colony to be founded in North America, and features many historical attractions from as early as the 1600's. Here are a few must-see historical spots in Virginia that we think you'll enjoy.

Cape Henry Lighthouse
Located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, this is the oldest lighthouse ever built by the federal government. It was completed in 1792. Visitors can climb to the top and have a beautiful view of Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. This is a great destination for ocean enthusiasts and lovers of historical buildings.

Mount Vernon
This was the plantation home of George Washington. It's open to visitors every day of the year and is located on the banks of the Potomac River in Fairfax County, Virginia. There are tours, events, classes, and lots of other of activities available at this popular historical site.

Cape Henry Lighthouse FrontSkyline Drive
Historically significant because it began as a Works Progress Administration project during the Great Depression, Skyline Drive is a 109-mile road that runs the entire length of Shenandoah National Park. This scenic drive, with gorgeous landscapes and wildlife, is especially popular in the fall. Over two million people visit this popular Virginia destination every year.

Montpelier is a historic plantation estate that was owned by the Madison family. James Madison, the fourth American president, grew up here and is also buried in the family cemetery on the property. Montpelier is located near Orange, Virginia. Public access to Montpelier is free, and there are also tours and special events.

Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's primary plantation and residence, was built in 1772 just outside Charlottesville, Virginia. Jefferson himself designed the house, and is buried on the property. The estate features buildings with neoclassical design principles, fields, gardens, and slave quarters. Tours are available here.

Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park
This national park was created to protect several historical locations in the Shenandoah Valley. A couple of sites include the Belle Grove Plantation and the site of the Battle of Cedar Creek. For those that don't know, the Battle of Cedar Creek was the battle that effectively ended the Confederate invasion of the north. Belle Grove Plantation was used as headquarters by General Philip Sheridan during the Battle of Cedar Creek, and was the residence of Major Isaac Hite, who was James Madison's brother-in-law. In addition to being historically significant, The Belle Grove Plantation offers beautiful views of the surrounding valley scenery.

About the Author: Monica is a guest contributor from Prospect Hill Plantation Inn, a beautiful Virginia inn.  

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