21 AMAZING LANDMARKS IN VIRGINIA

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21 AMAZING LANDMARKS IN VIRGINIA

 

21 AMAZING LANDMARKS IN VIRGINIA, named after ‘ the virgin queen ’, Queen Elizabeth I, Virginia was one of the 13 colonies of the American Revolution. The mama of the States, as it’s frequently called, has played an essential part in the creation of the United States. The first English colony of Jamestown was settled in 1607 and was the state’s capital megacity for a time.

Virginia is the birthplace of American presidents, as eight presidents were born there, including four of the first five Presidents. The history of the United States is fully rooted in Virginia. The American Revolution and the Civil War both ended within the state. Virginia has further supported the growth and military strength as it is home to the Pentagon, which houses the US Department of Defence headquarters.

Aside from its historical importance, Virginia is a wonder of nature. The Great Dismal Swamp borders North Carolina and is the state’s largest habitat of natural wildlife. The land used to cover more than 1 million acres (405,000 ha) of land. It is now home to many birds, butterflies and wildlife, and the largest natural lake in the state, Lake Drummond. Virginia is such a rich state, both in its history and nature. Here are 20 incredible famous landmarks in Virginia to help you plan your trip to The Mother of the States.

15 VIRGINIA LANDMARKS

NATURAL LANDMARKS IN VIRGINIA

1- FIRST LANDING

virginia landmarks
Virginia is packed with fantastic landmarks to see.

First Landing is a 2888 acre park on Cape Henry named after the spot where English Colonialists first landed in America in 1607.

From this point, the settlers headed to Jamestown.

Marking the location where the settlers landed is a stone cross to celebrate the birth of the United States.

First Landing is a diverse landscape dotted with sandy dunes and humid swamps.

There are numerous hiking trails available and streams and lakes to sail on.

First Landing is at 2500 Shore Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23451-1415.

2- LURAY CAVERNS

natural viriginia landmarks luray caverns
The Luray Caverns is a mysterious landmark in Virginia to see.

Deep below the Blue Ridge Mountains, Luray Caverns is the most extensive cavern system in Eastern America.

The caverns are gigantic, with some the size of cathedrals, stretching upwards for ten stories.

Within the caves are stone columns naturally formed over time and clear pools of water.

The caverns also feature the worlds only Stalacpipe Organ, manufactured from the stalactites within the caverns.

There’s a ‘Car and Carriage Caravan’ exhibition with more than 100 transportation items, including coaches from the 18th century.

Luray Caverns is at 970 US Highway 211 W, Luray, VA 22835-5260.

3- NATURAL BRIDGE

natural bridge
Natural Bridge is a stunning Virginia landmark to tick off your bucket list.

Natural Bridge is a natural limestone gorge created through continuous erosion from Cedar Creek.

The bridge is 215ft (65m) above the river below and a sacred site for the Monacan tribe for centuries until Europeans arrived.

Thomas Jefferson once owned Natural Bridge, who purchased the bridge and the land from King George III.

Today, the parkland surrounding the bridge has been turned into a national park and the bridge.

It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Natural Bridge is at 6477 S Lee Hwy, Natural Bridge, VA 24578-5000.

4- CHINCOTEAGUE AND ASSATEAGUE ISLANDS

landmarks of viriginia chincoteague island
Chincoteague Island is one of the Virginia landmarks of nature.

Chincoteague and Assateague Islands are important natural reserve islands and a National Wildlife Refuge, while Assateague is a National Seashore.

These titles offer protection to the wildlife and plant life on the islands.

The islands cover 37 miles (59 kilometres), with 12 of these miles (19 kilometres) in Virginia.

Wildlife in Virginia is offered a higher status of protection than Maryland, whose state lines cover the remaining miles.

With the help of a fence along the state lines, this added protection allows wild horses to roam freely with protections in place.

The island is also a haven for its bird populations, like peregrine falcons, snow geese and snowy egrets rest.

Chincoteague and Assateague Islands is at Chincoteague, VA 23336.

5- BURKES GARDEN

Burkes Garden is a natural wonder and a must-visit landmark in Virginia.

It’s called ‘God’s Thumbprint’ because the garden is on top of a mountain in a bowl-shaped valley filled with lush green farmland giving it an ancient natural feel.

It’s a popular location for bird watchers, who climb one of the many hiking trails to catch a glimpse at some rare birds.

 

6- THE NEW RIVER

famous landmarks in virginia new river gorge
The New River is a natural landmark that cuts through the state of Virginia.

The New River flows through three US states: North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.

The river is ancient and is the oldest in North America. In world terms, only the Nile is older than the New River.

Through Virginia, the New River winds through wild mountains creating craggy cliffs and spectacular gorges.

The Virginia stretch of the river is popular for white water rafting and canoeing.

There are also stretches of calmer water that you can sail down at a more leisurely pace past tobacco farms, Indian settlements and spectacular natural landscape.

The New River flows through Virginia from Pearlsburg to the mouth of Wilson.

7- GREAT FALLS

virginia landmarks patomac river rapids great falls
The Potomac River rapids run through Virginia and Maryland.

Great Falls, or Great Falls of the Potomac, is a waterfall within Great Falls Park.

The waterfall cascades over 76ft (23m) whilst the river narrows from 1000ft (304m) wide to between 60 and 100ft (18 to 30m).

The narrowing and dropping of the river create several rapids as the water crashes over the jagged rock bed.

Many overlooks across the falls dot the hiking trails surrounding the water, making for a beautiful rest stop.

Great Falls is at 9200 Old Dominion Dr, McLean VA 22102-1019.

8- THE CHANNELS

The Channels are a unique natural landmark in Virginia.

The canyon is maze-like in its appearance, creating a geological area of great interest.

The sandstone canyon is millions of years old and was formed during the last ice age when the permafrost melted, carving a natural labyrinth.

The Channels are unique within the USA as they are covered in lush green forest while other slot canyons are surrounded by desert.

The Channels is at Saltville, VA.

9- NATURAL CHIMNEYS

famous landmarks in virginia natural chimneys
Natural Chimneys is a stunning landmark of Virginia.

Known as the Cyclopean Towers during the 19th century, the Natural Chimneys are another of Virginias unique natural geological formations that have become a natural landmark for the state.

Natural Chimneys tower over the surrounding valley at 120ft (36.5m) tall.

The chimneys are formed from limestone and were once part of an ancient seabed when the Shenandoah Valley they sit in was underwater.

The Natural Chimneys were formed when the sea receded, and the limestone was carved by the elements creating their unusual structure.

Natural Chimneys is at 94 Natural Chimneys ln, Mount Solon, VA 22843-2126.

10- DEVIL’S BATHTUB

virginia landmarks devils bathtub
The Devil’s Bathtub is one of the natural landmarks of Virginia.

Devil’s Bathtub is a crystal-clear pool on the Devils Fork Loop Trail.

The Devils Bathtub is surrounded by forest, making for a magical hike leading to this unique natural landmark.

The hike is very natural, with no facilities at its start and very basic parking.

As the trek is purely natural, it creates a lovely preamble to the big event.

The Devils Bathtub is a swimming hole approximately 20ft (6m) long and 12ft (3.6m) deep.

The Devil’s Bathtub is cold despite its name, but it is a great spot to cool down and rest following the scenic hike.

 

HISTORICAL LANDMARKS IN VIRGINIA

11- MOUNT VERNON

landmarks virginia george washington house mount vernon
George Washington House is a historic Virginia landmark to visit.

Located in Alexandria, Mount Vernon was the home of George Washington and his wife, Martha.

These days, the home today is a museum dedicated to Washington’s life.

It is filled with important historical documents featuring prominent figures who founded America as we know it today.

An unknown architect built the home in 1734 in the Palladian style.

Over its time in the Washington family, the home was added to twice by George Washington.

The property covers 500 acres (200ha) and stretches down to the river.

The gardens, farm and Washington’s grave, are all open to the public to visit.

Mount Vernon is at 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy, Mt Vernon, VA 22121.

12- EDGAR ALLAN POE MUSEUM

The Edgar Allen Poe Museum is unique in museums dedicated to famous American figures, as the author never actually lived in the building.

Instead, the museum began with Poe himself and a researcher named James Howard Whitty.

Poe, Whitty, and fellow writers wanted to create the first monument to writers within the state.

After a turbulent period and a lack of tourism lead to the monument and building being demolished, Whitty saved the rubble and rebuilt the monument as a memorial to Poe.

Within the museum is an enchanted garden, designed after Poe’s poem ‘To One in Paradise.’

Edgar Allan Poe Museum is at 1914 East Main Street, Richmond, VA 23223.

13- MONTICELLO

landmarks in virginia monticello
If you love history, this Virginia landmark is one of significance.

Monticello is a house, farm and gardens that served as the home of Thomas Jefferson.

Jefferson designed and built the home over 40 years.

The home sits on a hill with spectacular views of the surrounding landscape.

Monticello, which translates from Italian to ‘little mountain’, was unique for buildings of the time, as the bricks were made from local clay rather than imported from England.

During his time at Monticello, Jefferson filled the house with his inventions and collections of books, art and Native American artefacts.

Monticello is at 931 Thomas Jefferson Pkwy, Charlottesville, VA 22902-7148.

14- JAMESTOWN SETTLEMENT

monuments virginia captain john smith jamestown
The Captain John Smith statue is a monument in Virginia’s Jamestown to see.

As Virginia is considered the Mother of the States, Jamestown Settlement is an important historical landmark to explore.

Jamestown Settlement has preserved life from the 17th century when English colonists arrived in Virginia.

The living museum allows visitors to see places of work such as bakers and blacksmiths and homes of everyday people.

The settlement is filled with re-enactors in period-appropriate costume who tell stories and share histories from America’s first colonies.

Jamestown Settlement is at 2110 Jamestown Road, Williamsburg, VA 23185.

15- COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG

Another important living museum and historical landmark in Virginia is Colonial Williamsburg.

The museum covers 301 acres (121ha) of the historical area and includes many original and restored 18th-century buildings from when Williamsburg was the state’s capital.

The re-enactors are dressed in period clothing and speak in time-appropriate dialects to add to the historical feel of the town.

The museum regularly holds special events such as the celebration of the founding of the city.

It even has special guests such as General George Washington giving speeches and interacting with the townsfolk.

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