Virginia Holidays & Accommodation
USA, North America
These two states share a name and a border, but their regions are actually quite geographically diverse. Virginia is known for its spectacular coastline, while West Virginia is known for the Appalachian Mountain Range that is found there, home to ski hills and great river rafting. Whatever the region you visit in these two states, Virginia or West Virginia, you will find that there is a sense of a history here, a different perspective on the history of the United States that endures to this day.
Virginia Holidays Planner
Virginia's coastline is rimmed with beautiful beaches that have been entertaining vacationers for a long time. You can rent beachfront vacation properties for a relaxing getaway in towns like Sandbridge Beach and Virginia Beach, and for the history buff, you can make a point of visiting the historic lighthouses that dot the coastline. One lighthouse, the Old Cape Henry Lighthouse, is the oldest lighthouse on Chesapeake Bay and can be found in the town of Virginia Beach.
In West Virginia, the Appalachian Mountains provide a counterpoint to the beaches of neighbouring Virginia. Ski resorts such as Canaan Valley and Snowshoe Mountain provide downhill skiing in the winter, while offering 18 hole golfing opportunities during the summer. Rafting opportunities are also numerous in the mountains as well, and the gorge of the New River, the second oldest watershed in the world offers great rafting opportunities to people of all skill levels. The Appalachian Trail also branches off into several subsidiaries at Harpers Ferry, and while the entire trail spans several states from as far away as Maine, you may want to hike a portion of the trail at this historic town.
Virginia has several sites that present a chance to visitors to see unusual and beautiful underground caves and caverns. In New Market, you can explore varied and coloured formations at Endless Caverns, discovered in the 1920's and explore underground passageways. At Grand Caverns near the aptly named town of Grottoes, you can see the underground Cathedral Hall which is 280 feet long and over 70 feet high and has startling draperies of flowstone and a formation named for Stonewall Jackson's horse.
In West Virginia you may want to attend the Ronceverte River Festival at Ronceverte Island Park, one of the highlights of which is a rubber duck race. The Bluefield Downtown Street Fair in July features a fleamarket, a downtown derby, entertainment and an auction, while the Appalachian Festival in Beckley provides a uniquely West Virginia festival with a hillbilly breakfast, a Taste of Appalachia, and an Annual Arts and Craft Fair.
Throughout both states are numerous opportunities to explore different historical sites and landmarks. In Leesburg, Virginia, you can see where Robert E. Lee launched his aborted invasion of the north which marked the bloodiest day in American history with over 23, 000 casualties. Near Charlottesville, Virginia, you can also visit Thomas Jefferson's plantation of Monticello, and there are numerous regional museums such as the Essex County Museum and Historical Society that displays civil war memorabilia, and colonial era artifacts. In West Virginia, you can visit the town of Harpers Ferry where a tour and re-enactment features music from the civil war and Irish forefathers of the region.
Near Richmond, Virginia, you can explore a late 19th century mansion full of period furnishings including a swan bed, the grounds also include a wildlife center which features a display of river otters. In Richmond, you may also want to visit the Hollywood Cemetery, and the Virginia Historical Society to explore memorabilia from the Civil War. In Charleston, West Virginia, you can visit the State Museum and the West Virginia Veteran's Memorial as historical points of interest.