Beautiful, passionate, lovely Virginia is a state steeped in history. It's the birthplace of America, where English settlers established the first permanent colony in the New World in 1607. From there, the Commonwealth of Virginia has played a lead role in nearly every major American drama, from the Revolutionary and Civil wars to the Civil Rights movement and September 11, 2001.
Virginia's natural beauty is as diverse as her history and people. Chesapeake Bay and the wide sandy beaches kiss the Atlantic Ocean. Pine forests, marshes and rolling green hills form the soft curves of the central Piedmont region, while the rugged Appalachian Mountains and stunning Shenandoah Valley line her back.
The nation's invisible line between North and South is drawn here, somewhere around Richmond; you'll know it as soon as you hear the sweet southern drawl offering plates of biscuits and Virginia ham. With something for everyone, it's easy to appreciate the state's motto: 'Virginia is for Lovers.'
Need to know
Virginia destination guides
Richmond) has been the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia) since 1780.
Virginia Beach for nature lovers
Image by Virginia Beach Tourism Mini golf, salt-water taffy and lazing on beach towels are all well and good (ok, they're pretty great), but for the nature lover Virginia Beach offers so much more.
Bhutan Thimphu Festival & Trek
Trek from Paro to Thimphu and take in the colourful Thimphu Festival
Southern Cross Country Westbound
Can one 23-day trip define the elusive essence of a complex nation with centuries of incredible history? Probably not, but it’d be a blast to try, no? Designed specifically for curious travellers with a passion for real experiences and lots of time, this adventure takes you from the busy streets of NYC to the shores of San Francisco Bay, with just about every shade of American.
From seals to salt-water taffy: Virginia Beach for kids
Surf's up! Image by Danita Delimont (Getty Images).