"Coming Home" Virginia by starship
Virginia Travel Guide: 7,490 reviews and 17,753 photos
When you are born and raised in a particular place, it's very easy to make the mistake of thinking you know everything about it. As a child, I remember my Father being a person who, for his whole life, desired to see new and interesting places, but had only a limited opportunity to do so. He all but ignored Virginia itself and the spectacular natural beauty and incredible history that was in our own Virginia "backyard." To some extent, I have followed in his footsteps -- seeing other American states, and other countries before truly exploring my home state.
A good deal of this page will focus on information from the sights seen during a 3-day road trip to Williamsburg, Charlottesville, and Harrisonburg in August, 2009. As I become reacquainted with my home state of Virginia I will share my travels, and some of its history (and love of the state) with you!
Update: included in this page is an entry for our latest trip to Virginia in September, 2012, which included an impromptu stop in the small town of %uSaluda in Middlesex County, Virginia. Will be adding more information about this. Information on my visit to Norfolk, Virginia in February, 2011, has been added as a separate page.
The term "Road Trip" might conjure up the idea of setting out on the American "open" road with an Airstream trailer for some. Personally, it makes me think of overloading a car with kids, luggage, bikes, camping & fishing gear, which are ALL tied to the roof if necessary, and driving for hours to a special destination. During such a drive, parents would constant hear a chorus of, "Are we there yet?"
Sadly, when I was growing up I remember only 2 major road trips -- one to Canada when I was about 6 or 7 to see relatives, and another with a friend's family to go camping in the Shenandoah Mountains of Virginia.
Our "road trip" in August, 2009, was taken with the particular purpose of introducing our daughter to 3 Virginia colleges which she was interested in submitting applications to---we encountered lots of other families doing the same as we visited these 3 colleges! This trip became a reintroduction to Virginia for me. The major fact that the 3 colleges our daughter was interested in are located in historically significant areas of Virginia was an exciting bonus of this trip as ours is a family of history lovers! Two of the 3 colleges are historical destinations in themselves. I was always interested in Williamsburg and had wanted to attend the College of William & Mary at one time myself. So this trip brought me full circle as now it was my daughter who was interested in seeing the College of William & Mary!
Needless to say, I was looking forward to the road trip although it was planned as somewhat of a whirlwind because of time and budget constraints. Yet I was determined to see some other interesting pockets of history during this time.
The State of Virginia played an important role in many aspects of American history from the American Revolution to the Civil War and beyond. Travel in any direction and you're bound to come upon a marker on the roadside explaining the historical significance of a particular site. That was very true in my hometown as well, but I never appreciated it as a child. I was more interested in horsebackriding and the beaches in our Chesapeake Bay-side town at that time rather than learning about its history and the various historic roles it played.
Since this particular visit to Virginia, I conducted some research on my own home town of Hampton, and found some remarkable information about its own history and the role it played, particularly during the Civil War. However, the town's history goes back so much further than that.
- Pros:The Chesapeake Bay, beaches, mountains & history lovers' paradise!
- Cons:Getting to be somewhat over populated!!
- In a nutshell:Natural beauty is the backdrop for bountiful history!
When we set out to find Lt. Gen. Lewis Burwell Puller's grave in Saluda, we had no idea that the hunt would take us to... more travel advice
In the previous tip on the University of Virginia and Thomas Jefferson's Academical Village, I mentioned the historical... more travel advice
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