The phrase “Virginia is for Lovers”, was coined many years ago to attract tourists to the state. If you’re a lover of history, fine wine and exceptional golf then Virginia’s mantra certainly applies to you. Here are ten (10) reasons why you should add Virginia to your list of must see vacation destinations.
1. Virginia is home to 220 extraordinary golf courses from the shores of the Atlantic Ocean to the beauty and tranquility of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
2. Virginia is the fifth largest wine producer in the U.S. and home to over 300 wineries including the famous Barboursville Vineyards in the rolling hills of Barboursville. The region’s excellent soil conditions and temperate climate provide ideal growing conditions for the production of premium wines. It is at the Barboursville Vineyard, www.bbvwine.com that you will find the Octagon brand, a splendid cabernet and merlot blend that was served at President Barack Obama’s inauguration.
3. Founded in 1607, Jamestown, Virginia is the oldest permanent English settlement in the United States. It served as Virginia’s capital from 1607 to 1699.
4. Virginia is home of Colonial Williamsburg. From 1699 to 1780, Williamsburg was the political, social, and capital of Britain’s largest, wealthiest and most populous colony. It is here that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, George Mason and other Virginia patriots debated the ideas of liberty, independence and personal freedom that led to the founding of American democracy.
5. Virginia is birthplace of the 3rd, 4th and 5th President of the United States – Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), James Madison (1751-1836), and James Monroe (1758 -1831), contributing authors of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Monroe Doctrine.
6. Charlottesville, Virginia is home to Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s estate. Jefferson lived here after serving two terms as the 3rd President of the United States (1801-1809). Thirty minutes from Monticello is Montpelier, the home of James Madison, Thomas Jefferson’s good friend and 4th President of the United States (1809-1817).
7. Charlottesville, Virginia is home of the University of Virginia. Founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, the University of Virginia is regarded as one of the best public universities in the U.S. It is Jefferson who believed that a good education system was vital to ensuring a country’s democracy. Be sure to play golf at the university’s Birdwood Golf Course and stay at the recently renovated Boar’s Head Inn.
8. Virginia is home to Keswick Hall, a spectacular country estate built in 1912 by the Crawford Family, located 15 minutes outside of historic Charlottesville. Recently, named the “Top Hotel in Virginia” by Conde Nast Traveler, golf enthusiasts will thoroughly enjoy the Pete Dye designed “Full Cry” championship golf course.
9. Virginia Beach, Virginia’s largest city, is home to one of the best beaches in the U.S, and the site of many outdoor festivals throughout the year. It is situated where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean, creating the perfect playground and feeding location for dolphins. Every year, bottlenose dolphins migrate off the Virginia Beach coast during the warmer months.
There are over 20 outstanding golf courses in the Virginia Beach area including the Bay Creek Resort and Club. Located on the Eastern Shore, Bay Creek boasts two championship golf courses designed by golf legends, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. Another Palmer design, The Signature at Westneck is another excellent golf course in the area.
10. Canadians looking for close-to-home vacation destinations can reach Virginia within 1 day. Driving south, Virginia is only 10 hours from Ontario and 12 hours from Quebec and is the closest warm water beach to eastern Canada. It is a state renowned for its natural beauty, rolling hills, and country charm from Charlottesville to Roanoke, from Roanoke to Virginia Beach, and from Virginia Beach to Richmond.
Great Virginia Golf Courses:
Westfields Golf Club, (Clifton), (703) 631-3300, www.westfieldsgolf.com
Raspberry Falls Golf & Hunt Club, (Leesburg), (703) 779-2555, www.raspberryfalls.com
Birdwood Golf Course, (Charlottesville), (434) 293-4653
Keswick Club, (Keswick), (434) 979-3440, www.keswick.com
Bay Creek Resort and Club, (Cape Charles), (757) 331-8620, www.baycreekresort.com
Signature at Westneck, (Virginia Beach), (757) 721-2900, www.signatureatwestnek.com
Great Places to Stay:
Westfields Marriott Washington Dulles, (703) 818-0300, www.marriott.com
Boar’s Head Inn, Charlottesville, 1-800-476-1988, www.boarsheadinn.com
Keswick Hall, Keswick, (434) 979-3440, www.keswick.com
Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront, Virginia Beach, (737) 213-3000, www.hilton.com
Driving: – 10 hours from Ontario, 12 hours from Quebec
Flying: Regular flights from Pearson to Washington, D.C., Richmond and Norfolk International Airports.
Virginia Tourism Corporation, 1-800-671-4195, www.virginia.org/canada