Post by Sharon
As a native of Virginia, it is the state that will always have my heart and soul. It is also a very diverse state. I thought I'd share my 10 favorite places in this marvelous Old Dominion.
These are in no particular order -
This whole area of the Chesapeake has a super huge place in my heart. Growing up, my family had a summer home in New Point, Virginia on Doctor's Creek, not far from Gloucester. When we wanted to go "into town," that's where we went. It still has historic buildings and yummy cafes and restaurants. A small town waterfront vibe that truly screams "Old Dominion." If you're there, I highly suggest breakfast at Courthouse Restaurant! If you love history, I suggest the Rosewell Plantation. It is an historic shell of an old plantation from the 1700s.
Just over an hour from DC and yet this quaint Shenandoah town looks untouched by time. It's become an artist's retreat, a wine country business, not to mention the best caverns in the state and the gorgeous Shenandoah river and all its recreation.
Growing up in Fairfax near Clifton, my family owned 10 acres of woods there where we would chop firewood for the tons of fireplaces in our home. But the town itself was so freaking charming with the railroad and historic district. I remember stopping in the little store to buy Yoo-Hoo and hang out near the tracks. And, even though Fairfax did a disgusting job of ploughing down historic buildings and building condos over every square inch, Clifton kept its building regulations so that folks had to have a five-acre property. The historic district looks almost identical today. If I had to live in Northern Virginia again, this is the only place I'd live and I'd probably never leave the city of Clifton as everything around it is an utter clusterfuck.
This college town has the charming Old Dominion town feel. It has its elite and its proud horse country, as well as urban amenities while feeling like a charming southern town.
Here in the west, we have Tombstone, but there is no other historic town that can beat Williamsburg. They did a fine job of keeping the historic vibe, craftspeople and living tour of a time capsule. It's gracious, beautiful, and all things I respect. History buffs need to make a pilgrimage. If you're here, you might as well visit the next pick - Busch Gardens in Williamsburg.
Busch Gardens isn't just an amusement park, it's the best one I've ever been to and that's because it offers a few "countries" within the park, with all the food and culture of each. The rides are amazing. I love the old wooden rollercoaster and the water flume.
CHESAPEAKE BAY BRIDGE TUNNEL
This bridge combined with tunnel is 23 miles long and takes about 30 minutes to cross. Near Norfolk, Virginia it takes one to the Delmarva Penninsula.
Once known as Bull Island, Poquoson is a penninsula on the Chesapeake with the oldest continuously named location in Virginia. It has waterfront and charm and is everything gracious Virginians can be proud about.
These caverns along the Shenandoah area of Virginia are not only an amazing cathedral underground, but the largest caverns in the Eastern US. Now, along with the caverns, there are some spiffy museums that are very informative.
OMNI HOMESTEAD IN HOT SPRINGS
It would seem strange to put a resort in my list, but hey look at it! Spa, mineral springs, water park - oh man, this is a vacation! Located in the lovely Hot Springs, Virginia area. This is like staying in the most gracious manor home in Virginia.
One thing I loved about growing up in Virginia (Fairfax) was the history, the grace and poise, and the constant reminders of England everywhere. If states were monarchy, my home state would be Queen.