Virginia is the place where the British first established their colony in mainland America, hence the nickname, Old Dominion. This historic place has earned another two nicknames for itself. It is known as Mother of Presidents, an appropriate name for a state that has been home to eight American Presidents, and again it is also revered as the Mother of States for the fact that eight American states were carved out of this great land. To this day, Virginia’s beating heart is symbolized by its historic roots, and its culture is preserved by its inhabitants. The state is literally drenched in history with centuries-old landmarks and hotels. Here is a list of the must-see historical landmarks and hotels in the state of Virginia.
Start with… Pure Taboo!
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1) The Commonwealth Hotel, Richmond, Virginia
With a history that ranges over the past century, the Commonwealth has everything up its sleeve to imbibe you with Virginia’s rich cultural and traditional heritage. It all started in 1842 when a young immigrant from Germany Louis Rueger, established a saloon and café on Broad Street. The establishment had to witness its share of tribulation during the civil war, and it was seized and turned into the Commodore of the Confederate Navy’s headquarters. Next, it fell prey to the great fire of 1865 and was burnt down to the ground. Even all these misfortunes failed to deter Louis Rueger, and he and three generations of his family after him made sure that the establishment grabbed headlines due to its spacious rooms, modern amenities, and luxury that were quite ahead of its time.
Today, the Commonwealth is operated by the SMI Hotel group. The old Virginia flair and tradition runs through the veins of the Commonwealth. From tattooed doors, hand-stitched linens, unique amenities, and a wide variety of rooms and suites to select from; the Commonwealth’s heart beats in tandem with that of good old Virginia.
2) The Martha Washington Hotel & Spa, Abingdon, Virginia
It all started in 1832 when a Virginia General decided to build a spacious private residence for his family. But eventually there was a change of purpose, and the building was used as a finishing school for young ladies. Again, during the American Civil War, this building was used as a hospital to treat the soldiers fighting in and around Abingdon. Stories of soldiers and nurses falling in love with each other rippled across the bricks and mortar of this ancient building, and many such stories live among the people of Virginia up to this day. Once the civil war was over, the building had its purpose changed once again, and it assumed the form of a women’s college.
Today, this ancient and magnificent building operates as a spacious and luxurious hotel. Many people from across the U.S and other parts the world visits this hotel and books their stay not just because of its elegance and luxury, but also as an act of paying homage to a building that stood as a witness to much of Virginia’s past.
3) The Arlington National Cemetery
With the first two in this list describing historic hotels in Virginia, it’s time that we go ahead and have a look at one of the most famous landmarks in the entire place. Situated across the Potomac River, and covering an area of 624 acres, the Arlington National Cemetery stands as the final resting place of the heroes and brave hearts of the US Civil War. The cemetery also contains sections and memorials for Spanish American War Nurses, as well as for Jewish, Roman Catholic, and Protestant Military Chaplains.
The Arlington Memorial Amphitheater consists of the famed Tomb of the Unknowns, and ceremonies are held throughout the year on this hallowed ground. Attended by over 50, 000 people from across the country, the Arlington National Cemetery hold ceremonies such as the Veteran’s Day and the Memorial Day. The famed ground also celebrates Easter Day ceremony each year.
4) George Washington’s Mount Vernon
Any list on Virginia would be incomplete without mentioning the name that carved the whole country with a sense of resoluteness that is seldom found in humans. Yes, the man is none other than the Great George Washington himself.
Mount Vernon is the historic home of George Washington, the first President of the United States of America. A visit to this historic legacy will enable you to enjoy a guided tour of the Mansion, the final resting place of George Washington and his wife Martha Washington, also known as the Washington Tomb, the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Educational Center, the Slave Memorial and Burial Ground, and the George Washington’s Whiskey Distillery and Gristmill.
It is said that Mount Vernon never opted for government funding to preserve itself. Mount Vernon is the most valued and revered legacy of Virginia, and the whole place is funded and supported by visitors and donors from across the globe.
From the Declaration of Independence to the concepts and philosophies that lead to the formation of the ideals for both the Republics and the Democrats, the role of Virginia and its people stand unsurpassed in the history of the United States. The whole state is a living legacy of the great fathers of this formidable country. Together with its awe-inspiring sights, and natural beauty, Virginia is also home to some of the most unique flora and fauna found in the US. A visit to Virginia enables us to imbibe ourselves with the fervor of our historic roots, and many times even have a sense of touch-and-feel with a piece of ‘living history’.