Introducing Virginia USA
This page has information on the Commonwealth of Virginia, an Atlantic Coast state of the USA.
Virginia is a top vacation and tourism destination of the USA Mid-Atlantic region.
The state is known for its beaches, wildlife, fishing, wine industry, seafood, agriculture, military ports, and political environment.
The Commonwealth of Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia is an American state on the Atlantic Coast of the USA. Virginia is known as the "Old Dominion" and sometimes as "Mother of Presidents", because it is the birthplace of eight U.S. presidents.
The capital of the commonwealth is Richmond. The most populated city is Virginia Beach and Fairfax County is the most populated county. The total population of Virginia is nearly eight million.
The founding of the Virginia Colony in 1607 by the Virginia Company of London was the first permanent New World English colony. Virginia was one of the Thirteen Colonies in the American Revolution and joined the Confederacy in the American Civil War, during which the state of West Virginia separated.
Virginia's economy relies on agriculture, federal agencies, military bases, media and technology. Computer chips are said to be the state's leading export, with the industry supported by a strong system public schools and universities.
Virginia geography varies widely from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Chesapeake Bay.
The eastern shore of Virginia is a narrow strip of land that is isolated by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and Chesapeake Bay to the west. This strip of land is part of the Delmarva Peninsula. North of Virginia's portion is Maryland and Delware. The eastern shore is known for its wildlife refuges, state parks and towns such as Cape Charles, Exmore, Chincoteague, Onancock and Accomac.
The Northern Neck is the northernmost of peninsula (traditionally called "necks") on the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia. The Northern Neck is separated by the Potomac River on the north and the Rappahannock River on the south. Captain John Smith referred to the Northern Neck area as "a place heaven and earth never agreed better to frame man's habitation."
The Chesapeake Bay Watershed includes more than 400,000 acres of land and thousands of miles of open bay, rivers and streams, making the Chesapeake Bay the largest estuary in North America. The name "Chesapeake" is a Susquehanock word meaning "great shellfish bay."
The Chesapeake Bay is famous for its crabs, oysters, and fish. Known for its importance as a major breeding ground for striped bass or "Rockfish", one of the most important sport and food fish of the USA east coast.
photo credit: highcamera.com
This image is available as a full frame print from Highcamera Aerial Photography
These are a few gift ideas for Virginia enthusiasts. Each calendar features regional photography.
Click on the words "View Calendar Pages" to see each month's image.
Chincoteague Ponies calendar
Virginia is among the premier bird watching spots in the mid-Atlantic region of the USA. Virginia has a wide variety of environments and is visited by many species of birds.
Virginia is home to large numbers of songbirds, found from the shoreline to the highest mountain habitats. Shorebirds, such as herons, egrets, ibises, oyster crackers, march hens and other birds are frequently spotted along the marshes.
On beaches, dozens of species of sandpipers, plovers, gulls and terns feed, nest and raise chicks. A number of birds of prey visit Virginia including ospreys, hawks, and eagles.
Ducks, geese, brant and swans all make stops in Virginia. Some species take up residence year round while others spend only part of each season in the state. As autumn arrives, ducks and geese migrate into the refuges and surrounding areas of Virginia. Off the coast, rafts of sea ducks and small groups of oldsquaw ducks forage along the shoals over the winter.
Books about Virginia history, people and destinations.
The following are some of the seafood delicacies that you might find during your fishing adventure to Virginia.
Clam Chowder - a rich soup using clams, vegetables and either a tomato based or dairy based broth.
Flounder - these fish are the heart of Virginia's inshore fishery. They range from 3-10 lbs and are flat, brown fish which lay on the bottom waiting to ambush prey. The flesh is white, mild and very highly prized by seafood lovers.
Sea Bass - this fish has white meat and a delicate flavor. Catfish are easily farm raised.
Calamari - squid, prepared a variety of ways. Calamari is popular in several cuisines.
Clams - The most popular are hard clams which are eaten raw, steamed or in dishes such as chowders.
Lobsters - large crustaceans, highly prized as a seafood delicacy. Northern or American lobsters are caught off the coast of Virginia and are sometimes sold locally.
Mahi-mahi - dolphinfish; a brightly colored pelagic fish found in the open ocean of the Virginia coast. Mahi mahi is a white fish with a distinctive flavor. The meat is high in Omega 3 oil. Mahi mahi is often grilled or broiled.
Mussels - small shellfish, popular in restaurants.
Oysters - shellfish, often served raw or steamed in the shell. Virginia oysters are widely recognized as being among the best oysters on the USA east coast.
Shrimp - a term for several species of small crustaceans. Wild American shrimp include white shrimp (Litopenaeus setiferus), brown shrimp (Farfantepenaeus aztecus), pink shrimp (Penaeus duorarum), royal red shrimp (Pleoticus robustus or Hymenopenaeus robustus) and rock shrimp (Sicyonia brevirostris). Shrimp are caught in nearby North Carolina and immediately trucked to Virginia.
Fishermen and seafood lovers can also visit www.fresh-seafood.net for a wide range of articles, news, recipes and suppliers of top quality fresh seafood that is available locally or shipped to your door.
Wine has been produced in Virginia since the early days of European colonization in the 17th century. In spite of Virginia's hot humid summers that can be challenging to viticulture, the region is known for producing wines of high quality. Virginia produces several distinct wines that have gained recognition, including Viognier, Cabernet Franc and Virginia's native Norton. In recent years, Virginia has nurtured a fast-growing network of wine trails that provide tourists and locals an exciting variety of wine tasting options.
Virginia Beach is the perfect holiday destination on the East coast of USA. The city is known for its beachfront vacation atmosphere and is a popular holiday resort. The area is located 110 miles east of Richmond and draws tourists from both the North and South. Located in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia is a resort city with miles of beaches, hotels and restaurants along the ocean front.
Summer and spring are popular seasons to visit, a time when thousands of sun lovers flock to the beach front and enjoy their time off. Summers are hot and humid with warm evenings while winters are colder and wetter. Snow is rare in Virginia Beach and the other coastal towns.
Reaching the city is easy, Norfolk International Airport, located near Chesapeake Bay, is the major airport of the area and plenty of flights are available. Transportation in the city is excellent with a well maintained system of roads. Bus, taxi and and rail options are available. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (CBBT), the longest bridge-tunnel complex in the world, connects city to the eastern shore of Virginia.
The major tourist attraction is the three mile long boardwalk, lined with numerous hotels and restaurants which overlook the 20 miles of sandy beaches along the coastline. The boardwalk has a wide range of restaurants, bars, gift shops, specialty shops, a fishing pier and other businesses. The bustling boardwalk and beach filled with happy tourists, sounds of the waves mixed with the aroma of your favorite food grilling nearby is an experience in itself. Leisure activities include saltwater fishing, golf, live music, shopping, flea markets, festivals and more.
Eco-tourism is flourishing at Virginia Beach. During summer there are kayaking rentals, beachfront boat cruises, para sailing, sailing and other activities. In the winter, nature enthusiasts can see an array of wildlife as the ocean is often visited by migrating ducks, geese, humpback whales, dolphins, sea turtles and other species traveling on their migratory paths.
Other interesting sightseeing attractions at the Virginia Beach include the Virginia Marine Science Museum, the most popular museum in the state. The attraction challenges visitors to explore the mysteries of the ocean, wetlands, Chesapeake Bay and other regions. The facility is noted as one of the top marine science museums in the country. It features a huge open-ocean aquarium, live sharks, hands-on exhibits and a giant sea turtle aquarium. The area is also home to several other museums the most notable being the Old Coast Guard Station Museum and the Contemporary Art Center.
Virginia Beach and the Hampton Roads region holds immense historical significance. Local tourist attractions include Old Cape Henry Lighthouse dating from 1791 and Adam Thoroughgood House, built around 1680. It was here over four hundred years ago that English colonists set foot in Virginia. In April 1607, the vessels Sarah Constant, Godspeed and Discovery stopped at the Chesapeake Bay. They named the spot as Cape Henry. Other historic buildings include churches and spiritual houses.
The array of activities, the climate and the the warmth of the city make Virginia Beach an excellent vacation stop for families of all ages.
Virginia Beach Vacation Information
Chincoteague Island Vacation Information
Virginia creeks offer a different experience for fishermen, nature lovers and explorers. Some of the most breathtaking and dramatic landscapes in the area include places such as Onancock Creek.
The lower areas of these rivers can contain more saltwater and may hold trout, red drum, black drum, croakers, Norfolk spot, bluefish, striped bass, flounder, perch, eels, channel catfish and other fish. Fishing the lower reaches of the larger Eastern shore rivers can be very productive during certain periods of the year. Late winter and early spring give cool weather anglers opportunities to locate and fish dense schools of yellow and white perch that have congregated prior to spawning. Again the fall, fish such as rockfish and croaker school up to feed before leaving the rivers.
Hampton Roads Vacation Information