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Virginia

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Travel Guide North America USA Southern United States Virginia

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Introduction

Virginia is a state in the South Atlantic region of the United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there.

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Geography

Virginia has a total area of 110,784.7 km2, including 8,236.5 km2 of water, making it the 35th-largest state by area. Virginia is bordered by Maryland and Washington, D.C. to the north and east; by the Atlantic Ocean to the east; by North Carolina and Tennessee to the south; by Kentucky to the west; and by West Virginia to the north and west. Virginia's boundary with Maryland and Washington, D.C. extends to the low-water mark of the south shore of the Potomac River.

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Cities

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Sights and Activities

  • Shenandoah National Park

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Weather

The climate of Virginia becomes increasingly warmer and more humid farther south and east. Seasonal extremes vary from average lows of -3 °C in January to average highs of 30 °C in July. The Atlantic Ocean has a strong effect on eastern and southeastern coastal areas of the state. Influenced by the Gulf Stream, coastal weather is subject to hurricanes, most pronouncedly near the mouth of Chesapeake Bay.

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Getting There

By Plane

Washington Dulles International Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport handle air traffic for much of Northern Virgina, while other major airports include those at Norfolk and Richmond.

Richmond International Airport (RIC) has flights to/from Toronto, Orlando, Dallas, Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, Freeport, Cincinnati, New York, Minneapolis, Detroit, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Cleveland, Houston, Washington, D.C., Charlotte and Philadelphia.

Norfolk International Airport (ORF) offers flights to/from Chicago, Washington, D.C., Houston, Charlotte, Dallas, Miami, New York City, Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Minneapolis, Baltimore, Jacksonville, Nashville, Orlando, Tampa, Las Vegas and Philadelphia.

Newport News and Roanoke have airports with some useful flights as well.

By Train

Many Amtrak trains travel to and from Virginia:

By Bus

Check Greyhound buses for options.

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Getting Around

By Car

Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.

For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.

Virginia has a number of National Scenic Byways which offer a great way to explore the state crossing beautiful landscapes. Mostly, there are lots of national parks, state parks or monuments along the way and it's generally a better alternative than the faster but boring Interstate Highways.

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Sleep

Hotel and Motel Chains

There are dozens of hotel and motel chains, ranging from budget to top end. Allthough they are not the most charming accommodations, they usually have a very decent midrange service with good rooms and are generally good value. At least you know what to expect and in some cases they are either the only or the best option in the area. Some of them include:

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References

  1. 1 Mid-2008 estimate, U.S. Census Bureau

Quick Facts

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Capital
Richmond
Population
7,769,089[1]

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This is version 14. Last edited at 8:59 on Jan 3, 13 by Utrecht. 22 articles link to this page.

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