The first English colonial land, the Old Dominion is the birthplace of America. It’s also the Mother of Presidents, just about literally: eight presidents were born here, including Thomas Jefferson and George Washington.
Besides Virginia’s high-grade historical and political image, the state is widely known for its impact on the culture of the Southern United States: architecture, furniture, literature have spread from here to form a unique American colonial chic. Go to Virginia Beach and Richmond to learn more about the cultural makeup of the state. But better travel to the smaller towns: exploring Virginia, don’t forget to have a unique taste of its cuisine (wine and Smithfield ham, in particular, are local delicacies).
Two dozens of Fortune 500 chose Virginia as their home state; several federal agencies, including the US Department of Defense and CIA, are headquartered in the northern part of Virginia. The local University of Virginia, William & Mary, and George Mason University are all in the top 100 of best American schools.