|Virginia websites about places to go, things to do, vacation information, sports links, facts about the state, destinations, golf, business, and more. The sparkling waters of the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean gently lap against miles of sandy beaches.
Attractions are the Shenandoah National Park, Colonial National Historical Park, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, the Booker T. Washington birthplace near Roanoke, Arlington House (the Robert E. Lee Memorial), Luray Caverns, the Skyline Drive, and the Blue Ridge National Parkway.
Points of interest include Mt. Vernon, home of George Washington; Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson; Stratford, home of the Lees; Richmond, capital of the Confederacy and of Virginia; and Williamsburg, the restored Colonial capital. The American Revolution ended with the surrender of Cornwallis in Yorktown. President Thomas Jefferson designed his own home and called it Monticello. George Washington's home, Mount Vernon, is located in Virginia. Patrick Henry made his "Give me Liberty or Give me Death" speech in St. John's Church in Richmond.
The history of America is closely tied to that of Virginia, particularly during the Colonial period. Jamestown, founded in 1607, was the first permanent English settlement in North America. The state is called the Mother of Presidents because eight U.S. presidents were born there. Seven Presidents are buried in Virginia: Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Tyler, Taft and Kennedy. The tomb of the Unknown Soldier is in Arlington National Cemetery.
Virginia's economy has several sectors: agriculture in areas such as the Shenandoah Valley; federal agencies in Northern Virginia, such as The Pentagon; and military bases in Hampton Roads, home to the region's main seaport.
The growth of the media and technology sectors have made computer chips the state's leading export, with the industry based on the strength of Virginia's public schools and universities. The service sector provides one-third of all jobs in Virginia, generating as much income as the manufacturing and retail industries combined.
Virginia has a large number of manufacturing industries, including transportation equipment, food processing, electronic and other electrical equipment, chemicals, textiles and apparel, lumber and wood products, and furniture.
Agriculture remains an important sector, and the state ranks among the top ten in a variety of agricultural products, including tomatoes, tobacco, peanuts, apples, summer potatoes, sweet potatoes, snap beans, and turkeys and broilers. Virginia also has a large dairy industry. The first Thanksgiving in North America was held in Virginia in 1619.
Virginia is the home base for the United States Navy's Atlantic Fleet. On March 9, 1862 at Hampton Roads, Virginia, the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia (formerly the USS Merrimac) met in one of the most famous naval engagements in US history. Their battle, the first of its kind between metal armored vessels, changed for all time the nature of naval warfare. The Pentagon building in Arlington is the largest office building in the world. The Atlantic headquarters of NATO is located in Norfolk.