Virginia is a popular vacation destination. Its varied topography and mild climate afford year-round recreational opportunities. The state’s historic sites draw many visitors. One of the most famous attractions is at Williamsburg. There, extensive restoration of buildings, gardens, and streets has recreated the city as it looked when it was the capital of the colony during the 18th century.
National Park Service units in Virginia include such areas of scenic beauty as the Shenandoah National Park, which extends along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the Blue Ridge Parkway. The George Washington Memorial Parkway, which skirts many historic sites associated with George Washington, the first U.S. president, extends from Maryland into Virginia. Sections of Cumberland Gap National Historical Park and Assateague Island National Seashore also lie within Virginia.
Colonial National Historical Park preserves several historic sites, including most of Jamestown Island, where the first permanent English settlement was founded, and Yorktown, where a British surrender brought the American Revolution to a close (see Yorktown, Siege of). National Park Service units associated with the Civil War include Manassas National Battlefield Park, which marks the site of the two battles of Bull Run. Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County Battlefields Memorial National Military Park includes parts of four battlefields.
Petersburg National Battlefield and Richmond National Battlefield Park preserve the sites of the battles fought in defense of the two cities. Appomattox Court House National Historical Park contains the restored village of Appomattox Court House, where the Confederate forces surrendered in 1865.
Other National Park Service units include the George Washington Birthplace National Monument, Arlington House-The Robert E. Lee Memorial, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, Prince William Forest Park, and a portion of the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. Two sites commemorate blacks who were influential in the nation’s development: The Booker T. Washington National Monument honors the noted educator Booker T. Washington, and the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site recognizes the first woman to found and serve as president of a bank. Other federally maintained sites include Arlington National Cemetery, the burial site of prominent American leaders and distinguished veterans of the armed forces. The graves of President John F. Kennedy and American politician Robert Kennedy are located in the cemetery. Arlington National Cemetery is also the site of the Tomb of the Unknowns (often called the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier) where the remains of three unidentified American soldiers are interred. The Marine Corps War Memorial (popularly known as the Iwo Jima statue) is nearby. "Virginia" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia.
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