In 1607, the first permanent English-speaking colonists in North America set up camp on an island and built a fort they called Jamestowne. This small band of gentlemen and tradesmen had an extremely rough start, but within a few years this bountiful land known as Virginia had greatly rewarded them for their courageous efforts.

They first set foot on a sandy Atlantic Ocean beach at Cape Charles, at the mouth of one of the world's great estuaries, the Chesapeake Bay. Beyond them lay a varied, rich, and scenic land. They settled beside one of the great tidal rivers whose tributaries led their descendants through the rolling hills of the Piedmont, over the Blue Ridge Mountains, and into the great valleys beyond.

Today, the history-loving Commonwealth of Virginia abounds with historic homes and plantations, buildings that rang with revolutionary oratory, museums and battlefields recalling the bloody Civil War fought on its soil, and small towns that seem little changed since Colonial times. Conservation efforts have kept a great deal of Virginia's wilderness looking much as it did in 1607, making the state a prime destination for lovers of the great outdoors. Virginia has an abundance of places to indulge your passion.