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Best of Virginia

The Old Dominion has been at the centre of American history for more than 400 years. We've got its standout sights covered, but you'll also find backroads drives, mountain music and a budding wine region.
Mabry Mill is a scenic spot on the Blue Ridge Parkway
COMPILED BY RORY GOULDING, WITH CONTRIBUTIONS FROM REGIS ST LOUIS. PHOTOGRAPHS: LARRY KNUPP/ISTOCK/GETTY IMAGES, BWAC IMAGES/ALAMY

SIGHTS

Arlington National Cemetery

(arlingtoncemetery.mil)

Arlington is the final resting place for more than 400,000 military personnel and their dependents. Highlights include the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, with its changing of the guard ceremony, and the grave of John F Kennedy, marked by an eternal flame. The Iwo Jima Memorial, displaying the famous raising of the lag, is on the northern fringes.

Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge ££

(fws.gov/refuge/chincoteague)

This Eastern Shore preserve has hiking trails where you can look for the wild horses made famous in Marguerite Henry's 1947 children's novel Misty of Chin-coteague. There is also an Atlantic beachfront and lighthouse.

Colonial Williamsburg £££

(colonialwilliamsburg.org)

The restored capital of colonial Virginia is not a phony theme park: it's a working museum with a well-researched environment that brilliantly captures America of the 1700s. The huge historic area contains 88 original 18th-century buildings and many more reproductions. Costumed townsfolk in period dress go about their colonial jobs as blacksmiths, apothecaries, printers, barmaids, soldiers and patriots, breaking character just long enough to pose for a photograph. Walking around the district and patronising the shops and taverns is free, but entry to building tours and most exhibits is for ticketholders.

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About Lonely Planet Traveller (UK)

In the November issue… Explore the east of Iceland, further from the tourist hotspots, but no less scenic; trace Australia's past along the rainforest-clad coast of northern Queensland; discover unsung wonders in the African island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe; learn how to recreate some of France's most enduring recipes on a gastronomic tour; snuggle up in the finest selection of cosy cabins around the world; and much more