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Enjoy Virginia’s Spectacular National Monuments
Virginia boasts three national monuments, and these sites honor and protect important leaders and pivotal events in American history.
Booker T. Washington, who lived from 1856 to 1915, was a prominent author, educator, and orator, and he was also an advisor to several presidents. From 1890 until his death he was an important leader in the African American community. Today, you can visit the 207-acre tobacco farm where he was born into slavery and see exhibits interpreting his life and experiences.
George Washington was born on a tobacco plantation near Colonial Beach, and today that property is preserved as the George Washington Birthplace National Monument. You can see a recreation of the house which he lived in and visit the Kitchen House, where costumed re-enactors demonstrate how soap and candles were made. In the visitors’ center are artifacts recovered from the original house after it burned down, including a bowl and wine bottle.
In Hampton, Fort Monroe National Monument is a decommissioned military installation first used in 1609. Today you can visit Casement Museum, which depicts use of the fort, particularly during the Civil War, and see the cell where Confederate President Jefferson Davis was held.
Booker T. Washington National Monument
Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966, the Booker T. Washington National Monument is a premier attraction in western Virginia. Head for Moneta, just southeast of Roanoke, and explore the monument site – it's found within a 207-acre old tobacco farm where Booker T. Washington was born.
As you explore the depths of the Booker T. Washington National Monument, be sure to check out the Jack-O-Lantern Branch Heritage Trail, the picnic area, or the Plantation Trail – all must-sees on an tour of the monument site. The main attraction at the site, though, is the actual bust of Booker T. Washington.
Fort Monroe National Monument
Completed in 1834, the Fort Monroe National Monument is located on the southern end of the Virginia Peninsula – also known as Old Point Comfort – near Hampton.
A major attraction of the Virginia Beach area, Ft. Monroe is a U.S. National Historic Landmark managed by the National Park Service.
Fort Monroe is listed on both the Virginia Landmarks Register and the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Covering 565 acres, the site consists of 170 structures, and over three miles of beach on the Chesapeake Bay.
Visitors are encouraged to check out the Fort Monroe Casemate Museum, plus special events and guided tours of the fort.
George Washington Birthplace National Monument
As you make your plans to visit Virginia, be sure to include on your itinerary a visit to the George Washington Birthplace National Monument.
Yielding views of Popes Creek, an offshoot of the Potomac River, the George Washington Birthplace National Monument is a premier attraction in central Virginia. You can make the scenic drive in from nearby Fredericksburg.
Found in Colonial Beach, one of the many charming and fun beach towns in Virginia, the George Washington National Birthplace Monument marks the location where George Washington, one of the founding fathers, was born in 1732. While he only lived there until he was three, he would later return as a teen.
The George Washington Birthplace National Monument offers tours, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966.
George Washington Masonic National Memorial
Situated just inland of the Potomac River, only a mile from downtown Alexandria, and just 15 minutes from the Pentagon, you'll find the George Washington Masonic National Memorial.
Opened in 1932, the 333-foot tall George Washington Masonic National Memorial was built to honor the first president of the United States, and today serves as a nine-floor museum open to the public.
Visitors of nearby Arlington, Falls Church and the general central/northern Virginia area have swift access to the George Washington Masonic National Memorial along I-95.
Admission to the first and second floor exhibits is always free, with any tours of the higher levels only free for those 12 years old and younger. The George Washington Masonic National Memorial is a great place to visit after a day of traversing and exploring Virginia's great outdoors.
Green Springs National Historic Landmark District
Enjoy historic sites, scenic byways, and a wealth of premier central Virginia attractions on your next visit to the Old Dominion. Be sure to spend some time exploring the Green Springs National Historic Landmark District, just north of Zion Crossroads. You'll find nearly 14,000 acres when you do.
Across Green Springs, be sure to visit some of these sites of note: Hawkwood, a villa designed by Alexander Jackson Davis, known for his New York architecture. Boswell's Tavern is noted as being a popular, and important, meeting place during the American Revolution.
Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial
Overlooking the Potomac River, and set just within Arlington National Cemetery, adjacent to the John F. Kennedy Gravesite, you'll find the Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial.
Constructed in 1802 by George Washington Parke Custis, it was the home of the Confederate General Robert E. Lee. It's now a museum and memorial, honoring the Gen. Lee and his life and family.
Access to the Arlington House from nearby Alexandria is a breeze along I-66. Whether you're staying in western Virginia, closer to the beach, or in the Richmond area, don't miss the Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial – an iconic piece of America.
United States Air Force Memorial
Set on the grounds of Fort Myer, just outside the Arlington National Cemetery, the United States Air Force Memorial can be found. Completed and dedicated in 2006, the US Air Force Memorial consists of three, stainless steel spires that reach out from the ground, meant to resemble the "Bomb Burst" maneuver performed by Air Force jets. The US Air Force Memorial is easily accessed from I-66, or I-395, just west of the Pentagon. If you're staying in nearby Alexandria, or McLean, or in any part of beautiful central and norther Virginia, - especially after a morning of exploring the Virginia's outdoors - pay a visit to the US Air Force Memorial to add a touch of history to your visit.
US Marine Corps War Memorial
The US Marine Corps War Memorial, otherwise known as the Iwo Jima Memorial, is a 32-foot bronze stature of five Marines and one Navy corpsman raising the American Flag during the Iwo Jima battle.
The men are shown at the top of Mount Suribachi. The statue was designed from a Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph taken by Joe Rosenthal, an Associated Press photographer. President Dwight D. Eisenhower opened the memorial in 1954.
After viewing the memorial, plan to also visit the Arlington National Cemetery, located next to the Marine Memorial. See the Iwo Jima Memorial while traveling in the Arlington and Washington D.C. area.
Women in Military Service for America Memorial
The Women in Military Service for America Memorial, found at the Ceremonial Entrance of the Arlington National Cemetery, is an effort to honor all women who have served the United States Armed Forces - and is short walk away from the John F. Kennedy Gravesite. Visitors coming from central Virginia have easy access to the Women in Military Service for America Memorial along I-395. Guests staying at the Best Western hotels in nearby Alexandria, McLean and Fairfax also enjoy quick and easy access to the memorial.