Facts About Virginia (Interesting & Fun)

Virginia, also known as the Old Dominion State, has a rich history and stunning landscapes. From the arrival of Native American tribes thousands of years ago to the founding of the first English colony in America, Virginia has played a significant role in shaping the United States. Let’s explore some interesting and fun facts about Virginia.

facts about virginia

Key Takeaways:

  • Virginia, also known as the Old Dominion State, has a fascinating history and diverse landscapes.
  • Virginia gained statehood in 1788 and is the 10th state of the United States.
  • The state has a population of approximately 8,382,993 people, with Richmond as the capital city.
  • Virginia is bordered by West Virginia, Maryland, the Atlantic Ocean, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and West Virginia.
  • The state has been home to Native American tribes and played a significant role in the establishment of the first English colony in America.

Nickname and Statehood

Virginia, also known as “The Old Dominion State,” gained statehood in 1788, making it the 10th state of the United States.

Virginia’s rich history and significant role in shaping the nation have earned it the nickname “The Old Dominion State.” It became an official state on June 25, 1788, and was one of the original thirteen colonies that declared independence from Great Britain.

Virginia played a crucial role during the American Revolution and the formation of the United States of America. It was home to influential figures such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison, who contributed to the principles and ideals that shaped the nation.

Fun Fact: The nickname “Old Dominion” originates from Virginia’s loyalty to the English monarchy during the English Civil War. The term “Dominion” refers to the dominion status granted by King Charles II following the restoration of the monarchy in England.

Virginia Statehood Facts:

  1. Colonial settlement: Virginia was the first permanent English colony in North America, with the establishment of Jamestown in 1607.
  2. 10th state: Virginia became the 10th state to join the United States on June 25, 1788.
  3. Founding Fathers: Virginia is the birthplace of several Founding Fathers, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison.
  4. Historical significance: Virginia played a crucial role in the American Revolution, the drafting of the United States Constitution, and the early years of the United States as a new nation.
  5. Civil War: Virginia was a significant battleground during the Civil War and the site of many critical battles, including the First Battle of Bull Run and the Siege of Petersburg.

Population and Capital

Virginia, with its rich history and diverse landscapes, is also home to a significant population. As of July 2015, the state had an estimated population of approximately 8,382,993 people.*SEO keyword: virginia population

The capital city of Virginia is Richmond, which serves as a cultural, economic, and political hub for the state. With its vibrant arts scene, historic architecture, and booming culinary scene, Richmond is a city worth exploring.*SEO keyword: virginia state facts

Here’s a breakdown of Virginia’s population by major cities:*SEO keyword: virginia population

City Population
Virginia Beach 450,189
Norfolk 245,724
Chesapeake 235,429
Arlington 229,164
Richmond 228,783

Virginia’s population is not only concentrated in its major cities but also spread across its rural areas, creating a diverse mix of cultures and communities.

Whether you’re exploring the bustling streets of Richmond or immersing yourself in the charm of Virginia’s smaller towns, the state’s population and capital city offer a vibrant and dynamic experience for visitors and residents alike.*SEO keywords: virginia population, virginia state facts

Geography and Landscapes

Virginia, located in the eastern part of the United States, is known for its diverse geography and stunning landscapes. The state is bordered by West Virginia and Maryland to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, North Carolina and Tennessee to the south, and Kentucky and West Virginia to the west. Let’s explore the different geographical areas that make Virginia so unique:

Appalachian Plateau

The Appalachian Plateau is located in the southwestern part of Virginia. This region is characterized by its rugged terrain, deep valleys, and high elevation. It is a favorite destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering opportunities for hiking, camping, and breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.

Appalachian Ridge and Valley

Stretching across the western part of Virginia, the Appalachian Ridge and Valley region is known for its picturesque landscapes. The area is dotted with rolling hills, fertile valleys, and winding rivers. It is also home to vibrant small towns that showcase the charm and beauty of rural Virginia.

Blue Ridge

The Blue Ridge Mountains, part of the larger Appalachian Mountain range, dominate the western part of Virginia. These majestic mountains are famous for their scenic beauty, with peaks reaching elevations of over 5,000 feet. The Blue Ridge Parkway, a scenic road that winds through the mountains, offers visitors breathtaking views and access to numerous hiking trails.


The Piedmont region spans across the central part of Virginia. It is characterized by gently rolling hills, fertile farmland, and urban centers. The area is known for its rich history and cultural heritage, with charming towns and cities that offer a blend of tradition and modernity.

Atlantic Coastal Plain

Located in the southeastern part of Virginia, the Atlantic Coastal Plain is a low-lying region that stretches along the Atlantic coast. It is home to beautiful beaches, marshes, and tidal rivers. The coastal plain is a popular destination for beachgoers and nature lovers, offering opportunities for relaxation, fishing, and wildlife sightings.

Virginia’s diverse geography and landscapes make it a truly remarkable state. From the rugged mountains of the Blue Ridge to the picturesque valleys and coastal plains, the natural beauty of Virginia never fails to captivate visitors.

Native American Tribes and Early Settlers

In Virginia, rich in history and culture, Native American tribes such as the Powhatan, Cherokee, Croatoan, and Tuscarora thrived for centuries before the arrival of European settlers. These tribes had established their unique communities, traditions, and ways of life.

However, in 1607, a significant event would shape Virginia’s history forever. Jamestown, the first English colony in what would become the United States, was founded along the banks of the James River. Led by Captain John Smith, a group of settlers arrived in Virginia seeking new opportunities, resources, and a chance to establish a permanent presence for England in the New World.

“I have seen so many wonders…that I feare my wordes make me suspected rather for a romancer than a soldier.”

John Smith, known for his adventurous spirit and determined leadership, had a famous encounter with Pocahontas, the daughter of Chief Powhatan. According to legend, Pocahontas intervened to save Smith’s life when he was captured by the Powhatan Confederacy. Though the accuracy of this story is debated among historians, it continues to capture the imagination of many.

Through interactions, trade, and alliances, the Native American tribes and early settlers experienced a complex relationship. The arrival of English settlers had a profound impact on the Native American communities, leading to a transformation of their lands, culture, and way of life.

Today, the legacy of Native American tribes and the early settlers can be seen through Virginia’s historical landmarks, museums, and the stories passed down through generations. It reminds us of the diverse and intertwined history that has shaped the land now known as Virginia.

Tribes Significance
Powhatan The Powhatan Confederacy controlled the Tidewater region of Virginia and played a significant role in early interactions with English settlers.
Cherokee While primarily residing in the southeastern United States, the Cherokee had a presence in southwestern Virginia and influenced the region’s history and culture.
Croatoan The Croatoan were part of the Algonquian-speaking tribes and had strong connections to the coastal areas of Virginia.
Tuscarora The Tuscarora, originally from the Carolinas, migrated north to the Virginia region and became an integral part of the Native American communities.

Famous Virginians

Virginia has a rich history of producing influential figures, including several U.S. presidents. Eight U.S. presidents were born in Virginia, making it a significant birthplace of American leaders. Some of the notable Virginian presidents include:

  1. George Washington
  2. Thomas Jefferson
  3. James Madison
  4. James Monroe
  5. William Henry Harrison
  6. John Tyler
  7. Zachary Taylor
  8. Woodrow Wilson

These presidents played vital roles in shaping the history and future of the United States. Visitors can explore their birthplaces and significant landmarks associated with their lives. Historical sites such as Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington, and Monticello, the residence of Thomas Jefferson, are open to the public. These sites offer a glimpse into the lives of these renowned Virginians.

Virginia’s deep connection to American history is further enhanced by the presence of these influential figures. Their legacies continue to inspire and educate visitors from across the country.

Explore the birthplaces and landmarks associated with influential Virginians like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Learn about their contributions to American history and experience the rich heritage of Virginia.

Natural Resources and Wildlife

Virginia is blessed with an abundance of natural resources, making it a treasure trove for nature lovers. Its diverse geography and landscapes provide a suitable habitat for a wide range of wildlife.

Forests: A Vital Natural Resource

Forests cover approximately 62 percent of Virginia’s land, making it one of the most forested states in the country. These lush woodlands not only contribute to the state’s scenic beauty but also play a crucial role in its economy.

“Virginia’s timber industry generates an impressive $17 billion each year.”

Virginia’s forests sustain a thriving timber industry, creating jobs and supporting the economy. The state’s forestry sector is responsible for producing high-quality timber products, including lumber and pulpwood, which are used in various industries such as construction, furniture making, and paper production.

Diverse Wildlife

Virginia is home to a rich diversity of wildlife, ensuring that nature enthusiasts and animal lovers can experience the wonders of the natural world. From majestic mammals to graceful birds and fascinating reptiles and amphibians, the state’s wildlife is a testament to its ecological richness.

Some of the notable wildlife species found in Virginia include:

  • Black bears: These magnificent creatures roam the forests of Virginia, captivating observers with their captivating presence.
  • Bald eagles: As the national bird of the United States, bald eagles can be spotted soaring through the skies and nesting along Virginia’s rivers and coastlines.
  • Reptiles and amphibians: Virginia is home to a diverse array of reptiles and amphibians, including turtles, snakes, frogs, and salamanders. These creatures contribute to the state’s ecological balance and add to its natural charm.

Exploring Virginia’s natural wonders provides an opportunity to witness these fascinating creatures up close and learn more about their habitats and behaviors. From wildlife refuges to national parks, the state offers numerous destinations where visitors can experience the beauty of nature in all its glory.

Natural Resource Contribution to Virginia’s Economy
Forests $17 billion from the timber industry

Unique Laws and Traditions

Virginia is known for its rich history and unique laws and traditions. Here are a few fun facts about Virginia that you might find interesting:

1. No Tickle Zone

In Virginia, it is illegal to tickle women! This unusual law, which may seem strange and outdated, is still on the books. So be sure to keep your tickling antics outside of the Old Dominion State!

2. No Coin Toss for Coffee

Think flipping a coin to decide who pays for coffee is a fun and fair way to settle the bill? Think again! In Richmond, Virginia, this practice is against the law. So if you find yourself in the capital city and need to decide who foots the bill, you’ll have to come up with a different method.

Discover more quirky laws and unique traditions in the great state of Virginia!

Interesting Law or Tradition Description
No Tickle Zone Tickling women is illegal in Virginia.
No Coin Toss for Coffee Flipping a coin to decide who pays for coffee is against the law in Richmond.

Virginia’s Connection to Thanksgiving

When it comes to Thanksgiving, most people think of Plymouth, Massachusetts as the birthplace of this beloved holiday. However, did you know that the first actual Thanksgiving celebration is believed to have taken place in Virginia in 1619?

A group of settlers gathered in Berkeley, Virginia, to commemorate a successful harvest and offer prayers of gratitude. This celebration predates the famous Plymouth Thanksgiving by two years, making Virginia an important part of Thanksgiving history.

While the Virginia Thanksgiving may not be as widely known, it serves as a reminder of the diverse origins and traditions that have shaped this cherished holiday.

Unique Virginia Facts

Virginia is filled with interesting and fun facts. Explore some unique aspects of this charming state:

  1. The World’s Only Oyster Museum: Virginia is home to the world’s only oyster museum, highlighting the state’s deep connection to the bivalve mollusk. Learn about the history, cultivation, and significance of oysters in Virginia’s coastal communities.
  2. The Birthplace of Streaking: Did you know that streaking, the act of running naked in a public place, was born in Virginia? It all started in 1974 when a student streaked across the campus of the University of Virginia during a football game halftime show.
  3. Customized License Plates: Virginia is famous for its high concentration of customized license plates, also known as vanity plates. Drivers can get creative and personalize their plates with unique messages or designs, adding a touch of individuality to their vehicles.

Discover these interesting and fun facts about Virginia, and catch a glimpse of the state’s rich heritage and quirky traditions.

Virginia’s Silk Colony and College

In its early days, Virginia had ambitious plans to become a silk colony. However, unforeseen challenges led to a change in direction. The silk trees planted with high hopes were tragically destroyed by a fungus, forcing the colonists to search for an alternative crop.

Fortunately, the settlers discovered that Virginia’s climate and soil conditions were well-suited for growing tobacco. This transformative shift in focus allowed the colony to flourish and establish an industry that would significantly impact Virginia’s economy for centuries to come.

While the dream of a silk colony may have faded, Virginia’s pioneering spirit endured, laying the foundation for the state’s future success.

Another important historical landmark in Virginia is the College of William & Mary. Founded in 1693, it proudly holds the distinction of being the second oldest college in the United States, preceded only by Harvard University. Today, the College of William & Mary continues to provide a rigorous and prestigious education to students from around the world.

Dates Milestones
1607 Establishment of Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in America
1788 Virginia becomes the 10th state of the United States
1693 Foundation of the College of William & Mary


Virginia is a state that encapsulates the essence of American history, nature, and culture. With its significant role in the birth of the United States, Virginia stands as a living museum, offering a glimpse into the past. From the first English colony of Jamestown to the birthplaces of eight U.S. presidents, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, the state’s historical landmarks and homes beckon visitors to explore and learn.

But Virginia is not just a state rooted in the past. Its diverse landscapes, ranging from the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains to the sandy Atlantic Coastal Plain, provide a playground for outdoor enthusiasts. Hiking, skiing, beachcombing, and fishing are just a few of the activities that await nature lovers. And let’s not forget the state’s vibrant cities, where art, music, and innovative cuisine thrive.

Virginia’s unique traditions and quirky laws add to its charm. Where else can you find an oyster museum or encounter a law against tickling women? These fascinating tidbits reflect the state’s character and create unforgettable memories for those who visit. So whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor adventurer, or simply looking to experience a state with its own distinct flavor, Virginia delivers on all fronts. Plan your visit and embark on a journey through time, nature, and culture in the remarkable state of Virginia.


What is Virginia’s nickname and when did it gain statehood?

Virginia is known as “The Old Dominion State” and gained statehood in 1788.

What is the population of Virginia and what is its capital city?

As of July 2015, Virginia had a population of approximately 8,382,993 people. The capital city of Virginia is Richmond.

Which states border Virginia and what are the geographical areas within the state?

Virginia is bordered by West Virginia and Maryland in the north, the Atlantic Ocean in the east, North Carolina and Tennessee in the south, and Kentucky and West Virginia in the west. The state can be divided into five different geographical areas, including the Appalachian Plateau, Appalachian Ridge and Valley, Blue Ridge, Piedmont, and the Atlantic Coastal Plain.

Which Native American tribes were present in Virginia and when was the first English colony established?

Virginia was home to Native American tribes such as the Powhatan, Cherokee, Croatoan, and Tuscarora. In 1607, Jamestown, the first English colony in what would become the United States, was founded in Virginia.

Which U.S. presidents were born in Virginia?

Virginia has been the birthplace of eight U.S. presidents, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, and Woodrow Wilson.

What are some of Virginia’s natural resources and wildlife?

Virginia is known for its abundant natural resources, including forests and coal. The state’s forests cover 62 percent of the land and contribute to the timber industry. Virginia is also home to a diverse array of wildlife, including black bears, bald eagles, and various reptiles and amphibians.

Are there any unique laws or traditions in Virginia?

Virginia has some interesting laws and traditions. For example, it is illegal to tickle women in the state. Additionally, flipping a coin to determine who pays for coffee is also against the law in Richmond.

Did Thanksgiving originate in Virginia?

While Thanksgiving is commonly associated with Plymouth, Massachusetts, the first actual Thanksgiving celebration is believed to have taken place in Virginia in 1619.

What are some unique facts about Virginia?

Virginia has the world’s only oyster museum, is the birthplace of streaking, and is known for its high concentration of customized license plates, or vanity plates.

Was Virginia originally intended to be a silk colony?

Yes, Virginia was initially planned to be a silk colony, but that plan changed to growing tobacco after a fungus destroyed the silk trees. The College of William & Mary, founded in 1693, is the second oldest college in the United States.

What can visitors expect to find in Virginia?

Virginia is a state with a fascinating history, diverse landscapes, and unique traditions. From its role in the birth of the United States to its natural resources and famous residents, Virginia offers endless opportunities to explore and discover its captivating facts. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or culture, Virginia has something for everyone to enjoy.

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