One of the best things about writing Only In Virginia is hearing your responses, comments and suggestions. Through your feedback, I’ve learned a lot about what is important to people here in Virginia. And mostly, I’ve learned what you are all most passionate about. Here is a list of some of those things…in no particular order!
1. Mountains, hiking and the great outdoors
From the Appalachians to the Blue Ridge, Virginians agree that the West Coast can keep their rocks, we’ll take our mountains any day!
2. Historic homes and buildings
It’s hard to turn a corner in Virginia without seeing a breathtaking piece of history – from old, abandoned buildings with stories written in their peeling paint and broken windows to historic homes and buildings that have been carefully and gracefully restored.
3. In Vino Veritas: In Wine There Is Truth
And it’s true that we love our wine. With vineyards, wineries and wine shops galore, Virginia has made a name for herself in the wine business. And Virginians are quite proud of it – and more than happy to keep the industry afloat with their patronage.
I’ve mentioned Virginia’s love of barbecue a few times in various articles –and y’all aren’t afraid to give a shout out for your favorites – unfortunately, all this does is make me very, very hungry, because I have no doubt that each and every one of you is right! Clearly, we take barbecue seriously and for good reason.
Virginia knows her stuff. I grew up here and pride myself on knowing a good bit about the Old Dominion, but I have learned so much from all of you. So, please, keep those history facts coming!
6. State Parks
We undoubtedly have some of the most amazing state parks in the country. I’m always reminded just how lucky we are to have these incredibly maintained and accessible places.
We’ve already covered barbecue. So now it’s time to move on to biscuits and gravy, Virginia ham, grits and homegrown tomatoes – not to mention apple butter, Brunswick stew, oysters and crabs. These are just a few of things Virginia loves with a passion. How could you not?
8. Chincoteague Ponies
I’ve always loved the ponies. I grew up reading Misty of Chincoteague and listening to my grandmother’s stories of the Eastern Shore. But the incredible outpouring of responses from all of you about these amazing animals nearly blew me away! Hearing your stories and memories makes me even prouder to be part of this beautiful Virginia tradition.
9. The Great North vs. South (vs. East vs. West) Debate
I have been a little worried that the second Civil War, confined to Virginia this time, might break out when the topic of Virginia’s regions comes up. Virginians definitely draw their lines and remain loyal!
But at the end of the day, it truly doesn’t matter what part of the state you are from. Whether you grew up in the mountains, at the beach, in the city or in the country, all Virginians seem to love their part of the state with equal passion.
11. Beaches, lakes and rivers
Big ones, little ones, busy ones, quiet ones – water seems to be in our blood.
12. Honoring tradition
With a background steeped in history and tradition, it’s no wonder Virginians take such pride in their state. Honoring those traditions is a big part of life for many Virginians.
Whether it’s things your mother used to cook or events you take your kids and grandkids to on a regular basis, one thing is for certain, families matter to Virginians.
We love hearing your thoughts and opinions — and especially crazy, fun facts about the state. So keep those incredible comments coming and tell us more about what makes Virginia special to you!