Planning a move or visit to Virginia this summer? Let me assure you, you’re in for a treat. But, there are just a few basic things you might want to know before you arrive. We’ve put together a little “Survival Guide” for Virginia that you might find handy. It doesn’t take much to be happy here, but these things will help make your time here that much better.
1. A working knowledge of “How to Speak Southern.”
Depending on where you go in the state, you very well might have no idea what it means when someone says “over yonder” or “fixin’ to.” But most importantly, if someone “blesses your heart,” you’re going to want to think long and hard about what you did to deserve it.
2. An appetite for good food. I mean REALLY good food.
Virginia is FULL of good food and drinks – country cookin’, fine dining, food festivals, craft beers, and delicious wines. You name it, we have it – and you won't want to miss a bite.
3. Speaking of good food, you better bring a willingness to try new things!
If you’ve never picked a crab, been to an oyster roast, or had apple butter on homemade biscuits, you’re in for a treat. While you’re at it, don’t be afraid to put peanuts in your Coke or some extra butter on your grits.
4. A working knowledge of history.
You'll want to know what's going on with all the markers, monuments, and old houses you’re going to see. And you’re going to see a lot.
5. A good pair of walking shoes.
Whether it’s hiking, exploring the city, or visiting one of our thousands of historical sites, comfort is key. Bring the right shoes and be prepared to soak it all in.
6. Or, skip the shoes and just bring some sunscreen.
If you love water, we’ve got it. From beaches to lakes to rivers… Virginia is perfect for fun in the sun.
7. A love of arts and culture. Even when it’s a little wacky.
Sure, we have Foamhenge, Dinsosaurland, and the world’s oldest edible ham on display – but hey, that’s still “culture”, right? Just don’t forget that we also have world-class theatres, art museums, and music. Check out the Barter Theater in Abingdon, the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, or the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond – you’ll see what I mean.
8. A taste for diversity.
Sure, some places in Virginia might be more diverse than others, but you don’t have to go far to mix things up. Virginians come from a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds, both around the nation and around the world.
9. Allergy meds – I hate to say it, but the pollen gets to the best of us.
Even non-allergy sufferers find themselves reaching for the antihistamines during pollen season. It can get pretty hectic.
10. A love for natural beauty.
This is what makes the hassle of pollen worth it. Just one look at the awe-inspiring landscape that is Virginia, you’ll stock up on the Claritin and never look back.
11. Mosquito Repellant – it’s not ALL fun and games.
Summer is here and so are the ‘skeeters. It really doesn’t matter where you live, they’ll be there, wanting to get to know you better.
12. A lint roller – I hear that’s the best way to get rid of ticks.
Like mosquitos, ticks are out there and can be nasty little suckers. Keep a lint roller handy to get them off your clothes and pets.
13. Your dancing shoes – there will be music. Oh yes, there WILL be music.
Festivals, concerts, and down home jamborees – we like our music and we’re not afraid to dance.
14. Conversation skills. Virginians like to talk. About everything. A lot.
The best joke I’ve heard in a long time was just sent in by one of my awesome readers: How many Virginians does it take to change a lightbulb? Three. One to change the bulb and the other two to talk about how good the old light bulb was.
15. Good car music – no, seriously. You could be in there awhile.
Let’s be honest, we have public transportation, but Virginia is a driving state. And most likely, you'll hit some traffic here and there. But, I promise, the destination is always worth it.
16. A sense of adventure.
You COULD sit around the house all day, but why would you when there are so many adventures out there, just waiting to be had?
17. A whole lotta LOVE for Virginia.
It doesn’t take much to love Virginia – just one visit and you’ll know just what it means when we say “Virginia is for Lovers.”
Now that you know what you need to make the most of Virginia, we can’t wait to see y’all! For you natives, what do you tell people about Virginia when they come to visit? Let us know in the comments below!