General Information


Railroads: The Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Potomac R.R. from Washington to Richmond, handles trains of the Atlantic Coast Line and the Seaboard Air Line, both lines continuing southward to the Gulf States; the Southern Ry. crosses the State diagonally from Washington to the North Carolina line near Danville and has in addition lines from Richmond to Danville, from Danville to Norfolk, and in the Southwest; the Chesapeake and Ohio Ry., the Norfolk and Western Ry., and the Virginian Ry. cross the State from the Hampton Roads area to the western boundary; the Seaboard enters Norfolk from North Carolina; the Pennsylvania R.R. traverses the Eastern Shore from Maryland to Cape Charles and enters Norfolk by ferry; the Baltimore & Ohio R.R. and the Southern Ry. traverse the Shenandoah Valley; and numerous small lines operate in the vicinity of Norfolk, of Northern Virginia, and in the Southwest.

Highways: Paved Federal and State highways form a network over the State; county roads, taken over by the State secondary road system except in three counties, form networks within the larger pattern. The State has 9,43 2 miles of primary road, of which 82 per cent are hard-surfaced. There are 36,356 miles of secondary road, of which more than half have been paved or improved.

Bus Lines: Interstate lines cover the main north-south and east-west highways; intrastate lines cover many of the sectional areas.

Air Lines: Eastern Air Line stops at Richmond: New York-Richmond, four trips; New York-Miami (Pan American); New York-Atlanta (Piedmont Flyer); New York-San Antonio (Southwestern); and New York to Tampa. Pennsylvania Central Airlines, Norfolk-Washington, connects for north and west. American Airlines, Albany, N.Y.-Fort Worth, Texas, stops at Lynchburg, Roanoke, and Bristol.

Waterways: Merchants and Miners Line, Norfolk to Philadelphia and to Boston; Old Dominion Line, Norfolk to New York and to Miami; Baltimore Steam Packet Company (Old Bay Line) and Chesapeake Line, Norfolk to Baltimore; Chesapeake Line, West Point to Baltimore. Ferries run regularly from Norfolk, Little Creek, and Old Point Comfort to Cape Charles.

Traffic Regulations: Operation of private out-of-state cars is limited to six months unless reciprocal agreements permit of longer operation. Maximum speed: on highways, 55 m.p.h.; residential districts, 25 m.p.h.; business districts and when passing schools, 15 m.p.h.; passing stationary school buses, 5 m.p.h. Norfolk and Richmond (latter on trial) have parking meters and both cities enforce ordinances against jaywalking.

Accommodations: All the cities and many towns have good modern hotels; there are many tourist homes, generally near communities. Tourist camps are at frequent intervals, some with trailer grounds; inquiry as to quality is advisable. Campsites are in the National forests and in the Shenandoah National Park. Cabins are available in State parks (reservations made at Virginia Conservation Commission, Richmond). On the Skyline Drive are many cabins, lodges, and several campsites.

Climate: Virginia climate is generally mild and equable, with short periods of severe temperature in winter and in summer. The annual average temperature is about 57° F.

Recreational Areas: National forests and National and State parks for various amusements; waters along Atlantic Coast and Chesapeake Bay for saltwater bathing and fishing; Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway and the mountains for scenic pleasures. Inquire of local communities for diversified recreations.

National Parks: Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington; Colonial National Historical Park, on the peninsula between the York and James Rivers; Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, around Fredericksburg; George Washington Birthplace National Monument, 37.5 m.E. of Fredericksburg off State 3; Petersburg National Military Park, around Petersburg; Richmond National Battlefield Park, near Richmond; Shenandoah National Park, extends 70 m. along the west of the Blue Ridge, traversed by Skyline Drive.

National Forests: George Washington National Forest, in three parts, headquarters at Harrisonburg; Jefferson National Forest, headquarters at Roanoke.

State Parks: Douthat, entrance 3 m. E. of Clifton Forge, off US 60; Fairystone, 20 m. NW. of Martinsville, off State 57; Hungry Mother, 3 m. W. Of Marion, off US 11; Seashore, 3 m. W. of Cape Henry, off US 60; Staunton River, SE. corner Halifax County, off US 360; Westmoreland, 40 m. E. of Fredericksburg, off State 3.

Federal Recreational Areas: Chopawamsic Recreational Demonstration Area, 2 m. W. of Triangle, off US 1 (30 m. S. of Washington); Swift Creek Recreation Park, 13 m. SW. of Richmond, off State 10; Blue Ridge Parkway, under construction, will extend from North Carolina line to Shenandoah National Park; Bull Run, 4 m. W. of Manassas.

Cautions: Fires: In the National forests and parks fires should be built only at designated campgrounds. Poisonous Snakes: Rattlesnakes in the western mountains; copperhead moccasins are widely distributed; and cottonmouth moccasins are restricted to the Dismal Swamp area.

Information Bureaus: The Virginia State Chamber of Commerce and the Virginia Conservation Commission issue literature descriptive of the State and its attractions; local chambers of commerce furnish information generally restricted to their vicinities; hotels, railroad stations, automobile clubs, and gas companies supply general information as to travel; and stations in the National forests and National parks are equipped to give guidance in their particular areas.

Admission to Private Houses: Mere conditions of admission to private houses and estates have been established those conditions are given. Houses that strangers may enter only by invitation of the owner are marked private. Most of those that are named without mention of conditions of admission or without the warning private are the homes of Virginians who are happy to receive the courteous visitor, even though he is wholly a stranger within their gates--provided that he appears at seasonable hours, preferably in mid-afternoon, and does not stay too long. Grounds should not be used for picnicking.