Central Virginia, also known as the Piedmont, is the largest region of the state of Virginia and contains the state capital, Richmond. It is marked on the east by the Fall Line, and on the west by the Appalachian Mountains. The southern part of this region, including areas bordering on North Carolina, is generally referred to in the state as "Southside Virginia".
Cities and Towns
Richmond began as a small trading town on the James River, at the Fall Line, where ships could no longer progress inland. Cities such as Charlottesville, Lynchburg, and Martinsville grew as trade centers on roads traveled by pioneers heading west through gaps in the Appalachian Mountains.
The capital of Virginia was moved from Williamsburg to Richmond during the Revolutionary War, as it was inland and was safe from the firepower of the British Navy (it was captured by the British Army at a later date). Patrick Henry’s famous “Give me liberty or give me death,” speech took place at St. John’s Church.
Richmond was named the capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War. In the spring of 1865, the city was captured and burned by Union Forces. Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House, east of Lynchburg, shortly after.
As with most of Virginia, the farther south you go, the stronger the accent gets. Most people around the City of Richmond do not have Southern accents and speak with General American English. However, leaving Richmond going south, the accent gets stronger and more southern the closer you get to North Carolina.
- Richmond Amtrak
- Interstate 95 from the north or south.
- Interstate 64 from the east or west.
- Interstate 95 runs through the region north and south.
- Interstate 64 runs through the region east and west.
- Route 29 runs from Charlottesville to Lynchburg.
- Appomattox Court House National Historic Park, Appomattox, Virginia. The site of the surrender of the Confederate forces, marking the end of the Civil War, is restored to tell the story of that day.
- Fairy Stone State Park, west of Martinsville, Virginia. Located near the southern border, Fairy Stone State Park is named for the unique cross-shaped brown crystals found here. Local legends claim they guard against sickness and danger.
- Monticello, Charlottesville, Virginia. The house depicted on the back of the nickel is more than yet another Presidential residence. Monticello reflects a wide variety of third President Thomas Jefferson’s interests and hobbies, including his inventions, the neo-classical architecture repeated at UVA, and mementos from the William and Clark expedition.
- National D-Day Memorial, Bedford, Virginia. Bedford was chosen for the memorial for having lost more young men during the invasion of Normandy than any other town in America, per capita.
- Kings Dominion, Doswell, Virginia. One of Virginia’s two nationally known theme parks.
If visiting the shopping district of Historic Fredericksburg, all of the restaurants on Caroline St. are popular with locals.
- Barboursville Vineyards, Barboursville, Virginia. A vineyard set on a historic estate in Jefferson country.
- Stinson Winery, 4744 Sugar Hollow Road (visit web page), ☎ 434.823.7300, . 11 am to 5 pm. Small batch winery located in beautiful White Hall, VA. Wines range from a wonderful Cabernet Blanc, to Sugar Ridge White, with a light, distinct sweetness, to a range of robust reds. Winery Staff is very friendly and eager to discuss their wines. Owners are normally on premise during tasting hours. Winery is only open Thursday to Sunday. $5.00. edit
- Mountfair Vineyard, 4875 Fox Mountain Road (see web page for dirrections), ☎ 434.823.7605, . 12 pm to 6 pm Fri, Sat,. Sun. Small winery that specializes in red wine. Batches are bottled and sold until gone, once gone, a new bottling may soon follow. Usually not all reds are available at the same time. The reds at this winery tend to be some of the best in Virginia, robust and full bodied. Usually the winery will supplement their wines with a couple from Knights Gambit, a local Earlysville vineyard without a tasting room. And Potters Cider, also a local cider maker without a tasting room. If you get to any of the White Hall wineries, highly recommend you visit this winery. edit
- Cardinal Point Vineyard & Winery, 9423 Batesville Road, Afton, VA 22920 (see web page for directions), ☎ 540.456.8400, . 11 am to 5:30 pm daily. A must visit winery when in the Afton Mountain area. Wonderful wines, with a wide range of sweet to dry wines. Special vintages include Quattro, A6 and their Cabernet Franc, along with other very nice wines. There is usually a wine for every pallet at Cardinal Point. Most weekends, weather permitting, there maybe music on the covered deck and special events through the summer. Wine staff is excellent at this winery, with lots of suggestions of how to pare their wines with food. Certain times there maybe a short wait between tastings. $5.00. edit