Some states get all the attention for boasting the natural wonders and impressive structures present in their region, but underrated wonders such as those in Virginia are on to the next level. Virginia is a state in the southeastern region of the US, featuring an expansive coastline of the Atlantic, historical sites, and museums. However, the state is truly diverse as it is also home to some of the United States’ most mysterious attractions. As a result, listed below are the most fascinating sites in Virginia.
10 George Washington Masonic Memorial, Alexandria
The George Washington Masonic Memorial was constructed from 1922 to 1932 and was designed by Harvey Wiley Corbitt. The structure is dedicated to George Washington’s prominent position as a Freemason. What makes the site fascinating is its architectural structure which features neoclassical, gothic revival, renaissance, and Romanesque architectural designs. Aside from that, the Masonic brotherhood also adds to the mystery of this attraction. Furthermore, the memorial also houses a performing arts facility, historical artifacts, and a library, as well as serving as a location for Masonic gatherings.
9 Fairy Stone State Park, Stuart
Fairy Stone State Park, in Stuart, is similar to other state parks in that it has tranquil lakes, excellent mountain treks, and lush woodlands. The existing fairy stones that are cross-shaped may be found here, however, enchant every visitor to the park. Many legends say that the stones are crystallized fairy tears. It is said that fairies lived through the forest many years ago. But science has a different explanation for this - they are called staurolite which is a compound made up of other compounds like iron, aluminon, and silica that are prominent in areas with severe heat.
8 Abandoned Virginia Renaissance Faire, Fredericksburg
The abandoned Virginia Renaissance Faire, intended to recreate a medieval town featuring several structures including strange structures and towers. Unfortunately, it closed its doors and was abandoned after only two seasons of deteriorating profitability. As the years go by, intrepid adventurers have uncovered the secluded ruins and recently, the site’s picturesque flyby was just recorded by a drone operator. Additionally, trespassers will face criminal charges, but it is used year-round by a club for shooting, hunting, and other leisure activities.
7 Meade Pyramid, Fredericksburg
Meade Pyramid in Fredericksburg Battlefield is 30 feet square and 23 feet tall atop Prospect Hill. George Meade, a respected general, and his workers built the pyramid after breaking through Confederate defenses in 1862. They only departed the area after losing 40 percent of their troops. The memorial is noteworthy as it is completely made up of Virginia granite. Its beauty might tempt some to touch but it is better to resist as it is near a dangerous railroad crossing.
6 Natural Chimneys, Mount Solon
Mount Solon's "Natural Chimneys" are made out of limestones that have been shaped into towering chimneys. According to historians, the development of the stones began 500 million years ago, during the Paleozoic period. Currently, the chimneys are adjacent to one another and stand at a height of more than 120 feet. The park also features the National Jousting Hall of Fame, which was founded in 1891 and is the oldest sports event in the United States.
5 “Virginia Mourning Her Dead,” Lexington
The institute of Virginia Military has an extensive and distinguished history, having been established in 1839. The “Virginia Mourning Her Dead” is a statue, presently standing outside the barracks of VMI. It was sculptured by a cadet survivor named Moses Ezekiel. According to some, the sculpture has been observed shedding tears of grief for the soldiers who died in combat, six of whom are buried behind the statue. Annually, a ceremony is held to honor the cadets who have died.
4 Chimborazo Medical Museum, Richmond
Chimborazo Medical Museum, located in the state capital, is a significant historical landmark, having treated over 75,000 patients during the Civil War. Due to its size, complexity, and organization, the Chimborazo Hospital swiftly rose to prominence throughout the conflict. After the war, the hospital was abandoned and is currently serving as a park featuring the museum. Additionally, visitors to the museum can also learn not only about the hospital's history but also about the hospital's medical situation throughout the war.
3 The Great Channels of Virginia, Hayter's Gap
The Great Channels of Virginia, located at Clinch Mountain's peak, are a protected area where a labyrinth-like slot ravine weaves its way through the smooth stone walls, inviting travelers to see what awaits them around every turn. According to geologists, the maze of holes was formed in the last ice period. The property sits elevated at almost 4,200 feet and is 6.5 miles away, providing unrivaled vistas of the surrounding landscape. In addition, the best way to reach the channels is by trail.
2 President Heads, Williamsburg
The President Heads, which stand 18-20 feet tall and are located at 8212 Croaker Rd. in Williamsburg, was initially part of an outdoor tourist attraction in a nearby city. The park, however, became bankrupt, and Howard Hankins assisted in the relocation of the busts to his private land. Visitors must organize a trip to enter the park and see the abandoned 42 busts. Furthermore, a crowdsourcing drive is already underway to raise funds to transfer the sculptures to a more suitable location.
1 Virginia’s Natural Tunnel, Duffield
A natural tunnel can be found at 1420 Natural Tunnel Pkwy in Duffield, Virginia, in addition to the natural chimneys. It is known as the Natural Tunnel State Park, with trains passing along the track leading to the viewing platform near the tunnels' entrance regularly. Carbonic acid-rich rainwater seeped down through fractures during the glacial age, eventually dissolving neighboring dolomite bedrock and limestone. Additionally, the park holds a Railroad Day, during which visitors can take a trip through the tunnel while the park controls the lighting.