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Virginia
Fun Facts


 

 


State Emblems, Flag, etc

Beverage:
Milk
Bird:
Cardinal (Richmondena cardinalis)
Boat:
Chesapeake Bay Deadrise
Dog:
American Foxhound
Fish:
Brook trout
Flag:
State seal (Virtus, dressed as an Amazon, resting on a spear. In her left hand is a sword. Her left foot rests on the chest of the body of a man representing Tyranny) on a field of blue
Floral emblem:
American Dogwood (Cornus florida)
Folkdance:
Square Dancing
Folklore Center:
Blue Ridge Institute in Ferrum
Fossil:
Chesapecten jeffersonius (mussel shell discovered in 1687 and later named after Thomas Jefferson because of his interest in natural history).
Insect:
Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly
Motto:
Sic Semper Tyrannis (Thus Always to Tyrants)
Shell:
Oyster (Crassostraea virginica)
Travel Slogan:
"Virginia Is for Lovers"

Capital Claims

Bedford
"Christmas Capital of Virginia"
Chincoteague
"Clam Capital of the World"
Danville
"Last Capital of the Confederacy"
Deltaville
"Boatbuilding Capital of the Chesapeake"
Gordonsville
"Fried Chicken Capital of the World"
Highland County
"Trout Capital of the Eastern United States"
Martinsville
"Sweatshirt Capital of the World"
Middleburg
"Unofficial Capital of Virginia's Hunt Country"
Newport News
"Shipbuilding Capital of the World"
Rockingham County
"Turkey Capital of the World"
Smithfield
"Ham Capital of the World"
Strasburg
"Antiques Capital of Virginia"
Tangier Island
"Soft-shell Crab Capital of the World"
Wachapreague
"Flounder Capital of the World"
Winchester
"Apple Capital of the World"

Slogan

In 1999, Virginia celebrated an unprecedented 30 years of tourism success with its "Virginia Is for Lovers" slogan. The phrase has become a much-imitated part of the national language, even in other states' travel promotions. The "I (heart) New York" slogan, for example, appeared later in the mid-'70s.

The timing was right in 1969 when the Virginia State Travel Service (now the Virginia Tourism Corporation) adopted what would become its world-renowned "Virginia Is for Lovers" slogan. The Travel Service could not have known that the Yippies would become Yuppies - and later, Boomers - or that the Volkswagen microbus with the peace sign on the dashboard would give way to the station wagon as the official car of a generation, but they knew where the future was in tourism: a new generation of visitors.

A favorite book in 1969 was Erich Segal's Love Story. Jacqueline Susann's The Love Machine was a best seller. Henry Mancini scored with Love Theme from "Romeo and Juliet." The Woodstock Music and Art Fair in 1969 drew more than 300,000 young people for a weekend of peace, music and mud. Given the tenor of the times, the roll-out of "Virginia Is For Lovers" appealed to younger consumers who were the market of the future.

The phrase came from a creative team headed by George Woltz of Martin & Woltz Inc., the Richmond advertising agency that won the Virginia State Travel Service account in 1968. According to Martin, a $100-a-week copywriter named Robin McLaughlin came up with an advertising concept that read, "Virginia is for history lovers." For a beach-oriented ad, the headline would have read, "Virginia is for beach lovers"; for a mountains ad, "Virginia is for mountain lovers," and so on. Martin thought the approach might be too limiting. Woltz agreed, and the agency dropped the modifier and made it simply "Virginia Is For Lovers."

The phrase was considered bold and provocative, but it was also just plain smart from a marketing perspective. It planted a seed - a new image of a more exciting Virginia - with a generation that would become the most sought-after group of spenders ever to wield a credit card.

The year that "Virginia Is for Lovers" was introduced, total travelers' expenditures in Virginia were $809 million. Today they account for more than $11.6 billion. And the slogan is still going strong. Research conducted in 1992 by the National Family Opinion Research Corporation of Connecticut showed three of every four Americans correctly identified the Virginia slogan.

Other familiar phrases first heard in 1969 include "It's the Real Thing," "The Wings of Man," "The Big Mac," "The Silent Majority," "Give Peace a Chance" and "One Giant Leap for Mankind." But these phrases would be hard to find on anybody's bumpers, T-shirts or coffee mugs today.

No one knows exactly why "Virginia Is for Lovers" has been so durable, but part of the mystique of the slogan is that it has meant many things to different people. Today, a new generation is discovering love for Virginia's mountains, beaches, history, theme parks, vibrant cities, outdoor activities, sports and hospitality.

And the love story continues.

Virginia's ever-popular travel slogan "Virginia Is for Lovers" means romance in the sense that America's most romantic stories have always been those involving larger-than-life figures such as Pocahontas and Captain John Smith, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Robert E. Lee, James and Dolley Madison, and Booker T. Washington. This is the land where English-speaking America began.

Here are just a few themes you may wish to explore in Virginia:

Virginia Information Courtesy Virginia Tourism Corporation, Virginia Tourism Website


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