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Location may be as paramount for positioning group tours as it often is in the world of real estate. Virginia offers a bounty of great locations in each of the Commonwealth's nine regions, because Virginia sits on the center of the eastern seaboard within less than a day's drive from any city east of the Mississippi River. Virginia's 11 major airports – including Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, 703-572-2950, and Washington Dulles International Airport, 703-417-8000 or www.metwashairports. com – as well as Amtrak rail service (www.amtrak.com, 800-USA-RAIL), connect Virginia cities to commuter and long-distance travel routes. Major highways including I-95, I-81 and I-77 crisscross the state, as do scores of primary U.S. highways and hundreds of scenic byways. Virginia's weather is nothing short of ideal – not too hot, not too cold, and more often than not, just right. The Commonwealth's four beautiful seasons unfold in five separate climate zones, including the Atlantic coast and the Shenandoah Valley. And all offer a range of outdoor recreation choices year 'round.
Licensed on-premises establishments serve beer, wine and mixed drinks until 2 am. Offpremises establishments such as convenience stores, sell wine and beer until midnight. Persons must be 21 years old to buy beer, wine and distilled spirits. Persons under 21 are prohibited from purchasing liquor and wine for themselves and others.
Most banks are open Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm, and additional hours on Friday till 6 pm. Some banks transact business until noon Saturday.
Although generally moderate, the climate in Virginia varies from mild to hot in the summer, and in winter from moderate to very cold. Spring and fall are exceptionally beautiful. Average annual rainfall is 42" (106 cm); average snowfall is 20" (50 cm); temperature average is 57 degrees-F (18° C) with temperatures reaching the 80s (34° C) during the summer and dropping to the 40s (10°-C) during the winter.
Internationally recognized credit cards such as MasterCard, American Express, Carte Blanche, Diners Club and Visa are widely accepted. In Europe, these cards may be known as En Route, EuroCard or Access. In some cases, visitors may be able to convert credit into cash.
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