Southwest Virginia, often abbreviated as SWVA, is a mountainous region of Virginia in the westernmost part of the commonwealth. Located within the broader region of western Virginia, Southwest Virginia has been defined alternatively as all Virginia counties on the Appalachian Plateau, all Virginia counties west of the Eastern Continental Divide, or at its greatest expanse, as far east as Blacksburg and Roanoke. Another geographic categorization of the region places it as those counties within the Tennessee River watershed. Regardless of how borders are drawn, Southwest Virginia differs from the rest of the commonwealth in that its culture is more closely associated with Appalachia than the other regions of Virginia. Historically, the region has been and remains a rural area, but in the 20th century, coal mining became an important part of its economy. With the decline in the number of coal jobs and the decline of tobacco as a cash crop, Southwest Virginia is increasingly turning to tourism as a source of economic development. Collectively, Southwest Virginia's craft, music, agritourism and outdoor recreation, such as a kayak adventure on the Clinch River, (Russell County) are referred to as the region's "creative economy."Counties that have been included in the definition of Southwest Virginia include: Alleghany County, Bedford County, Bland County, Botetourt County, Buchanan County, Carroll County, Craig County, Dickenson County, Floyd County, Franklin County, Giles County, Grayson County, Henry County, Lee County, Montgomery County, Patrick County, Pulaski County, Roanoke County, Rockbridge County, Russell County, Scott County, Smyth County, Tazewell County, Washington County, Wise County, and Wythe County. Unlike other states in the U.S., Virginia draws a sharp distinction between cities and other incorporated communities, all of which are designated as towns. Under state law, all municipalities incorporated as cities are independent of any county. By contrast, places incorporated as towns are included within counties. Independent cities in Southwest Virginia include Bristol, Buena Vista, Covington, Galax, Lexington, Martinsville, Norton, Radford, Roanoke, and Salem.
State of Virginia
Virginia, officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern regions of the United States, between the Atlantic Coast and the Appalachian Mountains. The geography and climate of the Commonwealth are shaped by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Chesapeake Bay, which provide habitat for much of its flora and fauna.
Lynchburg is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. As of the 2020 census, the population was 79,009. Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains along the banks of the James River, Lynchburg is known as the "City of Seven Hills" or the "Hill City". In the 1860s, Lynchburg was the only major city in Virginia that was not recaptured by the Union before the end of the American Civil War.Lynchburg lies at the center of a wider metropolitan area close to the geographic center of Virginia. It is the fifth-largest MSA in Virginia, with a population of 260,320. It is the site of several institutions of higher education, including Virginia University of Lynchburg, Randolph College, University of Lynchburg, Central Virginia Community College and Liberty University. Nearby cities include Roanoke, Charlottesville, and Danville.
Farmville is a town in Prince Edward and Cumberland counties in the U.S. state of Virginia. The population was 8,216 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Prince Edward County.Farmville developed near the headwaters of the Appomattox River in central Virginia; the waterway was long its main transportation access to other markets. In the 19th century, a railroad was constructed here. Since the late 20th century, the former railway has been converted to the High Bridge Trail State Park, a more than 30-mile-long (48 km) rail trail park. US 15, VA 45 and US 460 now intersect at Farmville. The town is the home of Longwood University and is the town nearest to Hampden–Sydney College.