Virginia Opens "Lincoln's Footsteps" Trail

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Virginia is ready to start taking advantage of Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln," according to Virginia.org, the official tourism website for the state. The state launched a movie trail for fans of history and the new film on Thursday.

The latest of Spielberg's movies to be filmed in the state was filmed entirely in Petersburg and Richmond. The state's capital filled in for locations in Washington.

Here's the latest info on the new tourist trail and on the movie.

* The "Lincoln Movie Trail" opened on Thursday and is a self-guided trail that shows the film locations and the favorite dining and shopping places for the stars of the film for movie buffs.

* Places that are open to visitors along the trail are the Virginia State Capitol, the Empire Theater, and downtown Petersburg. A "Lincoln Was Here" graphic will inform trail visitors of participating, visitor-friendly locations.

* The website indicates that one can travel through Richmond by Segway. The tour company River City Segs offers two-hour guided tours that travel Lincoln's trip to the city and discusses the movie for $59 per person.

* Stops include the Capitol building, the White House of the Confederacy, the Tredegar Iron Works, and the only statue of Lincoln in the south.

* The movie tour "Where Hollywood Meets History" opens in January and looks at both the locations Lincoln visited and tells behind-the-scenes stories about the filming of the movie. That tour is conducted by Virginia Film Tours.

* Another trail offered is the interactive "Lincoln's Footsteps on the Trail of Enslaved Africans," which shows the holding pens, jails, blocks, and burial ground of enslaved Africans. Participants will also learn more about the African presence in the Civil War, according to the website.

* The Associated Press reports that Virginia's filmmaking industry has grown to $394 million in 2011. That income provided almost $60 million in state and local tax revenue.

* Jennifer H. Carnam of the Richmond Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau told the AP that the benefit of the trail was being able to "walk in President Lincoln's footsteps, you can walk in Daniel Day-Lewis' footsteps and Steven Spielberg's footsteps."

* Some Richmond hotels are offering "Lincoln" packages and some locations will offer a discount with a "Lincoln" movie ticket stub, according to Carnam.

Shawn Humphrey is a former contributor to The Flint Journal and lives near Washington in Germantown, Md.

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