We all may not agree on whether Virginia is, in fact, for lovers, but we can say that at least we've had a famous slogan tell us so.
And that's why "Virginia is for Lovers" holds an enduring place in the annals of advertising. Like all advertising, it doesn't really matter if the claim is true so much as that you remember it.
And because of that, "Virginia is for Lovers" is among the 26 entrants up for vote for best slogan in the Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame, going up against such noteworthy opponents as "Take a Bite Out of Crime," "Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires," "got milk?" "Friends Don't Let Friends Drink and Drive" and, of course, "This is your brain. And this is your brain on drugs."
The only other regional slogan is "I Love New York". You can vote here.
Now, how was it that little ol' Virginia became a supposed lover's paradise? It was 1969, two years removed from the Summer of Love, not to mention the landmark Loving v. Virginia court case that struck down the Commonwealth's not so loving anti-miscegenation laws. The Virginia State Travel Service adopted the catchy slogan to appeal to the younger crowd, they being all caught up with peace and love and the success of "Love Story" that year.
But how has it fared the test of time? From the Commonwealth's own tourism web site:
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.
So, in other words, they don't have any particular reason why Virginia is any more for lovers than, say, Guam, but people still respond to the slogan, so that's good enough.