(and I'm gong back to take pictures and will add them later)
there are approximately 40 sims in the Independent States of Caledon, themed British Victorian and Steampunk areas. Most touch so that you can walk from one to the other. Some are physically separate, these are referred to as "crown colonies". Some of the Caledon sims are more strictly Victorian, with a very Old World feel to their theming. Other Caledon sims have a steampunk edge with strange inventions, driven by steam (hence the name) that look like they could have been made in the Victorian era.
There are also some nearby related sims, Victorian in nature but not officially part of the Independent States; these include Winterfell (gothic Victorian), Steelhead (American Victorian), and New Babbage (steampunk).
They have a lot of events - dances, lectures, church service, weddings. And they have airships! Ok - I'm a sucker for airships/dirigibles. And steampunk ones are the best with moving gears and levers and exposed metal infrastructure.
There is an institution of higher learning - the Caledon Oxbridge University - with professors and scheduled courses, many good for new users of SecondLife. They also have a nice set of exhibits to help orient new users to the basic skills of using SecondLife. IT's much of the same info as on orientation island, but who wants to stay there?
You can become a citizen of the Independent States. Duchess Alana Steamweaver, my tour guide, made me a citizen and enrolled me in the citizens group so i get announcements of events and such. I hope to join the fencing club - that's what I took for gym class in college and really enjoyed it.
So pictures to follow