Virginia History Tour, Day 1: Colonial Williamsburg and Historic Jamestown Settlement

I thought summertime would be a fitting time to feature my trip to see some of Virginia’s historic sites, as it would be an informative and interesting family vacation to teach your children or grandchildren about the history of our country.

Mom and Jeff in front of the Colonial Williamsburg Capital

My mother had always wanted to visit Colonial Williamsburg and Monticello in Virginia, so my brother and I decided to take her on a quick trip before the cold weather set in the fall of 2011. Southwest was offering introductory $39 one-way tickets from Nashville to Norfolk, Va.,  and I found a very reasonable two-bedroom suite at Homewood Suites in Williamsburg, so off we went for a whirlwind tour. It was a one hour, forty minute non-stop flight and we rented a car at the airport. This was a pretty small airport and easy to get in and out of for those that might be traveling there for the first time.

We couldn’t have picked a prettier week to visit Virginia, as the fall trees were spectacular. At Colonial Williamsburg, we stepped back in time to the late 1770s, when unrest was in the air and taxation and revolt was all the talk. Horse and carriages clopped past and period-dressed folks discussed the news of the day.

Williamsburg courthouse

Williamsburg, Virginia

In the stocks…

The Capital

Tavern maids

In most of the main buildings, a “host” character explained the history and purpose of each. We especially enjoyed listening to the weaver as she carded and spun wool, and the housemaid in The Palace. It’s boggling to realize that before the cotton gin, it would take around 100 hours of labor to achieve one yard of finished fabric. And you think we have it hard today!

The Palace front and maid

All three of us are garden lovers and we enjoyed browsing the Williamsburg gardens and garden shop.

We had lunch at the The Cheese Shop in Colonial Williamsburg and would highly recommend it for lunch as it was reasonably priced with deli type selections. You go to the back of the store, get in line and place your sandwich order. Then browse the shop for accompanying chips, snacks, desserts and pick out your drink and they call your name to pick up your sandwich. The cheese selections looked SO inviting! You can also purchase gourmet food and gifts but they run on the pricey side. We were able to find a table out front and enjoyed the brisk fall day. If they are out of seating, you might just have to find you a picnic spot on the lawn. http://www.cheeseshopwilliamsburg.com/

I took lots of pictures so you can browse my gallery to get a feel for Williamsburg and our next stop of the day, the Historic Jamestown Settlement, just a short drive away.

That took most of the day and unfortunately we only had an hour to spend at the Historic Jamestown Settlement. It was the first permanent English settlement in the U.S. and was established as James Fort in 1607. Climbing aboard the ship replicas on the James River made you realize how miserable our daring forebears must have been on their voyages! They had a Powhatan Indian village and an extensive museum.

Jamie at Jamestown

Jamestown fort buildings

Matchlock shooting

Tomorrow we’ll head to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, Michie Tavern for lunch and a driving tour of Virginia Civil War battlefields, The Wilderness and Chancellorsville.

Here’s your links…

http://www.southwest.com

(http://homewoodsuites3.hilton.com/en/hotels/virginia/homewood-suites-by-hilton-williamsburg-WBGHWHW/index.html

http://www.colonialwilliamsburg.com/

http://www.historyisfun.org/ (Jamestown Settlement)

Categories: Travel: THE SOUTH | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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