Though Jamestown and Yorktown often are shadowed by Colonial Williamsburg, I highly recommend that you settle in and explore all three locations. Each has its merits and awakens its guests to the America’s history. They call the three locations the Historic Triangle, and you can purchase one ticket that will give you access to everything.
Colonial Williamsburg is an enclosed historic town in which you can relive the practical and political happenings of Colonial America. Men and women bustle around in colonial outfits, horses and carriages roll through the streets, and fifers play patriotic tunes on the green. As we visited each shop – the weavers, the blacksmith, the milliner, the cooper, etc. – we received personal instruction about the colonial craft and often watched as a crafts person worked on a real project. We also enjoyed visiting each of the historic buildings – the Geddy’s house, the Capitol, the Palace – where we learned so much about the passion, the beauty, and the struggles of forming a country. We took our time and spent several days here.
Jamestown was the first settlement by the English. We first visited Historic Jamestown and were amazed to seeÂ archaeologist at work, carefully digging out graves and foundations of the original Jamestown settlement. We spent quite a long time meander through the Archaerium, a museum full of incredible artifacts that scientists and historians have found in the ground. I thought that the girls would be bored out of their minds at something like this, but it is so well designed, that they were able to connect with the history immediately and found it equally fascinating. We heard lots of “Oh! Come look at this!”
At another site, we spent lots of time enjoying Jamestown’s re-created settlement, Indian village, and three ships. This is perfectly designed for children and shouldn’t be missed. “The Jamestown Settlement” provides lots of hands-on play and interaction, from crushing Corn Meal to wearing a child-size suit of armor, children enter right into history.
Yorktown is the location of the last battlefield and encampment in the War for Independence. I didn’t bring my camera because I thought it would be a quick visit without much interest. I was wrong! We loved exploring the encampment; the girls were particularly interested in the table of surgical instruments and the gadgets in the general’s tent. By the time we visited Yorktown, Lia had had enough of the loud booms, so we learned about the encampment “kitchen” while a large group of school-aged children enjoyed what seemed to be an interested artillery demonstration.
I’m glad I had packed our bathing suits, because after enjoyed historic Yorktown, we drove a minute down the road and set up our own encampment on the modest beach of the York River. The girls played on the sand and in the water for a couple of hours! It’s not often you can snap a photo like this:
Oh, there is ONE MORE MUST-SEE before I close this post! On your way to Jamestown, you’ll see a sign for the “Glass House”. GO THERE. This is a recreation of the original glassblowing house and is fascinating. All day long, professional glassblowers create beautiful works of art right before your eyes! (Also, they sell the darling creations at a fantastic price. This is where I found my souvenir… three little apothecary medicine dispensers!)