Travel Thursday: Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown | Back Home Again: Travel Thursday: Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Travel Thursday: Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown

I have never been to Plymouth, but in honor of Thanksgiving, I thought I would tell you a little about my trip to somewhere that's related...sort of. 

The Governor's Mansion
When we lived in PA and when I was about eight weeks pregnant with Ewan, we went to Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown one HOT weekend in May. Which I wouldn't recommend doing while pregnant, no matter how far along you are...but I digress...

It's a lot like Greenfield Village for those of you that have been there, but all about colonial America - Williamsburg was one of the first capitals of Virginia colony. I know that the buildings at Greenfield Village were brought to Michigan, but I think I like the fact that the structures have a large amount of significance. Several examples, there are structures pertaining to Thomas Edison and the Wright Brothers there. I realize that at Williamsburg, all structures are in their original locations, and that they do have some significance, but to me, I like the fact that when you visit Greenfield Village, almost everyone has heard of the residents of the buildings. Nerdy preservationist fact: there was a rivalry between Henry Ford and John D. Rockefeller when these places were being constructed. We in historic preservation call Williamsburg the Preservation Disneyland :-)

Don't get me wrong, it was a cool place, full of history, but not what I expected. I did like walking along the streets and exploring the shops. We also explored the gardens of the Governor's Palace, which is probably my favorite part about the whole place. 

The next day we went to Jamestown, since it literally was right down the road. Jamestown is somewhere that holds a mystique for me. Maybe it's the romance between John Smith and Pocahantas (even though I know the true story!), I don't know, but it's somewhere I have always wanted to go. Even though it was still horribly hot, I definitely enjoyed Jamestown more.

We went to both Historic Jamestown and Jamestown Settlement, one owned by the NPS and the other by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Jamestown Settlement is a reconstruction of the fort, a Powhatan village and the ships that brought the colonists to America. It was seriously cool to explore the structures, and especially go on the ships. They were so much smaller than I expected. The thought of crossing the Atlantic Ocean in one of those, without knowing when or if you would find land and no means of communication with the outside world is completely terrifying to me!

After the settlement, we drove over to Historic Jamestown, which is the archaeological site of the fort and town that eventually developed. We explored the site of the fort, spent some time along the James River and checked out the museum which has some artifacts from the fort. We didn't go to the site of the town, unfortunately, because I remember I was hot and exhausted!

Happy Turkey Day Everyone!


  1. I always wanted to go there =)

  2. I've been there before! We went there on my senior trip in high school. It was snowing back home, but HOT there. I remember we were taking a tour and our tour guides were not very nice. I was so hot and was dehydrated and started getting light headed. One of our chaperones took me and one of the other girls that weren't feeling well because of the heat aside in the shade to try to sit and cool down a little. Our tour guide was unhappy with this and said something to my teacher and us and said we needed to keep up with the group and continue walking. Besides that though it was a great trip! haha I definitely couldn't imagine doing it pregnant!! Oy!

  3. It was a neat place to visit, but I honestly don't know if I would ever go back unless my kids really want to go. Maybe it's because I work in historic preservation, but I just didn't like Williamsburg all that much.

  4. Oh that's awful! I can't believe that they said that to you. The whole place is huge so it's crazy that they didn't all you to take a break if you needed it!

  5. I grew up in Virginia and it is SO strange for me to read this perspective as you're being kind enough to explain these places and It would never even occur to me to do so. In elementary school, the big fifth grade field trip was a Jamestown/Yorktown day. I LOVE Jamestown (doesn't hurt that I always had a Pocahontas fascination)! I wasn't big on YT and still haven't been to Colonial Williamsburg...I need to go! Regardless I wouldn't hesitate to go back.

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  8. I really liked Jamestown but wasn't a big fan of Williamsburg. Maybe if I wasn't pregnant or it's not hot and humid... :-)

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