Williamsburg began as Middle Plantation, an outpost of Jamestown, in 1633. It was adjacent to a palisade that the settlers built across the peninsula between the James and York rivers. Because of its strategic location and the strength of its defenses, Middle Plantation soon became important to the colony. In 1676 rebel Nathaniel Bacon and his followers held a convention there, and a year later the General Assembly met after Bacon burned the statehouse at Jamestown. When the capital of the colony was removed from Jamestown in 1699, a new planned city was laid out at Middle Plantation named Williamsburg in honor King William III. For 81 years it was the seat of government and the social and cultural center of Virginia. In 1780 Gov. Thomas Jefferson relocated the capital to Richmond, 50 miles to the west at the fall line of the James River.
Williamsburg Featured Attractions
Brush-Everard House dates from 1718 and is a good example of an 18th-century middle-class home.
Burton Parish Church was erected 1712-15 to replace and earlier church that stood nearby.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg represents four 17th-century European countries; England, France, Germany and Italy. It features more than 100 rides, shows, attractions and exhibits. Thrill rides include Alpengeist, an inverted roller coaster, which takes riders through a series of spins, inversions, drops and vertical loops through Alpine peaks and snow and ice-covered rocks. Other rides include King Arthur’s Challenge, a fast-paced adventure with special effects and 3-D flight simulation; Roman Rapids, a white water ride through Roman ruins; the Big Bad Wolf, a free-flight roller coaster ride through a Bavarian village while suspended from an overhead track; Drachen Fire, a steel roller coaster standing 150-feet tall; and the Loch Ness Monster, a serpentine, double-looping roller coaster.
The Capitol was completed in 1705 and was destroyed by fire in 1747. Reconstruction lasted until 1753, but this second building also burned. The Capitol of 1705 has been rebuilt on the original foundations and furnished in period.
Courthouse of 1770 Costumed interpreters demonstrate the workings of local 18th-century government and justice, culminating in a reenactment of a typical courtroom proceeding.
The Historic Trades Sites revive the arts, trades and crafts of old Williamsburg. Costumed trades people explain and skillfully demonstrate the 200-year-old methods. The following trades are in the Historic Area; building trades, apothecary, blacksmith, gunsmith, harness maker; cabinetmaker, wigmaker, milliner, printer and bookbinder, miller, shoemaker, silversmith, cooper, foundry and wheelwright.
Jamestown Featured Attractions
Jamestown Settlement next to Jamestown, the Original Site, was built in 1957 to celebrate the 350th anniversary of Jamestown’s founding. Jamestown was to be England’s first permanent colony in the New World and hopefully a profitable one for its investors. The unfamiliar climate, disease and starvation, however, almost thwarted those plans. When tobacco was introduced as a cash crop around 1613, the colony began to prosper. Three outdoor living areas provide a glimpse of life during the early 1600’s.
Discovery, Godspeed and Susan Constant Full-scale reproductions of the 17th-century sailing vessels that transported the first settlers to Virginia in 1607, are moored in the James River near the fort.
Indian Village presents the lifestyle of the 17th-century Powhatan Indians as it was encountered by the English settlers in 1607. The village, which consists of several lodges, a garden and a ceremonial dance circle, is based on archeological findings, eyewitness drawings and accounts of the period. Costumed interpreters tend gardens, twist grass into rope, build canoes and make clay pottery and stone tools.
James Fort is a recreation of the three-cornered, palisaded structure that was home to the first Jamestown settlers. Wattle and daub structures, including a church, a storehouse, a guardhouse and an armory, represent the town’s earliest residences and public buildings. Costumed interpreters demonstrate gardening, cooking, carpentry, blacksmithing and military activities.
Magazine and Guardhouse was the storehouse for arms and ammunition. Built in 1715, the magazine displays firearms and military artifacts.
Peyton Randolph House was the home of the president of the First and Second Continental Congresses and a gathering place for leaders of the Virginia colony.
Public Goal the 1704 jail with 18th-century additions is completely restored and includes an early form of indoor plumbing and cells for criminals.
Public Hospital of 1773 was rebuilt on its original site. Opened in 1773 as the Public Hospital for Persons of Insane and Disordered Minds. This was the first public institution in the English Colonies devoted solely to the treatment of mental illness.
Raleigh Tavern was erected before 1742 and became a center of social and political life before the Revolution. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry are a few of the patriots who helped make history in this tavern.
Whirlpool State Park is on a bluff overlooking the whirlpool that results from the Niagara River’s 90-degree turn.
Yorktown Featured Attractions
Yorktown Victory Center is a museum of the American Revolution. “Road to Revolution”, an open-air walkway, chronicles the events that led to the colonies declaring independence from Britain. In the “Converging on Yorktown” gallery, exhibits tell how Yorktown became the setting for the decisive battle of the Revolution and describe the multinational nature of forces that converged there in 1782. “Yorktown’s Sunken Fleet” reveals the story of the Betsy and other British ships scuttled or lost in the York River during the siege of Yorktown. Daily life during and just after the Revolution is recreated outdoors in a Continental Army encampment and an 18th-century farm where costumed interpreters demonstrate firing muskets and a cannon, discuss 18th-century medical practices, prepare meals, plant and cultivate crops and process fiber into cloth.
Enjoy Your Colonial Travel Experience
- Hotel accommodations (in quads)
- Security Provided Nightly
- Complete Sightseeing of the Area
- Professional Tour Escort
- 4 meals - 2 breakfast/2 dinner (3 day/2 night trip)
- 6 meals - 3 breakfast/3 dinner (4 day/3 night trip)
- All entrance fees and admissions
- All taxes, tips, and gratuities
- Coverage under E.T.C.'s Liability Insurance Policy
One totally free teacher / chaperone
for every ten students (in double occupancy)