Greater Williamsburg At A Glance
America’s Historic Triangle: Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown jointly showcase the foundation of the United States from settlement to democracy. The first permanent English settlers sent by the Virginia Company of London landed at Jamestown in 1607. The ideas of revolution were then fanned in Williamsburg. Independence was won in the final victory at Yorktown. The Historic Triangle presents these stories in an engaging, historically accurate, hands-on way to visitors to learn more about the Europeans, American Indians and Africans who revolutionized America.
Historic Jamestowne: The first permanent English settlement in the New World. Visitors can explore the original site dating to 1607, including the church tower of 1639, as well as the foundations of private homes and public buildings and the re-created Glasshouse of 1608. Now in its 19th season of excavation, archaeologists continue to unearth the original James Fort, from which artifacts are displayed and interpreted in the Archaearium.
Jamestown Settlement: Jamestown Settlement traces America’s 17th-century colonial beginnings through an introductory film, expansive gallery exhibits and historical interpretation in life-size re-created settings. The film, “1607: A Nation Takes Root,” and galleries examine the evolution of the Virginia colony and its legacies and explore the convergence of Powhatan Indian, English and west central African cultures. Outdoors are a Powhatan Indian village depicting the culture of Virginia’s original inhabitants, replicas of the three ships – Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery – that transported America’s first permanent English colonists in 1607, and a re-created 1610-14 colonial fort. Visitors are invited to witness and participate in demonstrations of 17th-century technology and daily life.
City of Williamsburg: Established in 1699 when the Virginia capital moved from Jamestown to an area called Middle Plantation and was one of America’s first planned cities. Quickly, through development of beautiful capitol buildings, Williamsburg became home to the oldest legislative assembly in the New World becoming the center of religious, political, economic and social life in Virginia. Today, the city proper encompasses Colonial Williamsburg and the College of William and Mary and offers a myriad of opportunities for fine dining, boutique shopping, the arts, and cultural entertainment.
Colonial Williamsburg: The world’s largest living history museum and the restored 18th-century capital of the Virginia colony, Britain’s largest, wealthiest and most populated in the New World. Colonial Williamsburg comprises 301 acres of historic buildings, gardens and greens where costumed interpreters ply their trades and interpret aspects of Colonial life. Guests take part in the everyday life of the city against the backdrop of momentous world-changing events. The Historic Area’s “Revolutionary City” is a family-friendly, live, dramatic program that breaks the boundaries of traditional living history through a combination of large-scale streetscape performances and multiple simultaneous vignettes. Colonial and contemporary artists and craftspeople are also showcased in Colonial Williamsburg at the coveted DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museums
Yorktown Battlefield & Visitor Center: The site of the last major battle of the American Revolution, including fortification and siege lines, Surrender Field and the Moore House, where negotiations for Cornwallis’ surrender took place. The National Park Service Visitor Center offers an orientation film, a museum featuring artifacts from the battle, including the original tents used by General Washington, and maps for a self-guided auto tour of the battlefield and a walking tour of the picturesque town of York. Main Street and its surrounding streets are lined with historic buildings, antique shops and galleries.
Yorktown Victory Center: A museum of innovative exhibits and an evocative film chronicling the Revolutionary era from the beginnings of Colonial unrest to the emergence of the new nation, drawing from the perspectives of ordinary men and women. Outdoors, visitors can take part in artillery demonstrations and learn about 18th-century medical care in a living history Continental Army encampment. A re-created 1780s farm provides a rare glimpse of how the majority of Virginians lived during the United States’ formative years.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg: Voted the world’s “Most Beautiful Theme Park” for 22 consecutive years by the National Amusement Park Historical Association, Busch Gardens is a European-themed park bursting with adventure at every turn and providing a passport to high-tech thrills, mouth-watering cuisine and world-class entertainment throughout six country pavilions.
Water Country USA: The mid-Atlantic’s largest water play park, Water Country USA is set to a 1950’s and ‘60’s surf theme and features water rides, slides and entertainment. Visitors can get drenched in family fun on Big Daddy Falls, experience pure liquid adrenaline on Vanish Point, inspired by the point on a wave where water and gravity form a perfect partnership, and enjoy “KIDsiderate” Cow-A-Bunga play area with interactive water features, slides, falls and water cannons perfect for little ones.