Greater Williamsburg Story Ideas
Inspiring Interactions: Inspire learning through times past by unlocking mysteries with RevQuest: The Lion & The Unicorn, this summer’s online and on-site alternate reality spy game in Colonial Williamsburg rousing visitors to help save the Revolution by deciphering codes and exploring secret areas along Duke of Gloucester Street. Go behind-the-scenes by digging up artifacts at Historic Jamestowne during the Curator’s Artifact Tour, use oyster shells to scrape out a Powhatan Indian canoe at Jamestown Settlement and get inside the gears at Busch Gardens Williamsburg with the “Roller Coaster Insider Tour” and harness that animal instinct during “Wolf Training Up Close.”
New Explorations: History never stands still in Colonial Williamsburg, where blacksmithing returned spring 2012 to Duke of Gloucester Street at Anderson’s Blacksmith Shop & Public Armoury where historic carpenters are constructing a new shed. Busch Gardens Williamsburg launches thrill coaster Verbolten taking riders on a heart-pounding journey through the Black Forest, near the recently opened Mach Tower inside Oktoberfest. Looking ahead, Jamestown Settlement is finalizing the “Jamestown’s Legacy to the American Revolution” special exhibition slated for March 2013-January 2014, while Yorktown Victory Center visitors can learn about exciting plans for the museum’s future.
Civil War Days: Less than 100 years following the Revolutionary War, 70,000 Union and Confederate forces fought in Battle of Williamsburg in May 1862. Visitors can embark on three Civil War area walking tours through Fall 2012 to see “Where American began and survived,” including the Williamsburg Civil War Tour, Un-Civil Harmony: Music of the Civil War and Women of the Civil War. Visit William & Mary’s Wren Building, which served as a barracks and military hospital for both armies, explore York County’s New Quarter Park and see the remaining of the 14 forts along Jamestown Island making up the Williamsburg defensive line.
Anniversary Traditions: Constructed in 1937 by the Rockefellers, the world-renowned 62-room Williamsburg Inn celebrates its years of welcoming famed guests, including Queen Elizabeth II and John Travolta, with festivities throughout the year, including tastemaker culinary celebration (September) and exclusive Grand Illumination event with 75th anniversary fireworks over the Inn Terrace (December). This year also marks the 405th anniversary of the founding of America’s first permanent English colony, re-created at Jamestown Settlement, with ongoing archaeological digs at Historic Jamestowne. Celebrated annually, Yorktown Day commemorates the decisive victory of the American Revolution, and Berkeley Plantation regales guests each November with history, food and fun as the site of the First Official Thanksgiving in America.
Green Thumbs: The re-created Powhatan Indian village at Jamestown Settlement lends insight on how American Indians cultivated crops. Jamestown Settlement encourages visitors to test their green thumbs with gardening activities including turning earth, watering and weeding. Learn about colonial agriculture at Yorktown Victory Center’s 1780s-inspired farm. Bring history to your own backyard by purchasing seeds of plants at Colonial Williamsburg that would have been found in 18th-centuary gardens. The Colonial Nursery teaches horticulture enthusiasts about the practices of colonial harvesters.
Golfer’s Getaway: Pete Dye, Rees Jones, Robert Trent Jones Sr., Arnold Palmer, Curtis Strange and John LeFoy have all made their mark in America’s Historic Triangle. From Colonial Williamsburg’s Golden Horseshoe Golf Club with its Audubon sanctuary courses located just south of the Historic Area and Kingsmill Resort’s River, Plantation and Woods courses each offering 18 holes of championship golf along gently rolling hills, majestic hardwood forest and breathtaking coastal tracks. Other notable courses to tee off: Kiskiack Golf Club, Tradition Golf Club at Stonehouse, and Williamsburg National.
Coastal Adventures: Yearning for adventures on the high seas? Set sail off the shore with the Schooner Alliance in Yorktown by sailing along the Chesapeake Bay off Riverwalk Landing Pier during the summer months after learning about the science of boat building at The Waterman’s Museum and, at Jamestown Settlement, the four-plus month voyage English colonists had via the Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery to Virginia in 1607. Kingsmill Resort offers leisurely activities for the modern adventurer along the James River, including paddleboats, fishing, kayaks and Jon boats in the Kingsmill Marina.
Christmas in Williamsburg: Start the holiday season with Foods & Feasts of Colonial Virginia, beginning Thanksgiving Day at Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center. Following the three-day event, these two living-history museums host “A Colonial Christmas” throughout the month of December, providing an inside look into Christmas customs of the 17th and 18th centuries. Embrace the international hustle and bustle in Germany’s Mistletoe Marketplace in Christmas Town: A Busch Gardens Celebration from November 23 through December 31. Grand Illumination sparks the official commencement to the holiday season in Colonial Williamsburg where on this magical night, Sunday, December 2, honoring tradition with the playing of the Fife and Drum corps music, simultaneous lighting of candles in windows, and culminates in fireworks launched throughout Colonial Williamsburg: the Palace, Magazine, and Capitol.