Behind-the-Scenes Tour

Allow yourself to take a step back and see the world from a different perspective on this Behind-the-Scenes Tour of Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown, Virginia.

Behind the scenes does not have to mean “behind the curtain.” America’s Historic Triangle of Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown boasts an amazing selection of tours and opportunities taken from an outer view. This Behind the Scenes Tour offers insight into a little bit of everything we have to offer, from ghostly stories and important history or sailing ships and regional animals!

 Day One

With an area so rich in historical significance, it’s only natural to begin your Behind the Scenes trip with a visit to YorktownBattlefield & Visitor Center.  Start out at the Visitor Center where you can look at genuine artifacts from the landmark Battle at Yorktown.  You will encounter authentic tents used in George Washington’s military camp.  Enter the “dining hall” tent and absorb the surroundings where Revolutionary troops took their meals.  Next, meet your National Park Service Ranger for a guided tour of the Battlefield.  American independence was won on the dirt and grass beneath your shoes!  Explore both British and American camps and learn how General George Washington finally surrounded Cornwallis and the British Army.

In the afternoon, head over to Riverwalk Landing where you will set sail off the coast of the York River onboard the Schooner Alliance!  It’s not every day you get to combine an invigorating nautical adventure with historical meaning!  The Alliance crew encourages you to help with the sailing responsibilities.  Which way is starboard?  What’s a gaff?  What type of boat is a schooner?  Find out the answers to these questions and more while gliding through the York River’s historical waters.  Enjoy a boxed lunch onboard, catered by Carrot Tree Kitchens.

Science and history come together at the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News.  The USS Monitor Center, new in 2007, is a melding of artifacts, original documents, personal accounts, interactivities and environments all pertaining to the Civil War Union ironclad ship.  The Conservation Center provides a front row seat in watching the delicate process of preserving history.  This state-of-the-art facility is a fascinating resource for those in and out of the conservation field.  Visit the USS Monitor Center online for additional information, media and more!

As evening approaches, head over to the Virginia Living Museum, located just a short drive from the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News.  From oceans to mountains, this museum features the region’s animal, water and plant life.  Its exclusive Behind the Scenes tour offers an inside look into the daily operations of the museum and the behavior and activities of the animals.  Ever wonder how museums acquire the animals and fish for their displays?  What about the feeding processes?  How do they get the water in the aquariums to match that of the oceans and rivers?  What do the animals do at night?  You will learn this and much, much more on this up close and personal evening at the Virginia Living Museum!

Day Two

Begin the day at Historic Jamestowne for an unparalleled behind the scenes experience!  Here is where it all began – this country’s first permanent English settlement!  In 1607, brave explorers from the Virginia Company of London came to America at Jamestown.  Historic Jamestowne is the actual site of early civilization and remains virtually untouched.  Set in the backdrop of the Island’s natural beauty, be sure to tour and explore the recreated 1608 Glasshouse, the 1639 Church Tower, the original ruins of James Fort and the Jamestowne Archaearium which features genuine artifacts from the site’s archaeological dig!  Witness this ongoing excavation; perhaps you can be a part of this nation’s past!

No trip to the Historic Triangle is complete without an extensive visit to Colonial Williamsburg.  This living museum is located on 301 acres of original and reconstructed buildings, comprised of homes, taverns, gardens, trade shops, the Governor’s Palace, museums and so much more!  As you walk the streets, you will transport back in time to a truly revolutionary period!  Everything about Colonial Williamsburg is a behind the scenes adventure, as you get to accurately see, feel, smell, touch and taste what it was like to be an early American citizen.  Visit Revolutionary City, the Museums of Colonial Williamsburg,Merchants Square and Tavern Dining for a detailed look at what Colonial Williamsburg has to offer.

Not only is Williamsburg’s Yankee Candle one of the world’s largest candle stores, it is also a magical sensory experience!  The shops are situated in the backdrop of a charming, small town styled street.  Everything from the floor to ceiling is detailed and picture-perfect.  In addition to the vast styles, sizes and scents of candles, you can find gourmet foods, gifts and collectibles, bath items, an extensive collection of Vera Bradley products and so much more!  Be sure to check out their candle making demonstrations to get a behind the scenes look at how it’s all done!  Try your hand at candle dipping where you can create your own one-of-a-kind waxwork keepsake.

During the day, you’re given one lesson on colonial life; but as darkness falls, Williamsburg’s past is not always so straight and narrow! Journey through the Historic Area on an utterly different kind of visit – a ghost tour!  Choose from one of the area’s chillingly remarkable programs and lean all about those things that go bump in the night!  Spooks, witches, pirates and more!  This is a behind the scenes experience about the local legends and lore that haunt Williamsburg history!  Please download a copy of our Group Tour Planner or see our attractions page for more information.

For more information, contact Vivian Bunting, Consumer Sales Manager, Tourism.