Itinerary: A Tale of Two Jamestowns

Explore Historic Jamestowne and Jamestown Settlement, where the spirit of the first colony is alive and well today. Visit both sites and become immersed in the story of the first permanent English settlement in America.

Historic Jamestowne
Exploring Historic Jamestowne
Jamestown Settlement
Aboard one of the three ships at Jamestown Settlement

Are you ready for an exciting day of family fun? Well then, look no further than the Jamestown Settlement, a living-history museum where 17th-century Jamestown comes to life. The entire family will be fascinated as they learn all about Pocahontas in the re-creation of a Powhatan Indian village complete with dome-shaped houses and a ceremonial circle. Ready for even more adventure? Try on armor, watch blacksmiths forge metal objects, and see historical interpreters cultivate crops and prepare meals in the re-created fort.

Ever wonder what life was really like for an original colonist? Step aboard replicas of the three ships they sailed on in 1607 from England to Virginia – the Susan Constant, the Godspeed and the Discovery – and talk with an interpreter about the journey. Climb into a bunk, tie sailors’ knots and try steering the ship.

Expansive exhibition galleries that chronicle 1600s Virginia and the convergence of Powhatan, English and west central African cultures and an introductory film round out the Jamestown Settlement experience. Private tours are always available with advance reservations. There's even a delicious café and fun gift shops full of unique tresures on site.

At Historic Jamestowne, hear the colony’s story from a park ranger or share in the moment of discovery with archaeologists as they unearth history. This archaeological site on Jamestown Island is where the remains of the original James Fort are still being excavated. More than 2 million artifacts have already been uncovered, including finds that have been ranked among the top 10 in the world.

Don't miss out on the opportunity to explore the island on a self-guided walking tour. Pause for a moment of reflection in the 1907 Memorial Church, admire the 17th-century church tower, browse thousands of artifacts unearthed on site in the Archaearium archaeology museum and let the kids get hands-on in the “Ed Shed,” where they can discover artifacts – just like a real archaeologist. Along the way, keep an eye out for wildlife such as turtles, eagles and osprey.

Guided tours are also available, as are behind-the-scenes tours. One such tour lets you “go under the ropes” and walk where Captain John Smith and Pocahontas once walked. On another, get an up-close behind-the-scenes look at artifacts from Jamestown’s early years.

At the 1608 Glasshouse observe artisans practice the art of glassmaking, one of the earliest industries attempted at Jamestown. An inviting café with outdoor seating on the James River and a gift shop are located at Historic Jamestowne, and after exploring the historic site you can walk, bike or drive around the island to see it as the colonists did upon their arrival in 1607.

For more information on Jamestown, Virginia, and all there is to see and do here, visit our Jamestown page.

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