Step back in time by visiting the birthplace of our nation during a Bluegreen Vacations® getaway to Williamsburg, Virginia. This famous destination is made up of three locales: Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown. Together, this trio makes up the Historic Triangle in Virginia—and they’re all connected by Colonial Parkway. Covering 23 miles of scenic beauty, the road takes you on a journey into the past, with stops at places that helped our nation earn its liberty and independence.
Williamsburg—Living History Museum
Your family’s journey begins at the center of it all in Colonial Williamsburg. To say this historical destination has been frozen in time is an understatement. In fact, living in 21st century Williamsburg is probably the same as it was in the 18th century—that’s because very little has changed since then. People still churn butter, fire cannons and walk along cobblestone streets. Here, history is far more than just a lesson, it’s a way of life. In fact, the past remains perfectly preserved, or as authentic as possible, thanks to exacting reconstruction and renovation projects.
The resurrection of this national landmark was initiated by John D. Rockefeller Jr. in 1926. Prior to that, the town had actually experienced a slow and steady decline from prosperity that began when the Virginia capital moved to Richmond in 1780. During the restoration, colonial foundations were uncovered and many buildings were rebuilt to exact specifications right where they originally stood.
When you vacation in Colonial Williamsburg you’re encouraged to become part of the history reenactments. Stand guard as members of the militia march by, visit a blacksmith shop, enjoy Colonial food, dance at a society ball and discover artifacts from the past. Spending the day exploring this interactive museum is an experience straight out of the history books.
What’s more, once you’re ready for more “modern” amenities such as coffee and shopping, nearby Merchant’s Square offers an idyllic escape to the present day.
Jamestown—America’s First Settlement
In 1606, England’s King James I granted a charter to the Virginia Company to establish an English colony in the “New World.” The expedition resulted in America’s first permanent British settlement, at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607.
Just a short drive from historic Williamsburg, two main attractions await to transport you to America’s distant past: Historic Jamestowne, site of the original 1607 settlement, administered by the National Park Service and Jamestown Rediscovery (on behalf of Preservation Virginia), and Jamestown Settlement, a living history museum just a mile away, which is operated by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Both afford the opportunity to walk in the steps of Captain John Smith and Pocahontas, while exploring America’s beginnings.
At Jamestown Settlement, the story of Jamestown is told through film and state-of-the-art exhibits and living history. Visitors can board replicas of the three ships that sailed from England to Virginia in 1607 and explore life-size re-creations of the colonists’ fort and a Powhatan Indian village. Jamestown Settlement is an engaging and fun way to learn about the beginnings of our country.
Yorktown—Site of America’s Independence
The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown has exhibits and films—everything you’d expect from a history lesson. But it’s also interactive. Yorktown is the site of the last major battle of the American Revolutionary War—the Battle of Yorktown. It is here that General Cornwallis’ British troops surrendered to George Washington and the Continental Army.
Experience life as a farmer in rural Virginia and learn about their primary cash crops: tobacco and corn, along with a myriad of vegetables and herbs. At the Yorktown Victory Center, they are still planted and harvested year-round at a Revolution-era farm. In addition to food sustenance, crops were used for medicine, insect repellant and dyes for clothes.
Families on vacation can take part in the same daily activities as the Colonists did in the 18th century. Experiences include helping to pull weeds, water plants, comb cotton, process flax into fiber and prepare authentic dishes from the period. You’ll even see chickens, ducks and turkey roaming the grounds, just as they did centuries ago.
At the Continental Army encampment, you can discover what it was like to be a soldier during the Revolutionary War. Watch as historical interpreters perform drills, fire muskets and demonstrate how medical procedures were performed on and around the battlefield. You can also visit the quartermaster to see where supplies were rationed out to the troops.
When your family has had their fill of history, Williamsburg has plenty of modern attractions that are sure to delight.
Busch Gardens® Williamsburg — Pure Excitement
If you thought the history lessons were exciting, the thrill rides at European-themed Busch Gardens® Williamsburg are sure to get your adrenaline pumping. From an outrageously fast interlocking, double-looping roller coaster known as the Loch Ness Monster to Escape from Pompeii, a boat ride that sends riders perilously close to the angry Mt. Vesuvius.
Bluegreen Resorts in Williamsburg
Bluegreen has two resorts in the area: Bluegreen Patrick Henry Square™, located just one half-block from historic Williamsburg, and Parkside Williamsburg Resort, situated directly across from Busch Gardens® Williamsburg on 67 beautiful acres of Virginia countryside that includes a lake for fishing and charming Colonial-style architecture that brings the past to the present. Both resorts are also just minutes from area shopping and dining.
History and play make for a great vacation. Book your getaway to Bluegreen Patrick Henry Square today.