"Now, no two visits are ever the same. From the orations of founding fathers to the soot of the blacksmiths there is something of interest for everyone in the family. The gardens, the architecture, the food and the interpreters bring history to life and tell a story of our nation's struggle for independence and the people involved. From the posh Governor's Palace to the simple homes of the gunsmith and cabinet makers, life in the 18th century comes alive..."
In 1619, the area that includes the Jamestown Settlement, Williamsburg and Yorktown was home to some of the most significant events in American history: the official arrival of the first African slaves to North America, the convening of the first representative assembly in America and the first recorded proclamation of Thanksgiving in the New World.
A visit to this unique living-history museum in Virginia is like stepping back in time. Across 300-plus acres, the museum encompasses an impressive selection of historical buildings, including reconstructed, re-created and restored buildings that paint a picture for life in Colonial Virginia.
In 1926, John D. Rockefeller Jr. purchased the first building of Colonial Williamsburg, and since then the restored Colonial village has been home to history. Demonstrations and reenactments educate and entertain visitors, and there’s more to come with a newly announced $40-million expansion of Colonial Williamsburg’s art museums.
Why go: Part historical town, part theatrical stage, Williamsburg hosts numerous refurbished buildings and a legion of period actors. While some consider Colonial Williamsburg to be the Disneyland of the Revolutionary War, others find the recreation educational and enjoyable.
History is the number one draw for guests of Colonial Williamsburg. Historical re-enactments, such as colonial dance and music performances as well as pirate and witch trials, bring the past to life, but more modern experiences are in the offering too, including a golf club, spa and more than 40 stores in Merchants Square.
Talk about starting off your vacation with a bang: last March, Colonial Williamsburg introduced its new educational musket range. Costumed interpreters offer information about the history and mechanics of Revolutionary-era weapons, and those age 14 and up can fire replica ‘Brown Bess’ muskets and muzzle-loaded fowling pieces (guests under 18 require chaperone).
"Head to Williamsburg in Virginia's Historic Triangle where you can rent period costumes in Colonial Williamsburg and spend time learning a trade, like wooden barrel making. You can even sit on a jury as part of a mock witch trial or go on an evening ghost walk."
"A wonderful museum and worth visiting. Their collection provides a terrific view into the early history of the region with impressive artifacts. They are also expanding for the future. This is a worthwhile stop."
Changing Keys opened in 2012 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, one of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia.
Who could resist her! In the Abby Aldridge Rockefeller Exhibit, brought by the Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, was this charming folk sculpture of Amanda Clayanna Armstrong by Asa Ames, done in New York in 1847. You can’t buy her, but you can enjoy her.
Forbes Travel Guide today unveiled its annual Star Rating list, naming the Williamsburg Inn as a new Forbes Travel Five-Star Recommended hotel. The Williamsburg Inn will be showcased with all of the Star Rating recipients on ForbesTravelGuide.com.