Anybody that follows along on our adventures knows that we are much better described as travelers, rather than tourists. We love to go someplace and kind of just let the adventure happen. We try to immerse ourselves into the culture and way of life of the area we find ourselves in. Having said that, we are not above doing some really touristy things including visiting a few tourist attractions on occasion. After all, they are tourist attractions for a reason.
Colonial Williamsburg is my favorite type of tourist attraction. Being kind of a history buff, I love living museums. Colonial Williamsburg is a preserved 18th century city that bills itself as the Worlds Largest Living Museum. It may well be.
Started by Reverend Dr. W.A.R. Goodwin and John D. Rockefeller Jr. in 1926 as a project to preserve a few of the more important buildings. The project ended up saving most of the colonial town. Mr. Rockefeller not only funded the preservation of 80 original structures but also the facilities needed to allow approximately 600,000 visitors per year. The governor’s palace alone is an amazing look into history.
There is no way to see everything there is to see in Colonial Williamsburg in one day. A lot of people make at least a weekend out of their visit. There are restaurants and accommodations right on the property. We decided to see how much we could experience the 18th century in a few hours.
It begins with a bridge that walks you back through time.
Every few steps on the bridge highlight a moment in time. Stepping back until you reach the American Colonies.
A history lesson in itself, this bridge is a little bit like time travel might be.
When you leave Colonial Williamsburg you’ll cross this bridge going the opposite direction. Taking you back to the 21st century and ending with something to think about.
Kind of a fun touch and interesting way to start your visit.
We were greeted on the other side of the bridge by an unexpected resident. Apparently he also enjoys visiting the 18th century. Maybe there were more mice available then.
One of my favorite areas we visited was the area around the church and cemetery. Well preserved and a fascinating piece of history, the church is beautiful and a little haunting.
The inside of the church has some claims to fame as well. A few names might be familiar.
The pews are called box pews. They were built to contain and utilize a source of heat the parishioners would bring from home. Small stoves with hot rocks were commonly used for this purpose. The box pews were bought by families and sometimes decorated to suit their taste and provide a comfortable place to worship. There was beauty and character built into the church but I bet it got cold in the wintertime.
At Colonial Williamsburg you will see people working in 18th century trades and dressed in 18th century clothing.
They do a lot of events and educational programs. They offer programs like teacher led study as well as a week long class just for educators. Special activities are planned for notable dates and holidays. Christmas is supposed to be wonderful here, with sights, sounds, and smells that are festive and magical. We hear tales from the locals about Halloween involving Blackbeard and three sea witches being re-enacted in the middle of town.
We ended our day with a late lunch where I discovered 18th century hot buttered rum. This wonderful concoction made me happy that we visited in winter.
At the edge of the historical part of the town you’ll find Merchants Square comprised of over 40 shops and services. There was a candy shop with every imaginable candy from all over the world. I loved the Christmas Store. Keeping with the tourist theme of the day, I came away with two new Christmas ornaments. They have a Scottish/Irish Store with some beautiful handmade sweaters, hats, and scarves, and all things Celtic.
Colonial Williamsburg was closing for the night and I’m probably not the first one to think that I could easily spend a few more days there but it was time to go.
A day ticket for an adult is at the time of this post 25.99- 13.00 for kids under twelve. You are able to enjoy walking around Colonial Williamsburg along with entry into some shops and businesses without purchasing a ticket. To enter the trade buildings where you can watch craftsmen practice their skills, a ticket will be required. These ticket holder only places are marked by a British/American flag outside as my Handsome Assistant demonstrates in the next picture.
We really enjoyed our day at Colonial Williamsburg. This is a place that you can easily visit over and over again. To see it all would take a couple of days and it’s different in each season. We explored as much as we could in a day but will probably return the next time we’re in Virginia.