Williamsburg and Hampton Roads Sights

The beginning of both Colonial America and of the United States of America should be required visiting, and this area is home to them both. To keep the chronology straight, visit Virginia's "Historic Triangle," in the order of Jamestown, Williamsburg, and then Yorktown. Although Jamestown is somewhat overshadowed by the much-larger Williamsburg, Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement

(1607) in North America, and celebrated its momentous quadricentennial—400th anniversary—in 2007.

Just a short drive along the tree-lined Colonial Parkway is Williamsburg, which subsequently grew into the political and economic center of the Virginia Colony. The 301 acres of modern-day Colonial Williamsburg contain re-created and restored structures peopled with costumed interpreters. Everything from momentous political events to blacksmithing is portrayed. Completing the "Historic Triangle," is Yorktown, 14 mi away from Williamsburg, the site of the battle that ended the war for independence from England. Several 18th- and 19th-century plantations lie west of Williamsburg, along the James River. South of Yorktown are Newport News, the shipbuilding capital of Virginia, and Hampton. To see the rest of this waterfront area of Virginia, you can cross the James River at Hampton and visit Norfolk, Portsmouth, and, to the east, the Virginia Beach resort area.

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Williamsburg and Hampton Roads Sights

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Visitor Center

  • Information Center

This is the logical first stop at Colonial Williamsburg. Here you can park free; buy tickets; see a 35-minute introductory movie, Williamsburg...

Water Country USA

  • Amusement Park/Water Park

At Water Country USA, nearly 45 acres of pools, children's play areas, lazy rivers, and water rides have a colorful 1950s and surf theme.

Watermen's Museum

  • Museum/Gallery

Sited in a Colonial Revival manor house on Yorktown's waterfront, the Watermen's Museum was floated across the York River on a barge...

Weston Manor

  • House/Mansion/Villa

Weston Manor, built in 1789 by the Gilliam family, is a classic example of Virginia Georgian architecture, a formal five-bay manor with...

Westover

  • House/Mansion/Villa

This home was built circa 1720 by Colonel William Byrd II (1674–1744), an American aristocrat and founder of the city of Richmond who...

Wetherburn's Tavern

  • Historic District/Site

Beginning in 1743 Wetherburn's Tavern offered refreshment, entertainment, and lodging and may be the most accurately furnished building...

Williamsburg Winery

  • Winery/Brewery/Distillery

Carrying on a Virginia tradition of wine making that began with early settlers, Virginia's largest winery produces 60,000 cases yearly.

Wren Building

  • Educational Institution

The College of William and Mary, founded in 1693, is the second-oldest college in the United States after Harvard University. The campus...

Yorktown Battlefield

  • Military Site

Yorktown Battlefield preserves the land where the British surrendered to American and French forces in 1781. The museum in the visitor...

Yorktown Victory Center

  • Information Center

On the western edge of Yorktown Battlefield, the Yorktown Victory Center has wonderful exhibits and demonstrations that bring to life...

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