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Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown in 1 day

Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown in 1 day

Old Sep 23rd, 2012, 11:07 AM
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Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown in 1 day

We have 1 day to visit the above sights and want to also not spend a fortune in admission costs if we can help it. I appreciate a day is no where near long enough but it is all we have.
Can anyone suggest an itinerary for us. We would like to see Colonial Williamsburg but are happy to walk around the streets rather than pay $40 admission when we will not have time to see and experience all the attractions.
Any suggestions most welcome.
Thanks
Stargatesg30 is offline  
Old Sep 23rd, 2012, 11:19 AM
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I personally would not do that. You would be cutting all three sites to the point of . . . well, why bother really.

Spend the day at Williamsburg (and pay admission) - or do Jamestown & Yorktown. Don't try to do all three. Even just Yorktown and Jamestown is a pretty full day.

If you only have one day - do what makes sense for one day.
janisj is online now  
Old Sep 23rd, 2012, 11:27 AM
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Agree. There is no way you can see anything of all 3 in one day. Esp - although you don;t say when you are arriving - if it's this fall - the days are already getting shorter.

We spend 2 full days in Wmsburg - and still didn't see a lot.

To do all 3 you would spend most of your day in the car.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2012, 12:43 PM
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Well, I'll dissent. I am not an enthusiast of that period of history, so if a day is all one has, I think it's possible to get a taste of all three sites. They are not all that far apart, in a not very traffic-y area, too, which helps. Definitely don't pay admission at Colonial Williamsburg since time is short, just stroll around until you've had enough and move on. If time and money permit, you could have lunch or dinner at one of the CW-run restaurants to extend the experience. I enjoyed the recorded tour at Yorktown, particularly because without it just looks like a big grassy area if one is not very familiar with the battle. But you can fast-forward through parts of it if time runs short.

Sadly, geography is my weakness and it's been years since I lived in the area, so I hope someone else can suggest the ideal order in which to visit all three. Good luck!
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Old Sep 23rd, 2012, 01:13 PM
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" I am not an enthusiast of that period of history"

Then IMO a better use of time would be to skip them and do something you'd enjoy -- not rush through them to tick off a list.

The two sites at Jamestown alone would take at least 3 hours - and more is better. Same w/ Yorktown.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2012, 01:19 PM
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janisj, I am not the OP! Please try to follow the thread. And keep in mind that the OP said s/he realizes one day is not enough, but that's all there is. So would you rather s/he stay in the hotel all day??
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Old Sep 23rd, 2012, 01:26 PM
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Newbe: I'm having no problem 'following' the thread. I know you aren't the OP. Was commenting about your advice being predicated on not enjoying colonial history. <blue>IF</blue> that was the case, why go there at all?

Then I went on to explain (for the OP) that just doing the Jamestown/Jamestowne/Yorktown/Yorktown sites would absolutely fill a day.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2012, 01:34 PM
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If you knew I am not the OP, why did you advise ME to skip it and do something I'd enjoy? Are you seriously asking why anyone would go to CW if they are not an enthusiast of the period?? Loads of people do, and they have a ball.

Besides, I never said I'd not enjoy it, only that as a non-enthusiast, a brief visit would suffice for me, and, IMO, the OP.

My point, which was an obvious one, is that a person who is not an *enthusiast* of the period might get quite a lot out of a whirlwind visit to all three sites in one day, and certainly more than if they'd just not bothered.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2012, 02:33 PM
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There is nothing really at Jamestown that you can see without investing at least a full morning.

You can walk around Williamsburg for the other half of the day.

But poor old Yorktown will have to be left out.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2012, 04:04 PM
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You aren't talking about 3 sites here, you are talking about 5:
Colonial Williamsburg, Historic Jamestowne NP, Jamestown Settlement, Yorktown Battlefield, and Yorktown Victory Center so you have to accept the fact that you are only going to skim the surface of these amazingly historic sites.

This is what I'd do (if, and only if, I had one day):

Arrive in CW at 7-8am and get breakfast at Aromas on Prince George St. CW first thing in the morning is magical and you'll need the early start. Walk down Duke of Gloucester St. and over to and down Nicholson St. Before you leave the area, cross the street and walk around the Wren Building at W&M.

Hop on the Colonial Parkway behind the Inn and drive to Yorktown NP. Stop by the visitor center, drive through the battlefield and walk through the town stopping for lunch at Carrot Tree or down on the riverfront.

Get back on the parkway and drive to Jamestown NP. Do the museum, the driving loop, the archeology site, and the glass blower if you have time. I suggested Jamestown at the end of the day because sunset over the James is stunning.

Bring your National Parks Pass or pay for both sites when you arrive.

Realize you are missing a lot of fascinating history covering 250 years. (So I'm a little confused about what "that period" of history actully is.)

You'll have to skip the Victory Center and Settlement on this trip.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2012, 04:17 PM
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Good plan Birdie!!
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Old Sep 23rd, 2012, 04:50 PM
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IMHO the Victory Center is much more fascinating than the Battlefield itself - especially if you don;t have the background to what you're looking at.

Also - do consider the weather. Have an alternate option in case you get bad weather.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2012, 06:34 PM
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Permit to throw in my two cents.

For me, the important thing to remember is that Colonial Williamsburg, Historic Jamestown NHP, and the Yorktown Battlefield are all DIFFERENT approaches to connecting to earlier history. It may turn out that you'll be able to jettison one or two of them simply because you don't expect to find their approach that interesting.

Colonial Williamsburg attempts to recreate life in that town in the 1700s. You'll find people in period dress telling stories from that time period as if they were yesterday, dramatic recreations of big events, and artisans showing skilled work from that period. I happen to like this "living history" approach, but others may find it cheesy.

Jamestown NHP makes no attempt to re-create anything, and there is absolutely no living history. Instead, it's an active archeological site. The main attraction is the museum with its thousands of artifacts dug up over the last ten years. Building locations have been preserved, and there is some attempt to show what they might have looked like. I'm fascinated that Jamestown was considered "lost" for over two centuries, and was only found because someone had an original idea: why not look for it! But, again, some may find a collection of artifacts boring.

Yorktown Battlefield has neither recreations nor artifacts, but it DOES locate a rather significant place in the history of English speaking peoples. Specifically, the battle that pretty much forced Great Britain to admit that it could no longer hope to keep America as a colony; severing the direct political and social connection between the two peoples. Once again, a place with little more than markers that state, "This happened here" may be of little interest to people.

If you're like me and conclude, "Wow, I'd like ALL THREE of these!", then I can't help you. You said right from the start that one day simply isn't enough. Thus, you're just going have to either ignore one or more of them, or decide to have a "If it's 2 pm, this must be Yorktown" type of visit.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2012, 06:50 PM
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PaulRabe descriptions are good to help you decide which sites to visit -- but he did omit two of them: Jamestown Settlement and the Victory center. Those two are as important as the other three - and probably more interesting if you have kids.

Also realize, depending on where you are starting from, you'll have to factor in about 2 hours driving time (i.e. Williamsburg > Jamestown > Yorktown and back to Williamsburg). If you are starting from, or headed to, somewhere farther away you need to add more travel time.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2012, 07:19 PM
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I guess I should have mentioned: the reason I had nothing to say about Jamestown Settlement or the Yorktown Victory Center is because I've not been to either. Well, I did go to the latter in 1976, but I don't think my opinion should count for anything. So either may be exactly what you're looking for, but I'd have no idea.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2012, 07:22 PM
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Driving times are:

Williamsburg>Jamestown 15 min

Williamsburg>Yorktown 20 min
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Old Sep 23rd, 2012, 07:57 PM
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I agree - but I was talking about the total drive time - the round trip/loop Williamsburg > Jamestown > Yorktown > Williamsburg (or to where ever they are staying) would take 90 mins to 2 hours.
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Old Sep 24th, 2012, 04:03 AM
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Williamsburg > Yorktown - 20 min
Yorktown > Jamestown -
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Old Sep 24th, 2012, 04:15 AM
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Screw up! Sorry.

Williamsburg > Yorktown 20
Yorktown > Jamestown 35
Jamestown > Williamsburg 15
---
70
Which leaves a good 20 minutes to get back to your hotel. Most of the hotels are 10-15 minutes from CW if you are not staying on property. That is not the 2 hours you originally warned about. It is a silly argument and I don't mean to belabor the point but the truth is that there is very little travel time between tourist sites in Williamsburg. It's a small town.

I also want to add that travel on the Parkway is a large part of the tourist experience.
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Old Sep 24th, 2012, 07:09 AM
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IMHO Victory Center - which is interactive history, has films, and a huge number of exhibits, explains the run-up to the battle, the battle itself and the eventual British surrender to Washington. IMHO it's a lot more interesting than the battlefield itself - and also a good choice if you get weather that is less than optimal.
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