Jamestown or Yorktown...and more

Old Jun 13th, 2004, 01:20 PM
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Jamestown or Yorktown...and more

Planning a trip to CW end of July with my husband and two sons, ages 10 and 6. Which do you think would be more interesting Yorktown or Jamestown. I was thinking of attending one reenactment as part of our trip. May spend the rest of the day on the river, perhaps a picnic.

Also, thinking of having lunch one day at Chownings in CW. Any comments on this tavern?? Is there a better lunch place in CW for young children??

Also, which evening tour would you recommend for children?? (Or I might leave them behind with our older daughter and go out for the evening.)
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Old Jun 13th, 2004, 05:06 PM
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It depends on the kind of history you are interested in. Jamestown focuses on the interactions of the natives with the first English explorers. Our kids liked both the original site and the re-created site.

Yorktown on the other hand is focused on the Revolutionary War. The kids were not as interested but we had been in the CW area for 4 days and this was our last stop before leaving town.
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Old Jun 14th, 2004, 04:02 AM
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For kids 10 and under I would pick Jamestown Settlement. Kids like the native crafts & village and the full size reproductions of the three ships are always a bit hit. As Suzie said, Yorktown has some interactive activities for kids which would engage a 10 YO will interest/knowledge in the history. More hit or miss for age 6.

Chownings is a fine lunch place for kids. If you've got picky eaters, check the menu at the CW website as the offerings are not extensive nor particularly cheap. An alternative might be one of the greek delicatessens known as the College Deli's which are clustered on RIchmond Rd., Scotland and Prince Geo. Streets about 3-5 minutes walk from Merchant Square across the street from Wm & Mary. Paul's, Mama Mia's and College Deli come to mind. Sandwiches, pizza, greek specialties. Very inexpensive and casual.
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Old Jun 14th, 2004, 04:15 AM
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If you're there on a Saturday night, and decide to "ditch the kids" try to see the 18th Century Play. (The kids may or may not like it) They usually rotate between a couple of plays each season, some actually state that they might be uninterested or disturbing to children.

If you are just looking to feed the kids, vs an "experience", there is a restaurant/snack bar near the visitors center, and there are some places in Merchants Square, a small shopping district just outside the historical area. Also a cafeteria at College of William & Mary (probably closed in July tho).

I also think the kids would like Jamestown more than Yorktown ... but take the drive up to there anyway, on the Colonial Parkway ... a nice drive.
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Old Jun 14th, 2004, 05:22 AM
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Jamestown. Remember that there are two sites for both Jamestown and Yorktown...the actual locations, and the reinactment sites (near each other). At the Jamestown reinactment site you learn a lot about how the native Americans lived, see the settlement (reconstructed buildings) and see reproductions of the (tiny!) ships that they came over on.
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Old Jun 14th, 2004, 07:53 AM
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Thanks for all the great replies! You confirmed what I thought about Jamestown, however, I met someone at church that thought Yorktown would be better for kids. (I dont think he has been there in years, though). I will keep the deli's in mind also..had not thought about leaving CW for lunch. Meanwhile, will check out the Chownings menu.

RB, I am really thinking about "ditching the kids" since my older daughter will be nearby. After 4 days in DC, I will be ready for a grownup experience. Appreciate the reinforcement.

One other question.. I am thinking about taking a picnic on our Colonial Pkwy drive. Is there a beach or park along the way where we can stop?? Also, I read about the Jamestown ferry. Where does it go? Or is it just a nice ride across the ferry.

Thanks again. Still five weeks before our trip, but I hope to have the outline for most of our days planned out soon.
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Old Jun 14th, 2004, 08:25 AM
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There are a number of "pull-offs" from the Colonial Parkway, each with a decent number of paved parking spaces, and a sign describing something about the area ... however I do not recall ever seeing picnic tables ... maybe obxgirl can verify. And I'm surprised obx didn't suggest "The Cheese Shop" for lunch, unless it's gone out of business. I often catch a quick sandwich or salad at the Barnes & Noble, as the lines at the other places are usually long at lunchtime.

What evening programs are presented during your stay (www.history.com) ?

If you don't have your lodging planned yet, I have found some good deals at www.mywilliamsburgvacation.com , which is run by the local hotel-motel association ... of course, "your mileage may vary" <g> for chain hotels the trend seems to be for the best deal on the chains own website.
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Old Jun 14th, 2004, 09:12 AM
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The Cheese Shop has moved onto Duke of Gloucester Street and is much larger than the old shop. It is wonderful, make sure you get a sandwich with the house dressing.

I live in Williamsburg and I have sons who are 8 and 4.5. They love Jamestown and they love the ferry. The ferry goes to Surry County. There are things to do there - Chippokes Plantation and the Pork Peanut and Pine Festival, but we normally just make a roundtrip of it. Be sure to bring bread to feed the fish...one time there were tons of catfish!
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Old Jun 14th, 2004, 09:45 AM
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Thanks again, RB. That was a great suggestion about the Cheese Shop. Someone else had told me about that and am glad to know where it relocated. Will grab sandwiches from there for lunch on our picnic. Better take a blanket, I guess. I started planning this trip in February and had wanted to stay at the Woodlands, but it was full the week we are going!! So have the Hampton Inn on Bypass Rd reserved. Recently, I picked up some tickets for Busch Gardens (Buy One Day get One Day Free) on Ebay. They look authentic enough, so hope they work. Will need to get CW tickets when we get there. Will probably only do that area one day. Thinking about taking the Legends, Ghosts, Mysteries and Myths walk on Thursday evening, the day we go into CW. Busch Gardens on Friday and Sunday (my husband wanted to spend two days there). On Saturday, we would go to Jamestown and the leisurely drive to Yorktown, ferry,etc. Would be leaving on Monday. THanks so much for your helpful comments RB. I have read about your travels a lot!!

Renee, should we take the car on the ferry?? Or are there things close enough to walk to?? Thanks for the good ideas and tips about bringing bread. My boys will love that!!
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Old Jun 14th, 2004, 10:27 AM
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AAA (American Auto. Assoc.) used to sell discounted tickets to CW ... I'm no longer a member, don't know if they still do. You might want to purchase the tix before-hand, especially the evening programs: 1-800-HISTORY

I knew Cheese Shop had moved to larger quarters ("A Good Place to Eat" used to be there, and families must miss it), but obx usually promotes it (rightfully so). I keep saying I'm gonna go to Surrey for the Peanut Soup. I like the Mexican restaurant (name escapes me) on Richmond Rd across from Applebees - not a chain, and hardly ever not have dinner at "Sals by Victor" in the Williamsburg Shopping Center.

Thank you for your kind comments, "mommybryant" -- I think I recall your posts from a few months ago.
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Old Jun 14th, 2004, 12:35 PM
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I would take your car on the ferry.

I have never gone to the restaurant across from Applebees (name escapes me too) but I have also heard good things.

Another good Mexican restaurant is Casa Maya on Bypass Road in the Howard Johnsons. I didn't go forever because of the location, but it is SO good.

You will enjoy Busch Gardens. We have season passes and go all the time. It is a beautiful park.

Have a great trip!
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Old Jun 14th, 2004, 08:17 PM
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RB, I looked up the menu for Sals by Victor and it looked pretty good. What are your favorite dishes?? The pizza sounds good too. I am looking forward to trying one of the Mexican places, but can anyone recommend a good seafood restaurant that would not be too formal with kids?/ So close to the ocean, I am looking forward to trying the local fish!!

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Old Jun 15th, 2004, 12:37 PM
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MB, my favorite dish at Sals by Victor is "Chicken Victor" -- especially if Victor cooks it, but he seems to spend all his time up front counting the dollars these days!

I think the name of the Mexican rest. I wrote of is "La Casita" (or something similar) -- like "Reneeinva" I have avoided Casa Maya because of the Howard Johnsons it is located in -- its parking lot always empty just seems creepy, as well as the "rooms by week or month" sign I've seen more than one trip. I shouldn't be so sqeemish -- I survived a stay at the "Southern Inn" (Renee will understand).
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Old Jun 15th, 2004, 09:09 PM
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We took our 4 1/2 yo and 8 yo kids to the Williamsburg area last years, and they loved it.

Ask your kids what they would prefer - Yorktown or Jametown. My 8 yo had read a couple of books about the crucial battle of Yorktown, so was very interested in the original site. We visited there and went on the ranger-led walk. My son was entranced the whole time (the 4 yo spent a lot of time picking flowers in the field). Williamsburg has several very good books about real kids who lived in Williamsburg; my kids liked visiting the places that the kids in the books did.

They also enjoyed the Jamestown recreation; we spent about the same amount of time there as we did in the original Yorktown site.

We all enjoyed Williamsburg so much that we switched our schedule to spend two full days there. When we went (most kids were still in school), the interpreters seemed very interested in talking to our kids and we all had some great conversations. One thing they both really enjoyed was helping the gardener in one of the gardens - including hauling up buckets of water from the well!

I felt that many of the lunches in CW(including that at Chownings) were lots of heavy food; that's not our style. One day we bought rolls and cheese at a bakery in CW; the next day we were smarter and bought lunch at the Cheese Shop. We did stop at Chownings Tavern for a drink late one evening and enjoyed it. Fiddlers were playing, and the waitress showed us a colonial dice game. That worked for us.

While we were there, none of the evening tours seemed suitable for young kids. That worked out anyway; by the end of the day, we were all exhausted, and dinner was enough excitement without an evening tour too.
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Old Jun 16th, 2004, 03:50 PM
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Lex, I am so appreciative of hearing about your family's trip. Unfortunately, since we will be going during the summer, my kids will not enjoy as much personal attention from the interpreters. What a great experience for your children. I will keep it all in mind. I had thought we would have to eat in CW, but through this forum, am realizing that we can come and go. I have heard lots of good things about The Cheese Shop, so will make a stop there. Also, heard good things about the fresh gingerbread. So that may hold us over for a while. Thanks again for telling about your own personal experience. That is so helpful to know.
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