Stepping Back into History at the Jamestown Settlement in Virginia

Located on the banks of the James River in Virginia is the Jamestown Settlement, which was first permanent English colony in America. The first colonists arrived in 1607 where they lived and worked to establish a foothold on the continent. Today, the Jamestown Settlement provides visitors the opportunity to climb onboard replicas of the ships that brought the settlers on the arduous journey across the Atlantic Ocean, participate in reenactments, and see the archeological efforts that are still ongoing today.

Participating in Reenactments
You Can Ask Questions at the Exhibits

It is a great place to learn about the history of the people who ventured to the “New World” and the difficulties that they faced. The Jamestown Settlement is located near Williamsburg, Virginia and combining a visit to both locations is a great way to follow the history of the people who went from a rustic settlement with wooden buildings to the first capital city of Virginia with its mansions and cobblestone streets.

Demonstrating Firing a Rifle
You Can Climb Onboard the Ship Replicas

There are obviously plenty of restaurants, shops, and places to stay in the area. We visited many years ago at this point, when our children were old enough to appreciate the significance of the Jamestown Settlement. All these years later, it is still a location that they remember seeing and enjoying their experiences there. Admission is only $10 for anyone older than 16 and those under 16 are free, making this an easily affordable adventure for the whole family.

Making Bullets to Protect the Settlement
Learning to Fire a Cannon

Interacting with History in Williamsburg, Virginia

When we visited Williamsburg in Virginia back in June of 2001, it was a fascinating experience with many different reenactments and interactive activities. From what we have read, it seems to still be the case today as well. Williamsburg was once the capital of Virginia and was also one of the wealthiest colonies in America. Many of the historical buildings remain in tact such as the governor’s palace while some have been rebuilt like the original Capital building. There are also plenty of recreations to represent what life would have been like hundreds of years ago.

Working Windmill
Construction of a Building Underway
Hall Where Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and Others Met and Debated Independence

It was the delegation from Williamsburg that first introduced the resolution for independence from British rule. You can even visit the room where it was signed by some of the founding fathers of the nation. There are plenty of activities for people of all ages as well as places to eat and have a local ale. Expect to enjoy hands-on experiences involving some of the many actors and historians that are there to inform and entertain people who visit.

Children Working Clay to Make Bricks
Governor’s Palace
One of the Many Actors

We have gone to many different locations with actors dressed in historic clothing meant to represent the people of the time, but we have to admit that the people who work in Williamsburg are some of the best we’ve encountered. Considering that our trip was well before cell phones and digital cameras, our photographs might seem as antiquated as the period being reenacted. Be sure to enjoy seeing the militia marching and don’t be surprised if you aren’t conscripted to join in.

Operating the Mill
Native American Hut and Farm
Historic Building

Visiting Williamsburg is a wonderful experience, especially for families, with an incredible history and an opportunity to immerse yourself into the culture of the era. It can be quite hot and humid during the summer months and you can expect there to be plenty of visitors during the tourist season. We found that a full day there, including eating and shopping, was enough to do and see everything that we wanted.