I’ve been dragging my children to Colonial Williamsburg since they were little, just as my parents did when my brothers and I were young.
It’s a place we East Coasters believe is a must-see destination and although kids roll their eyes at the thought, the truth is, when you’re older, you realize what a remarkable place it is. As we also learned as children, history is a great teacher and if we do not learn from it, we are destined to repeat it.
Colonial Williamsburg was planned in the late 1920s as the “world’s largest living-history museum” by members of the Rockefeller family. Between Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown, nowhere are the origins of this country—with all its triumphs and tragedies—more played out than in this part of Virginia. The 300-acre historic area has more than 500 buildings restored and re-created in eighteenth-century Colonial style. Living-history interpreters tell the story of everyday people from that era, from blacksmiths to gardeners, physicians to teachers—and plantation owners to those enslaved in a cruel socioeconomic system. The first permanent English-speaking settlement in the New World, Williamsburg was the capital of Virginia in 1699.
The restoration of Williamsburg began in 1926 and the town center’s Duke of Gloucester Street was later called “the most historic avenue in America” by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Today, the historic park keeps pace with modern life, celebrating and honoring all people who helped found this nation. Interpretations of African American life in Colonial America are highlights of a visit, including the “Forgotten Soldier” special presentation at Yorktown.
And, if you do drag your children here, there’s always the payoff of Busch Gardens and, my favorite, Water Country USA.
Email [email protected]