Adventures in Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown

I have a vivid memory of my first trip to Williamsburg.  It was 1979, and I was road-tripping in the back of our family station wagon (before seatbelts, of course!)  I hung my macrame in the window, melted a box of crayons all over my Holly Hobby sleeping bag, and then promptly got car sick.  Once we arrived, however, I’m happy to say that our adventures in Williamsburg eclipsed the ride.


Fortunately, Williamsburg (and our vehicle) has only improved with time. The history is compelling, the bucolic setting is invigorating, and the food and drink scene is happening!

The Historic Triangle – Easy as 1-2-3

The Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown area is known as the Historic Triangle.  Here you’ll explore three of the country’s most significant historic spots.


Williamsburg was the bustling capital of Virginia from 1705 – 1779.  Colonial Williamsburg is an authentic look back at life here during this time.  Here you’ll find more than 100 meticulously rebuilt and restored original buildings and 18th-century residents ready to welcome you to another place and time!


Chat with the artisans, shopkeepers, and residents of the era as they go about their daily lives in one of England’s largest and most prosperous colonies.  Stop by the Capitol Building, browse the shops and eateries on the Duke of Gloucester Street, and cover your ears during a militia re-enactment.

Then, take a guided tour of the Governor’s Palace and explore Williamsburg’s museums and other historical sites.  A carriage ride and ghost tour are must-dos as well!


Jamestown was established in 1607 as the first permanent English settlement in the New World.  Visitors to Historic Jamestowne become part of history as they learn about Captain John Smith, Pocahontas, native peoples, and the colonists who made Coastal Virginia their home.

Historical interpreter in the re-created Powhatan Indian Village at the Jamestown Settlement, Virginia. Original image from Carol M. Highsmith’s America, Library of Congress collection. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel.

The Jamestown Rediscovery project is also actively excavating the area to help us understand how the new settlers adapted to their North American environment.  More than 3 million artifacts have been uncovered since 1994 and have been curated and conserved at the on-site Research Center.


Less than a half hour’s drive from Jamestown is Yorktown.  Yorktown holds a unique place in American history as the final major battle of the Revolutionary War.  Here Cornwallis was defeated by General George Washington and the French allies in 1781, ending British rule in America.


Take a self-guided driving tour of this monumental battlefield, visit the American Revolution Museum, and stop at Nelson House for the historical highlights!

Get Outdoors

Williamsburg and surrounding areas are tucked into lush, green ridges that are only an hour from the beach.  It’s the perfect place to get outdoors and explore!

Fun is the Theme

Discover the exhilaration of ziplining the forest canopy at Go Ape Treetop Adventure Park. Escape games, ax throwing, and even STEM adventures are part of the fun.

Or enjoy a different kind of rush at charming theme park Busch Gardens where there’s a thrill behind every beautiful bloom!

If you visit in the warm weather months, check out Water Country – a 1950s and 60s-themed water park with water rides, live entertainment, dining, and more.


On the Water or On Land

Enjoy the abundant wildlife, walkways, and waterways in the city’s many parks.  Canoe, kayak, or simply enjoy a stroll through lovely landscapes.

You can also cruise the 23-mile Colonial Parkway through the Colonial National Historic Park. The drive takes you through shaded coastal woodlands, sun-drenched water views, and more as you travel from Historic Jamestowne to Yorktown Battlefield.

Colonial Parkway

Private Tours

Make your trip uniquely personal and plan a private tour.  Take a guided walking tour of historic Williamsburg or a ‘spirited’ adventure as part of an evening lantern ghost tour.

Eat, Drink, and Be Surprised

For a historic destination, the Williamsburg food scene is surprisingly on trend!  Here you’ll find the latest dining innovations, passionate spirit makers and brewers, and eclectic experiences foodies will love.

Williamsburg dining

Check out this Visit Williamsburg post packed with unusual offerings and decadent dishes that you can wash down with first-rate craft brews and spirits!

How to Eat and Drink Your Way Through Williamsburg

Group Adventures in Williamsburg

There’s so much more to this enchanting triangle than I can share in one post – but you can get some fantastic ‘group scoop’ from someone with an inside track!

Julia Smyth-Young from Visit Williamsburg plans to spend some time with the Destination Dispatch team chatting up her amazing destination.  She’ll share lots of secrets and surprises from Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown.  Stay tuned!

Our road trips now involve a mini-van rather than a wagon and headphones rather than Holly Hobby, but our adventure to Williamsburg is still one of our family’s favorites!

Williamsburg Governor's Pa

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