Sunday, July 28, 2013

2013 In Review: Williamsburg, VA

Trip to Williamsburg, VA in July with 2 grown ups and 2 kids (ages 5 and 8). 

The Williamsburg Outlet are in the area as well as other shops. There are plenty of places to eat and, if camping isn't for you, there are many hotels/lodges of varying prices in the area.

Anvil Campground in a tent: this place was very close to the railroad tracks. These aren't little trains going by either, these were huge commercial trains that were 2-5 minutes long that ran several times a day including a couple times at night. But would we stay there again? Yes. For the price and location it was great. There was a pool and a playground, running water and hot showers. There was a camp office store, fire wood, and a place to do laundry if needed. Just bring ear plugs for the trains.

Places of Interest
Walk thru bird exhibit at Bush Gardens
Busch Garden - If you are in the military and have dependents you get free tickets! If not, like me, it is about $80. We were there on 4th of July so they had IllumiNights live performances and fireworks at the close of the day. During the day we we were able to go to many live performances, music shows, and animal exhibits. There was a water park the kids were able to go to and the lines for the rides were very short which was great. We spent the whole day there but staggered the performances throughout the day. Bring water bottles and you can fill them up at all the water fountains in the park. Busch Garden is open from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m..
Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg - is the nations largest living history museum and one of my favorite places. Start at the Regional Visitor Center where, with a paid ticket, you can park for free and take a shuttle to the Historic Areas. It is a short walk to the historic sights if you'd prefer to walk. The visitor center also has an orientation video and has maps/schedule of events for the day. If you don't have tickets yet you'll be there anyways. 
One day was enough for the kids but Anthony and I went back again later in the year without them. There are many different trades (weavers, dress makers, tailors, silversmith, several types of wood working professions, apothecary, gun smiths, armory, etc) houses that you will be able to find something of interest! One of the activities they have for the kids is RevQuest; See the Revolutionary City through the eyes of an undercover agent. You have clues and questions to ask the staff to find out the answers! Open Daily, 9-5; Single day tickets - adult (13+) 41.95; child (6-12) $20.95; VA Resident Pass

Historic Jamestowne - This is the site of the first permanent English settlement in America and it is an active archaeological dig site. With the 2 kids this was a solid day of activities (below). At the visitor center there are activities for the kids which we did toward the end of the day. We were there for about 5 hours. Open daily 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission: $14.00 for adults (16+); children (<16) Free (with NPS pass, $5/person); VA Resident Annual Special pass.The Nathalie P. and Alan M. Voorhees Archaearium - the story of Jane and the survival of Jamestown during the “starving time”. The museum is open from 9:30-5:30. The exhibit only took about 30 minutes to go through. It wasn't gruesome or explicit so it is ok for kids to see, but they weren't very interested and it was not a hands-on museum. 
In the Trenches Tour - $32; This was an awesome tour done by the archaeologist Dr William Kelso. You are walking through the active dig site and he describes in great detail how the dig was started, the thesis for why they picked that location and where they think they will find more artifacts. We were able to watch the archaeologists actively unearth horse remains and listen to a specialist come and speak to the workers about what they had found.