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This beautifully laid out museum hosts an extensive range of antiques and artifacts from colonial USA and the United Kingdom. Permanent exhibits include American Furniture: From Virginia to Vermont, which showcases local furniture dating from the late seventeenth century. There are also some beautiful examples of silverware and ceramics; one notable feature is a sterling silver chandelier, made for King William III.
The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Museum honors the work of past and present art visionaries. Featuring a variety of ongoing and temporary exhibitions ranging from painting to the art of quilting, the museum offers a rich visual tapestry that epitomizes America's long and distinctive history of folk art. Admission is included in your ticket to Colonial Williamsburg
The Governor's Palace was the home of Colony of Virginia's Royal Governors and later post-colonial governors Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry. Built in the early 1700s, the main building was burned down in 1781 and was reconstructed in 1930. The reconstructed building was based upon the original architectural design as well as influenced by Jefferson's suggested renovations while he was a governor. Visitors can tour this elegant residence which was built to showcase the Crown's influence. After seeing the Palace, make sure you explore the gardens outside and see if you can navigate your way around the boxwood maze.
The Peyton Randolph House is noteworthy because it is both a prime example of colonial architecture, and a reminder of the history of slavery in Williamsburg. The house, which is located inside the Colonial Williamsburg living museum, was built in 1715 and has undergone several restorations. Visitors today will be able to see what the house looked like when in was owned by Peyton Randolph in the early 1700s. Randolph acted as the first President of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, the event that eventually led the forming of the Unites States. Visitors to the house can wander through its beautiful halls while also learning about the slaves that lived in the outer houses, and what their lives were like. The house is sometimes opened up at night for special night tours, during which visitors search for the many ghosts that are said to haunt this big red estate.
Located inside the College of William & Mary, the Muscarelle Museum of Art was created after locals realized what a wealth of art the university had accumulated over the years. The exhibitions held here are dramatic and thought-provoking to say the least, while the permanent exhibition is a class apart from the others you may have seen. Abstract Impressionist lovers will delight in this art haven that has preserved its treasures magnificently. Check website for details.
This home, which was built in the mid-1750s, belonged to George Wythe, who helped to lead the patriotic movement against England's rule and became Virginia's first signer of the Declaration of Independence. His home, which stands today as part of the Colonial Williamsburg living museum, has been restored to how it would have looked when George Wythe and his wife lived there. Aside from being the home of a famous patriot, the house also served as George Washington's headquarters when the British seized Yorktown. Thomas Jefferson also made a visit to the home in 1776, adding to the house's list of famous guests. Today, visitors can explore the beautiful brick building and perhaps even imagine that they are standing where George Washington once stood.
Once the capital of colonial Virginia, Colonial Williamsburg is a living history museum, lending stirring insights into its heyday during the 1700s. The centerpiece of Williamsburg's historic district, this territory features winding thoroughfare dotted with charming edifices in evocative Colonial Revival architectural styles. For the better part of the 18th century, the city was the center of the most civilized life in the colony of Virginia. Having undergone a massive restoration, Colonial Williamsburg is today a heartwarming canvas of a culture which eventually made way for the democratic tenor of the country. Today, this antiquated region is permeated with the exuberance and cultural nitty-gritty that comes with glassblowers, blacksmiths, and artisans producing goods by authentic, tried-and-true colonial methods just as they did back then. The period homes, stores, and other buildings are full of interesting things to do and see. There are even costume rentals and historic accommodations which delve deeper into American history.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg is an award-winning and eco-friendly adventure park started in 1975. Its many awards include the accolade of “World’s Most Beautiful Theme Park,“ “Golden Ticket Award” and “Applause Award.” This theme park recreates European villages, trains, tulip gardens and rides that make it a thrill-seeking mecca. If you're brave enough, hop onto Alpengeist, one of the tallest inverted coasters with a complete circuit in the whole world. Built to simulate an Alpine ski lift, albeit a slightly scarier version, it reaches heights of 195 feet (60 meters) and hair-raising speeds of 67 miles (108 kilometers) per hour. You can also embark on animal tours, adopt a dog for a day or two, visit the haunted house Howl-O-Scream, and Christmas Town for festive fun. Shop for German cuckoo clocks, Italian candles, wood carvings and Caribou pottery; then learn to make your own craft items at the workshops. Busch Gardens also features restaurants serving authentic British, Irish, German, French, Italian and Scottish cuisines. The park timings vary every week; the complete calendar can be found on the park website.
Music aficionados will be sure to love the Virginia Musical Museum, where historic and beautiful instruments from throughout Virginia's history are on display. Visitors to the museum will learn all about the fascinating history of music in Virginia and will recognize some of the famous musicians that have come out of Virginia, including June Carter, Ella Fitzgerald, and Wayne Newton. Kids will delight in watching the music boxes and nickelodeons play music, witness a talking doll, and explore the amusement park musical instruments. Whatever your age, you are sure to be fascinated by the instruments on display at the Virginia Musical Museum.
Flanked by the meandering James River, Historic Jamestown is the erstwhile site of the iconic James Fort. An expanse soaked in enriching history and culture, this is the site which marks the existence of the early English colonists who set foot in North America. Having yielded mysteries and original remains of the fort, this site is home to an archaeological museum called The Archaerium, which illustrates the beginnings of the town, its colonial history as well as its earliest industries. Set along the banks of the river, the Dale House Cafe has on offer some increasingly delectable dishes, while the Glasshouse is yet another place to soak in the town's rich history. Known to be the earliest permanent settlement of the English in America, the town shelters a troupe of notable attractions like the Tercentenary Monument, the Governor Harvey House and the deeply antiquated Jamestown Church.
As the Revolution was brewing, General Washington and his Continental Army camped at Yorktown. This re-creation is just a short distance from the original site of the battle that won the American Revolution in 1781. Reenactors at Yorktown demonstrate musket drills, colonial cooking and war-time medical practices. At a model 18th-century farm, you can help weed the garden, spin flax into thread and watch costumed chefs cook in a colonial kitchen adjacent to the farmhouse. In the galleries, children can play in 18th-century clothes and participate in activities like making woodblock rubbings. Artifacts, including those from an excavated British ship, complete this comprehensive view of military life during the American Revolution.
Yorktown Battlefield is the site where the last major land battle occurred during the American Revolution. Ranger-guided tours of the battlefield are available or you can grab a set of headphones and take the audio tour. During the summer months, learn from a costumed actor about the life of a soldier. Activities geared towards children are available.