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Williamsburg Travel Guide


Williamsburg Introduction


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Colonial Williamsburg faithfully portrays the days before the Revolutionary War through historic buildings and costumes, but it's the interpreters who bring history to life. Most play their parts so well that visitors leave better informed about U.S. history and wanting to learn even more.  Click here to see the full Williamsburg travel guide on Travel42 »

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Williamsburg Geography


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Situated on a narrow, wooded peninsula, the Historic Triangle that includes Williamsburg is bound by three rivers—the James, the York and the Chickahominy—that feed into Chesapeake Bay. Williamsburg is just a few miles/kilometers from the bay.  Click here to see the full Williamsburg travel guide on Travel42 »

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Williamsburg History


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After three merchant ships from England reached the Virginia shoreline in 1607, the passengers began building the first permanent English colony in the New World along the banks of the James River. The colony, known as Jamestown, was set on a low, marshy island. Colonists soon cast their eyes 5 mi/8 km inland to another settlement, called Middle Plantation, which offered higher ground and a better defense. By 1633, plans were under way for a new city that would become Williamsburg.  Click here to see the full Williamsburg travel guide on Travel42 »

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Williamsburg Sightseeing & Things to Do


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History buffs may be tempted to begin exploring Williamsburg just as the first settlers did—charging in with wide-eyed naivete. However, we recommend starting your experience by viewing the orientation film at the Colonial Williamsburg Visitors Center—it will give you an idea of which sights you want to see most. Another option is to locate an About Town guide (clad in colonial attire) who can recommend the best way to get around. Take time to stroll the streets—it costs nothing to walk around the area, but you'll need to purchase tickets before entering the buildings and museums. One-, two- and multiple-day passes are available.  Click here to see the full Williamsburg travel guide on Travel42 »

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Williamsburg Nightlife


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If you didn't get enough of Colonial Williamsburg's patriotic theme during the day, you're in luck: Many of the local bars and taverns play up the 18th-century act—making for a rather distinctive scene. Most people won't want to miss the chance to hoist a brew in an authentically decorated alehouse, some of which were actually frequented by George Washington and Patrick Henry. Colonial tavern games (called gambols) often have participants blushing by night's end. But be prepared—the taverns are sometimes gimmicky and long lines are common.  Click here to see the full Williamsburg travel guide on Travel42 »

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Williamsburg Restaurants & Dining


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Williamsburg has plenty of dining options—you can devour some pulled-pork barbecue for lunch and savor haute cuisine meticulously prepared by an award-winning chef for dinner. You can also feast in one of Colonial Williamsburg's taverns, just as Washington and Jefferson once did.  Click here to see the full Williamsburg travel guide on Travel42 »

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