A trip to Williamsburg has always been a favorite of mine. This was a childhood vacation that my parents had first taken my brother and I on when I was 8 years old. I remember it like it was yesterday, the cannon fire, the oxen in the yard, the people walking around in colonial costumes and never coming out of character, eating rock candy, and strangely, the musty smell of the bricks that many of the buildings were constructed of. I loved all of it.
Last summer we took our children to Williamsburg, Virginia and we drove in a Honda Civic. It was surprisingly comfortable and cost only $75.00 in gas, I swear. So for all of you SUV drivers it may cost you a little more in gas but it will be like driving in a rolling home. It took us approximately 6 hours from Lacey including a stop for breakfast.
Williamsburg was settled in the 1600’s and became the colonial capital of Virginia. It became a central location for many political events leading up to the US revolution. It also has the College of William and Mary that is the second oldest in the country. The college is within walking distance of the colonial city which gives the area a cool vibe with bookstores, coffee shops and gastropubs.
Williamsburg tries to blend entertainment with authentic history and they do a great job. The houses are wonderfully maintained and history is meticulously researched. They have daily re-enactments of many historical events. Last summer my family was able to join a regiment of the colonial Army for an hour and it was really real. They had us march, yell at us, explain what our life would be like, and fire muskets. The participants, never for a moment acted as if this was not the real thing. It was extremely authentic, fun and educational. The colonial city also has great Ghost walks, bicycle rentals, spy games, and scavenger hunts.
Williamsburg is part of the historical triangle comprised of Jamestown and Yorktown. They are all close to each other and have great historical significance to the founding of our country. Also in Williamsburg is the Busch Gardens Theme Park and Water Country USA. Value combination tickets for the theme parks and the colonial city can be purchased in advance. There are many stay options in the Williamsburg area for all budgets and styles. All the major hotel chains are present. My personal favorite is the Williamsburg Lodge located on England Street, and is good for families. It is charming, historical and is in walking distance from the colonial city. This location is convenient for an evening walk down The Duke of Gloucester Street with all the smudge pots lit, musicians playing and colonial flare displayed. Maybe you might want to make a quick stop into Chownings Tavern for a pint of ale or two, not to mention some 18th century fare like Brunswick stew or Welsh Rarebit.
I love history and it is up to us to preserve and teach it. Like so many so-called living museums in the United Sates, Williamsburg, the granddaddy of them all has suffered as a result of the decreased emphasis on history in schools and the shorter attention spans in this technological age. In case the readers are unaware of how little history they teach in our schools I will give you a brief example, my daughter is finishing 5th grade and she has not had one bit of United States History. I don’t want to go down a political road, but it just makes me sad. I wanted to touch on this subject because some of our greatest historical locations are within driving distance of Lacey, New Jersey and can be incorporated into wonderful summer vacations.
Don’t let our History be forgotten. Take a road trip this summer or even in the early fall, the weather in Virginia is still very pleasant. Please contact your local travel agent, we have all the great information and travel tidbits for driving distance vacations.
Oceans of love from Kristen and all your friendly agents of Palm Breezes Travel
A local agency in Forked River, NJ 609-971-9267