Are you looking for an educational family getaway? If so, you are in the right place! Today on Theresa’s Reviews, I am sharing our family vacation to America’s Historic Triangle of Jamestown, Yorktown, and Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. With thrilling rides at the nearby Busch Gardens amusement park, the area has everything for an enjoyable family vacation.
Family Getaway To America’s Historic Triangle in Virginia
If you love learning about history, America’s Historic Triangle in Virginia is the ideal destination. Although my children hadn’t studied the history of this area yet in school, the experience was informative and interactive for them.
One interesting stop is the Jamestown settlement. Although you might think of the Mayflower and Plymouth Rock when you think of the first settlements in our country, Jamestown was the first English colony in America in 1607. St. Augustine in Florida is the only colony that is older than Jamestown since it was founded in 1565, but since St. Augustine was founded by the Spanish, that makes Jamestown the oldest English colony.
Even if your children have not yet learned about the history of Jamestown, the different activities at the settlement offer a unique experience. My children were excited to visit the Native American section first. They learned how food and baskets were made and picked up soup bowls made out of turtle shells.
To better understand this time in history, you can see a re-enactment of Native Americans hunting with a bow and arrow. For children, this part was exciting and made it more interesting to learn about history.
To cool off during a hot summer visit, step inside one of the Native American dwellings. With furs hanging on the walls, these homes show how the Native Americans would have lived.
After checking out the Native American dwellings, make sure that you also read about the history of Pocahontas and the settlers in the indoor museum. Since we visited in summer, it was very hot and the museum was a great way to cool off and learn more facts. At the gift shop, my children bought a couple of children’s books about Pocahontas and they were interested to hear the non-Disney version of the story.
Next, visit the ship harbor to see authentic replicas of the three ships that sailed to Jamestown from England. Although these ships were made fairly recently, they were made with limited technology to show the conditions the colonists were struggling with during their voyage.Not only are the ships made with a similar structure to the original ships, but they also are decorated to look authentic. You can see the limited space each person would have had in their sleeping quarters and the belongings they might have had.
After the ship harbor, step into the Jamestown settlement. Inside each building, you can see a recreation of life during the 1600s. Colonial re-enactors are available to answer questions and describe the past.
Even if your children are too young to understand the history of the area, seeing the colonial re-enactment is interesting for any age. Children can try on the armor that colonial people would have worn, and they can play games that children would have played long ago. From holding artifacts to checking out the unique items in the gift shop, Jamestown is well worth the visit.
Since I teach social studies in elementary / middle school, I know much more about Jamestown than Yorktown. Even without much of an understanding of the history of the area, it was an ideal stop for our family! We could stretch our legs, enjoy the view, and grab a delicious bite to eat!
Even though our time at the beach was short, it was a major highlight of our vacation to my children. They are looking forward to being able to tell classmates in school that they had a beach visit.
Stopping by the Yorktown beach helped me relax and get into vacation mode too! Although the drive to Virginia had heavy traffic, it was wonderful to enjoy stretching our legs and getting some sun.
We found a nice place to eat nearby called Riverwalk Restaurant. One of my favorite parts was the wide range of seafood. The Killer Fish Tacos and the Fish and Chips were delectable!
Whether you dine on the patio or indoors, you get a beautiful waterfront view of the York River. Not only was the food delicious, but the service was also great.
One of the most well known parts of the Historic Triangle in Virginia is Colonial Williamsburg. Not only does this area have historical re-enactments of the American Revolution time period, but you can also find lodging, restaurants and shops here. If you visit, come early because many of the places close by 5pm.
If you do visit later, you can check out the King’s Arm Tavern to dine by candlelight. While this restaurant was a bit overpriced and didn’t have great service in the evening, the experience of dining without electricity was fascinating to my children.
To get a more in-depth visit to Colonial Williamsburg, you can buy a day pass, but my children got plenty from the visit without buying the pass. Without tickets, you can walk up and down the streets, stop in stores, and watch the actors firing muskets. With small children, it was an interesting experience, but they were most excited about finding an ice cream store.
From the relaxing views at Yorktown Beach to the interesting history experiences at Jamestown and Yorktown, the Historic Triangle in Virginia is a wonderful family getaway.
Do you visit historical areas when you go on vacation? Share your thoughts in the comments!