One of my top ten favorite US sites to visit is Colonial Williamsburg. I think my first visit as a little kid is what did it for me. All the people in costumes and the restored buildings created a fantasy world for a child. Coming back as an adult, I realized, of course, that history is life and life is often troubled and painful. In fact, the reason why the Virginia capital was moved from Jamestown to Williamsburg is because of the prevalence of malaria on the Jamestown island.
During the years of 1699-1780, Williamsburg was the center of government. It was here that men such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, James Madison and James Monroe founded democracy, the Commonwealth of Virginia and yes, the United States itself. Later, during the Revolutionary War – the capital was moved to Richmond because of security reasons – where it still is today.
I think this was my fourth visit to the city (last time Ken and I bought the quilt that hangs in the family room) – and on this beautiful evening, we simply strolled down Duke of Gloucester Street, enjoying the fall sunshine. To tour the buildings is expensive – but worth it. However, we were there after the buildings had closed and we had had a full day. (Getting up at 3 – a whole other story) – on the beach, visiting Jamestown, etc. So strolling was all we wanted to do – but what “an-evening-can’t-get-better-than-this” stroll it was. (We had so much rain on this trip – but on this, the day we were outside, the weather was sunny and warm.)
So we walked. A lot of places were serving supper, but we weren’t that hungry after our lunch along the James River, so we ended up getting a slice of pizza and sitting on a patio, watching the people walk by.
WHERE: Colonial Williamsburg – part of the historic triangle off the Colonial Parkway (Jamestown and Yorktown make up the other two points.)
WHAT: Colonial Williamsburg is a popular tourist attraction – the roads are narrow and crowded (but quaint) and therefore, visitors park at a nearby visitor’s center and are bused downtown — or can walk (but people that are there in the summer say it gets horribly hot and then when you get there – you walk some more.) The visitor’s center was closing by the time we got there and we wanted to find our hotel. We had reservations at the local (and very nice) Hampton Inn and surprisingly, it was the least expensive Hampton Inn of the trip – not bad at all.
Though I had read that there isn’t parking near the CW part of town, I did a quick search on the web for “parking near CW” and found a highly recommended parking garage tucked into a residential street. We headed to DoG Street (local name for Duke of Gloucester Street) and found the tucked-away-garage – no problem and parked.
KID FACTOR: judging from my own kid experience there, I would say good place for kids. Though we didn’t get to see any this time – they have a lot of craftsman who demonstrate their crafts – a drum and fife parade, etc. And there is a lot of room to run. We also saw some “colonial” gentlemen teaching kids how to roll hoops.
And then we strolled …
So take a stroll with us …