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Williamsburg w/ 15 year old boy.

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Williamsburg w/ 15 year old boy.

Any suggestions on things to do? He likes history, loves the ghost scene and not a big amusement park fan. But is a typical 15 year old. We arrive in Williamsburg June 7 and our staying for 4 nights. One day we plan on road tripping to Norfolk to take the Naval Base cruise and then heading to Virginia Beach to check out the Boardwalk. Is that a reasonable day?

Chicago, Illinois
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1. Re: Williamsburg w/ 15 year old boy.

Hi, scaw -- your post made me smile because I was 15 when I first visited Williamsburg ... and it has been a lifelong love affair ever since!

For me it was the architecture and the music that were enrapturing. For your companion, it could be any one of dozens of areas. Use the website www.history.org to search for topics. Naval history, perhaps, just to take a cue from your post. I think most of us learn best when we have a point of reference or a focus.

Even without any particular interests, you can study the calendar on the website to see what is happening on your days, and make a rough plan. At a minimum, you will want to highlight politics (the Capitol), the role of the British ruling class (Governor's Palace), the emerging American meritocracy (George Wythe House), the consumer revolution (trade shops)and the economic engine that drove Virginia -- slave-based agriculture (Great Hopes Plantation and African American programming).

Insights into hundreds of other aspects of American life abound everywhere. Have a wonderful time!

Virginia Beach...
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2. Re: Williamsburg w/ 15 year old boy.

It is reasonable to make Norfolk/Va Beach a day trip. Williamsburg is only an hour from Norfolk, then 30 minutes more to the oceanfront resort area of Va Beach. Avoid traveling during rush hours, Fridays and weekends if possible and you will face less traffic congestion from W'burg to Norfolk area (and return). While in Norfolk, the USS Wisconsin Battleship is free to visit, located in Downtown. Your son is likely to enjoy the Va Beach boardwalk, interesting sights and sounds, usually have several stages with live music in evening. If you have time and an interest in Maritime history, consider a visit to the Mariners Museum in Newport News. Only 30 minutes from W'burg, convenient to I64, only place you can see an exhibit with actual items from the Ironclads battle of the Monitor and Merrimac...truly unique. Rest of the museum is great also. Post again if you have more questions.

Happy trails

Arlington, Virginia
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3. Re: Williamsburg w/ 15 year old boy.

If your son enjoys other military history as well as naval history, I'd suggest a visit to the Army Transportation Museum at Ft. Eustis in Newport News. (You will have to have your car inspected and your ID checked before you enter, but it doesn't take too long.) There's also the Virginia War Museum in Newport News as well. I took my 17-year-old son to both places last spring and he really liked them. (He's an avid student of military history.)

Another day trip could be to Historic Jamestown and the Yorktown Battlefield. You could easily do both sites in a day.

Richmond, VA
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4. Re: Williamsburg w/ 15 year old boy.

Williamsburg-Jamestown-Yorktown is (are?) called the Historic Triangle and there are discount combo tickets if you plan to travel to all of them. All very worth your while. Jamestown is a little more "exciting" (for lack of a better word) than Yorktown, but others may disagree.

Be sure to tour or walk through the College of William and Mary when in Williamsburg. Several old buildings: Wren Building is one. Many of the college students will be working in the colonial park during the summer.

5. Re: Williamsburg w/ 15 year old boy.

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