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williamsburg or Jamestown, Va?

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williamsburg or Jamestown, Va?

If you had a choice for one day where would you visit and stay?Williamsburg seems a bit more commercial.We have no children with us and enjoy historical sites,Civil War.

Williamsburg, VA
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1. Re: williamsburg or Jamestown, Va?

There's really no place to stay in Jamestown. It is only nine miles from Colonial Williamsburg, so any of the Williamsburg -- James City County lodgings will be in close proximity of either of the historic sites.

Colonial Williamsburg may seem commercial, given its hotels, restaurants, etc. but its historical interpretation is truly top notch. A visit to the sites of the restored town is a step back in time. While the interpretation focuses on the late 18th Century, there is significant Civil War history in and around Williamsburg; should you wish more information about that we can post more information if you wish.

As far as a one day visit, it's your choice: Historic Jamestown and the Jamestown Settlement pay specific attention to the 1607 -- 1620 period, when the first English settlers arrived in the New World; Colonial Williamsburg focuses on the time up to and during the American Revolution, in the 1760s -- 1780s, when Williamsburg was the capital of the Virginia Colony and the legislative home to many of our founding fathers, and from where many of the ideas for our federal system of governmnent descended.

New Castle...
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2. Re: williamsburg or Jamestown, Va?

For just one day, my choice would be Colonial Williamsburg. You will have many more places to visit: the Palace, the Capitol, the Wythe and Randolph houses, the Courthouse, and all the trade sites. And you will have the Raleigh Tavern Bakery where you can stop in for a light snack.

Central Maine
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3. Re: williamsburg or Jamestown, Va?

Think BixDoc hit it on the head --- it all boils down to which period of history you'd prefer to explore -- the 1600's or the 1700's -- both markedly different from the Civil War you mention in your original posting....

Jamestown addresses the issues associated with establishing a new colony in a new land and the indoor displays at the large, modern museum at the Jamestown Settlement area are extremely well done. The outdoor areas there -- Native American settlement, ships landing area, and original fortified settlement -- are well done but just don't have the depth of the exhibits at Williamsburg.

Colonial Williamsburg addresses the social and cultural issues of a society facing competing political/social/moral issues during the time immediately preceeding the American Revoiution. It offers many more buildings of the time (taverns, Governor's Palace, print shop, cabinetmakers, silversmiths, etc) than Jamestown, and, depending on the time of year you're there can have ongoing "street theater: focusing on the issues and happenings of the day....

They're really two different experiences and which is "best" probably boils down to which time period and type of presentation you find more interesting....

Chicago, Illinois
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4. Re: williamsburg or Jamestown, Va?

Hi, Marc -- You need not fear that Williamsburg is commercial! It does have a highly-developed hospitality division, so there are restaurants, hotels and shops all over the place. But they are completely in the service of the Foundation, the educational institution that is the raison d'etre for Colonial Williamsburg. The world over, there is nothing even approaching Williamsburg for the research, preservation and interpretation of a country's history.

If you are engaged by history -- economic, political, social, cultural -- this is the mother lode for American colonial and revolutionary information and interpretation. It's awesome, and one day is going to leave you feeling dizzy with joy and frustrated that you don't have a week! :-)

Which is not to diminish the Jamestowns. They just aren't anywhere near as large or well-funded.


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5. Re: williamsburg or Jamestown, Va?

I would spend a day in Williamsburg and try to work in a few hours at Historic Jamestown early the next day.

Huntington Beach, CA
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6. Re: williamsburg or Jamestown, Va?

Are you arriving one day, maybe late... and then you have the whole next day to enjoy Williamsburg/Jamestown? That's what I'm assuming. You can get your hotel in Williamsburg (no places in Jamestown) and then go to dinner...even in a tavern within old Williamsburg. You could then spend the next morning/early afternoon visiting both Historic Jamestown and Jamestown Settlement. Both are fascinating.... Loved the old actual location of Jamestown, seeing what it was like, the HUGE river, the old church...and we had an excellent female guide with a great sense of humor... Then go back to old Williamsburg...They give you a week's events brochure when you buy your tickets, with day-by-day info of so manythings going on. They have an enactiment in the later afternoon where all their people are in costume, talking from the time of pre-Revolutionary War. First theyi're answering questions from everyone and then it starts! We saw the reactions of various characters to the Stamp Act. Great stuff! Many things going on into the evening there, also.

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7. Re: williamsburg or Jamestown, Va?

If you only had one day, I'd say do Colonial Willamsburg. It's a little more in-depth, there's more to do, and you can't beat the food at the historic taverns on site. At Colonial Williamsburg, you will get the historic perspectives at various different buildings, explanations of the artifacts and accounts of the reconstruction of the town. Jamestown is a cool experience as it includes a reconstruction of the Jamestown fort, a replica Powhatan village, and a museum that spans from the early tribal days of Virginia to the colonization. However, my personal preference for a one-day experience would be Williamsburg.

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8. Re: williamsburg or Jamestown, Va?

Colonial Williamsburg hands down is where you should stay and make a short visit to Jamestown.

9. Re: williamsburg or Jamestown, Va?

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