Colonial Williamsburg, located in Williamsburg, Virginia, is a good family vacation spot because there’s enough to do and see to keep the youngest, the middle and the oldest occupied.
The buildings have been reconstructed to definite archaeological definitions and furnished in the period trappings of the day. The guides dress in the manner of English ruled pre-Revolutionary America and some even affect English accents when asked a question. On our last visit there, a guide asked me where I was from. When I answered “Chicago,” he looked quizzically at me and said he was unfamiliar with that word. Chicago had not existed in his century!
There is an ammunition depot, a blacksmith shop, a pottery maker, an apothecary store, a quaint church, and of course, the most beautiful of all, the Governor’s Mansion. All are open to visit, and educational as well as interesting. There are private homes, a 17th century tavern, a village green, a jail, gardens, working farms, marching Revolutionary bands, and everyday people meandering about the grounds, all dressed in costume.
What is especially appreciated when visiting Williamsburg is that there are no souvenir shops within the complex. There is a shopping district before you enter the village but no glaring hawkers once inside. Everything is kept as true to the original as possible and the historical arm of Williamsburg prides itself on keeping it this way. There are several eateries in the village, all true to the original.
It is a charming step back into America’s history and once inside the village, its easy to transport yourself back to the days before America gained its independence from England.
Constant archaelogical digs are going on as historians discover the foundations of more and more buildings. These finds allow for the reconstruction of new buildings each year.
The youngest members of your family will certainly be thrilled by the shop keepers who bake breads and chop wood, or make horseshoes or fire furnaces. There is something new to discover in each shop. The older kids will enjoy the pagentry of the square, and the arsenal with its muskets and mini-balls. Even the young teens will get a thrill out of visiting the Colonial museum and court house. Because the village is built with a wide grassy knoll in the center, it offers ample space to run and expend energy before going on to the next adventure.
Colonial Williamsburg is a wonderful historical experience that will be enjoyed by families of all sizes. It has my recommendation as a great family vacation spot.