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Historic Areas of Williamsburg, VA

Carriage drawn by two horses Williamsburg, VA

Every city in America has a unique feel and atmosphere. The town of Williamsburg, Virginia, is no different. The local historic sites in Williamsburg contribute to the aura that makes this colonial town so unique.

Let’s explore some of Williamsburg’s historical sites that make this cultural destination so accessible.

The Jamestown Settlement

The Jamestown Settlement boasts some of the best and most realistic colonial replicas in the world. Visitors can view models of three different wooden ships, and a fort that was occupied by the first settlers in 1610. The settlement employs historians that dress in authentic period clothing and walk to grounds to interact with guests.

There is also an indoor gallery where visitors can view a 30-minute historical documentary film that exhibits the lives of the settlers, Powhatan Indians, and the African slaves that made up everyday life in the settlement.

Piney Grove at Southall’s Plantation

Piney Grove is prominently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This remarkable landmark is located on a 300-plus-acre Tidewater plantation that was owned by the Southall family. Previously occupied by the Chickahominy peoples, the Grove is one of the best standing examples of Early Virginia log house architecture.

Visitors can see Duck Church and three separate historic homes. The plantation is open to the public and features lush gardens and winding trails. Guests can even book a room in the Ladysmith House, which also functions as bed and breakfast.

Sherwood Forest Plantation

This working plantation was once home to the Nation’s 10th president, John Tyler. The Tyler family still occupies it to this day.

The home itself is said to be the longest known frame house in all of the U.S. The frame spans 300 feet, which includes a 68-foot ballroom where the Virginia Reel was performed.

Tyler’s residence is furnished with plenty of period antiques and many of the president’s items as well. There is also a well-stocked gift shop on site.

Belle Air Plantation

This plantation only opens its doors to groups of over 20 more and by appointment, but it is well worth the tour. This large-frame house was built in 1650 and served to show how life was lived during that period.
It features outstanding architecture and exquisite gardens. In April, the house hosts Historic Garden Week, in which the house and the gardens are open to the public. These stunning gardens are worth the wait.

Westover Plantation

Conveniently situated on the James River, the Westover plantation is known as one of the country’s most excellent examples of Georgian architecture. The house itself was built in 1730 by William Byrd, the founder of Richmond, VA. The house is also home to his final resting place.

Near the house, lies the country’s third oldest tombstone. The tomb of Captain William Perry dates back to 1637. The plantation is also home to a brilliantly elegant boxwood garden and delightful tulip poplars. The house is only open to the public during Virginia Garden Week.

The College of William and Mary

If you are interested in exploring the campus, the map of the college is available here. With the plan in hand, you can set off on a self-directed tour. The students are known to be both bright and helpful to visitors roaming the campus.

This college is the second oldest in the country but is still immaculately maintained. This site is teeming with living history, and there are often cultural, and art events held on campus. Be sure to look for a schedule of available events when you visit. There are many historical things to see and do on this lovely campus.

The Famous Colonial Williamsburg

Most visitors recommend starting the tour at the visitor’s center. There, an introductory film and an orientation walk will lay out all the best sites. There are so many exciting and historical things to see and do here.

There are historical buildings, gardens, taverns, shops, and even demonstrations. It is recommended to give yourself a day or to soak it all in. This micro-city is laid out like an 18th-century theme park, and everywhere you walk, there is something new to see.
There are often evening events held in the summer and often lead to extended summer hours.

The Takeaway

No matter where your interests, there are numerous places to visit in Williamsburg, VA. This historical city has something for everyone, and the sites can’t be beaten. Be sure to plan to stay a few days and enjoy everything Williamsburg has to offer.

Williamsburg is a fantastic place to live. If you’re considering a move just give us a call or shoot us an email. Our team is more than happy to help you out, so that you can make the best buying decision.