Colonial Williamsburg

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Williamsburg, Virginia
www.history.org - 1-800-HISTORY (1-800-447-8679)

Colonial Williamsburg Reviews

X_Drive X_Drive
836 reviews
The Biggest Disappointment of our entire road trip May 20, 2010
We had been looking forward to this stop on our trip. Back in the 1960s and 70s we had seen TV shows on our public broadcasting station that showed what went on in Colonial Williamsburg. The Woodwrights shop is still on TV in some places. Also the Wheelwright, the Blacksmith shop, the Silversmith’s shop, the Miliner, and the Wigmaker shops are on the tour of places to see once inside. And the adult tickets to see them are $36 per person, and they also let you visit the Capital building. For another $10 you can see the Governor’s palace. We had thought that if we wanted to see one or two we would just pay $9.95 for each one and might save money. So we only bought the $2 per person bus tickets so we could hop on and off all day.

I was so glad we didn’t buy the more expensive tickets. As we strolled down the only street, we saw a only a few folks dressed in period costumes and never did see anything like the shops where the entrance fees or tickets would have been used. There were a few "stores" where you could purchase period type things, like wooden spoons, candles, aprons, etc. Oh, we did finally find a couple of souvenir shops way down at the very end of this mutli-block street where my wife bought a spoon for her collection.

This had to be the biggest disappointment of our entire trip.
4 / 4 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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christine4321 says:
nice pics!
Posted on: Jun 02, 2013
Andy99 says:
I'm sorry you were so disappointed. The buildings have been tidied up for visitors and many rebuilt, but they did look very much like that. (They represent the whole span of the 18th century.) The streets were wide to permit ox carts and farm wagons to turn around and unload. (Port Royal, Virginia, is a largely unrestored town of the period and its structures very much resemble Williamsburg.)
Posted on: Jan 10, 2011
X_Drive says:
Andy, we found no atmosphere here that said "Colonial". The street was easily four times as wide as any colonial street, the buildings were 80% locked with little signs saying they were residences, or whatever, and looked like they were from 1900 instead of 1800. So unless you think a dozen people dressed in costume of the day make atmosphere, we really did miss out.
Posted on: Jan 10, 2011
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Andy99 Andy99
579 reviews
Colonial Williamsburg: History Recreated Mar 20, 2008
Colonial Williasmburg, Virginia, is one of the most famous among the living museum period recreations. Since the 1930s, early structures have been restored or entirely rebuilt and put on display and colonial costumed reenactors have given visitors a glimpse into life at the time of the American Revolution.

A ticket gives the visitor full access to the various buildings, trade and craft displays, and activities and programs. You can then watch the shoemaker and carpenter at work, see the restored interiors of the Governor's Mansion and House of Burgesses, hear heated debates among the townsfolk on separation from Britain, or watch as Governor Dunmore denounces the Massachusettss colonists to the north for dumping tea in Boston Harbor. The costumed cast memebers relly get into their characters and a lot happens around the restored area seemingly at random. Don't be surprised if you see a mother carrying her real (and also costumed) infant around colonial style or if a minute man on horseback suddenly rides up Duke of Gloucester Street to warn of the advance of the British. Many activities are aimed at young visitors, from colonial games to cooking and musketry demonstrations. (A classic activity is to have your photo taken in the stocks next to the Courthouse.)

However, you don't need a ticket to enjoy much of the Historic Area. You can see the exteriors of the buildings, eat at the taverns, and shop at the stores without admission.

Williamsburg has had its criticisms--blurring of what is historically real and what is a recreation, behaving too much like a theme park (but history can be fun, after all), and coming to terms with slavery and darker sides of its past. Clearly, a lot of history happened at Williamsburg and Colonial Williasmburg does its best to bring it to life for modern visitors.

Whether you go for the full experience or only take time to walk Duke of Gloucester Street, I highly recommend a stop at Colonial Williamsburg when you are in the mid-Atlantic region.
Governor's Palace and Palace Green
Coach at the Governor's Palace
Muskets at the Governor's Palace
Colonial cooking demonstration
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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christine4321 says:
Great review! It looks very nice. I am looking forward to a trip in the fall.
Posted on: Jun 02, 2013
ladywolve ladywolve
10 reviews
Williamsburg Village closed up early....... Aug 23, 2008
Gotta tell you that it was so cheap because evidentley they close down

when and before the sun goes down. There were some stores open, but

not many. So of course, you buy, you pay. As far as anyone in garb,

well, the ones we saw, they were running to get out of costume to go

home, run into hiding, or you could not get to the closed area where

they were.Makes alot of sense then. We would have loved to seen this

area and were willing to pay. We had really liked the area of Williamsburg, but after this, we crossed off.
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southafricangirl southafr…
4 reviews
Oct 10, 2007
There is alot of activities for moms and dads, can see how they traded in the 18th century and go to wonderful wine tastings. For the kids there is playing games and lending a hand with the crops. From 1699 to 1780, Williamsburg was the political social and cultural capital of Great Britains largest, wealthiest and most populous colony.The hall of the house of Burgesses at the Capital echoes with the voices of Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, George Mason and other Virginia leaders who debated the issues of F reedom and liberty for Virginians.At the court house, you might be invited to be a witness,defendant or judge in a re-creation of the court case from the 1700'.While walking around the old town you can see how the carpenter made shoes for his people. And there are alot of fresh food markets to taste the wonderful fresh foods of the land.Its wonderful to see how they lived in the 1700 century.
The shoes maker, hes still makes s…
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