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Travel Virginia: Grounds of College of William & Mary in Williamsburg

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Uploaded on Feb 8, 2010

Fall is a great time to travel, so my husband and I decided to book a week in Williamsburg, Virginia from October 18 to 25, 2009. Our home base was the historic Powhatan Plantation from where we did various local excursions. Williamsburg itself is the heart of Colonial Virginia, a city of about 12,000 people that was the capital of the British colony of Virginia from 1699 to 1780. At the time Virginia was Englands oldest and richest colony, particularly thanks to the tobacco plantations that had sprung up




Williamsburg itself is a pretty town set among in rolling verdant terrain and its downtown core features the Colonial Williamsburg Historic Area which recreates 18th century Williamsburg. The idea for this area originated with Reverend Dr. Goodwin of Williamsburgs Bruton Parish Church who was concerned about the survival of Colonial-era buildings and approached billionaire John Dr. Rockefeller Jr. in 1924 to initiate the recreation and restoration of Colonial Williamsburg. Many of the colonial structures that had been torn down earlier were recreated, including the Governors Palace and the Capitol Building. Other important historic buildings include the Bruton Parish Church and the Raleigh Tavern.




Another significant Williamsburg is the College of William and Mary, the second oldest institution of higher education in the United States after Harvard University. This university was founded in 1693 and educated such illustrious personalities as US Presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe and John Tyler. The attractive campus is centered around the Sir Christopher Wren Building, the oldest college building in the US and a National Historic Landmark. I was able to get a nice personal tour of the building which was provided by a very knowledgeable history student from the College.




Part of Virginias Historic Triangle (in addition to Williamsburg) are the towns of Yorktown and Jamestown. Jamestown is the first permanent English settlement in the New World and was established in 1607. Yorktown is the site of the surrender of General Cornwallis to General George Washington in 1781 during the most important battle of the American Revolution. An important battle during the American Civil War (1861 to 1865) also took place here. The Greater Williamsburg area is full of history and will delight anyone with an interest in early American history.




We also made a day trip to Norfolk, Virginias second largest city and an important naval base. Heading further south we stopped in Virginia Beach, a popular beach resort town on the Atlantic Ocean. We played golf at several well-manicured golf courses, all of which were former plantations. Last but not least, we did a little bit of outlet shopping in Williamsburg, a nice way to cap off a fall vacation.

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