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Weekend Getaway in Williamsburg, VA

Release Date: 6/28/2006

By Leah Motz
News-Post Staff

Crowds gather in the streets to gawk at a man shouting and waving wildly from his place on a stump. Women returning from the market clutch their baskets in shock at the treasonous words spilling from the man's mouth. Marching footsteps sound. Drums rattle. War is coming.

Revolutionary City, a new theatrical presentation in Williamsburg, Va., by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, brings the defining moments in America's history alive. Guests witness the collapse of the royal government, debate Thomas Jefferson's newly crafted Declaration of Independence and observe the daily struggles that evolve while America's citizens are at war.

The presentation is a two-day series, the first of which features events leading up to the war and the second shows events that occurred during the War. Along with other living history displays, this daily demonstration has made Williamsburg the most visited destination tourist in the country.

"It puts people right into the center of living the experience," said Sharon Scruggs, owner of the Drum & Fife Inn.

"Its not just a visit to a living history museum for a few hours," said Priscilla Caldwell, communications manager of the Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance. "It has become the premier site here to visit."

Debbie Keane, co-owner of the Williamsburg White House Inn, shared that visitors come for more than just the history.

"Some people come here for the history, some people come for the romance and relaxation," Ms. Keane said. "The bulk of guests who come here (the Williamsburg White House Inn) are from Northern Virginia and Maryland just to get away for the weekend."

Williamsburg has over 500 original and reconstructed private homes, public buildings, taverns and shops. The 90 acres of gardens and public greens make Williamsburg America's largest living museum.


Popularity of Town

Although best known for its role in the foundation of America and position in Virginia's Historic Triangle, along with Jamestown and Yorktown, Williamsburg has become one of America's favorite vacation destinations due to the wide range of activities and entertainment.

Ms. Keane highly recommends a visit to Jamestown and Yorktown in addition to touring historic Williamsburg. In addition to historic significance, the picturesque James and York Rivers provide opportunities for outdoor recreation like hiking, biking and boating.

"Even if you're not a history buff you'll enjoy the experience," she said.

Summer brings a greater number of activities that appeal to families with children.

Child actors help their visiting peers complete daily chores as they would in Colonial Williamsburg and remain in character to provide a child's perspective on history.

"In the summer there are more activities geared toward children," Ms. Scruggs said. "Its a particularly neat way to bring children into history."

Adventurous children can serve in the colony's militia. Their enlistment includes mock marching and drilling at the Magazine and Guardhouse. Troublemakers can be locked away in the stocks in front of the Public Goal where British soldiers and sympathizers, traitors and deserters were kept during the Revolutionary War.

At the Governor's Palace, a uniformed guide awaits to lead tours of the palace. Guests tour the halls and view more than 800 guns and swords that decorate the walls and ceilings of many of the rooms. The furnishings represent British royalty and power. Some were owned by the last Royal Governor to inhabit the structure.

After the Revolutionary War, the American capital moved from Williamsburg, and the palace served as a hospital and the grounds a graveyard for over 150 American soldiers.

In the 1700s, the palace was known as one of the finest structures in America. Currently, the palace has been reconstructed after a devastating fire. An admission ticket is required for guests to tour the building. A dancing master is on hand to provide lessons.

Historic or simply entertaining, outdoor activities are popular attractions. Busch Gardens Europe in Williamsburg, Water Country USA and multiple park and campgrounds provide plenty of opportunities for families to enjoy outdoor recreation.

Directions

From Frederick take I-270 South to I-495 South to I-95 South. When approaching Richmond, take the I-295 South bypass and follow to I-64 East. Follow I-64 for 35 miles to Exit 238 to Va. 143 East and turn right onto Va. 132. Turn right onto Va-162 (Lafayette St.) to reach Williamsburg, Va.

Estimated Driving Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes


Williamsburg offers a wide range of accommodations for visitors. Romantic Bed & Breakfasts, cozy Colonial style Inns and economic and back-to-nature campgrounds will suit the needs of each family.

Among Bed & Breakfasts, are the Williamsburg White House Inn, Fife & Drum Inn and Liberty Rose Bed & Breakfast. Williamsburg White House is within walking distance of Colonial Williamsburg and offers romantic accommodations with a presidential theme along with comfortable sitting rooms and a library complete with fireplace.

Ms. Keane said the Williamsburg White House's Presidential theme is appealing to both men and women.

"Men are sometimes reluctant to come to B&B's because they think it's a feminine thing," said Ms. Keane. "The women get what they want and the guys get what they want and it makes for a great weekend."

The Fife & Drum Inn is located in the heart of Colonial Williamsburg. All rooms have private baths and complimentary bathrobes. Guests will have a chance to immerse themselves in 18th century life with four historic taverns in the vicinity.

"Our guests love it," said Fife & Drum Inn owner Sharon Scruggs, of the nightly 18th century games and entertainment available in Colonial Williamsburg. Gambling for peanuts at local Chowning's Tavern is a favorite activity of the guests at the Fife & Drum Inn.

Liberty Rose B&B radiates southern charm and hospitality in a romantic setting. Similar to other Bed and Breakfasts in the area, the Liberty Rose is perfectly located for day trips to historic sites and vacation hotspots.

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