Thursday, July 17

our williamsburg, va vacation - part 4 - premium outlets + jamestown settlement

With the threat of Hurricane Arthur taking over the local television and radio stations in Williamsburg, we decided Thursday would be ideal for shopping at Williamsburg Premium Outlets - the perfect rain or shine activity.  Heavy rains and wind woke us in the middle of the night, but Thursday morning, the sky was clear, the sun was shining, and the temperature had cooled down at last!  We started the day at the Astronomical Pancake House, which we chose pretty much solely because of its awesome name.  I try not to be the cliche blogger who Instagrams all of her food, but LOOK AT THIS PANCAKE.

Williamsburg Premium Outlets, I love you.  We visited the Banana Republic, GAP, J. Crew, Ann Taylor, LOFT, and Fossil outlets, and almost everything was 50 to 70% off!  I felt like such a savvy shopper.  

Then, on Friday, it was on to Jamestown!  Visitors have two options for learning about the heritage of this historic place: the Jamestown Settlement, which features a museum and living-history park, and is operated by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, and Historic Jamestowne, which is located at the original site, featured an archaeological museum, and is maintained by the National Park Service.  We decided to start at Jamestown Settlement.

Unfortunately, photography is not allowed in the galleries at Jamestown Settlement - a shame because the exhibits truly are impressive.  I would say the galleries are on par with those in larger museums such as the Smithsonian; everything is very modern and clean, and there's a great mix of actual artifacts behind glass, hands-on replicas and statues that can be touched, and multimedia features.

Upon exiting the galleries, a path takes visitors to the living history park.  The first stop on the path is a Powhatan village where visitors can see the inside of a traditional wigwam, grind corn using a mortar and pestle, and explore.

Jamestown Settlement also features replicas of the three ships that original settler's ships, the Susan Constant, Godspeed, and the Discovery.  Costumed guides are onboard to share information and answer questions.  I was struck by how small the ships actually were.  I can't imagine going across the ocean on one, much less with 70 other people onboard!

The final component of Jamestown Settlement's living history park is a life-size recreation of James Fort.  If you attended fourth grade in the state of Virginia, odds are you built a model of the fort out of popsicle sticks.  This is much more cool.

After visiting Jamestown Settlement, we drove over to Jamestown Island to explore the beautiful, protected forest and marshland.  It's easy to imagine that the environment hasn't changed much from the landscape the earliest English colonists encountered.  We drove the three mile loop, which features several pull-off spots with information about the island's history.  In addition to being an ideal site for a colonial fort, Jamestown was a key defensive site for the Confederate army during the Civil War.  Spending time in such an important place, with so much history running through it, was a great way to spend Independence Day.

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  1. I'd love to go there one day!!! Beautiful photos.

    1. Thanks Jenna! Williamsburg is a really fun town with a lot to do and a lot of history to learn about.

  2. Great photos! We took our family there a few years ago and really enjoyed it! #turnituptuesday

    1. Thanks! We had a great time even though the weather was scorching :)