Ever since the days of the thirteen colonies, Virginia has been contributing to the creation of the United States. It’s no wonder that visiting the place will bring feelings that will transport you back centuries ago when England had control over the lands.
In the colonial period, Virginia was home to the first permanent English settlement in the New World with capital Jamestown. Many years later the settlement changed the capital location to Williamsburg.
On the summer of 2012 our family went on a trip to Virginia. One of the places we stayed for a few days was the restored colonial capital, Williamsburg. Upon arriving everything seemed to change, like one of those flashbacks of the eighteenth century they put on movies. It was as though the modern world forgot to renovate the place. From the dismal looking road, to the vintage two story buildings, and the people. The environment abruptly transformed and I was then visiting the eighteenth century.
The first thing that got our attention was the architecture of the colonial buildings. As part of preserving its historical importance, the town was reconstructed in the nineteenth century to display a colonial town. The old-fashioned, vintage-look in the buildings is exactly what gives a unique feeling to the tourist eye. The plain sight of the town will transport you back to the eighteenth century.
Keep on walking and you will start to notice the incredible number of people dressed in period clothes. Everywhere you look there’s something happening. Soldiers marching down the town. Reenactments of events and conversations to an audience of tourists, events that trace back to the historical importance of Williamsburg. Revolutionaries conspiring against the British, while common men and women strolled down the town to meet each other.
It enlightens your mind giving you a firsthand history lesson on Colonial Williamsburg and altogether the history of the United States, while perhaps fueling your sense of patriotism.
Other than learning history and seeing many reenactments, there are other attractions. Some more twenty-first century. They built places to eat and modern stores within the vintage-look scale. We stayed for a while in the store Barnes and Noble, searching and reading books.
Williamsburg is home to the second-oldest institution of higher education in United States after Harvard, the College of William & Mary. After my fascination with Colonial Williamsburg, I was keen on studying there. I even have a William & Mary t-shirt!
The Colonial Parkway links the three points of Virginia’s Historic Triangle, Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown. We went to Jamestown where we saw archaeologists performing an excavation and replicas of the first fort. We also went to Yorktown where I remember us eating ice creams while walking, experiencing the beautiful view.
We like to take our trips on our own most of the times, meaning we don’t usually take tours. Regardless of that, there are many tour options in a place as touristic as Williamsburg. Although we did everything on our own, one night we decided to take a candlelight ghost tour. The night factor gave it a spookier twist. We bought the tickets and they said where the tour would begin. We waited in a public plaza along with a group of around twenty people until the tour guide began.
Revolutionaries that shaped the town, English men controlling the lands, common people working hard to sustain themselves, and many events and people that followed. Imagine the number of tales, legends, and ghost stories that live at the heart of such a historical town. Dating from before the American Revolution to what is today.
We walked around Williamsburg, stopping at places where the tour guide had a story for us. I remember the old, creepy building we stopped at. The tour guide told us the story and said that some people who took pictures at night would capture a ghost on the window. Instantly everyone took the role of morbid investigators, taking their cameras out to try to capture that ghost. As funny as it sounds, we were keen on witnessing what would scare the bejesus out of us. Truthfully I can’t remember whether we caught anything, but for the record, the whole group had a picture of a creepy window. We continued our tour, stopping here and there to listen to stories of the dead, some scary, some creepy, and some ironically funny. The evening faded off into the night with the absence of light and a group whose only desire was that of an unnerving fear. I can’t be hypocrite and say it was just them. I, along with my family, longed for a night of scare. I remember when the tour guide told us about people who had witnessed the presence of ghosts during some tours. One person’s hair was allegedly pulled from what they claimed was a ghost and others throughout the years had gone through similar experiences.
The tour ended at night and we set back home to our hotel room. The night was for sure a mixture of emotions but it was an interesting one. Some stories we heard were creepy and others we tried hard to believe in them. It was a fun night as we unraveled the secrets beyond the living of Williamsburg. For sure I pictured many times in my head, images of the people whose stories I took as an entertaining tour. I imagined many people of the past century and the hardships that their lives depended on, while I had the privilege of expanding my mind to history and knowledge.
Colonial Williamsburg has much to offer on the educational aspect because of its historical importance for the United States, but it’s also a very fun and exciting visit for tourists of any age. It was breathtaking for me to see so much history bottled together into one town and to see people reliving the century and keeping with the sense of patriotism. Also, who doesn’t like the idea of a town that has so many secrets, “ghosts” and legends from the days of its beginnings? There is a reason my trip to Virginia is remembered as one of the three most special trips of my life, as of 2016. You can make unforgettable memories in these places and I strongly encourage you to add Virginia to your next family vacation. Stay tuned because Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown are not the only good places of Virginia I visited, and are not they only ones I encourage you to visit. Come to Virginia and make amazing memories, and maybe you will get inspired to write your own experience of it, I would most gladly enjoy reading it the way I enjoy writing mine.
Visit Trip Advisors guide on Williamsburg Tours.