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Colonial Williamsburg is the nation's largest and oldest outdoor living history museum. It portrays 18th-century Williamsburg in all its beauty and grandeur, just as it appeared on the eve of the American Revolution.

 

Williamsburg is located in southeastern Virginia on a peninsula between the James and York Rivers, which run into Chesapeake Bay. Settled in 1632, it was Virginia's capital from 1699 to 1779. After that time, the city unfortunately declined, and it was not until the 1920's that people again took a real interest in Williamsburg. It was in 1926 that the idea of excavating and restoring the colonial site of Williamsburg took root. Williamsburg then underwent a complete transformation from an industrial town to what is now known as Colonial Williamsburg.

 

Colonial Williamsburg bridges Virginia's past and present, with remnants of the past preserved amid the cultural and commercial bustle of the modern day.  Throughout the city, an engaging mix of sights, sounds and activities helps visitors reconnect with America's past and become active participants in 18th-century life. Not only can visitors enjoy the restored buildings, but also actors recreate the everyday lives of early settlers. On Colonial Williamsburg's 173 acres, 88 original 18th- and early 19th-century structures, such as the courthouse, have been meticulously restored. The site curators are dedicated to maintaining the period's integrity in every detail from pieces of furniture, pottery, china, glass, silver, pewter, textiles, tools, and carpeting, to landscaping.

 

All year round, visitors can observe hundreds of costumed interpreters wearing bonnets or three-cornered hats and speaking in character. Many residents of the settlement demonstrate their trades in venues open to the public. Historic trade demonstrations, dramatic vignettes, interactive programs and encounters with "People of the Past" take place in 28 exhibition sites and historic trade shops throughout the Historic Area. Visitors can enjoy 18th-century style dining in authentic colonial surroundings at any one of Colonial Williamsburg's four operating taverns.

 

For a vacation with the grandchildren, for a holiday celebration with the family, or for a time of personal reflection: treat yourself to the opportunity to become part of our nation's living history in Colonial Williamsburg!

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