Historic Jamestowne, Virginia

The last day of our four day Columbus Day weekend in Washington D.C. and Southern Virginia was memorable.  We spent the day exploring Historic Jamestowne, Virginia.  Read on to learn more about how our family was able to visit this important site from American history while maintaining a budget. Remember to subscribe to my blog so you don't miss a single post.

After getting a restful night of sleep at the Comfort Inn Colonial Williamsburg Gateway & a breakfast that was okay at best we headed out to Historic Jamestowne by 8 AM.  If you would like to know more about our stay at the Comfort Inn Colonial Williamsburg Gateway, please visit my previous blog.

The drive to Historic Jamestowne is part of the Historic Triangle on the Colonial Parkway.  It took about 20 minutes to get to Historic Jamestowne from Williamsburg. 

Colonial Parkway between Williamsburg & Historic Jamestowne
Admission to Historic Jamestowne includes admission to Yorktown and use of the historic triangle highway. The cost is $15 for adults aged 16+ and free for children under 15. We were able to use our national parks pass and only paid $7.50 each for adults.  Note this review is for Historic Jamestowne NOT Jamestown Settlement. Jamestown Settlement is nearby but is not the original settlement.

Admission cost as of October 2017
We started our day at the Jamestowne Glasshouse.  You will see the sign for the glasshouse close to the entrance sign.  This is something you do not want to miss.  Glassblowers today are using techniques much like those used in the 1600s. The glassblowers create glass treasures right before our eyes.  The gift shop on site sells glass created by the glassblowers on previous days.
 Jamestowne Glasshouse is located on the James River near the entrance.

Next, we headed to the Historic Jamestowne Visitor Center located a short distance from the Glasshouse. 
Historic Jamestowne Visitor Center
The visitor center has a wonderful museum that showcases the Jamestowne settlement.  Also located in the visitor's center you will find an informative twenty minute video that shows life for the early settlers.  I highly recommend watching the video & visiting the museum prior to going to the settlement.   

 Historic Jamestowne Visitor Center Museum & Theater

After viewing the video and visiting the museum, we headed out the back door to a walkway that lead to the settlement.  You walk about five minutes on a paved walkway over a marsh to the location of the original settlement.
The original Jamestowne Settlement is surrounded by a marsh on one side & the James River on the other side.
 As you enter the area where the settlement is located there is an obelisk. The monument commemorates the first democracy in English North America.  It was dedicated in 1907 for the 300th anniversary of the Jamestowne Settlement.

It is at the obelisk we met the one and only John Rolfe (Mr. Pocahontas)!  Yes.  That's right.. THE John Rolfe.  It was actually a local historian dressed in period clothing that would spend the next hour giving us a tour of life in the first English settlement. While the tour started at the obelisk, we moved to a location along the edge of the James River for added intrigue. What a fantastic storyteller John Rolfe was!  I was able to learn things never taught to me in my history class. For example, Pocahontas was NEVER married to John Smith as Disney penned.  In fact Pocahontas was married to John Rolfe. His presentation was top notch and was as good or better than the historical reenactments we had seen the day before at Colonial Williamsburg for a considerable higher fee. 
The John Rolfe presentation is included in the cost of admission. 
John Rolfe tells of life at the first English settlement in 1607 - Jamestowne
After our time with John Rolfe we headed back to the obelisk to meet one of the archaeologists who is currently working to preserve buried history at Historic Jamestowne.  The architect was able to tell us not only about the history but also about artifacts being unearthed on a daily basis.
The archaeology tour is included in the price of admission.

Archaeologists at historic Jamestowne  work daily to find pieces of history,
even digging up the floor of the church.
Historic Jamestowne was located very close to the James River. HOW did the original settlers die from starvation?

After our archaeology tour we had lunch at Dale House Cafe which is located on the historic site.  The Cafe overlooks the James River & offers a wide variety of sandwiches.  We were impressed with the quality of food as well as the prices.  I highly recommend the Dale House Cafe.

Menu for Dale House Cafe as of October 2017

The Dale House Cafe is a wonderful place to have a tasty lunch alongside the James River.
While our time was limited at Historic Jamestowne to 4 hours, a family could easily plan a full day at this location.  We missed the ranger led tour of the park that was planned for the afternoon on the day of our visit.  We also did not get to see the artifacts museum used to display the items found on location during archaeological digs.  Another disappointment was we did not get to visit Yorktown. We simply did not have enough time to see everything. If we were to go to this location again in the future we would plan to spend 2 days at Colonial Williamsburg, 1 day at Historic Jamestowne, and 1 day at Yorktown & exploring the Colonial Parkway. 

Sadly, we had to leave Historic Jamestowne after our lunch.  It was 12:30 PM and we had to get to Washington D.C to catch our flight home.  The drive would take us 2.5 to 3 hours to complete, with no traffic problems.(thankfully)
I 95 is a scenic highway that can sometimes get REALLY crowded.
We arrived at Enterprise Reagan Airport rental car drop off and walked to the terminal, which was considerably shorter than our walk to pick up the car. We knew we would be flying during dinner time & would land in Dallas pretty late so we had dinner in Washington/Reagan Airport.  This was a terrible mistake. The food was mediocre at best and the prices were outrageous!  But once we were past security checkpoint, we were not going to go back.  I strongly suggest that you avoid eating at Washington/Reagan Airport Terminal A. I wish I had saved my money and just eaten the "free" pretzels Southwest Air provides in-flight. 

As we flew out of Washington/Reagan Airport I was able to capture some images from the plane window of D.C. sights.

As we flew out of D.C. the sunset for the day and for our trip. 
Tomorrow life would go back to normal...
Until the next adventure.
Dallas, Texas - Home...

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Wherever the road takes you, may God bless you each and every mile of your journey.  

Below you will find a map of the places we visited on our final day of our trip.