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Family Vacations: Historic Jamestowne and Jamestown Settlement

Artifacts unearthed from the first permanent English colony are on exhibit at Historic Jamestowne.

Historic Jamestowne is where the settlers formed the first permanent English colony. Visitors can tour its excavations and the few structures that remain. Archaeologists working at various locations have unearthed a wealth of artifacts. Jamestowne's glassblowing industry is also depicted, with costumed workers applying their skills in the same manner as the early craftspeople.

Nearby is Jamestown Settlement. It features artifacts from the settlement, including a 17th-century child's hornbook, a wooden doll, clay marbles, and a small stoneware jug, dated 1590, which reportedly was given to Pocahontas.

The settlement is best known for its re-created fort, the Powhatan Indian Village, and three ships that are open for exploration. In the fort, kids can try on armor and play old-fashioned games such as quoits and ninepins. They can pound corn and play a Native American game called cob darts in the Powhatan Indian Village.

At the Riverfront Discovery Area children are welcome to climb aboard the ships and into the tiny bunks where the sailors used to sleep. They can also try the steering device that was used before wheels came into fashion and learn about early methods of fishing.

Historic Jamestowne and Jamestown Settlement Information

Address: 2218 Jamestown Rd., Williamsburg, VA

Phone: 757/253-4838, 888/593-4682

Hours of Operation: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., daily

Admission: $13.50 adult; $6.25 kids

To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:

  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
  • Washington, D.C. City Guide: Find out where to stay, what to do, and where to eat when you visit Washington, D.C.
  • Virginia State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in Virginia, as well as other recreational activities.
  • Scenic Drives: For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of th emost scenic drives throughout the country.


Laura Sutherland is a widely acknowledged authority on family travel and has published several books on the topic, including Best Family Ski Vacations in North America and Tropical Family Vacations.