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Learn about the Historic Triangle of Virginia by reading Historic Triangle of Williamsburg/Jamestown/Yorktown by Charlie Spence, IFA Member and Aviation Writer. It features a mini, but thorough tour of the destination, plus all you'll need to know to plan your trip including getting there, objective information on places to stay and eat, and things to do. At the end of the article, we've provided a summary of the contact information for your easy reference. Enjoy!

Historic Triangle of Williamsburg/Jamestown/

by Charlie Spence, Aviation Writer and IFA Member

At Jamestown, where America began, visit the three ships
that brought the first settlers to the new world
Photo: Copyright Jamestown/Yorktown Foundation

Your airplane is a time machine when you land at the Williamsburg/Jamestown Airport in Virginia, but instead of whisking you into the future, you're transported back to Colonial days. This is the airman's entrance to the historic triangle of Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown.

Take a carriage ride on Duke of Gloucester Street in old Colonial Williamsburg
Photos Courtesy of Virginia Tourist Corporation

So much history fills this area that it is difficult to decide where to start, so take it in chronological order, going first to where it all began'Jamestown. In 1607, Captain John Smith and 103 other English persons stepped ashore and began to build the first permanent English colony in America. As you enter this area you step back in time to the 17th century. Suddenly you are experiencing the culture of Pocahontas in the Powhatan Indian village. In this re-created village, explore Powhatan life before arrival of the English, climb into a dugout canoe, and try your hand at grinding corn or weaving plant fibers into rope.

Go aboard replicas of Susan Constant, Godspeed, or Discovery that the settlers sailed on the four-month journey. Enter James Fort to try on armor and watch a musket-firing demonstration. See the remains of a glass-blowing factory, the reason why the English came to America.' Glass was just developed and the English feared there was not enough sand locally to produce enough glass to fill the demands, so they sent a group to the New World to make the product.

Just eight miles away you leap in time to the eve of the American Revolution when you enter Colonial Williamsburg and mingle with hundreds of people representing citizens of the town as it was in the 18th Century. In this 173-acre community, you will see more than 500 reconstructed buildings and meet the people of the town, dressed, working, and living just as the original residents did. Step into their taverns. See them stoke the fire outside a tenant house or judge the accused in the courts. Join in as they discuss British taxes, religious freedom and the alarming notion of separation from Britain. As you enter the Capitol, listen attentively and you might believe you hear the voices of Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, or maybe Patrick Henry issuing his challenge of 'Give me liberty or give me death.'

Fife and drum corps march toward the reconstructed building where
Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry debated.
Photos Courtesy of Virginia Tourist Corporation

The third point of the triangle reveals the drama of the birth of a nation where the American Revolution ended with the surrender of General Cornwallis to General George Washington at Yorktown. Tour the battlefield'just a short walk from the museum'and immerse yourself in the life of a Continental soldier - the encampment, the medical techniques, the camp cooking, and musket firing. In the Yorktown Victory Center, galleries, films, and personal presentations make the Revolution live again for you'and you're a part of it.

If all this immersion in history gets too much for the children, or adults, just three miles away from Williamsburg is Busch Gardens, the Old Country. For nine consecutive years this park has been voted 'America's most beautiful theme park.' Old Country sections feature places of Europe like the French Village, Rhinefield, Germany and the Rhine River Cruise. There are dozens of rides.' If you have the nerve, go on the 'Alpengeist,' the world's tallest most twisted roller coaster. I Fly America members can obtain special discount coupons to Busch Gardens to make your visit even more enjoyable (


How to Get There:

Williamsburg/Jamestown Airport (JGG) is a privately owned, public use airport. You'll find it 12 miles out on the 188-degree radial of the Harcum VOR. Try to arrive in clear weather to get a good panoramic view of the area, but if Mother Nature doesn't cooperate, there are VOR and GPS approaches. Corporate and charter flights are charged a landing fee, personal aircraft are not. Parking fees, however, are charged: Single, $8 overnight; light twins $12. If you are not staying over night, the rates are cut in half. Taxis, limos, and rental cars are available.

Where to Stay:

Accommodations abound in the area. Rates vary with the seasons. A few typical places include:

  • Ramada Inn $41 to $129
  • Radisson Fort Magruder $59 to $835
  • Embassy Suites $79 to $209
  • Williamsburg Inn $200 to $999.99
  • Quality Inn $41 to $139.95

For a wide choice of locations, prices, and for reservations, you may contact the Williamsburg Hotel and Motel Association, which represents more than 70 places, toll free at 1-800-999-4485. Also, IFA has negotiated discounted rates for their members at some of these hotels. You may also book your accommodations and rental car at IFA's Online Travel Booking Service. Deep discounts may be available.

Where to Eat:

Meals can be anything from today's fast food to colonial dining. Four historic taverns welcome you in the historic area of Williamsburg with names like King's Arms, and Shields where the wait staffs, in 18th century dress, serves traditional menus. If you prefer a modern bill of fare, there are 11 other restaurants in or near the historic area where you can get Chesapeake Bay favorites or a choice of cuisines from around the world.

Notice: This information is current as of April 2002. It is recommended that you contact the numbers, and/or visit the websites above to determine any changes to the information.

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