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Historic Triangle

America’s origins are yours to discover in the Historic Triangle. Get a feel for 17th-century life in Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in North America, and then head to Yorktown to see where the last major battle of the American Revolution was fought. You can even dine at George Washington’s favorite seafood joint in Williamsburg, the capital city during the American Revolution that’s now the largest living history museum in the country. Drive down the 23-mile Colonial Parkway to reach all three destinations and stop to explore lush forests and tidal estuaries along the way.

A floating replica of the Susan Constant, the sailing ship that brought English settlers to Jamestown 1607.

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The Birthplace of America

The Colonial National Historic Park is home to the two of the country’s most important historic sites: Jamestown and Yorktown. Settlers first landed on Jamestown Island in 1607 and it was here they established the New World’s first permanent English settlement. Today, the outpost is a fascinating living history museum that tells the story of the nation’s past. From costumed interpreters and replica ships to a re-created fort and Native American village, Jamestown will immerse you in a bygone world while shedding light on colonial history and indigenous culture.

Battle Against the British

Just a stone’s throw away on the York River is Yorktown. The final battle of the American Revolution took place here in 1781 and you can learn all about it by watching the “Siege at Yorktown” film at the National Park Service Visitor Center. The American Revolution Museum found on-site also showcases a variety of artifacts from the battle, including George Washington’s field tent.

Reel Fun

Don’t forget to pack your tackle box, because you’re bound to reel in something big in the many lakes, creeks and rivers here. Drop a line in Little Creek Reservoir for a chance to catch striped bass or head to the five fishing piers at Powhatan Creek Park to snag catfish, largemouth bass and spotted sea trout. Powhatan Creek is also a paddler’s paradise — rent a kayak and drift past tidal marshes while admiring sweeping views of historic Jamestown. If you want to really relax, board a pontoon boat and enjoy a scenic cruise on the James River with Jamestown Discovery Boat Tours.

A Journey Back in Time

Colonial Williamsburg invites you to follow in the footsteps of the Founding Fathers. This sprawling “city” is the biggest living history museum in the United States and is packed with more than 80 original colonial buildings and 90 acres of historic gardens. Step inside trade shops, taverns and homes and mingle with costumed interpreters who never break character. You can also explore the George Wythe House to see where Thomas Jefferson studied the arts and view an impressive collection of British and American antiques at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.

Mountain Trails and Golf Courses

The natural wonders of the Historic Triangle are best explored on two wheels. Take in serene forest and marshland scenery while pedaling down the Historic Jamestown Bike Trail or venture into Freedom Park to traverse 20 miles of mountain biking trails. The area is quickly becoming a popular golf destination, too, with over a dozen courses at your disposal. Many of the links have been designed by renowned architects like Arnold Palmer and Pete Dye and are set behind dramatic woodlands and rolling hills. Clubs you should consider teeing off at include the Golden Horseshoe, Kingsmill Resort and the Tradition Golf Club at Stonehouse.

Modern Day Thrills

The Historic Triangle is just as much for adrenaline junkies as it is for history buffs. Get your heart pumping on more than 40 slides at Water Country USA, the largest waterpark in the state. Race down the Colossal Curl mega-slide or Cutback Water Coaster if you’re feeling gutsy, or feel free to take it easy on the lazy river. If that’s not enough action, visit nearby Busch Gardens to ride exhilarating rollercoasters like the Loch Ness Monster and Finnegan’s Flyer.

A replica of a period cannon stands guard in the Jamestown Settlement.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Find Your Freedom

Festival season in Greater Williamsburg lasts from spring until the end of the year, which gives you plenty of time to celebrate everything from food to nature. On Jamestown Day during May, reenactors commemorate the founding of America’s first English colony with artillery firings and maritime programs at the Jamestown Settlement. See a replica of a 1600s vessel sail the James River.

Fresh Produce

In the fall, pick up fresh produce at Market Days, meet local artists during the Yorktown Art Stroll and guzzle down local brews at Busch Gardens’ Bier Fest. Want to do something different for Thanksgiving? Attend the Foods and Feasts of Colonial Virginia to eat the same dishes Revolution War soldiers did back in the day.

For More Information

Virginia Tourism Corporation Tourism

804-545-5500

www.virginia.org