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Virginia's Historic Colonial Parkway Road Trip

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29.7 miles: 1 hours, 6 minutes
Virginia’s scenic Colonial Parkway connects three important sites in early American history: Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown. The 23-mile parkway is free of commercial development, which means you’ll have unspoiled views of the rivers, marshes and forests of the Tidewater region. Redbuds and dogwoods decorate the roadway in spring, while fall brings an explosion of autumn colors.
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Jamestown to Williamsburg
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Your trip begins in Jamestown, the site of North America’s first permanent English colony. As you drive through the marshes and forests of Historic Jamestowne (fee required), you’ll get a feel for the environment that early settlers faced. The parkway follows the James River to Jamestown Settlement, where costumed guides recreate 17th-century life.
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Williamsburg to Yorktown
The parkway passes beneath Williamsburg via a tunnel, but you’ll want to stay above-ground to explore Colonial Williamsburg, which served as Virginia’s capital 1699-1780. Restored buildings in the historic district appear much like they did in the 1700s. Your last stop is Yorktown, where troops clashed during the deciding battle of the American Revolution in 1781.