My ancestors got here after Colonial days, but all the same I enjoyed an afternoon in Colonial Williamsburg earlier this week while visiting family.
The park covers 301 acres with 88 original buildings plus other reconstructed ones. I hadn’t realized Colonial Williamsburg isn’t an enclosed park—rather, it’s a historic part of the city of Williamsburg, Va., with streets closed to cars but otherwise publicly accessible. You can walk around outside and enter shops and restaurants for free; a pass gets you into the park’s other buildings (except private homes and offices) and exhibits.
On our whirlwind trip, we visited the courthouse
… blacksmith shop
… and the magazine and guardhouse, carpenter’s shop and gaol (jail). Exhibit hours vary, and special programs happen daily at different times and places, so if you’re planning a visit, check the online calendar.
You can see our ancestors’ world at living history centers around the country, such as Old World Wisconsin, Ohio Village, Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in New York City.
Find more museums here or run a Google search on “living history” and the city, county or state you’re interested in.