Longstreet Highroad Guide to the Chesapeake Bay
By Deane Winegar
Every school child who has ever learned history by agonizing rote can appreciate the history-come-to-life world of Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown. The historic triangle, as the three towns are collectively called, is located on Virginia’s lower peninsula between Richmond and Virginia Beach.
The centerpiece is the meticulously restored village of Colonial Williamsburg, with its old streets, reconstructed public buildings, restored taverns, and quaint shops where candlemakers and glassblowers carry on old traditions. Williamsburg is connected by the 23-mile Colonial Parkway to Jamestown Island to the southwest and to Yorktown to the southeast. The scenic parkway is popular with bicyclists, though traffic can be hard to contend with on weekends and during peak season.
Jamestown, located on Jamestown Island in the James River, is the site of the first permanent English settlement—the beginning of the colonies. Yorktown, on the York River on the other side of Virginia’s Lower Peninsula, is the site of the last major battle of the Revolutionary War, which occurred 174 years after Jamestown was settled. The surrender of General Charles Cornwallis at Yorktown marked the end of colonialism and the beginning of America as a nation. To the north of Williamsburg is York River State Park. To the southeast are Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA.
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