How else can you explain that millions of Americans languish under the falsehood that the first colonists settled at Plymouth, Massachusetts?
Truth is, Jamestown Virginia-- not Plymouth-- was the location of the first permanent English settlement in America (in 1607). In fact, they had a 13-year jump on those pesky Pilgrims.
Want to learn the true scoop of the history of Jamestown? Here's a link to an excellent, 8-minute video that tells about the founding of the colony. Watch the video, then come back to plan your tour. Be sure to look for three ships in the harbor: those are the recreated ships you can see on the Jamestown Settlement tour!
The Susan Constant at Jamestown Settlement.
Photo © 2009-2012 Sean Terretta
If you're done watching the video, let's move on to the really important part...planning your visit. We'll show you everything you need to know...
For example, check out this YouTube video on the truth behind Pocahontas (it's NOT what you think, and it's a far cry from the Disney version!).
Maybe it’s just us, but for some time we were really confused by this attraction. After all, there’s Historic Jamestowne, and then there’s Jamestown Settlement. “What’s the difference?” we wondered.
Here's the scoop...
Photo © 2009-12 Sean Terretta
Run by the National Parks Service, this attraction is located on the original location of the colony.
It may be best for those who…
Photo © 2009-12 Sean Terretta
Right next door, but more visual and hands-on than its historic neighbor, The Settlement gives you the "living history" perspective of the colony.
Talk to costumed guides in a replica of a Powhatan Indian village. Defend a replica of the fort from attackers. Climb on a replica of one of the ships that brought the colonists to the New World.
Want to try your hand an being a successful colonist, while learning more about Jamestown? Click here for the "Jamestown Adventure" Free Online Game.
For example, did you know that if you buy a ticket to Historic Jamestowne you can get into Yorktown Battlefield for free, and vice versa?
If you're like most people, your visit to Jamestown Virginia will include a visit to one or more of the other local sights. Want to know how to visit Colonial Williamsburg, Busch Gardens, Great Wolf Lodge, Water Country USA, and other local attractions for less?
Click here for links to discount tickets for Busch Gardens Williamsburg and other local sights.
Staying near Williamsburg? Here's the best things to do, plus how to save on food and hotels.
And here are some of the best campgrounds near Jamestown and Williamsburg.
Jamestown Virginia is one point on the "Historic Triangle" it forms with Williamsburg and Yorktown. Just a ten-mile drive along the scenic Colonial Parkway from Williamsburg, it's also a short drive (depending on the traffic...about 23 miles) from Yorktown.
Keep in mind that at the height of the summer season, it can be slow (not slow by Los Angeles standards, but slow for Virginia). For round the clock traffic conditions, go to http://www.511virginia.org.
So why not take advantage of the free Historic Triangle Shuttle bus?
The Historic Triangle Shuttle provides service between Jamestown, Yorktown, and the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center. The service is available every 30 minutes between 9:00 a.m and 3:30 p.m. from April 1 to October 31. Riders can listen to an audio program describing the area’s natural and cultural history. Service is free of charge for ticket holders to any Historic Triangle attraction.
Jamestown Virginia Directions
Jamestown Virginia is located about a 30-minute drive west from Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport, about 1-1/4 hour west of Norfolk International Airport, and about 60 minutes east of Richmond International Airport.
Both attractions are located adjacent to each other in Jamestown, right at the foot of the James River, and just before you get to the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry.
Jamestown is just a short drive from (I-64). If you're coming from Richmond on I-64, head east and take Exit 234 (Lightfoot). Make a right turn onto Route 199 and follow it for 8 miles, then turn right at the second stop light onto Jamestown Road (Route 31). Go about 4 miles south on Jamestown Road.
For the Settlement, turn left at the Jamestown Settlement sign, onto Route 359. You'll be making a right into the museum parking lot. There is no charge for parking.
For Historic Jamestowne, follow the signs to make a left just before you get to the Settlement. Follow the signs for a 1/2 mile or so (passing the Glass House on your right) and make a right into the parking lot. Parking is free here too.
If you're traveling from the Virginia Beach/Norfolk/Hampton area, head west on I-64 and then take Exit 242A. Follow Route 199 for five miles, then make a left at the fourth stop light onto Jamestown Road. Then go 4 miles south until you see the signs for the Settlement and Historic Jamestowne.
Jamestown Settlement address: 2218 Jamestown Rd, Williamsburg. Jamestown Settlement phone number: (757) 253-4838. Jamestown Settlement GPS coordinates: 37.225069,-76.786218
Historic Jamestowne address: 1365 Colonial Pkwy, Williamsburg. Historic Jamestowne phone number: (757) 229-9776.