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Flying into Raleigh Durham to visit Colonial Williamsburg

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Houston, Texas
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Flying into Raleigh Durham to visit Colonial Williamsburg

Got super cheap tickets to fly into Raleigh Durham instead of Virginia to visit Colonial Williamsburg. Second guessing my decision to do so. We are arriving July 25 and leaving July 30. Trying to decide whether to spend first night in Raleigh/Durham to break up trip. If so, any suggestions on places to visit in the area. Also, when leaving Raleigh Durham what route should we take?. I am hoping to visit on this trip: Plantations, Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown and perhaps Yorktown. Any particular sequence that makes sense given route we will need to take? Also considering staying at Great Wolf Lodge one night to ease the history lessons on a 12 year old boy. Would think this might be a better option on tail end of trip given it might be less crowded during weekday.

Indianapolis
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1. Re: Flying into Raleigh Durham to visit Colonial Williamsburg

The most direct route would be to take US 64E to I-95 N to VA-40 to the Colonial Trail. You will have to take the VA-31 car ferry on this route. This will allow you to visit Smiths Fort Plantation in Surry,VA. After that the logical or at least geographical order would be Jamestown, Williamsburg, and then Yorktown. A couple of place I would suggest in Raleigh, even though they are also kind of educational, would be the North Carolina Museum of History and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Both offer free entry with paid parking.

Williamsburg...
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2. Re: Flying into Raleigh Durham to visit Colonial Williamsburg

Nawlins, what is Colonial Trail? Did you mean Colonial Parkway? Your suggested route would be the scenic route. LindaReevesTx, if you do take I-95 North, use caution around Emporia, VA. The speed limits are vigorously enforced in that area.

When do you land at RDU? If it's late, definitely stay over and start fresh in the morning. If you come up via I-95, you could take the John Tyler Highway (VA 5) from Richmond and stop for a plantation or two, or do the reverse when you're leaving for RDU.

For your visit, I'd suggest making Williamsburg your focus, with a visit to one or both Jamestown sites, and Yorktown, as your time allowed. Instead of Great Wolf, consider a Bounce pass that would allow visits to Colonial Williamsburg, Busch Gardens, and Water Country USA. The Bounce includes parking at BG and WCUSA (parking is always free at the CW Visitors Center), and you could go to WCUSA when it's hot in the afternoon/evening, and spend the earlier part of the day at CW. BG has Illuminights every evening, culminating in a 10-minute fireworks show at 9:30 daily, weather permitting.

Houston, Texas
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3. Re: Flying into Raleigh Durham to visit Colonial Williamsburg

Thank you so much for your help. I will look into all your suggestions.

Ruckersville...
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4. Re: Flying into Raleigh Durham to visit Colonial Williamsburg

Suggest that you look at taking I-85 north from Raleigh-Durham International to its junction with I-95 north in Petersburg, Va, Then travel I-95 north to I-64 east in Richmond and then travel east on I-64 to Williamsburg. It is approx. 204 miles from RDU to the eenter of Williamsburg and will take about 3 1/2 hours via this route.

Zoey gave you a good suggestion about Rt 5. This route will take you past Berkley Plantation and Shirley Plantation. It will also take you close to two Civil War BAttlefields ( Fort Harrison and Malvern Hill) The easiest way to get tp Route 5 is to take the Sr 895 exit, Pocohantas Pkwy( tollroad), to South Laburnum Ave ( nest exit after toll plaza) then turn Right at next stoplight onto New Marker road which is route 5. Please check these routes with your favorite resource Ie Yahoo, mapquest, ect. I would not take route 5 at night it is two lanes and poorly lit in alot of places. Hope that this info helps.

Edited: 8:59 am, July 11, 2013
Houston, Texas
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5. Re: Flying into Raleigh Durham to visit Colonial Williamsburg

Any restaurants you would suggest along this route 5? I am thinking this will be the way to go. Thank you all so much for your help.

Ruckersville...
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6. Re: Flying into Raleigh Durham to visit Colonial Williamsburg

There are not alot of dinning options along RT 5, its basically rural. Not far from where you turn onto RT 5 there is a Food Lion Grocery store that has a deli. The shopping center also has a Chinese Restaurant. There is a convinence store across from this that sells some food/ Farther dowd the road there is an Exxon gas station with a Dairy Queen Check the Restaurants section of trip adsisor for Charles City, Virginia, you will be passing the Charles City Tavern and comming close to a couple of other restaurants, For your best dinning options , I would Stop at Chester, Virginia ( check trip advisor) there are alot of Restaurnats very close to I-95.

Williamsburg...
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7. Re: Flying into Raleigh Durham to visit Colonial Williamsburg

Charles City Tavern would be a good choice on Route 5 - http://www.charlescitytavern.com/

La Plata, Maryland
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8. Re: Flying into Raleigh Durham to visit Colonial Williamsburg

I wish the State would add a second ferryboat on the Surry-Jamestown route. The last time we rode the ferry, we watched two round-trip crossings go by as we slowly advanced ahead in line, before we finally got on the third crossing. But, at least it's scenic, and free of charge - and you can try to imagine you're Captain John Smith in 1607 arriving there from England.

Edited: 10:49 pm, July 12, 2013
Williamsburg...
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9. Re: Flying into Raleigh Durham to visit Colonial Williamsburg

There are four ferries in the fleet; usually two are running at any one time. So what MarylandMist experienced isn't the norm.

north carolina
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10. Re: Flying into Raleigh Durham to visit Colonial Williamsburg

I live just outside of Raleigh and we've traveled to Williamsburg many times. I would decide whether to stay in Raleigh on that first night based on your time of arrival. It will take you about 3 1/2 hours to get to Williamsburg. I would only stay if you are arriving late, but not to see the Raleigh sights. You will easily fill your 4+ days in Williamsburg.

I recommend taking 64E to 95N to 295N. Getting onto Rte. 85 will either take you a bit out of your way, or take you on roads with traffic and stop lights (if you go via Rte. 1), and there's not much for services on Rte. 85. Also, when you get to Richmond, you may want to avoid the city by staying on the south and east sides, especially if there is any rush hour traffic. If you take the route I suggested, it will be highway driving until you get off for Rte. 5 in VA, there will be food and gas available, especially around Roanoke Rapids/Weldon and Emporia (and yes, be mindful of the speed limit!), and you will avoid going through Richmond.

Just from the perspective of the 12 year old, I would consider visiting the plantations on the way in to Williamsburg, and maybe adding Busch Gardens later in the trip. I know with my 3 kids, saving what they consider the "most exciting" for the end really helps their perspective at the earlier sites. They are just more attentive. I second the idea of splitting your days in different attractions.