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“Historic Jamestowne National Park”
Review of Jamestown Island

Jamestown Island
Ranked #722 of 2,377 things to do in Virginia
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Owner description: This island, where Pocahontas lived, offers many sights for the ecotourist.
Reviewed November 2, 2010

We wouldn't consider ourselves history buffs, but to visit the place where your country's civilization began is a nice thing. In actuality, the country had begun before "the English" arrived since it was inhabited by American Indians in various parts of the country, as it was here with the Powhatan.

We thought we would visit Historic Jamestown first and then go to Jamestown Settlement which was actually the 1st choice my husband had for his birthday trip, but when we arrived we took the left fork to begin our day at Historic Jamestowne instead. That's all we did. After a wonderful day of learning and beautiful weather to accompany us, my husband said, "I don't know of anything at Jamestown Settlement that would beat this. We've already had the real thing." So we skipped Jamestown Settlement which was more commercialized.

We got to see the archaeological digs and have one of the archaeologists explain the sites. Never having had any experience in archaeology, it was very enlightening and interesting. The visitor center was filled with displays and a film. They also built another museum to hold all the artifacts that have been unearthed. It was very interesting.

On the other end of the island is a drive through the wild areas of the island to see the native flora and fauna. We had forgotten about that before leaving so we missed doing it ... but that just means we shall return and do it next time since we only live 2-1/2 hours from it.

You can view my photo album of our visit at this link:

Here's a link to Virtual Jamestown: - a digital research, teaching and learning project that explores the legacies of the Jamestown settlement and "the Virginia experiment."

3  Thank TheNatureInUsdotcom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 1, 2010

My husband and I just got back from Williamsburg. We spent an entire day on the island and in the "settlement" just down the road. We loved it. This is hands down one of the best historical tours I've ever done. The original footings they dug up were getting destroyed by the elements so they covered them over and built replicas over the top. You would never know they weren't original. I got a real sense of history and awe walking the grounds where Pocahantas, John Smith, etc. walked. Not to mention the beautiful riverfront setting. We stayed until almost sundown just walking and reading the signs and plaques and when we looked around we realized we were surrounded by a herd of about 30 deer grazing peacefully and playing around us. A yearling even tried to follow one lady down the path. AWESOME!

2  Thank DiddioMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2009

The original Jamestowne Settlement is well worth seeing, a real bargain. Take the National Park 90 minute guided tour it will really excite your senses. The guide is fantastic!

1  Thank William B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2009

No, this is not the glitzier "settlement" nearby with lots of "recreated" buildings and demonstrations that attract the tour coaches and school buses.

This is the birthplace of the United States, where 100 adventurous men landed in 1607. Every American citizen should visit here.

This is the real thing.

You can stand on the ground where the settlers built their fort. You can gaze out at the channel and get a tiny inkling of what it might have been like to spend months on a ship, and arrive at this wild tree covered island 3,000 miles from home.

There is a visitors' center here that gives a good overview of the saga of Jamestown, then head outside and take the short level walk to the fort area.

Do not miss the museum on the grounds, called the Archaearium. It is outstanding. It brings to life some of the incredible hardships the people endured. There are thousands of artifacts on display, and several skeletons. Everything is well presented without being dry and boring.

Although the poles of the fort are made from local wood logs (the originals having long since rotted away), it is in the exact place of the original fort. The land has eroded over four cenuries, so where they tied their ships is now underwater. The seawall was built about 100 years ago to stop the erosion. There is an ongoing archeological dig, but it was covered when we were there in early March.

Also here is the only surviving 17th century structure in Jamestown - the church tower built about 1690. The church itself was built in 1907, but inside you can see the remains of the foundation of the original brick church from about 1630.

There is a cafe here that serves good food at fairly reasonable prices. We had a wheatberry chicken salad sandwich served on thick fresh bread, and a chicken wrap. Both were good, and we ate outside on the patio in the sun, looking at the water. Very pleasant.

Absolutely worth visiting, historic Jamestown should be on everybody's list to see.

8  Thank half-Brit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2008

This should be the first stop along with the Jamestown Settlement for those heading to Colonial Williamsburg. Spending one day here will set the stage for learning how and why this region was settled and later moved to CW. The staff is very helpful with sharing their knowledge and the archeological dig on site also comes with a guide full of pictures and stories of what has been learned and how. The area includes the remains of the fort, the outlines and some remains of the first town outside the fort, the actual roads used to travel through the town, the church and an interpretive museum.

5  Thank travelbob1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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