Our research has told us about Colonial Williamsburg (CW) so we duly set off one day to the CW visitors centre, having first briefly driven around CW itself. Free parking, visitors centre and then as part of your ticket, free transportation into the heart of CW. CW is like a town within a town - a large area of old houses/buildings preserved as a kind of urban theme park.
The thing is, as we were in the queue waiting to pay, we got to listen to several repeats of a recorded message explaining what the various tickets included. It was at this point that I just had a suspicion I was about to make a big and expensive mistake. So, to my wife's annoyance we put the ticket purchase on hold, got back into the car and drove to downtown CW and parked in one of the free short stay car parks.
And I was right. There are no gates, boundaries, turnstiles etc to CW and you can come and go as you please. You can visit the shops and I think also eat in the restaurants. I'm not sure you can interact with 'cast members' and certainly cannot take any of the guided tours without displaying your badge but we enough get a feel of the place and to make us realise that we had saved ourselves a lot of money.
If you like your history and want to do the place in minute detail then fine, but with cheap parking available once you're free time has expired, I would really recommend checking out CW before you buy. We were done by lunchtime and felt we had seen enough.
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