After leaving Williamsburg, we decided to make a stop at the Norfolk Botanical Garden and make use of the Reciprocal Admission Program. This is a huge garden that even has a river and offers boat tours as another way to experience the landscape. We decided to take the tram around the garden to get an overview everything they have to offer. The botanical garden is home to approximately 250 Crapemyrtle Trees, which is the official tree of Norfolk. They also have a rose garden made up of over 3000 rose plants (which you will see on this week’s Wordless Wednesday). For more information about the gardens, visit NorfolkBotanicalGarden.org.
Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to come back next week as we arrive in the Outer Banks and visit the Wright Brother’s Memorial. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit GuidedPhoto.com.
After our morning at Yorktown, we made our way to Historic Jamestowne. When looking to visit Jamestown, you have two choices, Historic Jamestowne and Jamestown Settlement. At Jamestown Settlement, you will see costumed re-enactors and get to experience how the first American colonists lived. We chose instead to visit Historic Jamestowne which is run by the National Park Service and is the actual site of the Jamestowne Colony. We got there just in time for the archaeology tour and I was glad we made it. The tour was led by a Jamestowne archaeologist and she took us through recent archaeological discoveries that were made right where we were standing. I was surprised to learn how much is still being learned about these people that lived over 400 years ago. Honestly, some of their discoveries are shocking and I don’t want to spoil it for you if any of you are planning on visiting Jamestowne. If I’ve piqued your interests, you can read about their finds on the Historic Jamestowne website.
This was the highlight of the trip for me and I would recommend that everyone should visit, especially if you are an American History buff. The photo above is a recreation of the original Jamestowne fort. They didn’t just look at drawings of the fort to put this together, they actually figured out where the posts used to be by looking at the color of the soil. That is some attention to detail!
I believe this will be my last post about our time in Williamsburg so I want to talk about the campground. We stayed at Chickahominy Riverfront Park which had tent sites right on the Chickahony River. This must not be a popular spot to tent camp during the week because everyone around us left on Sunday and we had the place to ourselves Sunday night. The park is a little drive from the Williamsburg sites, but I enjoyed our time there. They have a fishing pier, boat ramp, and a pool which is nice way to cool down in the Virginia summer. It was a peaceful place and I would definitely camp there again. For more information about the campground, visit JamesCityCountyVA.gov
Just outside of Williamsburg, on the Colonial Parkway, lies the Yorktown Battlefield. In 1781, The Americans and their French allies surrounded the British by land and sea. The British were significantly outnumbered and after three weeks of battle, General Cornwalis surrendered to General Washington. The Battle of Yorktown marked a major win for the colonists in the American Revolution and was the last of the major battles of the war. The Moore House, above, was where the two sides met to negotiate the terms of surrender. During the surrender, General Washington refused to grant the British the traditional honors of war (marching out with flags flying, bayonets fixed, and bands playing) because a year before the British had denied the Americans the same after the battle of Charleston.
Now that you’ve had your daily dose of American History, lets talk about visiting Yorktown. When you arrive at the visitor center, they tell you about Ranger-led programs, a video you can watch, and other ways you can explore the battlefield and learn about the history. We made the mistake of doing all of it. That may sound bad, but between the video, the costumed reenactor, and the driving tour I felt like I had heard the story a million times. I really appreciated the costumed reenactor (I believe he was Thomas Nelson, the Governor of Virginia after Thomas Jefferson returned to Monticello) and I feel like I got the most out of that. The driving tour is nice if you want to actually see the sites, but, unless you have a love of cheesy acting, I would skip the movie.
Don’t miss next week’s post where I take you to Jamestowne! Thanks for stopping by! To plan your visit to Yorktown, visit the National Park Service. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page.
Our first night of the trip, we stayed at Laurel Hill State Park in Pennsylvania. We got in late and had to set up camp in the pouring rain. We had a lot of driving to do so we left before we really got to explore the park, but what I saw I liked and I would like to visit there again when I had more time to relax and explore the nature of Pennsylvania’s highlands.
Anyway, from the park it was a twisty-turny road through rural Appalachia. We made our first stop along the way at the C&O Canal Visitor’s Center (left) so Chris could get his first National Park passport stamp of the trip. The Chesapeake & Ohio Canal is a 184.5 river system that was designed to connect the east coast and the Great Lakes. The towpath trail is a popular biking spot that runs from Cumberland, Maryland to DC.
After exploring the canal trail a bit we continued south and made our next stop in Fredricksburg, Virginia. We visited some of the sites at the Fredricksburg Battlefield (above) and the Fredricksburg Cemetery. Fredricksburg was a Civil War battle that ended in a Confederate victory and over 12,000 Union casualties. This was the first Civil War Battlefield I had visited and it was hard to reconcile the history and the tragedy with the beautiful scenery that has sprung up in over 100 years since the bloody battle.
It was a short drive from Fredricksburg to Williamsburg where we set up camp for the next two nights. More on that next week. Thanks for stopping by! For more information on the C&O Canal and Fredricksburg, visit the National Park Service. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram, and Flickr! To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page.