The site of the first permanent English settlement in North America—the place from which our nation and its frenetic culture emerged—is a supremely peaceful, borderline silent marshy island. Ah, irony. That marshiness actually speaks to why Jamestown was avoided by Native Americans—it was an inhospitable swamp where food and drinking water were scarce. Now the area is just gently pretty and preserved. There are two parks for Jamestown; Historic Jamestowne is run by the National Park Service and is the better choice for those wanting a more cerebral experience. The bare remains of the foundations of the first settlement are plunked over the green, a small museum displays artifacts and gives insight into the many hardships, self-inflicted and otherwise, that the first colonists endured, and knowledgeable rangers answer any questions. (“No, John Smith and Pocahontas were never married.") A lovely hiking/biking/driving trail runs around the small island, if you need a natural escape. Jamestown is about 8 miles south of Williamsburg.
- Open Hours: Monday to Sunday from 08:30 AM to 05:00 PM
Attractions & Landmarks