Destination: Williamsburg, a magical history tour

For those who love travel, 2020 is painful. It seems that for the next year the only vacation options may be domestic ones. Fortunately choices abound even if it means revisiting old haunts. Williamsburg is at the top of our family vacation list and it’s worth considering for families, couples or individuals.

I’d visited Williamsburg many times as a kid, then as a young adult when attending college in Virginia. I returned with my young children when a last minute trip to Istanbul was cancelled due to terrorism. We were a little shattered at the change of plans, and none of us really wanted to be anywhere else, yet the staff brought us out of our funk. It’s something I’ve always loved about the historic area: the staff is on par with Disney when it comes to customer service.

Merging history with 2020

Staff at Colonial Williamsburg will be wearing masks (photo from CW website)

The pandemic means changes are in place, including a mask requirement for visitors and staff. Many staff portray real people from the late 1700s and have always been spot on with historic accuracy, so I’m curious to know how they plan to incorporate the mask in conversation. The epidemic of 1793 was our nation’s first major health crisis, and perhaps that will be their narrative. Blending historic events into present day circumstances is what Williamsburg does best.

The Colonial Williamsburg website sells masks (or they are available on property) plus their costume department posted a mask tutorial for anyone adept with sewing.

A Magical History Tour

Last year I wrote about our vacation for a family travel website:

While much of the article is still pertinent I suspect a lot has changed. Interactive activities are still available through reservations but it may no longer be possible to happen upon activities like helping to spin wool. Dining is now a challenge as most restaurants are temporarily closed. Several still offer grab and go service or outdoor dining, but eating well before arriving is probably a safe move. The Woodland Hotel has always had an incredible continental breakfast, but it’s likely that has also been adapted for safety.

Visiting Jamestown is still possible now while wearing a mask

Nearby Jamestown and Yorktown are still open to (masked) visitors. Glassblowing demonstrations are still underway with a smaller capacity. This has been a highlight for every visit.

With so many activities outdoors and not many opportunities for crowding, it seems a fantastic way to have a family vacation, enjoy a change of scenery, and maybe even learn something in the process.


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