James River Plantations

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Here's a suggested three-day itinerary for visiting James River plantations and other sites related to the Jamestown colony. For addresses, hours, fees and other information, see above.

DAY ONE: From Washington, take Interstate 95 two hours south to Richmond and visit Agecroft Hall and Virginia House. Check out Henricus Historical Park, a living-history museum depicting a second English settlement started by the colonists who established Jamestown. There is also a re-creation of a Powhatan Indian village.

DAY TWO: Drive about 10 miles south on I-95 to Route 10 east to visit plantations on the south side of the James River, including Smith's Fort, Chippokes Plantation, Flowerdew (originally Flowerdieu) Hundred, Bacon's Castle and Historic St. Luke's Church. Cross the James River on the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry, which is free and operated by the Virginia Department of Transportation. (You have to backtrack a little on Route 10 if you visit the church.) Ferry details:

DAY THREE: After visiting Historic Jamestowne and Jamestown Settlement, head north on Route 614 to Route 5 heading for Richmond to see plantations on the north shore of the James River. There are several sites along this route, including Berkeley, Evelynton, Shirley and Sherwood Forest.

ANTSY-CHILD ALERT: Touring plantations mostly involves leisurely walks through grand houses and gardens, and meditations on the people who lived there. But some plantations also hold reenactments and other lively events. At Chippokes Plantation State Park, for example, visitors may tour the Chippokes Farm & Forestry Museum to see how people first worked the land, but they can also observe the cultivation of peanuts and other crops on grounds that have been continuously farmed for 400 years. The park also offers canoe trips on the James River and the Lower Chippokes Creek to examine how the Native Americans in the Powhatan empire lived.

INFORMATION: Virginia Tourism, 800-VISIT VA (800-847-4882), For tickets to Jamestown anniversary events: 866-400-1607, -- F.K.

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