• Virginia Area

    Busch Gardens Williamsburg

    A 383 acre theme park that opened in May 1975 and is themed around old-world Europe. In addition, Busch Gardens is widely known for its collection of roller coasters, highlighted mostly by Apollo's Chariot, which won #4 best steel coaster in 2012.


    Colonial Williamsburg

    From 1699 to 1780, Williamsburg was the capital of England's oldest, richest and most populous mainland North American colony and the seat of power in the new nation's most influential state. Named in honor of William III, King of England, and designed by Royal Gov. Francis Nicholson, Williamsburg is one of the country's oldest planned communities. Encompassing 301 acres, Colonial Williamsburg'\'s Historic Area re-creates 18th-century Williamsburg as it appeared preceding and during the American Revolution. Throughout the city, sights, sounds, and activities help guests reconnect with America's past and become active participants in 18th-century life. The Historic Area is protected from modern intrusions by a 2,800-acre greenbelt. No vehicles are allowed in the Historic Area. Sites within the area are easily walkable. Important Historic Area sites include:

    Governor's Palace

    * Governor's Palace - The symbol of British authority in the colony.

    * The Capitol - The seat of colonial power and site of Virginia's vote for independence on May 15, 1776.

    * The Peyton Randolph site - An "urban plantation."

    * Raleigh Tavern - Where Virginia patriots met to discuss independence in open defiance of the crown.

    * George Wythe House - Home of Thomas Jefferson's teacher and friend.

    * James Geddy House and Foundry - Site of a family's pewter and brass founding business.

    * DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum - The award-winning DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum houses the Foundation's renowned collection of British and American decorative arts dating from 1600 through 1830. These include the world's largest collection of Virginia furniture; one of the largest collections of southern, British, and American furniture; and the largest collection of English pottery outside England. Masterworks and period pieces acquired for Colonial Williamsburg's Historic Area exhibition buildings bolster the museum's holdings in furniture, metals, ceramics, glass, paintings, prints, maps, and textiles. The Wallace Museum, opened in 1985, features 15 galleries in 27,500 square feet of exhibition space as well as an auditorium, and a cafe. The museum is open daily; hours of operation vary seasonally.

    Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum

    * Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum - The award-winning Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum--the oldest institution in the US dedicated solely to the collection and preservation of American folk art - features paintings, whirligigs, weather vanes, carvings, toys, embroideries and other folk works representing many diverse cultural traditions and geographic regions. John D. Rockefeller Jr. established the museum in 1957 in honor of his wife Abby and her love of folk art. Mrs. Rockefeller gave the core collection of 424 objects to The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in 1939. Today, the collection includes items dating from the 1720s to the present. Currently closed, the folk art museum re-opens in early 2007 in new, expanded quarters adjacent to the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum with 11 galleries in 10,400 square feet of exhibition space. The museum is open daily; hours of operation vary seasonally.

    * The Public Hospital of 1773 - In addition to serving as the entrance to the Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, the Public Hospital of 1773 provides exhibits that document the treatment of mental illness in Virginia. The exhibition details the theory and practice of the treatments and doctor-patient relationships that were common in the 18th and 19th centuries.

    * Bassett Hall - The former home of John D. Rockefeller Jr. and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller is a part of the story of the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg. The house looks much as it did in the 1930s and '40s when the Rockefellers restored and furnished it to be a comfortable family home. Bassett Hall reflects both its 18th-century heritage and the neighborly comfort that was part of the Rockefeller's 20th-century life in Williamsburg.



    Mount Vernon

    Mount Vernon, located near Alexandria, VA, was the plantation home of George Washington, the first President of the US. The mansion is built of wood in neoclassical Georgian architectural style, and is located on the banks of the Potomac River. Mount Vernon is open every day of the year.

    Mount Vernon consists of 500 acres with the main buildings, including the house, located near the riverfront. The main house was once the hub of all the activity. The house has two stories with a hipped roof with dormers. Two large chimneys pierce the roof at either end and a cupola rests in the center of the house, and is topped with a dome and a spire with a gilded dove of peace. The house was built in phases, as the off-center main door makes evident. The structure once contained the northern portion of the house until it was expanded several times in its history. The house is framed by two covered walkways leading to servants hall on the left and the kitchen to the right. A circular courtyard completes the grand appearance of the house.

    Gardens were planted in 1786 by George Washington and now crowd the entry path. The main homestead area is skirted by a carriage road with a large bowling green located in the center. To each side of the green is a garden, contained by a red brick wall. These Colonial Revival gardens grew the household's vegetables, fruit and other perishable items for consumption. The upper garden, located to the north, is bordered by the greenhouse. The Botanical Garden; the Museum, dedicated to the life and death of George Washington is on the grounds and contains George Washington's survey equipment, weapons, and clothing, as well as dentures worn by the first President; ice house; overseers quarters; spinning room; salt house and gardener's house are between the garden and the house. The lower garden, or southern garden, is skirted by the storehouse and clerk's quarters, smokehouse, wash house, laundry yard, and coach house. A paddock and stable are on the southern border of the garden. The old tomb is located along the river, while the new tomb, containing George and Martha Washington, is located near the fruit garden with the slave burial ground just off this path. A Forest Trail runs along the property, and a George Washington: Pioneer Farmer site, a 4-acre working farm that includes a re-creation of Washington's 16-sided treading barn.

    On March 30, 2007, Washington's Mount Vernon estate officially opened a reconstruction of George Washington's distillery. This fully functional replica received special legislation from the Virginia General Assembly to produce up to 5,000 USgal of whiskey annually, for sale only at the Mount Vernon gift shop. The construction of this operational distillery is located on the exact site of Washington's original distillery, a short distance from his mansion on the Potomac River. Each year on Christmas Day, "Aladdin the Christmas Camel" recreates Washington's 1787 hiring of a camel for 18 shillings to entertain his guests with an example of the mount that brought the Three Wise Men to Bethlehem to visit the newborn baby Jesus. In October 2006, two new buildings were opened as venues for additional background on George Washington and the American Revolution.