On a beautiful Wednesday in October Joel and I decided to head to the Jamestown Settlement (Virginia) which is right around the Williamsburg Historic area. We had based the timing of the trip on knowing that a huge portion of the museum is outside and the weather needed to be perfect. It was 70 degrees and sunny so we had a great day.
Before we went I jumped online for ticket information and was so glad I did!
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Jamestown Settlement Virginia Ticket Prices
There are several ticket pricing models that are cheaper to purchase online so be sure to check this out BEFORE you go. There are single tickets to the Jamestown Settlement and also combination tickets that includes the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown and other historic areas.
WHAT WE GOT: Web-only Special: American Heritage Annual Pass Offer for Virginia Residents is $23 for adults and $12 for youth. Virginia residents and Commonwealth of Virginia employees can buy the American Heritage Annual Pass online for the cost of a single-day ticket, a savings of more than 40%. Now we can go back as many times as we like.
A Single Day Ticket to Jamestown is $17 for adults and $8 for youth. The American Revolution Museum is $12 for adults and $7 for youth. The combination ticket is $23 for adults and $12 for youth.
The Web-only Special Ticket is $23 for adults and $12 for youth. This gives you seven days of unlimited visits to both museums.
America’s Historic Triangle Ticket ($91/42.50) offers seven consecutive days of unlimited admission to Jamestown Settlement, Historic Jamestowne, Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown Battlefield and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown.
And you can click here to see ALL the options- there are quite a few.
When You Arrive at the Jamestown Virginia Settlement
First thing head in and check out the introductory film “1607: A Nation Takes Route.” This will give a nice overview if you are not familiar with the history.
After that you have two options of how to begin your visit. You can head outside to the recreations or stay inside and go through the exhibition galleries. We chose to stay inside and do the galleries. We thought learning the history first might be helpful before we went outside and saw things with less guidance.
Upstairs in the smaller gallery is a special exhibit “Pocahontas Imagined.” It’s a look at who Pocahontas was, her life/death and the impact she has had on American culture. The exhibit is great because it separates the myth from the actual information (there are many Disney pictures). She has been in cartoons, on postage stamps and used to sell everything from toilet bowl cleaner to make up. This exhibit runs through January 2018.
Yes we were supposed to get in the canoe and take pictures.
Downstairs are the Exhibition Galleries. They took about 80 minutes to go through and we were pretty thorough. These appear to be permanent and are VERY detailed and interesting.
Statue of Chief Powhatan.
The galleries begin in 1607 with what life was like for the Native Americans before settlers arrived.
A giant partial ship inside to show you what life was like on the voyage.
There are many artifacts in the exhibit so the light is kept VERY low and opportunities for pictures are limited. The information was FASCINATING. My favorite was a full scale British street complete with homes and shops. It was to demonstrate what life was like in England in 1607 as the settlers were leaving.
Pocahontas (though at this point she had been baptized as “Rebecca”), John Rolfe and their son.
The Virginia Company was the original business that invested in Virginia. This room is full of their investors and the history of how investing in the New World works.
The galleries end when the capital of Virginia is moved from Jamestown to Williamsburg. There are hundreds of artifacts, movies you can watch, pictures you can view and tons of structures you can walk through and explore.
We decided to eat lunch before we went down to the outdoor areas. I had read online that the cafeteria was pretty expansive and I was not disappointed. They had gluten- free and vegetarian menus as well as tons of healthy options such as pre-made salads and wraps. They have breakfast foods and a huge pizza menu as well!
Powhatan Indian Village
After you leave the galleries the first place we came across was the Powhatan Indian Village. There were a few paid people outside to guide you through some of it but you just walked at your own pace. I wished we had a guide to give us an idea of what each building was. We were there on a Wednesday during off season- I assume on a Saturday morning probably more people were available.
Guide skinning a squirrel.
The Indians lived inside reed-covered houses and there were plenty you could look around. They even smelled of smoke inside. You could touch and try pretty much anything you wanted. Some were incredibly elaborate.
The 1607 Ships
The settlers were brought by the Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery. Tucked in the back of the Jamestown Settlement are full scale replicas of these ships in the water. You can use your hands and your eyes pretty much all over the ships.
They are on the water and it’s AMAZING how still all three of them feel. Until I got to the smallest I barely felt them moving.
People were tucked into beds in every corner of the ship. I can’t imagine having my bed right next to a cannon.
Due to the fact that the settlers were attacked by the Powhatan Indians it was necessary to build a fort fairly quickly upon arrival. At the Jamestown Settlement you can get an idea of what that would have looked like at the James Fort. Inside the triangular wooden palisade of the re-created 1610-14 fort are wattle-and-daub structures topped with thatch roofs depicting dwellings, as well as an Anglican church, a court of guard, a storehouse, a cape merchant’s office and a governor’s house.
Joel had many important things to say. Or so he thought.
This is the most fantastic picture of the day. One of the re-enactors fires off the muskets often. It was a bit louder than I had anticipated.
I had a REALLY good time. I am glad we got the season pass because I know there were things we missed due to their not being a ton of employees wandering around to ask questions. I would like to go back and do all the outside activities again.
Another reason I had thought to get the pass was maybe to take the oldest of the kids (age 7). NOT A CHANCE. Unless he happened to be a huge history buff he would have been bored out of his mind. In my opinion this is for middle school and up. But for the history nerd in me I thought it was a FANTASTIC day out!