- Type: Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing
- Time to Spend: Half Day to Full Day
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You've probably heard the legends of the settlers that first arrived in the spring of 1607; of Captain John Smith's leadership; of Pocahontas' role in smoothing relations between the settlers and the Powhatan Confederacy. All these historical stories are on display in living museums, exhibits and monuments clustered around a parcel of land loosely known as "Jamestown."
Despite its colloquial associations, this area is technically comprised of several historic areas. First up: Historic Jamestowne, the actual archaeological site on Jamestown Island where the original 1607 settlers were based. Next door is the Jamestown Settlement, a re-enactment museum with replicas of the settlers' ships, plus life-size models of their homes and the villages of the area's American Indians. And adjacent to that: Yorktown Victory Center, another open-air living museum that chronicles the British troops surrender to the United States at the Yorktown Battlefield in 1781.
As a whole, the Jamestown area receives favorable reviews for offering three intriguing historical attractions within one space. But opinions on TripAdvisor and from other user review sites are split when it comes to the settlement specifically. There are those who appreciate the chance "to get some history without shelling out the big bucks," but others who say the re-enactments are too juvenile and that the Indian village "comes across as a boy scout jamboree project."
The Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center are open every day (besides Christmas and New Year's Day) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission prices to both sites are fairly reasonable when you consider the cost of other attractions. Adults can visit Jamestown alone for about $16, Yorktown Victory Center for about $10, or purchase a combined ticket and go to both for $20. Visit the settlement's site for further details, including pricing for children. Also consider buying a multiple-day Williamsburg Flex Ticket, which will allow you to visit several area attractions like the Settlement for about $177.
If you're only visiting Historic Jamestowne, please note that this area is under the protection of the National Park Service. It's open between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. each day, with a $10-per-person admission fee that's good for up to seven days. There's also an available Historic Triangle Pass: For about $81 you can tour Colonial Williamsburg, Historic Jamestowne and the Yorktown Battlefield, as well as the Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center for up to five days.