LivingTravelVisitor's Guide to Historic Jamestown

Visitor's Guide to Historic Jamestown

Jamestown, the site of the first permanent English settlement in America, is a major tourist attraction and interesting place to visit in Virginia. In 1607, 13 years before the Mayflower reached Plymouth Rock, a group of 104 Englishmen began a settlement on the banks of Virginia’s James River. The story of the founders of Jamestown and the Virginia Indians they encountered is told at the Jamestown Settlement through gallery displays and open-air living history museums: a recreated Powhatan Indian village, replicas of the three ships that landed in 1607, a representation of the colonial fort, and a riverfront discovery area that explores waterway transportation and commercial activities.

Jamestown Rediscovery, a separate destination just down the Colonial Parkway, preserves the original settlement site and features an Archaearium archaeological museum and active excavations.

Arriving in Jamestown

Jamestown is located between Route 31 and the Colonial Parkway; adjacent to Colonial National Historical Park and six miles from Williamsburg, ten miles from Interstate 64, Exits 242A and 234.

Jamestown Settlement

2110 Jamestown Road. The Visitor Center opened in 2006 in honor of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown. The modern facilities feature an indoor theater and gallery displays chronicling the nation’s early 17th century, a 36,000-square-foot educational wing, two museum gift shops, classrooms, an open atrium for public events, offices, and a 190 seat cafeteria. The highlights of the Jamestown Agreement include:

  • Indoor Galleries: An introductory film, “1607: A Nation Takes Root,” is shown at regular intervals that provides an overview of how Powhatan’s Indian, English and African cultures impacted the Jamestown settlement. Exhibits include portraits, documents, furniture, toys, ceremonial and decorative objects, tools and weapons, and hundreds of archaeological artifacts from Virginia.
  • Powhatan Indian Village: After viewing the indoor exhibits, visitors arrive at the Powhatan Indian Village, an outdoor recreation of a site once inhabited by the Paspahegh Indians, the closest Powhatan tribal group to Jamestown. The village consists of several houses made of young tree frames covered with reed mats, a garden, and a ceremonial dance circle. Historical interpreters discuss and demonstrate the Powhatan way of life. They grow and prepare food, process animal skins, make tools and pottery, and weave natural fibers.
  • Jamestown Riverfront Ship and Discovery Area – From the town of Powhatan, a path leads to a dock where replicas of the three ships that carried the original settlers from Jamestown to Virginia in 1607 dock. Visitors can board and explore Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery and talking to interpreters about the four and a half month trip from England. There are periodic demonstrations of piloting and navigation, cargo handling and sail making.
  • James Fort: this area It serves as a representation of the colonial settlement during 1610-14, reflecting its predominantly military and commercial character. The fort includes dwellings, an Anglican church, a guard court, a warehouse, a coat trade office, provisioning areas, and a governor’s house. Historical interpreters forge and repair metal objects in a blacksmith’s forge and, near one of the fort’s three bastions, show matchstick muskets being fired. Temporarily and periodically, the performers also grow food and tobacco crops, produce wood products using 17th-century style tools, and demonstrate household activities such as sewing and food preparation.

Hours: Open from 9 am to 5 pm every day throughout the year, summer hours until 6 pm (June 15 to August 15) Closed December 25 and January 1.

Admission: $ 17 adults; $ 8 children from 6 to 12 years old. American Revolution Combo Tickets at the Yorktown Museum: $ 23 Adults, $ 12 Ages 6-12.

Website :

Rediscovery of Jamestown – Historic Jamestowne

1368 Colonial Pkwy. The Jamestown Rediscovery Archeology brings to life the stories of the early James Fort. The site is jointly managed by Preservation Virginia and the National Park Service. Walking tours are available from rangers from April to October. Visitors can explore the archaeological site and the Archaearium museum of archeology and learn about the more than 2 million artifacts that have been discovered here. You can also hike the trails, watch the wildlife, and enjoy a picnic on the banks of the James River.


Hours: Field 8:30 am-4: 30 pm Visitor Center 9 am-5 pm Museum 9:30 am-5: 30 pm Closed on Thanksgiving Day, December 25 and January 1.

Admission: $ 14 adults, includes admission to the Yorktown Battlefield.

Jamestown is part of what is known as the United States Historic Triangle, including the Colonial Williamsburg and Yorktown. The Historic Region is a great getaway destination and is conveniently located a few hours south of Washington, DC.

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