Gateway to the 17th Century

Jamestown is America’s Birthplace, where colonists arrived in 1607 and planted the seeds of what would be the first successful English colony in North America. From Jamestown, settlements spread across the region and the foundations of America were laid. Take a deep dive into our region’s early history and archaeology at these partner sites. Don’t forget to stop for a drink or a bite along the way!


Historic Jamestown

Jamestown Rediscovery logo

Location: Jamestown, Virginia

Wondering where to begin your exploration into Virginia’s 17th-century history? At the beginning! Walk in the footsteps of Pocahontas and John Smith at the original site of the first permanent English settlement in America. Witness the moment of discovery alongside Jamestown archaeologists, go on a historian-led walking tour, visit the Voorhees Archaearium Museum, meet historic tradesmen, and more. As the first capital of the Virginia colony, Jamestown is the place where it all began.

Henricus Historical Park

Henricus Historical Park logo

Location: Chester, Virginia

Commemorating more than 400 years of history, Henricus Historical Park re-creates 17th-century life in the second successful English settlement in North America and in the Virginia Indian site of Arrohateck. Due to its prime location as a military outpost on a bluff overlooking the James River, the site also boasts rich Revolutionary War and Civil War history, which visitors may experience through special events and programs throughout the year. Surrounded by the 810-acre Dutch Gap Conservation Area, the living history museum offers exceptional Pre-K-12 and adult education programs, and both indoor and outdoor meeting and special event space. Henricus Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c) (3) organization that operates in partnership with the counties of Chesterfield and Henrico. 

Bacon’s Castle

Location: Surry, Virginia

Bacon’s Castle is the oldest brick dwelling in North America and was built for Arthur Allen and his family in 1665. Originally known as Allen’s Brick House, it earned the moniker “Bacon’s Castle” in 1676 when several of Nathaniel Bacon’s men occupied the home for four months during the uprising that became known as Bacon’s Rebellion. Bacon’s Castle is a rare example of High Jacobean architecture. The home features a reconstructed 17th-century English formal garden restored by the Garden Club of Virginia. Several outbuildings also survive, including an 1830 slave dwelling.

Historic St. Mary’s City

Location: St. Mary’s City, Maryland

Historic St. Mary’s City is a National Historic Landmark, a uniquely well-preserved archaeological record of more than 10,000 years of human occupation – including archaeological artifacts left by native peoples and European colonists. Today, the site is home to a living history museum that engages both students and the general public in educational programs through novel and exciting ways, encouraging people of all ages to connect the past with their contemporary lives.

Eat & Drink:

Magnolia at the Dale House Café

Magnolia Catering logo

Location: at Historic Jamestowne

Lunch at the Dale House Café comes with the best view of the James River for miles in either direction! Enjoy the beautiful scenery as you eat. Fare includes BBQ and light sandwiches along with beverages, salads, and desserts. Vegetarian, gluten-free, and children’s options are available. Accessible to guests of Historic Jamestowne with a valid admission ticket.

Frothy Moon Brewhouse

Location: Williamsburg, Virginia

Frothy Moon Brewhouse opened in October 2022 and has quickly become Williamsburg’s destination for craft coffee and beer. Nestled in an old nursery on Jamestown Road 1 mile from the Colonial Parkway, Jamestown Island, Historic Jamestowne, and the ferry, the 7-barrel brew house offers a full range of ales, lagers, and house-made root beer. Two guest taps host a cider and a prosecco year-round. Top it all off at the espresso bar and you’ll find they have a little something for everyone! Frothy Moon Brewhouse – coffee, beer, and atmosphere.

Spoke & Art

Location: Williamsburg, Virginia

Spoke and Art is a must-see destination on the Virginia Capital Trail. Visit the café, giftshop and coffee bar. Enjoy live music on the deck weekly with a local wine or cold beer! Covered and shaded outdoor seating is available on the spacious deck, front porch, or lawn under the trees. Hybrid and recumbent bikes available for rent.