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On the Trail of History: Richmond to Williamsburg

See trip details for Richmond and Colonial Williamsburg, one of 30 suggested family trips from National Geographic.

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Authentic down to the buttons on their breeches, Revolutionary War reenactors prepare for battle in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.

Start your weekend road trip in Charlottesville, Virginia, a 2.5-hour drive from Washington, D.C. Continue to Williamsburg via Richmond for a trip through America's past. The kids will see places they read about in their history classes, from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville to Colonial Williamsburg, where time seems to have stopped in the 18th century. In between, visit Civil War battlefields and the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond.

After taking in Richmond’s historic sites, take on the rapids with Riverside Outfitters. Go whitewater rafting or for a more low-key adventure, rent a tube and float down the river. In Colonial Williamsburg, don’t miss the two-hour reenactment of events that sparked the American Revolution, “Revolutionary City.”

Colonial Williamsburg’s Shields Tavern offers a "Young Patriot's Menu" with choices such as "Thomas Jefferson's Favorite Pasta." Afterwards go on a family-friendly Ghost Walk of the town, suitable for all ages. Your lodging also serves as a history lesson if you opt to stay overnight in one of the town’s authentic Colonial Houses furnished with period reproductions and antiques.

Monticello, $17-22 for adults; $8 for kids 6-11.

Riverside Outfitters offer oversized tube rentals from $12.50-$17, depending on length of time. The cost of guided rafting trips range from $54-$79.

For tickets to evening programs in Williamsburg or to reserve a Colonial House, visit

Based on articles from National Geographic Traveler and compiled by Stephanie Robichaux

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