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6 days in VA - half in CW - where for the rest of the trip?

boston
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6 days in VA - half in CW - where for the rest of the trip?

We arrive February 23 and return home February 29.

Never been to this area. Will be family of four including 9 yo daughter and 6 yo son. They love history and I think will love CW. We will also visit Busch Gardens.

We plan to stay 3 nights in the CW area - is this too many nights?

We are flying into Richmond - where else would be a good base for seeing the sights? We have been to D.C. on another trip so didn't feel the need to head up that way.

I am a little lost with planning this.

Also, would love to have a hotel with a nice indoor pool. The kids love this for down time. A lot that I saw online seem to be dingy little holes. I guess since I will be sitting there while they swim I'd appreciate a nice pool area to hang out in.

THANKS

Williamsburg...
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1. Re: 6 days in VA - half in CW - where for the rest of the trip?

Sorry to tell you, Busch Gardens doesn't open for the season until March 24. You can easily spend a week at Colonial Williamsburg, the two Jamestown sites, and the two Yorktown sites. You might enjoy a couple of nights at the Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg location that has an indoor waterpark, though. Or you could head west to Charlottesville and visit Monticello and Ashlawn Highland, and then go to Montpelier. These are the homes for Jefferson, Monroe, and Madison.

boston
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2. Re: 6 days in VA - half in CW - where for the rest of the trip?

oops... bummer about Busch Gardens - I am THRILLED I didn't mention that to the kids!!

Thank you for the idea of the Presidential homes - I hadn't thought of that. Is it a long drive?

I had been thinking of the Great Wolf lodge. I know the kids would love it - maybe we could try that at the end of the trip so we can see all the sites first and don't have 6 yo son clammering for more time at the pool.

Williamsburg, VA
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3. Re: 6 days in VA - half in CW - where for the rest of the trip?

Ashlawn, Montpelier and Monticello are 2 -- 2 1/2 hours from Williamsburg, so an early start will get you there in time for a day's worth of sightseeing. You could use the Presidents' homes minitrip to "break up" the Williamsburg visit by spending the night in Charlottesville and returning for a couple of nights at Great Wolf Lodge. Your idea of putting Great Wolf at the end of your stay is a good one.

Brookneal, Virginia
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4. Re: 6 days in VA - half in CW - where for the rest of the trip?

I would suggest a short trip up route 5 from Williamsburg to the James River Plantations.

www.jamesriverplantations.org/index.html

All the plantations on this site are privately owned and original with deep connections to Williamsburg and Jamestown.

"Treasures from three centuries are available at the James River Plantations along scenic Virginia Route 5 in Charles City County.

The county, strategically located between the James and Chickahominy Rivers and close to the colonial capitals of Jamestown and Williamsburg, was the first westward expansion of English-speaking America.

The county was established in 1619 and its plantations and farms along the James River have survived the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and the War Between the States. The county's gracious manor houses, all privately owned and preserved historic National Register properties, are open for visitors to experience and enjoy today."

You can visit this site: http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/jamesriver/

for historic plantations that are part of the National Registry of Historic Places, which inludes the above listed plantations plus a lot more historic plantation homes in the Tidewater area.

Have a great trip!

boston
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5. Re: 6 days in VA - half in CW - where for the rest of the trip?

Thank you all... I am very interested in your suggestions... Looking at a map I am not sure I want to withstand the long drive both to Charlottesville AND Alexandria (suggested by someone outside of this forum).

If you were to choose between the two destinations -- related to visiting our founding father's homes, which would it be? Seems a similar drive time to both. Maybe the trip up to Alexandria provides more scenery? I don't know?? would love your input

Williamsburg...
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6. Re: 6 days in VA - half in CW - where for the rest of the trip?

Charlottesville for me! I don't like the Northern VA traffic, and Monticello (and Ashlawn Highland as well as Montpelier) are in close proximity to one another. The city itself has a downtown "walking mall" closed off to traffic with a lot of unique little shops, restaurants, and the like.

boston
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7. Re: 6 days in VA - half in CW - where for the rest of the trip?

Thank you Zoey. Once out in Charlottesville do you know of a unique place to stay. Looking on tripadvisor I am seeing mostly Clarion, Holiday Inn, etc. - It would be nice to stay in someplace historic or unique (or if not at least with a good swimming pool!).

Any ideas?

thanks so much

boston
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8. Re: 6 days in VA - half in CW - where for the rest of the trip?

Also, for JT 837 - or anyone else... I looked at the Plantations map on the link you provided - there are SO many plantations. Are there any that stand out as "don't miss?". - do you visit them or just drive by?

planning this trip very much last minute so really appreciate all the advise I am getting here.

Williamsburg...
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9. Re: 6 days in VA - half in CW - where for the rest of the trip?

I've visited Shirley, Berkeley, Sherwood Forest, and Westover. I really must visit some of the others! My two favorites are Berkeley (site of the first Thanksgiving in the English colonies in 1619, contrary to popular belief), and Shirley Plantation. Most of the plantations offer a house tour, and usually allow you to tour the grounds on your own.

I can recommend the Charles City Tavern for lunch if you're out that way: http://www.charlescitytavern.com/ It's in fairly close proximity to the plantations.

Williamsburg...
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10. Re: 6 days in VA - half in CW - where for the rest of the trip?

Lodging in Charlottesville - the Omni is on the downtown mall. There are some good b&bs, but not all accept children. You may get more suggestions if you post in the Charlottesville forum. I think I've seen the Clifton Inn recommended.