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Discover Historic Williamsburg: The Capital of Colonial Virginia

Program Number: 2010RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/11/2014 - 5/16/2014;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Williamsburg, Virginia
Price starting at: $886.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: History & Culture
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Kosher; Gluten Free    

Go back to the Williamsburg of 1770 — a cosmopolitan, English community on the edge of the New World — and examine historical and cultural themes of Colonial life. Learn how patriots, gentry, women, Africans, and Indians contributed to society. Discover the music and religious practices of early Virginians. As a special treat, enjoy the ambiance of a Colonial tavern's strolling musicians and character interpreters while savoring a delicious meal served in the Colonial style.




Highlights

• Explore the transformation of the town into a living history museum, from the restoration of original buildings to the art of historical interpretation.
• Interact with a special visitor from Jamestown who provides lively and gossipy interpretation of daily life in the first Colonial capital.
• Experience the life of Colonial students in a visit to the Ancient Campus of William & Mary, where hard benches are the only seats in class and chapel.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles daily on brick, cobblestone, and uneven ground.



Coordinated by Road Scholar.




Williamsburg (Virginia)

One of America’s first planned cities, this one-time capital of the New World was laid out in 1699, and today, the historic community serves as a well-preserved center of American Colonial history, from nearby Jamestown to impeccably restored buildings.



Accommodations
Modern hotel near historic area, indoor pool and fitness center.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Stephen Christoff

Stephen Christoff has been a musical fixture at Colonial Williamsburg for more than 15 years. Since 2006, he has performed his one-man show called "Seller of Songs" at the Hennage Theater in Colonial Williamsburg to sell-out audiences and rave reviews. In 2007, Stephen was a member of a collaborative performance team that played over 100 performances of "American Musicworks," a signature show designed for the Dewitt Wallace Galleries folk art exhibition, and also performed for the Jamestown 2007, Godspeed Sail and Landing Party Festival. He has headlined at locations including Mount Vernon, Chestertown Tea Party Festival, Virginia's Yorktown Celebration Festival, The National Portrait Gallery, The Library of Congress, The Black Swamp Arts Festival and Disney's Epcot Center.
 
Carson Hudson

Carson Hudson is an Emmy-award winning screenwriter who has dedicated his career to bringing the music, lore and history of America to life. After in-depth research of entertainment forms from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, he began to regress his performance skills into the past, learning traditional performance practices and sideshow secrets. Since then, he has researched, written, performed, and directed more than a score of productions and programs for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. This work earned him an Emmy and several Telly Awards in screen writing. In spite of all this, he still manages to find time to lecture on Revolutionary and Civil War military history for Road Scholar programs. Carson is the author of "Civil War Williamsburg" and "These Detestable Slaves of the Devil" (on colonial witchcraft).
 
Rebecca Suerdieck

An accomplished historical character interpreter, puppeteer, and folk dancer, Rebecca Suerdieck is one of the few 17th-century English domestics experts in the world, having researched various topics related to working-class women in the 14th through 18th centuries. She is a graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), and holds a bachelor's in education, with concentrations in English history, music composition, film production, and Medieval and Renaissance studies. Rebecca has continued her education at Christopher Newport University with studies in historic archaeology, and is the author of two works: "A Brief History of New Pocoson and Charles Parish" and "An Introduction to English Country Dancing".
 
John Labanish

A native of Western Pennsylvania, John earned his B.A. in history and English from St., Vincent College and his M.A. in American history from the University of Pittsburgh. He taught history, government, and English at private and public schools in Michigan and Pennsylvania. During 13 years at the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania in Pittsburgh, John advanced from collections registrar to curator of education and exhibits, and eventually became director. John also served as an adjunct professor of museum studies at Duquesne University. In 2008, he retired after 23 years at Colonial Williamsburg where he was involved in historic area interpretation, supervision and training of interpreters, historical building management, and first person character interpretation. Presently, John serves as a docent at the Muscarelle Museum of Art at the College of William & Mary and as a member of the James City County Historical Commission.
 
Tom Marshall

An instructor in the Music Department at the College of William and Mary for more than 20 years, Tom Marshall has been performing private concerts for Road Scholar participants at the historic Wren Chapel for many years. He has served for two decades as a harpsichordist for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation where he has performed numerous works of the concerto grosso style in original orchestrations, on original instruments. He is featured on many of the historical recordings issued by the foundation. A long-time member of the American Guild of Organists, he has served as organist for the Williamsburg United Methodist Church since 1977. Tom performs frequently with the Virginia Symphony, numerous baroque chamber ensembles, and organ and harpsichord recitals throughout the United States and Europe. He has made seven study tours in Europe to examine and play many surviving keyboard instruments from the 15th to the 19th century.
 
Martha McCartney

Martha McCartney is an award-winning research historian and author of a number of non-fiction books on early American and Virginia history. She graduated from the College of William & Mary and worked for 13 years at the Virginia Research Center for Archaeology. Her work focused on researching and excavating diverse archaeological sites around Virginia. Since 1986, Martha has worked as an independent historian advising archaeologists throughout the state. She also serves as a consultant for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and local governments. Martha was the project historian for the National Park Service’s Jamestown Archaeological Assessment. She has authored numerous books and articles, including “James City County: Keystone of the Commonwealth”, “The History of Green Spring Plantation”, “The Free Black Community at Centerville”, and “Virginia Immigrants and Adventurers”.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Clarion Hotel Historic District
  Williamsburg 5 nights
 Clarion Hotel Historic District
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Clarion Hotel Historic District features 143 well-appointed guest rooms. On-site recreational offerings include a fitness center, an indoor heated pool with whirlpool and a game room. The hotel also offers great food and entertainment at the Bourbon Street Restaurant, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Walking distance to Colonial Williamsburg and two miles to Busch Gardens.
  Contact info: 351 York Street
Williamsburg, VA 23185 USA
phone: 757-229-4100
web: www.clarionwilliamsburg.com
  Room amenities: Room Amenities: Free high speed Internet access in all guest rooms and public spaces; dual-line speaker telephone; iron/ironing board; in-room movies; coffee maker; hair dryer; in room safes at no additional charge
  Facility amenities: Facilities: 24-Hour Front Desk, business center, guest laundromat, dry cleaning service, fitness facility, game room, lounge, indoor whirlpool and indoor pool.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $69p+ ($89+ sp. event wknds) Make arrangements directly with the hotel. Limited rooms available at the discounted Road Scholar rate. Rate not available if hotel is sold out. Reservations require credit card guarantee. Cancellation must be made 48 hrs prior to arrival to avoid charge.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $69p+ ($89+ sp. event wknds) Make arrangements directly with the hotel. Limited rooms available at the discounted Road Scholar rate. Rate not available if hotel is sold out. Reservations require credit card guarantee. Cancellation must be made 48 hrs prior to arrival to avoid charge.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
4:00 pm Program registration begins at hotel, Check into your room/ 5:15pm Start of Prgm. You will be staying at Clarion Hotel Historic District that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after last class with a box lunch available for your trip home. You will be staying at Clarion Hotel Historic District the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. none
  Parking availability:
Free parking at hotel.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Williamsburg
  Nearest city or town:  Richmond
  Nearest highway: Interstate 64
  Nearest airport:  Williamsburg/Newport News Airport (30 minutes)
  From End of Program
  Location: Williamsburg
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Williamsburg

 

From Bus Terminal

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Triangle Taxi
phone: 757-564-6969
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

varies depending on gas prices; call for rates
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

10 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

2 miles

   

Williamsburg is served by both Amtrak and Greyhound, which both arrive at the same Transportation Center. For bus information, call 1-800-231-2222 or go to www.greyhound.com. Additional taxis are available to transport to hotel; all rates are the same.

 

Williamsburg

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Triangle Taxi
phone: 757-564-6969
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

varies depending on gas prices; call for rates
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

10 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

2 miles

   

Williamsburg is served by both Amtrak and Greyhound, which both arrive at the same Transportation Center. For bus information, call 1-800-231-2222 or go to www.greyhound.com. Additional taxis are available to transport to hotel; all rates are the same.

 

Norfolk

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Oleta Coach Lines
phone: 757-253-1008
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

varies, depending on current gas prices; call for rates
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1-1.5 hours, depending on traffic 

 

Distance:

 

about 45 miles

   

Travel from this airport to the hotel (and back after the program) includes passage through the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel which is frequently congested, causing long delays. The trip may well cost in excess of $100 per person one way. We recommend using Richmond or Newport News Airports if possible. Alternate transportation includes Marrow Transit (757-564-5466) or Cary Airport Connection (757-963-0433). If using Oleta or Marrow, be sure to mention that you are a Road Scholar participant.

 

Newport News

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Oleta Coach Lines
phone: 757-253-1008
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

varies depending on gas prices; call for rates
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

20-30 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

about 20

   

Although this is a smaller airport than Richmond or Norfolk, it is the closest and most convenient in terms of getting from the airport to the hotel and back. Besides the van service listed above, several taxi companies are also available in the ground transportation area of the airport. Alternatives include Marrow Transit (757-564-5466) or Triangle Taxi (757-564-6969). When using Oleta or Marrow, be sure to mention that you are a Road Scholar participant.

 

Richmond

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Groome Transportation
phone: 800-552-7911

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

varies, depending on current gas prices; call for rates
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

about an hour depending on traffic 

 

Distance:

 

about 45-50 miles

   

Alternate transportation from/to airport available through Oleta Coach Lines van service (757-253-1008) or Marrow Transit, a private car service,757-564-5466. Call for rates and reservations.

 
Driving Directions
  From Hampton Roads and points southeast: Travel west on Interstate 64 toward Williamsburg. Take Exit #242A/Route 199. Go approximately one mile and take the exit for Route 60. Stay to the left when the exit ramp splits. At the stop sign, turn left onto Route 60 West. The Clarion is a little over one mile down on the right. If you reach the intersection with the stoplight, you've gone too far.
  From Richmond and points northwest: Travel east on Interstate 64 toward Williamsburg. Take Exit #242A/Route 199. Go approximately one mile and take the exit for Route 60. Stay to the left when the exit ramp splits. At the stop sign, turn left onto Route 60 West. The Clarion is a little over one mile down on the right. If you reach the intersection with the stoplight, you've gone too far.
  From Southside Virginia via the Jamestown Ferry Cross the James River on the Jamestown Ferry/Route 31. Follow Route 31/Jamestown Road toward Williamsburg for about 4.2 miles. Turn right at the traffic light at Route 199. Follow Route 199 to 3.8 miles to exit for Route 60. At the bottom of the off-ramp there is a traffic light, turn left onto Route 60 West and follow it in the direction of Williamsburg. The Clarion is a little over one mile down on the right. If you reach the intersection with the stoplight, you've gone too far.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrival and Registration/Road Scholar Introductions
(Sunday, May 11)
   
 Afternoon: Arrival Check-In Welcome Class: "Introduction to Williamsburg and Colonial Williamsburg", an overview of the rich history of the colonial capital, from its beginnings at Jamestown Island through its flourishing as the center of eighteenth century Virginia culture to its decline at the end of the American Revolution.
 Dinner: Enjoy a good, traditional style dinner with a Southern accent, served buffet style in a private dining area. All dinners for the week will be in this venue.
 Evening: Road Scholar Introductions Program Overview
   
Accommodations: Clarion Hotel Historic District
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Historic Jamestowne Island/A Visitor from the Past
(Monday, May 12)

Note: The visit to Historic Jamestowne includes an extended walk of nearly a mile over slightly rolling terrain on paved and gravel paths. Participants who may have difficulty with the walk can remain in the Visitor Center which offers both detailed exhibits and a fascinating "in the round" video of the Jamestown story.



   
 Breakfast: Start the day with a generous buffet breakfast in our private dining area.
 Morning: Class: "The Powhatan Indians and Their World", a detailed look at the culture of the Eastern Woodland Indians who had occupied the Tidewater region of Virginia for centuries before the coming of the first Europeans. Their day to day lives, government, social structure and more will be discussed. Class: "Jamestown in the Early Years", Learn about the motivations that brought the first English settlers to the area and the hardships they faced in the first few decades as they struggled to make their colony a permanent outpost in the New World. Consider the challenges they faced including famine and an unfamiliar climate, not to mention a native population that was not particularly pleased to find these strange invaders in its midst.
 Lunch: A lighter mid-day fare will be served in our private dining area.
 Afternoon: Field Trip: "Historic Jamestowne" Visit the site of the original fort and view the area now under investigation by archaeologists. Depending on the season, you may see members of the team actively working at the dig. Historic Jamestowne also includes a new Visitor Center with introductory film and exhibits, recently completed as part of the upgrades of the island for the commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown. There will also be time to explore the incredible exhibits of artifacts uncovered at the dig in the architecturally unique Archaearium, with a "see-through" floor that lets you view the foundation of the 17th century statehouse. Class: "You, the Archaeologist", Investigate how archaeology helps us learn about early America, often changing our accepted notions of what life was like centuries ago. Learn about the important role this science plays in interpreting the past for modern visitors who come to the Historic Triangle.
 Dinner: Dinner will again be at the hotel in our private dining area.
 Evening: Performance: "A Visit with Marye Bucke, 1623" What better way to experience the 1600's than to meet someone who "lived" long ago? Enjoy a conversation with a delightful interpreter who will make you feel that you are truly speaking to an early colonist as she shares tales of triumphs, tragedies, and the mundane activities of daily existence.
   
Accommodations: Clarion Hotel Historic District
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Guided Walk through Colonial Williamsburg/Tavern Lunch
(Tuesday, May 13)

Note: The walk through Colonial Williamsburg is about a mile and a half over level, pebbled streets with occasional periods of standing and little opportunity to sit and rest. The independent time can be as limited or extensive as each participant prefers and can be arranged to avoid any historic buildings that can be entered or explored only by way of stairs.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at your leisure in our private dining area.
 Morning: Class: "Williamsburg Then and Now" Learn about Williamsburg as a quiet village in the years after the Revolution until its restoration through the vision of a local minister and the generosity of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. in the mid-twentieth century. The presentation is highlighted with archival slides showing the town both before and after the Restoration. The presenter herself grew up in the old town, right along with the Restoration. Field Trip: 'Colonial Williamsburg" Take a leisurely stroll down the mile-long Duke of Gloucester Street as your guide highlights some of the most interesting buildings and gardens in the Restored Area. This overview will help you decide where you would like to return on your own over the next two days.
 Lunch: Enjoy the ambiance of a Colonial Tavern as you are entertained by strolling musicians and local personalities from the past. Taste southern comfort food in the charm of Shields Tavern, a reconstructed building with a history all its own. In the 18th century, public houses were gathering places for residents and travelers. Partake of a dining experience similar to one enjoyed by patriots like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry.
 Afternoon: Independent Exploration: Now that you have been given a general overview, use your Colonial Williamsburg ticket to begin visiting homes, shops, and public buildings that you find of special interest in the historic district. Buildings of particular note that you may want to see include the Capitol, the Governor's Palace, and the Wythe House. Don't forget to wander through the many wonderful gardens that can be accessed through their clever cannonball closed gates. Also be sure to stop into some of the shops filled with colonial goods from hats to toys to pewter ware.
 Dinner: Dinner will again be at the hotel in our private dining area.
 Evening: Free Evening: Information will be provided about concerts, exhibits, and tours including a free concert at Bruton Parish Church. You can select what you would like to enjoy on your own.
   
Accommodations: Clarion Hotel Historic District
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Revolutionary Life in Williamsburg/Colonial Music and Instruments
(Wednesday, May 14)

Note: This is a quiet day with presentations at the hotel in the morning and an afternoon to schedule on your own as relaxed or active as your prefer.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at your leisure in our private dining area.
 Morning: Class: "Williamsburg and Virginia in the Revolution" Journey with an outstanding lecturer through the momentous events leading up to the Declaration of Independence. Consider the impact of nation building on the various peoples living in Virginia at the time---gentry, farmers, merchants, and slaves. Ponder with the eighteenth century Virginians the difficult choice between Patriot and Loyalist. While in a two-part lecture format, the presentation is very interactive with plenty of opportunity for questions and comments.
 Lunch: A lighter mid-day fare will be served in our private dining area.
 Afternoon: Free Afternoon: Your Colonial Williamsburg pass is still valid, so you can return to the Restored Area if you like for more exploration, possibly including a trip to the Visitor Center to view the acclaimed movie "Story of a Patriot". Other sites to consider are Jamestown Settlement to see the recreated 1607 fort, Indian village, and ships. Or head the other way on the Colonial Parkway to explore Yorktown, site of the British surrender that ended the Revolution. All of these sites can be reached by shuttle bus to which your pass gives you access.
 Dinner: Dinner will again be at the hotel in our private dining area.
 Evening: Performance: "Rare Colonial Instruments" A gifted musician plays and explains a variety of early American instruments. Some of them, like the violin, may be familiar, but others may be quite a surprise!
   
Accommodations: Clarion Hotel Historic District
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: College of William & Mary Wren Building/Organ Concert/African American Music and Stories
(Thursday, May 15)

Note: The first part of the field trip is fairly sedentary with plenty of time to sit and listen to the interpretation of the Wren Building. The walk across campus is about a half mile and follows uneven brick walkways and gently rolling terrain that some may find challenging to negotiate.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at your leisure in our private dining area.
 Morning: "Religious Practices of Early Virginians", Explore the spiritual lives of the colonists by focusing on the state sanctioned and supported Anglican Church while also considering Protestant denominations that spread during times of religious revival and less mainstream believers such as Catholics, Jews, and Quakers. Class: "Separation of Church and State: The Beginnings", Follow the course of religious practices as America moves from colony to constitutional government. Consider how the separation of religion and the state even impacted the College of William and Mary in its allegiances and curriculum.
 Lunch: A lighter mid-day fare will be served in our private dining area.
 Afternoon: Class: "Slavery in the Eighteenth Century" A study of the institution from its beginnings in 1619 as a form of indentured servitude through its gradual codification into the laws of the Virginia colony until it became part of the very fabric of society in the eighteenth century. A full understanding of colonial life cannot be gained without a consideration of the role and status of the African American slaves who made up a substantial part of the population. Field Trip: Guided excursion to the Wren Building of the College of William and Mary and the College campus. First visit the Ancient Campus of the College and enjoy a narrated organ concert in the Wren Chapel. Then follow the historical development of the university as you walk through the Old Campus to the New Campus. Guides will discuss the architecture, famous alumni, and college lore.
 Dinner: Dinner will again be at the hotel in our private dining area.
 Evening: Performance: "An Evening of African-American Music and Storytelling", A talented singer/storyteller will entertain you with a sweeping journey through several centuries of African-American tradition as it evolves from its roots in Africa through its transformation during years of indentured servitude and slavery to its triumph in freedom in the mid-nineteenth century.
   
Accommodations: Clarion Hotel Historic District
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: A special colonial dessert treat!
(Friday, May 16)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at your leisure in our private dining area.
 Morning: Class: "Pirates, Witches and the Colonial Justice System" The New World was a scary place, both in reality and in the imagination of the early colonists. Explore the world of actual threats such as pirates and supernatural fears as embodied in those accused of witchcraft. Learn how these outsiders were dealt with by the courts of the colony. Activity: "Colonial Foodways" Bring the week to a delicious end as you are instructed in the methods of early American cooking and participate in the preparation of a delightful dessert. Final Farewells
 Lunch: Pick up a box lunch with sandwich, fruit, chips, cookie, and beverage before heading home.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Williamsburg Tidewater Area: Williamsburg/Jamestown and Yorktown
When you come to our Road Scholar program, you'll find the schedule filled with classes and extracurricular activities; your free time will be limited to only a few hours a day. We spend much of our time on field trips to surrounding historic hot spots, yet we won't come close to going to every interesting place in the Williamsburg Area. Consider staying an extra day before or after the program to further explore the area. The Colonial Williamsburg website, www.history.org, includes a detailed calendar of events that you might want to investigate. Websites for other area attractions such as Jamestown and Yorktown will have additional information. For additional information, visit www.wm.edu/elderhostel
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


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