Virginia's Historic Triangle Bike Tour
Explore Colonial Williamsburg
We will be staying the week at the Williamsburg Lodge. So rather than rushing from place to place, and never having time to unpack your bags, we’ll be staying in one location the entire time. Although we will cycle every day, we’ll also spend a good amount of time in Colonial Williamsburg, which is the largest living history museum in the United States, perhaps in the world.
Upon your arrival on Sunday afternoon, we’ll fit you to your bikes and then head out on a short warm-up ride. Take the time to explore Colonial Williamsburg with its 35 exhibition sites, over 100 gardens, numerous museums, and 16 trade shops where skilled artisans keep 18th-century methods alive. Join founding fathers and 18th century residents as they debate the issues at the heart of the Revolution. Meet the locals — townspeople, tradespeople, shopkeepers, political figures, women, and slaves — and learn of their hopes, struggles, and fears in these uncertain times. In the evening we’ll gather for a Welcome Reception followed by dinner.
Visit Jamestown and Yorktown
On Monday we’ll cycle to Jamestown Island and back. Enjoy a guided tour of the Jamestown Settlement followed by a delicious picnic lunch prepared by your leaders. After lunch we’ll cycle to Jamestown Island which forms part of the Colonial National Historic Park. On the way we will visit the Glasshouse to observe demonstrations of 17th century glass blowing.
To finish off the day we will cycle the 5-mile loop road which provides a self-guided nature tour around the island. Visit the Jamestown Island Visitors Center, and walk (or cycle) in the footsteps of the people who founded Jamestown, including Captain John Smith and John Rolfe. You will learn about the Powhatan Native Americans they encountered, most notably Pocahontas. Tonight we will have an early dinner together followed by a presentation of Cry Witch (a witch trial).
Tuesday we will cycle to Yorktown and back. After breakfast at our Inn we will begin cycling on the Colonial National Historic Parkway, providing us with a scenic route along the York River to Yorktown. Spend some time at the Visitors Center and see the slide show about the Battle of Yorktown, which was the decisive military campaign that effectively ended the six-year struggle of the Revolutionary War and set the stage for a new government and nation. See the reenactments of the British surrender (on October 19, 1781) to the combined American and French forces under the command of General George Washington. Next we’ll head out on some easy bike tours through the Battlefield itself, enjoying the car-free paved paths that wind through the woods and fields where the Revolutionary War took place. You will see the trenches, batteries, and campsites where the armies stayed in October 1781.
Once you know everything there is to know about the Battle of Yorktown, head on over to the Yorktown Victory Center, where you will be treated to another delicious picnic lunch. Spend some time at Yorktown Victory Center learning about the American Revolution, and then cycle back to Williamsburg on the Colonial Parkway. Tonight we’ll have dinner together at an 18th-century-style tavern. After dining the adults can continue to enjoy the libations and the live traditional music, while the kids on our family bike tours can head outside for the ghost walk.
On Wednesday there will be many different activities on offer. Besides taking time to explore more of Colonial Williamsburg, along with a dazzling array of bike rides, there will also be options to:
- Explore the College of William and Mary, the 2nd oldest institution of higher education in the U.S.
- Visit the Williamsburg Winery, the largest winery in Virginia, featuring vineyards, a restaurant, and of course tours and tastings.
- Tour of the James River Plantations (excellent examples of early 18th century architecture).
- Relax at the Williamsburg Salt Spa.
To allow for maximum flexibility, today you will be on your own for lunch and dinner.
Thursday we head out together for a bike ride to Chippokes Plantation State Park. After a short ferry ride across the James River, we cycle to Chippokes Plantation, one of the oldest working farms in the United States. Enjoy the formal gardens surrounding the Chippokes Mansion, which are accented by azaleas, crepe myrtle, boxwood and seasonal flowers. Explore the visitor’s center and savor the beautiful views of the river. After lunch we will cycle back to Williamsburg via the Colonial Parkway. Tonight we will gather for a farewell dinner at a local Seafood Restaurant. After an early breakfast on Friday, we will head out for our final bike ride, and plan to finish our tour around lunchtime.