Location: From Jamestown to Yorktown, Virginia
Webpage: National Park Service
General Description: The Colonial Parkway is a 23 mile scenic limited access highway that links Virginia’s Historic Triangle of Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown. Along the parkway are numerous turnouts that offer views of both the James and York Rivers and provide historical notes dating from the 1600 colonization of Virginia. Beginning at Jamestown with the establishment of the first permanent English settlement in 1607 to the final major battle of the Revolutionary War in 1781 that began the United States.
1) This the perfect way to see all of Virginia’s Historic Triangle. The road is two lane with limited access and low speeds, much of it is only 35 miles per hour. The overpasses and bridges are all stone adding to the beauty of the drive. The National Park Service owns enough of the land surrounding the parkway to eliminate nearly all the commercial and residential structures leaving a beautiful drive through the natural forest and wetlands. Since the parkway has an exit right at the entrance to Colonial Williamsburg, which is in the center of the modern day Williamsburg, the Parkway enters a fairly long tunnel underneath the historic buildings. Consequently the parkway maintains the natural scenery even as it travels through Williamsburg. Due to the slow speeds and no commercial vehicles, there is not much traffic on the parkway.
2) The numerous pullouts along the parkway add significantly to the experience of the parkway, as well as, adding to the time it would take to travel the 23 miles. Some of the signs are about the natural environment, but most of the them provide historical information, such as the location of a dam to power a lumber mill in colonial times.