Jamestown was the first English settlement in the United States, beginning as James Fort in 1607 and developing into one of the most successful early colonies. It was here that the English first interacted with local Virginia Native Americans, as well as the first site of Africans and the earliest known slavery in North America. Today it’s both a national park and part of Preservation Virginia. The site seeks to preserve the history and culture of the three cultures that first coexisted here.
Archaeologists are still uncovering historic artifacts from the site of James Fort, and visitors to the area can view the growing collection of more than 1,000 artifacts at the Archaearium. It’s also famously the spot where Pocahontas married and lived with Englishman John Rolfe.
The Jamestowne visitor center also features exhibits of the area’s history and a small theater. Perhaps the most fascinating part of the visiting the historic site are the remaining structures from the era, including a 17th century brick church tower.
Historic Jamestowne can be found on Jamestown Island at the western end of Colonial Parkway. Admission to the park is $14, though remains free from children 15 and under and includes 7 days of access. The entrance gate is open from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm daily. The visitors center is the perfect place to plan and begin your exploration of the park.