Charles City Travel Guide
BAKED VIRGINIA HAM
BAKED VIRGINIA HAM
James River Plantation country
Terraced gardens leading to the James...
picture of the first distillery
one of many basement photo opportunities
Historic plantations, pretty nature, delicious southern food
There are only two non-chain restaurants in the area.
In a nutshell
Truly a rewarding experience
Shirley: More Outbuildings and the Willow Oak
6. Laundry Only the building where the laundry operated survives to this day. There is no preserved exhibit like at Mount Vernon. The second floor was used as a school for the Carter children (at one time, there were as many as 15- it's some wonder the Great House is so...
Shirley: Great House
Shirley Plantation is Virginia's first plantation (1613). Shirley Plantation has survived the Indian Uprising, Bacon's Rebellion, the Revolutionary War, the War for Southern Independence, and the Great Depression. Shirley Plantation is the oldest family-owned business in...
If you have a long wait before your tour of the great house begins or after that tour, the Carter family preserved all of the outbuildings on the property they currently own.1. Dovecote Squab was a real delicacy back in the day. The doves and pigeons raised their young in...
After you buy your tickets in the gift shop, they direct you to the basement (food was once stored here before modern appliances) where the guide shows a short film to give you an overview of the plantation's history. (Be sure you mind the step on the way down.) As you wait...
Berkeley Plantation grounds tour
The boxwood-terraced gardens at Berkeley Plantation reflect careful attention to the garden fashions of the 18th and 19th century. The gardens lead from the gazebo almost to the river bank.The bell roof gazebo with Chippendale railings is a short walk behind the Georgian...
Charles City Tavern: Formerly the Indian Fields Tavern
When Matt, Urszula, and I were taking a plantation and Colonial Williamsburg tour, we could have either given into their temptation of the omnipresent fast food places or dined at Colonial Williamsburg at either a colonial tavern to which I had been many times before or the...
Indian Fields Tavern: Real Virginia cooking
Nat (b1bob) wanted we to sample real Virginia cooking and that's why he chose just this restaurant for our early lunch. It was right place for delicious southern food.The restaurant was placed in nice looking 2-store southern style house, mostly hidden by numerous decorative...
If you don't have a car...
If you don't have a car and want to get to Charles City from, say, Richmond... you have a problem. There is no public transportation, no bus stops along SR-5, no railway track - you are in the USA, not in Europe. I didn't see any tour buses full of visitors as well. Taxis...
By car to scenic route 5
Charles City is located in central-east Virginia, 37 miles east of Richmond, 25 miles west of Williamsburg and 140 miles south of Washington D.C. My recommendation is to drive scenic Virginia Route 5 from Richmond to Charles City and futher east to Williamsburg. How to get...
plantation gift shops: plantation gift shops
The gift shop at Berkeley and Shirley plantation (and previously at Evelynton) is the first thing visitor's see as this is old building where you buy your tickets for admission. The gift shops are located in a restored out building a short distance from the mansion.
Gift shop: At Berkeley Plantation
This charming, pink building, on my picture, housed the ticket office and gift shop of the Berkeley Plantation. The costumed lady welcomed us to visit the plantation, sold us tickets which costed $10.50 (Oct. 2004) and informed us about guided tour around the mansion.The...
Daughters of the American Colonists
The first official Thanksgiving Day occured on December 4, 1619 on what would become Berkeley Plantation. This commemorating plaque on my picture was put on the mansion of the Berkeley Plantation in 1969 that was in the 350th anniversary of this event. Nothing very special...
Mind the step
At the time the Berkeley Plantation was designed, many people were smaller than today. That includes the size of their feet. The steps leading down to the cellar where the guides show the introductory film and where there are many other things to see are size 9 steps and a...
Wake up, my friend!
Look at this poor, sleepy guy in my car. Nat, awake please, the Berkeley plantation is just ahead! Did you prepare our trip long hours last night or we just started our trip too early? Yes, we (my wife and I) were more lucky than you. With our jetlag in the second day after...
Weather, walking shoes... SMILE!
Luggage and bags: For walking around the James River plantations, small, city backpack and surely bag for your camera - both better water-proof.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Comfortable walking shoes preferrably water-resistant: like good trainers or better special walking shoes (one example: Danish Ecco are very comfortable and... expensive but worth the cost).
Sun-glasses esp. in summer and always a rain coat/jacket, eventually less comfortable umbrella.
Read info on climate in Richmond (some 30 miles west of Charles City):
Climate of Richmond
Check weather (10-day forecast) for Charles City:
Weather forecast for Charles City.
Photo Equipment: Take as much film as you can or as large a memory card as you can. Any of the plantations offer a lot for photography lovers :-).
For pictures at bad light (weather) and especially pictures of interiors take a tripod.
Miscellaneous: Do not forget to take BIG SMILE :-) Enjoy!
Updated Dec 20, 2004
- Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
- Road Trip
To unknown Indians
I found this stone with writing: "In memory of the unknown Indian" in the grounds of the Berkeley Plantation. Indians lived in this area in peace and quiet by 1607 when the first English settlers came. Approximately 14,000 Powhatan Indians inhabited coastal areas of Virginia...
Forest before fall colours' peak
We stopped in the middle of a pretty broadleaved forest when we drove along scenic route 5 from Richmond to Charles City. I didn't want to get bogged down after the rains a day before, so I only took a picture there. It was in the middle of October, unfortunately about 2...
War Between the States
During the War Between the States, the plantations were treated differently by advancing federal troops. Federal troops occupied Berkeley Plantation, and President Abraham Lincoln twice visited there in the summer of 1862 to confer with Gen. George B. McClellan. Even after...
Evelynton Plantation GBNF
The good news is, Evelynton Plantation didn't burn down as too many historical places do. The bad news is, the owners have decided to discontinue the tours. However, Evelynton Plantation has too much history and beauty for me to remove from the page altogether. Due to its...
Shirley Plantation as a working farm
As my photos of the outbuildings suggest, Shirley Plantation was an honest-to-goodness farm. It still operates as such today. Tobacco was raised here from 1638 until 1816 when the nutrient-depleting crop became less profitable to raise. Hill Carter decided to replace...
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