There are five historic plantation houses and grounds along scenic Route 5 in Charles City County along the north side of the James River east of Richmond. Many date from the earliest years of European settlement in North America. The drive down Route 5 is very relaxing and scenic, especially on a nice spring or fall day. The plantations include:
Sherwood Forest (1730) was owned by 2 U.S. presidents, William Harrison and John Tyler
Westover (1730) was built by the founder of Richmond, William Byrd
Shirley (1723) was home to the mother of Robert E. Lee, who had some schooling in the house
Evelynton (1937), home to the Ruffin family since 1847, was owned by the person who fired the first shot at Fort Sumter at the start of the Civil War
Berkeley (1726) is reputed to be the site of the first Thanksgiving (1619) and is birthplace to a signer of the Declaration of Independence (Benjamin Harrison) and a U.S. president (William Henry Harrison).
All are open to the public and many have guided tours. I would highly recommend a day trip to check out these artifacts of our nation's history.