Historic Triangle, Virginia

On a whim we decided to take a quick weekend trip to the historic triangle of Williamsburg, Yorktown and Jamestown Virginia. The 2-hour drive from our house took us down 95 through Richmond, VA. The lack of snow was a nice change from the 2 feet we received the day before Valentines Day.

 

Historic Triangle, Virginia
Historic Triangle, Virginia

We drove through historic Williamsburg first traveling on the Colonial Parkway. This 23 mile 3-lane scenic byway starts at Yorktown and ends in Jamestown. Completed in 1957, it is a National Park Service success story.

 

Yorktown, VA Water Street Grille
Water Street Grille, Yorktown, VA

We stopped in Yorktown for lunch at Water Street Grille on Water Street. It was nearly freezing rain outside as we jetted in trying to stay dry.  We got a great window seat in the front allowing us to watch the rain and snow mix fall on the square. The grille has beautiful views of the river near the boardwalk. A large circular bar sits in the middle of the restaurant. A large menu selection along with a bigger beer selection and 3 preselected tasting beer flights, this was as great stop for lunch. On Sundays they offer a “Make-Your-Own Bloody Mary” bar!

 

Yorktown, VA Water Street Grille
Yorktown, VA Water Street Grille

After lunch we thought we would drive to a nice park to let the baby take a nap, listen to the rain and read our books.  We found a nice park on Queens Lake called New Quarter Park. The park has over 10 miles of paths, 5 miles of single-track mountain bike trails, in addition to fire roads that lead to views of the York River; along with 545 acres of forests, meadows, ravines and tidal wetlands.  10 picnic shelters, 9 hiking tails, paved paths, and an 18-hole disc golf course secure this awesome park with plenty of outdoor activities and all ages!  We hit a jackpot here!

 

New Quarter Park
New Quarter Park

We only stayed at New Quarter Park for about 45 minutes our first visit.  We listened to the rain and the baby watched a kids show. We read a book and ate a few snacks. We drove to Jamestown traveling again down the Colonial Parkway. We got there at 5:05pm right when the park closed so we weren’t able to go into Jamestown proper.

 

Watching DVD
Watching DVD

Jamestown lies close enough to Williamsburg that we decided to stop at a grocery store for a few things, grabbed the baby a balloon and let her run for a bit. Then we drove to Williamsburg Marketplace. The streets are lined with old homes and businesses.  Since it was dark and after business hours we just let the baby run up and down the blocked off gravel streets. There were a handful of eclectic restaurants, shops, and the Kimball theater featuring live performances and Independent movies. There is even a Cheese Shop!

 

Historic Market Place
Williamsburg Marketplace
Historic Market Place
Williamsburg Marketplace

The town itself is now a collage town, so there is a great bookstore called the Williamsburg Booksellers. We stopped in here to warm up and the little lady played in the kid’s section with overstuffed miniature chairs and a pile of teddy bears.

Historic Market Place
Williamsburg Marketplace

After we explored the marketplace we drove back to the colonial parkway to a scenic pull-off where we parked the UAV for the night. We boiled some water and made a dehydrated beef stroganoff for dinner. Our stealth camping location was perfect; if only the baby had slept well. She was up and down for a good part of the night which made sleeping for mom, a bear.

Adventure Van
Urban Adventure Van

The next morning we went back to Williamsburg Marketplace and rode the bikes around the town, which didn’t officially open until 11. We had French toast and coffee at Aromas Coffeehouse & Café.

 

After breakfast, we road our bikes through the Revolutionary City. During the day actors dressed in traditional 1775 clothing, speak in British accents and line the streets putting the audience back into the revolutionary time. From businesses to crafters to blacksmiths to an armory, the spectators are flung back into time.

 

Revelutionary City
Revolutionary City
Revelutionary City
Revolutionary City

 

Revolutionary City
Hugs! Revolutionary City
Revolutionary City
Revolutionary City
Surly Big Dummy - Revolutionary City
Surly Big Dummy – Revolutionary City
Salsa Vaya - Revolutionary City
Salsa Vaya – Revolutionary City

After a 45-minute ride around the gravel streets, we were pretty chilled and decided to load up the UAV. We had a great weekend on a whim to the Historical Triangle of Virginia. We stopped in Richmond on the way home and had dinner at Capital Ale House! Nothing like a great beer and huge pretzel to top off the weekend!

 

Capital Ale House
Capital Ale House, Richmond VA

Have you visited the Revolutionary City or Historic Triangle? Share you photos with us! We’d love to see them! 

 

Virginia Creeper, Damascus VA

In November we had the opportunity to knock out a few miles on the incredible Virginia Creeper trail in the western part of Virginia.  The Creeper trail is a two-track gravel path built on an old railway (rail to trail) and is fast becoming one of the more popular trails in the United States.  Our short trip on the trail helped us quickly realize why.

We chose to bike the trail in the autumn timeframe in order to take advantage of the falling leaves and changing colors of the surrounding forest.  I don’t mind biking up hill, however when I’m offered the opportunity I would prefer to bike down hill (who doesn’t).

With the Creeper trail, this is not only an option, but is the  “normal” method.  So on our first night in the town of Damascus VA, we stopped in at The Bike Station to secure our ticket up the hill the next morning.  The great people at The Bike Station locked us in a spot on the morning shuttle and also allowed us to park the Urban Adventure Van (UAV) in their parking lot for an overnight stay.

With both a shuttle for the morning trip secured and a place to park our home on wheels, we started searching for other intriguing places to check out.  It did not take us long to stumble into (and out of) the Damascus Brewery.  We ran through a full tasting of the beers they had on tap and additionally sampled the cider they had recently whipped up.  All incredible beers, making it difficult to choose just one, so I chose multiple.  The Damascus Brewery is yet another cool story of someone putting their mind to coming up with a dream and going for it!  We will be going back for future samplings.

 

 

In the morning we loaded the wife’s Salsa Vaya, my Surly Crosscheck and our daughter’s Thule Chariot stroller on a trailer pulled behind a van by The Bike Station team for a 30-minute drive up the hill to the White Top Station drop point.  The weather was great and the trip up the mountain was beautiful.  When we arrived, it took about 5 minutes to unload the bikes and we were off!  We bombed down the trail with our daughter behind in her Chariot stroller singing and laughing all the way.  Our bikes performed incredibly and the miles zipped by.  We stopped multiple times for pictures and to take in the scenery, however the 17 mile downhill trip back to Damascus only took about an hour an a half total.

The Creeper trail continues on past Damascus for another 17 or so miles, however during this trip we just didn’t have the time to bike the remaining miles, not to mention it was a little cold during this time of year.  The fall trip was nice to see the changing colors, but the trip could also be done during the spring or summer months providing a little warmth and less chance of rain and snow.  The Bike Station can rent you all the equipment you need for this family friendly bike adventure and Damascus Brewery can help assure you have a solid frosty adult beverage to enjoy after your ride.

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