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Colonial Williamsburg
It's deja vu all over again

From the March 26, 2001 Issue of New York

Long before Disney World, there was Colonial Williamsburg, perhaps the country's first self-contained theme park. That may seem a cheeky way to talk about a town meticulously restored to its eighteenth-century self, but how else describe a place whose every inhabitant -- from "Thomas Jefferson" holding forth on the town common, to the "slaves" arguing the question of their servitude -- is an actor, exceptionally well-prepared to handle any questions? Equally impressive is the scale of the place -- the tiny rooms, in tiny homes, on tiny, carefully tended plots of land. Colonial Williamsburg operates its own hotels (the Governor's Inn is adequate) and three taverns -- Chowning's, an eighteenth-century alehouse; Shields, the oldest of the trio; and Christiana Campbell's -- offering sorta-Colonial-era fare and strolling musicians.

Colonial Williamsburg, 800-HISTORY or www.history.org; the Governor's Inn, 757-229-1000 (doubles start at $85).

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