Berkeley Plantation

22 Sep
Main house, Berkeley Plantation

Main house, Berkeley Plantation

The Berkeley Plantation is the most historic plantation on the James River and is located off of Rte. 5 in Charles City (between Williamsburg and Richmond).

The Plantation consists of 3 historic homes, gardens and sites of the applicable historic events all in a beautiful setting overlooking the James River.  There are guides in period costumes to escort you through the home, which consists of period pieces and civil war artifacts.

Berkeley Plantation is the birthplace of President William Henry Harrison and Benjamin Harrison, V(a signer of the Declaration of Independence), the site of the first official Thanksgiving Dinner (in 1619) and also where the tune “Taps” was originally written.  It is the ancestral home of President Benjamin Harrison.

Admission is $11.00 per adult, Ages 6-12 $6.00, Ages 13-17 $7.50, children under 6 are free.  10% discounts for AAA, Senior Citizens and Military.  You can also get a coupon for $1.00 each admission in the Williamsburg tourism guide (which can be picked up for free throughout

Berkeley Plantation Grounds Map

Berkeley Plantation Grounds Map

Williamsburg).  Open daily from 9am to 5pm with the last guided tour at 4:30pm.

Tina’s take on it: I think the price is a little hefty for a visit that even the website claims to take only 1.5 hours.  But, it’s a great place to stop with antsy kids who need to run (there’s plenty of room on the grounds) and/or for a picnic (tables are there).  Drinks can be purchased for $1.00 in the gift shop; however, that’s about it for refreshments.  The gift shop is minimal so the kids should be able to breeze right through it without being enticed.  The history is so incredibly rich here – it definitely should be on the list of places to visit.  If the pre-recorded information speakers had been working at the various sites on the grounds, I think my son would have enjoyed it more.  Also, the grounds map says there is a ship’s replica down at the water and it was not there which was disappointing.  To get the most out of your visit, I would pick up a book at the library about the First Thanksgiving and the Harrison’s and read those to the children prior to visiting.


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