Joseph J. O’Donnell’s ‘My Virginia’: Williamsburg Attractions

The-Alliance     Recently The Arts and Entertainment Magazine decided to tour the southern coastal region of Virginia and discover some of the wonders of the area. Notably Williamsburg is famous for Busch Gardens and Colonial Williamsburg, so we decided to see what other hidden treasures the region held. We chanced upon the historical site of Yorktown, not far from the Williamsburg tourist attractions. There we discovered Yorktown Sailing Charters.

There are two sailing schooners available, the three-masted Alliance and the smaller two-masted Serenity. We naturally opted for the Alliance which was available at the time. The schooner is a seventy-five ton steel hulled ship handled easily by a three person crew. This includes its captain, Alex, and a well trained crew consisting of Emily and Darby. All three were gracious and knowledgeable and allowed us to help them set the sails.

The charter service also has a Pirate Adventure cruise in which both ships depart the Yorktown dock and actually fire live cannons at each other while sailing on the York River. The river is also a deep river port of bygone days and presently is used by the Navy and Coast Guard vessels for training and docking.

IMG_3501_1   It is our first adventure ‘under sail’ and it proved to be exhilarating. The history of the river is also noted in the ‘Battle of Yorktown’ when British general Lord Cornwallis decided to set sail from the peninsula in a retreat but was trapped by General Washington’s Continental Army and the French fleet under Admiral DeGrasse . Washington’s victory there gave birth to our nation.

You can contact the charter service at 888-316-6422 or visit them on line at for times and bookings.

Our second discovery of the trip was the ‘Virginia Living Museum’ at Newport News. It is well-diverse in its makeup and includes an aquarium, large outdoor conservation area with native animals, and planetarium. There is also a science center, dinosaur exhibit, children’s playground, and gift shop and cafe.

This is definitely a fun place for children and adults alike. Great attention by the museum is given to the nature walk which provides visitors with views of their animal sanctuary, Bird Aviary, and arboretum. There is also a native plant teaching garden and conservation garden to explore. This is probably the most complete set-up of its kind in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Our readership can contact them directly at 757-595-1900 for information.

We have included pictures of each of these fascinating discoveries in this article and we highly urge our readers to visit both sites for their vacation destinations.


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