See plantations along the James River

August 23, 2011 12:00 AM

There are many historic areas in the United States that provide insight into the lives of our forefathers, especially in the state of Virginia. If you want to go on a road trip with a historical and educational edge to it, there's perhaps no better area than the plantations along the James River.

Starting in the city of Richmond, take Route 5 southeast out of the city. This road will follow the waterway pretty closely and take you by a number of different hotspots. Reader's Digest calls this one of the Most Scenic Drives in America, so you'll have a nice backdrop as you learn about America's history.

The Shirley plantation is one of the first you'll come across. Guests used to visit this massive estate by boat, floating down the James River. Shirley now houses a fantastic portrait gallery. Also along the river is the Berkeley plantation, which features amazing terraces overlooking the water.

As you continue down the road, you'll eventually make it all the way to Colonial Williamsburg, where even more history awaits. This area is also close to Yorktown and Jamestown.

Before you go, be sure to get a full vehicle inspection and make sure the brake service & repair on your vehicle is up to date. Nothing can kill an excellent trip faster than car trouble, so take the time to ensure your vehicle is in tip-top shape.

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