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JUL-AUG 2016

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38 J U L Y / A U G U S T 2 0 1 6 F O R known WILLIAMSBURG, VIRGINIA, AND COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG get mixed up quite a bit. And that's fair: Colonial Williamsburg is a living-history museum that encompasses part of a historic district within the city of Williamsburg. In the living re-creation of a Rev- olutionary-era town, horse-drawn carriages clop along the Duke of Gloucester Street, and guests can watch as craftsmen and artisans ply their trade. During an Apprentice Tour, a new group option in- troduced in June, guests can get their hands dirty making candles at the candlemaker's, doing needlework at the milliner's or working the bellows at the blacksmith shop. "What the public demands nowadays, what they expect and what we're working hard to curate is engaging, hands-on experiences," said spokesman Joe Straw. At the musket range that opened in March, visitors can learn about and fi re the two most common guns of the era: a British mili- tary musket known as a "Brown Bess" and the popular 18th-century Fowler shotgun. e village's open-air Market House, the last major public struc- ture to be rebuilt, celebrated its grand opening in November, and "it's the commercial and social heart of the city," Straw said. Every afternoon, guests can participate in real public auctions like those that would have been held daily in the 1700s. Visitors can bid on and buy items made by Colonial Williamsburg's tradespeople, as well as re-created architectural elements, such as doors or old windows. W W W . C O L O N I A L W I L L I A M S B U R G . C O M AS RECENTLY AS A CENTURY AGO, old-growth coastal red- woods stretched from the Oregon border to south of San Fran- cisco. Today, fewer than 5 percent of the original redwoods re- main, and of those that do, nearly half are protected in Redwood National and State Parks' 132,000 acres. e parks can be a bit challenging for large groups to visit, mostly because of parking and maneuverability issues. But there are still plenty of group options. e omas H. Kuchel Visitor Center off ers interpretive exhibits, a fi lm and ranger-led programs and talks during the summer. Prairie Creek Visitor Center also has ranger-guided walks and evening campfi re programs in the summertime. e center is located on the Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway, a 10-mile road that runs north-south through Prairie Creek State Park and is one of the best options for groups, Poole said. Today, the 30-minute drive includes several trailheads, a resident herd of elk and Big Tree Wayside, where visitors can try to wrap their arms and minds around Big Tree's 68-foot circumference. Depending on staffi ng, groups may be able to arrange special ranger programs. Several stables provide group horseback trail rides through the parks, and outfi tters provide group kayaking and standup paddleboarding on Smith River or biking through the towering trees. W W W . N P S . G O V / R E D W SIGNATURE WILLIAMSBURG, VIRGINIA NORTHERN CALIFORNIA Courtesy Colonial Williamsburg Courtesy National Park Service C O L O N I A L W I L L I A M S B U R G R E D W O O D N A T I O N A L P A R K

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