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Williamsburg is a city located on the Virginia Peninsula in the Hampton Roads region in southeastern Virginia.
As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 11,998.
It is bordered by James City County and York County, and is an independent city.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Williamsburg with James City County for statistical purposes.
Originally Middle Plantation, a 1632 fortified settlement located on high ground on the Peninsula between the
James and York rivers, it was renamed Williamsburg after the capital of the Virginia Colony was moved there
from Jamestown in 1698.
The town received a royal charter as a city in 1722, and was the center of political events in Virginia leading to the
Williamsburg is well-known for Colonial Williamsburg, the restored Historic Area of the city, and for the adjacent
College of William and Mary, established in 1693, the second-oldest university in the United States.
Nearby, established in 1770, the predecessor of the current Eastern State Hospital was the first known
mental hospital in the United States.
The Historic Triangle of Virginia, which also includes Jamestown and Yorktown, is among the most popular
tourist destinations in the world, with Williamsburg located in the center.
The three are linked by the National Park Service's bucolic Colonial Parkway, a 23 mile-long (37 km)
National Scenic Byway which is carefully shielded from views of commercial development.
The toll-free Jamestown Ferry is located at the southern end of the Colonial Parkway.
State Route 5, another scenic byway, links Williamsburg and Richmond.
Most highway travelers reach Williamsburg via nearby Interstate 64, U.S. Route 60, and State Route 143,
each four laned east-west highways.
Commercial airline service is available at Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (20 miles),
and at Richmond and Norfolk airports (55 miles each).
All are located along I-64 and offer limousine service to Williamsburg, as well as rental cars.
Williamsburg also offers non-automobile driving alternatives for visitors and citizens.
The intermodal Williamsburg Transportation Center is located in a restored Chesapeake and
Ohio Railway station near the Historic Area, downtown, and the College.
It offers Amtrak and Greyhound services, taxicabs, and rental cars.
There, many visitors transfer to the community's local transit bus system, Williamsburg Area Transport,
which operates accessible equipment for the mobility-impaired with bicycle racks on buses as well.
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