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Americans have always celebrated their heritage in style, with a multitude of historic sites open to the public, and entire towns dedicated to America's rich colonial origins. Nowhere is this more true that at Colonial Williamsburg (tel. 800/HISTORY; www.colonialwilliamsburg.com), Virginia, the birthplace of the American Revolution.

Spring and summer are ideal seasons to get in touch with your 18th century self and visit Williamsburg. For families, it provides a unique history lesson for parents and children alike. The living-history museum consists of more than 500 restored and reconstructed buildings from the time of the American Revolution, spread across 301 acres of land. Alongside the historic areas of Williamsburg, Yorktown and Jamestown, are shopping centers, hotels, restaurants, three golf courses and two world-class theme parks.

There are also special deals, which make the experience fun and light on the wallet. Children 17 and under have always stayed free in Colonial Williamsburg hotels when sharing a room with accompanying parents or guardians. This summer, the free theme continues with free Colonial Williamsburg admission too. It's an exclusive offer to guests registered at official Colonial Williamsburg hotels including Williamsburg Inn, Governor's Inn, Woodlands Hotel & Suites, Williamsburg Lodge, and Colonial Houses -- Historic Lodging. Accompanying adults must purchase adult Colonial Williamsburg Hotel Guest Passes ($29). This offer can also be applied to the Colonial Williamsburg portion of packages with Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA. Offer valid May 20 through September 30, 2005.

Celebrate the beauty of Williamsburg in springtime with the "Colonial Gardens" package. Priced from $55 per person at the Governor's Inn and $76 per person at the Woodlands Hotel & Suites, it includes one-night's accommodation, a Historic Area admission ticket for the length of your stay, breakfast, and a copy of the Colonial Williamsburg book "From a Colonial Garden." This deal is valid until June 19, 2005

The "Patriot's Plan" package starts at $144 per person, per night, based on double occupancy and includes accommodation at the Governor's Inn, breakfast, dinner in a Colonial Tavern or other hotel dining room, an admission ticket for the length of your stay, and a Guide to Colonial Williamsburg guidebook. A two-night minimum required.

The "Historic Triangle Plan Vacation" package allows guests to experience all three historic sites for one price. Starting at $75 per person, per night the package includes accommodation and a combination entry pass for Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown historic sites. Transport between the sites is free and easy aboard the Historic Triangle Shuttle, which runs between all three sites. A two-night minimum required.

For couples after an old-fashioned romantic getaway, the elegant "Romance by Candlelight" package includes two nights' hotel accommodation at the Colonial Houses-Historic Lodging or the Williamsburg Inn, breakfasts, dinner at the Tavern one night and in the Regency Room the next night, sparkling wine and chocolate truffles delivered to your room. Priced from $197 per person, per night.

Other discounted packages are available through the Williamsburg Hotel and Motel Association (800/999-4475; www.mywilliamsburgvacation.com) for stays at properties outside the official historic site.

The "Williamsburg Flex Vacation" package entitles guests to a flexible pass for unlimited admission to Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown Settlement, Yorktown Victory Center and Busch Gardens for $152 for adults and $110 for children when staying at one of dozens of hotels in the area for three nights. Valid until October 31, 2005. The "Busch Gardens Vacation" package starts at $290 (excluding taxes and service charges) for two adults and includes two days of unlimited visits to the Gardens and Water Country. Valid from May 15 to September 19, 2005. The "History is Fun" package includes unlimited entrance to Jamestown Settlement, Colonial Williamsburg, the Yorktown Victory Center, Historic Jamestowne and Yorktown Battlefield whilst staying at one of the associated hotels. The combination ticket ($79 for adults and $34 for children) is valid for up to five consecutive days and provides entry to the three living history museums and two National Park sites. Hotel prices start at under $45 (plus taxes) per room per night.

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