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Word Count: 670
With heightened concerns about terrorism and international travel many Americans are opting to stay home this year and explore their country instead of traveling abroad Already this summer the US National Park Service reported an increase in attendance for the season and continued record crowds are expected at many parks With this rediscovery of America in full swing historic sites have become particularly popular destinations Williamsburg Virginia the birthplace of the American Revolution is riding high on this wave of renewed interest with a 30 percent increase in tourism so far over last year Unlike many other historic destinations Colonial Williamsburg is administered not by the government but by a private foundation started in 1926 by John D Rockefeller Jr who used his own money to preserve the site where the architects of American independence - Washington Jefferson Adams - planned their masterpiece Part History Part Theme Park In this tiny almost storybook village which comprises 301 acres filled with structures dating from the early 18th century costumed staff members demonstrate early American trades recite historic speeches and act as tour guides while staying in period character staffers feign amazement at an optic box when having their pictures taken The place is part actual history and part historic theme park but visitors leave with a grasp of the difficulties the early patriots faced and an awareness of the fierce political debate that was raging on the eve of the American Revolution Colonial Williamsburg also has two impressive museums the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum which house everything from rare portraits of a young George Washington to ceramic and silver collections and hand-carved childrens toys The citys other main selling point - one kids are likely to respond to - has nothing to do with history at all Busch Gardens Williamsburg a theme park bigger than Colonial Williamsburg
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