William & Mary students reflect on their alternative breaks in Nicaragua and Haiti

The Branch Out alternative break, which is part of the college’s community engagement initiative, sent more than 20 students abroad over the winter holiday break to work on social justice projects.

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Brandon Posner’s holiday trip to Nicaragua was not a luxurious excursion. The College of William & Mary junior did spend plenty of time in the sun, but it wasn’t poolside or while swimming at the beach. Instead, there were long hours of hauling heavy cinder blocks and he had to take showers with a bucket […]


Headed to New Orleans for Mardi Gras? Music advice from a seasoned pro

Look past Bourbon Street to experience the real city, writes musician Tom Mahnken, who has visited the Big Easy more times than he can count (or remember).

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Editor’s note: Our parent company, Local Voice Media, has employees who work in all different parts of the organization to make our content possible. Some take some pretty interesting trips as well. This story is from Tom Mahnken, our Vice President of Creative Services. Mardi Gras is coming to New Orleans on Feb. 28, so […]


Williamsburg resident recovers dog tags of fallen U.S. soldiers in Vietnam

William & Mary senior Scott Gemmell-Davis travels the world with Global Playground, a non-profit organization, hoping to change perceptions and making lifelong relationships along the way.

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It was only his second day in Vietnam so Scott Gemmell-Davis was understandably overwhelmed. And he was thirsty. So the 23-year-old Williamsburg resident did what any human being would do in such a state. He went in search of water. Only Gemmell-Davis was not in a busy city where people scurried about in the streets […]


Escape to Poland: Journal entries from a constant wanderer

Follow musician Tom Mahnken as he documents his trip to Poznan, Poland in June 2011. He was on an international musical tour in the former communist country with a group of 75- to 90 year-old people who sang Rock and Roll songs.

Poznan, Poland in all of its glory. (Photos courtesy Tom Mahnken)

Editor’s note: Our parent company, Local Voice Media, has employees who work in all different parts of the organization to make our content possible. Some take some pretty interesting trips as well. This story is from Tom Mahnken, our Vice President of Creative Services.   Yes, I was in glorious former communist Poland. The people […]


Places to visit on less than a tank of gas: U.S. Army Transportation Museum

Located less than 15 miles from Williamsburg, museum director Claire Samuelson says there is a broad appeal for young and old alike as their primary goal is to “educate soldiers about their heritage and history."

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Editor’s note: No need for a plane ticket. Put that passport away. This story is part of a series that features regional attractions outside of the Williamsburg area that can be driven to with less than one tank of gas. Buckle up and hit the road.    A large sign on Interstate 64 in Newport News […]


Escape to Grand Cayman: Journal entries from a constant wanderer

Follow James City County resident Ben Swenson as he leaves the snow in Hampton Roads behind to explore a world of Caribbean wonder outside his resort, beyond the tourist paths and past the pristine beaches.

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The Caribbean islands beckon many Virginians this time of year because they offer warm sand and sunshine, which is the perfect pick-me-up after several inches of snow fell on Hampton Roads this past month. But if the idea of lounging beachside for hours at a time isn’t compelling enough to book a flight, consider that most […]


Local travel agents are ‘back in the picture’ and seeing more business

Instead of falling down that travel wormhole on the worldwide web, residents in Hampton Roads are starting to look for a local solution when it comes to planning and executing their travel dreams.

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Name your own price for that hotel stay. Be sure to compare all those rental car quotes. Then scour the internet for hours looking for reviews, advice and the best travel package deal imaginable. Does this sound familiar? For the last two decades, this is how many American consumers planned their trips to Europe, the […]


Williamsburg’s little-known Civil War battlefield has connections to local history

Increased visitation and volunteerism has raised awareness of Williamsburg’s brush with the Civil War.

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For years, Williamsburg’s Civil War history has lived in the shadow of better-known attractions situated nearby. But local historians and preservationists have made strides in recent years to right that imbalance by showcasing opportunities to enjoy the preserved parts of this hidden history and by adding to the protected portions of the sprawling battlefield. Even […]