Let’s rewind to life in the 18th century. Back to colonial times. Williamsburg, Va., was founded in 1632 because of its location midway between the James and York rivers. Jamestown, Yorktown, and Williamsburg form America’s historic triangle, and all three towns played significant roles in America’s fight for independence.
Williamsburg is now home to Colonial Williamsburg, the largest living history museum in the United States. Stroll along the dirt and brick pathways or take a carriage ride to connect with this Revolutionary city. You can almost feel the tension rising between the English monarchy and townspeople as you’re walking through the capitol building, the Colony of Virginia’s seat of government. Swing by the Peyton Randolph House and experience the contrasts between freedom and slavery. In the evening, join in the live music, dancing, games and festivities. Take a Ghosts of Williamsburg candlelight tour and get spooked — everyone, young and old, will enjoy the historic nighttime tour, which highlights the unexplained voices and hollow footsteps that haunt the town.
In the mood for some scenic paddling? Stop at Eco-Discovery Park, just across from Jamestown Settlement
and rent a kayak or canoe and float along the Powhatan Creek, the very same waterway Captain John Smith traveled in 1607. Or you can rent bikes and pedal or stroll along the 23-mile Colonial Parkway connecting
Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown.
Williamsburg also offers some thrilling amusement. Busch Gardens is packed with roller coasters and other attractions for the entire family. Care to get soaked? Water Country USA is the perfect place to cool off during the warm spring and hot summer months.
Or pamper yourself! The 18th-centurystyle architecture of Merchants Square houses more than 40 specialty shops, boutiques and restaurants. After you’ve hit the shops, grab something to eat at one of the many restaurants, including one of the area’s best seafood restaurants, Berret’s Restaurant & Taphouse Grill. You can also unwind at the Spa at Kingsmill Resort, an oasis of relaxation and rejuvenation.
And as if that weren’t enough, Williamsburg is also one of the nation’s top golf destinations. The Kingsmill Resort’s River, Plantation and Woods courses were created by top course designers and are among Golf Digest’s 75 Best Golf Resorts in North America.
WHERE TO DOCK
- Kingsmill Resort and Marina (757-253-1703, kingsmill.com) Tie up at one of the 15 transient slips with concrete floating docks and power and water connections. All guests of the marina have full access to the resort’s amenities, including the spa, golf course, pool, tennis courts and restaurants.
- Jamestown Yacht Basin (757-565-3699) Located on Jamestown Island, the full service marina has 90 wet slips. The facility also offers a bathhouse, pumpout and gasoline.
WHERE TO DINE
- Chowning’s Tavern (109 E Duke of Gloucester St., 888-965-7254) Feast like they did in the 18th century! The restaurant originally opened in 1766. The menu offers Southern favorites such as Virginia pulled pork sandwiches, and fiddlers provide entertainment.