Historic Jamestowne is the site of America’s first permanent English settlement. The area is now preserved and protected, allowing for the continuation of Jamestowne’s historic relevance and magnetism. The site now features various facilities, interpretive experiences and programs for visitors, promoting the history of America's birthplace. People from all around the world come to historic Jamestowne to explore archaeological findings and perspectives.
Among the wealth of Williamsburg's attractions is the Wren Building, located on campus of William & Mary College. Built between 1695 and 1700, the Wren Building is both the oldest college building in the United States and the oldest of Williamsburg's restored public buildings. The building is open for visitors to explore a part of Williamsburg history.
Experience the beauty of the Virginian coast with Yorktown Sailing Charters. Sailing tours launch from Yorktown port to take passengers along the York River as the crew immerses you in the fabulous history of the area. Sail past the battlefield where America earned its independence and gaze over the waters for dolphins and osprey. Offering more than just schooners, the Yorktown Sailing Charters have week-long Caribbean cruises and more.
Visit Europe without ever having to leave the United States at Busch Gardens! The park combines the charm and excitement of England, France, Italy, Germany, Scotland, and Ireland in one adventure land. In addition to over 100 thrilling rides and attractions, there are live shows, shopping centers, and dining facilities.
Water Country USA is perfect for Williamsburg's warm spring and summer days. The whole family can splash about at slides and rides like the Jet Scream, or discover the world's largest special effects raft ride down the Aquazoid. Because the hours change according to season, be sure to check the website for details.
A trip to Williamsburg is not complete without a visit to Colonial Williamsburg. Exit the 21st century and step into the 1700s, where you can explore period homes, town buildings, and craft stores that have been restored for guests. Reenactments take place daily, from court sessions to the battlefield. Families are invited to watch as artisans produce goods like glass and steelworks using only colonial methods. Come and engage in the excitement of colonial America.
The Golden Horsehoe Golf Club has been one of Williamsburg's finest gems since 1963. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. himself, the course has a par of 71 and a slope rating of 144. The course spans 6,817 yards and offers terrain for every type of golfer. Be sure to pack your clubs and enjoy the scenic beauty of the Golden Horseshoe.
The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum carries folk art and 19th century household items. Exhibits showcase paintings, furniture, toys, kitchenware, needlework, carvings, and more. There is something for every eye and expression at the museum.
The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum presents a collection of 18th and 19th century arts and antiques from Great Britain and America. There are also lectures and musical performances held. After touring, stop by the store for a selection of books, music, jewelry, and other products, followed by a sandwich or drink at the Museum Café.
Waller Mill Park contains a pretty lake, hiking trails, and activities for every age. Fishing, boating, canoeing, kayaking, and other aquatic activities are allowed on the lake. There are also shelters that can accommodate 25 to 150 people, picnic tables, fields, and playgrounds.
Freshwater and saltwater coalesce at the York River State Park, creating the perfect habitat for aquatic and plant life. Not only can adventurers hike, mountain bike, ride horses, and swim, but programs and activities are available to explore the colonial and Native American history and artifacts of the area. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy a splendid day outdoors.
The Bruton Parish Episcopal Church was constructed in 1674 and still holds church services to this day. The church's patronage has included myriads of patriots from the Revolution and other Virginians. Over 120 recitals and concerts are held annually. Visitors are invited to attend noonday prayers every Monday through Saturday and the Holy Eucharist at 11a.m. on Wednesdays, as well as Sunday services.
Standing as a beacon for Revolutionary sentiments and British dissipation, the Governor's Palace has served as the residence to both royal and elected governors of Virginia. There are sword and gun displays, as well as a grand ballroom. Exit the palace to discover a world of manicured gardens.
After venturing on a wine tour and tasting at Williamsburg Winery, sit down for dinner at the Gabriel Archer Tavern. For lunch, enjoy sandwiches, salads, and platters while taking in the vineyard view. Dinner courses feature the likes of steak, salmon, roasted chicken, and vegetarian specials. There are food and wine pairings Thursday evenings.
Nestled in the Williamsburg Winery is the regal Café Provençal. Chef Tim Westby-Gibson offers guests French-inspired dishes and complementary wines that have been referred to as "some of the best wines in the world". Locally caught fish, locally grown produce, and even some local wines all make Provençal an outstanding choice.
The culmination of over thirty years of food and beverage experience, A Chef's Kitchen is the creation of renowned chef John Gonzales and his wife Wanda. Lovers of fine wine and food will be swept away while being taught how to craft the ultimate full course meals. Learn and dine from one of America's best chefs right in Williamsburg.
Le Yaca has much to be proud of: in addition to being a favorite of historic Williamsburg, the restaurant also ranks in the Top 100 for the Diner's Choice Awards and was given Hampton Road's Number 1 Platinum Plate Award. Restaurateurs and laymen alike rave about the French cuisine, which composes a seasonal menu. Le Yaca presents guests with French and American wines to complement the meals. Reservations are recommended but not required.
If you love seafood and good prices, head over to Captain George's Seafood. Choose from over 100 items on the menu or craft your meal from one of the many buffets. The king crab legs are incredibly popular, as well as the oysters. It's recommended that you arrive early, as the waiting times may get long.
First generation Sicilian chef Francesco brings his superb culinary experience to Williamsburg with his eponymous Francesco's Ristorante Italiano. Traditional and new Italian cuisine are his specialties, gracing the palates of patrons with artisan entrees. The produce used is the finest of the region, and the ingredients boast only the highest quality.
Second St. Restaurant is a romantically intimate venue featuring new American cuisine. Choose to dine indoors or on the beautiful outdoor patio. Their menu features a wide selection of appetizers, main courses, and fabulous desserts. All of the entrées come highly recommended, whether it is grilled salmon or perfectly seared steak. Second St. also has a full bar and a staff that will attend to your dining needs. Hours vary by season, so make sure to check their website for accurate times.
“Eat, Drink and Think” at Food For Thought Restaurant. Clever décor includes biographical photographs of historical figures, from scientists to political leaders, and each table contains discussion cards designed to spark thoughtful conversation. Choose from a menu featuring a wide variety of cuisines, whether it be fork tender pot roast, Jamaican jerk chicken, pad Thai or even baked eggplant parmesan. There are seafood specials every night, and the bar serves seasonal drafts and draft microbrews. Breakfast is served on Saturday and Sunday.
Once a seafood favorite of none other than George Washington, Christiana Campbell's Tavern specializes in 18th century seafood courses. Crab cakes, sherried shrimp, scallops, lobster: each meal hearkens Old Virginia with a twist of modern panache. The décor and ambiance are styled after 18th century Virginia.
Aromas World is a bubbly café and bakery, offering specialty coffees, teas, and desserts, as well as wine and beer. The venue is styled with Old World decor, making it a innovative escape for breakfast, lunch or dinner. There's live music on Fridays and Saturdays.
Winner of the Virginia Living Magazine's "Best Diner – Eastern Virginia" award for 2012, Five Forks Café is Williamsburg's beloved classic diner. They are open for breakfast, lunch and now also dinner. Five Forks serves traditional American favorites, such as breakfast sandwiches, eggs, hash browns, French toast, burgers, salads, homemade chili, and much more.
Giuseppe's Italian Restaurant is a gourmet café serving authentic Italian cuisine. Choose from lunch or dinner menus with dishes like individual pizzas, pastas, soups, and salads. Also be sure to look into the wine menu. Freshly baked rolls accompany all lunch entrėes, along with either homemade soup or fresh salad.
Plaza Azteca Mexican Restaurant has been serving authentic Mexican cuisine for two decades. Bringing the eclectic vivacity of Mexican seasoning, Plaza Azteca prepares dishes like their signature sizzling fajitas, enchiladas, burritos, quesadillas, and nachos. To top it all off, enjoy your meal with a hearty margarita.
The Cheese Shop selects handcrafted artisan cheeses from the United States and around the world. Place an order for a scrumptious sandwich to fill you up, and take in the fabulous aromas of gourmet cheese. The staff is eager to help you taste and decide which cheeses to purchase.
Following in the vein of founder, owner, and carrot enthusiast Debi Helseth, the Carrot Tree Kitchen is Williamsburg’s scratch bakery. Along with the fabulous cakes and pastries, Carrot Tree also serves brunch and dinner. The cuisine is new and traditional American, with sandwiches, seafood, vegan, and vegetarian dishes.
Located in the heart of Williamsburg is MAD About Chocolate Café. Founded by author and chocolate friend Marcel Desaulniers, MAD About Chocolate showcases the desserts of your dreams. Cookies, ice cream, brownies, chocolates, and even non-sweet baked goods are all served.
The Fat Canary, located in Colonial Williamsburg, is renowned for its rich elegance and superb wines. Receiving the AAA Four Diamond award for seven consecutive years, the Fat Canary offers a seasonal menu of the finest New American cuisine. Peruse the red and white wine lists and fall in love with selections from around the world. Each wine is designed to complement the current menu, making for some rare vineyards and names.
DoG Street is a British-American fusion gastropub located on the historic Duke of Gloucester Street, from which it derives its name. Opened in June of 2012 by chef David Everett, the pub combines friendly neighborhood service and ambiance with craft beer and quality dishes. Indulge in microbrew and conversation, all in the great atmosphere of a British pub in Williamsburg.
Open from April through October, the Taphouse Grill is a trendily offbeat outdoor bar and grill. The full bar includes wine and beer with microbrews on tap. Select dinner from Virginian seafood, chicken, or beef, and enjoy live music on Fridays and Saturdays. Among local favorites is the she-crab soup.
Cozzy's Comedy Club and Tavern boasts an extensive history of featuring comedic greats like Michael Winslow, Jimmy “J.J.” Walker, Darrell Hammond, Tommy Chong, and many more. The weekend shows have premier stand-up comedians. Guests can enjoy dinner along with the shows. Comedy shows start at 9p.m. on Fridays and at 8p.m. and 10:30p.m. on Saturdays. Cozzy's is restricted to 18 years old and up.
At the Sandbar Grill & Pub, guests can find delicious food and drinks, live entertainment, and karaoke all in one venue. The full kitchen offers everything from fresh salads to buffalo wings, while the full bar is completely at your service. A stress-free environment is always the daily special.
Green Leafe at New Town is one of Williamsburg's leading bars and restaurants. The cuisine is traditional American, and the drink menu highlights a full bar and wine list. Also note the extensive beer selection, featuring over 150 bottled beers and 64 drafts. Spend the day shopping or dining in New Town, and step over to Green Leafe for a nightcap.
The Yorktown Pub is found in beautiful and historic Yorktown Beach. Fresh seafood caught in the area graces the menu, along with Boars Head deli sandwiches and Carrot Tree desserts. For nighttime occasions, take your pick from the full bar: imported, domestic, and micro beer options are available. Be sure to check out the nightly dinner specials beginning at 4pm.
Serving produce from the surrounding area is the Corner Pocket, located in Colonial Williamsburg. The restaurant and bar fuels patrons for more fun in the billiards room, and live music takes to the stage. There are also four dart boards, seven televisions, and a 10 foot projection screen.
The beautiful Williamsburg Premium Outlets have 135 stores from which to choose. Spanning names like Ann Taylor, BCBG Max Azria, Cole Haan, DKNY, and Hugo Boss, savings events can be found in each store. Center events and in-store promotions are offered weekly, so be sure to check out the website for more information.
It isn't all just about the peanuts alone at Whitley's Peanut Factory, a compact boutique that stocks a wide array of nut-based goods and a wide variety of nuts in multiple flavours. Ingredients are largely locally-sourced, and extend to other edibles and even themed clothing items.
Over 170 shops share residence in New Town’s 365-acre community. Kay Jewelers, Ann Taylor Loft, Justice, Victoria’s Secret, Chico’s, and White House Black Market are a handful of stores located here. Take a break from shopping to dine at one of the many restaurants, or catch a movie at the 12-screen movie theater. Stroll through the parks and walking trails, and you might be able to catch a concert or two.
Find shopping, dining, and entertainment leisure in the Village Shops at Kingsmill. There are chic apparel stores like The Wardrobe, home furnishing shops like Classic Consignments, hobby shops, and art stores. The Village is all adorned in colonial style, transporting visitors to Virginia’s wondrous past.
Merchants Square is an 18th-century designed retail village, featuring over 40 stores and dining facilities. Choose from apparel, jewelry and accessories, specialty food, specialty shops, and bookstores. The ambiance is friendly and warm, with idyllic architecture and natural surroundings.
The Antique Mall is Williamsburg’s destination for the discerning eye: every clever shopper can find something of interest and value here, from antiques to collectibles. There are over 400 booths manned by knowledgeable staff and dealers. Call buttons are located on every aisle for your assistance.
Master Craftsman in Williamsburg specializes in fine bracelets, jewelry, necklaces, pewter, ornaments, and much more. All of the bracelets and jewelry are handmade in the upstairs workroom, using precious metals purchased right from the United States. Shop for unique jewelry you won't find anywhere else.
Williamsburg's flagship Yankee Candle store is a Mecca for America's favorite candle. With over 150 fragrances, shoppers can be sure to find a scent for every room or office. Choose from classic scents like vanilla and fresh linen to quirky aromas such as bacon and leather. Whatever your preference, Yankee Candle Company has it.
Citizens of the Schengen countries, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the Kingdom of Brunei can visit the United States for up to 90 days without applying for a visa (as well as citizens of Andorra, Lichtenstein, Monaco and San Marino). Citizens of these countries must obtain an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) before traveling. All other travelers must obtain a visa before visiting the United States. International travelers need a passport that is valid for at least 3 months after the end of their intended trip in order to enter the country.
Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (PHF) is located 17 miles from Williamsburg. PHF has nonstop flights to seven cities, servicing Allegiant Air, Frontier Airlines, Delta, U.S. Airways, and PeopleExpress. Ground transportation to and from PHF is supplied by most major rental companies, as well as taxi and limousine companies. The Hampton Roads Transit city bus system also serves PHF.
Colonial Williamsburg has a running program all year long, although it becomes reduced during the after-Christmas winter months. Late spring and early fall bring mild temperatures and are the best off-peak times; do keep in mind that some of Williamsburg's theme- and water parks only operate in summer.
The Williamsburg Area Transport (WAT) serves the city with routes encircling the William & Mary campus and entire city. Paratransit services are in operation, with replica trolleys at the Yorktown Riverfront. The Hampton Roads Transit bus system is connected to WAT in northwestern Newport News and at the Williamsburg Transportation Center.