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A Guide to Williamsburg Virginia

With its temperate climate, historical Williamsburg, VA is an ideal place to visit any day of the year. The greatest variety of events, however, are available during the summer.

Colonial Williamsburg

A visit to Colonial Williamsburg, or CW, as it is called by the locals, is most successful if tickets are bought initially at the visitor center. Simply follow the signs.

Wearing the colonial garb of the eighteenth century, trained workers use tools of that period to demonstrate the trades of that era, whether it be the occupation of blacksmith, printer or other craftsmen. Visitors can begin their morning with coffee and a light breakfast at Aromas Coffee House and Bake Shoppe on Prince George Street. Be sure to take in the farmer’s market on Merchant Square during the warmer weekends before visiting the craftsmen’s shops. 

See the Barnes and Noble Bookstore on Duke of Gloucester Street to purchase souvenirs that bear witness to the influence of both the College of William and Mary, the second oldest college in the United States, and the fact that Williamsburg was the capital of Colonial Virginia.


There are three major shopping areas in Williamsburg: Prime Outlets, located on Richmond Road by Old Towne; Merchant’s Square in Colonial Williamsburg; and, the recently-built New Town bordering Monticello Avenue.

Shopping is abundant and novelty shops are nestled among the upscale boutiques.

Concerts and evening events

Bruton Parish Church on Duke of Gloucester Street often features organ recitals and choral concerts in the evening. The Parish House is next to the Barnes and Noble Bookstore with the church located in the restored section of Colonial Williamsburg.

The College of William and Mary is also bordered by Richmond Road and offers many entertaining events. Every Saturday at the Christopher Wren Chapel located on its campus which is close to CW, James S. Darling, Bruton Parish’s organist emeritus, gives organ recitals which he punctuates with historical background.

Colonial Williamsburg comes alive at night with candlelit ghost tours and witch trial re-enactments. Both a Mystery and a Haunted Dinner Theater are located further up Richmond Road. If attending the theater is not in your plans after dining at one of the many restaurants in Williamsburg, remember to head back to the Kimball Theatre or Bruton Parish Church on Duke of Gloucester Street for a film or concert.

Williamsburg is a fun place to visit. Its proximity to Busch Gardens, Historical Yorktown and Jamestown, and Norfolk serves to add to its allure.

In Williamsburg you’ll experience the story of America in the place where it all began. Discover what John Smith’s Virginia colony was like when you visit Jamestown Settlement’s museum exhibits and re-created settings. Observe an archeological dig and the original fort at Historic Jamestowne.

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Feel the excitement of Colonial Williamsburg, where historical interpreters and actors re-create life on the eve of the Revolutionary War. Travel to the Yorktown Battlefield, where the British surrender allowed the United States to gain its independence at long last. Then find a new appreciation and understanding of our nation’s beginnings at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, where you can explore re-creations of a Continental Army encampment and 1780s farm.


In Williamsburg, there’s no shortage of good restaurants. Maybe you’re looking for a fancy restaurant, or want to travel back in time and dine in one of Colonial Williamsburg’s 18th-century-style taverns. Perhaps you’ll want to find out what makes Duck Donuts a great place for a treat at any time of day. You can sample some of Blue Talon Bistro’s seafood cuisine or visit the Amber Ox for an array of dishes and their sister brewery, Precarious Beer Project

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Casual restaurants abound, so it’s easy to find a family-friendly bakery, café, deli or buffet. If you’re planning a special night out, dine along the river in Yorktown. You can experience fine dining in an elegant atmosphere at several Williamsburg-area restaurants. Finish up with a nightcap in a local brewery, tavern or bar with outdoor seating and live music.

williamsburg virginia guide

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