Traveling to Colonial Williamsburg
If you’re a history buff or just looking to enjoy shopping, there’s plenty for you to see and do in Williamsburg, Virginia. Often called Colonial Williamsburg, it was one of the original colonies formed when the English came to America, so the area is ripe with history.
Getting to Colonial Williamsburg can be a challenge as the streets were quite literally designed several hundred years ago. In addition to narrow drives, there are cobblestone streets that you cannot easily traverse. If you’re looking to visit with a group, you might be better off getting a charter or a shuttle bus, so your driver can bring the whole group together in one vehicle. You won’t have to worry yourself with parking, and when you’re done for the day, you don’t have to worry about the drive home. A driver can drop your group off at the designated drop-off point.
There’s plenty to see and do when you’re in Colonial Williamsburg, a living history museum. While many of the original buildings were damaged in a fire and had to be rebuilt, the old church remains a centerpiece of the town. You can take a tour of many places and interact with artisans who still make their living by through works like being a blacksmith.
When you enter Colonial Williamsburg with your group, stop for a moment and just take a look around. Bruton Parish Church is easily distinguished from the rest of the structures. Built in 1677, this Episcopalian church still has regular services today. When you enter the church, box pews feature the names of some of the worshippers who have come before, such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. If you’re lucky enough to hear the bell peel, you’re also listening to a piece of history. The bell was cast in 1761 and rang out to mark the Declaration of Independence’s signing and the Treaty of Paris, which ended the American Revolutionary War.
Further up into the historic area, you’ll find the Governor’s Palace. This structure was the home to the Colony of Williamsburg’s Royal Governors. The residence was also home to post-colonial governors, including Thomas Jefferson. The original structure was burned down by a fire in 1781, but it was rebuilt like much of the historic area in the 1930s. The structures that remained prior to the fire were destroyed during the American Revolution to reuse the materials in other construction works. The buildings were recreated based on surviving evidence, such as architectural remnants that fell during the fire and some of Thomas Jefferson’s drawings.
Other major houses exist that you can photograph and learn about with your group in Colonial Williamsburg. George Wythe was an American forefather and signed the Declaration of Independence. He had an impressive mansion that he lived at on the Palace Green, known as the Wythe House. This impressive home was constructed in the 1750s. It is one of the structures that survived the fire in Colonial Williamsburg.
While touring through the Historic Area of Colonial Williamsburg, stop and take a few minutes to watch the artisans work and ask them questions about their unique handicrafts. Among other professions, there is a workshop for a weaver, as well as a cabinetmaker. The ticket office for the Historic Area is the old Lumber House.
The Holidays in Williamsburg
The holidays at Colonial Williamsburg are a wonderful celebration of colonial life and modern times. Millions of lights abound, and the area is glittering with candles. The store Yankee Candle Village has 400,000 candles, selling over 200 scented varieties. You’ll also have the opportunity to learn about three different kinds of eggnog at the Taste Studio’s “Tis the Season for Eggnog” event.
If that’s not impressive enough for you, there are 2,552 wreaths hung throughout the Colonial Williamsburg Historic Area. Take a guided tour while getting to see America dressed up in its Christmas finery. There are four separate Christmas shops in the area, so you’re sure to find the perfect decoration to take back home for your tree.
While you’re checking out the joyfully decorated sites in Williamsburg, you might want to head over to the Yorktown Christmas Tree Lighting, an event which has gone on annually since 1945. In addition to a performance by the Fifes and Drums of York Town, Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus will make a special appearance.
Tours in Williamsburg
- Historic Area Tours
- Art Museum Tours
- Ghost Tours
There are a multitude of different tours found throughout Williamsburg. One of the most popular tours is Haunted Williamsburg. This intense and sometimes scary look at the past takes you through historic buildings and tells you the stories of murder, betrayal, and lost loves. Your tour guide will remain in character through this event, which makes it even spookier. Take the later evening tour for a creepier event as you hear these ghost stories and enjoy going inside some of the historic buildings.
If a traditional tour is more your style, you can pick from guided tours to self-guided tours. Check out Bits and Bridles, a one hour walking tour that gives you a look at Colonial Williamsburg’s stables and their work with the Rare Breeds Program, a must-do for any animal lover in your life.
If your group is more into art than animals, why not explore one of the art tours? There’s the Introduction to Folk Art, which provides a look at some pieces in the Rockefeller collection, as well as the Focus on Furniture. This latter tour takes you on an exploration through 18th and early-19th century furniture, from dressers to upholstered pieces.
Shopping in Williamsburg
In addition to the multitude of shops found throughout Colonial Williamsburg, a trip to the more modern part of town will leave you laden down with shopping bags and your wallet a little lighter. The Williamsburg Premium Outlets were initially the only outlet shopping available in southeastern Virginia and are still a major draw to the area. Set up through multiple buildings, you can shop at major brands such as Yankee Candle and Adidas, as well as Michael Kors.
Address:134 North Henry, Williamsburg, VA 23185
Food For Thought
Address: 1647 Richmond Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23185
Phone: (757) 645-4665
Scotland Street Salon
Address: 420 Scotland St, Williamsburg, VA 23185
Phone: (757) 220-6850
The Precious Gem
Address: 423 W Duke of Gloucester St, Williamsburg, VA 23185
Phone: (757) 220-1115
Open seven days a week for most of the year, this open-air shopping destination features over 120 different stores. You can find significant deals at these locations and clearance finds are even better. In addition, you can find a variety of different food areas, both to grab a quick bite or to sit down and eat. Get ready to spend the day shopping in Williamsburg.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Declared one of the most beautiful theme parks in the world repeatedly, Busch Gardens Williamsburg is a fun-filled adventure for children of all ages. This park, open since 1975, features several countries around the world, as well as different festivals each year. Come ride thrill rides such as Verbolten, a daring escape through the dark forest, or Apollo’s Chariot, a steel Hyper Coaster.
You can enjoy a variety of shows in the Italian areas of San Marco and Festa Italia. Enjoy shows in Oktoberfest in the Bavarian section of Germany. For kids, there are exciting areas to explore, such as the Land of the Dragons and the Sesame Street Forest of Fun. There are also animal attractions featuring the conservation efforts of the park, from a wolf area to the Highland stables with the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales.
Travel to Busch Gardens Williamsburg to enjoy an array of festivals. Enjoy the Food and Wine Festival during the months of May and June. In October, you can take part in the festivities of Howl-O-Scream, with haunted houses and thrilling entertainment. When the holidays roll around, check out Christmas Town. Featuring over eight million twinkling lights, you can watch holiday-themed shows and try foods from around the world.
Traveling to Williamsburg
Traveling to Colonial Williamsburg doesn’t have to be draining as so many car rides can be. Leave the driving to us, so you can spend time talking to family and friends who are going on this learning adventure with you. The Colonial Williamsburg bus pick up and drop off leaves you right at the start of the Historic Area, so you don’t have to walk from a far away parking space to get to the historic sites. Save your energy for the exploration around town.
Williamsburg Jamestown Airport
Address: 100 Marclay Dr, Williamsburg, VA 23185
Phone: (757) 229-9256
Why not plan a family outing at Colonial Williamsburg or Busch Gardens Williamsburg? Battling traffic on interstate 64 is no fun, and taking a ride with us is a relaxing way to get to Williamsburg, whether you’re coming from Chesapeake or Fredericksburg. You can pick from our variety of options, including shuttle vans and charter buses. If you have a special occasion, such as a wedding, plan on one of our limos to provide transportation for your party.
If you’re planning an outing for a special event to Busch Gardens Williamsburg, such as a birthday party or bachelor party, you can get one of our party buses to transport you from your originating stop to the theme park. Have fun with thrill rides and then relax without having to worry about traffic while your driver transports your group back to your designated drop-off point. We can help you enjoy the delights that Williamsburg has to offer.