One of my favorite places in the world to vacation is also one of America’s greatest treasures—Colonial Williamsburg. Wandering through the Revolutionary City’s historic shops and homes, learning how the colonials farmed and prepared their food, speaking with the living history docents who greet you on the street….it’s a history geek’s dream-come-true!!
You might think you’ve seen everything there is to see in Williamsburg, but I promise, even if you visited in the last five years, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation has added many new attractions to its expansive roster. Besides the historic town and period-themed restaurants, Williamsburg now has a cooking school called Taste Studio where guests learn to prepare a variety of dishes using ingredients harvested in the Historic Williamsburg gardens. When I visited, Chef Rhys Lewis took our group on a 20-minute Garden Tour and then demonstrated how to make a variety of dishes using green peas. In another class, we fashioned truffles from the same type of bitter chocolate used by the Colonial residents of Williamsburg.
Rather see some art? The marvelous Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum is filled with enchanting examples of 18th and 19th Century decorative art and antiques, including a darling dollhouse with handmade Colonial-era furniture.
Although there are many comfortable hotels in and around the region, the luxurious Williamsburg Inn has updated its elegant Regency dining room, and the design is classic 1930’s glamour. Settle into a cozy booth and enjoy a serenade in the piano bar, or sip divine Virginia wine in the Inn’s patio gardens.
Looking for a family friendly option? Try the dinner buffet at Williamsburg Lodge—they have an outstanding seafood spread, and staying at either the Williamsburg Lodge or Inn gets you a discount on admission and in the restaurants.
Looking for excitement? Situate yourself on Gloucester Street around 5 pm to enjoy a visit from General Pierre L’Enfant on horseback as he rouses American citizens to join the militia. Gunshots and cannon blasts ensue.
In the evening, get up close and personal with history on a Williamsburg Ghost Tour; it will scare the powdered wig off you. Of course, most aren’t scary; there are 20 different tours offered daily. Lastly, visit the Archaeology Lab to see what treasures have been dug up lately.
There are just so many reasons to take a vacation in Williamsburg, but you don’t have to take my word for it. Read this outstanding review by the vivacious and lovely Natalie Compagno of Traveler’s Bookcase: