There’s actually a lot to do in Williamsburg. If you’re trying to figure out how to spend your time in Williamsburg, take a look at my list of favorites. This isn’t a complete list, obviously, but I listed all the things I recommend to friends when they come visit.
A mixed-use development, New Town has a ton of shops, restaurants, and a movie theater. They also put on live music and other events throughout the summer.
My favorite spots in New Town are Sweet Frog and Loft. They also have Victoria’s Secret, Barnes & Noble, and a bunch of other places.
We’re only about an hour from VA Beach, but we have our own beaches right here in town! Riley and I’s favorite spot is College Creek, which is a beach on the James River. Right off the Colonial Parkway on your way to Jamestown, there are plenty of spots in the sand or grass to enjoy being on the water.
If you’re here in the summer, you can also watch the fireworks go off at Busch Gardens at night.
I didn’t really start to appreciate the historic areas of Williamsburg until last year. Living in a tourist town, you tend to avoid the tourist areas, but I really love that part of town now and head over there as much as possible.
I love visiting on Saturdays when the Farmer’s Market is going on. They have everything from fruits and veggies to local meats, soaps, cheese, breads, and sweets.
Once you’re done checking out the Farmer’s Market and shops in Merchant’s Square, walk the 3/4 mile down the pedestrian-only Duke of Gloucester Street (DOG street). While Williamsburg charges tickets to get inside many of the old buildings, you don’t need to pay to walk DOG street. Along the street, you’ll see horses and carriages driven by actors dressed in colonial garb…
You can visit the public gardens as well.
It’s also a great place to take your dog. Bella’s favorite spot is on the huge lawn in front of the Governor’s Palace.
Insider tip: You don’t have to pay to visit downtown Williamsburg. A lot of the attractions are ticket-holders only, but you can walk around the town for free!
This park is awesome! Busch Gardens Williamsburg is a great family place, but it’s also fun for adults too. They have great rides, shows, and this summer they have a Food and Wine festival around the whole park on the weekends. Be prepared for a LOT of walking since the park is huge, but it’s definitely worth it.
If you plan on visiting Williamsburg near the holidays, I recommend running the Christmas Town Dash 8k in early December. I’ve run the race a few times and always have a blast.
I’ve been to tastings here as well as a wedding. If you’ve ever had Williamsburg Winery wine from the grocery store and didn’t love it, that’s because they save the good stuff for when you actually visit! My favorite wines there are the Trianon and the Gabriel Archer Reserve.
If you go for a tasting, you have two tasting options. Go with the most expensive one, trust me on this!
I have to mention the outlets because I live within walking distance of them. The Williamsburg Premium Outlets have some of my favorite outlet stores, including JCrew Factory, Ann Taylor Factory, and Banana Republic Factory. Half my work wardrobe came from those stores. They also have some great higher end stores like Kate Spade and Burberry.
Just don’t try to shop there on Black Friday. And if you do, get there between 5-9 AM. It’s the only time that’s safe.
If you’re looking for a place to get a massage in Williamsburg, there are a few touristy/pricey options, but I recommend going to the Williamsburg Salt Spa for something a bit different. The prices are pretty reasonable and you can also add on a session in their unique salt cave. You can read about my experience there here.
Here are some other websites I recommend. I check most of these regularly to keep up with where the good deals are and what’s going on.
- The WY Daily. Look for the “What You’ll Do” section on Thursdays to see what’s happening that upcoming weekend.
- The VA Gazette. Another local paper that will have information on current events.
- Williamsburg Families. A great resources if you’re looking for things to do, events, coupons, discounts, or other insider info about how to save money in Williamsburg. I follow them on Facebook too.
- Eat Play Williamsburg. Mainly a resource for places to eat, but they have some other info too. I won a gift card through one of their Facebook contests, so make sure you follow them!
- Endless Resort Options. OK, so this one’s a bit of a plug since our friends own the company, but I wouldn’t recommend them if they couldn’t get you awesome deals on travel. They deal with resort rentals, so if you want to stay somewhere other than a hotel on vacation, definitely check with them!
Questions? I’m happy to answer any questions about visiting Williamsburg, so just send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!