Williamsburg: Virginia’s Colonial Village Offers Special Events for the Holidays

July 9, 2010
By Marla Cimini

It is nearly impossible to visit colonial Williamsburg,Virginia without learning a great deal about United States history. With its impressive number of historic buildings and sites, Williamsburg is one 9f the first places in the U.S. that essentially invites visitors to step back in time and participate in `active” history lessons.

Combining living reenactments with traditional architecture, Williamsburg provides a unique and exciting destination for those interested in gaining some knowledge about the nation’s history.

At Williamsburg, visitors have the opportunity to enjoy nearly every aspect of the early colonial life, including speaking directly with the “colonial” people, along with watching them perform their daily chores and all sorts of every day tasks. With nearly 30 historical buildings and more than 20 colonial sites to visit and tour, travelers have the chance in Colonial Williamsburg to truly step backs in time and explore the town while absorbing the feeling of living in the 18th century.

The historic area of town is centered around several main buildings and their smaller structures, which encompass their immediate surroundings. The Capitol building is where the founders of our early government debated how the country should be formed. Down the road, The Windmill is representative of the many local mills that early Williamsburg settlers used to grind grain to make bread. Nearby, the magazine arsenal is the site of the “Gunpowder incident” of April 1775, an event that resulted in the southern Colonies joining the War for American Independence.  Today, the magazine houses a collection of both original and reproduction muskets and cannon. Close to the magazine is the Raleigh Tavern, which served as the center of the community at the beginning of the revolution.

Also worthy of a visit is the public hospital and the Parish, which at one time was the most important church in Virginia. Visitors are encouraged to stroll and explore the area, stopping at the blacksmith’s shop, the apothecary, the silversmith’s and cabinet-makers shops.  

Leisurely spending an afternoon or even an entire day experiencing colonial life is something that people of all ages can participate in and appreciate – and only Williamsburg can offer this unique experience.In addition, those interested in the Revolutionary War era are probably aware that Virginia was the “hotspot ‘for the founding fathers. In fact, four of the first five U.S. presidents were native Virginians – and their huge estates are currently open for touring. (George Washington’s and Thomas Jefferson’s homes are the best known). Visiting Williamsburg enables guests to get a close-up glimpse of not only their homes, but their lives during that time as well.Also, many of the famous battles of the Civil War were fought in Virginia, and today visitors can take a once-in-a lifetime walk among the battlefields of Manassas, Fredericksburg and Cold Harbor. Quite a few tours of these areas are available to visitors, so it is best to inquire at the visitor’s center in order to select the tour that is best for you.

Dining in WilliamsburgWhat is a vacation in Williamsburg without truly “tasting” the history? Fortunately, to ensure that all guests stay in the colonial frame of mind, the town boasts several unique restaurants that almost seem to be lost in the colonial days. They feature servers dressed in traditional garb and food and specialty drinks that reflect the times. Restaurants such as King’s Arms, The Shields, the Regency Room and the Crowning all offer visitors the chance to have a wonderful dining experience. Some of these places are more upscale than others, so be sure to check before making your reservation.

Experiencing the holidays in WilliamsburgEach year, Williamsburg offers guests excitement and fun over the holidays. The area’s calendar is filled with many fantastic seasonal events, such as the annual Thanksgiving Festival, the Christmas parade, Christmas on Plantation Row, and the Holiday Tea and Tour. It’s important to check the Williamsburg community calendar, available on the web site www.williamsburg.com to choose your favorite events and make reservations.

Shopping in WilliamsburgThe shopping in Williamsburg certainly won’t let you down, either. Not by a long shot. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of retail stores to keep you and your familybusy. From the historic district’s authentic crafts and art galleries (and the nearby pottery factory), to the city’s huge outlet malls, this area has an enormous concentration of stores to choose from. If you happen to be shopping to furnish your home, there is a Carolina furniture discount location nearby as well.

Where to stayMany of the local area hotels offer special weekend and vacation packages at various times throughout the year. Some of the area’s hotels exude the feel of the colonial days, while others are quite modem. Ranging from romantic getaways to family fun holidays, each hotel or inn provides appropriate accommodations in a variety of price ranges. Several popular hotels, such as the Williamsburg Inn, the Governor’s Inn, and the Woodlands Hotel and Suites allow visitors to stay in the heart of the historical district. However, there are plenty of additional hotels within a short drive that would work well within a limited budget.

Ready for some fun?

Busch Gardens, Williamsburg is also a must-see if you are visiting this area. As one of the country’s largest amusement parks, it features rides, animal attractions, special exhibits and shows. If you are a thrill-seeker, you won’t want to make sure you are first in line for the world’s tallest inverted roller coaster. Even if you shy away from wild amusement park rides, there are still plenty of fun activities, such as music and other attractions. And sampling that fresh beer can be one of the highlights of your vacation!

General InformationColonial Williamsburg is open 365 days a year and the hours are usually 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you are planning a visit, please call ahead to confirm. It is also important to check the Williamsburg calendar because special events, such as military reenactments and seasonal celebrations are planned throughout the year. The visitor’s center will answer any questions and help you plan your visit. Call 1-800-HISTORYThe following websites are particularly helpful when planning a trip to colonial Williamsburg. Be sure to check several hotels, because some offer discount packages throughout the year:  www.williamsburg-reservations.comwww.history.orgwww.williamsburg.comwww.williamsburgonline.comwww.buschgardens.com

(Marla Cimini writes for our publications)

Tags: , , ,

                   Small Business Websites by FolioFLY