Finally, we arrived at our final destination of this road trip: Williamsburg, VA!
Williamsburg is another historical city that is an independent city in the state of Virginia. Founded in 1632, it was the capital of the Colony of Virginia from 1699 to 1780 and the center of political events in Virginia leading to the American Revolution. Located between the James and York rivers, millions of tourists visit Colonial Williamsburg to walk through the restored historic area of the city and learn about American Revolutionary history. Modern part of Williamsburg is also a college town as the College of William and Mary sets itself in the middle of the city.
This is my second visit to the city. However, unlike last time we had sunny weather and more time to walk and explore the Colonial part of the neighborhood. There is a lot to explore in this historical city. You can get some tips HERE and HERE. Since we only had the afternoon, we decided to check out the Colonial and the College of William and Mary, which we both loved. Here are the highlights.
- Walk and Explore Colonial Williamsburg
When you enter the hallways, you see the Colonial Williamsburg’s motto: “That the future may learn from the past.” Welcome to the rare opportunity to walk back into the 18th century America! This living-history museum is about 301 acres and includes buildings dating from 1699 to 1780, which was when the city was the capital of Colonial Virginia.
The Colonial Williamsburg was a fascinating experience. I especially loved their dedication to present how fun it is to learn history.
Once you park your car at the visitor center, you can take the shuttle to enter the designated area few miles away. While the trail is lovely, expect to do some walking. Visitors can easily spend more than 2-3 hours here. In fact, many buy multi-day-tickets or annual passes to visit the Colonial few times throughout the year. Look at their calendar to see what historic reenacting event or other performances are available!
When I say reenact, I am not kidding. People take this quite seriously. When you walk the streets of Colonial Williamsburg , you can see people dressed in their 18th century clothes talking and acting as if they are in the 18th century. Even all the store owners are actors who speak and act in that way.
Oh and there were many fun stores.
The buildings were also lovely. The sunny weather helped. The community’s investment is visible and it’s a delight to see such historic buildings preserved and be used. I hope you get to check it out on your next visit to Williamsburg too! I heard they have special holiday events such as Christmas and New Years time. In the meantime, here are some more pictures!
- Food, stores, and cuteness
On your way out or in to Colonial Williamsburg is three short blocks of restaurants and food. It’s the Prince George Street, W Duke of Gloucester Street, and Francis Street. This is one of the stops on the shuttle bus after Colonial city so you can allocate some time here to hang out before you get your car again. That way you can save the trouble with parking.
Few recommendations for you! The coffee and breakfast at Aromas Coffeehouse Bakeshop & Café is a pleasant treat after walking around the Colonial Williamsburg. Occasionally there are musicians at one of the café, playing music too. Since its located right next to College of William and Mary, it is a hot spot for students too.
For lunch check out Blue Talon Bistro. We dined there after our friend’s recommendation. The ambiance at this French restaurant is cute and the food is amazing. We were only sad that this is not in D.C. where we could have frequented if we wanted.
Right around the corner, there are also some fun shops like the Peanut Shop, the Cheese Shop, the Craft House, and even a Farmers Market. Even if you decide to not buy anything, it’s fun to walk into the stores where you can see a large selection of peanuts, cheeses, wines, and crafts. We sat down to try some cheese and crackers too. They were delicious!
- College of William and Mary
You can’t miss out on College of William and Mary if you are at Williamsburg! They have a pretty big campus right next to these shops and Colonial Williamsburg so it will be hard to miss.
Founded in 1693, it is the second-oldest institution of higher education in the United States after Harvard University. The University is also famous for being the institute educating three U.S. Presidents – Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and John Tyler. Other key figures such as the U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall, Speaker of the House Henry Clay, and 16 signers of the Declaration of Independence were also from the College of William and Mary.
Their campus was pretty too. We snapped some pictures as we walked around.
That’s it! That is the end of our second round trip! Well, ok, we did drive for another 2 hour and 30 minutes to actually get back home to Washington, D.C. But our 4 day exploring 7 cities has now come to an end. Thank you for reading this road trip story. I hope this has helped you get some ideas for your trips too!
Stay tuned. More 2014 stories are coming…!
Copyright © 2015. Monica H. Kang, All Rights Reserved.