My husband and I had a wonderful vacation visiting the Colonial Williamsburg area. We stayed at the Vacation Village Resort in a two bedroom condo for 3 nights. When we arrived they presented us with a packet of information and activities that were available for the week. Activities such as water aerobics, mystery dinner, movies, etc. I liked the idea that there was an indoor pool and outdoor pool with lap swimming daily.
That evening we visited the Williamsburg Winery and took a tour of the winemaking areas and bottling room. The cost is 12.00 per person but you can obtain a coupon for 2.00 off from several of the Williamsburg information or magazines. Also available is a separate tour of the vineyard, to view and learn more about the grapes they harvest and then afterwards a tasting of the reserved wines and cheeses. The reserved wines are located in what they called the “wine jail”, where reserve wines age. This tour must be made in advance and the cost is 38.00 per person.
Afterwards we went next door to the Wedmore Place Hotel that has a gourmet restaurant called Café Provencal, which serves local organic vegetables grown on 2 acres at the Williamsburg Winery. The food was delicious but somewhat pricey. The staff was very friendly and the gardens and courtyard were nice to look at while eating. There is another café style restaurant serving the local organic food right across from the sales office, but the café takes its last guest at around 4 pm.
The next morning we visited Busch Gardens and it was a hot day but most of the area has beautiful gardens and trees with lots of shade which help with the heat. For 30.00 you can use VIP parking if you prefer not to walk very far or take the shuttle. It was worth it because of the heat. So we enjoyed all the gardens, shows, and the food was good. If you love roller coasters, this is your park. We didn’t go on these rides, but the sky lifts between the country areas were great! The show in Germany was nice and the food there was good if you like German food…Also the show in Italy was great with brass instruments. I always love the trumpets!
The following day we stayed at the resort and did several things there such as use the exercise room and learned more about the resort. There is golfing near this resort but not onsite.
On the fourth day we visited Colonial Williamsburg. You really need to have a full day to see everything there is to see! There were a lot of enactments and the tour guides were so authentic and very knowledgeable. You can take a horse-drawn or oxen-drawn wagon for 4 or 9 passengers and have a tour of the historic area. If you are limited on time, you definitely do not want to miss the Market Place, Capital, and the Palace. So many people we passed commented that the area had changed so much since they first visited years ago, and further restoration activity is visible in many places.
There are several homes to see with tour guides and shops along the way as well. The Wythe Home was interesting to see with a beautiful garden next to a river. George Wythe was Thomas Jefferson’s teacher and advisor when Jefferson was president. Wythe was also one of the signers of the Declaration of the Independence. The Reynolds House was interesting to see and hear of the history of the family in the home. “Peyton Randolph, Speaker of Virginia’s House of Burgesses in the years leading to the Revolution, brought his wife, Betty Harrison Randolph, to the home by 1751. It became a hub of political activity, and its owner Peyton Randolph was elected the presiding officer of the First Continental Congress at Philadelphia in 1774”. (http://www.history.org/Almanack/places/hb/hbran.cfm)
After visiting most of the sites, we had lunch at one of the several taverns called Chowings Tavern. We shared a table with a couple from California. Great company and great food in a nice atmosphere with a violinist playing off and off during our stay.
Walking around the city of Williamsburg was easy and a lot of options for dining and shopping, and there are a wide variety of both historic and modern attractions. The city is close to William and Mary College.
We did not have time to see Jamestown or Yorktown during our 3-night visit so we returned the following weekend to celebrate Father’s Day in Jamestown and Yorktown. You can see both these locations in one day if you start your day early. Both locations are loaded with historic sites and attractions significant to our nation’s development. The museum is wonderfully done in Jamestown and the museum in Yorktown is smaller but nicely down as well. We enjoyed seeing the Fife and Drum demonstration at Yorktown and we purchased a 5.00 CD to view the battlefield which was very informative.
One of the restaurants we enjoyed eating at twice for dinner in Williamsburg was Sal’s by Victor. It is an Italian Restaurant and the food was yummy. The first meals were personal pizzas, one vegetarian and one meat-lovers. Enjoyed the vegetarian lasagna and those little garlic biscuits! You can get a 10% coupon off your entire meals in one the coupon books available everywhere.
Looking forward to going back with our family to see the lights and activities during the holidays!