Williamsburg Favorites

  • Our grandfather in the Pillory back in 1964
    Our grandfather in the Pillory back in...
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  • Barb's daughter and friend in the Pillory
    Barb's daughter and friend in the...
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  • Punishing the children
    Punishing the children
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Most Recent Favorites in Williamsburg

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    A Bank in disguise!

    by Yaqui Written Jan 23, 2005

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: I liked the fact that most of the businesses take the time to blend in the buildings with the historical significance of the architecture. The Wachovia Bank, N.A on 306 South Henry Street caught my eye and I took a picture of it. I liked the little stars on the face of the building. It doesn't have any ATM here, but there are others nearby if you need cash.

    ATM's

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    Respect the "Privacy!"

    by Yaqui Written Jan 23, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: Many of the homes are private residence and are not open to the public and are nestle in between some the open exhibits. The town is closed off for the tourist during the day, but open back up at night so residence can have their privacy back. This means the roads are open back up, so be careful if your strolling around on the streets at night.

    Here is a guide of the sites you can see and make sure you follow the map so you don't tress pass onto some else's private property
    Historical exhibits

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  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo

    Maps and tickets

    by matcrazy1 Updated Dec 31, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    OUTDOOR  MAP  AT  MERCHANTS  SQUARE

    Favorite thing: Take quite good (for walking enough) map of Colonial Williamsburg in weekly brochure: This Week available free in the Visitors Center and other Ticket & Information offices. Besides, there are maps put in right many places of the Colonial Williamsburg - this one on my picture stands at Merchants Square.

    Besides the Visitors Center there are Ticket and Information offices inside Colonial Williamsburg:
    1. at Merchants Square (daily 9.00 am - 4.00 pm): at south corner of Duke of Gloucester Street and North Henry Street, by shuttle bus stop, restrooms and public telephones there.
    2. Lumber House Ticket Office (daily 8.46 am - 8.30 pm): on south side of Duke of Gloucester Street next to Palace Green (south of the Governor's Palace).
    3. on Capitol grounds (just northwest of Capitol building; daily 9.00 am - 5.00 pm) - tickets, treasures and books there.
    4. in Williamsburg Lodge & Conference Center.
    MasterCard, VISA, Discover, Diners Club, and American Express are accepted.

    Check up-to-date schedule and hours here.

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    • Backpacking
    • Hiking and Walking

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  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo

    When to come?

    by matcrazy1 Written Dec 30, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    FALL  TREE  (MIDDLE  OF  OCTOBER)

    Favorite thing: Whenever you have time/vacation and... enough budget. Well, if you can choose I would consider two factors: weather and possible crowds. Both are not at all predictable.

    But I would skip both hot summer and rainy/sometimes freezing and rarely snowy winter. I would choose either spring with blowing flowers (April - early June) or fall (October or November). In the middle of October I amazed pretty fall colours of leaves although it was 1-2 weeks before the peak of fall colours.

    I would expect more crowds and avoid Williamsburg during weekends, holidays and especially during American long weekends close to the following national holidays:
    - Memorial Day (last Monday of May),
    - Independence Day (July, 4),
    - Labour Day (first Monday of September))
    - Thanksgiving Day (4th Thursday of November).

    Related to:
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  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo

    Williamsburg for kids

    by matcrazy1 Updated Dec 29, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    KIDS WITH HATS JUST BOUGHT AT TARPLEY'S STORE

    Favorite thing: I saw numerous kids both in schools groups and with parents in Colonial Williamsburg, mostly at age, say 6 - 13. A couple with a small kid joined the guided tour inside the Capitol - luckily the kid didn't cry but slept all the time.

    Although Colonial Williamsburg is mainly historical park, an attraction rather for adults and maybe some older kids (youths) but, anyway, there are some attractions for kids as well:
    1. a maze at Governor's Palace grounds,
    2. carriage tours (expensive),
    3. some stores including Tarpley's Store designated for children,
    4. some points of interest like public gaol (jail), colonial garden may attract some kids,
    5. some colonial performances especially theatre ones like Grand Medley of Entertainment at the Kimball theatre (check This week brochure for details and more).
    6. Fifes and drums march and concert of military music.

    Add here virtual Colonial Williamsbur's Kids Zone and real attractions for all kids:
    1. Busch Gardens for $49.95, large theme park 3 miles east of historic Williamsburg;
    2. Water Country USA for $35.95, the mid-Atlantic's largest family water play park 5 mi southeast of the Colonial WIlliamsburg.

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    • Theme Park Trips

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  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    Everything is in here!

    by Yaqui Updated Dec 29, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Favorite thing: This is where you start your experience. Here in the visitor center is where you will get assistance in purchasing tickets to the town or reservations for walking tours, carriage rides, dinning, lodging or other evening programs. Wheelchairs are available here too, but limited. A bookstore, a tea & coffee refreshment store, custome rentals available for children, souvenirs store and a wonderful movie presentation. Restrooms are here too and this is where free shuttles buses that take you to the park and drop and pick up at various areas of the town. Outside is a wonderful court yard to enjoy with a lovely water fall.

    For the reservation desk for lodging and dinning please call 1-800-Taverns or 757-229-2141

    Fondest memory: It was cool, comfortable and friendly:-)

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  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo

    Pictures with costumed staff

    by matcrazy1 Updated Dec 29, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    OUR  GUIDE TO THE CAPITOL, URSZULA, NAT

    Favorite thing: The Colonial Williamsburg employs numerous staff including guides, trades, hstorical, character and tavern interpreters. They helped me understand Colonial Williamsburg's culture and history. They were dressed in costumes of colonial era, so I surely took a lot of pictures of them. The one, in the picture, knew Nat from his numerous visits with friends in the past.

    Fondest memory: When we finished to visit inside of the Capitol, I asked our guide to pose for a picture together with Nat and Urszula. Hmm... I should ask someone to take a picture of us four. As a photographer, I am out of this picture. Anyway, I have a very nice memento from Williamsburg.

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  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo

    The basic leaflets

    by matcrazy1 Updated Dec 15, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    THE  THREE  BASIC  LEAFLETS

    Favorite thing: These three leaflets, on my picture, were available exclusively at the Colonial Williamsburg's Visitor Center.

    THIS WEEK
    This is the most important leaflet as it includes the detailed map of Colonial Williamsburg with historic points of interest, museums, stores and restaurants marked. The weekly leaflet surely includes the detailed list of numerous events, day by day, including various colonial perfomances ($12.00) and walking tours.

    GUIDE TO EXHIBIT SITES AND MUSEUMS
    It gives short information on 46 points of interest and on the interpreters who help visitors to understand the various customs of 18th century's colony.

    GUIDE TO DINING AND SHOPPING
    It gives information on 55 stores and 22 restaurants which are marked on the schematic maps of the Williamsburg.

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  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo

    Check the discount coupons

    by matcrazy1 Updated Dec 15, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    COLOSSAL  COUPONS

    Favorite thing: The USA is discount coupon country. I was surpriced again and again during my trip when I saw numerous folks showing various discount coupons in stores, restaurants and even in the ticket offices to various museums and galleries.

    In Williamsburg, I found the discout coupons (called Colossal Coupons) in free Colonial guide. They gave various discounts (usually 10% off) for dining, activities and shopping. Well, the coupons didn't rule me but... I looked at them not to skip the occasion to save some money in a restaurant I ate or a store I was doing shopping.

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  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo

    Take a free guide

    by matcrazy1 Updated Dec 15, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    2002 AND 2003-2004 COLONIAL  GUIDES

    Favorite thing: These over 170-page Colonial guides, on my picture, were available free in all Virginia Welcome Centers, I visited, and in the Colonial Williamsburg's Visitor Center. Do not forget to take one. The guide is issued once a year or two. Check it, not to take the previous version. I found in 2004, the version issued in 2002.

    Well, over half of the guide includes advertisements and it doesn't include map of Colonial Williamsburg (for walking) but, anyway, it is usuful source of information on both Williamsburg and Jamestown/Yorktown (the Historic Triangle). There is information on the James River Plantations in Charles City County and historic Hampton, as well. The guide includes discount coupons for dining, shopping and activities, schematic maps of the areas covered, information on attractions and activities, dining, nightlife and shopping.

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  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo

    Which ticket to buy?

    by matcrazy1 Updated Dec 15, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    MY  GOVERNOR'S  KEY  TICKET

    Favorite thing: There are a few ticket plans for the Colonial Williamsburg (check it here).

    Each ticket include:
    - admission to Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area,
    - viewing of the movie short Williamsburg: The Story of a Patriot in the Visitor Center,
    - free parking at the Visitor Center and use of Colonial Williamsburg shuttle buses.

    Instead of The Colonial Sampler Tickets which was the cheapest option ($33.00 each), we bought The Governor's Key-To-The-City Passes (valid for 3 days) for $45.00 each because they included a few adds, especially the admission to the Capitol and to the Governor’s Palace (guided tours there).

    It's my recommendation. We got the tickets and, like the other visitors, we fixed them to our clothes during the visit.


    Vacation packages
    If you are going to stay in one of the Colonial Williamsburg accommodations (expensive!) and dine or visit historic towns of Jamestown and Yorktown (the Historic Triangle) check the up-to-date offer of the vacation packages here.

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  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo

    The Visitor Center and hours

    by matcrazy1 Written Dec 15, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    COLONIAL  WILLIAMSBURG'S  VISITOR  CENTER

    Favorite thing: Everyone visiting the Colonial Williamsburg starts from this modern and quite large building on my picture that is the Visitor Center. The building is large but wasn't designed to host over 4,000,000 visitors each year (over 10,000 each day).
    We arrived in the early afternoon and it wasn't crowded but... in the morning, around the opening hour, I would expect crowds.

    There is the ticket office, restrooms, bookstore, gift shop, fast food bar, costume rental and a movie theater which showed the movie: Williamsburg. The store of a Patriot, in the Visitor Center.

    HOURS
    Colonial Williamsburg is open 365 days per year. The opening hours are different and depends on the season. Check here.

    In October the area was open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Visitor Center 8.45 am - 5.30 pm, the Capitol and the Governor's Palace 9.00 am - 4.00 pm.

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  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo

    Before you enter Colonial Williamsburg

    by matcrazy1 Updated Dec 15, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    TO  THE  COLONIAL  WILLIAMSBURG'S  VISITOR  CENTER

    Favorite thing: Before you visit the Colonial Williamsburg you should know some basic historical facts. Then, you can easily broad your knowledge, first at the Visitors Center (on my picture).

    EARLY-COLONIAL AMERICA
    1492 - Christopher Columbus from Spain discovers the Bahamas and other Carribean Islands,
    1497 - John Cabot from Italy discovers Newfoundland, Canada now,
    1498 - Christopher Columbus discovers Venezuela (and in 1502-1503: Panama, Honduras, Costa Rica)
    1513 - Juan Ponce de Leon from Spain lands in Florida,
    1524 - Giovanni da Verrazano, sponsored by France, lands in the area around the Carolinas, then he sails north and discovers the Hudson River, and continues northward into Nova Scotia (Canada now),
    1541 - Hernando de Soto of Spain discovers the Mississippi River,
    1565 - the first permanent European colony in North America is founded in St. Augustine (Florida) by the Spanish,
    1607 - Jamestown is founded in Virginia by the British colonists,
    1613 - a Dutch trading post is set up on lower Manhattan island,
    1619 - the first session of the first legislative assembly in America occurs as the Virginia House of Burgesses convenes in Jamestown,
    1620 - November 9, the Mayflower ship lands at Cape Cod, Massachusetts, with 101 colonists. The Mayflower Compact is signed by the 41 men, establishing a form of local government. The colonists agree to abide by majority rule and to cooperate for the general good of the colony. The Compact sets the precedent for other colonies as they set up governments.

    Fondest memory: COLONIAL AMERICA
    There were 13 British colonies in North America separately chartered and governed since 17th century till 1776. From the North:
    - Massachussets (Massachussets + Maine now),
    - New Hampshire,
    - New York (New York + Vermont now),
    - Rhode Island,
    - Connecticut,
    - New Jersey,
    - Pennsylvania,
    - Delaware,
    - Maryland,
    - Virginia (Virginia + West Virginia now),
    - North Carolina,
    - South Carolina,
    - Georgia.

    The colonies were bounded by the Appalachian Mountains on the West and the Atlantic Ocean on the East and there were approx. 2.5 mln settlers living in the colonies in 1775 (1/3 of total population of the Great Britain!).

    VIRGINIA
    The oldest colony was Virginia (founded in 1607 in Jamestown). Look at the map here. During the colonial era, Virginia was known as the Colony and Dominion of Virginia, thus today its state nickname is the "Old Dominion". The colony became the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1776 when the 13 colonies signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and formally broke with the Kingdom of Great Britain, leading to the American Revolutionary War and the establishment of the United States of America.

    WILLIAMSBURG
    Williamsburg was settled in 1632 as Middle Plantation and renamed in 1699 when it became the capital of the Colony and Dominion of Virginia and since 1776 the Commonwealth of Virginia.

    Williamsburg was important as the seat (since 1693) of the College of William and Mary in Virginia and it was the scene of important conventions during the movement for American independence. It lost its leading position since 1780 when the Virginia's capital was moved to Richmond.

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  • tetonski1's Profile Photo

    Ginger Bread Cakes and Cool Lemonade on a Hot Day

    by tetonski1 Updated Apr 27, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Buy the Gingercakes at the Williamsburg.org Site!

    Favorite thing: A family favorite tradition is to visit the Raleigh Tavern Bakery, located behind the Raleigh Tavern. They serve gingerbread cakes, ham biscuits, root beer, apple cider cool lemonade and other treats.

    You can sit on the benches under a shade tree behind the Raleigh tavern on a hot day, and enjoy gingercakes that are just as delicious as they must have been for the local townsfolk over 250 years ago.

    Fondest memory: A nice break about halfway through the town walking tour.

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  • bugalugs's Profile Photo

    The Secretary's Office

    by bugalugs Updated Jan 17, 2004

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    Secretary's office

    Favorite thing: Situated adjacent to the Capitol Building is the Secretary's office, which was constructed with a lot of forethought because of the fires that had destroyed the Capitol Building. It was here that all important documents were stored. However these were all transferred to Richmond when it became the capital.

    Next door is another building where you can purchase tickets to tour Colonial Williamsburg.

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    • Architecture

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