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View Full Version : Anyone Have any Insider Tips for Visiting Colonial Williamsburg?



Mark Hulette
06-13-2012, 11:55 AM
My daughter is taking US History AP in the upcoming school year and her teacher has distributed an early 'assignment' to get a jumpstart on the year.

After reviewing the information, they need to write about the impact of Massachusetts and Virginia on the formation of the colonies and eventually the US of A. I get this wild idea that we could make a flying trip in the next week or so to spend a couple of days to let her see firsthand the colonial setting. And maybe get a time to visit/observe the cabinetmaker's shoppe- ;)

So, does anyone have info on- a good hotel they'd recommend? good restaurant recommendations? tips on how to experience Williamsburg to the fullest?

I know there are some area locals that hang out around here and would appreciate any and all help you can give-

Thanks!

Alan Schaffter
06-13-2012, 12:25 PM
I love Colonial Williamsburg! Been there many times. Be advised not all Colonial Williamsburg features are open every day at least during some seasons. On one visit I was really bummed out to discover the cabinet maker's shop was closed! I like the cabinetmaker's and luthier's shops the best, but others like the blacksmith are interesting as well. Hours and schedules and other info are available on the website. Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to walk. Summers can be hot and humid too!

There are plenty of places to stay in and around the town- all the major chains as well as the on-site Williamsburg Inn. There are plenty of places to eat as well including period taverns in the reconstructed area. In general, prices reflect its status as a "tourist destination". Williamsburg has been suffering from declining attendance in recent years, so deals may be available. For other diversions there is a water park, Water Country USA, Busch Gardens amusement park, and for Mom, outlet malls, not far.

Depending on her year in HS, you might what to arrange for your daughter to visit the College of William & Mary which is right there in town. It is a really great school and, contrary to popular misconception, like UVA, it is a public VA college.

Mark Hulette
06-13-2012, 12:49 PM
I love Colonial Williamsburg! Been there many times. Be advised not all Colonial Williamsburg features are open every day at least during some seasons. On one visit I was really bummed out to discover the cabinet maker's shop was closed! I like the cabinetmaker's and luthier's shops the best, but others like the blacksmith are interesting as well. Hours and schedules and other info are available on the website. Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to walk. Summers can be hot and humid too!

There are plenty of places to stay in and around the town- all the major chains as well as the on-site Williamsburg Inn. There are plenty of places to eat as well including period taverns in the reconstructed area. In general, prices reflect its status as a "tourist destination". Williamsburg has been suffering from declining attendance in recent years, so deals may be available. For other diversions there is a water park, Water Country USA, Busch Gardens amusement park, and for Mom, outlet malls, not far.

Depending on her year in HS, you might what to arrange for your daughter to visit the College of William & Mary which is right there in town. It is a really great school and, contrary to popular misconception, like UVA, it is a public VA college.

Thanks, Alan! I've been to Williamsburg a couple of times YEARS ago and I really enjoyed it but I'm a history nut especially 18th-19th century USA. There's a good website out there with the basic info and I was just looking for info from those that have been there in the last few years- sad to hear of declining attendance, though it may be to our advantage. We're also going to swing by Jamestown, too, if we can.

She's going to be a sophomore next year but it's never too early to do all the research (I kinda doubt she'll go too far out of state, though).

Keith Outten
06-13-2012, 1:41 PM
Mark,

I may be able to help you, my youngest daughter works for the Jamestown/Yorktown foundation. I will ask her this evening if she has any inside information that would be helpful. If you get the chance while you are in the area you are welcome to visit my shop, its just 20 minutes from Wiliamsburg and a stones throw from Historic Yorktown on the other side of the York River.
.

John C Lawson
06-13-2012, 2:24 PM
We enjoyed Jamestown and Yorktown, although we haven't been in years. It's a fairly nice drive also.

Mark Hulette
06-13-2012, 2:41 PM
Mark,

I may be able to help you, my youngest daughter works for the Jamestown/Yorktown foundation. I will ask her this evening if she has any inside information that would be helpful. If you get the chance while you are in the area you are welcome to visit my shop, its just 20 minutes from Wiliamsburg and a stones throw from Historic Yorktown on the other side of the York River.
.

Keith- that would be great! I didn't realize you were that close to Williamsburg--- I hope I would be able to drop by!

Keith Outten
06-13-2012, 11:02 PM
Mark,

It's a straight shot down the Colonial Parkway from Williamsburg to the Coleman Bridge which connects Yorktown to Gloucester County. I live just five miles from the bridge, its just one mile as the crow flies. If you could stand on the roof of my shop you could look directly across the York River at Yorktown Beach and Cornwallis Cave.

When you have a schedule worked out let me know when you can stop by for a visit.
.

John O'Brien
06-13-2012, 11:08 PM
You can actually stay in the colonial houses in Williamsburg. My niece did it last year and thought it was great. If you can't find the info by googling, I'll ask her for the info.

Angie Orfanedes
06-14-2012, 8:19 PM
Make sure you visit the bakery behind the Raleigh Tavern...as I recall good gingerbread men.

Angie

Mark Hulette
06-19-2012, 2:18 PM
Well, its not completely dead yet but our trip is in jeopardy--- at least for the time being. Thanks, everyone, for the tips and suggestions and to Keith, thanks for the invitation to visit your shop. Proves time and time again that woodworkers are the best kind of folk!

When/if we do go, I'll give a full report :D

Jim Matthews
06-19-2012, 6:42 PM
Wear mudboots.

Jeff Bartley
06-21-2012, 6:52 PM
We were just in Yorktown last weekend for a wedding......Keith-the wedding must have been right near your shop, it was off jenkins neck road. I don't know if I can add much to answer the OP's question but we stayed at the Duke of York hotel, basically in the heart of Yorktown, right across from the little beach. It's a cool little historic town. The watermans museum was cool even though some of the handtools were mislabeled.
The only drawback was that you couldn't walk anywhere to get coffee first thing in the morning....the ben and jerrys ice cream shop had coffee but they don't open till 10am! The only other advice I'd have is to make sure and allow enough time to really check out everything....I think you'd need at least two days for Williamsburg alone!