This post is sponsored but all opinions are 100% my own.
My family and I made a trip to Greater Williamsburg, VA a few months ago. There is so much more than just history in Greater Williamsburg. To be honest we had no idea! We’ve only been a few times to visit Busch Gardens and Water Country USA. We were blown away by the charm in every corner, adventure, culture, and tasty bites throughout Greater Williamsburg.
Williamsburg was founded in 1632 as Middle Plantation, a settlement on high ground, between the James and York Rivers. Williamsburg served as the capital of the Colony and Commonwealth of Virginia from 1699 to 1780. So much history but also, so much adventure and things to explore. Theme parks, museums, hiking, spas, wineries, and so much more! There is something for everyone in Greater Williamsburg! There is a reason New York Times named it Top 52 places to go in 2019. We were excited to partner up with Visit Williamsburg to share just a little of what you can find in Greater Williamsburg.
3 Day Family Itinerary:
2:30pm We drove from our home in Rockville, MD which was about a 2 1/2 hour drive. When we arrived we were eager to check into the lovely Williamsburg Lodge. We took a quick tour of the hotel and unpacked our things. We loved the rooms! They were very clean, updated, and spacious. We also had a balcony which was nice to relax. We booked two rooms that were adjoining which was perfect for our family of 6 (baby, toddler, and two teens). We then freshened up and headed to our first stop!
4:30pm Williamsburg Winery
Eric and I did a wine tasting while kids played outdoors and took in the views. We are lucky we have older kids to watch our toddler. They did come in to join us half way through and sat on the bench in the tasting room. The staff was very friendly with the kids and even offered waters plus pencils and paper to draw.
We loved their tasty wines so much we purchased a case to take home. Their vineyard has a tradition of making fine wine. We did a wine tasting of their reserve wines plus a few premium wines. They also offer an extensive tour and reserve tasting. We recommend visiting while in Greater Williamsburg. I’m sure it’s even lovelier in the spring/summer time.
We can’t wait to go back in the spring to try Cafe Provencal and The Gabriel Archer Tavern located in Williamsburg Winery. Cafe Provencal is upscale and French inspired, while The Gabriel Archer Tavern is a bit more casual. The Cafe is farm to table dining offering delicious bites. We cannot wait to go back in the Spring time!
6:30pm For dinner, we decided to try Casa Pearl. It was about a 15 minute drive from the winery but closer to our hotel so it was a great location. They are known for their delicious tacos and oysters, so of course we ordered two of each taco. Everything was so amazing! Still dreaming about the fried oyster tacos and ceviche. Incredible service and venue.
9am We spent the morning experiencing Colonial Williamsburg, all within walking distance from the Williamsburg Lodge. You really need two days to experience it all, but it was nice to get a little taste of everything they had to see and experience. We started our morning by fueling up at Secret Garden Cafe.
10am Then we enjoyed a leisurely ride through Historic Colonial Williamsburg by horse-drawn carriage. Colonial Williamsburg is an historic area with restored or reconstructed buildings and homes. It was so fun surrounding ourselves with sights and sounds of Colonial Williamsburg. The kids truly enjoyed it and just immersed themselves with the help of our driver in character.
10:45am Colonial Williamsburg. There is so much to see and do like visiting historic trade shops, to touring historic homes and government buildings. The kids enjoyed walking through town and actually speaking to people dressed in colonial attire and asking them questions. They loved visiting the foundry shop and learning the process of making items in pewter and silver. It is so much fun experiencing history come to life. Everyone was so nice and I loved that they were truly passionate about what they share. We all had a great day journeying into the past and to see what it like to live in Virginia during the American Revolution.
You are able to walk around for free in Colonial Williamsburg, but visiting homes, trades, and other sites requires a ticket.
Must see places in Colonial Williamsburg are the Governor’s Palace, palace gardens, trade shops, George Wythe House, and the historic taverns.
1pm We enjoyed a delicious lunch in town. There are so many great restaurants to choose from.
2:30pm We went back to hotel which was just a few minutes away. You can even walk to but with the baby we decided to drive. It was nice for the girls and I to take a much needed nap at the hotel. Eric and Brandon got ready to headed to the musket range.
3pm Musket Range
If you have children 15 and up, you definitely want to go to the firing range and learn how to use and fire a musket. It’s an hour experience and the boys had a blast. Make sure to buy tickets in advance.
6:30pm Dinner at Blue Talon Bistro. It’s a casual French restaurant that offers amazing comfort food. I think I can speak for everyone that this was by far one of our favorite restaurants on the trip. Everyone else ordered steak, but I was very impressed with the salmon.
10 am Breakfast at Shorty’s Diner. Locals favorite. It was your typical diner food with great service. Yummy and great portions! They made us feel like regulars.
11:15am We took in the views while on Colonial Parkway (which is part of Colonial National Historic Park) to Yorktown. So gorgeous! We arrived in Yorktown and our first stop was finding a coffee spot to get my caffeine fix. Diner coffee just doesn’t cut it for me.
11:45am Mobjack Bay Coffee Roasters is in a national park historic building, the Cole Digges House, on Main Street in Yorktown. They have amazing coffee which they roast in house, as well as light pastries to eat indoors or out. The day was beautiful so we decided to head out back. They had plenty of tables and a fire going. It also backed up to a historic church and graveyard, so we took a walk and of course Chloe ran to her hearts content. It’s so charming and a must visit when in Yorktown.
We took in their dynamic indoor exhibits, films, and outdoor living history which all the kids enjoyed! The kids loved being outdoors and learning about what life was like in the 1700’s. It was great to speak to people dressed in colonial wear. The kids enjoyed asking questions and learning all about what their role would’ve been in that era.
3:30pm We took a stroll through historic Yorktown. The site of the battle that ended the Revolution.
It is a charming waterfront village with two acres of beach with a fishing pier, picnic area, and stunning views. Perfect place to visit for families. Chloe loved running and playing in the sand. There are many places for perfect picnic. We will definitely want to come back to visit in the spring/summer.
5pm Our plan was to visit Great Wolf Lodge , but we got a late start, and a fussy toddler. Not always easy with toddlers as you mamas know already. We’ve actually been to Great Wolf Lodge before and all the kids love the water park so much. Eric and I love it because it is great for all ages. It’s a great option especially, on those colder days. We decided to head to hotel and rest before dinner. All the kids were tuckered out when we arrived so they decided to nap. That gave Eric and me an opportunity to take a stroll to the Williamsburg Inn,which was a few minutes’ walk. We grabbed a glass of wine and enjoyed the views of the beautiful golf course.
7pm Our last dinner was at Second Street Bistro. Everything was amazing, but we especially loved their desserts. We ordered churro donuts with ice cream and chocolate chip cookies. Yes, we have quite the sweet tooth!
Overall, we were blown away by all the amazing experiences Greater Williamsburg has to offer. There wasn’t enough time to do it all! We will definitely be back in spring to visit Williamsburg Winery again, and the restaurants we were dying to try. And of course our favorite amusement park that is great for all ages, Busch Gardens. Greater Williamsburg is an amazing destinations for families. They have so much to offer!
Our top must-sees in Greater Williamsburg:
- Busch Gardens
- Jamestown Settlement ( Chloe was looking forward to get on the boats. Sad to miss this one.)
- Williamsburg Winery
- Go Karts Plus
- Williamsburg Botanical Gardens
- Ghost Tour
- Sunset Cruise in York River
- Colonial Spa of Colonial Williamsburg
- Great Wolf Lodge
To learn more and start planning your trip click here.
Have you visited Greater Williamsburg? What was your favorite part of your trip?