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Williamsburg, Virginia: A Historic Jewel in America's Crown

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Posted on August 23, 2023

Nestled in the heart of Virginia, Williamsburg is a city rich in colonial American history and tradition. Renowned for its well-preserved colonial architecture, world-class museums, and inviting ambiance, Williamsburg is not only a destination for history enthusiasts but also a thriving community that has seamlessly woven its historical legacy into modern life.

We’ll explore the rich cultural heritage, attractions, and unique features that define the region and make a Williamsburg timeshare stay so intriguing.

A Brief History of Williamsburg, Virginia

Founded in 1632, Williamsburg was the capital of the colony of Virginia from 1699 to 1780. The town played a pivotal role in the early formation of the United States, with influential figures like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry walking its streets.

In 1926, the efforts to restore and preserve the colonial district began under the guidance of Reverend Dr. W.A.R. Goodwin and John D. Rockefeller Jr. The restoration transformed the town into the living history museum it is today, known as Colonial Williamsburg.

Colonial Williamsburg

Governor's Palace in Colonial WIlliamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg is the heart and soul of the township. Covering 301 acres, it showcases 88 original 18th-century structures and hundreds of houses, shops, and public outbuildings that have been reconstructed on their original foundations. Here, visitors can immerse themselves in 18th-century life, with costumed interpreters providing insights into the daily lives, customs, and events of the time.

Key highlights of the colonial district include:

  • Governor's Palace: The Governor's Palace served as the official residence of the Royal Governors of the Colony of Virginia as established by England prior to the Revolution. Restored to its 18th-century appearance, it features beautiful gardens and a collection of antique furnishings.
  • Capitol Building: Known as the House of Burgesses, this iconic structure was the seat of the Virginia General Assembly and remains the heart of the colonial district. Here, important legislative actions were taken that helped shape the path to independence.
  • Courthouse: Built from 1770-1771, the Courthouse was where the Declaration of Independence was read in Williamsburg on July 25, 1776.
  • Bruton Parish Church: an active Episcopal Church with the building dating back to 1683. The museum's live demonstrations, such as blacksmithing, weaving, and open-fire cooking, offer an engaging experience for all ages.
  • Blacksmith Shop: Here, skilled artisans use colonial methods to work with traditional tools to forge iron into tools, hardware, and weaponry.
  • Silversmith Shop: Visitors can observe craftspeople creating intricate pieces of jewelry, flatware, and hollowware.
  • Weaver's Shop: Showcasing the weaving of textiles using looms and spinning wheels into fabrics, demonstrating the importance of textiles in colonial life.

House of Burgesses capitol building in Williamsburg

Modern Williamsburg

Beyond the historic district, Williamsburg offers numerous modern amenities and attractions. The city is home to the College of William & Mary, the second oldest institution of higher education in the United States, founded in 1693. Its picturesque campus is a beautiful fusion of history and contemporary education.

Shoppers can enjoy a wide array of options, from high-end boutiques to the Williamsburg Premium Outlets. Dining in Williamsburg offers a delightful mix of traditional southern fare and international cuisine, reflecting the diverse and cosmopolitan nature of the city. However, remember to step back in time for fare at the King's Arms Tavern in the colonial district.

Outdoor Activities

roller coaster at Busch Gardens WIlliamsburg

Williamsburg's climate and picturesque landscape provide several opportunities for outdoor activities. The Virginia Capital Trail is a 52-mile-long dedicated multi-use trail connecting Williamsburg to Richmond, offering scenic views of the James and Chickahominy Rivers.

Golfers will find a haven in Williamsburg, with a number of world-class golf courses, including the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club.

For those seeking a more adventurous experience, look to:

  • Busch Gardens Williamsburg: A European-themed amusement park, Busch Gardens offers some of Virginia’s best roller coasters, entertaining shows, and seasonal events such as Bier Fest.
  • Water Country USA: Have a splash in Virginia's largest water park, featuring a variety of slides, wave pools, and lazy rivers.
  • Go-Karts Plus: For a family-friendly competitive thrill, Go-Karts Plus offers more than just go-kart racing, with miniature golf, bumper cars, and more.
  • York River State Park: With hiking trails, fishing spots, and educational programs, this park offers a chance to explore Virginia's natural beauty.
  • Kayaking and Paddleboarding: Several local operators offer guided tours on the nearby rivers, allowing you to explore the waterways and perhaps spot some local wildlife.

Culinary Experiences