First Impression: Virginia is absolutely beautiful and there’s nothing greater than seeing the past come alive in Colonial Willliamsburg, especially in such realistic form and with so many historical and cultural landmarks. But there’s so much more to Williamsburg than meets the eye. This spirited city is full of activities and adventures to please everyone in the family and makes for one of the most exciting and educational family getaways ever.
Weather: Williamsburg is located in the humid subtropical climate zone, allowing outdoor activities to be enjoyed year round. Summers are hot and humid with cool evenings. Williamsburg is delightful year-round. Average highs in January reach 48 degrees Fahrenheit, while July is warmer with average highs near 88 degrees Fahrenheit (F). Williamsburg is located in the humid subtropical climate zone, allowing outdoor activities to be enjoyed year round. Summers are hot and humid with cool evenings. The mean annual temperature is 60 degrees F (16 °C), with an average annual snowfall of 6 inches (150 mm) and an average annual rainfall of 47 inches (1,200 mm). The wettest seasons are the spring and summer, although rainfall is fairly constant all year round.
Getting There: The primary airport for the Virginia Peninsula is the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport in Newport News, a 20-minute drive from Williamsburg. Norfolk International Airport and Richmond International Airport also serve passengers from the city. Amtrak serves Williamsburg with three trains a day stopping at the Amtrak Station. The line runs west along the Virginia Peninsula to Richmond and points beyond. A high speed rail connection at Richmond to both the Northeast Corridor and the Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor are also under study. Intercity bus services are provided by Greyhound.
Transportation: We recommend that you rent a car for your trip. Williamsburg has added some wayfinder signs all throughout the region that make it easy to get to all of their major attractions and parts of town. Taxis are not nearly as available as they are in bigger cities. If you do prefer to travel by taxi, your best bet is to have your hotel arrange one for you, or to carry the number of a local cab company with you. Walking is a major mode of transportation in Williamsburg, with about a fifth of people walking to work. The city is also increasingly bicycle-friendly, with 48 miles of bicycle facilities built in the area since 1992. Williamsburg is located adjacent to Interstate 64 and U.S. Route 60, which connect the city with Richmond to the northwest and Norfolk to the southeast. State Route 31 provides a route to Jamestown and the toll-free Jamestown Ferry. The Colonial Parkway provides a bucolic low-speed link to Jamestown and Yorktown, passing under Colonial Williamsburg in a tunnel. With the exception of buses, commercial vehicles are not allowed on the Parkway. The community’s public bus system, Williamsburg Area Transport (WAT), has its central hub at the transportation center. WAT connects with the much larger Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) bus system at Lee Hall in northwestern Newport News and at the Williamsburg Transportation Center. A network of handicapped accessible transit bus routes serve the city, James City County, and most portions of York County adjacent to the Williamsburg area, with hourly service six days a week during daytime and evening hours. The system also provides par-transit services and operates replica trolley buses at the Yorktown Riverfront attraction. WAT connects with the much larger Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) bus system at Lee Hall in northwestern Newport News and at the Williamsburg Transportation Center.
Local Flavor: There is a wide range of international cuisine and unique atmospheres. Some of the few among many recommended establishments include unique recipes from Virginia’s colonial heritage that can be sampled at some of Williamsburg’s rustic eateries like Kings’ Arms Tavern, Shields’ Tavern and Chownings’ Tavern, including tasty Apple Tansey, Carolina Fish Muddle, Gingerbread, Shepherd’s Pie, Welsh Rabbit and Peanut Soup. For top shelf and delicious cuisine, check out A Chef’s Place. If you want some tasty breakfast, lunch or dinner, plus some thought-provoking quotes on the walls, check out Food for Thought. For an elegant décor, candlelit ambiance and culinary brilliance, try Café Provencal. There’s a great wine list and refreshingly exciting/seasonal menus at Fat Canary. For delicious cuisine (Try the grits!) and indoor or outdoor seating there’s Second St. For great steaks and seafood in an intimate colonial manor house, check out Kitchen at Powhatan Plantation. For great Italian dishes and NY-style pizza, try Francesco’s Ristorante Italiano.
Retail Therapy:There’s something for every taste in Williamsburg from chains like Barnes & Noble to specialty stores and outlets galore. From the many you will actually find, there are artistic items sold at many stores on Richmond Road. For a quaint shop that smells fantastic and where kids love the dipping activities, stop in the specialty shop, Yankee Candle Company. For a shopping experience like no other and inspired by the rich architectural heritage of the 18th century, 200-acre (0.81 knm2) Merchants Square blends the atmosphere of the Historic Area of Colonial Williamsburg with 21st-century shopping and dining. Williamsburg Antique Mall has 45,000 square feet of well-organized and inspiring antiques from a variety of eras. A Virginia shopping landmark since 1938, the Williamsburg Pottery Factory recently underwent a $25-million transformation from a no-frills warehouse format to a new complex that combines the charm of a traditional European market town with the convenience and interactive experiences of 21st-century shopping. You can also pick up a wide variety of souvenirs and gifts within Colonial Williamsburg.