6 Activities That Will Have You FALLING In Love With Williamsburg

By Kelsey Thomas
Feature Image by Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Early-Fall Williamsburg Events & Activities

Williamsburg, VA is always a wonderful place to visit, however there is truly something hauntingly magical that runs through the air during the fall season. From festivals and markets to spooky events and historical tours, you will never run out of things to do. We’ve handpicked our list of top 6 activities to experience in Williamsburg this autumn.

Sept. 1, 2021: Summer Breeze Concert Series

If you’re still holding on to the taste of sweet summertime, then attend the last concert in this awesome live music series. Gates open at 5 pm and the show is free for the general public. Party fins, a Jimmy Buffet-genre band, will be performing on the lawn of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg.

Dive Into History in Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg is one of the top places for people of any age to learn and explore. You can visit art museums, dig up some archaeological facts, take a relaxing carriage ride, view the beautiful gardens and arboretum and so much more! They even feature lodging opportunities and 17 dining options.

Image by Colonial Williamsburg

Sept. 3-6, 2021: Busch Gardens’ Bier Fest

This is the last weekend to be able to able to enjoy 100 different beers that are tapped throughout the park at Busch Gardens. Bier Fest blends the craft beer scene with an Oktoberfest twist and features live entertainment, specialty brews, beer-infused bites and, on Friday and Saturday nights, a firework show.

Learn more about Busch Gardens’ attractions and events.

Sept. 10-Oct. 21, 2021: Busch Gardens’ HOWL-O-SCREAM

Can’t make it by Sept. 6 and wondering if Busch Gardens has anything exciting planned? Well, you bet they do! This annual spooktacular Halloween-themed event is evilly concocted with walk-through haunted houses and designated scare zones throughout the part.

roller coster at Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Image by Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Learn more about Busch Gardens’ attractions and events.

Oct. 2, 2021: Yorktown Wine Festival

It’s wine-o’clock in Yorktown, our sister city that is just right around the corner. Their annual wine fest will feature live music, cuisine from local restaurants, VA’s finest spirits from local distilleries and works presented by talented artisans. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door.

Explore Haunted Williamsburg

It’s no secret that Williamsburg is famous for it’s chilling experiences and haunted grounds – and what better time to go than during spooky season? The haunted tours in Williamsburg are suitable for ages 8 and up and children must be accompanied by an adult. This one-hour candlelit walking ghost tour is open to the public every day and you must purchase a ticket for entry.

spooky man
Image by Colonial Williamsburg

The Frenchman’s Map Project at The Cannon Tap Room

Images and editorial by Brass Cannon Brewing

With permission from The College of William and Mary Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library, who has the original Frenchman’s Map, the project team at The Cannon Tap Room of Brass Cannon Brewing, headed by Phil Norfolk, is replicating the Frenchman’s Map to cover the entire ceiling of the main tap room.

A Brief History of The Frenchman’s Map

The Frenchman’s Map of 1782 Williamsburg is a to-scale map probably drawn by one or more French Military Officer(s). It is also known as The Bible of the Restoration of Colonial Williamsburg, having served as one of the guides, and some say perhaps the most important guide, to the archaeological restoration of Colonial Williamsburg as we experience it today.

Lost after the American Revolution, the map turned up between the pages of an old book bought by John D. Crimmins, a New York contractor and map collector, about 1909 when he bought a small library in Norfolk, Virginia. The map was then donated to The College of William and Mary who upon receiving it, framed it, and hung it in the Library, where it stayed until Pastor Goodwin of Bruton Parish embarked upon his quest to restore Williamsburg. Goodwin realized how important the map could be and the story goes that in 1927 Goodwin and a merry band started trying to layout and rediscover Colonial Williamsburg using The Frenchman’s Map along with a surveyors tap and a sword to stake it down! Such is the lore surrounding both the map and the restoration of one of America’s favorite guideposts in the History of the Nation.

Widely held to now be a billeting map to house French soldiers through the winter (approximately to scale except for the actual buildings not being to scale) done by one or more people probably in the French Quartermaster’s troop, the map is being reproduced as accurately as possible on the ceiling of The Cannon Tap Room by the careful routing of approximately 189 2×2-foot ceiling tiles using a computer numerical controlled routing table. Each tile is then carefully hand painted and then assembled back into the ceiling.

The staff at The Cannon see this important map, that has been used as an important tool guiding the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg, as a critical document that few locals, let alone visitors to Colonial Williamsburg, are aware of or able to actually see. Brass Cannon Brewing Inc., is changing that and visitors to The Cannon Tap Room at Brass Cannon Brewing, can now view the Frenchman’s Map simply by looking up, using a one-page guide available as a handout to help make features of the map understandable and relatable to the actual restored town.

Also available at The Cannon Tap Room is the definitive book by Alan Simpson called, “The Mysteries of the Frenchman’s Map of Williamsburg Virginia.” The book has been out of print, but Brass Cannon Brewing is making it available through a limited reprint. All the profits are being donated back The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, who is the publisher.

A Historic Makeover for the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg

By Betsy DiJulio

This article was originally published in the September-October issue of Coastal Virginia Magazine.

Living history, taverns and binderies, oh my! The Colonial Williamsburg that Virginians know and love has always been all that and much more. In fact, it is the world’s largest living history museum. But as of June 14, 2020, it became a whole lot more: 65,000 thousand square feet and nearly $41.7 million more raised entirely through philanthropic support.

Since 1985, two world-class Colonial Williamsburg museums had enjoyed a far lower profile—as in underground—than they deserved. Still, from their subterranean quarters, accessed through the historic Public Hospital Museum, they had become the second most visited museums in Virginia, just after the Virginia Museum of Fine Art in Richmond.

The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum is home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, boasting some 7,000 pieces from the 18th through 20th centuries, including the largest collection of paintings by Edward Hicks of The Peaceable Kingdom fame. Aldrich, known widely for her essential role in founding New York’s Museum of Modern Art, loaned and then gifted her collection to Colonial Williamsburg. Her husband, John D. Rockefeller, established the museum in 1957 as a memorial to his wife who died in 1948.

The collection has continued to grow since that time, and the Museum is recognized as the world’s oldest continually operating institution dedicated solely to the collection, exhibition and preservation of American folk art. With objects that hail from Maine to Texas and the Southwest, it is the only folk art museum in the country that is not strictly regional.

Its sister institution, The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, named for its premier benefactor and the founder of Reader’s Digest, houses some 67,000 pieces of period antiques and works of art representing the best in British and American fine and decorative arts from 1670-1840. Colonial Williamsburg itself boasts among its supporting ranks quite a few recognizable names including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who serves as the chair of its Board of Trustees Architectural Design and Review Committee.

To read the full story, visit CoVaMag.com.

Click here to read more about Colonial Williamsburg attractions.

Yorktown Trolley 2020

In honor of the trolley’s 20th anniversary of service in Yorktown, the Yorktown Trolley will be offering free service beginning Friday, March 20.

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Busch Gardens Williamsburg Celtic Fyre named “Best Amusement Park Entertainment” for 2019

USA Today 10Best ranked Busch Gardens Williamsburg’s show Celtic Fyre as the “Best Amusement Park Entertainment” in the country for 2019.

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Busch Gardens Williamsburg Ranked “Best Amusement Park” for 2019

For 2019, Busch Gardens Williamsburg earned the tenth spot on the list.

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Top 5 March Events in Williamsburg

Here are our top five events happening in Greater Williamsburg during March.

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Spring Activities at Colonial Williamsburg

Here are some of the spring activities you can take part in when you visit Colonial Williamsburg.

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Things to Do this Spring in Williamsburg

Here are some of our suggestions on things to do during spring break in Williamsburg.

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Top 5 February Events in Williamsburg

Here are our top five events happening in Greater Williamsburg during February.

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