Your Guide to Hitting the Road to Fun in the Historic Triangle
For decades, families have been setting out to accomplish the ideal concept of the “Great American Road Trip.” They all start out typically the same, and there’s usually some griping in the midst of spending hours in the car together, but what’s different each time is the destination and the excitement of finally stepping out of the car, ready to explore a new place for the first time.
During your family’s visit to Williamsburg, it’s likely that you’ll spend at least a little time in the car each day of your vacation as you travel from place to place. To make your time between places more memorable than heads buried in video games and endless questions of, “are we there yet?” we’ve mapped out a guide to some of the must-visit places in Williamsburg along with must-stops, must-eats and must-rides along the way. Happy travels!
Destination: Colonial Williamsburg
Must-Stop Along the Way: Merchants Square
Let the kids choose a souvenir from R.P. Wallace’s General Store, offering a collection of toys, shirts, jewelry and more. Subside those sweet tooth cravings at Wythe Candy & Gourmet Shop where you’ll find fresh dipped caramel apples and chocolates.
Must-Visit: Anderson’s Blacksmith Shop & Public Armoury
Celebrate Colonial Williamsburg’s reconstruction as you watch a blacksmith take red-hot iron from the fire and, with hammer in hand, beat it into a variety of tools, hardware and weapons.
Must-Eat: The Trellis
Quality ingredients are a staple at this eatery located on Duke of Gloucester Street. The seasonally-based menu is ever-changing, based on what’s growing locally, and you can be assured that any meal you have here will be one to remember.
Must-Do: Historic or Ghostly Walking Tour
Truly step into Williamsburg’s history as you walk along a walking tour through Williamsburg’s historic area. Several companies offer historic tours given by knowledgeable guides. Learn about decades of local and American history in an hour-long tour. For a more hair-raising experience, experience a local ghost walk. Williamsburg has no short of local legends and haunted houses. Learn about them all, and possibly spot a few ghosts yourself, on a ghost tour.
Destination: Busch Gardens
Must-Stop Along the Way: Williamsburg Premium Outlets
This is the perfect spot for shopping popular retailers. Find savings from 25–65% off every day on designer and named brand apparel, accessories and more. Grab a quick bite to eat from a food-court favorite or have a sit down meal at a nearby restaurant.
Thrill seekers won’t want to miss a chance to ride six inversions aboard this steel coaster. Riders can experience tight turns at 63 miles per hour while soaring 154 feet in the air. Busch Gardens ranked this roller coaster a high thrill level.
This multi-launch indoor/outdoor roller coaster is unlike any car ride your family has experienced. Get ready for a lightning fast, multi-sensory dash through the dark and foreboding woods and a terrifying plunge that will leave your group breathless!
Must-Ride: Battle for Eire
Busch Gardens’ first virtual reality ride is a 360-degree adventure through a mythical world. Team up with a fairy guardian as you set out to rescue the sacred Heart of Eire. You’ll soar above lush landscape and battle the dark forces of the evil Dark Lord, Balor.
Must-Eat: Das Festhaus
Bet you didn’t know a simple road trip could land you in Germany! While you’re here, feast on authentic German sausages or a mile-high corned beef sandwich along with German potato salad and red cabbage.
Must-Eat: Squire’s Grille
With more traditional eats that even the pickiest eaters will enjoy, Squire’s Grille serves everything from burgers and cheesesteaks to salads and a variety of desserts. Be sure to try the hand-battered fish and chips.
Dance and sing along to British hits from the 1960s to today. Enjoy music from genres ranging from pop and rock to funk. Live singers, musicians and dancers bring the hits to life on stage at the Globe Theatre.
Must-Do: Sesame Street® Forest of Fun™
Perfect for the younger kids, the Forest of Fun™ is just for children and their families. This neighborhood features family-friendly rides and playgrounds. Kids will even be able to take their photos with their favorite Sesame Street® characters.
Destination: Jamestown Settlement and Historic Jamestowne
Must-Stop Along the Way: Jamestown-Scotland Ferry
Surely the kids have been pining to see the water, so give them an up-close view by taking a ride on this free ferry that travels across the James River. Get out of the car for a bit and walk around the deck to enjoy beautiful scenery and fresh air!
Must-Visit: James Fort
And you thought your kids had a vivid imagination already; wait until they dress themselves in armor and pretend to go back in time to 1610–1614. The whole family will enjoy playing a game of quoits (ring-toss) and ninepins (bowling).
Must-Eat: Jamestown Pie Company
No matter what time of day it is, it’s always a good time for pie. At Jamestown Pie Company, your family can choose from a variety of pizza pies, pot pies, sandwiches and of course fruit and nut pies served a la mode, if you desire.
Destination: American Revolution Museum at Yorktown
Must-See: Continental Army Encampment
Discover the life of a Revolutionary War soldier vividly portrayed in a re-created Continental Army encampment. Historical interpreters depict the daily routines of these American soldiers and demonstrate military drills, medical practices and more.
Must-Do: Schooner Alliance
Tired of spending time in the car? Set sail on the School Alliance or Serenity to explore the Chesapeake Bay. Those taking off on the Serenity should rehearse their pirate lingo before stepping aboard as the ship offers pirate cruses!
Must-Eat: Riverwalk Restaurant
Located right in the heart of Yorktown, Riverwalk Landing, Riverwalk Restaurant features high-quality dining and beautiful views of the York River. Stop by for lunch, dinner or weekend brunch and enjoy an award-winning meal.
Must-Listen: Freight Shed
Did you notice that your toes automatically started tapping as you neared this venue? Live music can often be heard from the Yorktown Freight Shed, offering concerts year-round.