Williamsburg, Virginia: 18th Century Colonial Capital

A Place in American History: Williamsburg, Virginia

Nestled in the green pastureland between the James and York Rivers, Williamsburg Virginia was not only the Colonial capital of Virginia, but also a center of commerce and culture. Williamsburg is no different today. With Busch Gardens & Water Country and the historical Colonial Williamsburg Foundation as main attractions and Historic Jamestown and Yorktown Battlefields on either end of the scenic Colonial Parkway, Williamsburg has plenty to offer residents and visitors in natural beauty, fun, and history.

Famous Americans from Williamsburg, Virginia

Williamsburg is the current home of rock star Bruce Hornsby. Football player Lawrence Taylor has also lived in Williamsburg. In addition, there have been many famous early American figures who either passed through Williamsburg or had important business there; these include: Thomas Jefferson, George and Martha Washington, and many more.

Waterfront Estates and Historic Property in Williamsburg Virginia

Kingsmill is one of the oldest and most prestigious gated communities in Williamsburg, and is partially situated on the banks of the James River. Governor’s Land is another exclusive gated community, situated at the intersection of the Chickahominy and James Rivers, just off historic Route 5. There are also numerous older neighborhoods in the Williamsburg area that date back to the Colonial era where refurbished historic homes can be purchased.

Fine Dining in Williamsburg Virginia

There are several excellent colonial taverns owned by Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, where guests may eat an authentic British meal in a setting comparable to a pub of the 18th Century. Chowning’s Tavern, Shields Tavern, King’s Arms Tavern and Christiana Campbell’s are the main pubs of Colonial Williamsburg. For those who prefer continental or ethnic food, The Trellis, on the Duke of Gloucester Street, is a good choice. The Second Street Tavern and Casa Maya Mexican Restaurant, both in Williamsburg, also provide savory dishes and an excellent atmosphere.

Historical Landmarks in Williamsburg, Virginia

The historical landmarks in Williamsburg are too numerous to list. But a brief overview of some historical highlights in Williamsburg will follow. Historic Jamestown is the National Park Service site that was settled as a fort in 1607, and this sits at the south end of Williamsburg. The site of former colonial Virginia Governor William Berkely’s mansion was burned, but the ruins remain just off Route 5 and are also being carefully dug, studied and preserved by archeologists and historians. Colonial Williamsburg Foundation also offers a tour of the entire town of Williamsburg for one inclusive price that allows visitors access to the colonial homes, pubs, the capital, the old jail, and more. Residents of the Williamsburg area may obtain a Good Neighbors pass for year round access to Colonial Williamsburg.

Marinas and Boat Launches in Williamsburg Virginia

There are several excellent marinas in Williamsburg with access to the James River and its estuaries. These include the Jamestown Yacht Basin, Kingsmill Marina, and Two Rivers Country Club Marina, which is located at the intersection of the James and Chickahominy Rivers. Waller Mill Park also offers public boat launch for private crafts.

Jamestown Yacht Basin is one of the most popular marinas located on Powhatan Creek, nearby Historic Jamestown, at the south end of Williamsburg. Speedboats and jet skis are permitted to launch from this marina. Boats coming via the Colonial Parkway, on trailers, are limited to 12 feet, due to tunnels. The Yacht Basin has 125 wet slips, which are usually booked. Jamestown Yacht Basin is the only covered marina in James City County.

Williamsburg Winery and a Brewing Company

Williamsburg Winery produces approximately 60,000 cases of wine per year. The winery is convenient to the historic district, just off Route 199, and it’s a great place to purchase Virginia wine. Tours and tastings are offered daily, even on Sundays. The Gabriel Archer Tavern is adjacent to the winery and offers lunch daily and dinner Thursday through Monday. For the beer lover, Williamsburg AleWerks sells crafted brews in a variety. Williamsburg Alewerks is open from Monday through Saturday from 12:00 to 5:30 for tours and souvenirs.

Williamsburg Virginia Culture and Entertainment

Residents of Williamsburg may obtain a Good Neighbors pass from Colonial Williamsburg Foundation for a special year round fee after providing proof of residency. This allows the pass holder to attend performances in the evenings, usually Colonial era theater and historical re-enactments. The College of William and Mary has an excellent theater and music series which is open to the public. The Virginia Symphony performs regularly in Williamsburg, just off Ironbound Road. And, the Williamsburg Library is a centrally located place to attend a wide range of events related to art, culture, music, writing and more.

Williamsburg Virginia Outdoor Recreation

With the Colonial Parkway, Colonial Williamsburg, and the scenic James River running through Williamsburg there is always plenty for the outdoor enthusiast to do. This is a wonderful place for biking or hiking. Boating and fishing is also popular in many of the estuaries of the James and York Rivers. Williamsburg is also an ideal place for bird watching, especially at Jamestown Island and along the Colonial Parkway, where great bald eagles can be sighted, and migratory birds can be seen moving south in October and November. The eagles have been nesting, and returning to the Williamsburg area for over a decade.

Williamsburg Location in Proximity to Major Cities

Williamsburg is conveniently located about 45 minutes drive from Richmond and Norfolk, Virginia, both major urban areas. Nearby areas offer dining, entertainment, shopping, and culture on a larger scale than found in Williamsburg. A drive to Virginia Beach takes about an hour and fifteen minutes from Williamsburg. Williamsburg is a great place to have a quiet home, and it is close enough to commute to work in these urban areas, and just far enough away to leave the stress behind.

Colleges in Williamsburg Virginia

The College of William and Mary is located in Williamsburg and is a central hub for the town. Because it’s the second oldest college in the nation, the architecture on campus is extraordinary and dates back to the Colonial Era. A wide range of academic programs are available to students at this Commonwealth of Virginia college. Thomas Nelson Community College is projected to open a New Historic Triangle Campus in the spring of 2009. Community college classes and adult education will all take place in this 120,000 square foot facility near Warhill High School.

Contemporary Williamsburg Virginia

Contemporary Williamsburg is an ideal location to retire, relocate, purchase a second home, or raise a family. Email vonmor1@cox.net or call Elaine VonCannon at 757-288-4685 for information about real estate for sale in Southeastern Virginia, and especially Williamsburg.