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Your advice for Williamsburg

Bunk

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We have enough Vacation Club points left on our Marriott account to spent a few nights in 2015 or 2016 at Marriott's Manor Club Sequel in Williamsburg. It's likely to be just me and my wife. We are both in our early sixties and in fairly good shape. We like outdoor activities, art, architecture, music, trying different foods. I like American history; my wife not so much. We're not interested in going to amusement parks. We're not interested in golf.

We'll be driving to Williamsburg from New York.

I'd appreciate your advice on two points:

1. What would you consider the best and worst times of the year to visit Williamsburg for a few days.

2. Would do you suggest we visit on a relatively short trip of 2 or 3 days.

Thank you for your advice.
 

tschwa2

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I would probably go 3-5 nights in May, early June or September for the best weather without the crowds. I would probably add in day trips to Virginia Beach and/or Norfolk or one of one of the other Hampton Roads cities.
 

pedro47

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We have enough Vacation Club points left on our Marriott account to spent a few nights in 2015 or 2016 at Marriott's Manor Club Sequel in Williamsburg. It's likely to be just me and my wife. We are both in our early sixties and in fairly good shape. We like outdoor activities, art, architecture, music, trying different foods. I like American history; my wife not so much. We're not interested in going to amusement parks. We're not interested in golf.

We'll be driving to Williamsburg from New York.

I'd appreciate your advice on two points:

1. What would you consider the best and worst times of the year to visit Williamsburg for a few days.

2. Would do you suggest we visit on a relatively short trip of 2 or 3 days.

Thank you for your advice.

The best time to visit Colonial Williamsburg in my opinion are April - May and the fall of the year between late September and the first week in December [Less crowds and milder weather temperatures].

I also would suggest a short stay of 3 to 4 nights. Checking end on a Monday and checking out Friday morning. This way you will use less Vacation Club Points for your stay.

Please ask for the Jamestown Common building on the Manor Club Sequel size of the resort. This building will give you more sun light in your villa.

Finally, please bring your golf clubs and enjoy your stay in Colonial Williamsburg, VA.
 
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jme

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3 days minimum, 4 ideal. Worth the time.

I've been during different times, and Fall "foliage peak weeks" are by far the most beautiful, and temps are great. You can ask when that time occurs, or check it out online, but I think it's usually mid-October to early November. All of Colonial Wmsbg is spectacular, and the half-day trips in any direction are glorious (there are several outstanding ones).

One trip is to Shirley Plantation and then Berkeley Plantation---both are historic, both are really fun, both are within easy driving distance for a half-day leisurely outing, and the trees along the way are breathtaking. (Forget about any other historic homes along the way---those two are superior and plenty enough to do.)

See links below:
Minimize boxes by clicking little arrow to top right of big blue box, and also lose the bottom pics by clicking on double arrow on bottom right near word "Explore".....also can ZOOM in/out, or click & drag to enhance map picture.
Driving directions/locations
https://goo.gl/maps/XC9YL2EQTw92

Shirley Plantation
http://www.shirleyplantation.com/

Berkeley Plantation
http://www.berkeleyplantation.com/


Another GREAT trip is to Monticello in Charlottesville, Va, spectacular historic home of Thomas Jefferson, our most favorite half-day excursion from Wmsbg. Monticello is a very short 2-hr drive from Wmsbg, and you'll have ample time to tour the home and estate to keep it an easy half-day. Beautiful! Tavern at bottom of mountain near entrance is very nice for lunch afterward. Fall is awesome there.

Monticello
http://www.monticello.org/


Colonial Williamsburg is fantastic---lots to see and do. Spend as much time there as you like....definitely do the Courthouse thing.
Colonial Wmsbg
http://www.colonialwilliamsburg.com/

http://www.colonialwilliamsburg.com/do/revolutionary-city/tour-the-city/courthouse/

Jamestown is fun, but if you run short on time, or get "historied out", skip Jamestown and do the other things!
Jamestown
http://historicjamestowne.org/


The world-class Dewitt Wallace Museum in Colonial Wmsbg is also worth the couple hours of time.
http://www.history.org/history/museums/dewitt_gallery.cfm

Wonderful restaurants around Wmsbg and in Colonial Wmsbg....I have a list if needed.

Spring is great too----we spent a week in April twice, but nothing can compare to Fall in Virginia. Summer is awful, oppressively hot, AVOID (unless you have kids and want to do Water Country, but you won't have kids this time, you said). Winter can be difficult if temps plunge, if it snows, or the area experiences an ice storm. Power outages happen occasionally, not worth the risk, imho. Lots of stuff closed down during that season, but you will hear a lot about "Grand Illumination", which is a pretty cool thing to experience (but the Fall experience supercedes anything in Winter, imho).
http://www.colonialwilliamsburg.com/plan/calendar/hol-grand-illumination/

Good luck, a great destination.




.
 
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WinniWoman

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Just don't go during the March or April school break. We drove from NY on a Good Friday- never again! Was an absolute traffic nightmare starting in DC through Alexandria and down. Took us 16 hours, including a car break down due to our brakes wearing out from the traffic, which literally didn't move and then just inched up on 95 every so often. Never again!

I agree- take a ride to Virginia Beach. Maybe do the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Also Busch Gardens, Jamestown.

My husband and I and our son were there for 7 nights. Lots to see and do.
 
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elaine

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I live 2 hrs away. DD love Wllmbg, we go all the time--including next weekend. I agree with others on season. I like Sept/Oct better, b/c May can be rainy. I would also add a trip to DC, if you have not been. Just stay on I-95 out side of DC and take the metro or a bus into DC (although it's nothing like driving into NYC). Make sure to wear good walking shoes for Wllmbg. We esp. like taking a beak at the wine and cheese shop near the Marketplace (far end of colonial wllmbg) at lunch/late afternoon. It's a great place to get a glass of wine and a picnic (bought from inside and people watch).
 

dwojo

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It has been a few years since we were there. In Norfolk the was a boat tour of the harbor that was nice. Yorktown is nice. The area just outside of Colonial Williamsburg has several nice restaurants, but parking can be an issue.
 

Big Matt

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I grew up there and have been going back to see family and friends for the last 27 years as a "visitor". I own at Manor Club also.

Williamsburg is an outdoor city. Everything worth seeing is either outside or partially outside including Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown, and the Plantations. Also, Williamsburg also changes a lot with the seasons both literally and figuratively. It is an attraction that is either ruined or made better by the weather and crowds.

January through March - Don't go under any circumstance. It will be cold and either rainy or snowy. Many things are limited or closed for parts of that period.

April - can be beautiful or rainy. Crowds are large with a lot of school groups.

May - Best warm weather month in Williamsburg and not very crowded - put it on your list.

June through August - Can be miserably hot and humid and mobbed with people including tons of kids. I wouldn't go during these months.

September - Still can be miserably hot, but later in the month it gets nice. Crowds are light. I'd put it on the list.

October - Best cool weather month in Williamsburg. Crowds are heavy, but Williamsburg is beautiful. I'd put it on the list.

November - Weather is still good and can be warm through Thanksgiving. Crowds are light. I'd put it on the list.

December - Best month to visit for pure beauty of Colonial Williamsburg including Grand Illumination, but.........it can be cold and maybe not the best weather with rain and maybe some snow. Be cautious.

Follow JMEs advice for attractions. It is way more than you can fit into 3 days. With that said, I would recommend that you spend most of your time doing the classic Williamsburg/Jamestown visit. Go to both parts of Jamestown. Try to pick a route from NY that takes you through Charlottesville to see Monticello on the way down or back. You can do the same for the plantations on route five. Any day trips will waste a lot of time.

Also, Williamsburg has good restaurants. Figure out ahead of time where you want to go. Feel free to PM me if you want some advice. My family has a history in the restaurant business there and had a location in the past. I know who owns what and where you should go to get your best value and experience. There really aren't a lot of tourist traps, but there are some that are better than others. You cannot miss eating at a Tavern if this is one of the only times you will come. The food is done nicely, but the experience (especially in the fall/winter) can't be beat. I like Campbell's the best.

For me, I'd pick the first or second week of either May or November.
 

wackymother

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You've gotten great advice. We own in Williamsburg and try to make it there for a visit every other year or so. Always lots to see.

We went once during April school break and the weather was lovely and it wasn't as crowded as all that. We did take the train from NYC, though--avoiding the traffic altogether, and then rented a car in Williamsburg.

I would just add one more thing--check out the special events at the Kimball Theater and at William and Mary. One year we went to a fantastic lecture about economic shifts in history that was GREAT, and we also went to a very good a capella show by W&M students. The Virginia Shakespeare Festival is also based at W&M and does some great productions.
 

tonyg

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Pre timeshare, we would go to Wmsb. for 2-4 days . We must have done about 10 trips like that and still had things we had not seen. I would go in the fall or May and stay away in summer.
 

dsexton

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So far I don't believe anyone has mentioned the fabulous shopping ! I go there a couple times a year, just for the shopping alone. You could easily spend 2 days on shopping alone. I'm embarrassed to admit we live so close and have not done a lot of the 'historical' sites that folks have mentioned. I will need to add this to my list. But I agree with Big Matt on the timing.

Depending on your interests, you can always catch the ferry from Jamestown, where you can see replicas of the settlement ships - Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery.
The ferry will take you over to a small town called Surry. There is not much there other than the Edwards Ham shop. IMO they have the best hams, bacon and link sausage you will ever find. For those that have Edwards brand items in their grocery store, this is where it comes from ! Again, not much else to see there, but thought I would mention it as some folks like the novelty of riding on a ferry if they've never done it.
 

Nancy

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Ferry

The ferry is free and runs pretty often. We live fairly close and always include a ferry trip (or round trip) each time. We also like the town of Smithfield.

Nancy
 

pedro47

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I love the time period between Thanksgiving and Christmas. As well as the spring.

The one things I liked in December is the Christmas decorations in Colonial Williamsburg.
 

Ricci

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We just spent a week in Virginia Beach at Turtle Cay, and then two weeks at the Manor Club in Williamsburg.
We go to Williamsburg often and never tire of it. They have new things scheduled all the time...just get a daily program and also ask for "This week at a glance" at the visitor's center. That way you can plan your visit more easily.

This time we did things we have never done before and took part in several day and evenings programs which required a ticket. A walk with Thomas Jefferson, Bits and Bridles, toured the Rockefeller home, the Saturday auction, etc. We literally had trouble fitting it all in. Hence we will be going back in March. Did I mention we love history??
 

pedro47

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We just spent a week in Virginia Beach at Turtle Cay, and then two weeks at the Manor Club in Williamsburg.
We go to Williamsburg often and never tire of it. They have new things scheduled all the time...just get a daily program and also ask for "This week at a glance" at the visitor's center. That way you can plan your visit more easily.

This time we did things we have never done before and took part in several day and evenings programs which required a ticket. A walk with Thomas Jefferson, Bits and Bridles, toured the Rockefeller home, the Saturday auction, etc. We literally had trouble fitting it all in. Hence we will be going back in March. Did I mention we love history??

Did you do the free wine cheese gathering at the Manor Club?
 

linpat

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I go at least once a year and have for several years and there is still something new to try. Last time was the Gabriel Archer Tavern off Jamestown Road. It's set in a vineyard and adjoins the Williamsburg Winery.

This year I was there the first week in June and it was Hot! The residents said that it was unseasonably hot but that didn't help.
 

smtundra

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When driving from DC to Williamsburg or if leaving from Richmond, take Route 5, which is a beautiful drive instead of I-64. There are several historic plantations that can be toured such as http://www.berkeleyplantation.com/.

They usually have small groups and often some of the families still reside there, making it a bit more interesting. Just call ahead to make sure they are open, and not hosting a wedding or some other event.
 

BocaBoy

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Williamsburg is an outdoor city. Everything worth seeing is either outside or partially outside including Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown, and the Plantations. Also, Williamsburg also changes a lot with the seasons both literally and figuratively. It is an attraction that is either ruined or made better by the weather and crowds.

January through March - Don't go under any circumstance. It will be cold and either rainy or snowy. Many things are limited or closed for parts of that period.

I will be the contrarian here. While I agree that May or November would have better weather, we have gone several times in the winter and had a delightful visit every time. There can be occasional bad weather, but it is generally not that bad and the crowds and prices are very low. December through March is our preferred time when all things are taken into account. We have always gone via II Getaways or XYZs and we have been able to stay in Berkeley Manor every time (5 or 6 weeks in total over the past five years), which would not be possible at a more popular time. For us, that factor alone is worth going in the winter.
 
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Sattva

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JME Please message me the restaurant list! We are there in 2 weeks :) Also would love to know which building to request. We are in Manor Club NOT Sequel. TYIA!
 

Big Matt

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I agree that you can do a lot in that Jan-Mar time frame, but I wouldn't suggest it for a first time visit. Things are closed/limited in CW especially in January. Once you are more of a veteran it makes sense, and I totally agree that crowds are low. You can get real one on one interaction in Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown with the actors and craftsmen.

I will be the contrarian here. While I agree that May or November would have better weather, we have gone several times in the winter and had a delightful visit every time. There can be occasional bad weather, but it is generally not that bad and the crowds and prices are very low. December through March is our preferred time when all things are taken into account. We have always gone via II Getaways or XYZs and we have been able to stay in Berkeley Manor every time (5 or 6 weeks in total over the past five years), which would not be possible at a more popular time. For us, that factor alone is worth going in the winter.
 

Iggyearl

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Couple thoughts

I'm in Williamsburg right now. Daughter lives here, 2 miles from the Jamestown Settlement. I have not had a "nice" summer visit here due to the heat. Moving her into W&M in August of 2000. Various visits during the college days, and moving her from Va. Beach to here in June of this year. Also a visit in August of this year. I prefer September or October. It is currently 49 degrees. A little chilly for me. For weather purposes, I have loved mid-September to mid-October. I would add that some great eating deals can be found in some of the hand-out brochures in the hotels and restaurants. One of the best we've had is a free appetizer at the Second Street restaurant. About 9 shrimp in a delicious Thai sauce. What a deal. I would also recommend the leisurely drive from the Jamestown Settlement to Yorktown. It is called the Colonial Parkway and it traverses through some beautiful non-interstate territory. It connects two historical areas in a true historical manner. Worth the trip. Good luck.
 

jme

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Williamsburg Dining, my personal list

(*For fine dining category)
RESERVATIONS A MUST

Fat Canary*...my favorite (in Colonial Wmsbg)
Le Yaca* (fine French dining)
Blue Talon Bistro*
Food For Thought (varied and excellent menu- breakfast, lunch, or dinner)
Second Street American Bistro
Christiana Campbell's (in Colonial Wmsbg)
King's Arms Tavern (in Colonial Wmsbg)
DoG Street Pub--very casual but good food, fun (in Colonial Wmsbg)
Berrett's (seafood in Colonial Wmsbg)
The Trellis* (in Colonial Wmsbg)
Pierce's BBQ

lunch:
Dudley's Bistro in "New Town" shopping area (great shops, by the way!!!)
The Cheese Shop--sandwiches, etc. (in Colonial Wmsbg)


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