Your Williamsburg bucket list: What to eat, drink and do

Courtesy of Visit Williamsburg
A Segway tour

Haven’t been to Williamsburg since you were a child? Here’s what you’re missing out on. 

An exhilarating Segway ride around Yorktown, a carriage ride through Colonial Williamsburg, a live cooking demonstration and savoring an award-winning winery are a few grown-up ways to experience this destination. The greater Williamsburg area is rich in historical significance, but you can balance your time with modern day fun. 

“More millennials are taking time to capture a romantic getaway with the Williamsburg Tasting Trail, offering a great way to tour the area with Williamsburg Winery, two distilleries and five craft beer breweries,” said Dave Potter, director of marketing communications at the Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance. 

“They may have come at an earlier age with the family, but it holds many more facets coming with a group of friends or alone with the significant other. Whatever the season, there is always a reason to spend some time in the Greater Williamsburg area.”

Courtesy of Visit Williamsburg
Nearby Yorktown sits along the York River.


Williamsburg Inn

136 Francis St. East

Courtesy of Visit Williamsburg
The Williamsburg Inn

Check into where Queen Elizabeth of England stayed in 1957 and 2007 at the Williamsburg Inn. Two blocks from the historical main street, Duke of Gloucester, this award-winning hotel will put you just minutes from all the action, yet still provide a peaceful oasis.

The impressive Regency-styled Williamsburg Inn and its beautifully landscaped grounds set the stage for a grand experience. Exceptional service, luxurious guest rooms and exquisite fine dining can be experienced here. Play a round of golf, get a workout on the tennis court and then have a rejuvenating experience in the spa.

Williamsburg Lodge

310 South England St.

Courtesy of Visit Williamsburg
Williamsburg Lodge

Williamsburg Lodge is the place to stay for travelers who want an easy walk to the main attractions at Colonial Williamsburg. Golfers also prefer this hotel due to its proximity to Golden Horseshoe Golf Course. The newly renovated guest rooms and suites are another attractive reason to check-in here. Bonus: This hotel is both family and dog friendly.

Lounge poolside by the family or adult-only pool for some rest and relaxation. Step into the fully equipped fitness center for a calorie burning workout, then slip into its spa for soothing treatments.

Woodlands Hotel & Suites

105 Visitor Center Drive

Family-friendly Woodlands Hotel & Suites is the perfect place for anyone with kids in tow to call home while in Williamsburg. This hotel offers daily kid activities and evening entertainment geared toward families. There’s a pool with a splash zone featuring slides and water canons, along with complimentary table tennis, mini golf and a playground. Also available for guests is a free shuttle bus to the surrounding area and free continental breakfast.


Amber Ox Public House

525 Prince George St.

Photo by Sara Kendall

Passionate about craft beer and unique Southern fare, Amber Ox is a crowd favorite among locals and visitors. India Pale Ales, stouts and Belgium-styled beers are on the lineup there, along with draughts on rotation. All of the handcrafted beer is made onsite.

Amber Ox’s food menu changes frequently because of its focus on fresh, local ingredients, but you can always order classic Southern dishes such as chicken and waffles or shrimp and grits. Close to College of William & Mary, this restaurant and brewpub tends to have a lively atmosphere.

Mobjack Bay Coffee Roasters

411 Main St., Yorktown

Photo by Sara Kendall

Tucked away in a renovated house built in 1720, Mobjack Bay Coffee Roasters is a delightful place to sip coffee and devour small bites. For breakfast, this charming place offers a variety of assorted pastries, scones and muffins. For lunch, there a small selection of sandwiches – roast beef, turkey and prosciutto.

Grab a seat upstairs or a picnic table in the backyard. On your way out, purchase a bag of their most popular coffee – Deadrise Blend. It’s a dark roast and claims to be strong enough to raise the dead.

Water Street Grille

323 Water St., Suite A-1, Yorktown

Photo by Sara Kendall

On a prime riverfront spot, Water Street Grille is the place to kick back and have fun while dining on the York River. Come to this casual restaurant for all things seafood. The vast majority of the menu selections are based upon freshly caught seafood — avocado and salmon ceviche, lobster tots and bacon wrapped sea scallops. You can even order mac and cheese with lobster.

Meat lovers, the chefs haven’t forgotten about you. Order the famous prime cut ribeye, mac n cheese with short ribs or signature burgers.

Williamsburg Winery

5800 Wessex Hundred

Courtesy of Visit Williamsburg

Behind the rows of grape-bearing vines, Williamsburg Winery is a place to learn about Virginia wine, have a wine tasting and enjoy a delicious meal. Go on a wine tasting tour — stops include the vineyard, crash pad and wine cellar. Depending on which tour you select, some include lunch. If a tour doesn’t interest you, you can still stop by for a wine tasting, then dine at Gabriel Archer Tavern or Café Provencal.

Amid the vineyard with grape vines dangling overhead, Gabriel Archer Tavern’s menu leans toward local flavors. Oysters on the half shell, farro risotto with your choice of protein or lamb meatballs can be ordered here. This rustic yet elegant tavern is opened for lunch or brunch.

A hidden gem, Café Provencal is a high end French restaurant serving not only Williamsburg Winery’s wines, but wines from around the world. Dine on filet mignon, rack of lamb and scallops. Make a dinner reservation to enjoy exquisite flavors at a restaurant in a serene setting far away from the bustling streets of Williamsburg.


American Revolution Museum

200 Water St., Yorktown

The American Revolution Museum is an interactive museum centered on The Revolutionary War in and around Yorktown. Through projected holograms, hands-on activities and videos, visitors learn about a Continental Army encampment and Revolution-era farm. Period dressed historians freely share their knowledge about the beginnings of America.

Busch Gardens

1 Busch Gardens Blvd.

Let loose on world-class roller coasters and rides at Busch Gardens – all set to an Old World European theme. This amusement park just unveiled Virginia’s first hybrid water coaster. Weekly entertainment, nightly dance parties and weekend fireworks add to the fun at this theme park.

Colonial Williamsburg

101 Visitors Center Drive

Courtesy of Visit Williamsburg
Colonial Williamsburg

Inside an 18th century village, Colonial Williamsburg is the world’s largest living history museum. Visitors learn about the beginning of America by strolling around and stepping into the Capitol building, Governor’s Palace and trade shops such as the gunsmith, silversmith and wigmaker.

Visitors encounter knowledgeable guides dressed in period costumes who share their way of life before the American Revolution. Participate in a guided tour, hop on a carriage ride and go on a ghost tour. To enhance your visit, check online calendar to view the events.

Jamestown Settlement

2110 Jamestown Road

Courtesy of Visit Williamsburg
Jamestown Settlement

Walk in the steps of Capt. John Smith and Pocahontas by exploring America’s first permanent English colony, Jamestown Settlement. Near the actual site of our original colony, visitors will be transported back to the first days of America in 17th century Virginia. History comes alive through film, gallery exhibits and outdoor living history.

Patriot Tours and Provisions

321 Water St., Yorktown

Courtesy of Visit Williamsburg

Jump on a bike to see Yorktown on your own or hop on a kayak or paddleboard to explore the York River by renting the sporting equipment of your choice at Patriot Tours and Provisions.

Those seeking a more active adventure can take a Segway tour in historic Yorktown. Adventurers learn about the days when Gen. George Washington defeated British Commander Lord Cornwallis to gain America’s independence from England.

Retail therapy

Various locations throughout Williamsburg

Take a break from sightseeing by going shopping. At the Premium Outlets, take advantage of impressive rewards and discounts by joining the VIP club online before your visit. Stop in The Sideshow, a whimsical gallery of curiosities, fine art, jewelry and pottery. In the heart of Williamsburg, check out Three Sisters Boutique for lifestyle clothing by independent designers. There are more than candles at Yankee Candle Village. Swing by browse the candle emporium, general store, kitchen/garden shop, toy store and Christmas store.

Taste Studio

305 S. England St.

Photo by Sara Kendall
Taste Studio

Participate in a lively cooking demonstration at Taste Studio, where you can learn about historic recipes with modern flavors. In an engaging and fun atmosphere, participants learn cooking tips, savor samples and take home innovative recipes. Chocolate lovers can sign up for the American Heritage Historic Chocolate tasting, while wine lovers can enjoy spirits tastings.


  1. I wonder if I’m the only one who read the headline and thought, “Cool, an article on Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Wonder what new hipster wonders they have to offer now.”

  2. I love Williamsburg! Thanks for highlighting one of my favorites places to visit. Colonial Williamsburg is even more beautiful around Christmas.


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