City Cheat Sheet: Williamsburg, Virginia

Brimming with history and charm, Williamsburg, Virginia, has long been a beloved destination for visitors from all over thanks to its 18th-century buildings, stunning rural setting, and carefully preserved colonial roots. For those who might be planning a trip to the area to take in the former capital of Virginia’s historical locales and beautiful scenery, we asked Jodi Hanna and Thea Robertson, the Editors of The Scout Guide Williamsburg & The Chesapeake Bay, to provide a cheat sheet for their city that includes where to eat, drink, shop, and sightsee.

COFFEE // Stop in Aromas (431 Prince George Street), which has the best coffee and snacks, for a pick-me-up.

COCKTAIL HOUR // The Restoration Bar at the Williamsburg Inn (136 East Francis Street) is perfect for a pre-dinner drink.

DINNER // Enjoy seasonal American fare at Fat Canary (410 West Duke of Gloucester Street) or indulge in the comfort food at Blue Talon Bistro (420 Prince George Street).

DESSERT // Head to The Trellis Bar & Grill (430 West Duke of Gloucester Street) for their signature dessert, “Death by Chocolate.”

SHOPPING // Fashion: For fashion-forward pieces, visit Closet Envy (409 West Duke of Gloucester Street); pick up Lilly Pulitzer at Ocean Palm (411 West Duke of Gloucester Street); and browse beautiful jewelry at The Precious Gem (423 West Duke of Gloucester Street). For charming and classic children’s attire, visit The Carousel children’s boutique (420 West Duke of Gloucester Street).

SHOPPING // Home & Gifts: Visit Seasons of Williamsburg (1308 Jamestown Road) for unique gifts and fresh florals; for unique finds including furniture and home décor, visit high-end consignment shop The Velvet Shoestring (311 Second Street); if you’re in the market for new furniture and want to browse a truly extensive selection, don’t miss Carolina Furniture (5435 Richmond Road), which carries more than 400 lines; for a beautiful collection of accessories and gifts, stop into Sisters Unique (701 Mariners Row, Suite 104 in Newport News); for beautiful reproduction pieces, visit the Williamsburg Craft House (402 West Duke of Gloucester Street) located in Colonial Williamsburg.

HISTORY // The Governor’s Palace (300 Palace Green Street) in Colonial Williamsburg is a must; garden tours are held from 9-10:30 a.m. Bassett Hall (522 East Francis Street), the historic home of the Rockefeller family, is also lovely, as is Sherwood Forest Plantation (14501 John Tyler Memorial Highway in Charles City), which was the home of President John Tyler.

HIDDEN GEMS // Visit The Williamsburg Winery (5800 Wessex Hundred) for wine tasting and a meal at one of the wonderful restaurants. Wedmore Place (5810 Wessex Hundred), a European-style country hotel at the winery, is a treat to stay in. Finally, consider relaxing at The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg (307 South England Street) at the Williamsburg Inn.

For additional recommendations for where to go and what to do in the area, browse The Scout Guide Williamsburg & The Chesapeake Bay.

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