Trip to Williamsburg Virginia

 – Note from Allison: (post number 2 in a series of 2) Last week my friend Lindsey Johnson {an amazing food blogger you need to  know about} took a trip to historic Williamsburg Virginia on behalf of Petit Elefant.  Williamsburg looks like an amazing destination for a family trip and  I can’t wait to go with my kids.   Doesn’t the colonial house look so charming?  P.S. Lindsey’s photography is my favorite; all photos were shot by her. —

trip to Williamsburg Virginia

If you’re into history like I am, you have to take a trip to Williamsburg, Virginia.  If you aren’t into history?  You have to go to Colonial Williamsburg because you will end up loving it — both history and Williamsburg.

Picture a Revolutionary War era village where interpreters dressed in period costumes give you a peek into the daily life of Williamsburg colonists.  Williamsburg was the capital of the Virginia Colony in the New World.  It was the wealthiest and most populated British colony.  The living museum is the largest of its kind in the world’s, and will blow you away with restored historic buildings, beautiful gardens, and trade shops.

colonial williamsburg virginia

Every little detail has been seen to in Colonial Williamsburg.  The interpreters are always in character, even as they converse with one another on the street or during tours.  The beautiful grounds, buildings, and streets are meticulously maintained.  The costumes are magnificent (I particularly loved the dresses the female interpreters wore).

If I had to choose a few must-see places within Colonial Williamsburg, I would recommend taking the time to see the Governor’s Palace and gardens.  The tour lasts about 35 minutes.  The original palace, home to seven Virginia governors including Thomas Jefferson, was destroyed by fire but thanks to the Rockefeller family was rebuilt and decorated to the nines with lavish carpets and tapestries, beautiful antique furniture, chandeliers, and paintings.

trip to Colonial Virginia

Another must-see on my list: the weaving shop, print shop, and vegetable garden.  I took hundreds of pictures of every little thing because I couldn’t wait to come home and tell my husband and kids all about it.  Needless to say, we’re planning to go back as soon as possible.

There’s something for every age in Williamsburg.  The whole family will enjoy the plethora of activities, programs, classes, and tours available each day.  You can witness justice being served at the courthouse, learn about Folk Art, see how cloth was dyed, how a printing press was operated, become a participant in the militia and much, much more.  There are areas throughout Colonial Williamsburg that are especially for children like the Kid’s Corner where they can play period games.

courthouse in williamsburg, virginia

Jamestown Settlement offers a full picture of Jamestown and the surrounding areas and tells the story of the British boys and men who arrived from England in 1607 through gallery exhibits housed within a beautiful new museum, as well as outdoor exhibits including a Powhatan Indian village (like the one where Pocahontas lived), ships like those that sailed from England, and a re-creation of the Jamestown fort.  As you visit, your understanding and knowledge of history will increase as you experience firsthand what life was like back in the 1600’s in the Virginia Colony.

trip to williamsburg virginia

Eat: both museums offer sandwiches, snacks, and desserts (Carrot Tree Café (Historic Jamestown), museum café (Jamestown Settlement)

Don’t miss: the Glass House at Historic Jamestown, daily demonstrations of glassblowing.  Powhatan Village, Jamestown Fort, and ships at Jamestown Settlement.

Especially for kids: Historic Jamestown — the Archaearium is full of hands-on learning for kids.  Jamestown Settlement — the outdoor exhibits give kids the chance to climb around the inside of a re-created period ship as well as take part in the daily chores at the Powhatan Indian village.

Williamsburg Virginia

Yorktown is a charming town on the banks of the scenic York River, and it was a perfect ending for my visit to America’s Historic Triangle. Before dinner on the last night we visited the Yorktown Victory Center.  I would definitely like to spend more time in Yorktown — plan AT LEAST a whole day when you go.  The Victory Center was so interesting.  I was able to see what a Revolutionary military encampment looked like.  The tents were so small it’s hard to imagine 7 men all fitting in to sleep in one tent.  I was fascinated by the surgeon’s tent with all the tools and medicines and the chart for leeching.  I learned what “kitchens” looked like at camp; trenches were dug in the ground and little pits were carved out so the men could use a stove.

tents from a trip to williamsburg virginia

Another favorite was the farm on site (can you tell I love gardens?).  Adjacent to the huge vegetable garden was a small fenced-in area that was the slaves’ garden.  I loved walking through the farm as the sun was setting, it was so beautiful, and I could smell the lilacs getting ready to bloom and see the blossoms on the fruit trees.

After visiting the Yorktown Victory Center we took a little drive through the area.  It’s full of darling, well-maintained colonial houses, little shops and restaurants, and a beautiful beach right along the river.  If it had been even a little warmer, I would have taken my shoes off and soaked my tired toes in the cool water of the York River.  We also passed by Moore House where the surrender took place at the end of the Revolutionary War.  For dinner I enjoyed Mahi Mahi, grilled scallops, and a salad at the Riverwalk Restaurant.  Yum.

Trip to Williamsburg Virginia

Eat: The Cheese Shop — great sandwiches, gluten-free options, as well as a gourmet market.  The Candy Shop (next door) has rows and rows of dipped chocolates and candies, specialty candies, and imports.  Traditional meals are served at the Taverns.

Don’t miss: The Governor’s Palace — a chance to see how the wealthy lived with beautiful tapestries and antique furniture.  The print shop, spinning, weaving, dyeing, and all the little shops within the village.

Especially for kids: Kid’s Corner (near the palace).  The tour guides really involve kids in the tour to help them learn what it was like in Colonial Williamsburg with all kinds of activities and recreation.

Where to stay:  stay within the historic area to take full advantage of Colonial Williamsburg.  I stayed at the Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel and Suites, but there are plenty of places to stay.

Other info: there’s a great shuttle service around the area from the hotels/motels to all the sites.  Make sure to plan AT LEAST 2-3 days so you can see everything, and don’t forget to bring good walking shoes.

This post is sponsored locally by Williamsburg, Virginia. Discover fun for the whole family and book your vacation now.

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Hello there! I'm Allison Czarnecki, founder + editor of Petit Elefant, a blog all about style on a budget for every part of your life: style / home / travel / family. I do a lot of how-to beauty + style tutorials, travel posts, easy recipes, home remodel projects, and cool DIY crafts you totally want to try. I'm super happily married (to a hot Polish immigrant) and am the mother of two kids, a daughter and son, all of whom are featured here on the regular. We live in the country but we're a little bit rock + roll. Welcome!


  1. MaryAA :

    My parents were here in March. They loved it and by what they said, it would be fun with older kids.

    • Allison :

      I think my kids would enjoy it a lot. Your little ones would probably rather be at superhero camp, but who can blame them/him?