There are many reasons why people visit Greater Williamsburg, a charming tourist area in southern Virginia that is rich in history and tradition dating back to the earliest British settlement in North America. People come for the amusement parks, the haunted house tours, the superb golfing or to cycle their way across scenic landscapes on 109 miles of bicycle paths. But mostly, they come to experience history as it was in the 18th century.
Greater Williamsburg includes three distinct regions (Williamsburg, Yorktown and Jamestown) as well as their respective attractions such as Colonial Williamsburg, American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, Historic Jamestowne, Yorktown Battlefield and Jamestown Settlement.
Colonial Williamsburg, often referred to as “the cradle of democracy,” embraces an historical environment that transports tourists back to the 18th century. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment watching the shooting of the noon gun that signaled a cessation of morning responsibilities in order to prepare for the midday meal. Or try your hand at ax throwing at the interpretive ax range where you’ll learn about the history of ax throwing during the Revolutionary War. Take a romantic horse and carriage ride as you surround yourself with the sights and sounds of one of the country’s most charming towns.
(Owner Geri Pratt and Executive Chef Steven Sowell)
Pause for lunch at restored 18th century ale houses that serve colonial-inspired pub fare such as delectable Shepherd’s Pye and trenchers served in bread bowls, complemented by local craft beer in a traditional salted mug. Dog lovers and other hungry tourists will want to experience the festive atmosphere at the Hound’s Tale Restaurant where zany photos of man’s best friend adorn the walls. Offering tasty bites that range from comfort foods with a twist to dishes that evoke memories of travels abroad, The Hound’s Tale is the brainchild of Don and Geri Pratt, who also own Aromas coffeehouse and bakery in three locations throughout the region.
Executive Chef Steven Sowell, a graduate of the prestigious Culinary Arts Institute, honed his culinary skills at restaurants in New York City before returning home to Williamsburg to helm the kitchen at the Hound’s Tale. His innovative interpretations of such underappreciated foods as Brussels sprouts are drawing rave reviews from both the local clientele and the tourist population.
Tourists can choose from an array of accommodations ranging from quaint bed and breakfast to opulent resorts. Kingsmill Resort is a sprawling luxurious condominium complex that straddles the historic James River. Located off I‐64 between Richmond and Norfolk, Kingsmill lies on 2,099 protected acres and features 400 guest rooms and condos that offer a casual elegance. Renowned as Virginia’s largest golf resort and home to the Kingsmill Championship LPGA tournament, Kingsmill boasts three 18‐hole championship golf courses, 15 tennis courts, three pools and a lazy river.
With a gracious outdoor deck, the Kingsmill spa lets guests connect to nature before embarking on their spa service of choice. The bespoke spa experience includes sumptuously decorated surroundings and crystal embellished wallpaper accented by natural river rock. A European rose body treatment will refine and soften your skin from head to toe. Accented with a calming and nourishing Sweet Red Rose Facial, it hydrates your skin beautifully, resulting in smooth and velvety skin that is gorgeous for any season.
Drawing inspiration from locally sourced cuisine, Executive Chef Justin Dallinger oversees five restaurants, each with a distinctive flavor and flare. Offering panoramic views of stunning sunsets over the James River, the James Landing Grille presents a selection of regional and sustainable seafood and fresh-farmed vegetables when in season. The resort’s signature restaurant Elements 1010 boasts floor-to-ceiling windows that offer resplendent vistas of the river with its sailing vessels and fishing boats. Begin your dinner with a braised oxtail meat pie with sliced carrots, onions and garlic or tuna tartare followed by New Zealand rack of lamb chops or pan seared Chesapeake sea bass.
Greater Williamsburg bursts with excitement. It’s hard to imagine a more perfect place for intertwining the significance of the past with the timeliness of the present.