A Weekend in Williamsburg: Your Itinerary & Guide

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After spending a weekend in Williamsburg, VA I can almost guarantee that you’ll want to go back.

Whether you’re looking for a romantic weekend getaway, a trip full of adventure, or a fun girl’s weekend, Williamsburg has something for you.

I spent a weekend here back in June and then returned this fall for five days to explore even more. This is a beautiful area with so many fun things to do and amazing places to eat.

This Williamsburg, VA itinerary will throw in a little adventure, some history, and of course I’ll tell you some of my favorite places to eat and drink.

If you are planning a trip here then I hope this helps you plan the perfect Williamsburg weekend!

Day 1

Breakfast – Aroma’s Coffeehouse

Aroma’s is a homey coffee shop that serves incredible breakfasts with large portions at a reasonable price.

I had a breakfast scramble and the ingredients tasted fresh and my eggs were perfectly fluffy. This is a very popular spot on the weekends and in peak season you need to get here early.

When school is back in you can see the William & Mary students here studying and locals meeting up.

If you get here at the right time, you can park in the Prince George Parking Deck and it’s right behind Aroma’s.

Once you finish your breakfast you’ll be a block away from Market Square and the historic area of Colonial Williamsburg.

Explore Colonial Williamsburg

So first thing – parking. I’ve already mentioned the Prince George Parking Garage which is at 230 N Henry St.

This parking deck is small so you may not be able to find a spot here, but it only costs $12 for the whole day.

There is free parking at the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor’s Center which is about an 8-minute walk to the historic area or they run free shuttles.

We tried both and the convenience of having our vehicle nearby was too good to pass up. I would gladly pay the $12 to park in the garage.

We could drop our bags off at the car and we even ran back to the hotel in the afternoon when we wanted to rest.

Once you’ve got the parking taken care of though, head into the historic district and start exploring.

You’ll want to buy a ticket for Colonial Williamsburg so you can access the various buildings and gardens. Otherwise, you’ll only be able to walk down Duke of Gloucester St.

I would make sure to visit the Governor’s Palace, George Wythe House, and the Colonial Williamsburg Courthouse first.

If a show is happening at the Playhouse near the Governor’s Palace then make sure you catch that. The Colonial Gardens are also beautiful to tour.

Check out the Magazine if you want to see them shoot an 18th Century musket. They only do this at certain times so go by and check with the interpreter.

By this time it should be lunch so head back toward Market Square!

Lunch – Electric Circus Taqueria

This is the spot if you love specialty tacos. They serve other items like nachos and burritos but tacos are their main attraction.

It’s almost set up like a stationary food truck located in the back of Precarious Beer Project. You walk up to their window and order then they give you a buzzer to hold onto.

You can order a beer before you get in line for your food or wait until after. I loved the Circus Shrimp Taco. Two tacos made a good meal for me.

On a nice day you can sit outside and people watch while you wait on your food. They are also pet-friendly!

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More of Colonial Williamsburg

Once you finish up with lunch, it’s time to go back out and explore more of Colonial Williamsburg.

This time you’ll be at the far end of Duke of Gloucester St toward the Capitol Building. You’ll want to visit the Peyton Randolph House then go over to the Blacksmith.

The Silversmith is also very neat and after checking them out you can get an afternoon snack at the Raleigh Bakery.

They are known for their gingerbread, but I don’t really like that so I got a chocolate-chip brownie and it was gooey and rich.

Stop in the Apothecary to learn about different medicines they used back then. Next door is the Charlton Stage so catch a show there if you hit it at the right time.

Finally, you can tour the Capitol Building and see where many influential men of the Revolution started out their political careers.

You’ll likely be tired at this point so you can either grab an early dinner or get some rest back at your hotel before you come back out to eat.

Dinner – Sal’s by Victor or Amber Ox Public House

Here are two options for dinner depending on what you are in the mood for. Sal’s by Victor is an incredible Italian spot located in a shopping mall.

Amber Ox Public House is just outside the historic area of Colonial Williamsburg and serves farm-to-table New American food.

Sal’s pizza is bomb – the crust is perfection and the red sauce couldn’t be better. Their ravioli also hit the spot.

Get the Southern Ham Board at Amber Ox or the Biscuit Board. Their biscuits are fluffy and buttery goodness.

Their menu changes seasonally but if they have shrimp & grits you can’t go wrong there.

Day 2

Breakfast – Tipsy Beans Cafe

You cannot beat breakfast at the Tipsy Beans. They have great chicken & waffles, smoothie bowls, and my husband loved their shrimp & grits.

This is a popular spot with locals but each time I’ve been there hasn’t been a wait. During the warm summer months, they have a small patio where you can sit and enjoy your meal.

This is by far one of my favorite Williamsburg, VA restaurants. They have a whole page of specialty lattes – do yourself a favor and order one… or two. It’s a must-visit during your weekend in Williamsburg!

Busch Gardens (Must-Do on a Weekend in Williamsburg)

Busch Gardens Williamsburg entrance sign

If you love theme parks, then you have to visit Busch Gardens while you’re in Williamsburg. It’s one of the best theme parks in the US and has been awarded “World’s Most Beautiful Theme Park” for 29 years in a row in 2019.

My favorite part about this park is its roller coasters. I grew up coming to this park every summer for about five years in a row so it’s where I rode my first big coaster which is special.

After visiting Disney, Universal Studios, and Carowinds (I could go on), for the size of Busch Gardens, you really can’t beat the quality of their rides.

I love the theme of the park as well – each section is a different European country! This park probably sparked a subconscious love of travel when I was younger.

I’ve put together all my tips for Busch Gardens Williamsburg, but if you’re spending just a day here make sure you arrive early and plan to stay late.

Rides that you need to make sure you ride are Griffon, Apollo’s Chariot, Verbolten, and Loch Ness Monster. That is just the beginning though!

Make sure you check out their event calendar since there is usually always something going on. If you love shows then they also have award-winning entertainment.

You’ll also want to make sure you wear the best shoes for theme parks. There’s a lot of walking so you’ll want comfy feet!

Day 3

Breakfast – Blue Talon Bistro

french toast with bacon and fruit

This French-inspired cafe right next to Colonial Williamsburg will totally surprise you I think. We came here after we weren’t able to get into Aroma’s the first time and loved it.

They have a breakfast sampler platter and I can’t recommend it more. My sister hasn’t stopped talking about the ham biscuit that came with it.

We loved the atmosphere as well. You have the option to sit inside or outside and the outside area really did remind me of cafés in France.

The drink selection is a plus too – they have great mimosas!

Option 1: Jamestown

Okay, today there are two options to explore more of the Historic Triangle. The first is the historic town of Jamestown where you’ll find the ruins of the first permanent English settlement.

There are two major attractions here – Historic Jamestowne and the Jamestown Settlement. Both require a fee to enter but if you have an America the Beautiful Pass then the entrance fee to Historic Jamestowne is reduced.

The Jamestown Settlement is run by the state of Virginia and they also run the American Revolution Museum over in Yorktown.

At the Settlement, you’ll find an incredible museum as well as recreations of what the colony would have looked like, replica ships, and a Powhatan Indian village.

Historic Jamestowne is part of the National Parks service and you can see what remains from the settlement from 1607. You’ll also find the Glasshouse here.

At the Glasshouse, you can watch glassblowers make various items and see remnants of the original Glasshouse that was part of Jamestowne’s first industry. The Glasshouse is free!

While you are in Jamestown, check out Billsburg Brewery before you leave. Oh and take the Colonial Parkway when traveling to and from this cute little town!

Option 2: Yorktown

Yorktown is the perfect town for a day trip from Williamsburg. It’s only about 20 minutes away and the section of the Colonial Parkway along the York River is gorgeous.

Start your day here at the American Revolution Museum where you can learn about the causes of the Revolution as well as the status of the colonies and England at the time.

There are also recreations of a Continental Army camp and a Colonial farm that you can explore outside.

Eat lunch at the Water Street Grille where you can sit out on the patio overlooking the George P. Coleman bridge.

Pop in a few of the shops on Riverwalk Landing and grab a coffee from Mobjack Bay Coffee Roasters up the street.

Finally, you can check out the Yorktown Battlefield which is also part of the National Parks Service. This is where the final battle of the Revolutionary War took place.

Where to Stay for a Weekend in Williamsburg

Now you know what to do in Williamsburg, but what about where to stay? Here are a few different options and price points.

For a luxury getaway check out the Williamsburg Inn. The Fife & Drum Inn is a great option if you love unique Bed & Breakfasts. Either of these would make for the perfect romantic weekend in Williamsburg!

Marriott’s Manor Club is a fantastic option in the mid-range price point.

I am a huge fan of Hampton Inns and they have two options nearby – the Williamsburg Historic District and Williamsburg-Richmond Rd. You can find great deals here but peak season is expensive.

If you want a budget hotel then check out Comfort Suites, Holiday Inn Express, or the Comfort Inn.

What is the Best Time to Visit Williamsburg, VA?

The best times to visit Williamsburg in my opinion are spring and fall. This is when the weather should be at its best and there will be fewer crowds.

You’ll want to check the schedule for Busch Gardens though if that’s something you are interested in doing. All of their attractions don’t stay open year-round.

If you visit during the summer be prepared for humid weather – especially in Colonial Williamsburg. The city also gets very crowded on summer weekends.

However, if summer is the only time you have to visit, don’t worry. That’s when all my trips to Williamsburg have been except my last one!

In winter, you can enjoy the beautiful Christmas decorations but it will be a bit chilly outside. If you time it right though you can visit Christmas Town at Busch Gardens.

How Many Days Do You Need in Williamsburg?

You can easily spend a week in Williamsburg. We used to spend three days in Busch Gardens and loved every second of it. Colonial Williamsburg can take up two days at least.

Add in a day trip to one (or both) of the surrounding towns plus all the incredible Williamsburg wineries that you can visit and it’s easy to fill up a whole week.

If all you have is a weekend though then I still recommend you go check it out! Spending a weekend in Williamsburg will leave you wanting more and you’ll just have to plan a longer trip when you’re able.

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Williamsburg, VA Itinerary Tips

Hours Vary in Colonial Williamsburg

You get to see a variety of different trades throughout Colonial Williamsburg but they aren’t all open every day of the week.

These are working tradespeople so they close on certain days so they can complete their projects. On the days that they are open you can watch them work and ask them questions about what they do.

The other buildings you can tour also have different hours so make sure you stop by the Colonial Williamsburg Visitors Center or Information Desk to pick up a sheet that gives you their hours.

Make Reservations When You Can

I’ve been bitten by this a few times since COVID began. Anytime you can make a reservation for something – mainly restaurants – do it!

Businesses are not fully staffed and some still have limited seating which makes it even harder to get in.

Some wineries also require reservations though the majority have done away with that requirement. Just be sure to check before you go!

Buy Tickets Online

Along the same lines, if you can buy tickets online go ahead and make the purchase. This saves time waiting in line and dealing with additional hassle.

For Colonial Williamsburg specifically, it tells you that you need to download an app but as long as you can show the tickets on your email that is all you’ll need.

At Busch Gardens, you can buy tickets online and we printed ours to make it easier getting through the gate.

Great Coupons in Go Williamsburg

All around town you’ll see brochures and magazines advertising free coupons. Pick one of these up!

The magazine is especially helpful as it suggests fun things to do in addition to the coupons. You can also find some discounts online.

These are for restaurants and attractions and every little bit counts when you’re on a budget, right?

Check the Event Calendar for Markets

When we visited during the summer there was a street market set up in the Historic Area on Saturday.

It was a fun surprise to walk through and check out all the local vendors. Make sure you check out the event calendar to see if anything like that is going on while you’ll be there.

Public Restrooms

There are public restrooms available in Colonial Williamsburg. On the end of Gloucester Street near Market Square you’ll find them at the Information booth.

Then there are some toward the middle of Gloucester Street near the powder magazine. Both of these can be seen on the map of Colonial Williamsburg.

What Are Other Fun Things to Do in Williamsburg?

Here are just a few other suggestions for things to do in Williamsburg in case you want to add to your itinerary.

Williamsburg Botanical Garden

If you love plants, then a visit to the botanical garden is a must. It’s located in Freedom Park and admission is free.

For people on a budget who love the outdoors, this is a can’t-miss spot. They have multiple different gardens that showcase native plants to the Virginia Peninsula.

College of William & Mary

It’s easy to visit the beautiful campus of William & Mary because it’s right next to Colonial Williamsburg.

Make sure to check out the Crim Dell Bridge and just get lost among the gorgeous buildings. This is the second oldest school for higher education in the US!

Sunset Sail From Yorktown

I’ve wanted to do this the last two times I’ve visited but haven’t been able to swing it.

On a Historic Yorktown Cruise, you can imagine what it would be like for colonists to arrive by water and see this place for the first time!

The ship is a sailboat built like the ones colonists would have sailed over on. It’s such a unique experience and you can even help the crew set sail!

York River State Park

I love finding new places to hike when I travel and this was no exception. York River State Park provides gorgeous views of the York River and the marshland next to it.

There are lots of hiking trails here, some horse trails, and in the summer months, you can rent kayaks to take out on the water.

Shopping

There is no shortage of shopping options in Williamsburg. I love the adorable boutiques that line the streets in the historic part of town.

Of course, they also have a few outlet malls but I love supporting shopping local. You’ll also find plenty of boutiques in the New Area of Williamsburg.

Taste Williamsburg

Food tours are my favorite kind of tours so I have no idea how I missed that Williamsburg has one. A food tour is a walking tour of the city where you stop at various restaurants.

Next time I visit, this will be at the top of my list! Taste Williamsburg offers three different tours one of which is a food tour.

They are led daily so be sure to check them out when you visit.

Williamsburg Tasting Trail

The Williamsburg Tasting Trail is made up of wineries, breweries, and distilleries in the area near Williamsburg. Take an afternoon and have lunch at Williamsburg Winery then explore a few others nearby.

There are some wonderful wineries near Williamsburg. If you love beer then check out a couple breweries after dinner one night. Each place offers something unique!

Is Williamsburg, VA Worth Visiting?

After reading this article, I hope you know that it’s worth visiting! This is such a fun place that really brings history to life.

History isn’t the only thing that’s here though. Get your adrenaline rush at Busch Gardens, eat your way through delicious restaurants, and get outdoors at a nearby state park.

I really hope you’ll plan a weekend in Williamsburg soon and love it as much as I did!

About Me

Anna Cook

Hey Guys! I’m Anna, a small town girl from North Carolina with a passion for exploring this beautiful world. I work a fulltime job, so I make the most of my weekends and 15 vacation days. I created this site to inspire people like you to make travel a bigger part of your life and help you figure out how to do that. If you like what you see be sure to follow along on social media.

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