Williamsburg, Virginia is in the heart of Colonial America. There’s definitely a focus on Colonial America, with Jamestown just five minutes down the road, live reenactments of Revolutionary Wartime drama, and all the staff dressed in Revolutionary era costumes. As you visit some of the original buildings from the 1700’s like the Blacksmith, you might think that there’s only historical things to do in Williamsburg, but that is far from the truth. Williamsburg is also a charming and darling college town. As the “public” Ivy League School, William and Mary sits right next to Colonial Williamsburg, leading the way with enchanting red brick paths all over town. Williamsburg is the perfect city to wander around in. These are some of my personal favorite, best places to visit in Williamsburg Virginia.
My Favorite Places to Visit in Williamsburg
The Williamsburg Winery
The Winery is just a little outside of town. This charming property is perfect for a gorgeous walk about the property, staying overnight at their Bed and Breakfast or dining at their onsite restaurants. The views are gorgeous and whether you love wine or not, you should check out one of the best places to visit in Williamsburg.
They have multiple wine tasting rooms or you can make dining reservations at Gabriel Archer Tavern, named after the Captain who discovered their property. They offer super cute Prix Fixed Menus for holidays, but they book up quick so make sure to call ahead.
The Governor’s Palace
If you want to go inside any of the buildings in Colonial Williamsburg, or go on any of the tours, you do have to buy a ticket for the day. If you’ve never been, its definitely worth the investment. However, if you’re looking for a little outdoor adventure, without a history lesson, Williamsburg is still an absolutely beautiful place to wander about without spending a dime. It’s free to walk around Colonial Williamsburg, and you can still see the buildings from the outside.
While the Virginia governor no longer lives in the Governor’s Palace, it’s still a nice place to visit. It’s smack dab in the heart of Colonial Williamsburg. Many events throughout the year are held on the lawn of the Governor’s Palace, so check Williamsburg website for upcoming events.
Liberty Ice Pavillion
If you visit Colonial Williamsburg, between December and February, they offer outdoor ice skating at the Liberty Ice Pavillion. If you’re visiting near the holidays, or semi local to the area, and you have kids, it’s a must do. You can come back and skate as many times as you want throughout the day. Or you can stock up on hot chocolate at the little stand right outside the rink when you need to warm up. It has twinkle lights and will give you all quintessential Northeastern winter feels, making it one of the best places to visit in the winter in Williamsburg.
I was first introduced to Illy when I visited Italy many years ago. It’s on every street corner like Starbucks, but I haven’t been to one locally before. And Illy Cafe has become my favorite coffee spot in Williamsburg. The baristas make every single drink with so much care. It’s located right next to William and Mary. While there’s not a ton of seating inside; it’s definitely worth a stop in, if you love lattes and chocolate croissants like me. There’s actually a ton of places in the Merchants Square that are worth stopping into while you’re close by. Make sure to visit Wythe Candy and Gourmet Shop, and the Cheese Shop for delicious sandwiches too.
I’ve been to a ton of local restaurants, and if I had a food blog, I would happily share about each and every one, but La Tienda has my heart. It’s not set in the Colonial portion of town. There are actually a ton of areas within Williamsburg, with amazing shops, grocery store options and gorgeous winding roads for the perfect fall drive. And one of those roads will take you to La Tienda. A Spanish style Tapas Bar, with amazing charcuterie, paella, and of course flan. The ambiance both inside and outside is fantastic. Making it in my opinion, one of the best places to visit in Williamsburg. Many moons ago, I spent almost 3 weeks in Spain, and this restaurant totally took me back, in all the best ways, so make reservations, and try it for yourself.
Are you traveling throughout Virginia? Check out my best places to visit in DC or where to eat in DC next. If you stop into any of the places I recommend here, I’d love to know, so send me a DM or tell me in the comments below.
Happy adventuring! – Stacia