Williamsburg, VA

Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm

by and - last updated on 5/8/2024

The image at the top of this page is the "Virginia Governor's Palace", home for all Virginia Governors until the Capital moved to Richmond in 1780.

Williamsburg was founded as the capital of the Virginia Colony in 1699. The original capital, Jamestown was the first permanent English-speaking settlement in the New World founded in 1607. Colonial leaders petitioned the Virginia Assembly to relocate the capital from Jamestown to Middle Plantation, after a devastating fire destroyed most of Jamestown. For a more in-depth discussion of Williamsburg, you should visit the Wikipedia Page.';

As can be seen on our provided Google Map, Williamsburg is located convenient to a number of interesting sites; Historic Jamestown is 7.1 miles, Busch Gardens is 5.2 miles, Yorktown Battlefield Park is 12.1 miles, and Norfolk is 45 miles via I-64.

The entire Williamsburg Colonial Center area is heavily forested, and the buildings are all either original, recreations or rebuilt original buildings in order to preserve the colonial "look & feel". For example, within the boundaries of Colonial Williamsburg are more than 500 original (restored) and reconstructed buildings. Colonial Center employees are all dressed in colonial style clothing.

Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm Parking: Payments are only via a cell phone Application, available here. Part of the App Registration requires your license plate number, which allows them to monitor who in a parking area has properly indicated that they are using a parking spot. As you can see in the image to the left, these signs are scattered around the parking lot to make it simpler for you to follow the correct protocol; it is simple, fast and allows you to not have to worry about cash just to park!


Tickets: Take a look at Colonial Williamsburg Tickets as there are multiple ticket types you may purchase. You do not need tickets just to walk about and enjoy the area or shopping, however, having at least a single-day ticket allows you to enter all of the buildings in the Colonial area, especially if you enjoy history and want to be able to see how people lived in Colonial Times. In addition, you will be contributing to the maintenance and care of Colonial Williamsburg.

Travel Tile

Shopping in Williamsburg   Map

You can find shopping of all types in the area, including shops in the colonial old town, several malls and numerous small shops scattered throughout the colonial area (click the map link above to view Google Map of Shopping locations);

  • Williamsburg Shopping on the "Visit Williamsburg" website.
  • Premium Outlets: With over 125 stores; from Michael Kors to Ralph Lauren, this outlet village is a who's who of fashion favorites. Prepare to channel your inner stylist as you hunt for hidden gems and score last season's trends at rock-bottom prices.
  • USA Today Shopping Article
  • Top 10 Malls in Williamsburg
  • Williamsburg Antique Mall: the Williamsburg Antique Mall is a wonderland for history buffs and treasure hunters alike. Picture a sprawling 45,000 square feet teeming with antique furniture, vintage oddities, and collectibles whispering stories of yesteryear. It's a time machine disguised as a shopping spree, waiting to sweep you away on an exciting adventure.
  • Merchants Square: This open-air playground for history buffs is like Pinterest brought to life. Snag handmade candlesticks while a blacksmith clangs away, or grab a quill pen to write your next historical romance. Remember, haggling is encouraged!
  • Williamsburg Pottery Factory: Witness the magic of clay coming alive at this iconic factory. Watch the masters work their magic on the wheel, then snag a unique mug or vase for your morning coffee or living room shelf.
  • Google Search Results List of Shopping Sites
City of Williamsburg Shield
City of Williamsburg ShieldImage is the property of the City of Williamsburg
Where is Williamsburg Virginia?     Map
Section Banner Image Click image to view a larger Google Map

Williamsburg is located in southeastern Virginia, U.S., on a tidewater peninsula, between the James and York rivers, 27 miles (43 km) northwest of Newport News and 51 miles southeast of Richmond, VA.

Exploring Williamsburg Shops
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm

All of the above images are from the shops near the intersection of the Duke of Gloucester Street and South Boundary Street. This is a nice area to explore, with various amounts of shade and benches to sit with one's dog.

Colonial Architecture in Williamsburg

Just about everywhere you look (see below images), you are going to see various examples of colonial architecture. Not all of these buildings are "original" - some are restorations and some were built as re-creations.
For a good article on how Williamsburg was rebuilt/restored, click here

Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg Street Scenes

Walking about Williamsburg (see below images) is entertaining all by itself, you are going to see various individuals dressed in a colonial manner, shops & restaurants where colonial decor & clothing is in use, etc. The entire area is very walkable, note that cars are not allowed in the "colonial area".

Click here to view a Google Images set for Williamsburg.

Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Virginia Beach, VA     Map

Virginia Beach is an independent city located on the southeastern coast of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 437,994; in 2019, it was estimated to be 449,974. Although mostly suburban in character, it is the most populous city in Virginia and the 44th most populous city in the nation. Located on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia Beach is included in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area. This area, known as "America's First Region", also includes the independent cities of Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, as well as other smaller cities, counties, and towns of Hampton Roads.

This visit came about as a day-trip from our hotel in Hampton, VA primarily because it was a beautiful day and secondarily because we had visited here often in the past.


Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm

Our dog Maggie relaxing on the beach next to the Boardwalk

Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm

A surfing contest was in progress on the beach, surf was not great but the competitors were working what was there.

Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm

Looking north along the Virginia Beach Boardwalk

U.S.S. Wisconsin BB-64 Museum - Norfolk, VA     Map

Staying near the Hampton, VA Convention Center allowed us a considerable amount of flexibility in that there were a number of interesting places to visit. Our first expedition was to drive to the Norfolk side of the James River/Hampton Roads to visit the USS Wisconsin Museum. The Museum complex is on the Elizabeth River (north shore - Norfolk side), and even though there is no parking there, a public parking garage is immediately across the street on West Main Street.

The Museum is comprised of an indoor exhibit showing various aspects of the Wisconsin's design, construction, WW2 actions, Korean War actions and it's Desert Storm action. The ship itself comprises the second portion of the Museum, and portions of the ship are designated as "public accessible".

NOTE: There is no parking available on the museum property, however there is a parking lot across the street; West Plume Street Garage, 135 West Plume St, Norfolk, VA 23510. If you arrive via Waterside Drive, watch for East Plume Street and you will see the garage on the corner of Waterside Drive & East Plume Street.

 Camera Image Icon for Fieldset 

USS Wisconsin Insignia is the property of U.S. Navy via Wikipedia Commons using the Public Domain License. other images are the property of Just Traveling Thru, LLC unless otherwise noted.

Section Banner Image Image is the property of the U.S. Navy.
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
All of the above images are the property of Just Traveling Thru, LLC.
USS Wisconsin BB-64 Specifications

This is a beautiful ship and in very good condition, considering that it was commissiioned in 1944 ! This class of ship is not likely to ever be built again, so I have included below a list of the ship's specifications. Note that the armament was extended in 1988 to include missles, which were used during the First Gulf War. Click here to visit the Wikipedia Page.

During the eight months the Wisconsin spent in the Persian Gulf during the first Gulf War, she flew 348 UAV hours, recorded 661 safe helicopter landings, steamed 46,000 nautical miles, fired 319 16 in (406 mm) rounds, 881 5-inch (127 mm) rounds, 5,200 20 mm Phalanx CIWS rounds, and launched 24 Tomahawk cruise missiles.

USS Wisconsin Statistics & Dimensions
Class and Type:Iowa-class battleship. Click here for this class's Wikipedia Page
Displacement: 45,000 long tons (46,000 t) light
57,500 long tons (58,400 t) wartime full load
Length: 887 feet 3 in (270.43 meters)
Beam: 108 feet 2 in (32.97 meters)
Draft: 37 feet 9 in (11.51 meters) (full load)
Speed: 33 knots (38 mph; 61 km/h)
Complement: 1,921 officers and men
Sensors and processing systems: AN/SPS-49 Air Search Radar
AN/SPS-67 Surface Search Radar
AN/SPQ-9 Surface Search / Gun Fire Control Radar
Electronic Warfare & Decoys: AN/SLQ-32 Electronic Warfare Suite
AN/SLQ-25 Nixie Decoy System
8 × Mark 36 SRBOC Super Rapid Bloom Offboard Chaff Rocket Launchers
1943 Armament: 9 × 16 in (406 mm)/50 cal Mark 7 guns
20 × 5 in (127 mm)/38 cal Mark 12 guns
80 × 40 mm/56 cal anti-aircraft guns
49 × 20 mm/70 cal anti-aircraft guns
1988 Armament: 9 × 16 in (406 mm)/50 cal Mark 7 guns
12 × 5 in (127 mm)/38 cal Mark 12 guns
32 × BGM-109 Tomahawk cruise missiles
16 × RGM-84 Harpoon Anti-Ship missiles
4 × 20 mm/76 cal Phalanx CIWS
Armor: Belt: 12.1 in (307 mm)
Bulkheads: 14.5 in (368 mm)
Barbettes: 11.6 to 17.3 in (295 to 439 mm)
Turrets: 19.5 in (495 mm)
Decks Armor: Main 1.5 in (38 mm)
Second 6.0 in (152 mm)
16-inch/50-caliber Mark 7 gun These guns were 50 calibers long—or 50 times their 16-inch (406 mm) bore diameter, which makes the barrels 66.6 feet long, from chamber to muzzle. Each gun weighed about 239,000 pounds without the breech, and 267,900 pounds with the breech. They fired projectiles weighing from 1,900 to 2,700 pounds at a maximum speed of 2,690 feet per second with a range of up to 24 miles. At maximum range the projectile spent almost 1½ minutes in flight. Each turret required a crew of 79 men to operate. The turrets themselves cost US $1.4 million (WW2 costs) each, to which the cost of the guns had to be added. Note that these turrets were "three-gun," not "triple" because each barrel could be elevated independently.

Click here to visit the Mark 7 Wikipedia Page and read more about these incredible cannons.
 More Info for the USS Wisconsin 
  • USS Wisconsin Google Images Set:
  • USS Wisconsin Wikipedia Article:
 

Yorktown, VA & Yorktown Battlefield Center 

Yorktown Battlefield Sign Yorktown and the Battlefield Center are located just a few miles from I-64, so we decided to visit that area as we drove back to our cabin at Lake Anna, VA. As you can see in the images below, the Battlefield has some military items that represent weapons utilized by Washington's Continental Army.

The town is most famous as the site of the Revolutionary War siege and subsequent surrender of General Charles Cornwallis to General George Washington and the French Fleet on October 19, 1781. Although the war would last for another year, this British defeat at Yorktown effectively ended the war. Yorktown also figured prominently in the American Civil War (1861–1865), serving as a major port to supply both northern and southern towns, depending upon who held Yorktown at the time.

You can easily see how in our provided Yorktown Map, that the Battlefield Center is located immediately adjacent to the Village of Yorktown, and we initially just walked over to see the Battlefield Monument. However, we then realized that lunch sounded like a good idea, so we took our car into the village, parked next to the river and found a nice restaurant. We selected Carrot Tree Kitchens and enjoyed our lunch.


Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
Williamsburg, VA Must-See Historic Sites & Colonial Charm
 More Info for the Siege of Yorktown 
  • Siege of Yorktown Wikipedia Article:
  • Siege of Yorktown Google Images Set:

Below you will find a set of useful links that we utilized while researching this trip. Each link listed will bring you to the relevant website.

  • Just Traveling Thru Travel Planning Tips
  • Things to do & see in Williamsburg on the "Visit Williamsburg" site
  • Google Search Results list for "Williamsburg Restaurants"
  • Google Search Results list for "accommodations in Williamsburg"
  • Amazon Search Results list for "books about Williamsburg Virginia"
  • Battleship Wisconsin Museum Site
  • Virginia Beach Info on the "Visit Virginia Beach" site
  • Yorktown Battlefield National Park on the "National Park Service" site
  • Busch Gardens Williamsburg Website
  • Colonial Jamestown Website
  • Williamsburg Secrets Walking Tour from the "Get Your Guide" site
  • Visit our Youtube Channel
  • Our Image Gallery for Williamsburg
  • Wikipedia Article for Williamsburg
  • Google Image Gallery for Williamsburg
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