The city is at the heart of the Historical Triangle of Virginia, which includes Jamestown and Yorktown and is among the most popular tourist destinations in the world. It’s also home to the College of William and Mary, the country’s second-oldest public university. Thomas Jefferson went there before founding the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
Williamsburg is located along the Interstate 64 corridor between the James and York rivers and is an hour or less drive to the Atlantic Ocean or the Chesapeake Bay. The scenic, 23-mile, cobblestone-like Colonial Parkway connects the Historic Triangle.
A Williamsburg ZIP code extends beyond the city’s nine square miles, however, including parts of nearby James City and York counties. Beside Jamestown, America’s first permanent English colony, 144-square-mile James City County includes Busch Gardens Europe — an amusement park known for its roller coasters as well as its picturesque grounds. York, in the easternmost corner of the Historic Triangle, was the site of the British army’s surrender that ended the Revolutionary War. In York County, like Williamsburg, history mixes with tourism: You can find battlefields as well as water parks both outside (Water Country USA) and inside (Great Wolf Lodge).
Williamsburg takes pride in its rich colonial history.
A four-season climate means hot and humid summers (perfect for a trip to the bustling — although busy — Virginia Beach oceanfront) but usually mild winters with an average annual snowfall of six inches and temperatures that stay above freezing. The area’s extensive network of wooded parks is ideal for autumn leaf-peeping, while spring brings out the flowers, including daffodils and dogwoods.
Williamsburg draws not only history buffs but, thanks to a vast selection of shopping, entertainment opportunities and several newer mixed-use developments, it also draws shopping fans. The Premium Outlets, one of the most popular outlet malls in the country, is located in James City County along Richmond Road — there you can find everything from candles at Yankee Candle’s southern flagship store to Virginia hams. The Merchants Square area of Colonial Williamsburg offers high-end restaurants and specialty shops.
And if you enjoy good food look no further. The area is full of restaurants, offering everything from fresh seafood to savory barbecue.
Williamsburg also has many modern-day comforts. There are three airports and half a dozen hospitals within an hour's drive.
Adapted from article by: Kim O'Brien Root
Learn what it's like living in historic Williamsburg, Virginia
Established in 1699, Williamsburg was the capital of Virginia at the time of the American Revolution, and the area prides itself on keeping that history alive. Walk through the streets of Colonial Williamsburg, the restored historic area, and you’ll encounter costumed interpreters willing to entertain you with tales of living in colonial times.