In today’s blog post, I will be discussing ten unique locations you will most likely find me at in Colonial Williamsburg. Not only are these places that I frequent, but these are also destinations that I would highly suggest for anyone who wants to explore, gain a well rounded experience of Colonial Williamsburg, or just wants to shake it up and try something new!
1. Aroma’s – Located on Prince George Street, this coffee shop is an absolute favorite of mine. I am a big believer that a good breakfast is needed to start the day, especially if I’ll be running around with a busy schedule. I am a person of routine, so I always order a traditional breakfast platter (which includes scrambled eggs, home fries, wheat toast, a fruit garnish, and your choice of bacon or sausage). The atmosphere is welcoming: staff are so friendly, the interior of the shop is cheerful, and both locals and tourists enjoy coming here. Did I mention that it’s dog friendly too? I love sitting outside and meeting all the dogs (and their owners too) that come by!
2. Running on DoG Street – The summer after my junior year in high school, I applied and was accepted into the National Institute of American History & Democracy’s (NIAHD) Pre-College Summer Program in Early American History at the College of William & Mary. To spend a summer studying about the American Revolution to the Civil War in Colonial Williamsburg with fellow peers who also shared the same passion for history? It was a dream come true!
When we had the time and if it wasn’t too hot, a few of the students would run to the Capitol a la Duke of Gloucester Street. It was a good way to either start the day, or wind down after a whole day of activities. To this day, if the weather isn’t too atrocious, I will take the occasional run down DoG until I reach the Capitol. As a small bonus, one of my Residential Advisors told me that running from campus to the Capitol on Duke of Gloucester Street equaled one mile! How convenient is that?
3. Watching the Fifes & Drums Perform – If the Fifes & Drums are out and about in town, chances are I’m there too! I always enjoy taking the time to watch them perform, and also it gives me the chance to truly admire how composed they are in their uniforms even though it might be 100 degrees. And, of course, it gives me some great photography opportunities!
4. The Governor’s Palace and its Gardens – What can I say? I like the finer things in life. The Governor’s Palace is such a charming place, I always enjoy touring the inside as well as walking the grounds. The gardens in particular are lovely in the summer, and if you are feeling up to the challenge, make sure to try out the garden maze!
As an additional note, attending a musical performance at the Governor’s Palace has been on my bucket list for quite a while now. Maybe one day soon my dream will be fulfilled.
5. Attending a musical concert at the Capitol – Even though I have not had the pleasure of attending an event at the Governor’s Palace, I have been fortunate enough to see a musical performance at the Capitol. As someone who enjoys classical music, I really appreciated the music that was performed. The musicians were all in colonial attire, and were wonderful musicians and vocalists. While musical concerts at the Capitol may only occur on select dates, I do encourage you to look at evening programs! Just because the sun goes down doesn’t mean the magic of Colonial Williamsburg stops. I enjoy attending theatre productions (as I mentioned in one of my Instagram posts, I was able to see a performance of Jefferson & Adams) and comedic plays, so if there is one occurring in Colonial Williamsburg, there is a good chance I might be in attendance!
6. Walking in the Opposite Direction of Ghost Tours – I know I just encouraged you to look into evening programs, so perhaps a ghost tour may suit your tastes. If that’s the case, I hope you enjoy your experience! However, I will be walking (or running) in the opposite direction of such a tour. I am a very timid person, which is a humorous fact when I tell you that I attend one of the most supposedly haunted academic institutions in the United States (at least according to various people on the internet).
7. Visiting the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum – As someone who enjoys the finer things in life, it makes sense that you may find me here. This museum houses the world’s largest collection of southern furniture, as well as a large collection of British ceramics, and a gorgeous collection of silver. Anything dealing with the Baroque era or influence is of interest to me, which is one of the reasons I enjoy exploring the furniture collection. Currently in the Gilliland Gallery, Printed Fashions: Textiles for Clothing and Home is on display. Although I have not had the chance to see this exhibit myself, I hope to be able to do so soon!
8. With the Founding Fathers – If there’s an opportunity to have a public audience with the founding fathers, I will be there. Its captivating to not only watch them and their mannerisms (even the way they hold themselves or simply walk seems so different from society today) but also the way they speak and form sentences. How I wish I had their vocabulary! I have been fortunate enough to meet Thomas Jefferson on multiple occasions (although I have only met young TJ once) as well as Lafayette, Patrick Henry, Martha Washington, George Washington, and Liberty. It is with my deepest regret that I have never met James Madison. Perhaps one day!
9. The Historic Trade Shops – As I mentioned in my last post, the bindery is perhaps one of my favorite shops although I do enjoy the millinery, barbershop, shoemaker, tailor, post office, and printer as well. (Can you tell that I like clothes as well as the written word?) The apprentices/historical interpreters are so knowledgeable, helpful, and friendly. I always learn something new when I exit one of the historic trade shops, and feel comfortable asking questions if curiosity strikes me in regards to their trade. One thing I definitely recommend is to ask questions! They want to share their knowledge with you!
10. The Trellis. With it’s pleasant outdoor seating and quirky yet charming interior, the Trellis is an ideal place to eat at. The location is right in Merchants Square, which is a perfect place if one wants to simply watch fellow vacationers come and go or want to take in all your surroundings. Want a dinner and a show? Make sure to get outdoor seating during when the Summer Breeze Concert Series is happening! For all the chocoholics out there, a slice of Death by Chocolate cake is a dream come true.
Q: What is your favorite thing to do in Colonial Williamsburg?