Get Your Sleigh and Head North for Beautiful Williamsburg, VA

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by Trish Utter

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One of my favorite places to be over Christmas is Williamsburg, Virginia which is situated about two and a half hours south of Washington D.C. Here you will find a plethora of history and beautiful architecture all dressed up for holiday viewing. This colonial historic village has been completely restored and rebuilt to the way it was in the 17th century. Many presidents and even the Queen of England have realized its significance in American history and paid a visit.

williamsburg-2-for-webDuring the holidays this area is painstakingly decorated with simple yet elegant decorations made with fresh cut evergreens; apples and other natural items that give off a wonderful holiday aroma. The simple decorations tantalize you with ideas of how you can decorate with natural things you can find in your back yard.

We walked down Merchant Square with our black lab named Daphne. We were enchanted by little Charles Dickens looking storefronts one of which was J.Fenton Gallery. This store was packed full of unusual gifts. We loved all the Christmas hats. Some of the stores have dog water bowls so this is a pet friendly vacation spot. Christmas carolers wander the street as tourists huddled around them with mugs of hot chocolate and hot apple cider. Cannon fire and the sound of horse’s hoofs can be heard as you stroll around or better yet jump on a horse drawn carriage. Taverns and candy shops are filled with old time treats. Colonial stores of the time sell their wares, from a replica musket to full colonial costume. My daughter Brooke and I had such fun dressing up in these costumes while my son, Colt enjoyed all the military paraphernalia. These items make unique and memorable gifts, just perfect for Christmas.

williamsburg-8-for-webNot only is there the beauty and history of Williamsburg but also in the surrounding area. We stopped at Jamestown Settlement and visited an outdoor re-creation of a Powhatan Indian village. Jamestown was the first successful English settlement in the US and was named after King James I and founded in 1607. This living 17th century history museum is a wonderful place for all generations. Brooke and Colt and I warmed our hands by one of the many fires while we listened to the costumed historical interpreters.

Three replica ships are docked for you to tour as well. The exhibit building is filled with historic artifacts and films of the Powhatan Indians, Europeans and Africans. It was here that we met a volunteer guide, Bob Nichols. He took us around and brought history to life. “Did you know that the settlers had to go to church three times a day on Sunday or they would have to forgo their rations?”

Trish,-Colonial-soldier,-Colt-&-Brooke-for-webAfter a snack in the restaurant we headed off to Yorktown Victory Center. The Colonial Army encampment and 1780’s farm sit close to the water. We saw how guns were loaded and fired and learned that up to six soldiers slept in a small A-framed tent lined with just straw to sleep on.

After all this history you will need shopping therapy so get your fix at Williamsburg Premium Outlets that offers 135 different stores to shop till you drop! Lots of seasonal sales are going on right now and some stores offer samples during the holiday period. Visit the mall office to pick up coupons and a list of mall events.

Kids young and old will enjoy Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Christmas Town as it will put a smile on every jolly old elf. We marveled at six million twinkling lights, falling snow, real penguins, live shows, holiday shopping, peppermint hot chocolate, and you can visit Santa and hop on a ride. Park is open on select days now through December 31st.

Jamestown Settlement

757 253 4838 888 593 4682

HistoryisFun.org

Yorktown Victory Center

757 253 4838; 888 593 4682

HistoryisFun.org

Williamsburg Premium Outlets

757 565 0702 PremiumOutlets.com

Busch Gardens Williamsburg

BuschGardenswWilliamsburg.com

J. Fenton Gallery

757 221 8200

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