My husband and I just got back from a great trip to Williamsburg.
This was our third trip, and we've come to love the area. Once we learned there was more than the touristy Richmond Road we saw alot of the beauty of the area.
This trip was more business, so we didn't do alot of the touristy things, but thought I'd write about a few great finds if anyone is looking for stay/eat in this area.
We are frugal travelers, but not budget travelers - we like nice things, but hunt for the bargains. We look for places with great atmosphere, value, but reasonable in cost. Here are a few -
Chickahominy House - Great breakfasts - they also have a retail shop attached with some interesting things for browsing after eating! Lots of locals go here, so you know it's good.
Mama Steve's - another great breakfast place. Be prepared to forgoe lunch.
Cheese Shop - Merchant's Square. This is our favorite sandwich place. Recommend calling ahead as lines can be long. Can be tough to grab a table outside, but worth it if you can to laze away, have a glass of wine, eat and people watch.
Farmer's Market - Every Sat 8-12 in Merchants Square. Even if you don't buy anything, great to stroll through and look at all the great fresh food/flowers. Pick up some cheese, fruit and bread for a delicious lunch.
Trellis - Merchant's Square - We ate lunch here and weren't blown away by the food. However, the patio outside is a great place for a glass of wine and/or dessert.
Blue Talon - Our first time eating here. We ate here twice we liked it so much. They specialize in my favorite - comfort foods! But with a gourmet twist. We had thought this place would be pricey - it wasn't. A sweet little patio out back to eat on. Across the parking lot from Merchant's Square.
Bonefish - In New Town. Some people don't travel out this way, but it is a quick 5 min drive from Colonial Williamsburg. This is a new, great, great place to eat. Upscale casual, but again, extremely reasonable. We ate here twice and loved it both times.
Corner Pocket - In New Town - Great lunch spot. We ate lunch here 3 times!! we like ti so much. Good menu, good prices, good service, and again, an outside patio to eat on. We're from the Northeast, so any time we can eat out in the sunshine is a bonus to us!!
Our first trip, we traded our timeshare for a unit at Marriott's Manor in Ford's Colony. We stayed in Sequel side, which was fine. The cleaning was a bit of an issue - the room wasn't ready, trash still in the unit, sheets on the floor, etc., but was quickly fixed when we called, and free cleaning for the week thrown in.
I'm always OK with problems when people apologize and make things right and throw something in for the trouble. Hey, everyone makes mistakes.
Bentley Manor Inn - College Terrace - Our 2nd and third trip we stayed here. We agonized over the selection of B&Bs, and ultimately it came down to price and reviews.
I will say that the Bentley Manor surpassed all our expectations. Not only is it extremely reasonable in cost, the place is outstanding. Colonial without being "antique" and old, clean beyond clean, charming, great hosts, and wonderful rooms with character, charm, and all the modern comforts.
The location is superb - a short 5 minute walk to Merchant's Square and Colonial Williamsburg, on a quiet street off the main road. It was great to be able to walk back and forth to the college, Colonial Williamsburg, out to eat at night, and not worry about driving.
This place will also save you in lunch costs, as the breakfast they provide is huge! A true gourmet selection of 3 different choices, served in a beautiful dining room with built in cabinets, looking out over the gardens.
I will say without a doubt - and we travel alot - this is probably the best B&B all around that we've stayed at. It's our "place" anytime we come back now.
We did a few side trips this time to a cute little teeny tiny town called
Urbanna - great place to shop a little (a real little) and have lunch on the water. Very sweet place.
Gloucester Courthouse - across the bridge from Yorktown - cute little town. Bigger than Urbanna. Lots of charm.
Yorktown - great place to see the battlefield, and do some shopping. Great spot on the river.
Colonial Williamsburg - What can you say about this place. Each time we go, there's more to see. Don't miss the house that Rockefellers lived in - Bassett Hall - actually I think a visit to Colonial Williamsburg should be started with this. It's a fascinating story. There is a video which details how Colonial Williamsburg came about, and Bassett Hall is where the Rockefellers lived while in Williamsburg.
It's on the edge of the main drag of Colonial Williamsburg, so easy to miss. Check hours, as I am not sure it is open daily. Gives you a whole new appreciation for what you are seeing.
Jamestown - another place filled with history. It was pouring rain the day we were here, so we only did the drive around, but even that was fascinating. There are markers at each stop explaining the life of these people. Worth a visit.
Prime Outlets - OK, who can go without a little shopping. Value shopping of course! This place is enormous. Worth a stop.
Waller Mill Park - A local showed us this place. Hidden away, we never would have found it as "tourists". It's a reservoir, where you can rent kayaks for $2 a day, there is a great dog park, walking trails. Peaceful and quiet.
Ukrops - OK, I know this is not fun, however, if you are looking for groceries while you are here, this is a great store!
Barnes and Noble - Merchant's Square - great bookstore. There's another branch in New Town, but I like this one better.
College and William and Mary - take some time to tour the campus. It truly is beautiful, and full of history.
Summer Breeze Concerts - Merchants Square - July and August - Great (free!!) series - I believe Thurs nights. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and enjoy! Pick up copy of the Virginia Gazette when you arrive, for dates and times.
Movies in Merchant's Square - Again free! Bring a lawn chair and enjoy. Great outside theatre!! June, July and August. I believe Sunday nights. Again, check the local paper, or just ask at you B&B.
Venture off the beaten path, and you will find things outside the usual "tour book" place. That's what makes staying at a B&B great - the local people know everything going on, and can steer you in the right direction for what new, good or not so good, what's going on while you are there.
Most of all, have fun! It's a great area to explore.
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Williamsburg Trip and Great B&B/Eating Places
My husband and I just got back from a great trip to Williamsburg.