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stever Nov 2nd, 2005 07:47 AM

Finally decided where to go for 4 nts around New Years: Williamsburg, VA! Best place to stay under $125 or so. Tips on what to do and see this time of year there?
We're open to spending alot less on hotel too if it means more money for the outlets! We're not opposed to a killer Hampton Inn or Comfort Inn if it's clean, centrally located, and a nice setting. Is it alot better to stay right in town so you can walk to stuff? It's just us, (2) 45 year olds, no kids.

Originally we were going to go back to Philly for 2 nights around New Years, but it was very cold last year and now my wife prefers to do Williamsburg, VA instead. When she heard there were outlets there she was off to the races. "We've already done Philly twice" she expressed, "let's do something different but within driving distance of Silver Spring, MD". It's going to be Williamsburg, I guess, unless she changes her mind again. I'm not too thrilled with it, but she does alot to make me happy, so I'll go along with it.

Uh, I checked on expecting high rates and lo and behold, this area is cheap as heck compared to Philly! There's a place called King's Creek Plantation for $112 a night that's got... can you believe this, 5 stars!?! Then there's Marriot's Manor Club at Ford's Colony, 4* for $143 a nt. The "Marriot Williamsburg" is $139 a night, and isn't a condo-timeshare-salepitch like the other 2 places above, I'm guessing! Anyone stay at these spots RECENTLY? Or are there better place RIGHT in the historic area downtown, if there is a downtown? We like to walk around at night... but it's not essential.

There's an oceanfront Hilton listed in Va Beach which they claim is "minutes from Willamsburg". Uh, minutes? How many minutes! 60 minutes? 100 minutes? 12 minutes? I consider minutes, like 10, but I somehow doubt that's the case!

We love oceanfront, but then again, she wanted to stay in Williamsburg so that's not going to be an option... I guess. Any recommendations of "killer" places in Williamsburg that aren't a ton of money? Where have you liked to stay? What did you enjoy best about this area? Any special tips on what to do this specific time of year? We'd be there Dec 28-Jan 1 or possibly Jan 2.

Thx in advance. I hope this isn't a cringe inducing trip to shlockland. I've already done the Williamsburg colonial tours 2X over in past, but she hasn't been there since a little kid. She's not too into colonial tours or museums but will go if pushed :o)

She's a shopper..."not that there's anything wrong with that", I guess. Heck, I shouldn't complain as I love to shop for certain car stuff and watches!

Steve R and Julia R
Silver Spring, MD

ncgrrl Nov 2nd, 2005 08:46 AM

I don't have any hotel recommendations, but you can walk around Williamsburg without buying the tickets. The tickets get you inside the buildings and tour guid info stuff. Walk around, enjoy yourselves, and get a one-day ticket if you want to see the inside of stuff.

Also walk around William and Mary. Since the students will be away, it should be a good place for a quiet walk.

Gekko Nov 2nd, 2005 09:14 AM

I presume you like history if you're going to Williamsburg. If so, purchase a pass and visit the 1775 historic district, as well as Jamestown (founded in 1607) and Yorktown (site of the last major battle of the Revolutionary War in 1781) -- both are about 20 minutes from the historic area.

Be sure to start your visit by seeing "A Story of a Patriot" at the visitors' center.

Also be sure to dine at one of the historic taverns (e.g., Christiana Campbell's).

And while it may be outside your budget, I <i>highly</i> suggest you stay at one of the Colonial Williamsburg properties such as the Williamsburg Lodge. It's within close walking distance of the historic area as well as Merchants Square, and it's on the bus line (free is you purchase a pass).


rb_travelerxATyahoo Nov 2nd, 2005 01:04 PM

&quot;In town&quot; ?? If you mean the historic area, your choices are pretty much confined to the official CW properties. Just &quot;a bit&quot; off the historic area are &quot;Fife &amp; Drum&quot; B&amp;B, the &quot;Hospitality House&quot;, a &quot;Days Inn&quot; (Richmond Rd, #702?) The BW Patrick Henry Inn, a &quot;4 Points&quot; (Days Inn would be @ bottom of my list)

Other than being near the historic area, these places are sort of &quot;blah&quot; as far as having a lot of dining/shopping options.

Any of those resort type places you've mentioned I can't tell you about (Fords, Kingsmill, etc). A number of hotels on Richmond Rd are at least near each other, have sidewalks, and are near restaurants and a few shops; but you'll want to be at a number no more than about 2800 Richmond Rd -- they're mostly chains. there is a Hilton Garden Inn and some Marriott properties in this area, and if you're going to be at a more moderately priced place, this is the area I'd recommend. A number of restaurants of varying price ranges.

Most of the hotels on Bypass Rd are pretty decent, but the area is kind of desolate as far as not much for sidewalk nor many restaurants: Unos, Cracker Barrel, Golden Corral, Bassetts, Hooters.

For a guy, Williamsburg Pottery is NO BIG DEAL and all that I really liked was the Black &amp; Decker shop, a sports memorabilia shop, and a Pepperridge Farms (?) outlet (love these Chessmen cookies). There's a few other &quot;outlet&quot; malls, the &quot;Prime&quot; being the 'prime&quot; one. I hate shopping.

I think you can take in the evening programs at CW (cost $) without purchasing the day tickets.

Some &quot;regular&quot; spots I like (I'm not talking N.E. celebration here) are Sals by Victor, Casa Mayan, and La Casita. The Jefferson Steak House (?) was darn good when I went last in 2001.

I go to VaBeach in the off-season and will actually turn off the heat and open the balcony door so I can hear the surf all night -- it's therapeutic! But the area is very quiet and deserted; altho NYE might be different. They'll have much of the boardwalk decorated with Christmas (I mean Holiday (PC)) displays, so walking on that portion of the boardwalk at night is prohibited.


rb_travelerxATyahoo Nov 2nd, 2005 01:08 PM

I hate those &quot;emoticons&quot; -- the stupid grapic was where I tried to state that the evening programs do cost some dollars but I think you can purchase them without purchasing the day tickets.

cheapbutnice Nov 2nd, 2005 01:14 PM

Please consider staying &quot;on-site&quot; at 1 of the Colonial Williamsburg-owned facilities. They are convenient and their profits contribute to Colonial Williamsburg.Based on the time of year, we stay at the Woodlands or a historic house and have never paid over $129.Please just be aware that it may not be much warmer than back home.

stever Nov 2nd, 2005 08:14 PM

Thanks for the great suggestions. So we checked out Woodlands Hotel and Suites where a room (we don't need a suite) is $110 a night with AAA for the 4 nights as an average and The Williamsburg Lodge is $179 a night. Trying to decide if The Lodge is really worth an extra $70 a night. We could spend that $70 a night on a fancy dinner and stay at the Woodlands. I guess it would be better to stay in Williamsburg by all the historic stuff than on some bypass road... Still not 100% sure as some said the beds at the Woodlands were hard with saggy pillows and others said they were ok. Come to think of it, most hotels have crappy beds and pillow unless it's a really nice Sheraton or 5* star place. Even Four Seasons we've stayed at had horrible beds!

Steve R

girlonthego Nov 3rd, 2005 05:20 AM

The Hilton Garden Inn is nice. There is also a place that has little notority called the Hospitality house. It is located right next to William and Mary and is an easy walk to everything historic. I believe it is not too expensive. My parents have stayed in both places.
The outlets are okay in the area. I am not the big shopper your wife is. But they are easy to reach (short driving distance)from the Colonial area. VA Beach Hilton is brand new in 2005 and I have stayed there. It is very nice. It will take you about an hour to get back to Williamsburg. There is always a lot of traffic in the area of Hampton rds. (That is inbetween Williamsburg and VA beach).

Gekko Nov 3rd, 2005 07:04 AM

If you plan on spending much time in the historic area, the Lodge is worth the extra expense -- it's within close walking distance of the Duke of Gloucester Street (the main drag).

(Note, however, that the Lodge is currently undergoing a massive &quot;renovation&quot; that is more like a complete rebuilding. That being said, I just stayed in the Tazewell Building and it was excellent, with convenient parking directly underneath.)

stever Nov 3rd, 2005 07:24 PM

Thanks. The Lodge is undergoing major renovations as you said and that is unappealing to us, as well as the price being $70 more a night than the Old Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel so we're just going to stay there for $110 a night for 4 nights. Pretty great deal we thought, and it's dead center in the middle of everything for us.

Thanks folks,
Steve R

Gekko Nov 3rd, 2005 08:19 PM

A fine choice. The Woodlands is next to the Visitors Center and a short bus ride to the historic area (or you can walk, but it's a bit of a hike).

If you're interested in an amazing meal, don't miss the Williamsburg Inn's Regency Dining Room. It's formal (jacket required) and not inexpensive (at least by CW's standards), but it's a great experience. Try the lobster bisque.

Enjoy Colonial Williamsburg!

rb_travelerxATyahoo Nov 3rd, 2005 09:52 PM

The Woodlands is no longer &quot;old&quot;. Within the last 5 years a new multi-story Woodlans was build in what used to be the parking lot west of the visitors center, and most of the &quot;old&quot; Woodlands have been demolished ... well, I think one building remains, so maybe you will be in that.

Easiest way to most of what's on Richmond Rd: leave Visitor Center via the &quot;back&quot; road, past what was Woodlands and the Cascade, to Bypass Rd. Make a left towards Richmond Rd. (all the signs direct you to 132Y to 132 to Bypass/Rt 60)

stever Nov 4th, 2005 08:45 PM

Thanks. Yeah, they told us that all the rooms in the Woodlands are new now, built 3 years ago so they said. They said we would absolutely NOT be getting in a room in the old section, but that it's rented out to people who have been coming there for 40 years and want that! That ain't us!

Steve R

Momof3boys Nov 6th, 2005 02:12 PM

Maybe you would enjoy a special dinner at one of the restaurants in Merchant's Square which is the shopping area attached to the historic area. I highly recommend Fat Canary or the Trellis. If you want something nice but not quite as expensive, try Berret's Seafood and Seasons is good for a more casual meal. Grab some coffee, tapas, or a sandwich on Prince George Street (1 block from the main Duke of Gloucester street -DOG street to locals) at Aromas. Some people are also fans of The Blue Talon, but I prefer the others I've already mentioned - along w/ 1 meal in one of the Colonial Taverns at night. These are all great restaurants, eat, stroll in the historic area, and catch the shuttle bus back to the Woodlands so you don't have to worry about parking. Also, catch a movie or performance at the Kimball theatre.

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