Williamsburg - in November or December?

Old Aug 27th, 2008, 09:32 PM
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Williamsburg - in November or December?

Which is the better time (in your opinion)to visit Williamsburg, in early November, with all the beautiful fall colors, or in December with the holiday festivities?
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Old Aug 28th, 2008, 05:02 AM
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While Williamsburg is lovely in Oct., Nov is a little bit more "iffy" and it is hard to predict the peak of color. December will be cooler but you can enjoy the decorations. Williamsburg decorates in a more subdued and tasteful manner than most other tourist destinations.

If you can plan for it, I would try to visit during the Grand Illumination. It will be much more crowded but it is definitely worth the trouble to see it once.
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Old Aug 28th, 2008, 06:30 AM
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We went over Thanksgiving 2 years ago. Had a lovely time! We had Thanksgiving dinner at Christiana Campbells Tavern.
The crowds were low, plus it rained and was very cold. (might not have been cold for some, but we are from FL and it was cold to us!)
The Friday after Thanksgiving was VERY crowded however.
I do feel that the Christmas festivities would be a wonderful time. Hopefully I can do that trip.
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Old Aug 28th, 2008, 07:53 AM
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I would go in December to enjoy the holiday decorations. It's difficult to predict fall color in that area, or any area for that matter; and as I recall, we had one year when we lived there that had no fall color at all, just rain and the brown leaves stayed on the trees until the first cold snap. Williamsburg is pretty, and atmospheric, in any season, so you can't really go wrong, but December would be my choice. Enjoy!
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Old Aug 29th, 2008, 10:49 AM
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Hi Peggy,
Our family has visited Williamsburg in Oct. Nov. and December. The Nov. visit was cold and there was a little color to the leaves but it seemed to be a bit late in the season.

In Dec. we arrived on the 19th and as Birdie said, it was decorated in a subdued and tasteful manner--colonial of course, but none the less lovely. And of course all of the shops right outside Colonial Williamsburg are decorated beautifully!

There was also a fireworks display that was said to begin the Christmas season. We just happened on it,but perhaps it began the Grand Illumination that Birdie mentioned.

I hope y'all have a wonderful and memorable visit.

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Old Aug 29th, 2008, 02:27 PM
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We visited during the Christmas holidays. It was decorated great--but was bitterly cold. If you plan to do alot of the tours, etc...and don't want to fight the cold and wind, I would go in Oct or Nov.
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Old Aug 29th, 2008, 05:07 PM
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Hi, Peggy - I live in Richmond, about 60 miles from Williamsburg, and I think it's a great spot to visit. We spent a week this year in April with friends and had a blast. I'd agree that November is typically a bit late for our fall colors (plus, at least here in Richmond, we've had quite the drought this summer. Typically, that can lessen the leaf color dramatically.)
Our weather is so tricky - there's many a year where i almost don't wear a coat before Christmas, and some years are bitterly cold by then. Williamsburg is a bit milder (the Wmsburg gardeners can grow veggies all winter that would die in my gardens, as an example.)
The Christmas season is special there - we always work in a day trip ourselves to see the decorations, drink cider, walk main street, shop, etc, because Wmsburg is just so historically different and beautiful once they've decorated. (and, because they ONLY use natural ingredients that the colonists would have had, they're only in place for a couple of weeks.)
You don't mention how long you'll be there: if you've time, also consider seeing Jamestown (they expanded dramatically for their 400th anniversary in '07 and it's superb - we spent almost two days there this spring, and didn't see it all.) You can also tour several really great plantations nearby (Berkeley, Shirley, Evelynton come to mind).
So: eliminate the idea of fall color even in early Nov, add in the decorations, and if you can do mid to late december, I'd say pick that timeframe - but get any lodging reservations soon, and find out just when you can book any tavern dinners you might want. (there's another thread on restaurants that's good on here - we LOVE the Fat Canary in particular.)
Hope this helps -
Jo Ann
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Old Aug 30th, 2008, 04:39 PM
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Thanks everyone. I should have mentioned we have been to Williamsburg several times - it's one of our favorite places to visit. We were there the last week of October last year and the trees were barely starting to turn color. I know - it is very hard to predict. We have never been in December, though, and I think I'm leaning towards going during the holidays. When exactly is the Grand Illumination?
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