May 3rd, 2005, 10:21 AM
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Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 125

I may be interested in Williamsburg, too. (late Sept or early Oct 2005, is this the hurricane season?) I realize there is a lot of history here, but, what about other things like theatre, nightlife? (this is a girls trip, no husbands or kids) What about other shopping interests?, not necessarily outlet or historical crafty things.
Also, how far is Monticello? We may not rent a car, so, are there trains that would offer day trips from a hotel in the Williamsburg area? Never been to this part of US before, appreciate any info, thanks! Hotel recommendations? We'd like an old B&B or unique hotel, not too spendy. But, we'd consider chain hotels too, any ideas? Are there any special events happening in late Sept / early Oct? thanks for info!

CJBROWN is offline  
May 3rd, 2005, 07:41 PM
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Let's see if I can answer some of your questions. Yes, Sept is still hurricane season - not sure if it goes into Oct. There is a lot to do during the day if you like history, or visiting Busch Gardens which may only be open on the wkends then. Not a lot of nightlife here other than Colonial Williamsburg, but the local library and local theatres might give you something to do. Most people enjoy shopping in Merchant Square - next to Colonial Wmsbg - if you don't want to go to the outlets. Several new shopping areas are being built - New Town and High Street - but don't know when they are scheduled to open. Williamsburg is 1/2 way between VA. Beach/Norfolk area and Richmond. Charlottesville & Monticello is another hr so 2 hrs away. Wmsbg does have a local train stop, but I don't think the train goes through Charlottesville. (Need help on this one, somebody!) Most people travel by car here, but new shuttle bus around town between hotels and area attractions seems popular w/ tourists. Tons of B&Bs - try the local Chamber of Commerce or bandbonline.com to see some of them. The Fife & Drum Inn in the only one "in" - 1 street over - from the restored area. You can also rent a restored house and stay on Colonial Wmsbg. property. Again, ck the Chamber of Commerce for events when you are visiting - can't think of any major occurances in the fall other than William & Mary football games!
Momof3boys is offline  
May 4th, 2005, 05:36 AM
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If you're really looking for active night life and upscale shopping, Williamsburg is probably not going to meet your needs. This is a pretty small town and most things are geared toward Colonial Wmbg, the College of Wm and Mary and the rest of us who just live here.

Shopping is outlets, historical/crafty, and everyday retail (groceries, hardware etc.) Most of us head to DC or suburban Richmond for more upscale retail.

I'm not a B&B type so I would know what to recommend there. The CW historic home is a good idea, each place will accommodate 2 guests. How many are in your group?

What's your version of "spendy?"

I'd be inclined to book at the Kingsmill Resort. Very nice location on the James Rivers with tennis, golf and spa facilities.

Hurricane season runs from June thru November with Sept/Oct.

Monticello is 2.5 hours from Wmbg by car. There is
a morning and evening train from Wmbg to Charlottesville, about 3.5 hours going and 2 + hours return. Don't know what the arrangements for getting to Monticello from downtown Cville are. Other day trips by train would be DC or Richmond. With the exception of DC, a car would make things much easier and more flexible.

There are a couple of special event in Sept/Oct but they are ones you might want to plan around. Parents Weekend and Homecoming for the College are held in the early fall and the town is packed.
obxgirl is online now  
May 4th, 2005, 10:12 AM
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CJBROWN is offline  
May 6th, 2005, 02:38 PM
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Occasion for the Arts is held in October. The first weekend I think. Its a huge art show and performing arts day that takes over the main street in CW and the surrounding streets. There is a local stage theater in town that puts on excellant plays. Williamsburg Players. Carpe PM, a new nightclub near Busch Gardens has male strippers on Weds. (I hate to admit that I even know about that. I have not been.) JM Randalls on Olde Town has great live Blues and Jazz. And the movie theater in CW plays art movies and second runs. There is a great small viewing room in addition to the large theater. So you see, Williamsburg is not such a boring town after all.
Birdie is offline  
May 6th, 2005, 05:25 PM
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An Occasion for the Arts is held the first SUNDAY in October ... and well worth seeing, even at the expense of not spending as much time at CW (and regulars know how much I promote CW!).

DOG street in the area of Merchants Square is filled with artists' tables/booths selling all kinds of art, jewelry, stain glass, carvings ... all sorts. The side streets (Henry, ?) are also closed off. There are usually about 6-8 stages set up around the area, including over at W&M with various types of music being presented, for free, all day long. I've collected several of the signed winning posters (they have a contest each year) and enjoy them year round.
rb_travelerxATyahoo is offline  
May 7th, 2005, 12:42 PM
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I agree with obxgirl, Colonial Williamsburg may not be what you looking for if you are not planning on getting into doing the history thing. Richmond may be more what you are seeking. But if you want a beautiful area to spend some quality time with your friends and soak up some history along the way, Colonial Williamsburg would be a breath of fresh air. Fall is goregous, even with the threat of hurrican season. I'm not sure what part of the country you are from, but Virginia is not to be missed any time of year.
Kingsmill would be a good choice. The Spa is wonderful and if you ladies play golf or tennis, it is great. If you want to stay in the historic area, the Colonial Houses would be unique. I don't know what your budget is but I prefer to stay in one of the historic hotels for the convenience of just walking to the area. They do tend to be a little more expensive but it is a personal choice.
Renting a car would be necessary for Monticello and if you are driving to DC (if you do be brave and patient) you shouldn't miss George Washington's Mount Vernon.
As obxgirl said, Williamsburg is a small town and if you are looking for a glitzy nightlife, you might want to consider some place else. Alexandria maybe what you might want to think of. We stayed a couple of days there in March before our holiday in Williamsburg and enjoyed everything from the shopping, dining and hotel (Sheraton Old Town).You could make Colonial Williamsburg a side trip, although a day trip isn't enough to appreciate what the community has done historically. That said, we always found something wonderful to do in the evenings in Williamsburg. I'm sure if you choose Williamsburg you won't be disappointed.
girlwilltravel is offline  
May 7th, 2005, 03:57 PM
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Maybe you want a B&B near Charlottesville, VA -- wine country, good restaurants, (both in one at Barboursville Vinyards) Monticello is a mind-blower, you don't have to be a history buff to appreciate. The countryside is gorgeous, especially if you are into wine and want to visit some really beautiful place. People are great, too. There are several posh small towns in the area. Think private schools and horse country. There is a Holiday Inn Express in Orange,VA that is really a surprise -- set up as a conference hotel it has views and easy access to tour the area (by car). Or you could stay further north in Flint Hill at the Flint Hill Inn, (great restaurants in that little town which is near the entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway.) The restaurant at the Inn is good, as is Four and Twenty Blackbirds.
In Orange, there is one of the best German restaurants on the east coast, the Bavarian Chef. I believe they just opened up a refurbished theater in Charlottesville (for plays, ballet, etc). You really might enjoy a trip to that area. You WILL need a car to get around, but there is not a lot of traffic.
uhoh_busted is offline  
May 7th, 2005, 04:00 PM
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You will want to make reservations well ahead of time, and look out for football weekends in Charlottesville.
uhoh_busted is offline  
May 8th, 2005, 09:11 AM
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Hi, CJ - here's a slightly different idea - I moved to Richmond couple decades ago, and at one point 2 female friends from NYC came down for a long weekend. We had a great time going one day to Williamsburg (maybe 1hr 20 by car) and the next day to Charlottesvile/Monticello (1 hr by car). So, assuming you could rent a car, you might consider staying in Richmond itself. Great history (more detail available this site or I could fill that in) 2 new upscale shopping areas, fun cobblestoned downtown that has several nice, interesting hotels (I think you can play them a bit for weekend rates.) Richmond's great to navigate, since expressways circle through downtown, so easy to go east or west. If you have time, it's a great area for walking - neat spots along the James River, for instance. The state capitol building was designed by Jefferson, cupola and all, and is a nice tie-in to Monticello.

Barring that, if you have to choose one, I'd agree - go for Charlottesville over Willliamsburg, unless just quiet evenings with good friends is enough of a nightlife, from what we've seen.
Other item: we got hit hard by a hurricane last year, with good bit of damage, but this is a very rare occurrence - we're pretty far inland, actually. That's a lovely time of year around here.
Jo Ann
jo_ann is offline  
May 10th, 2005, 10:23 AM
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Thanks for all the great info, it sounds like there is plenty of interesting things to do around the area. I am interested in the history also, but, didn't know if we'd want to do that for 4 or 5 days, so, just wanted to see what else might peak our interest. (I DO want to see Monticello) We are not necessarily into 'night-life', but, we do enjoy theater (plays). I imagine the fall would really be beautiful, & the October "Occasion for the Arts" sounds good to me. (as well as the wine country & vinyards!)
thanks, I'll keep checking this site, & see what other info pops up!
CJBROWN is offline  
May 16th, 2005, 12:51 PM
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Check out the William and Mary events calendar: http://www.wm.edu/events_calendars/
After August, it will probably be updated for the 2005-06 school year.

Family weekend is September 23-25. Homecoming is October 21-23.

For B&B near CW or W&M, check out this link: http://bandb.about.com/cs/findvirgin...iamsburg_2.htm
susanrford is offline  
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