You’ll never experience a minute of boredom in Williamsburg. Nature parks serve as outdoor escapes for adventure seekers, while amusement parks fill family days with non-stop excitement. Colonial Williamsburg, also known as the Revolutionary City, leaves visitors feeling like they’ve traveled back in time thanks to its quaint restaurants, historic sites, charming shops, and museums.
No trip to Williamsburg ever seems long enough, but if you only have one day to spend in the city, you can still get a feel for its charm and fun-loving personality.
Grab a Bite and Start Window Shopping 7 a.m.
Image via Aromas
Rise early and head to Prince George Street for breakfast at Aromas, a coffee shop and bakery that offers quick eats like sweet croissants and New York bagels. Dine in with your baked treat, then take a coffee to go for your walk along North Boundary and Prince George Streets.
Glance in the windows of the Master Craftsmen Shop (a fine jewelry store), the This Century Art Gallery, Mermaid Books, and other unique shops. Burn off some breakfast calories along Boundary Street to Shoesters, Williamsburg at Home, and the nearby Colonial Williamsburg’s Merchants Square. The shops aren’t open at this hour, but if you see something you want, make a note to return here on your way out of town.
Step Back in Time at Colonial Williamsburg 9 a.m.
Image via Trover by Rob Findlay
Buy your tickets to Colonial Williamsburg online in advance so you don’t have to stand in line when you arrive. Start at the Regional Visitor Center to pick up a map and ask the helpful staff any questions you might have.
Take the Orientation Walk if you want a guided tour of the town. Explore the palaces, watch reenactments, and play interactive games. Don’t miss the gardens, especially if you visit during the spring or summer, and if your feet get tired, take a relaxing horse-drawn carriage ride.
Picnic in Waller Mill Park 1 p.m.
Image via Yelp
Visit The Cheese Shop on West Duke of Gloucester Street, just outside of Colonial Williamsburg, for picnic supplies on your way to Waller Mill Park. Call your sandwich order into the shop and it’ll be waiting at their side pick-up window when you arrive.
Waller Mill Park is an ideal place to relax after the noise and activity at Colonial Williamsburg. Enjoy your deli sandwich at a waterfront picnic table and take in the views of the reservoir.
See the Country’s Second Oldest College 3 p.m.
Image via Trover by Erica R Hopper
Take a figurative journey back to your university days at the College of William and Mary. Here you’ll find the second oldest college in the U.S., and you won’t need a costly tour guide to show you around. Pick up a map and guide yourself throughout the campus, taking in the historic sites and admiring the colonial architecture.
Spend the Evening at Busch Gardens 5 p.m.
Image via Trover by Meng Meng Pek
Busch Gardens Williamsburg is one of the reasons visitors flock from around the country to this Virginia city. It’s home to some of America’s most thrilling rides, and the Colonial American and European inspiration don’t let you forget you’re in one of the country’s oldest cities. The Tempesto is a new coaster for the 2015 season and it’s guaranteed to make you scream.
Must Eat: Change Your View of American Food at Food for Thought
Image via Food For Thought
Cap off your evening in Williamsburg with some comfort food. Served diner-style, the new-age American cuisine at Food for Thought on Richmond Road includes classic dishes like pot roast, meatloaf, cornbread, and chicken. Each recipe is reimagined with a modern flair that keeps the locals lining up for more every night of the week.
Find an Affordable Hotel Near the Historic City Center
Image via Kingsmill Resort
Choose from a number of cheap hotels in Williamsburg from $41 per night. Saving money on your hotel stay ensures you’ll have more to spend on the area’s countless sites, attractions, eateries, and shops.
Stay at the Travelodge Inn and Suites Historic Area for $42 to enjoy a comfortable room close to the historic sites or spend a little extra to make the Kingsmill Resort your relaxing home away from home, with an on-site spa, lazy river, and several pools, for $141.
One day in this historical city might seem too short. However, if you don’t get enough of Williamsburg during your 24-hour visit, you can always come back.