Williamsburg, VIRGINIA

How to Live in Williamsburg, VA: A Guide for New Residents

Williamsburg, VA – the original Virginia Colony’s capital city from 1699-1780 – offers one of the most robust mixes of culture, arts, attractions, and entertainment of any city in the entire state, much less Coastal Virginia. It’s not just for history buffs anymore! The cost of living is low and there are so many great things to do with your family. From Colonial Williamsburg to the Jamestown Settlement and all of the beautiful neighborhoods in between, Williamsburg is one of the most sought-after home buying destinations in Coastal Virginia. There are plenty of parks, recreation centers, restaurants, and fun activities to keep you busy all year long. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures or want to explore Williamsburg’s rich colonial heritage, this guide will help you live like a local!

Attractions, Educations & Museums

The Williamsburg area provides a variety of activities that appeal to visitors of all ages. The town is full of historic locations, attractions, and Museums that are open year-round. Summer offers water parks, roller coasters, treetop adventure courses, biking, hiking, swimming, and kayaking. Fall brings an outdoor arts festival, harvest dinners, beer fests, and bewitching October programs.

Colonial Williamsburg is the world’s largest living history museum. Their 301 acres feature iconic sites, working tradespeople, historic taverns, and two world-class art museums.

Busch Gardens in Williamsburg is the world’s most beautiful theme park, as voted year after year since 1990. They are nestled near the banks of the James River in Williamsburg, Virginia, which is the perfect place for a family vacation. From farm-to-table dining to activities by the water, this destination has something for everyone. Their theme is classic Europe with artfully landscaped villages, like the Parisian streets of France, the hamlets of Scotland, and the Oktoberfest celebrations of Germany. In all, they have nine villages centered around six countries for you to explore.

Water Country USA, Virginia’s largest water park, is just three miles west of Busch Gardens and features state-of-the-art water rides and resort-style amenities. Guests are in for an epic journey on the park’s wildest family thrill slide, Colossal Curl. True to its name, this mega water slide will deliver a high-adrenaline, family-friendly, action-packed adventure.

At the Jamestown Settlement, you will discover the world of 17th-century Virginia, from the arrival of English colonists in Jamestown in 1607 to the cultural encounters and events that planted the seeds of a new nation, through gallery exhibits, films, and outdoor living history. They have outdoor living-history areas and if you can make it in they have what is called “History at Home.” Where you can experience the museum at home with apps, interactives, quizzes, curatorial blogs, coloring pages, lesson plans, videos, and more.

The Virginia Capital Trail is a dedicated, paved pedestrian and bicycle trail that connects the Commonwealth’s past and present capitals of Jamestown and Richmond along the Scenic Route 5 corridor. The Trail traverses approximately 52 miles, four jurisdictions, and more than 400 years of history along one of the first inland routes in North America.

The College of William & Mary is a premier public research university, widely recognized for its outstanding academic reputation, beautiful campus, and vibrant community.

Go Ape Treetop Adventure is an unparalleled outdoor adventure experience. Tackle dangling obstacles, explore the trees from a new perspective and fly around on multiple zip lines from exciting heights. Their Treetop Adventure & Treetop Journey courses are guaranteed to deliver laughter, smiles, and a sense of accomplishment. Go Ape is perfect for everyone including friends, families, companies, and parties.

Find impressive savings at Williamsburg Premium Outlets, with over 120 stores including Adidas, Michael Kors, Kate Spade New York, The North Face, and Vineyard Vines. Conveniently located off Route 199 off of Richmond Road, the outdoor shopping destination serves the nearby Virginia areas of Williamsburg and Richmond, as well as all across the southeast.

Golf & Boating:

The most popular attractions, especially during the summer months when tourism increases, are local golf courses and marinas. Golfers looking for a new home in the Williamsburg area will find plenty of options on local courses. There are more than 15 public and private facilities open to players at all skill levels. Opportunities for boating in the Greater Williamsburg area are plenty. There is something for everyone whether that is kayaking, canoeing, pontoon boat tours, renting a boat, or renting a slip for your own boat Williamsburg has it all. Here are some of our favorite golf courses and marinas around Williamsburg!

Just as Colonial Williamsburg brings America’s history to life, The Golden Horseshoe Golf Club honors the classic traditions of the game—while still creating an entertaining challenge for today’s player. Designed by the father-and-son team of Robert Trent Jones Sr. and Rees Jones, experience 45 walkable holes over three courses, surrounded by mature woodlands and free from neighboring real estate. Get in touch with nature, focus on your game, and get back to the true essence of golf in historic Williamsburg.

Kingsmill Resort is like another world nestled into Williamsburg, Virginia—a top golf and spa destination. With their unparalleled range of accommodations, stunning James River setting, three must-play championship golf courses, and a boundless range of recreational activities and leisure pursuits—including tennis—right on the grounds, Kingsmill is a relaxing, fun, and memorable luxury waterfront escape.

Set in the historical backdrop of Williamsburg, Virginia, Colonial Heritage Club offers visitors, locals, and residents the perfect location for award-winning golf, fine dining, and entertainment as well as an unparalleled site for hosting weddings and special events.

Kiskiack Golf Club is set along the ridge of a natural bluff, and offers a day of golf for players of all levels. Many of the picturesque holes demand accurate shot-making from tee to green, while others are more forgiving – with ample landing areas and gentle sloping greens.

Stonehouse Golf Club designer Mike Strantz’s goal was to compliment nature so closely as to make the layout indistinguishable from Nature itself. This 18 hole, 7013-yard course is laid over wild, tumbling hills near the York River in the Tidewater Region. The natural beauty of virgin hardwoods thriving with wild turkey, deer, mountain laurel, and hollies provides the backdrop for spectacular golf in Virginia.

Ford’s Colony Country Club features 54 holes with three distinct championship golf courses designed by Dan Maples. Each course brings its own challenges and highlights, whether you play Blackheath, Blue Heron, or Marsh Hawk. They offer fun for everyone, including golf instruction and a variety of Member events, from holiday brunches and dining traditions to golf clinics, kids’ events, and more.

Williamsburg National Golf Club honors the two nearby historic sites with their original 18 hole championship Nicklaus-designed Jamestown Course and their newer Yorktown Course, designed by Tom Clark. Both courses offer their own “great beauty” and “noble challenges. Williamsburg National Golf Club is open to public play and both courses are a favorite among local and traveling golfers alike!

The James City County Marina is located on the historic Powhatan Creek, behind Jamestown Island and across the street from Jamestown Settlement and Jamestown Beach Event Park. They offer covered and uncovered boat slips, dry and wet boat storage, a double-wide boat ramp with docks on both sides, and a boat repair facility. They include a bathhouse with showers and offer bikes, kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards and also have a marina store & concessions with bait, tackle, ice cream, snacks, cold drinks, marine batteries and supplies, and more.

The Governor’s Land at Two Rivers is beautifully built on 1,400+ acres and features first-class amenities, including their deep-water marina, a private beach, and their top-rated Tom Fazio-designed championship golf course. The Governor’s Land at Two Rivers is a natural haven where diverse communities of families and retirees have discovered an undeniable allure and wish to preserve our place of beauty and tranquility.

The First Colony Beach and Marina are located on the James River, which borders First Colony on the west. The marina offers boat slips, boat storage, boat launching, a large fishing deck, a gazebo, beach volleyball, and a sand beach.

Dining & Restaurant:

Williamsburg is a great place to visit and enjoy the historic sites of America’s history. Williamsburg has won many awards for its restaurants and there are so many options when it comes to choosing where you want to eat while in Williamsburg. There are several different types of food that can be enjoyed at all levels from casual diners to fine dining experiences, there is something here for everyone!

Wessex Hundred, the 300 – acre farm that is home to The Williamsburg Winery, Wedmore Place, Café Provençal, and The Gabriel Archer Tavern, offers an unforgettable wine and culinary experience in the heart of Colonial America. The Williamsburg Winery has over 50 acres of vineyards, a bountiful on-site garden, a hotel, and two restaurants, it is more than just a Winery.

Alewerks Brewing Company the beer truly does come first. Alewerks is committed to quality, even as they continually increase production. They take great pride in each and every ounce of beer they brew, whether it’s consumed at their taproom or at any of their many retail partners across Virginia and Washington, DC. Their brewers work hard to craft balanced, nuanced beers that are faithful to their traditional style; the result is a diverse portfolio of consistent quality that keeps people coming back year after year.

The Virginia Beer Company is a brewery, taproom, and beer garden in Williamsburg. The brewery was founded in 2016 by two graduates of nearby William & Mary, who were joined by a brewmaster out of SweetWater Brewing in Atlanta. Four year-round beers are complemented by a boundary-pushing rotation of limited edition beers including experimental IPA’s, barrel-fermented brett saisons, and barrel-aged imperial stouts, among many other diverse styles. In addition to brewing quality beer, the Virginia Beer Co. team is dedicated to environmental sustainability and active philanthropy throughout the Commonwealth. They joined forces not just to share a passion for beer, but to create a community-based and philanthropy-focused force for good in the form of a brewery.

Billsburg Brewery was born from a love of traditional lagers, pilsners, and ales and their desire to create a space where family, friends, and the community as a whole could gather together and make great memories. Their brewery is nestled on a 10-acre marina with breathtaking views on the water, just off the Colonial Parkway, and mere miles from America’s original brewery.

With innovative cuisine, genuine hospitality, and a welcoming atmosphere, Cochon on 2nd is a place where fine cuisine meets approachable comforts. Their unique concept is perfect for both special occasions and everyday dining. Whether you’re planning a family dinner, a night out with friends, or a gastronomy treat for out-of-town guests, we believe Cochon on 2nd will become your favorite dining destination.

Casa Pearl’s concept is oysters and tacos! At first glance, it may seem like an odd pairing, but doesn’t it sound delicious? Oysters play a big part in the aquaculture, livelihood, and history of the Chesapeake Bay. Their team is obsessed with the two, and marrying oysters and tacos in a fun and lively atmosphere is the perfect setting for a memorable meal enjoyed with friends and family.

Culture Café thrives to unite cultures and food by serving small plates, a uniquely communal dining experience where the only thing more stimulating than the culinary collision of flavors from different cultures is the company of those around you. Culture Cafe offers an eclectic industrial bohemian environment where people can lounge and enjoy a cup of coffee or quickly grab a unique meal during the day or share small plates and drinks with friends and family at night!

Fat Canary offers a refined, green-walled bistro serving upscale American fare & wines, with a cheese shop & patio. Their restaurant is named after a reference in the Colonial Era playwright John Lyly’s poem. When the ships sailed from the Old World to the New, they stopped in the Canary Islands for supplies. One of the important provisions brought aboard was wine, referred to as “Canary.”

At Amber Ox Public House, they focus on creating a crafted experience for their customers, centered around their passion for celebrating the local farming community and their love for incredible beer, cocktails, and wine. They are focused on maintaining the perfect balance between innovative, Southern-inspired cuisine and an extraordinary offering of regional beers, wine, and spirits for their customers and community.

Precarious Beer Project brews modern, creative, inspired, and expertly crafted beers. They also offer an electric circus menu that includes tacos & Bowls, burritos, quesadillas, snacks, and desserts!

You can’t get any closer to Italy than at Maurizio’s Italian Restaurant. They offer a traditional menu with a little Sicilian flair! They have been locally owned and operated by Maurizio Fiorello and his family since 1984. Maurizio’s is previous winner of the ‘Best of Williamsburg for Italian Restaurants’ and is truly a local’s favorite and a must-try.

Le Yaca French Restaurant cuisine is simple, concentrating on high-quality ingredients with respect to seasons. It’s all about great atmosphere, fantastic wait staff, beautiful spaces and most of all, world-class, delicious food

Berret’s Seafood Restaurant and Taphouse Grill actively seek out the freshest in regional seafood and produce. Their close proximity to the York and James Rivers, Chesapeake Bay, and offshore Atlantic waters provide a variety of fresh seasonal catches: shad roe, soft shell crabs, sea trout, and striped bass in the spring; flounder, cobia, tuna, wahoo, and bluefish in the summer; and rockfish, redfish, and sea bass each fall. They have also been voted by locals as “Best in Seafood Restaurant ” and “Best Crabcake” year after year.

The city of Williamsburg, Virginia, which served as the capital of the original Virginia Colony from 1699 through 1780 – offers one of the most diverse mixes of culture, arts, and activities in any location in the state. Williamsburg is one of Coastal Virginia’s most popular real estate investment possibilities, with plenty to keep you occupied all year round in parks, fitness centers, restaurants, and other amusements.

For more recommendations or questions about the Williamsburg area, reach out to Bubba Hutchison.

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