Garden Tour

Williamsburg is filled with the colors and scents of flowers and herbs blooming throughout the entire Historic Triangle – and beyond!

This itinerary highlights the area’s most beautiful gardens – from Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens to Berkeley Plantation and the Yorktown Victory Center.

For more information, including events and additional sites, visit www.GardensinWilliamsburg.com.

Day One

Guided Tour of Jamestown Settlement – Enjoy the Flora and Fauna
2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Beauty meets function in fields and gardens at Jamestown Settlement, a living-history museum that includes agriculture in the story of the nation’s beginnings. Varieties of field crops and herbs and vegetables grown in the 17th and 18th centuries are cultivated at Jamestown Settlement’s re-created Powhatan Indian.

Corn, a food staple of the Powhatan Indians that English colonists adapted to their diet, is planted in early spring at the Powhatan village and fort. At Jamestown Settlement, beans and squash are later planted around the emerging corn stalks. Tobacco, Virginia’s premier cash crop during the colonial period, is grown at both museums, with seedlings planted in mid-spring. Cotton and flax – crops used in making cloth – are grown at the Yorktown Victory Center, and grain is planted at both museums.

Check into your Williamsburg accommodations
5:30 pm

Click here for additional information on group-friendly accommodations.

Dinner
7:00 pm

You can choose from a wide selection of Williamsburg area restaurants to match anyone’s palatial tastes or budgets!  For group dining information, click here. 

Return to your Williamsburg accommodations
8:30 pm

Day Two

Breakfast at your Williamsburg accommodations
8:00 am

Depart for Colonial Williamsburg
9:15 am

Guided tour of Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area
9:30 – 11:45 am

Spring makes everything new. Even in the past. The renewals of spring parallels the reawakening of our Historic Area after winter’s dormancy. Crocuses and daffodils are some of the first blossoms to spring forth with the warmth of the sun. Our gardens, large and small, grand and simple, burst with color and fragrance. Through the eyes of a garden guide, discover the design influences and variety of plants in our gardens. Enjoy a guided garden tour in the Historic Area and discover interesting facts about several native and uncommon trees. Afterward, sit back and relax as a member of the horticultural staff shares the stories behind the plants or maintenance of these renowned gardens. (Available Wednesdays, April through June.)

Lunch and free time in the Historic Area
12:00 – 3:00 pm

Free time to explore the Historic Area on your own or shop at Merchants Square.  Located adjacent to Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area, Merchants Square is an 18th-century style retail village with more than 40 shops and restaurants.  The shops offer everything from traditional and designer clothing to handmade candies, antique quilts, garden art, folk art and a variety of exclusive Williamsburg reproductions.  The restaurants on Merchants Square offer choices from a quick sandwich to the freshest seafood, steaks or contemporary American regional cooking.

Return to accommodations before Dinner
3:00 pm

Dinner
5:30pm

Optional shopping at New Town, Premium Outlets, Williamsburg Outlet Mall or Yankee Candle, or return to your Williamsburg accommodations
7:15pm

Day Three

Breakfast at your Williamsburg accommodations
8:00 am

Depart for Norfolk
8:45 am

Visit the Norfolk Botanical Garden
10:00am – 12:00pm

A 155-acre garden filled with thousands of plants and more than thirty themed gardens. Some gardens focus on a single plant while others look at a plant from a specific region.

Lunch on your own at the Botanical Garden
12:00 – 1:00pm

Depart for Yorktown
1:00 pm

Guided tour of the Yorktown Victory Center
1:45 – 3:45 pm

Beauty meets function in fields and gardens at the Yorktown Victory Center, living-history museum that includes agriculture in the story of the nation’s beginnings. Varieties of field crops and herbs and vegetables grown in the 17th and 18th centuries are cultivated at the Yorktown Victory Center’s re-created 1780s farm. Visitors may be invited by historical interpreters to help with turning earth, watering and weeding.

At the Yorktown Victory Center farm, peanuts, collards, cow-peas, okra, peppers and gourds are grown in a small garden representing foods a slave might have cultivated for personal use or to sell at market. Sunflowers, a food source native to the Americas, are grown here as well as at Jamestown Settlement’s Powhatan village. A small orchard at the farm yields Golden Pippin apples, a variety dating to the 18th century.

Sunset Cruise on the Schooner Alliance
4:00 – 6:00 pm

Named for the French and American Alliance that was instrumental in winning the war of Independence in 1781, the Alliance sails the majestic York River and Chesapeake Bay. Captains and owners, Greg and Laura Lohse, have been sailing tall ships together since 1988. Their chief desire on every cruise is to help each guest feel welcome and relaxed. Their vast experience in teaching tall ship seamanship and navigation enables them to provide a rich learning adventure to all guests who wish to participate in the operation of their craft.

Dinner in Historic Yorktown
6:30 pm

Return to your Williamsburg accommodations
8:30 pm

Day Four

Breakfast at your Williamsburg accommodations
7:30 am

Depart for Charles City County
8:30 am

Visit Berkeley Plantation
9:30 – 11:30 am

Berkeley is Virginia’s most historic plantation. Five terraced gardens leading from the house to the James River were dug by hand before the Revolutionary War. Flowers bloom Spring through Fall and many hundred-year old trees grace the restored boxwood garden offering breathtaking vistas of the James River. On December 4, 1619, early settlers from England came ashore at Berkeley Plantation and observed the first official Thanksgiving in America. See the birthplace of Benjamin Harrison, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and President William Henry Harrison, “Old Tippecanoe.”  “Taps” was composed at Berkeley when General McClellan headquartered 140,000 Union troops in 1862.

Depart for Williamsburg
11:30 am

Visit Busch Gardens and Enjoy a Behind-the-Scenes Garden Tour
12:30 – Until

Today at Busch Gardens, you’ll learn a little about the 120+ varieties of plants that reside in the park and how these plants provide the basic needs for the insects and wildlife at Busch Gardens. You’ll also learn how you can help in the conservation efforts of our planet by creating your own certified wildlife habitat garden.

Return to your Williamsburg accommodations
Times Flexible

Day Five

Breakfast at your Williamsburg accommodations – check out and load luggage
7:00 am

Depart for Richmond
8:00 am

Visit Tuckahoe Plantation, Thomas Jefferson’s Boyhood Home
9:15 – 11:30 am

Situated on the James River, just seven miles west of Richmond, this extraordinary colonial plantation is considered one of the most complete existing 18th century plantation layouts in North America. Originally settled by the Randolph family in the early 18th-century, a numerous and influential family, the Randolph’s helped shape the early politics of the colony and the nation. Tuckahoe is the only early Randolph home still standing on its original site. From 1745 until 1752, Tuckahoe was the boyhood home of America’s third president and founding father, Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson began his studies as a young boy in the one-room schoolhouse that still stands today. Tuckahoe is truly a horticultural treasure. The gardens never quite go to sleep as there is something blooming nearly year-round.

Depart for Maymont Park
11:30 am

Visit Maymont Park & Mansion (lunch on own at Maymont )
12:00 – 3:00pm

Maymont was the 100-acre Victorian country estate of James Henry and Sallie May Dooley. In 1886, the Dooley’s first viewed and purchased the rough pasture and field that would become Maymont. At the age of 40, with no children and the resources of her husband’s prosperity at her disposal, Sallie Dooley led the effort to transform the landscape into a showplace that would rival the lavish estates that were springing up throughout the country. The Romanesque-style mansion was completed in 1893 and the Dooley’s spent the next three decades filling its sumptuous interiors with treasures from around the world and establishing Maymont’s magnificent gardens, landscapes and architectural complex.

Depart for Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
3:00 pm

Visit the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
3:15 – 5:00 pm

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden blooms year-round and includes more than 40 acres of spectacular plants and a 63-foot-tall domed conservatory housing orchids, exotic plants and changing displays.

Depart for return home with a dinner stop en route
5:00 pm

For more information, contact Vivian Bunting, Consumer Sales Manager, Tourism.

*The above itinerary is only suggestion.  For a more customized tour to match your group’s wants and needs, feel free to browse our group tour attractions, shopping, dining and lodging options OR contact one of our local tour services – no one knows the ins and outs of the Historic Triangle better than they do!  Should you have any questions or comments about this itinerary or simply want to start planning your trip, please contact us via email at Vivian Bunting, or call 800-368-6511.

We strive to keep all information accurate and updated.  If you notice any mistakes or changes, please contact Joanna Skrabala, Manager, Tourism & Interactive Programs, via email or call 800-368-6511.