A Perfect Weekend in Greater Williamsburg VA

Here’s how to plan a quintessential two-day visit with must-see highlights

Williamsburg Botanical Garden
Amber Ox Public House
Fat Canary
Riverwalk Landing in Yorktown

Two days. Forty-eight hours. That's 2,880 minutes if you don't have a calculator handy. 

It sure seems like plenty of time, but if you're visiting the Greater Williamsburg area, it's a short stay with a lot of options. 

Here's a sample take on great things to do and see for the weekend.

SATURDAY

To cram as much in as possible, Saturday focuses on highlights in Williamsburg while Sunday takes you out and about in Yorktown and the rest of the area.

Morning

Get a caffeinated start at Aromas Coffeehouse, Bakery and Fresh Cafe in Williamsburg where there's a lot more than great coffee roasted in house daily. From something small and delectable like a flaky croissant to a breakfast sandwich or omelet that will fuel your day, they have it here.

Aromas Coffeehouse

Make time for a morning meditation. Wander through the Williamsburg Botanical Garden. We all need it. Besides, research shows that those who get out in nature live longer. Every minute there is a minute you get to spend elsewhere.

Man and woman, of course, cannot live by nature alone. Grab some late-morning time and go shopping. Stretch your legs and stretch your dollars at the more than 120 stores of Williamsburg Premium Outlets. You'll find deals up to 65 percent off and that word "Premium" is not an accident. These are the best of the best.   

Williamsburg Premium Outlets

Lunch

Amber Ox Public House in Williamsburg serves farm-to-table and Southern-style cuisine with a contemporary twist, offering fare like sweet tea-brined pork chops, shrimp and grits, and pimento macaroni and cheese. Be sure to try the pecan-smoked and fried wings. One bite and no other wing will be a suitor. The restaurant is a sort of three-in-one with a spare dining area, a bar with big-screen televisions, and an enclosed outdoor patio. The menu changes seasonally, as do the beers and craft cocktails. Yes, these guys are creative. 

Amber Ox Public House

Afternoon

There is so much more than just a walk back in time at Colonial Williamsburg. The living history site was the first to tell the too-often untold story of enslaved and free African-Americans. It's celebrating the 40th anniversary of African-American interpretation.  Stop by Raleigh Tavern and see the "Revealing the Priceless" exhibition highlighting efforts to tell the story of Williamsburg’s 18th-century enslaved children, women, and men. For the adventurous, sign up for the axe throwing or learn how to fire a flintlock musket.

Colonial Williamsburg

If there's time, walk over to the Dewitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, located under one roof in Colonial Williamsburg. At the Dewitt, explore "Artists on the Move," an exhibition of 30 portraits, some never before exhibited, painted by artists for their customers. Selfies aren't new. They've just evolved.  

Dinner

With so many choices, Williamsburg has become a foodie favorite. Here are just two options, one downtown and one farther afield.

 Casa Pearl announces "oysters and tacos" on its sign. It's an unlikely marriage made in culinary heaven. But then this is an unlikely restaurant in a former Texaco station. Check out the variety of East Coast oysters, craft cocktails, and tacos featuring everything from oyster Po' Boys (of course) to carnitas as well as the best crispy sprouts this side of Manhattan.

Casa Pearl

For a meal a bit more buttoned-down, indulge in the nationally revered food at Fat Canary. The menu is Modern American with nods to Asian and Italian cuisine and options like tuna tempura with avocado, soy, and wasabi; free-range guinea fowl with parmesan gnocchi and charred tomato, and pan-roasted duck breast with Asian Noodles, wild mushrooms, and Napa cabbage.

Evening

Oh, no, you're not done yet. Time to check out the hottest new place in town. Head over to the Precarious Beer Hall just off Merchants Square. There's more than beer. Indulge in the arcade with pinball machines and vintage games like Pac Man. Sit at the outdoor patio and watch the late-night people stroll by. Or sidle up to the indoor stage for live music featuring regional and national acts. You'll stay later than you intended, we promise. 

SUNDAY

Breakfast

Cruise over to Mobjack Bay Coffee Roasters in a national park building, the Cole Digges House, on Main Street in Yorktown.  You can eat in or take out sandwiches, scones, grain bowls, and other goodies and enjoy their fair trade, organic, or Rainforest Alliance-certified coffees, hot or cold brewed on tap.

Mobjack Bay Coffee Roasters

Morning

Walk Riverwalk Landing in Yorktown for a short jaunt with a mighty view of the York River and historic downtown. You'll find two acres of beach with a fishing pier, a picnic area, and sweeping views and serene waters. Take a book, a towel, and wiggle those toes in the sand. Then roll around town on a short, guided Segway tour with Patriot Tours and Provisions.

Lunch

No need to go far for lunch. Head to the Water Street Grille for seafood, wood-fired pizzas, gourmet Mac and Cheese selections including lobster and Wagyu short rib, traditional tapas, and 20 microbrews on tape, including Water Street Wheat, which is brewed exclusively for the restaurant by Alewerks Brewing Company.

Afternoon

You have two choices.  

Spend more nature time on the Powhatan Creek Trail. You'll be treated to the sound of fresh water streaming down the Powhatan Creek as you cross over it using the 696-foot long timber bridge. The trail connects to the Greensprings Interpretive Trail, the historic site known as Church on the Main, Mainland Farm (considered to be the oldest continuously cultivated farm in America's first English settlement), and the Virginia Capital Trail. 

Or be revolutionary at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, where you'll explore the stories of ordinary people in an extraordinary time, a time when subjects of a king become citizens of a nation. Inside, nearly every attraction is interactive. Outside is interactive in a different way, a chance to muster in an Army encampment, help with an artillery firing, or chip in with chores on a period farm. 

American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

Dinner

Two choices, again.

Umi Sushi is a tiny, adorable, and authentic sushi spot in a small house on the Yorktown waterfront. The fish is so fresh you'll swear it was caught after you were seated. Dishes are made to order in front of you. 

The views at Riverwalk Restaurant are as expansive as the menu. From starters like the she crab soup and the seafood charcuterie to entrees like pan-seared sea scallops with pork belly or hand-cut steaks, there's something for everyone. 

Evening

Hop aboard the 105-foot schooner Alliance for the sunset cruise on the York River, the waters Capt. John Smith explored four centuries ago during a unique time in America’s history. Look for dolphins and osprey while gliding along the historic shores.


Looking for more to do? Explore all the free options, delve into the area's secrets, or explore family fun. Then start planning your visit to Greater Williamsburg today.

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