This Labor Day, take the kids on a wonderful adventure to Colonial Williamsburg, where all the family can partake in this country’s great heritage while experiencing an amazing end-of-summer blow-out.
Wheels up, wheels down: Travelers from Charlotte-Douglas International have myriad options for the 45-minute flight to Williamsburg, Va. Shuttles fly to Richmond, Norfolk, Virginia Beach and the most popular choice – Newport News, a scant 15 miles from Colonial Williamsburg.
Colonial Williamsburg: See and feel a connection to 18th-century life in this meticulously reconstructed historic township ( www.colonialwilliamsburg.com). History comes alive as outfitted interpreters spend time with the kids and prepare for battle in Revolutionary-style uniforms.
Kingsmill Resort: This lavish property is nestled alongside the James River on a former plantation that dates to the late 17th century. Feel your tensions melt away as soon as you step foot into the foyer ( www.kingsmill.com). Spacious townhome-style rooms easily hold a family of four. Three championship golf courses, a slew of tennis courts, and an inviting swimming pool will keep you and the family entertained; it is close to downtown Williamsburg and a stone’s throw from Busch Gardens amusement park. There’s a free shuttle to the best attractions in the Historic Triangle.
A world of antiques: Merchants Square ( www.merchantssquare.org), adjacent to Colonial Williamsburg, is lined with unique shops cluttered with antiques and treasured collectibles. Boutiques alongside art galleries, and cafes offer an endless array of homemade crafts, candies and beautiful quilts.
Ride the trolley: For a low-cost option of getting from Merchants Square to the restaurants and shops of Williamsburg’s New Town ( www.newtownwilliamsburg.com), hop aboard the trolley. The fun way of getting across town costs a mere 50 cents and is free for any-age student.
Jamestown Settlement: This open-air museum ( www.historyisfun.org) enlightens you about life in English America’s first permanent colony and lets you experience it firsthand. Travel at your own pace or take a guided tour as outfitted interpreters discuss the colonists’ harsh living conditions. At James Fort, children cover their ears anticipating the blast of muskets during a lively demonstration. Also, see how colonists and Native Americans managed the land, prepared deer pelts and produced stoneware.
Original Ghosts of Williamsburg Candlelight Tour: Historical impersonators weave tales of the dearly departed that still haunt the old buildings of Colonial Williamsburg on this entertaining, 90-minute nighttime tour ( www.theghosttour.com). You and the family will be lead down shadowy cobblestone walkways. Cafe Provencal: This charming country bistro ( www.cafe-provencal.com) is your passkey to romance as well as one of Williamsburg’s best-kept fine-dining secrets. It’s in the peaceful countryside on the grounds of the sprawling Williamsburg Winery, and chef Tim Westby-Gibson serves French cuisine complemented by the restaurant’s broad selection of wine. Their seasonal fresh caught snook, one of the best-eating fish, tops their list of entrees.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg: It’s one of the world’s finest amusement parks. European-themed Busch Gardens ( http://bit.ly/yyORzI) features numerous roller coasters and other fun-filled rides. Experience their latest scream machine, Verbolten.