Greater Williamsburg, Virginia is synonymous with some of the United States’ most important historic landmarks – centuries-old settlements, American Revolutionary War battlefields and original capital cities. But this region on the state’s east coast bordered by the York and James rivers has much more to offer summer vacationers, from some of the country’s top golf courses to award-winning archaeological digs. Kick off your Greater Williamsburg, VA, adventures with these five must-do activities paired with destinations on the Williamsburg Tasting Trail. Cheers!
Hit the green
Tee off at two of Virginia’s best golf courses, as featured in Golf Digest’s 2017-18 list of best courses in the state. Play like a pro at the Kingsmill Resort & Golf Course, host of the LPGA Kingsmill Championship, while taking in views of the historic James River on the resort’s two championship courses. Visiting Colonial Williamsburg? Head to the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club for three courses totaling 45 walkable holes (two 18-hole courses and one 9-hole family course) set in mature woodlands. kingsmill.com; colonialwilliamsburghotels.com/golf
Sip your “19th tee” libations at the Amber Ox Public House, Williamsburg’s only brewpub situated just a 20-minute walk or five-minute drive from the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club’s Golden Course. Wash down the pub’s seasonal southern dishes, like the sweet tea brined pork chop, with a mug of craft brew from sister brewery Precarious Beer Project. Try the potato lager made with Irish malt and russet potatoes or the kumquat gose, which balances the fruit’s tart flavours with mace, cardamom, coriander and Himalayan sea salt. theamberox.com
Sail the York River
Take advantage of the wealth of water bordering Williamsburg by sailing the York River on a tall ship with Yorktown Sailing Charters. Open from late March to early November, board one of two tall ships, Serenityor Alliance, and lend a hand setting sail, watch for wildlife such as dolphins and osprey, or simply sit back and enjoy the views of the Yorktown Victory Monument and Battlefield, the site of the last battle of the American Revolutionary War. Two-hour cruises depart three times daily from Riverwalk Landing Pier in Yorktown. sailyorktown.com
Try mead, a honey wine that’s one of the most historic fermented drinks in the world, at Silver Hand Meadery. Sample the ancient beverage and learn how it’s made and reimagined at a free tasting offered in-store, or go in-depth with a 35-minute reserve tasting experience. silverhandmeadery.com
Take a cue from our primate friends and zip along the treetops at the Go Ape adventure course at Freedom Park, just a 20-minute drive from downtown Williamsburg. Climb, swing and fly over 38 obstacles, including rope ladders, net bridges, trapezes, Tarzan swings and ziplines in two- to three-hour experiences for adults and children over 10. Booking in advance is recommended. goape.com
Lift an award-winning pint at Alewerks Brewing Company’s taproom patio on Mooretown Road. Choose from one of its classic year-round offerings, such as the Chesapeake Pale Ale with aromas of citrus, seasonals, such Berlinerweisse with tropical notes available from May to July, or limited editionpours. The taproom is located directly beside the brewery, so be sure to head over for a guided tour. alewerks.com
Roller coasters and rides, the state’s biggest water park, and live performances are what’s in store at Busch Gardens, a European-themed amusement park. Visit the streets of Paris, the hamlets of Scotland, German Oktoberfest celebrations and more at the park’s nine villages before cooling off at the Water Country USA water park just five kilometres down the road. Friday to Sunday from May 25 to July 1, sample dishes from around the world, 30 different wines, 25 craft beers and 20 cocktails at the park’s Food & Wine Festival.
Just 15 minutes down the road, enjoy award-winning wines made from eight varietals — merlot, vidal blanc, traminette, cabernet franc, chardonnay, viognier, petit verdot, albarino —at Williamsburg Winery at Wessex Hundred. Sip the aromatic and bright Wessex Hundred viognier, the unofficial state grape of Virginia, while overlooking 40 acres of rolling vineyards. williamsburgwinery.com
You can’t visit Williamsburg without taking in its most famous attraction. The world’s largest living history museum beckons visitors to explore its sunny streets, historic buildings and blossoming gardens on foot. As you amble through this 18th century city, learn about the American Revolutionary War, meet the nation’s founders and try your hand at historic trades and games.
Extend your time in the 18thcentury with a visit to Eight Shires Colonial Distillery. Imbibe award-winning craft spirits made with period recipes and techniques, such as the Gold Rum made from 18th century style molasses or the Genever Gin distilled with heritage corn. 8shires.com
For more information visit Virginia.org and VisitWilliamsburg.com.