Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia (located about 150 miles south of Washington, D.C.) offers romantics a destination that's both fun and enlightening. The world's largest outdoor living history museum, Colonial Williamsburg takes visitors on a trip back in time to the 18th century. It's America on the eve of Revolution and you are there.
From the authentically restored homes and shops to the tavern food to the patriots debating liberty and independence and personal freedom right in front of you, it's history with a human touch.
What makes Williamsburg even more appealing as a destination is that you can you can escape the 18th century any time and indulge in all the modern pleasures. A wide choice of restaurants, hotels, and shopping await you and your companion.
Great Things to Do
To get your bearings, pick up a copy of the free weekly Visitor's Companion newspaper, which has a centerfold map of the Historic Area and lists daily and evening events.
Williamsburg's wonderful museums provide fascinating insights into American history. At the delightful Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center, which displays paintings, toys, sculpture, and other fanciful objects made by plain folk, the works of Edward ("Peaceable Kingdom") Hicks were recently on display.
The DeWitt Wallace Gallery focuses on the decorative arts, and here you can view fine silver, priceless textiles, hand-carved Southern furniture, and the largest collection of English pottery outside of England. Pause at the second-floor garden (at right) and steal a kiss when no one's looking. Note: If you make a sharp left upon entering the museum, you enter a unique exhibit on how mental illness was treated in hospitals centuries ago.
Still feel like screaming? Hie to nearby Busch Gardens, filled with roller-coaster rides, street performers, and a just- cheesy- enough salute to Olde Europe. This year Apollo's Chariot "hypercoaster" debuts. It counts a total of 825 feet of drops more than any other steel roller coaster in the world and top speed exceeds 70 mph. (Note: If a crush of children gives you the hives, Busch is best avoided during school breaks.) When the sultry southern weather gets to you, chill at Water Country USAor enjoy a cool one at the adjacent Anheuser-Busch Hospitality Center and Brewery Tour.
Other nearby attractions include the Jamestown Settlement, America's first permanent English colony, and Yorktown, where General George Washington defeated Cornwallis, paving the way for America's independence. Numerous plantations in the area provide a window into life in the Old South.
Where to Stay in Williamsburg
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