In my last blog entry, I discussed what sparked my family to travel over Thanksgiving. Several of those trips had been to Williamsburg over the years. It had been many years since we spent Thanksgiving in Williamsburg. The idea of going back had come up a few times, but I always dismissed it for something I considered more fun or newer to us.
This year, between schedules and a few other factors, we actually booked ourselves a long weekend in Williamsburg and I am so happy we did! We had the best time! And there was plenty to see and do that we had not done before!
We stayed at the Historic Powhatan Resort. We had stayed there before, but it had been more than 10 years ago. Powhatan Resort offers condos at great rates! We stayed in a 2 Bedroom condo and had all the comforts of home, plus plenty of space. The resort grounds are beautiful and there is so much to do that you will want to be sure to leave yourself some time to enjoy all of the amenities. From game nights, to swimming, to movie rentals, to touring the Historic Mansion or enjoying coffee at the onsite coffee shop, Powhatan has so much to offer.
On Thanksgiving day, we experienced a first for us. We are all huge history buffs and always visit the historic sites in Colonial Williamsburg. This time, we visited the Art Museum and attended a re-enactment of Hamilton and Madison discussing the Federalist Papers. The performers were excellent and it was so informative.
Following the performance we strolled through Colonial Williamsburg and chatted with a few re-enactors.
The next two days were spent at Busch Gardens’ Christmas Town. It was really beautiful and so different from the last time we were there. On Friday, we enjoyed a traditional German Holiday Meal with an adorable Christmas show. We visited with Sesame Street Characters, rode some rides and just had so much exploring each of the countries. It was especially fun to visit with Rudolph and Friends at Holiday Hills!
I also learned a few things about the park which is always a plus in my line of work. For example, I know now that at Busch Gardens the PhotoKey is totally worth the price! At first I didn’t purchase it because there weren’t a ton of photo opportunities listed throughout the park. I learned quickly that if you want to be in your photos, you NEED the PhotoKey. Unlike Disney photographers, Busch Gardens photographers will not take photos for you. Also, if you take the photos yourself, you must stand outside of the character meet or attraction. It makes for pretty rotten pics, such as this one:
Versus the one the photographer took:
Another tip I learned at a newer addition to Christmas Town – even if there is a long wait to meet Santa, it is totally worth it! The line weaves through Santa’s Workshop and it is adorable! You also meet some very friendly elves along the way!
Lastly, do not discount the food! When I think of excellent theme park food, I usually think of Disney food, but Busch Gardens did not disappoint! I highly recommend getting a dining plan. We used ours both days. I had the most amazing dinner at the Smokehouse in New France. It was very filling and really delicious. PS – do not skip dessert there!
On our final day we made the obligatory stop at the Yankee Candle Village. This is such a fun stop on any visit to Williamsburg! They have several stores within one building, as well as snacks. I absolutely adore their Christmas Store and the kids always look forward to creating their own dipped candles. The Village also includes an accessory store, general store and of course, tons of Yankee Candles.
Looking back, I’m not sure why I always resist the idea of going back to Williamsburg. Regardless of the season, it is always fun and informative. For summer travel, there are always great offers for combination tickets for Busch Gardens, Water Country, USA and Colonial Williamsburg. You can easily spend a week there and never run out of things to do.
The area has so many options for lodging. If you are going as a couple or small family, you have your pick of hotel chains and if you are like my family and want more room and extra amenities, there is no shortage of Condo Resort options.
Have you been to Williamsburg? What is your favorite thing to do there?