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Trip report from first week of June

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Huntsville, AL
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Trip report from first week of June

We just returned from a week long trip to Williamsburg area, and I thought I'd post my two-cents. It was myself/hubby/dd 13/ds 10. Pay careful attention to the resturant recommendations -- I wish I had -- we had some bad, expensive meals. We did pick a good time to go - weather was nice, not crowded at all.

Here's what we did:

Sunday: Jamestown Settlement - good place, relatively inexpensive; we spent ~3 hours there, including lunch, and it was NOT enough time. We wished we had gone earlier -- we didn't get there until 1:30/2:00 and they close at 5.

Monday: Busch Gardens - the "boys" loved it, but if you do not like roller coasters, skip it. Go early.

Tuesday: Yorktown Settlement -- kid's favorite - people were very knowlegable and constantly interacting with us. Allow lots of time if you want to see all the museum and the outdoor events -- we caught the cannon demo (fun!), and the doctor's talk (scary but very fascinating). Make sure you try to carry the water on your shoulders at the farm!

Wedneday: Chrysler Art Muesuem in Norfolk -- absolutely wonderful, especially if you like glass at all. Lunch at the cafe was the best meal we had all week.

Thursday: MagicQuest at Grey Wolf Lodge (You do not have to stay there to play). My kids loved it. Adults -- bring a book if your kids are old enough to run around by themselves. You have a wand, and collect objects to build up to "runes", then you can have "adventures" such as "battle the dragon". $15 for the wand, $10 to play for several days.

Friday: Virginia Beach. Nice beach, very much "city beach" atmosphere. (We are spoiled by going to the Gulf.:-)

As you can see, we did not do Colonial Williamsburg. The kids were "done" with history after Jamestown & Yorktown, and we did not think it was worth $40 per person. NOTE: we were told that we could NOT walk down into the streets where the reinactments were held -- we would have to have a ticket, even if we did not want to go into the buildings. We did not try it to see.

All in all, good trip, but not one I would repeat. It was pretty expensive, and I don't know if it was worth the 12 hour drive from Huntsville. We've been to quite a bit of other "living history" festivals that were just as good or better, and much cheaper -- "Feast of the Hunters Moon" in Indiana and "Living History" days at Stone Mountain in GA and at Burritt Museum here in Huntsville -- all come to mind.

My advice -- know exactly what your family likes, and be willing to fork over money for food.

USA
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1. Re: Trip report from first week of June

Thanks clr, liked your report. We are going next week. Where did you have the bad expensive meals? Lisa

Louisiana
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2. Re: Trip report from first week of June

Thanks for the very honest opinions. Can you please give a little more info on the restaurants that you thought were expensive and not that good?

Huntsville, AL
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3. Re: Trip report from first week of June

Here's the details on the restaurants that we tried; please excuse me if I sound negative; it was just very disheartening to drop $40-60 on a basic meal and have it be just okay or downright bad.

Sal's: We went to the one on Capital Landing first, because it was very close to our hotel. It was not very good at all. I talked to the hotel people afterward, and they had actually recommended the "other" one - Sal's by Victor. We did go there also later in the week (my kids are big pasta/pizza lovers). We had the deep dish pizza, and were not impressed. It was better than Dominos, but not great. Waitress was nice. Medium price range - ~$25-$30 for large deep dish pizza & 4 sodas.

Chownings Tavern: Worst meal! We got suckered in by an add in a tourist mag that promised "fun & songs & sing alongs", which in actuality was one guy with a guitar that sang 2/3 songs, no interaction with the customers, and that was it. BAD food. My son commented that the BBQ sandwich was reminicient of school cafe Sloppy Joe's, and my daughter thought the "crock of cheese" came straight out of a cheese whiz can. WAY overpriced for both quantity and quality. Poor service. Kid's meals were $9 each, my salad was $9, BBQ sandwich $9, cheese crock $10 plus sodas.

Food for Thought: Mixed results here -- my beet salad was wonderful, the kid's chicken fingers & fries good, my hubby's meatloaf awful. Prices: my salad was ~$9, my hubby's ~$12. Don't remember kid's meals. Good service. Total bill ~$50.

Jamestown settlement cafe: okay for fast food, but expensive for what you got - cheeseburgers, corn dogs, veggie sandwich, chips & drinks. Around $40-50 for the 4 of us. Kind of expected it here, since it was inside the settlement itself.

Chrystler Art Museum cafe: wonderful food, very reasonably priced for the quantity and quality. Excellent waitress. 2 kid's meals, 2 lunch entrees, 1 appetizer, 1 dessert, 2 sodas for about $50.

Dessert at the Trellis restaurant : homemade ice cream & a death by chocolate cake. $7 for cake, $6 for the ice cream dishes. Very good.

Peking on Waller Mill Road: again just okay, not great. Another 50/60 bucks for the 4 of us for 4 meals & 4 sodas.

Hardee's on 2nd street: cheap, but yucky & slow. old grease is my guess.

Ben & Jerry's - YES! plus, 10% coupon in the tourist mag.

PiZzeria in Virginia Beach (right across the street from the beach). After a long wait to be seated, we ordered, then we were informed that the pizza oven broke before our order was ready. Had to re-order. Kid's spagetti portion wouldn't have feed a 3 year old (had to order more), my roasted veggie focaccia sandwich (recommended by the waitress) was so bad I didn't even eat half of it. No compensation attempt by the waitress, even when I complained about it. Bill was over $50 for 2 sandwiches, 1 side salad, 3 kid's spagetties, 4 sodas. (The sodas were $2.50 each!)

Murphy's Pub in Virginia Beach: okay. Reasonably priced. (2 sandwiches, 2 kids meal & 4 sodas - ~$30-$35.

In summary, read the restaurant advice carefully before you leave! I *really* wish I had!:-):-).

us
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4. Re: Trip report from first week of June

I'm truly sorry the visit wasn't all it could be. Looks like we have the same taste in food - the place here in The Burg you tried are not ones I suggest - although many other do like them. Know that you can have much better meals here, if you do return post again and we'll try to give you more ideas. i will say food is not our strong point - we have a few good independents, we are a small area and just can't support more. Arby's was gone for years - came back to it's same old location. indepedndents and chains have a hard time.

5. Re: Trip report from first week of June

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Boston...
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6. Re: Trip report from first week of June

Thanks for the trip report. Even with the best planning sometimes the food in any tourist area is not good. Partly because you make plans to visit this restaurant or that one and then a restaurant is full and the kids are hungry and you have to find something fast. Other times you can't find the restaurant or your plans change you need to 'settle' for something else.

Have you contributed to the restaurant reviews here on TA for your travels? Copying some of your comments will keep them with the restaurant profile and help future travelers.

Williamsburg restaurant review area:

tripadvisor.com/Restaurants-g58313-Williamsb…

Huntsville, AL
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7. Re: Trip report from first week of June

Yes, I did post a couple of things on the restaurant review section. You're right though -- best laid plans and all that ... if the pizza oven hadn't broken in VB, we may have come home raving about the best pizza we've ever eaten. You just never know :-)

If we get back that way (which we might on a DC trip - my son already wants to go back & do the roller coasters again at BG!), I'll be sure & read carefully through the forum for suggestions on food before we leave.

I've learned my lesson on how invaluable these posts are, so local folks, big "Thank You!" for your time. Yorktown was not even in my original plan until someone posted about it, and it turned into the best day for my kids.

We're actually off to Dallas next weekend for a family reunion ... guess what I've been reading tonight :-):-)

Delaware
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8. Re: Trip report from first week of June

Thank you for your post on your recent trip. I am going next week and will re-read all that I have saved about restaurants. And I agree, a big thank you to the locals! Your time and opinion is appreciated. We have one fancy dinner planned at the Kings Arms, and then a ghost tour in CW. We are celebrating my husband's 50th birthday.

HawkSJU

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9. Re: Trip report from first week of June

Hi, We too are going next week thank you for your t/r.

10. Re: Trip report from first week of June

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