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What would you NOT do?

Chicago, Illinois
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128 posts
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What would you NOT do?

I have seen several posts about what not to miss, but I was wondering what I can skip? I will only be in town for three days. We fly into Norfolk at about noon on Friday, and need to be back at the airport on Monday by 3 p.m.

I know this is not enough time to see everything, and we don't want to go 100 miles an hour for the full three days either, so what would you NOT do in three days?

Thanks!!!

Jen

Williamsburg...
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for Williamsburg
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1. Re: What would you NOT do?

When will you be here, and what interests you most? I don't have children, so if you do, my answer would probably not be the same as you. If it's in the summer, I'd do Colonial Williamsburg and Historic Jamestowne, possibly Yorktown Battlefield. I'd eat at a tavern and do gambols at Chowning's at least once. I'd skip Jamestown Settlement, Yorktown Victory Center, Busch Gardens, Water Country, the Pottery, and the outlet mall.

Chicago, Illinois
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14 reviews
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2. Re: What would you NOT do?

I always forget those specifics! No kids, two adults...Me a bit of a history nerd (though I am not horribly familiar with the Williamsburg area time frame, outside of what I have briefly researched and what i remember from High School.) He is not too into history but does love to see how things "work" so the exhibits where he can see people "make stuff" will be highlights. He would also be interested in anything to do with boats, big and small.

I also love to try restaurnants and food that I can't get anywhere else, so suggetsions on that front are welcome as well!

Chicago, Illinois
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3. Re: What would you NOT do?

Hi, Jen -- Welcome! I think your question is a wise one! As you may already know, days in Williamsburg are very short, with exhibition buildings opening at 9am and closing at 5pm. It sounds like you really want to get at the heart of this wonderful living museum, and so I would say -- don't do anything that isn't operated by Colonial Williamsburg or the National Park Service. And here's why -- why do stuff you can do back home when you are in a place that is sui generis?

Within Williamsburg itself, if I had to pare down an itinerary, I would skip the museums (gasp!) , Bruton Church (another gasp!), the carriage ride, and all the cute shops in Merchant's Square. In the realm of programming, I would not do the fine arts like theater and music. It's hard to even say those things because everything I mentioned is terrific and I personally love them all. But with your special focus on politics, culture and technology, I imagine you'll get more out of other things. Then -- come back many times to get to the other things!

Hope you have a wonderful time!

Arlington, Virginia
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4. Re: What would you NOT do?

Since your husband likes anything to do with boats, have you considered going to the Mariner's Museum in Newport News? I was there last year and it's excellent !. Newport News is only about 30 -40 minutes from Norfolk and you could go to the Mariner's Museum on Friday after you fly in. That would give you a full day at Colonial Williamsburg (to do the things Zoey and nomonoloco suggested) and then a day to visit Historic Jamestowne and the Yorktown Battlefield (both National Park Service sites). Finally, on Monday you could get an early start and drive back to Norfolk and visit either the USS Wisconsin or the Nautilus Maritime Museum before your flight home. (I've not been to either so I don't know how much time you need to see them.)

Williamsburg, VA
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5. Re: What would you NOT do?

The Mariner's Museum is an excellent suggestion for the boat lover -- it is one of the finest collections of American nautical history anywhere. And it can be included on your trip from or to Norfolk, depending on your arrival and departure times, as it is off I-64 on J. Clyde Morris Boulevard in Newport News.

The evening programs are a must do in Colonial Williamsburg, following a tavern or Merchants Square meal. The streets and buildings of the restored area take on a very special look and feel after dark. Those being offered can be found on the Colonial Williamsburg internet calendar -- just put in the days you'll be there. Be sure and check back as you near your visit, as many are being added as spring approaches.

Enjoy your visit.

Virginia
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6. Re: What would you NOT do?

I agree to definitely avoid the Pottery, even if you had the time! If your trip is soon, Water Country and Busch Gardens are not options. Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown, Jamestown, and the Mariner's Museum are all good bets. Nauticus (www.nauticus.org) , in Norfolk, is also nice.

Chicago
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7. Re: What would you NOT do?

I would plan my trip around what I want to see at CW. I would check out history.org and determine the programming for each day ahead of time.

I would purchase a two day pass or full year pass to CW in order to maximize my experience.

I would attend as many CW evening programs as interest me.

I would walk around CW as much as possible and avoid using the bus.

I would concentrate on the restored exhibits at CW and visit the museums only if the weather is bad.

I would visit Historic Jamestown NP,attend a ranger tour and skip Jamestown Settlement.

I would skip Yorktown this time unless you have a particular interest in it.

Central Illinois
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8. Re: What would you NOT do?

I agree with most of the advice here.

But I would make time to visit the Bruton Parish Church and take a stroll around the cemetery that surrounds it. This was an important part of the founding fathers lives and where they went to worship. It would only take 20 minutes, tops. You will be walking right by there anyway.

The Pottery Factory is a complete waste of time unless you are like me and want to add to your Williamsburg pottery collection. I pick up 3 or 4 pieces every time I visit for less then half of what you would pay in the CW shoppes. These are "seconds" and you might not find the same things there twice, but I am very happy with my collection and my shelves are getting very full. ;-) For me, it's worth it, for others, not worth it at all. I go in, head for the pottery section, find what I want and get the heck out of there.

I would also pick Historic Jamestowne Island over Jamestown Settlement, if I had to choose one. (Don't forget to stop at The Glasshouse which is included in your admission price to the Island.)

I'm happy to hear that you are going to take your time and savor everything that you do see and do. That's the way to do it, there's always "next time".

Have a great visit to this most wonderful place, jen.

Central Illinois
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9. Re: What would you NOT do?

Ooops, wanted to add that I do not make a special trip to go to the Pottery, we would include this in our trip to Wal-Mart or if we are eating a meal up that way. I would never take precious Historic Triangle time to go "shopping"!!! ;-)

Iowa
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10. Re: What would you NOT do?

Re: The Museums. The Museums of Colonial Williamsburg are open until 7pm on Friday and Saturday during the winter (until March 14th.) Thereafter they should be open until 7pm every day. I would not skip the museums unless you do not enjoy decorative arts and/or folk art.