Places to Go and Things to Do in Williamsburg

View Williamsburg's top spots for locals and tourists.

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BEST PLACES TO SHOP

The Williamsburg area is full of shopping possibilities, including the popular Premium Outlets on Richmond Road that features stores such as L.L. Bean, Coach, Bass, J.Crew, Gymboree, Harry & David, Dooney & Bourke and Crocs. Down the road is the Williamsburg Outlet Mall, which includes Lee/Wrangler, Black & Decker and Pepperidge Farm outlets. Then there’s the 200-acre Williamsburg Pottery -- 32 buildings that include a salt glaze pottery as well as custom framing, flower arrangements, cement garden ware, a lamp workshop, and Christmas items.

Merchants Square, an 18th-century style retail village near Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area and the College of William and Mary, is another shopping destination. Retailers such as Binns, Chico’s and Williams Sonoma are mixed in with specialty shops that sell toys, Scottish goods, cheese, Williamsburg crafts, peanuts and candy. New Town, a mixed-use development in James City County, offers another option for shopping with stores such as White House Black Market, Ann Taylor Loft and Hi-Ho Silver, a local jewelry chain.

BEST THINGS TO DO WITH THE KIDS

Busch Gardens
One Busch Gardens Blvd.
800-343-7946

In the spring and summer, ride roller coasters and get soaked on the log flume and Roman Rapids ride. In the fall, get spooked at Howl-o-Scream. In the winter, marvel at the sparking lights and festive fun of Christmas Town. Busch Gardens has something for every season, for every person, for every age. For the kids, there’s Sesame Street Forest of Fun and the magical fantasy rides in Land of the Dragons. There’s Irish dancing, musical acts, summer concerts, animals (wolves, Bald Eagles, Clydesdales), fireworks and more. Virginia residents are eligible for Fun Cards, where you can pay for a day and come back all spring, summer, or fall. A nearly 240-foot drop tower -- which will be the highest ride at the park -- is planned for spring 2011.

Water Country USA
176 Water Country Pkwy.
800-343-7946

Music from the 50s and 60s pipes through the popular water park off Route 199 in York County. There are water slides for the daring, a lazy 1,500-feet-long river best enjoyed while wearing the park’s flotation jackets, multiple children’s areas (Cowabunga, anyone?) and a huge wave pool. A new attraction called Vanish Point is set to open in the spring 2011 -- it features a 75-foot high skybox where the floor drops out, or a 300-foot speed slide.

Great Wolf Lodge
559 E. Rochambeau Dr.
757-229-9700 or 800-551-9653

For some water fun during cold weather, head for an overnight’s stay at Great Wolf Lodge -- one of 12 indoor waterparks across the country. The always-84-degrees park includes a water park as well as a spa for adults and children, an arcade, a fitness center, and an interactive MagiQuest game played in the hallways. Every night at 8 p.m., children can wear their pajamas for story time under the lobby clock tower. All rooms include microwave and refrigerators, so bring your own snacks, drinks and breakfast to save on having to purchase food inside the park.

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