July 21, 2016

10 Reasons Why I Love Williamsburg, Virginia

I want to tell you all something about this sign.

This is a sign that makes me smile just to see it in a picture, and to see it in real life, sends chills down my back. (Good chills, though. Not scary ones.)
     I have experienced Williamsburg three times in my life, and each time my longing to see it again increases. To write something that captures how much I love this place is difficult and intimidating, but also exciting and loads of fun. :) So here are 10 reasons why I love Williamsburg:

1. The Music

Fall Fifes.:

Williamsburg is full of music: there are thrilling fifes and drums in the streets every day, and candlelit concerts of chamber music by night. The sound of this music is unlike any other genre: the fifes and drums are bit like Irish music, but better. And the chamber music is akin to classical, but prettier. That's why colonial music, both lively and lovely, is nearly my favorite genre (next to Bach) My favorite purchases from Williamsburg have been the music books. :)

2. The Fashion

Ladies of Williamsburg:

If you haven't seen already, I love historical fashion. Exploring all sorts of decades is wonderful, but my favorite era is definitely the late 18th century. I could try and give all sorts of reasons why it's the best, but for now let's just say that what the women wear in Williamsburg is lovely and fresh and oh so real. 

3. The Nature/Gardens

The Virginia plants and weather I love isn't necessarily specific to Williamsburg, but it does hold a lot of the nature in one place, and the gardens are exquisite. There are of course the standard crape myrtle and boxwood that I love, but also beautifully laid out gardens with gorgeous plants. (I realize that I'm basically telling you that everything is wonderful, but using slightly different words. I'm sorry. But I shall continue to do the same! :)

4. The Buildings

The Governor's Palace by njpearce via Instagram.:
(Yes, that's a lion and a unicorn guarding the gate there. Impressed yet?)
Again, as in fashion, there are many beautiful eras of architecture, but none so beautiful and pleasing to the eye as Georgian architecture. The symmetry, the shape and decoration are perfect. And when I say buildings, I don't just mean the outside. The interiors, and everything in them, are wonderful! I love how you can look all around you in Williamsburg and be surrounded by 18th century buildings. 

5. The Museums

Inspiration and Ingenuity: American Stoneware  Explore stoneware from the 19th century through to present day and discover how the tradition of decorating utilitarian stoneware evolved into an art form all its own.   Through October 2014:

Ah, museums. I don't quite know how to put this, but museums are just my cup of tea. The objects themselves are amazing (especially textiles!) and the information that comes with them make museums a mecca of learning for me. I loved walking through Williamsburg's large art museum, appreciating how well everything was displayed, and just how beautiful the museum itself was. I want to be that person who arranges, displays and cares for those beautiful pieces of history.

6. The Stores

So I don't know if it seems odd to you that gift shops are on my favorites list for Williamsburg, but the sad reality is that they are very much one of the best things about the place. I'd say that these are not your average museum gift stores, but then again, nothing in Williamsburg is "average". There are at least 4 or 5 stores right in the historic city that sell historic things, which is so cool. There's even one that sells mostly fashions/accessories! And the stores in the visitor's center and museums are not to be scoffed at either. They have, among a plethora of marvelous things, many, many books. :) 

7. The Programs

Colonial Williamsburg's Holiday Musical Performances.:

The programming at Williamsburg is intense. They give you an brochure of everything that's going on in the next three days when you arrive, and it can be difficult to plan what's most important to do! I've been to music, art, and dance programs, and all have become lifelong memories. Getting to dance by candlelight in the Governor's Palace, for instance, was speechlessly amazing.

8. The Animals


The animals aren't my most favorite part of Colonial Williamsburg, but they're definitely cute, and help bring the history alive by making it look like a real, working city. Williamsburg has sheep, cattle/oxen, chickens, and of course many horses in various parts of the city. You can ride in a carriage through the streets, which sounds wonderful, if only you have the money to spend on it!

9. The (Immersive) History

Winter walk down DOG Street:

Colonial Williamsburg is truly a living history museum. It's more than just a tour through the buildings, it's an experience for all the senses. There are colonial people everywhere, and if you can ignore the hundreds of tourists around you, it really is like you've traveled back in time. To add to the immersive nature of the place, Williamsburg not only has their interpreters mill about; instead they reenact the conversations and events that would have occurred around the Revolution. The interpreters talk to you, and involve you in their activities. As you've probably gathered by now, I love everything about this era in history when it comes to clothes, music, food, dance, buildings, and more. But besides the lifestyle, the time of the Revolution is so exciting to learn about, especially when in an immersive experience!

10. The Details

how lovely!:

The buildings you walk through at Williamsburg are not at all sparse or empty! They are filled with all sorts of final touches that really make Williamsburg the immersive experience I mentioned before. If you go to Williamsburg, I hope you have the will to seek out some details on your own. Most tourists stay on the main drag, but be sure to stroll around in the gardens behind buildings. Go all the way back in the Governer's Palace yard; there's a lot there, including a boxwood maze! Programs, tours, and just plain being in Colonial Williamsburg is detailed. It's those details: the doll on the bed or the smell of boxwood that make the best memories. 


    (Excellent post, though. I MUST BE THERE.)

    1. The next time you come to America, you'll have to stay at least a few months, and go up and down the East Coast! (And maybe detour to the Midwest to visit me. :)
      And yes, you must be there! Hopefully someday soon! :D

  2. My goodness I have to get there! It looks exquisite

    1. Hope you get there soon! You have my word; it IS exquisite. :)

  3. Ohh, yes, I've been to colonial Williamsburg once and it is lovely. I ADORE the music, the dresses, the living history, just everything (except the crowds of tourists :). This was a lovely reminder of it. I just love colonial era things. I guess part of why is that things in that era are a mix of English and American. I don't know what it is about it, but it's lovely. This was a lovely post!

    1. Haha, the crowds of tourists can be rather distracting, especially when you're trying to really experience the past! Ooh, you like colonial things too?? I totally understand what you mean by that mix of English and American; both bring beautiful qualities to designs and lifestyles of the time.
      Thank you Rae, I'm glad you liked it!

  4. I loved this post! :-) I left part of my heart in Williamsburg and I can't wait to go back and experience it all again. This made me want to even more. Yes, to everything you said! I especially love the dramas they do in the streets -- once we saw a bunch of soldiers storming the palace green, and Benedict Arnold giving a speech out front of the Capitol, and several people in character recited the Declaration of Independence in the street and it was THE BEST thing ever. I will never forget those moments. ;-)

    One of the programs I read about that I wanted to go to (but we didn't end up doing) was the Cry Witch trials. Did you see that? (It sounded scary. I was intrigued.)

    Someday, when we are responsible adults, we really should plan a trip to Williamsburg together. :-)

    1. Thanks Emma, I thought you might like it. :) Yes, leaving part of your heart is a good way of putting it. I saw that storming the Palace program too! And hearing the Declaration read in Williamsburg sounds amazing. :) Did you ever go in the boxwood maze behind the Governor's Palace, or go in the pillory?
      I haven't been to the Cry Witch program, but I've heard of it, and it does sound intriguing (and a wee bit classier than the ghost tours!)
      Do you mean it? Yes, I'd love to go see Williamsburg with you someday! :)

    2. I haven't been in the maze (I've seen it though) or the pillory. There are a lot of things I still haven't seen, even after two visits, which clearly means I need to go back. ;-) Yes, I mean it! I think we should make it happen!

  5. I have always wanted to visit Williamsburg, Abilgail! My patriotism alone would be enough to give me chills, not to mention all of the beautiful things you've written about.

    Miranda Jo

    1. I truly hope that you get to see Williamsburg soon! It's a great place to remember all that was said and done there to gain our independence.

  6. Oh, you made me want to visit Williamsburg!
    It all sounds so great!

    1. I'm glad I could convince someone! It is great; hope you can go there soon!

  7. I live about twenty minutes from Williamsburg, so we visit there often and I've always loved it! My family are going to take a little mini trip there next week, and reading this post has made me even more excited about it! It's wonderful walking down the streets, feeling as though you've stepped back in time. And of course, the shops are awesome! I didn't know there was one that sold fashions/accessories, so I'll have to look for that one. :D

    1. JEALOUS! ;) I hope you have fun on your next trip! And yes, it feels wonderful to "time travel" for a while. :)

    2. JEALOUS! ;) I hope you have fun on your next trip! And yes, it feels wonderful to "time travel" for a while. :)