After the holiday rush has come and gone, Williamsburg takes on a quieter tone. It’s a great time to get individual attention from building interpreters and visit several trade shops, from harpsichord makers to leather workers and wig makers – you’ll have a more direct and up-close visit with the colonial era artisans during this time of year. Our Williamsburg bed and breakfast is just a short walk to a variety of stores.
The wintertime is also a fantastic time to Fire a Flintlock Musket without the usual big groups of tourists. It’s one of the most popular activities and the most hands-on way to experience what firing an 18th-century musket was like during the Revolutionary War. Choose from time slots four days a week throughout January and February.
William and Mary is more relaxed during the first three weeks of the calendar year. With the student body yet to arrive after the holiday break, stroll through the beautiful campus and enjoy the sunken garden, the picturesque quad outside Swem Library, and the famous Crim Dell bridge.
Colonial Williamsburg leads the world in Black History interpretation year round.
During all of February, Colonial Williamsburg programming focuses on the stories of African Americans and how their fight for emancipation and equality informed a rich shared culture and heritage. Programs like Loquacious Lucy – told from the perspective of an enslaved child learning about the horrors of slavery while also summoning inner resolve – bring Black stories to life powerfully and movingly. She Had on When She Went Away, another unique program, tells the tale of Black women through their artistic expression in 18th-century fashion. The art museums also offer free tours every Tuesday at 11 am throughout February, showcasing the collections’ wide range of work by Black artists.
Presidential history in Williamsburg is broad and fascinating – Thomas Jefferson attended William and Mary, George Washington dined at local taverns and attended Bruton Parish church, and James Madison helped to shape the American Revolution while a resident of our city. During Presidents’ Day weekend, which runs from 2/18 through 2/20 this year, each day features a “conversation” with Jefferson, Washington, and Madison at 11:30 am on the Governor’s Palace stage at Colonial Williamsburg. In costume and true to their characters, you’ll hear them speak candidly about their respective experiences of becoming the first president, signing the declaration of independence, governing Virginia during the Revolutionary War, and developing the framework of our governing system.
Last year, Williamsburg was square in the antique world spotlight when the much-loved PBS show, Antiques Roadshow, brought its program to Colonial Williamsburg. Their experts appraised the rare art pieces of various contestants, all in the fitting background of the art museums of the historic area. That spirit of artistic treasure-finding is available year-round at the Williamsburg Antique Mall, where over 300 dealers set up booths with everything from hand-carved furniture and one-of-a-kind jewelry to civil war artifacts and sports memorabilia. Spend a winter afternoon getting out of the cold and exploring the aisles of antiques – you’re sure to find something with a story to tell that grabs your attention.
The winter months are the ideal time to indulge your inner foodie in Williamsburg, as restaurant reservations at local culinary hot spots are easier to come by. Grab a table without a wait at Fat Canary, always packed during the rest of the year, and delight your taste buds with their lobster linguini or braised short ribs. Enjoy the romantic French brasserie ambiance at Blue Talon Bistro – their famous clam chowder, savory meatloaf, and cocktails made with local whiskey are sure to warm you up on a chilly winter evening. Best of all, these award-winning restaurants are right around the block from our historic bed and breakfast.
Walk off your meal by taking one of many local guided tours, which range from the spooky to the historical, and will likely be more intimate with smaller groups at this time of year– see our walking tours guide to find the perfect outing. Experience our B&B in Williamsburg and explore the historic Downtown Williamsburg!