Known as the "historic triangle," Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown contain treasures found nowhere else. Although all three celebrate and educate about the history of the United States, each has a unique story and way of exploring the past.
Site of the first permanent English settlement in North America, Jamestown today is a historical site located within Colonial National Historical Park and provides numerous ways to learn about the past. There are no permanent residents in Jamestown, although during the day it is bustling with colorful colonial characters and tourists from all over the world. The two main Jamestown attractions are both centered around the town's rich history. Jamestown Settlement is a recreation of an English fort, a Native American village, and the ships used to sail to the New World. Also at Jamestown is Historic Jamestown , the actual site of the original colony featuring archaeological digs and glass blowing.
Made up of the old and the new, the city of Williamsburg is divided into four main parts: colonial diversions, New Town , the College of William and Mary and commercial attractions.
Williamsburg is best known for its colonial charm. Colonial Williamsburg is one of the city's main points of interest and features an 18th century town complete with actors to create one of the largest living history museums in the world. Visitors can interact with the townspeople to become a part of history. Colonial Williamsburg also has numerous restaurants and taverns serving up olden day fare adding to the complete experience.
New Town is less touristy than the rest of the city. Filled with conveniences, New Town is a great place for shopping, dining, catching a movie, or making a home. Regal New Town Cinemas 12 is located here as are some of the more international dining options. Many services for residents, such as banks, fitness centers, and real estate agencies are also located in New Town.
A large part of Williamsburg belongs to the College of William and Mary located just south of New Town and to the west of downtown Williamsburg. Keeping the town young, the university is a first rate institute full of cultural offerings.
Beyond colonial happenings and suburban offerings, Williamsburg also has a plethora of unique attractions drawing both locals and tourists just outside the city center. Amusement park Busch Gardens and Water Country USA , a water park, are located in Williamsburg for wholesome family fun. Nearby are also shopping outlet centers Williamsburg Outlet Mall and Williamsburg Prime Outlets , as well as Williamsburg Pottery which has objects from all over the world.
A tiny town with less than 300 inhabitants, Yorktown is primarily known for the part it played in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Historic Yorktown contains buildings dating back to the colonial era, as well as quaint shops, cafes and restaurants. See Yorktown Battlefield where General Cornwallis surrendered to General Washington and or Yorktown National Cemetery where hundreds of Civil War soldiers are buried.
Dining and Drinking
Much as one would expect from a place where so many important American events have taken place, much of the food found in Williamsburg and its environs can be classified as American. Yet just as the town has welcomed all kinds of immigrants to its shores, there is also a wealth of international cuisine. Its proximity to Chesapeake Bay ensures plenty of fresh seafood, and most restaurants take advantage of this luxury.
As the most populous town in the historic triangle, Williamsburg also has the greatest number and variety of restaurants and bars. Colonial Williamsburg offers the chance to dine like the colonists with a variety of restaurants with an olden day theme. For an authentic experience, try Shield's Tavern where visits from costumed Williamsburg citizens are the norm. Christiana Campbell's Tavern is also located in the historic district, but Christiana's specializes in seafood with the air of an authentic 18th century tavern. Meanwhile Josiah Chowning's Tavern is known for its entertainment including games and songs from days gone by.
Start the day off right with a short stack at Capitol Pancake & Waffle House and choose any number of delicious toppings for both pancakes and waffles. For a local flavor, try Second Street Restaurant opened by two brothers from the Williamsburg area serving up creative American fare. The New York Times considers Fat Canary to be the Williamsburg's best restaurant and it has a porch for warm days. For good Chinese food, get the buffet at Grand Shanghai which also features a Mongolian grill. Or try something more European and get some pizza from Giuseppe's Italian Cafe .
Art Cafe 26 provides timeless art to gaze at while eating, and A Chef's Kitchen gives you the chance to create your own gourmet meal, and then eat it!
For a good drink, head over to Green Leafe Cafe . Voted one of the ten best bars in the United States by USA Today, the wide selection of beers and spirits caters to both students from the nearby College of William and Mary . Corner Pocket often has good blues and always has a great atmosphere for drinking. Open late, the Library Tavern is popular with college students and anyone else looking to relax on a night out.
A small and quaint town, Yorktown nevertheless still has some excellent cuisine. A local favorite is Yorktown Pub with a great location and delicious food. If you are in the mood for some great carrot cake, check out the Carrot Tree , located in the historic Cole Diggs House. Also serving up fresh and homemade meals, the Carrot Tree has quality food and atmosphere. Taking fresh to a whole new level, Sakura Yorktown offers a wide variety of sushi and cooked seafood. Right next to Colonial Yorktown and overlooking the York River is the Riverwalk Dining Room , a great place to relax and enjoy fine cuisine.