One of the best field trips I remember taking in school was to Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown, VA. It was an incredible adventure, so much history and beauty that it will always be in my memory. Colonial Williamsburg was like stepping out of a time machine into the first days of settlement.
We go to Williamsburg once or twice a year, mainly to spend a day at Bush Gardens. I had no idea there was so much more to do in Greater Williamsburg, then I found out there is a ton of exciting events happening in fall. If you’re planning a trip to Williamsburg or trying to decide where to go in Virginia, you won’t be disappointed with the Greater Williamsburg area. Here are some things to do this fall.
What to Do in Williamsburg, VA During Fall
Sample the Bounty of the Season
- Raise a glass to toast the end of summer at Busch Gardens Bier Fest, with craft beers from around the world, traditional German food and live music. Every Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 9-17.
- More than 40 vendors will bring meats, produce, mushrooms, flowers, artisan chocolate, cheese, honey, baked goods, peanuts and handmade soaps to the Williamsburg Farmers Market. Attendees will also enjoy live music, exhibits by master gardeners and cooking demonstrations. Sept. 16, 8:00 am – noon.
- The Williamsburg Tasting Trail welcomes a new craft brewery and tasting room, with the Billsburg Brewery opening this fall at the James City County Marina, 2054 Jamestown Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23185.
- A favorite event, Yorktown Market Days at Riverwalk Landing features more than 35 local farmers, producers, vendors, and artists. Enjoy delicious food, exciting live music and entertainment, beautiful and inspiring artwork, and a view beyond compare, with the added bonus of watching local chefs demonstrate the preparation of various dishes on select Saturdays. Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. until noon, with extended hours until 3:00 p.m. on Oct. 14, Nov. 11 and 18, and Dec. 9 (no market on Oct 7.
An Autumn Art “Sea”n
- Great concerts, a wine festival, a book festival, and captivating art everywhere from downtown Williamsburg to Jamestown and Yorktown are the centerpieces of the Williamsburg Fall Arts month-long celebration. September – October.
- Enjoy an adaptation of Shakespeare’s historical drama “The Tempest,” which will be performed aboard Jamestown Settlement’s re-creations of the Susan Constant and in the colonial fort. Sept. 14, 15, 16, 21, 22 and 23, 7:00 p.m.
- Spend a weekend perusing art during the Art Escape Weekend, featuring the region’s 30-plus art galleries along with restaurants, regional breweries, distilleries and wineries, with live music, food trucks, artisan beer tastings, and more. Sept. 8-10, 10:00 am – 8:00 pm, Williamsburg-area art galleries and Williamsburg Tasting Trail partners.
- Discover “The Secret Life of Objects” at the Third Annual Mariners’ Gallery Crawl at the Mariners’ Museum and Park. Sip, savor, and explore unexpected discoveries, experience many rare artifacts up-close, and enjoy delicious bites and spirited beverages. Sept. 16.
- Participate in hands-on educational activities and a variety of outdoor fun for the whole family at the James RiverFest, including a scavenger hunt, dozens of vendors offering handmade arts and crafts and food, boat rides, kayaking, bike tours, live music and more. Sept. 30.
- Listen to music from the turn of the century – the 21st century! – at Jamestown Jams featuring The Lone Rangers, with the Williamsburg Winery on hand pouring fine wines and vendors selling food and snacks. Oct. 6.
- The juried art show of the year, An Occasion for the Arts, brings together artists from around the country with performers on two stages and a variety of food vendors for a full weekend. Duke of Gloucester Street with dozens of vendors is the focus, but the celebration extends throughout downtown. Oct. 6-8.
- Celebrate the 236th anniversary of Gen. George Washington’s victory over the British at the Yorktown Battlefield, the last major conflict of the Revolutionary War, during the Yorktown Victory Celebration. Enjoy ceremonies, demonstrations, and parades in Historic Yorktown and the Yorktown Battlefield. Oct. 14-15.
Thrills and Chills
- On Sundays, join cycling enthusiasts from The Williamsburg Winery Cycling Club on a 25- or 40-mile group ride through the Historic Triangle along with wine and brunch specials at the Gabriel Archer Tavern (participants receive a 15% discount at the Tavern following the ride). Ride registration begins at 8:30 a.m., no fee to participate. Running enthusiasts can join The Williamsburg Winery Run Club on Thursdays on a 5k run, jog or walk through the vineyards at Wessex Hundred, followed by food and drink specials at the winery. Registration begins at 5:30 pm, no fee to participate.
- Fill fall nights with fright at Busch Gardens Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream, when the theme park becomes home to a host of creepy creatures that lie in wait for unsuspecting victims. Fear abounds in the park’s collection of haunted houses, Terror-tories™ and darkly entertaining live shows. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, Sept. 22-Oct. 29.
- Enjoy Thanksgiving dinner guilt-free after burning calories during the Big Turkey Burn 5k Turkey Trot and Children’s Run in New Town. Enjoy events, a raffle of gourmet food and wine items, delicious post-race refreshments, and more. Nov. 23.
- Colonial Williamsburg is featuring “Haunting on DoG Street” 2017 to Feature Premiere of New Family Ghost Walk, Programs and Trick-or-Treating Two-week festival of frights and fun culminates in trick-or-treating courtesy of Mars Wrigley Confectionery and the terrifying “Mad Revenge of King George III”.
- Family Frights At Jamestown Settlement – A Halloween-theme museum night for elementary-school-age children and families returns October 20-21 to Jamestown Settlement with trick-or-treating, ghostly tales, haunted houses and ships, and grisly games. The event runs 6:30 to 9 p.m. each night.
Deals, Discounts and Packages
- Historic Powhatan Resort is running a promotion that includes a two-night stay with a $25 Dining Voucher to The Historic Powhatan Bar & Grille for travel through Dec. 31. Rates starting at $99/night.
- Wyndham Garden Busch Gardens Area has a “Busch Gardens Getaway” (through Oct. 29) that includes two nights lodging at Wyndham Garden Hotel, one of the closest hotels to the park. Rates start at $109.99/night plus taxes, double occupancy, and include two tickets to Busch Gardens (additional tickets can be added while booking).
- DoubleTree by Hilton Williamsburg: Start your morning off right. Recharge with daily breakfast and Premium Internet access when you book the Breakfast & Wi-Fi package. Packages starting at $62 per person per night.
- Best Western Historic Area has two deals: “Stay 2 Nights Get the 3rd 50% Off”, Aug. 27 through March 29, 2018, and Colonial Williamsburg Getaway including two multi-day Colonial Williamsburg Passes (good for three consecutive days) and a $50 Colonial Williamsburg Gift Card that can be used toward dining in a Colonial Tavern or a Carriage Ride through the Historic Area. Packages start at $99.99 per night and are valid Sept. 4 through March 31, 2018.
- Williamsburg KOA Campground is featuring Half-Price Thursdays for Halloween Weekends: Receive half off each Thursday night when booking for the weekend. Offer valid for Oct. 5 to 8, 12 to 15, 19 to 22, and 26 to 29. Three-night minimum required, reservation must include Thursday night. Guests will also enjoy a Camping Cabin and Deluxe Cabin Special: All autumn long save $25 on any Deluxe Cabin reservation or $10 on any Camping Cabin reservation. Enjoy all the comforts of home in a Deluxe Cabin or “rough it” while still enjoying a comfortable bed and heating in Camping Cabins. Offer valid Sept. 5 to Nov. 30. Two-night minimum required.
For more fall fun ideas and inspiration, visit www.visitwilliamsburg.com.