For our family vacation, we headed out East this year. (You can read about our trip here and here.) We went to Williamsburg Virginia and discovered how absolutely beautiful the state of Virginia is. It has mountains on one side, the beach on the other and history all over!
We learned some tricks for taking our family to Williamsburg. So I thought I would share our Williamsburg Virginia Vacation Tips with you. As a family of 6, taking family vacations can be costly, so we try hard to watch our spending, trim our costs and have a great time while doing it!
Williamsburg Virginia Vacation Tips
:: Condo Rental
As in my post about great recipes to make on vacation, a great place to stay would be a condo. It is usually more cost efficient then a hotel, as you can make your own meals in the condo kitchen. You can also spread out a bit so you aren’t crowded together like in a studio hotel room. (2 adults, 4 kids, you get the idea, I’m sure.) We used Tripbound, a vacation rental company. I recommend them. The booking was easy, the staff friendly and the actual resort was clean and beautiful. Oh, and the rates in Williamsburg are a very fair price.
:: Allow Yourself Plenty Of Time
We horribly underestimated every attraction we went to. Really. We went to Jamestown Settlement, Norfolk Naval Museum with the USS Wisconsin and Colonial Williamsburg. We didn’t even make it to Historic Jamestown or did the full tour of Colonial Williamsburg (more on that later). Unfortunately, because of our lack of planning, we didn’t get to see half of Jamestown Settlement. We went at the end of the day (after nap time) and thought that would be enough time. It was not. I recommend planning at least 3-4 hours for Jamestown Settlement. The museums were so great, full of knowledge and hands on activities for the kids.
:: Save $
The important tip, right? I have a few for you. If you have a 4th grader, be sure you look into Every Kid In A Park tickets. Your 4th grader (and their family) will get into National Parks for free or almost free. With this ticket, Historic Jamestown would have only cost my husband and I $10 to get in. The kids would have been free.
Also, be sure to check into your local museum reciprocal program. We bought a pass for $95 at our local museum. That pass will get us into 350+ museums for free (or almost free). It is a great deal as we would have spent $70+ to get into the Norfolk Naval Museum. The pass more than paid for itself with the Naval museum and a visit to our local museum (we just went this weekend!). Be sure to explore every option as you never know how you can save money.
:: Don’t Save $
Yes, really. Okay, fast fact about my husband and myself: we are hopelessly frugal. Some may say too frugal. When we saw the price of six people for tickets to go Colonial Williamburg, we said no way. There was no way we were going to pay that price to walk around!
Ahem. Forgive our lack of knowledge.
We drove past the old town and realized we can walk around it without tickets, we just couldn’t go into the buildings or see the demonstrations, etc… We were fine with that. $163.95 for the six of us to walk into buildings, just didn’t seem like a wise use of our money. I’m here to tell you: Buy the tickets and enjoy the day. Actually, you could probably be there for a few days and enjoy every minute of it. Colonial Williamsburg is large, full of facts, history and entertainment. If we make it to Williamsburg again, we will gladly pay the cost of the tickets.
Did we enjoy ourselves just walking around? Yes, but we could have had a richer experience if we just would have bought the tickets. Oh well, lesson learned.
When we went out to Virginia, we knew the things we wanted to see while we were out there. The history of the first settlers. The battleship Wisconsin. The beach. The mountains. We saw all of those things, but in the process we were rushed and didn’t get to enjoy them to their fullest. I’m glad we saw it all, however, and next time we will know what to dig a little deeper into.
If you go, look into Yorktown, the third city in the historic triangle. You can also go to the Jamestown Ferry which is free to ride. We wanted to go on that (we loved the ferry in Fort Morgan, AL!) but we ran out of time.
Virginia was a family friendly vacation destination. It has something for everyone, with prices this family liked! We would definitely go again.
Tell me, have you been to Williamsburg before? What part did you like the most??