The all-encompassing Colonial Williamsburg Web site (www.colonialwilliamsburg.com) is an excellent resource, with online hotel reservations, restaurant menus, kids' activities, and a list of places where adults can take a little break for themselves.
WHEN TO GO
With some Revolutionary event staged every week of the year, there's no bad time to visit Colonial Williamsburg. The custodians encourage you to learn from the past, which means selecting your dates according to your interests, e.g., the Storytelling Festival (mid-September) or Women's History Month (March) or maybe Religion Month (April) or the Garden Symposium (early April). The Virginia weather is generally favorable to the task of walking 18th-century streets. Christmas is as enchanting as you'd expect; Thanksgiving and Fourth of July require booking way in advance. All school vacations are very crowded.
HOW TO GET THERE
The nearest airports are Newport NewsWilliamsburg, 21 miles away (www.nnwairport.com), and Richmond International, 45 miles away (www.flyrichmond.com). A taxiaround $45 from Newport News and up to $90 from Richmondis the best way into town, since you most likely won't need a car during your stay. You can also take Amtrak from Washington, D.C., to the Williamsburg Transportation Center, a few blocks from the Historic Area. The center also has car rentals, a cab stand, and Greyhound bus connections. The Historic Triangle Shuttle also provides transportation from the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center to nearby Jamestown and Yorktown free of charge for ticketed guests (available March 1Oct. 31; www.colonialwilliamsburg.com/visit/planYourVisit/howToGetHere/images/HistoricTriangleShuttleSchedule.pdf).
Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center
1 Visitor Center Drive
Tel: 800 447 8679
Tel: 757 229 1000
Open 8:45 am to 9 pm April and May; 9 am to 5 pm January through March.