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Virginia itinerary: Williamsburg blends heritage with retail


From premier outlet shopping to exclusive stores, the greater Williamsburg area is home to a diverse collection of shopping opportunities for groups.

“There’s no doubt you took that fourth-grade school trip to Colonial Williamsburg and stayed a few extra days to enjoy Busch Gardens or Jamestown Settlement,” said Corrina Ferguson, director of destination campaign marketing for the Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance. “But Greater Williamsburg today is as grown-up as you are, a playground for the adult in all of us with many sophisticated activities for adults to enjoy — from fine dining, wineries and breweries to museums, theaters and spas. There’s also no shortage of places to shop, from the Williamsburg Premium Outlets and Yankee Candle Village to one-of-a-kind boutiques.”

The Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance suggests the following two-day itinerary for a shopping-infused weekend. 

Day One 
After breakfast at the group’s accommodations, start the shopping adventure at Williamsburg Premium Outlets, the largest outlet mall in the area. Shoppers can save up to 65 percent at more than 135 designer and name-brand stores, including Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, J. Crew, Nike and Ralph Lauren. Stop in at Auntie Anne’s Soft Pretzels or one of the specialty food shops for lunch. 

Williamsburg Premium Outlets in Williamsburg, VirginiaPhoto: Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance

Williamsburg Premium Outlets, Williamsburg, Va.

After lunch, head to Yankee Candle Village, where more than 400,000 candles in more than 200 famous scents are offered. Some of Virginia’s finest foods and collectibles can be found in the General Store and in Holiday Park, where it is always snowing. Shop the huge selection of ornaments, gifts and decorations. At Wax Works, groups can dip their own candles, wax hands and jar candles. Before departing, enjoy a sweet treat at Yankee Candle Fudge, where the fudge is handmade in the store. Popcornopolis offers the world’s best gourmet popcorn selection.

Continue the shopping adventure at New Town with 43 shops and restaurants. Stroll the complex to find retail favorites like Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Bath & Body Works.

After a full day of shopping, enjoy dinner at a Williamsburg restaurant to relax and talk about all of the treasures that were found.

Day Two 
After breakfast, get an early start in Colonial Williamsburg visiting the 18th-century shops in the Historic Area. The group will find items handmade by the historic tradespeople using period tools and techniques. Head to Merchants Square, an 18th-century-style retail village with more than 40 shops and restaurants. Enjoy lunch at one of the eateries in the area. 

American Revolution Museum at Yorktown in Yorktown, VirginiaPhoto: American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, Yorktown, Va.

After lunch, head to the historic Yorktown by way of the Colonial Parkway. Purchase works by American artists and craftspeople at Auntie M’s American Cottage, On the Hill Gallery and Gallery at York Hall, and browse around in the area’s antique shops. More exclusive goods can be found in the museum stores at the Watermen’s Museum, Yorktown Battlefield Visitor Center and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

Gather at Riverwalk Landing along the riverfront and browse the specialty boutiques, followed by dinner at Riverwalk Restaurant with spectacular views of the York River. 

Greater Williamsburg Chamber & Tourism Alliance


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