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Is a Vacation To Colonial Williamsburg Worth The Money

A vacation is a tricky matter when determining if such a cost is worth it or not, especially since you only know after your vacation is finished.

Back when I was younger, I took a trip with my “then” girlfriend to Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia.  My “back then” girlfriend had gone as a child with her family and wanted to recapture the memory, and perhaps learn a few things that she might have missed as a child.  While it sounded pretty boring to me, I went along anyway, and surprisingly had a blast.

We went to Colonial Williamsburg, William and Mary College, hung out at a bar near William and Mary College, and just went everywhere.  By the end of the week, I was so sick of walking.  As a grand finale, on the way home, we stopped and spent a few hours at Monticello (Thomas Jefferson’s house).  While we visited Colonial Williamsburg, we stayed at our first Bed and Breakfast Inn called Candlewick.

The combination of learning, a romantic B&B Inn, and just enjoying each others company, made for a great experience and memory.

So years later, I decided to take the family to Colonial Williamsburg to see if they would enjoy the location like I had…, boy was that a mistake.  The first hour in Colonial Williamsburg, my daughter starts the “I want to go home”, and complains about being tired of walking.  So after hoisting her up on my shoulders, and walking that way for the rest of the day, I ended up getting shin splints.  The next day was shear pain…

But I held my tongue, not wanting to ruin the experience for my wife and son.  Later they said they didn’t enjoy it much either.  So the trip was definitely not worth the cost this particular instance.  While I’m not sure if it was because we just stayed at Colonial Williamsburg this time, it definitely was a waste of money for me.  But kids would have been happier if we just went to a hotel and swimming all day instead.  Usually for spring break we go to water parks (which my kids love).  I wish we went with the easy vacation… the water park.

That said, if you are young and don’t mind walking the entire day, and don’t have young kids…  Colonial Williamsburg (along with visiting other noteworthy historical or recreational sites in the area) can be a great time.  I recommend going to a Bed & Breakfast Inn, and definitely take the candlelight (or ghost) tours.  The time we originally came down, that was a great time.  Monticello was pretty fascinating too, so if you have time you might want to stop and visit that site too.

In conclusion, the trip was a waste of money this particular time.  But if we done things a big differently, it might have been as great as it was in the past.

Lesson learned, next vacation I’ll take into account all of the variables.  This vacation definitely wasn’t worth the money this time, perhaps when the kids are older, and a side trip to Washington DC.


8 Responses to Is a Vacation To Colonial Williamsburg Worth The Money

  1. Interesting! I’d never even considered it a vacation spot but maybe one day when I’m visiting the states I’ll go there.

    I think it depends on who your with, the circumstances your under, and also where you go that makes a vacation worth it or not.

    • I think if you go around a bit and visit the other great historical sites… It would be worth it. My daughter hated it though, way to boring for her, but she’s only 8 🙂

  2. Been to Williamsburg, and enjoyed it very much! The Hubby is a history nut, and we decided to take a weekend trip out there. Our kids are in highschool so we left them at home, but I would not recommend it for real young ones. Monticello was perhaps my favorite stop, such a beautiful property! For you history buffs, it’s a must see.

  3. I don’t think many kids would enjoy a long day of walking to see historical sites. When we were little, my mom took us to one hour educational museums in our area and saved vacations for “fun” spots where we wouldn’t be so whiny. I’ll do the same for my kids, and I’m really excited about having them be old enough to take to an amusement park near Grandma and Grandpa’s.

  4. I find with vacations and trips that it’s almost always the people I’m with that make the trip great or sucky. Of course with kids, that’s a different story, with them it’s more about what they’re doing than who they’re with!

  5. I think what ruined it for your is that your children had a preconceived notion already of what a “fun” vacation contains. A friend at work is a history buff, so it’s the only vacation his kids have ever known and they go all out and learn about the history before they go there. For him, it works fine, but the kids have no perspective of how much funner a water park could be. We’ve done a couple of theme park vacations already but I think we need to mix it up a bit otherwise they won’t want to do anything else once they get a little older.

  6. You’re right, while the Mrs. and I would totally dig Williamsburg, our kids might well not. We’ll put that to the test this summer. The teenage reaction to beautiful historical sites might well be a sullen “hmm..”