Garden in Williamsburg, VA

A Favorite Destination: Williamsburg, Virginia

Phyllis Lifestyle 30 Comments

Many of you know that I am totally consumed with Williamsburg, Virginia, and the historical events that occurred there during the 1700s. When I walk down the streets of Colonial Williamsburg and see the character reenactments, knowing this is far better than it was then, I wonder just how they survived during those times. I love the glamorized version in movies and in plays, but truth be known, it was difficult!

From a woman’s perspective, being dressed in all the layers of clothing in a world without air conditioning is beyond me. But when you don’t know anything different, you are likely accustomed to the heat. In the winter, they could at least build fires to keep warm, but I dare say they were probably freezing during those months. When I stroll through the town, the little fence-lined gardens beckon me to stop. I think about the growing of food in this strange land they were in and how medical care was scarce.

The American Revolution and, ultimately, the signing of the Declaration of Independence took an enormous amount of commitment—a total commitment—from resettled people from England. I can’t even imagine the sacrifices that were made to form this country, our country.

Our country is still the place for me, and Neal and I want to see all of this country we can. There are some charming places undiscovered by us that I hope we find in the future! If anyone has suggestions, I would love to hear from you! Please share some wonderful little cities and towns that you love. What makes the place special to you?

God bless our land and this country. May we always respect each other, love this country, and look for the good in the world around us.

Comments 30

  1. Hi Phyllis,

    I share your love of Williamsburg, would love to return one day! I am a native Michigander and I love this state. I think you would enjoy Mackinaw Island, it holds many wonderful memories. The trick is to stay for a couple of days as when the last of the ferries return to the mainland, the Island becomes mystical, all you hear are the horses hooves! From there I would suggest traveling down the west side visiting Harbor Springs, Petoskey, Charlevoix, Spring Lake, Holland, Saugatuck/Douglas. I know you wouldn’t be disappointed with any of these beautiful locations!

  2. Lewes, Delaware is a small town located where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean, population 3,000 and was established in 1631 by the Dutch. There is much history in our town, an active Historic Society and many restored homes and buildings. Cape Henlopen State Park is the home of Fort Miles, part of the coastal defense during World War II, and home to a growing World War II history museum. The beaches on both the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean are popular vacation spots. There is an authentic colonial herb garden located in one of our city parks, as well as beautiful floral gardens throughout the commercial district that are maintained by Lewes in Bloom, an award winning volunteer organization that has received national recognition. A variety of wonderful restaurants and boutique shops, along with charming Bed & Breakfasts and small hotels provide lodging for visitors.

  3. I want to visit all the homes and libraries of the presidents. This would be an educational trip and could learn a lot more about these great men. Gettysburg is another place to see. See the U.S.A first..

  4. My all time absolute favorite is Carmel, Calif. which is where my Mom told me I was
    conceived on her honeymoon. Hence is why my name is Carmel. I love that quaint town especially when you go you must have tea and scones at the Tuck Box downtown. On one of my
    many mini vacations in the 70’s while there Kim Novak came in with a male friend and sat down, I almost
    fainted she was so beautiful. I wanted to talk to her but did not want to disrupt her
    breakfast. Its a small building and only holds 30 or so people at a time, and is a quint chalet and unforgettable. A must do….And have always enjoyed Clint Eastwood’s Hog Breath Inn Dinner House too. In Those days he was also the Mayor of Carmel and was
    seen often. At the Bing Crosby Pro Am back then would follow Clint and James Gardner and later catch up with my husband joking with Jack Lemon at the Club House….so many great memories and the smell of the ocean breeze…..its all good and I cherish my memories of quaint Carmel.
    Happy 4th of July to you, your family and fellow bloggers!
    California Carmel

  5. Being a native-born Texan, I would recommend the little town of Chapel Hill just outside of Brenham. In April this area has gently rolling hills that are covered with bluebonnets and other wildflowers. Close by is the museum at Washington-on-the Brazos where Texas declared independence from Mexico, just a few days before the fall of the Alamo. Also close by is College Station, where the George H W Bush library is located., and of course the graves of his beloved Barbara and little Robin.

  6. Thanks Nora…I forgot about the stories of haunted rooms there. Good luck with your book…let us know when it’s finished, will definitely buy a copy!

  7. I live in the Ozarks where there are lots of trees, hills, hollers and rocks…those rocks help us to have beautiful, clear streams, creeks, rivers & lakes…so I’ll take the rocks. Branson, Missouri is about 1 1/2 hrs. from the SW corner of Mo. where I live. I’ve chosen Branson because of the beauty of this town in the Ozarks, their family oriented entertainment (many music theaters), their commitment to making our Veterans feel welcome and appreciated (esp. during the week of Veterans Day in Nov.), their preservation of the Ozarkian history, and the freedom to express appreciation for God and Country. Close to Branson is Silver Dollar City…a world famous destination…a wonderful place for families to visit…where there is something for everyone. Kids love the amazing and breathtaking rides and the grownups enjoy the first-class entertainment, history displays & reenactments, the music festivals & so much more. You do not need to fear about encountering something not appropriate for families at Silver Dollar City. My favorite time to go is at Christmas…the magical lights and music makes it a wonderful world. They had their final showing of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ this past Christmas season but their award winning Broadway show…Charles Dickens’ The Spirit of Christmas…continues and is right up there with any Broadway Show in New York City. They, also, honor our Savior’s birth in a very beautiful way and refuse to give in to any pressure to exclude this main theme from their park the whole year round. The park is beautifully clean and so is the atmosphere. The Sight and Sound Theatre in Branson does a phenomenal job in telling Bible Stories. Right now they are doing Samson. I haven’t seen it yet but when they did Noah a few years back, it was just like you were in the Ark with real and real-life animated animals all around you…super class job in honoring and bringing these truths to you in an upfront way as if you were right there when it happened. The College of the Ozarks is a great school & college that honors God and Country, also. They are also known as Hard Work U. The students have to work on campus (on the farm, restaurant, gift shop, hotel, etc.) to pay for their tuition, therefore, when they leave college they know how to work as well as receiving an excellent education…debt free…with no school loans hanging over their heads. This campus has had presidents and dignitaries from all over the world to visit and speak to the young people attending this school. One of my favorites was Margaret Thatcher. These students are taught to honor and respect God and Country and their campus is beautifully clean and what a joy it is to be around young people who are so helpful and respectful. There have been Military Generals who have graduated from this college as well as many others who have served in the military. There is a wonderful military museum in the Keeter Center on campus as well as a beautiful Viet Nam Veterans Memorial outside that was designed by a student and paid for through donations. My husband is a Viet Nam veteran and he was so touched that he has put together a committee and we are in the process of getting a Veterans’ memorial at our local community college. I want to mention that Prayer Mountain of the Ozarks is close to Branson, also. Dr. Billye Brim’s calling is to raise up a Prayer Force like the Air Force to pray for our nation and for Israel and whatever else the Lord gives us to pray for such as recently praying for people who are tempted to commit suicide. Every Wednesday, people gather to pray and many people from all over the world…people from at least 60 nations…live-stream this prayer time. We call ourselves the WWPs…World Wide Prayers. Every October, Billye’s ministry has an Autumn Assembly in Branson and there are usually @ 2500 to 3000 people from all over the world who come to pray and intercede for our nation, other nations and whatever prayer assignments that God sends our way. It is a wonderful, powerful time that I know God uses to operate through to bring His will ‘on earth as it is in heaven’. Every Great Awakening that our nation has had in its history has come about after a great prayer movement. This holds true for other countries, too, such as the Welch Revival in Wales. Well these things that I have mentioned…among many others…is why I recommend Branson, Missouri for a unique, enjoyable and possibly life-changing place to visit. By the way, you never know who you might sit down to breakfast with at one of the many hotels, B & B’s, cabins, etc. It might be someone from around the world who will become a special friend. Y’all are welcome!

    1. Whoops! So sorry for the length of my reply…didn’t realize how long it was until I submitted it. That’s what happens when you get enthused about something. :o)

  8. If you love Williamsburg, you will love Lexington, Massachusetts. THAT is where the Revolutionary War started. I mean the very first shot! I grew up in Lexington and it was the most wonderful place and grow up. Steeped in history everywhere I turned. The walk to elementary school, the walk to the library or church always passing by some historic place, tavern, house or marker. The huge parades on April 19th; the children’s parade that morning after the very moving re-enactment. American flags of many eras,too numerous to count. Many townspeople dressed in period costumes walking through town all day. The hot dog carts, lemonade and popcorn carts, cotton candy, elephant ears, souvenir vendors with their push carts. Wonderful, wonderful memories. What will remain in my memory till death, was the early morn re-enactment of the first battle of the American Revolution; where the first shot heard round the world was fired at Lexington Green. April is cool in Massachusetts. So people gather in their winter jackets or coats and hats on the Green at 6A.M. It is often foggy and misty. After Paul Revere and William Dawes ride by yelling ” The British Are coming! ” we waited , looking down Mass. Ave. in the direction toward Boston. It’s eerily quiet. Eventually you hear the distant drums of the Redcoats. Your heart starts beating a little harder in anticipation. You wait, strain to see. Then you see them marching out of the fog! They march onto the Green where the Minutemen have already gathered; running out from Buckman Tavern. They face each other with only space between. Capt. Parker, leader of the Minutemen yells, “Don’t fire till you see the whites of their eyes!” The British commander yells an order not to fire till he gives the command. Short silence. Then a thundering BANG! A Minuteman falls. The battle ensues. …Every year the re-enactmemt. Sacred. I know you love the South , Phyllis, but you miss so much history and beauty in New England. Go visit ALL the New England states. After Lexington, drive on to Concord, where many great authors lived; Louisa May Alcott, Thoreau, Emerson, Hawthorne. All buried in Sleepy Hollow on author’s ridge. Of course the Revolutionary sites as well. Start in Boston and go the actual route. Tons of history and all in Boston. Many articles waiting in New England to be written for Victoria!

  9. We travel to Clarksville, GA and enjoy all the little communities nearby, Helen, Cleveland, Dahlonga, Ellijay, Blairsville and Clayton to name a few. As we travel from Florida to north GA, we like to stop in Washington, GA a lovely southern community with a square and shops all around and the antebellum homes are beautiful. During Christmas the whole community is lit up, just wonderful. So, do try a trip to GA , if you have not as yet discovered the beauty.
    I love Victoria magazine and have copies since 1989. Thanks for returning it to us.

  10. I so love Williamsburg.. that up until recently, we had yearly passes even though we live in NC. I love every town with a wonderful history…I love Charlottesville, visiting Monticello, quaint towns in Maine to get my fill of New England on the coast…Oh and there is Charleston…and love the small towns in NC such as New Bern…one of my very favorite inns has to be The Charlotte Inn in Martha’s Vineyard…My hubby is a see America first kind of guy…we are checking off the many National Parks from Sea to Shining Sea!
    Happy Independence Day!!!

  11. In North Carolina, the historical coastal towns of Southport, Beaufort, and New Bern are beautiful and interesting to visit.

  12. Another UP NORTH area not to miss is Traverse City, Michigan, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park, and Mackinac Island. Since you love Williamsburg you will also enjoy Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

    Phyllis, I was fortunate to be in Paris right after your Tea Time issue came out about Nina’s Marie Antoinette Tea Room. I went there and thoroughly enjoyed the tea and cake so much so that I bought a tea pot and tea cup. I told them I had heard about them from Tea Time. Thank you so much for my delightful afternoon tea!

  13. Colonial Americans grew medicinal herbs, as well as culinary herbs, and were well trained in concocting formulas for topical ointments and oils to distilled herbal treatments for ingestions for the various illnesses. For centuries, medicinal herbs formed the basis of our modern, non-synthetic drugs. In a recent series of blogs posted on, I described these herbal remedies grown not only in Williamsburg and other Colonial settlements but handed down from European monasteries and ancient Mediterranean and Far Eastern societies.

  14. I am a Canadian but loved Williamsburg and Charleston. Napa snd Carmel in California were also pretty towns. In Canada check out the pretty towns of Stratford and Niagara on the Lake in the province of Ontarioand the city of Victoria in British Columbia on Vancouver Island.

  15. You would have to come “UP NORTH” for this trip.

    My daughter and I took a 5 day trip to an area here in Wisconsin. It is a peninsula called Door County, out of the Green Bay area. It is beautiful, green fields, well maintained old barns and silos, apple orchards and cherry orchards. Not sure how many lighthouses they have or we saw. In one of the bay villages, Sister Bay, they have a restaurant named Al Johnson that has a grass roof and goats on it, having lunch too……….tradition….. We stayed in a lovely resort with magnificent sunsets. I can’t wait to go back in the fall, with all the fall colors we have up here should be magical.

  16. I love the simple. My husband and I drive to SD where he and his brother still own the family farm. The old house is still there, just four rooms but its fun to go and live simply. The drive takes us throught eastern Colorado, through Nebraska and into SD and near the beautiful wide Missouri River.Its an eight hour drive. We take a short cut throught a little town called Arnold, thats in the Sandhills. I remember Charles Kauralt going on a road trip through Arnold. The Sandhills cranes are a sight to see. I try to imagine what the pioneers throught when they came over those Sandhills and saw the green valley below.

    1. My Carpenter family ancestors homesteaded in the sandhills. Thank you for writing about it. I love the US. We don’t have European architecture, culture, etc., but still plenty of interest. Read Peter Stark’s Young Washington and also Astoria. Fascinating history. Mary

  17. One of my favorite places to visit is Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country. I love the area for its natural beauty, for its interesting history, its proximity to San Antonio, Comfort and Boerne and for the National Museum of the Pacific War, the only museum in the continental United States centered on the Pacific Theater in WWII. The Japanese Garden of Peace is part of the museum complex and is a wonderfully quiet, contemplative and beautiful garden. The Admiral Nimitz Hotel is an intriguing experience too.

  18. Santa Fe, NM is a truly enchanting and historical city full of history, beauty and mystery. Having been born and raised there I am particularly fond of the Loretta Chapel where the Miraculous Staircase is found! It is an awe inspiring story of history, faith and the American spirit that persevere!
    The culture is everywhere you look but the history is the very foundation Santa Fe was built on!
    It is an absolute must see destination!

  19. we are fans of our National Parks and have been to many of them. Never a disappointment. WE also have enjoyed visiting a number of Presidential libraries – treasure troves of our history. a favorite place of mine is Hyde Park, NY. You can tour the large and small Roosevelt houses, the stables, and leave with an understanding of that time in the history of US and come to appreciate the love which the Roosevelt’s had for this little town. I am also fascinated by the beauty and history of Charleston, SC.

  20. Speaking of enchanting small towns… Have you ever been to Carmel, California. It’s south of San Francisco, on the coast. Well worth the visit. I enjoy your blog tremendously! Jeannie

  21. My heart ❤️ is always yearning to visit lovely Cape May . We usually plan our trips in early June and mid October .

  22. Phyllis- just finished reading America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray. Based on the life of Thomas Jefferson’s oldest daughter. Much correspondence of the time was used as framework for the book. Think you would enjoy.

    1. I read this also . Learned so much .
      Their next book is “My Dear Hamilton ” . I learned even more !
      Both great historical novels .

  23. I’m a Canadian with many ties to the United States. My paternal grandmother was born in Pittsburgh and I had and still have many relatives residing all over America.
    I have travelled to many parts and have loved them all. I would still love to see the GrandCanyon and Virginia( I was and still am a big fan of the Waltons tv show)
    There are so many unique and wonderful places to visit but I still keep going back, annually, to Cape May, New Jersey . It is truly a magical beach town steeped in a rich history. The old Victorian homes, the carefully refurbished inns and my favourite, Congress Hall, now a beautiful hotel used to be a summer home for at least four presidents. Cape May is also a bird watcher’s paradise,I think second in the world. It has a sunset ceremony honouring the fallen heroes, a jazz festival, theatre, a historic lighthouse and much more. At night, I love to walk through the streets, surrounded by candlelit homes,and listen to the sound of the ocean . Bliss!

    1. And, listen for the “spirits” of those who refuse to leave Cape May! Cape May is the most haunted town in New Jersey, as you probably know, and in addition to all the things you mentioned, it is a delightful place to all who visit. I have been going there for nearly 70 years, my entire life, and I am currently writing and illustrating a children’s book on Cape May as well as a cookie book. Taking me longer than expected, but a good retirement project for me. We will be heading back there again in August, family and grandchildren in tow, and when I finally depart from this earthly life, I plan to become one of the Cape May spirits who refuse to leave!! If she hasn’t been there, I highly suggest this spot for Phyllis and Neal to visit. Thanks for suggesting it!

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