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NFT: Busch Gardens and things to do in Williamsburg, VA?

NYG27 : 8/9/2018 2:23 pm
Going on vacation with my family and 3 kids (ages between 9 to 14) to Williamsburg, VA and it will be our first trip down there. Anyone have any recommendations for things to do and places to eat?

As listed in the subject, only place we have scheduled is Busch Gardens. Cost of ticket was the same if we either went once or on multiple days. So is this a theme park that warrants a second day? What are the "can't miss rides or attractions" that anyone recommends?

Not sure if we will do Kings Dominion, as that park is mostly roller coasters and my kids aren't into them yet outside of my oldest. Was also thinking about day trips to either visit Colonial Williamsburg and Virginia Beach (about an hours drive).

Any other recommendations, especially looking for good local places to eat over chain restaurants?
A good area  
Burtman : 8/9/2018 2:46 pm : link
Busch Gardens is a lot of fun and more than just roller coasters. They have live shows that are entertaining if you're not into rollercoasters. There's also a water park (Waterpark USA) that's seperate. I believe they offer combo tickets if you want to do both.

Colonial Williamsburg is very good but if your kids aren't history buffs expect a lot of eye rolling after the first couple of hours.

Ignore any route planning device that says it can get from Williamsburg to Virginia Beach in an hour. Traffic along the most direct route is very frequently bad. Add at least another 30 min during popular times. I've had some jams through there that doubled my time and I've only been on it a few times.

If you are a history buff there's the Yorktown battlefield on that same penisula.
Make sure you eat at Food for Thought.  
Brown Recluse : 8/9/2018 3:10 pm : link
Great restaurant.
Did the Williamsburg trip  
Gman11 : 8/9/2018 3:16 pm : link
a long time ago and the thing that I remember the most was that we did it backwards. The first day we went to Busch Gardens. The second we went to Colonial Williamsburg. For one thing after running all over Busch Gardens the kids were tired during the second day. For another, after going on thrilling rides all day watching some guy make a leather belt is not exactly a good follow-up.
Busch Gardens is a great park  
Greg from LI : 8/9/2018 3:17 pm : link
It is beautifully maintained compared to other parks, very clean. The food is pretty good for what is, too, and prices are reasonable. I like the barbeque place in Canada. The Festhaus in Germany is pretty good too, and makes for a nice option on a hot day because it's indoors and air conditioned, unlike most of the eating venues. The animal shows are favorites of our kids (mine are 10 and 8). For coasters, the Loch Ness Monster is a classic, and Griffon is a blast. Escape From Pompeii is a favorite water ride. Their shows are usually good (we opted to take a year off from season passes this year so I don't know what they are right now)

Honestly, unless you are coaster fanatics, I don't see the point of going to Kings Dominion if you're already going to BG. KD has a different vibe - more aimed at teens/young adults while BG is more of a family park. KD does have some great coasters, but overall it's a bit shabby and overpriced compared to BG, and it's a solid hour and a half from Williamsburg.

Can't tell you much about VB, we rarely go there (we're an Outer Banks family). Nauticus in Norfolk is pretty cool though, it's a maritime museum that includes the battleship the USS Wisconsin, and isn't as far as VB.
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also, for food  
Greg from LI : 8/9/2018 3:19 pm : link
New York Deli is near Busch Gardens and has excellent sandwiches. Pizza isn't quite NY level, but for the area it's very good.
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Yorktown and Jamestown are both worth the effort...  
Dunedin81 : 8/9/2018 3:22 pm : link
if you're historically inclined (as is Williamsburg itself, of course). The Transportation Museum on Fort Eustis is pretty interesting, with a lot of bizarre relics of the Army's past.

Also the Skrimp Shack in Newport News is one of my favorite seafood dives anywhere.
RE: Yorktown and Jamestown are both worth the effort...  
Greg from LI : 8/9/2018 3:25 pm : link
In comment 14033554 Dunedin81 said:
Quote:
if you're historically inclined (as is Williamsburg itself, of course). The Transportation Museum on Fort Eustis is pretty interesting, with a lot of bizarre relics of the Army's past.

Also the Skrimp Shack in Newport News is one of my favorite seafood dives anywhere.


Hey man, since I know you're a BBQ guy, next time you're in the Richmond area hit up ZZQ. Fantastic brisket.


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I was bored by Williamsburg  
pjcas18 : 8/9/2018 3:30 pm : link
as a kid appreciated it more as an adult, but felt bad for my kids (and great point made above about the order of Busch Gardens and Williamsburg). We did Busch Gardens second which is the right way to do it. You can easily spend two days in BG - especially if you stay at a hotel with a pool that you can go back to and relax.

the things I liked the best were the evening ghost tour (not sure if it's age appropriate for your kids) and eating at one of the taverns that George Washington supposedly ate at.

I believe it was Christiana Campbell's tavern - probably touristy, but even with the history angle the whole place is touristy. Food was good I thought.

RE: RE: Yorktown and Jamestown are both worth the effort...  
Dunedin81 : 8/9/2018 3:49 pm : link
In comment 14033556 Greg from LI said:
Quote:
In comment 14033554 Dunedin81 said:


Quote:


if you're historically inclined (as is Williamsburg itself, of course). The Transportation Museum on Fort Eustis is pretty interesting, with a lot of bizarre relics of the Army's past.

Also the Skrimp Shack in Newport News is one of my favorite seafood dives anywhere.



Hey man, since I know you're a BBQ guy, next time you're in the Richmond area hit up ZZQ. Fantastic brisket.
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Will give it a shot. Was at Alamo BBQ last week and I usually hit up Buz & Ned's once or twice a year for ribs.
Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown  
Csonka : 8/9/2018 3:54 pm : link
... can be really tough for a kid in August! At least for this boy!

If you do the historical stuff, think short bursts. Don't try to go all day. They'll lose their minds.
RE: RE: Yorktown and Jamestown are both worth the effort...  
RinR : 8/9/2018 4:02 pm : link
In comment 14033556 Greg from LI said:
Quote:
In comment 14033554 Dunedin81 said:



Hey man, since I know you're a BBQ guy, next time you're in the Richmond area hit up ZZQ. Fantastic brisket.
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I'm going to have to try ZZQ also especially since I've never heard of it. My favorite place for brisket is Buz and Neds so I'll see how it stacks up.
Colonial Williamsburg  
RinR : 8/9/2018 4:12 pm : link
As others have said your kids may be bored by it.

We went in August as well and it was borderline oppressively hot which didnt help. My kids, who were a little younger than yours, couldnt wait to get back to Waterpark USA (neither could my wife and I).
Buz n' Ned's reputation is weird  
Greg from LI : 8/9/2018 4:24 pm : link
They got so hyped up for a while that the backlash began and it became cool to dump on them. Me, I think they're generally pretty good, but inconsistent. I've gotten great BBQ there and so-so.

Deep Run Roadhouse is really good, too.
Also, newness is probably why you haven't heard of ZZQ  
Greg from LI : 8/9/2018 4:25 pm : link
They opened maybe 6 months ago, I think? Word of mouth spread quickly though. A friend of mine recommended them to me last month, so I went and was not disappointed. It IS a bit pricy, but excellent.
Check out Boomtown Richmond - radio station run by old friend McKee  
Waldo Jeffers : 8/9/2018 5:02 pm : link
Locally owned, indie. Freaking great.

The signal isn't in the same league as the large corporate wastes of frequencies, so I downloaded their android app. Understand there's an Apple app now too.

My son listens in West Palm Beach. It's that good. You can listen online as well.

BTW, I'm an old Buz & Ned guy but I have to agree about ZZQ Better than Buz & Ned's at their best.


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Fat canary  
Justlurking : 8/9/2018 5:39 pm : link
Downtown was amazing 7 years ago. Havenít been since but imagine itís still good
RE: A good area  
FStubbs : 8/9/2018 9:08 pm : link
In comment 14033526 Burtman said:
Quote:
Busch Gardens is a lot of fun and more than just roller coasters. They have live shows that are entertaining if you're not into rollercoasters. There's also a water park (Waterpark USA) that's seperate. I believe they offer combo tickets if you want to do both.

Colonial Williamsburg is very good but if your kids aren't history buffs expect a lot of eye rolling after the first couple of hours.

Ignore any route planning device that says it can get from Williamsburg to Virginia Beach in an hour. Traffic along the most direct route is very frequently bad. Add at least another 30 min during popular times. I've had some jams through there that doubled my time and I've only been on it a few times.

If you are a history buff there's the Yorktown battlefield on that same penisula.


Jamestown Settlement is also a fun place to visit if you're a history buff.

There's also a big outlet mall on the outskirts of town.
Did anyone mention the water park?  
AnnapolisMike : 8/10/2018 7:24 am : link
It's decent. Two days at BG is what you should plan for. It is a big park and you can break it up between two days easily. Williamsburg will likely bore the kids and is expensive. Do it first like others have said if you decide to go. Jamestown settlement is worth a half day as well
I live 15 minutes  
Rick5 : 8/11/2018 8:19 am : link
from the oceanfront in VB. There is a lot to do, but it depends what you like. The Rudee Rocket is an awesome speedboat cruise. The aquarium is very nice. Motor World is a go kart place that is very cool (pricey though). For the beach itself, I would google the jellyfish situation first. I haven't been to the beach since early July due to all of this rain, but now is the time of year for jellyfish.
Any indoor activites to do, looks like rain pn our first day  
NYG27 : 8/11/2018 2:51 pm : link
then it will clear up the rest of the week. Anyone have any rainy day and indoor activies to do in Williamsburg?
RE: Any indoor activites to do, looks like rain pn our first day  
Rick5 : 8/11/2018 5:17 pm : link
In comment 14036491 NYG27 said:
Quote:
then it will clear up the rest of the week. Anyone have any rainy day and indoor activies to do in Williamsburg?

Great Wolf lodge? I am not sure if you can use the water park without staying there though. I haven't been there in about 8 years.
Virginia Air and Space Center  
Rick5 : 8/11/2018 5:22 pm : link
in Hampton. It will be about a 45 minute drive though. Some of the other stuff like the Yorktown revolutionary war museum (it's great) might be boring for younger kids.
Thanks for the tips  
NYG27 : 8/13/2018 11:43 am : link
Driving to Williamsburg right now.
You have to be a guest at Great Wolf Lodge to go to the water park  
Greg from LI : 8/13/2018 12:01 pm : link
At least, that's the way it was when we took my son there for his birthday.
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