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Playing Through A Revolution: Golf in Williamsburg

Historic Williamsburg's Latest Revolution Is Happening on the Links
Brian McCallen
From the Print Edition:
Claudia Schiffer, Jul/Aug 97

(continued from page 3)

Brian McCallen is a senior editor at GOLF Magazine and author of Golf Resorts of the World (Abrams). Tidewater Temptations

The Historic Area of Colonial Williamsburg comprises 173 acres of gardens and landscaped greens as well as nearly 500 reconstructed or restored buildings, populated by costumed interpreters and craftspeople. Everyone from blacksmiths and wigmakers to coopers and milliners ply their trade. It's a very convincing time warp.

Adjacent to the colonial settlement is the College of William and Mary, chartered in 1693 and the second-oldest college in the United States. Thomas Jefferson attended. Classes are still held in the Wren Building, designed by England's most famous architect, Christopher Wren.

Next to Kingsmill is Busch Gardens, a theme park patterned after "The Old Country." Set in eight European-style villages, Busch Gardens is a family-oriented entertainment center with musical revues, live shows, attractions and exhibits. For thrill-seekers, there's a roller coaster called the Loch Ness Monster that hurtles riders through double-looping corkscrews.

On hot days (summers can be sultry in Williamsburg), visitors can shoot the rapids or catch a wave in Surfer's Bay (a giant concrete "ocean") at Water Country USA. Handicappers can drop by Colonial Downs, Virginia's first horsetrack, which was scheduled to open in June.

Shopping? Berkeley Commons Designer Outlet Mall has more than 50 shops, including Brooks Brothers, Coach, Cole-Haan and Nike. Also, Merchants Square in Colonial Williamsburg has many unusual shops specializing in pewter, brass, antiques, and all sorts of colonial esoterica.

For truly atmospheric dining, Colonial Williamsburg's historic taverns re-create supper experiences savored by eighteenth-century patriots. Christiana Campbell's Tavern, patronized by George Washington, features Chesapeake Bay regional seafood dishes. At the King's Arm Tavern, the oyster-stuffed filet mignon and pecan pie are extra special, while the mixed grill of wild boar sausage and quail served at Shields Tavern is the perfect repast for the famished golfer.

Along with the Regency Room at the Williamsburg Inn, the other truly noteworthy dining room in town is called just that--The Dining Room, located at Ford's Colony. Formal and refined, The Dining Room has received the coveted Distinguished Restaurants of North America award, an AAA Five Diamond Award, as well as Wine Spectator's "Best of Award of Excellence" yearly since 1989. (With more than 1,000 selections, the wine cellar is Virginia's best and largest.) The chef's six-course Signature Dishes are the way to go if you've worked up a big appetite on the links--or won the bet for dinner.

Williamsburg is a four-season destination, but spring and fall are the best times of year for golf. Spring brings an explosion of blossoms; autumn has its blaze of color. Easily accessible by car from the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, South and Midwest, Williams-burg is convenient to three airports served by most major carriers.

For additional information about the region plus a 36-page package planner, contact the Williamsburg Area Golf Association at (800) 367-4653 (because of a technical glitch, the recording may answer "Williamsburg Hotel-Motel Association").

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