• psst … I’m a Realtor! Thanks for stopping by my website. I would love to help you find your dream home and community in the Hampton Roads or Williamsburg area or to sell your existing home. This website is authored by local resident and REALTOR, John Womeldorf. John is known around town as Mr. Williamsburg, for both his extensive knowledge of Hampton Roads and the historic triangle, and his expertise in the local real estate market. His websites, WilliamsburgsRealEstate.com and Mr Williamsburg.com were created as a resource for folks who are exploring a move to Williamsburg, VA , Hampton Roads VA and the surrounding areas of the Virginia Peninsula. On his website you can search homes for sale , foreclosures, 55+ active adult communities, condos and town homes , land and commercial property for sale in Williamsburg, Yorktown, New Kent, Poquoson, and Gloucester, VA as well as surrounding markets of Carrolton, Chesapeake,Gloucester, Hampton, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth Mathews, Newport News Norfolk, Poquoson, Smithfield, , Suffolk, Surry, Va Beach, Yorktown and York County Virginia You can reach John by email John@MrWilliamsburg.com or phone @ 757-254-813

Williamsburg, VA Voted #1 Family Destination Spot

trip advisor #1 Williamsburg VAVirginia came away a winner as TripAdvisor  announced the winners of their inaugural 2011 Travelers’ Choice®   family destinations. Williamsburg , VA ranked #1 and VA Beach came in at the #2 spot. in U.S. destinations

The destinations were identified based on the greatest number of recommendations from reviewers who traveled with their family.  The beauty of these awards, is the winners are chosen by the people, based on millions of real and unbiased reviews and opinions from travelers all around the world.

Check out the top 10 list below and let us know what you think !

1. Williamsburg, Va. Top hotel pick: Williamsburg Inn
2. Virginia Beach, Va. Top hotel pick: Springhill Suites Virginia Beach Oceanfront
3. Lake George, NY: Top hotel pick: Blue Lagoon Resort
4. Pigeon Forge, Tenn.: Top hotel pick: Inn at Christmas Place
5. Branson, Mo.: Top hotel pick: Best Western Music Capital Inn
6. Gatlinburg, Tenn. Top hotel pick: Deer Ridge Mountain Resort
7. Corpus Christi, Texas. Top hotel pick: Staybridge Suites Corpus Christi
8. Port Aransas, Texas. No hotel met TripAdvisor’s criteria for top pick.
9. Daytona Beach, Fla.: Top hotel pick: Hampton Inn Daytona Shores
10. Destin, Fla. Top hotel pick: Candlewood Suites Destin-Miramar Beach


Veterans Day in the Historic Triangle and Hampton Roads Va

Veterans_Day Williamsburg, VA This year’s Veterans Day ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11, at the Williamsburg Community Building on N. Boundary Street. The event offers those participating a special time to honor all military veterans, living and deceased, and is sponsored by the Greater Williamsburg Combined Veterans Organizations.
Read about other Veterans Day events in Williamsburg, Hampton Roads and Richmond VA

Continue reading

Visit Green Springs Plantation Open House

A rare opportunity to explore this treasured historic site that’s normally closed to the public. Built as a home for Governor Sir William Berkeley in 1645, Green Spring is located three miles from Jamestown, near Williamsburg, Virginia. This historical site, is significant in its potential for learning about the complex roots of what we know today as the United States of America.

green springs plantation


Join Governor Sir William Berkeley, Lady Frances Berkeley, and the Friends of Green Spring for an Open House at Historic Green Spring Plantation. Discover why Green Spring is rightly called “the bridge between Jamestown and Williamsburg.”

green spring plantation

Guided tours, period exhibits, music, and dance. Refreshments served.

Saturday, October 24, 2009 between 11:00 a.m.. & 2:00 p.m.

There is no parking on the site. Please park at Jamestown High School. Transportation will be provided to and from the site.

Free and open to the public.

For more information call               757-229-7317         757-229-7317

gs2 October 20: “Historic Green Spring in the 21st Century”
The relevance of Green Spring today is discussed by Professor Warren M. Billings, Karen Rehm of the National Park Service, and Friends Co-President Julie Leverenz.

All lectures: 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m
Williamsburg Library Theatre, 515 Scotland Street, Williamsburg, Virginia

If you share our vision of Historic Green Spring’s future, please donate.


Watch the video "The Voices of Green Spring


Read more about Green Springs Plantation here

Breaking News Busch Gardens has been sold !

Earlier todaybuschgardensBlackstone Capital Partners V L.P., an investor fund advised by The Blackstone Group, announced that it had reached agreement with Anheuser-Busch InBev to purchase the company’s entertainment park division, Busch Entertainment Corporation (BEC) for $2.7 billion.
The Busch Entertainment Corporation is the second largest entertainment park operator in the United States with approximately 25 million annual visitors. BEC operates 10 Worlds of Discovery – SeaWorld Orlando, SeaWorld San Diego, SeaWorld San Antonio, Busch Gardens Tampa, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Discovery Cove, Aquatica, Sesame Place, Adventure Island and Water Country USA .

Click for A photo tour of Busch Gardens Williamsburg VA

Carlos Brito, Chief Executive Officer of Anheuser-Busch InBev, said: "Busch Entertainment Corporation is a high performing asset with a world-class  management team, but not a core business for Anheuser-Busch InBev. We are pleased to have reached an agreement with a buyer who understands the industry and has a strategic vision for the business."

Buschgardensva Joseph Baratta, senior managing director of Blackstone Group, said "We have deep sector experience and look forward to working with the excellent Busch Enterainment management team to continue to invest in and grow the company.”
Added Michael Chae, another senior managing director at Blackstone: "We are delighted to be investing in a company with such iconic brands, irreplaceable assets and strong growth prospects."
Closing of the sale is subject to regulatory clearance.

Busch Entertainment Corporation President  Jim Atchison indicated that the parks would be operating "business as usual." Atchison and the entire management team has been retained to run the new company, which will continue to go by the name Busch Entertainment Corp. (though he said that they might start using the alternate name "Worlds of Discovery" more going forward).

The Sesame Workshop and Anheuser-Busch brands are among those that will remain in the parks, he said. Busch beer brands will continue to be poured at the parks, and the Busch Gardens name will remain on the parks in Tampa, Fla. and Williamsburg, Va., as they were sold to Blackstone as part of the deal.

cydesdale at Busch GArden One of the more notable changes  will be that the iconic Clydesdale horses will be moved from the parks, and instead go on tour to promote their A-B brands. The  "Here’s to the Heroes" promotion offering free admission to military personnel will continue in the BEC parks for 2010.

No new rides or attractions were announced although it was confirmed that there are numerous  concepts and ideas that are in various stages of development.

Busch Gardens was opened in James City County in 1975. Water Country USA in upper York County was acquired in 1992.
Both York and James City county officials have described the parks as good community partners.
"Clearly they have a significant impact on the county," said York County Administrator James O. McReynolds.
Water Country employs about 700 part-time workers and is considered one of the top employers in the county, McReynolds said. Last fiscal year, the county received $202,000 in real estate and business personal property taxes, including the water park property and land adjacent to Busch Gardens used for parking.
In James City County, Busch Entertainment is second only to the Anheuser-Busch brewery as the county’s top property taxpayers. In the last two fiscal years, the theme park brought in $1.62 million and $1.63 million in property taxes.
The long-rumored sale had also caused angst among local government and tourism officials over whether the buyer would invest in the community as has Anheuser-Busch. The company contributed $2.25 million to the Jamestown 2007 event. It is also a major contributor to the region’s joint marketing program.

Colonial Williamsburg Fourth of July 2009

colonial williamsburg fourth o fjuly Colonial Williamsburg’s Fourth of July Activities celebrate the founding of a nation.

The Declaration of Independence, drafted by Virginian Thomas Jefferson, was adopted July 4th, 1776. Celebrate the nation’s birthday with Fifes and Drums, militia parades, and Colonial Williamsburg’s famous Historic Area fireworks. Colonial Williamsburg offers programs throughout the day that honor the birth of our nation.

At 10 a.m. on Market Square, A Salute to the States offers a salute to the original 13 colonies with a Fifes and Drums performance and cannon fire.

At 12:30 p.m., the Declaration of Independence is read to citizens of Williamsburg at the Capitol building.

At 8:15 p.m., Music for the Fireworks features a concert of patriotic music with Colonial Williamsburg’s Fifes and Drums prior to the fireworks. Fireworks begin at 9:15 p.m.

colonial williamsburg fourth of july Guests are encouraged to bring a blanket or a lawn chair, and park at the Visitor Center and take Colonial Williamsburg’s buses to the Historic Area. No ticket is required to enjoy these programs.

Find out more information here

Where to watch local fireworks in Williamsburg and Yorktown VA:

■ Next to the 1770 Courthouse in Colonial Williamsburg. Listen to the Fifes & Drums perform tunes dedicated to each of the 13 original colonies, then sit back as the rockets are launched from the Publick Hospital.

■ Aboard a boat on the York River. The reflection of the fireworks against the water is magnificent.

■ Thomas Ebert of Gloucester recommends the view from The Duke of York Motel in Yorktown. “Viewing from the fourthfloor pool area was exquisite,” he wrote in an e-mail to York County.

■ Atop the bridge on Page Street or Capitol Landing. It’s possible to see the fireworks from Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens simultaneously.

■ The Yorktown Fourth of July Celebration Committee recommends viewing from the Victory Monument. Fireworks are launched from the beach picnic area directly below the monument.

■ Parking in Yorktown is difficult. Arrive early enough to score a spot in the parking deck at Riverwalk. From there, it’s a short left down Water Street to the Colonial Parkway or Route 17.

■ For those trying to watch the Busch Gardens fireworks for free, don’t try to park on the flyover from Interstate 64. Police will move you along.

■ For a quick getaway, watch the Colonial Williamsburg fireworks from the parking lot at the Bruton Heights Education Center. The view has diminished since the launch site was moved away from the Governor’s Palace, but the benefit is a 5-minute ride to get to Bypass Road as opposed to 25.

■ Avoid parking at Matthew Whaley Elementary or the parking deck next to the Williamsburg Community Building. While a short walk to watch the fireworks, getting out can take up to an hour.

Visit Colonial Williamsburg, VA

aerialcapitol3Well, I guess we are bound to get a lot of visitors coming to Williamsburg VA for 36 hour trips now that the New York Times has posted a Williamsburg, VA travel story.

I was just looking at my Twitter account ( Twitter/ MrWilliamsburg) and it seems that hundreds if not thousands of people are reposting the story.


Here is the story:

ONCE the preserve of eighth-grade field trips and history re-enactors, Williamsburg, Va., with its restored Colonial District, has become in recent years a much more rounded — and upscale — experience. Local chefs raised on both grits and Asian ginger have adapted traditional Southern cooking and native ingredients to create more exotic combinations. Virginia wineries, once scorned, produce high-quality vintages, while the central district of Williamsburg is known not only for stark Colonial homes but also for a lavish spa and upscale folk-art shops. Of course, if you want to see a staging of Patrick Henry’s “Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death!” speech, or stick your head in the stocks, that’s still an option

Read the rest of the story on Colonial Williamsburg here

By the way. There are many fine restaurants to choose from besides the Fat Canary. Contrary to what the NYT article indicates.

Make sure you take in a performance of “Revolutionary City if you visit. Somehow the writer missed this entirely.

If you lived here instead of paying $34.95 for  a one day pass to Colonial Williamsburg, you could purchase an annual " Good Neighbor Pass" to CW for $10. Kids under 17 get an annual Good Neighbor Pass for FREE ! Read about it here: https://williamsburgsrealestate.com/2008/11/29/good-neighbor-pass-colonial-williamsburg-resident-discount/

Another benefit of living here for our kids at least is Busch Gardens. If you are a resident of Virginia instead of paying $59.95 for a one day pass you can buy a Fun Pass that gets you in all season.  Or you can take out a second mortgage on your house and buy one year passes to both Water Country and Busch Gardens. I was only kidding about the second mortgage , we all know those aren’t available anymore so you just sign up for the monthly payment plan to purchase your BG passes.


Air Force Week at Langley Air Force Base

Hampton Roads selected to host Air Force week in 200airforceweek9

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. Hampton Roads, VA is one of three locations selected to host a week-long series of community events called Air Force Week. Air Force Week Hampton Roads will be held April 18-26 and will culminate with Langley Air Force base’s annual open house, AirPower Over Hampton Roads.

Air Force Weeks were established by the Air Force Chief of Staff in 2006 and were designed to build new relationships in metropolitan areas to expose as many people as possible to the Air Force and the Airmen serving in the joint military environment everyday in defense of our nation’s freedom.

The week will include Air Force-themed events held throughout the local area, flight demonstrations and displays to give people an in-depth look at the Air Force mission and the Airmen who make it possible.

The other two sites selected for Air Force Week are Salt Lake City, Utah, June 1-7 and Sacramento, Ca., Sept. 14-20.

Air Force Week is an extraordinary opportunity to meet the dedicated men and women in your United States Air Force. Come hear their compelling stories of service in support of the Joint Global War on Terror–both in the United States and overseas.
The week offers a multitude of activities that appeal to children and adults. Events include performances from our awarding-winning bands and drill team, exciting displays, earth-shaking flyovers, and remarkable hands-on experiences with our unique equipment.
Air Force Week is also a chance for us to thank you, the people of the communities in which we work and live. Come interact with members of the Air Force at various community events and listen to speeches from local dignitaries and Air Force leaders.
Every Air Force Week culminates in an air show featuring the world-famous Air Force Thunderbirds and other amazing demonstrations. This one-of-a-kind event only happens once a year, so don’t miss out!  Click on the following links to see why!

Please click on a event below to be directed to a listing of events for that day.
Saturday, April 18
~ Meet America’s Air Force (Opening Ceremony)
Sunday-Thursday, April 19-23 ~ Air Force Exposition

Monday, April 20 ~ Honoring America’s Veterans

Tuesday, April 21 ~ Citizen Airmen – Always There for America

Wednesday, April 22 ~ Joint Air Power Defending Freedom

Thursday, April 23 ~ The Future of Air, Space, & Cyber Power

Friday-Sunday, April 24-26 ~ AirPower Over Hampton Roads

Busch Gardens Williamsburg Opening Sesame Street April 3, 2009

Park to Open March 28, New Attraction Opens April 3

 forestoffunbuschgardens It’s the kind of news that children and parents everywhere will love to hear–Sesame Street Forest of Fun at Busch Gardens will open April 3.

Sesame Street Forest of Fun will open in two phases.

When the park opens Saturday, March 28, families can dine with Elmo and mingle with the cast of characters over breakfast or lunch at a Sesame Street-themed indoor dining facility. They also can watch all of their favorite Sesame Street characters in a 4-D movie at the Globe Theatre called "Sesame Street presents Lights, Camera, Imagination!" Then on Friday, April 3, Busch Gardens will open Sesame Street Forest of Fun for the season starting with a special two-week preview. Guests can visit Elmo and his friends and explore Busch Gardens’ newest attraction, situated in the England section of Busch Gardens.

Sesame Street Forest of Fun features four new rides offering kid-sized versions of popular attractions, including a junior roller coaster designed for parents and children to ride together.  The Forest of Fun will also feature wet and dry play areas, a photo studio where families can capture images of their children with "Sesame Street" characters and stage performances by the children’s television show’s creatures.

Generations of children have grown up on the acclaimed and hugely popular "Sesame Street" educational television series, which melds education with entertainment.

As workers and machinery bustled about the 1.5-acre construction site, the  the emerging Forest of Fun was shown to parents, reporters, amusement park enthusiasts and local officials yesterday. Officials  would say only that building the Sesame Street area in the England section of Busch Gardens will cost "millions of dollars."

"We believe Sesame Street Forest of Fun will be a hit for our park and boost tourism in this region when families are looking for vacations that are worth their hard-earned money," said John Reilly, Busch Gardens’ general manager and executive vice president, in a statement.

Read more about Sesame Street coming to Busch Gardens , Williamsburg here

WordPress Tags: Busch,Gardens,Williamsburg,Sesame,Street,virginia

Williamsburg VA-Restaurant Week Jan 25-Feb 1,2009

Williamsburg VA Restaurant Week featuring some of the best  in town Sun, Jan 25, 2009 until Sun, Feb 1, 2009

The Williamsburg Area Restaurant Association presents the 3rd Annual Williamsburg Restaurant Week. Celebrate the New Year and off season by dining at a selection of more than twenty restaurants offering dining at a fraction of the price. Two-course prix fixe lunch menus are $10.09 and three-course prix fixe dinner menus are $20.09 or $30.09. Tax, alcohol and gratuity not included. Reservations suggested for dinner.

More information visit: http://www.williamsburgarearestaurants.com

Enjoy Williamsburg’s finest dining at a fraction of the price…
Select from two course prix fixe lunch menus for $10.09
and three course prix fixe dinner menus for $20.09 or $30.09

Here is a list of participating restaurants in the Williamsburg VA Area

    415 Grill at the Williamsburg Hospitality House * L/D $20.09
    Backfin Seafood Restaurant * D $20.09
    Berret’s Seafood Restaurant * L/D $20.09
    Black Angus Grille * D $20.09
    Blue Talon Bistro * L/D $20.09
    Buon Amici * L/D $20.09
    Capitol Pancake House * L
    Cities Grille * D $20.09
    Dudley’s Farmhouse Grille * L/D $30.09
    Gaberial Archer Tavern * L/D $20.09
       (at the Williamsburg Winery)
    Giuseppe’s Italian Café * L/D $20.09
    LeYaca * D $30.09
    The Magnolia Dining Room * L/D $20.09
       (at Colonial Heritage)
    Opus 9 Steakhouse * L/D $30.09
    Outback Steakhouse * D $20.09
    Riverwalk Restaurant * L/D $20.09
    Shackleford’s II Restaurant & Raw Bar * D $20.09
    Spectator’s Family Sports Pub * L/D $20.09
    The Trellis * D $30.09
    *Beverage*Alcohol*Tax*Gratuity not included
    *Reservations suggested
    *May not be combined with any other promotions or discounts.

Explore the menu’s here



Best of Williamsburg VA 2008

This annual poll in the VA Gazette is eagerly anticipated by all in the area. Do realize there are others that should appear. It is based on votes submitted by readers.

By Cortney Langley VA Gazette Dec 2008 “If you drive through Toano and smell fried chicken, it’s peanuts cooking,” explained Terri Morgan. She’s director of Retail Sales for Smithfield Specialty Foods Group, owner of The Peanut Shop of Williamsburg.

The kitchen in Hankins Industrial Park cooks about 2 million pounds of nuts annually for mail orders and the shop on Prince George Street. Gazette readers recognized The Peanut Shop as carrying the best nuts in town.

“It’s nice,” she said. “In a tough economic environment, it’s rewarding to get the vote from the readers and the sales during Christmas,” she said.
To earn the best, the shop begins with the best. The kitchen cooks only the meaty Virginia Peanut, grown in North and South Carolina. No puny “runner” peanuts here. The crop is then hand-sorted for the “supers,” the largest 5% of the year’s yield, Morgan said.
Small batches of these are cooked according to a traditional recipe in pure boiling peanut oil under the supervision of the plant’s roastmaster.
That’s the key, Morgan said. Other plants dilute peanut oil with other types, she said. “We think our have a stronger, more distinct peanut flavor.” They also maintain the trademark blisters that mark the Southern favorite.
As a result, where other retailers are struggling, The Peanut Shop has held steady this holiday season. Usually, The Peanut Shop brand makes up about 65% of holiday sales in the store, but it’s up this year to 75%.
“That tells us how strong the brand is,” Morgan said. Even with shipping, they also make affordable gifts.
“For less than $20, it’s a great item that you know Dad’s going to love,” she said. And in case Dad diverts from the usual “lightly salted” variety, The Peanut Shop offers a bevy of flavors, including wasabi, hot Southern, crab and spicy New Orleans cajun.
For those with a sweet tooth, the shop sells chocolate-covered, butter toffee, honey roasted and new this year, praline-glazed peanuts. And of course, peanut brittle, chocolate-covered brittle, clusters and white chocolate cashew toffee.

With a menu like that, the shop has endeared itself to generations of loyal locals as well as tourists.
Long-time residents remember when Louise Anderson, then in her 50s, opened the small shop in 1973, cooking half-sized tins of peanuts on site and selling them out of the back door of Ayers Garage. Within a year, she had to hire her first employee.
In 1986 she retired, selling the shop to Peter Pruden and Dick Fuller, who also owned Smithfield Ham & Products and Williamsburg Foods. At the time, Smithfield Foods was trying to buy up anything with the Smithfield name. Fuller and Pruden sold to the pork giant in 2001. “Most people don’t know that,” Morgan said.
In December 2006, a fire next door in Baskin-Robbins severely damaged the original store. After an extensive remodel, the shop re-opened in February 2007.
Meanwhile, the store had diversified. For more than five years, the shop had witnessed double-digit growth. That fueled the opening of the Genuine Smithfield Ham Shoppe of Williamsburg across the street.
Second to loyalty among long-time customers, Morgan credits the proximity to Colonial Williamsburg and the energy on Prince George Street for the store’s success.
“I’m so glad we’re on Prince George Street,” she said. “It’s a really healthy business environment. We have great neighbors. They are really kind and aggressive business people.” Whitley’s Peanuts placed second and Virginia Peanuts third in reader results.

Winners 2008 Best in Williamsburg

Best Men’s fashion
1. Belk
2. L.L. Bean
3. JCPenney
Best Peanuts
1. The Peanut Shop
2. Whitley’s Peanut Factory
3. Virginia Peanuts
Best Heating/AC
1.Weather Crafters
2. Williamsburg Heating & Air
3. Betty’s Plumbing
Best Japanese/sushi
1. Kyoto of Williamsburg
2. Peking
3. Soya Williamsburg
Best Crab cakes
1. The Backfin
2. Bonefish Grill
3. Opus 9 Steakhouse
Best Restaurant (opened in 2008)
1. Francesco’s
2.Wok n’ Roll
3. Scala Pizzaria
Tastiest pizza in Williamsburg
1. Buon Amici
2. New York Deli
3. Chanello’s
Best Ice cream
1. Bruster’s
2. Cold Stone Creamery
3. Ben & Jerry’s
Best Picture framer
1. Prince George Art&Frame
2. Williamsburg Pottery
3.Walls Alive
Hometown hero
1. Active military
2. Lois Hornsby
3. Veterans

Best Car dealer
1. Williamsburg Ford (tie)
1. Williamsburg Honda (tie)
2. Patriot Buick
3. Casey Toyota
Best Florist
1. Morrison
2. Williamsburg Floral & Gifts
3. Seasons of Williamsburg
Best Furniture store
1. Ethan Allen
2. Carolina Furniture
3. Willamsburg Furniture
Best Travel agency
1. AAA Travel
2. Travel Corner
3. Sue Mayberry Travel
Temp service
1. Protemps
2. A Temp
3. Caliper
Best Home improvement store
1. Lowe’s
2. Home Depot
3. Ace Hardware
Best Italian restaurant
1. Sal’s by Victor
2. Buon Amici
3. Maurizio’s
Best Locally owned gift shop
1. The Mole Hole
2. Paisley
3. Kinks, Quirks & Caffeine
Best Supermarket in Williamsburg
1. Ukrop’s
2. Farm Fresh
3. Fresh Market
Best Shopping center/mall
1. Prime Outlets
2. New Town
3. Monticello Marketplace
Best Veterinarian Williamsburg
1. Godspeed Animal Care
2. Colonial Veterinary Clinic
3. Noah’s Ark Vet Hospital

Top-Ranking U.S. Digital Cities Named for 2008 VA has 10 Winners !

2008 Digital Cities Winners Announced!

Top-Ranking U.S. Digital Cities Named for 2008
e.Republic’s Center for Digital Government and Digital Communities magazine released results of the eighth annual survey which examines how cities use technology to create a seamless environment between local government and constituents.

“This year’s winners reflect that even with budgetary challenges, cities are placing a high value on citizen engagement and improved services,” said Cathilea Robinett, executive director for the Center for Digital Government. “Cities are incorporating newer technologies such as Webcasting, podcasts and blogs while continuing to use IT to enhance delivery options for citizens and businesses.”

The survey is open to all U.S. cities with a population of 30,000 or more and respondent cities are classified into four size-based categories.

The first-place winners in each of the four population categories are:
• Aurora, Colo. (250,000 or more population)
• Lincoln, Neb. (125,000 – 249,999 population)
• Roanoke, Va. (75,000 – 124,999 population)
• Lynchburg, Va. (30,000 – 74,999 population)

This year’s survey was underwritten by Alcatel-Lucent, AT&T, Blackberry, and Hyland Software, developers of OnBase. All companies are proud partners of city governments across America.

Winners will be honored at a special awards ceremony in Orlando, Fla.

Following are the top 10 cities for each population category.

Congratulations, Digital Cities Top Ten!

Center for Digital Government’s 2008 Digital Cities Survey winners in VA are :

250,000 or more population category:
2nd City of Virginia Beach, Va.

125,000-249,999 population category:
4th City of Alexandria, Va.
5th City of Norfolk, Va.
7th City of Hampton, Va. (tie)
8th City of Richmond, Va. (tie)
9th City of Chesapeake, Va. (tie)

75,000 – 124,999 population category:
1st City of Roanoke, Va.
30,000 – 74,999 population category:
1st City of Lynchburg, Va.
4th Town of Blacksburg, Va.
5th City of Charlottesville, Va.

Best of Williamsburg 2008

Best of Williamsburg 2008 Continued

By Steve Vaughan VA Gazette—In two decades, Prime Outlets have become part of the local culture. Lining up in the wee hours of Black Friday morning is as much a part of some residents’ holiday traditions as the Grand Illumination and the Christmas Parade. It’s not just locals who queue up. “As far as Black Friday, that’s really a regional thing,” said Kathie Strauss, marketing manager for Prime Outlets. “We have people who come from Northern Virginia and North Carolina for that.” But being part of the local lifestyle, as reflected by Prime’s selection by Gazette readers as the best local place to shop, is important. “That’s great,” Strauss said, when informed of the selection. “We’re thrilled and, of course, we’re very grateful for the support we get from the community.” Strauss said selection and prices are Prime Outlet’s big advantages. “People ask me what an outlet mall is like and I always tell them it’s like a big department store turned inside out. The departments are each huge and the prices are always discounted.” Prime outlets has 120 stores, mostly focused on clothing and accessories. It expanded south this year to overtake Ewell Hall Shopping Center and a motel, which it reconfigured for additional parking. The Williamsburg area location allows it to attract shoppers from Norfolk and Richmond. Strauss said the wide variety of stores in Prime Outlets, combined with top name brands that shoppers are looking for contributes to the center’s success. “And with outlet pricing,” she said. Prime Outlets beat out New Town and Monticello Marketplace as Gazette readers’ favorite place to shop

Men’s fashion
1. Belk
2. L.L. Bean
3. JCPenney
1. The Peanut Shop
2. Whitley’s Peanut Factory
3. Virginia Peanuts
1.Weather Crafters
2. Williamsburg Heating & Air
3. Betty’s Plumbing
1. Kyoto of Williamsburg
2. Peking
3. Soya Williamsburg
Crab cakes
1. The Backfin
2. Bonefish Grill
3. Opus 9 Steakhouse
Restaurant (opened in 2008)
1. Francesco’s
2.Wok n’ Roll
3. Scala Pizzaria
Tastiest pizza
1. Buon Amici
2. New York Deli
3. Chanello’s
Ice cream
1. Bruster’s
2. Cold Stone Creamery
3. Ben & Jerry’s
Picture framer
1. Prince George Art&Frame
2. Williamsburg Pottery
3.Walls Alive
Hometown hero
1. Active military
2. Lois Hornsby
3. Veterans
Shopping center/mall
1. Prime Outlets
2. New Town
3. Monticello Marketplace
1. Godspeed Animal Care
2. Colonial Veterinary Clinic
3. Noah’s Ark Vet Hospital
Landscape business
1. Cookes Landscaping
2. Virginia Grounds
3. Grass Roots of Virginia
Local politician
1. Tommy Norment
2. Jeanne Zeidler
3. Philip Forgit
Worst stoplight wait
1. Jamestown Rd/Rt. 199
2. Monticello/Ironbound
3. Route 199/Route 5
Best annual event
1. An Occasion For The Arts
2. Grand Illumination
3. First Night
Best principal
1. Andy Jacobs (Matoka)
2. Sister Mary Jeanne Osterle
3. Kim Hammond (Bruton)
Mexican restaurant
1. Tequila Rose
2. South of Border
3. La Tolteca
1. RightWay Remodeling
2.Wayne Harbin
3. Charles Ross Homes (tie)
3. Ryan Homes (tie)
Coffee shop
1. Aromas
2. Starbucks
3. Harbour Coffee
1. Sport Clips
2. Caroline’s Hair Shop
3. Salon 109
Concert of the year
1. Slapwater at Matoaka
2. U.S. Air Force Band
3. Chamber Music Society
1. Ukrop’s
2. Farm Fresh
3. Fresh Market
Locally owned gift shop
1. The Mole Hole
2. Paisley
3. Kinks, Quirks & Caffeine

Its official Busch Gardens Williamsburg is opening for Christmas Season 2009

John Womeldorf is Mr. Williamsburg, sharing his thoughts, real estate expertise, and “all things Williamsburg” in an effort to spread the word that Williamsburg, Virginia is the greatest place on earth to live!

busch gardens williamsburgBusch Gardens Europe in Williamsburg VA has invited the media to the park for a special announcement today. Most are speculating that they will announce that the park will open for Christmas as the Busch Gardens in Tampa does. No clue yet if they will attempt to do it this year or 2009.  Seems very late to attempt an opening in 2008 but who knows.

The website Theme Park Insider reported Tuesday that Busch will make a major announcement on Thursday, and speculating that the news is “probably the long rumored Christmas festival.” Busch has invited media to the park for an announcement it says will show the park “in a whole new light.”

In any case look for the Christmas operating season to be announced. I’ve heard that they plan major decorations of the park and some rides will be open (including Griffon) but not all

My guess is some type of Christmas Light show and Christmas Festival as well as an opportunity to purchase a  season pass that is valid for a year/2 years. I would assume the Christmas festival will last during the month of December until after Christmas thru Jan 1. The season passes could be bought as gifts for Christmas. 

Whoops, Busch Gardens slipped. Listed under the Job Responsibilities for the Theatrical Services Operations Supervisor on Busch’s talent search site was the following bullet:

installs/strikes, HOS and Christmas Events.

  http://www.talentsearchbgw.com/theatricalservicesopsup.html  They have since edited the site….

Will update as soon as I know any further. Although the whole world will know for sure after the announcement !

So here’s the update:  

From the official press release:

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (Dec. 4, 2008) – Officials today announced plans for an all-new holiday event coming to the Virginia theme park in 2009. “Christmas Town: A Busch Gardens Celebration” will create the anticipation of the season and fill visitors’ senses with all things Christmas. The park will transform into a winter wonderland filled with holiday traditions, new surprises and park favorites that make everyone say, “Now this is Christmas.”


For the first time in the park’s 34 year history, visitors will experience all-new attractions, shows and shopping that will fill them with holiday spirit. Guests can look forward to an immersive experience amid more than a million twinkling lights while they explore the best holiday traditions from around the world. Santa Claus will visit the park each evening to hear Christmas wishes from the young and young at heart.


“We’ll kick off a season-long celebration for family and friends to gather for Christmas fun,” said John Reilly, Busch Gardens’ general manager and executive vice president. “Featuring live entertainment, great food and unique shopping experiences all under the glow of a million Christmas lights, Christmas Town will add a unique holiday tradition to Virginia.”


Christmas Town opens at Busch Gardens on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 4 – 9 p.m. beginning Nov. 27, 2009. The park will open each evening Dec. 18-27, 2009, excluding Christmas Day. Some sections of the park will remain closed for the season. Some rides and attractions are weather dependent.



Christmas Town admission tickets will be available for $19.95 beginning January 2009. Guests with active one-year and two-year Busch Gardens’ passes save 50 percent on Christmas Town tickets as well as free parking and in-park discounts.



 PLANNED EXPERIENCES at Busch Gardens Williamsburg Christmas Town

 Each section of the park will be themed in Christmas décor native to each country or hamlet, and will feature all new attractions, shows and shopping that will immerse guests into the Christmas season. Think of it as a European Christmas with an American flair. Christmas Town will feature:(weather dependent) , Corkscrew Hill and Curse of DarKastle

Special holiday-themed dining opportunities

Unique shopping experiences

Evening Santa Claus visits

Children’s shows

Strolling carolers

Tree-lighting ceremonies

Select rides, including *Griffon 


General admission price for non-pass holders: $19.95

Platinum, 2-Park and 1-Park Pass member prices: $9:95 + free parking and in-park savings on food and merchandise

Tickets go on sale in January and can be purchased at the gate or online at 



Open evenings 4-9 p.m.



 This informational update provided by Mr Williamsburg.com/ John Womeldorf . A local Realtor assisting home buyers and sellers in the Hampton Roads and Williamsburg areas of Virginia.

Contact me at John@MrWilliamsburg.com

Research the area at www.WilliamsburgsRealEstate.com

Or ask any questions about homes, neighborhoods, schools, amenities, recreation , shopping or anything else about the area.

Search Homes for Sale

Click here to search all homes, town homes, condos and building lots for sale in Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth,Franklin, Sussex, Southhampton, Emporia, Greenville, Mathews, Suffolk, Surry, Smithfield, Newport News, Hampton , Poquoson, Gloucester or York County Virginia 

Colonial Williamsburg VA Christmas Homes Tour

49th Annual Christmas Homes Tour

Saturday, December 6th, 2008, 10 AM to 6 PM
(Note:  Stable closes at 4 PM)


Bring along your family and friends to the annual Christmas Homes Tour presented by the Green Spring Garden Club in Colonial Williamsburg. Walk along the cobblestone roads, lined with lampposts and greenery. Doors to private residences are opened and the general public is allowed to leisurely stroll through homes in and around the Historical area. 


This Saturday December 6th. 2008 you can tour three private residences in the Historic Area plus two of Colonial Williamsburg’s most significant venues – the Colonial Williamsburg Stable and the historic St. George Tucker House which serves as Colonial Williamsburg’s donor reception center.  The private homes include the Coke-Garrett House, residence of Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s President and his wife; Peter Hay’s Shop; and the Timson House. Each of the houses and the Stable will be decorated with holiday floral arrangements.  The Colonial Williamsburg Stable will display the two carriages which carried Queen Elizabeth while visiting Colonial Williamsburg for the 350th and 400th Anniversary of Jamestown in 1957 and 2007.   Animals from Colonial Williamsburg Rare Breeds program will also be in the Stable for visitors to enjoy.


Cost: Tickets $25 ($7 to tour a single house) which includes use of the shuttle bus from the Visitor Center and around the Historic Area. Parking is available at the Visitor Center. 

Tickets will be available at the Visitor Center and the Williamsburg Lodge on Friday, Dec. 5 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 6 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  Tickets also will be available during tour hours on Saturday at the Stable and at each house on the tour.

All net proceeds will be allocated to ongoing and new philanthropies to include scholarships and horticultural beautification. For more information call (757) 565 – 9517.


Christmas is a season of wonder and joy – of whimsical decorations, caroling and frost covered windows. Share this special time with your family and friends in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia! Everywhere you look, find intricate decorations and holiday cheer set amidst historical flare. You will fall in love with Colonial Williamsburg at Christmas time.

Find miles of fresh pines strung around lampposts lining the cobblestone lanes, see the soft glow of candlelight in the storefronts, and witness the joy upon the faces of children as they stare in disbelief at the extravagant décor. While waiting in line to purchase your favorite Christmas dessert at the local bakery, enjoy the decadent smells of freshly baked apple pies and strudels. Celebrate the most cherished holiday of all in the most beautiful of settings – Williamsburg, Virginia!

Dating back to 1936, nicknamed the first “official” Christmas in Williamsburg, people have been coming to this magical town to celebrate the wonder of the season. Nothing quite compares to the sights, smells and sounds that one experiences. The Christmas season begins with the Grand Illumination – an elaborate display of fireworks outlining the sky over the Governor’s Palace in Williamsburg. Witness the spectacular event of glowing candles, fireworks and holiday music – enlighten your holiday spirit while having an unforgettable time with family and friends.

Sights, Smells…and Sounds! Christmas in Williamsburg means more than just enjoying delicious foods, splendid decorating techniques and frothy delights – it is also about music to the ears! Enjoy 18th century music and lore at the local taverns located throughout Colonial Williamsburg. While staying at your Williamsburg bed and breakfast, hotel or quaint inn, come celebrate Christmas with an evening filled with traditional tavern entertainment. Enjoy your home away from home with your family and friends this holiday season.

Fill your heart with cheer this Christmas! Williamsburg is home to the Community Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony held annually in Market Square. Gather your loved ones, bundle up and grab a steaming cup of hot cocoa, and watch as the great spruce illuminates joy on the surrounding faces. The time is here – It’s Christmas in Williamsburg! Rejoice and relive history in this stunning, historical area of Virginia.  Find out more about Colonial Williamsburg VA at www.History.org

 This informational update provided by Mr Williamsburg.com/ John Womeldorf . A local Realtor keeping you aware of events and happenings in the Williamsburg and Hampton Roads VA areas.

Contact me at John@MrWilliamsburg.com

Research the area at www.WilliamsburgsRealEstate.com

Or ask any questions about homes, neighborhoods, schools, amenities, recreation , shopping or anything else about the area.

Search Homes for Sale

Click here to search all homes, town homes, condos and building lots for sale in Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth,Franklin, Sussex, Southhampton, Emporia, Greenville, Mathews, Suffolk, Surry, Smithfield, Newport News, Hampton , Poquoson, Gloucester or York County Virginia 



Busch Gardens Williamsburg VA Video Tours


If you are thinking of visiting Busch Gardens in  Williamsburg VA and want to get a feel for the park take a look at this video by David Olsen. It will help you appreciate how beautiful the park is. This was shot in 2006.

Here is another one that will give you a close up of the new Griffon Roller Coaster.


The path from royal subjects to citizens of a self-governing
nation is a difficult and precarious journey, as Revolutionary City® so effectively dramatizes.
Modern audiences are enthralled by daily performances and provoked to explore their own roles
as 21st-century citizens. The issues surrounding the American Revolution present timeless
parallels for today’s citizen: royal subjects voice outrage as the government takes away their
rights. Families are torn apart by war. Businesses are accused of wartime profiteering. Enemy
combatants—imprisoned for years without formal charges—are suspected of war crimes. These
challenges and more are explored during the highly successful and compelling interactive
dramatic presentation, Revolutionary City in Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area.

Begun in 2006, Revolutionary City has been enthusiastically received by Colonial
Williamsburg guests. “This was the best history lesson I’ve ever had—I was part of it, I was a
first-hand witness,” said a summer guest. “It made history so real and enabled you to see
similarities to issues that exist today,” said another. “I felt I was ‘eyewitness’ to our nation’s
history and I understood the impact on ordinary and not-so-ordinary citizens.”
As a two-day event, Revolutionary City connects guests to the emotional and
philosophical climates of the period by presenting the stories of Williamsburg residents from
1774 to 1781 in two alternating two-hour outdoor dramas that take place in their original
“The Collapse of Royal Government: 1774–1776” chronicles developments from May
– 2 -1774 to May 1776 as Great Britain’s King George III and Parliament attempt to tighten control of their unruly colonies in North America but only succeed in offending them further and driving the colonies to rebellion. The Collapse of Royal Government is presented from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

“Citizens At War: 1776–1781” details the trials, tribulations and sacrifices that citizens
endured during the American Revolution from July 1776 to October 1781 as they transformed
their society from one of royal subjects to citizens of an independent Virginia. Citizens At War is
presented from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

In 2008, the Revolutionary City experience is even more entwined with other Historic
Area programming. Revolutionary Stories provides context to scenes in Revolutionary City and
encourages guests to explore other sites in the Historic Area—the Governor’s Palace, the George
Wythe House and the Peyton Randolph House, for example—to expand and enrich their
experience and understanding of Williamsburg’s role as Virginia’s capital city in tumultuous
“Many of the challenges we face today are paralleled in the lives of colonial
Americans—families were torn by war, parents and children argued about what’s right and
wrong and political debates were a daily occurrence,” said Rex Ellis, Colonial Williamsburg’s
vice president of the Historic Area. “By presenting our ancestors’ personal struggles for freedom,
we hope guests will reflect on the liberties we’ve been granted and develop newfound respect for
the benefits of citizenship as well as the responsibility to actively participate in the democratic
Guests are encouraged to follow the lives of the famous and not-so-famous, including the
frustrations of Barbry Hoy as she tries to learn the fate of her husband, Alexander, captured by
the British at Charleston, or Eve, a slave of the Randolphs, or Baptist preacher Gowan Pamphlet
who finds hope for freedom in biblical passages for himself and his fellow enslaved Africans.
“Revolutionary City: Nation Builders,” is presented on Mondays. The weekly program
will explore the lives and individual residents of Williamsburg and their contributions to the
18th-century foundations of the nation.

All Revolutionary City programs activities take place in Colonial Williamsburg’s
Historic Area, where the adventure continues as guests explore the restored and reconstructed
18th-century gardens, trade shops, homes, and public buildings. Admission to Revolutionary
City programs is included with the Colonial Williamsburg general admission ticket.