Williamsburg, Virginia

Best Places to Retire in Virginia


The community was named for the King (William III) of England and established as the colonial capital of Virginia in 1699. In 1780 the capital was moved to Richmond. Thomas Jefferson was Williamsburg’s most famous resident.

Historic Jamestown, established in 1607 as the first permanent English settlement, is just seven miles southeast of Williamsburg, and Yorktown, where British General Cornwallis would surrender to George Washington in 1781, is just 13 miles away on the York River. The area has a great many national historical sites and cultural museums.

The attractiveness of Williamsburg and the Hampton Roads area is borne out by the addition of Busch Gardens and Water Country USA theme parks. There is an estimated 10,000 hotel rooms in the area and more than two dozen nearby bed & breakfasts. Williamsburg has a large outlet mall, an antique mall, many specialty shops and gift shops. There are a number of excellent golf courses and a great many dining choices, including dinner theaters. Other recreation opportunities include tennis, boating, fishing, sailing, swimming, and even a trip to the ocean beaches at Virginia Beach.

Williamsburg is the home of “Colonial Williamsburg,” the 300-acre restored capital city of the Virginia Colony, which is located within the community. The 1,200-acre campus of The College of William & Mary is adjacent to the Colonial grounds. The college has an active arts program that offers both live theater and dance performances. It also brings a complete schedule of intercollegiate athletics to the community. There is a very active community theater and the Virginia Symphony has a number of performances in Williamsburg annually.

This very popular tourist destination offers a great many amenities for both visitors and residents, and has become one of the top 10 growth areas in the state of Virginia.  http://www.history.com

Arts & Culture

“Colonial Williamsburg” is a 300-acre living history museum located within the city of Williamsburg. It is a restoration of the 18th century capital city of Britain’s most populous outpost in the New World, complete with streets, squares, common land, homes, inns, and other business establishments of that time. This historic area contains hundreds of reconstructed and authentically furnished buildings where interpreters in period costume reveal the experiences of the diverse people who were a part of this important time when our nation was about to take root. You will see numerous craftsmen at work and children at work and play, and you may encounter a corps of fifes and drummers. There are lovely inns where you can dine, shops, and five excellent museums. There are also special Colonial performances. Some performances are by admission fee only while others are free. http://www.history.org/

The Williamsburg Players presents professional quality community theatre. http://www.williamsburgplayers.org/pages/home.php

William & Mary Theatre – http://www.wm.edu/theatre/currentseason.html

William & Mary Dance Program – http://www.wm.edu/dance/calendar.html

Muscarelle Museum of Art is in Lamberson Hall on the campus of William & Mary. http://www.wm.edu/muscarelle/index.html

The Virginia Symphony Orchestra consists of over 70 professional musicians, and the Virginia Symphony Chorus has over 60 voices. It offers 140 classical, pops, family and educational performances each season. Its venues in the area include Chrysler Hall, Harrison Opera House, and Wilder Center in Norfolk, Williamsburg Winery, St. Bede Catholic Church, Kimball Theatre, Willimamsburg Lodge, and Williamsburg Inn in Williamsburg, Ferguson Center for the Arts in Newport News, and Regent University Performing Arts Center, Virginia Beach. http://www.virginiasymphony.org/

The Mariner’s Museum in Newport News is an excellent museum featuring craft used on the Chesapeake, as well as modern naval vessels. It includes an impressive collection of handcrafted models, including square-riggers and more modern vessels. It also received the recovered remains of the USS Monitor, the Civil War era ironclad vessel. http://www.mariner.org/

Nauticus, The National Maritime Center, is an outstanding museum located on the downtown waterfront in Norfolk (about 45 miles from Williamsburg). This 120,000 square-foot facility traces our naval history beginning in the 1700s and features a number of special exhibits including computer and interactive video programs, and films on giant screens. The museum also includes the opportunity for a self-guided tour of the Battleship Wisconsin, moored adjacent to the museum. http://www.nauticus.org/

Virginia Air & Space Center in Hampton is the visitor center for NASA’s Langley Research Center and Langley Air Force Base. Displays include air and spacecraft, a moon rock, a shuttle landing simulator and interactive exhibits. http://www.vasc.org/

The Andrews Gallery at the College of William & Mary – http://www.wm.edu/andrewsgallery/

Earl Gregg Swem Library at the College of William & Mary has over one million volumes and computer access to many standard databases. http://www.swem.wm.edu/


The College of William & Mary competes in a full schedule of athletics programs for both men and women. It participates in both the Atlantic 10 Conference and the Colonial Athletics Association. http://www.wm.edu/athletics/index.php

Golf courses in the area include:
Ford’s Colony Country Club – www.fordscolony.com
Golden Horseshoe Golf Club – https://www.colonialwilliamsburghotels.com/golf/
Kingsmill Resort – www.kingsmill.com/index2.html
Kiskiack Golf Club – (757) 566-2200, or (800) 989-4728
Tradition Golf Club at Stonehouse – www.traditionalclubs.com
Williamsburg National Golf Club – www.wngc.com

Williamsburg Parks and Recreation Department manages facilities in six parks. They include an outdoor pool, 10 tennis courts (including seven lighted all-weather courts), a 343-acre lake for boating, canoeing and fishing and picnic areas, playgrounds and ball fields. Other facilities include the 35,000 square-foot Quarterpath Recreation Center. Regional cooperation among the Parks & Recreation Departments of Williamsburg, James City Country and York County allows residents to participate in programs offered in all three localities. http://www.williamsburgva.gov/Index.aspx?page=38

Williamsburg is located between the James and York rivers, both of which are large bodies of water, and there are marinas along the lower Chesapeake Bay that are within easy driving distance. All of these waters link to the Intracoastal Waterway, and of course Chesapeake Bay which opens to the Atlantic for offshore sailing or fishing.


The College of William & Mary, chartered in 1693 by King William III and Queen Mary II, is the second oldest college in the U.S. It is an academically competitive school with approximately 5,700 undergraduates and 2,000 graduate students. Its 1,200-acre campus is adjacent to the Colonial Williamsburg village.  http://www.wm.edu/

Senior Programs

The Quarterpath Recreation Center has a “Walkers Club” that is designed for persons who want to exercise, but not in an aerobics program. There is no fee for this program. The city’s Waller Mill Park also has fitness trails, one of which is designated as a the Seniors Walking Course. http://www.ci.williamsburg.va.us/Index.aspx?page=38

Meals on Wheels – http://www.mealcall.org/meals-on-wheels


Sentara Williamsburg Community Hospital is a 139-bed acute care hospital. It offers complete diagnostic and imaging services, cardiac care, pediatrics and orthopedics. http://www.sentrara.com/williamsburg/


Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport is located in Newport News, a 20-minute ride from Williamsburg. It offers commercial service with direct service to major cities on the east coast, including Orlando, Atlanta, New York, and Boston. http://www.nnwairport.com/


Temperature averages for January are a high of 46 degrees and low of 29 degrees. Temperature averages for July are a high of 90 degrees and low of 65 degrees. http://www.wunderground.com/US/VA/Williamsburg.html


Hampton Roads Daily Press – http://www.dailypress.com/
Virginian-Pilot – http://www.hamptonroads.com/pilotonline/

Property Taxes


State Taxes


Chamber of Commerce


State Aging Agency



Jamestown – 7 miles
Yorktown – 13 miles
Hampton – 31 miles
Newport News – 32 miles
Norfolk – 45 miles
Portsmouth – 47 miles
Petersburg – 48 miles
Richmond = 53 miles
Virginia Beach = 59 miles
Washington, DC = 152 miles

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