There are many ways to enjoy retirement in Williamsburg, VA. But, it can be difficult to know where to start.
As a financial advisor, I have a unique perspective because so many of our clients are nearing retirement or are currently retired in the Williamsburg area. They often share stories about their activities and their quality of life.
Many people don't know that seniors are flocking to Virginia to retire—and Williamsburg is one of their top choices for a retirement community. The city’s low cost of living, friendly tax climate, and high quality of life are top reasons to make it your new home.
Once you’re settled in, check out these great ways to enjoy retirement in Williamsburg, VA. You'll find plenty of activities for active adults.
Go museum hopping
There’s a place for every museum-lover in the Williamsburg area. The Muscarelle Museum of Art at the College of William and Mary holds an impressive permanent collection. The artwork dates back to over 300 years and exhibits fascinating collections of American artists. The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum has historic artifacts and folk art collections; it also holds an ongoing lecture series.
Want more folk art? The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum has colonial and contemporary art and crafts exhibits. For something completely different, visit the Watermen’s Museum on the Yorktown riverfront and learn about the lives of these iconic tradesmen.
Work on your golf game
Golf is a popular way to enjoy retirement in Williamsburg, VA; there are more than a dozen championship golf courses in the region. Try the Pete Dye-designed River Course at Kingsmill Resort, which has hosted multiple PGA events over the years. Combine a bit of history with your golf on the Jamestown Course at Williamsburg National Golf Club. You can check out the historic Jamestown Settlement after your game.
Connect with nature
Williamsburg is a haven for nature-lovers—there are endless opportunities to hike, bike, kayak, and camp. Paddle a canoe on the York River, camp along the James River at Powhatan State Park, or ride your bike along the Historic Jamestown Bike Trail.
Take a drive along the Colonial Parkway to New Quarter Park and hike the trails. If you fish, it’s a great place to drop a line. Invite the family and have a campfire cookout.
Indulge your inner history buff
Williamsburg is part of the Historic Triangle; there’s no better place to dive deep into four centuries of American history. Visit the Jamestown Settlement, Colonial Williamsburg, Historic Jamestowne, and the Yorktown Battlefield and Victory Center where you can relive the birth of the nation.
Watch artisans practice the timeless art of glassblowing at the Jamestown Glass House or pay your respects at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Grab lunch and a cup of joe at Mobjack Bay Coffee House, a renovated Colonial-era cafe.
Spend the day on the water
Whether you prefer sailing, kayaking, or just digging your toes in the sand at the beach, a day on the water is one of the best ways to enjoy retirement in Williamsburg, VA. Waller Mill Park has a 360-acre lake for fishing and boating, and plenty of outdoor recreation facilities for a family gathering.
Take a kayaking eco-tour along the Chesapeake Bay or cruise the Tidewater in a historic schooner. If sun and sand are more your thing, hit the Yorktown Beach and enjoy a waterfront picnic. You can also swim, fish, and kayak the York River.
Visit the wineries and breweries
Beer drinkers will find plenty to love about retirement in Williamsburg—the microbrew craze is definitely here. Try the award-winning ales at Alewerks or sit down for a five-course meal with beer pairings at the Amber Ox Public House. The Whistle Belly Beer Festival takes place every August featuring dozens of local Virginia breweries.
Pamper yourself at a spa
When you need a quiet day to yourself, head to one of the great spas around Williamsburg. Try the chocolate wrap at the spa at Kingsmill Resort or relax in the salt cave at Williamsburg Salt Spa.
Bring your granddaughter for the princess treatment at Elements Spa at Great Wolf Lodge. While you’re enjoying your massage, she’ll get a manicure, chocolate facial, and her very own tiara.
Pursue your passions with free classes at the College of William and Mary
You never stop learning, even in retirement, so why not explore an interest you neglected during your working years? The College of William and Mary lets seniors audit classes for free, and they offer exciting educational opportunities at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Have expertise you want to share? Talk to the staff about teaching a class. This college town has a lot offer retirees who want to continue learning.
Shop ‘til you drop
If retail therapy is essential for you to enjoy your retirement in Williamsburg, VA, you won’t be disappointed. Merchant’s Square in Colonial Williamsburg is a charming place to shop the day away or hit the Williamsburg Antique Mall to search for collectibles. The J. Fenton Gallery has gorgeous handmade jewelry and the Shirley Pewter Shop is the place to go for one-of-a-kind tableware.
If outlet shopping is more your style, you’ll love Williamsburg Premium Outlets.
Hit the theme parks with your grandkids
Once your grandkids find out you’re retiring in Williamsburg, they’ll be begging for a trip to Busch Gardens. And while Busch is the most popular park in the area, you can also splash in the wave pool at Water Country USA (there’s an indoor waterpark at Great Wolf Lodge if they visit in the winter) or drive the race cars at Go-Karts Plus. Work on your putt-putt game at Pirates Cove Adventure Golf or Ripley’s Believe It or Not.
Eat your heart out at local restaurants
Virginia is for lovers—and also for foodies. There are plenty of restaurants catering to American and Colonial fare, but the culinary landscape is rich and varied. Try Le Yaca for classic French cuisine or Oishii for ramen or your favorite rolls.
Do yourself a favor and try the York River oysters and crab cakes at Waypoint Seafood and the charcuterie board and flatbreads at Gabriel Archer Tavern. If breakfast is your favorite meal of the day, a warm pain au chocolat and a cappuccino at Blue Talon Bistro is a terrific way to start your day.
Rekindle your romance
Retirement is the perfect time to focus on your relationship, and there are romantic B&Bs, quiet carriage rides, and gorgeous gardens for an intimate picnic in Williamsburg. Soak in the jetted tub in your room at Magnolia Manor or enjoy the Champagne breakfast at the Williamsburg White House.
Explore colonial Williamsburg from your seat in a horse-drawn carriage for two or pack a picnic and head to the gardens at William and Mary. The Crim Dell bridge is one of the most romantic places in Williamsburg.
Get Objective Retirement Advice
Enjoy your retirement in Williamsburg Virginia
When your retirement plans are in order, you can enjoy everything Williamsburg has to offer.
At Covenant Wealth Advisors, we help you clarify—and achieve—your retirement goals so you can step into your post-career phase with confidence. As experts in retirement planning and investment management, we can help you enjoy life without the stress of money.
As one of Williamsburg’s only independent, fee-only financial advisory firms, we offer expert insight and unbiased recommendations to maximize your retirement investments.
Mark Fonville, CFP®
Mark has over 20 years of experience helping individuals and families invest and plan for retirement. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and President of Covenant Wealth Advisors.
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