If you're in Colonial Williamsburg, things to do are not hard to find. This historic town features a number of great shops, offering everything from the handmade souvenirs you bring home to your in-laws, to the very un-colonial new golf clubs you buy for yourself. BBonline offers an overview of the former category, Williamsburg's historic shops.Colonial Williamsburg 101 Visitor Center Dr. Williamsburg, VA (757) 253-2277 www.history.org/visit/shopping/inAndAround/index.cfm
The Golden Ball
Home to all your jewelry needs, the Golden Ball offers reproductions of rings, earrings, charms and pendants in sterling silver and 14 karat gold, in addition to fine brass and pewter goods. Some of the pieces are hand-made and one of a kind.
The Prentis Store
Your one-stop-shop for everything 18th century, the Prentis store features leather goods, pottery, baskets and more, all handcrafted and made with authentic colonial techniques and tools. A great place to find souvenirs at a cheaper price than the Golden Ball.
The Colonial Nursery
The nursery is where you get all your seeds and gardening accessories. Before you go, check out the gardens in the historical area of Colonial Williamsburg to see if anything catches your fancy. They also sell flowers, wreaths, 18th century clay pots and bird bottles.
Mary Dickinson Shop
For the ladies, the Mary Dickinson Shop offers all the high fashions of colonial America, which are sure to come back into style any day now. You can browse the Mary Dickinson Shop's selection of gowns, mitts, caps, cloaks, petticoats and hats. Everything in the shop is made in Williamsburg itself, making it very unlikely that you will come across anyone with the same items. The Mary Dickinson Shop also has a fine selection of jewelry.
The John Greenhow Store
Based on an actual store operated by John Greenhow in the 18th century, the John Greenhow Store sells imported porcelain, floorcloths, craftsman's tools and other fine items.
The Colonial Williamsburg Post Office functions more as a souvenir stand than a post office, but it has a fine selection of items to take back to your Williamsburg Bed and Breakfast. Maps, leather-bound journals and books, quill and ink pens are all excellent souvenirs, and some of them might even see some day to day use, proving that times haven't changed so much, after all.
Filled with stands selling everything from pottery to toys, the Market Square is a fun place to browse. For the kids, you can rent colonial costumes for the day. The market is open-air, making its atmosphere somewhat subject to the weather.
Whether you have your kids with you or you're just looking for something to take home for the little ones, Tarpley's store has you covered. Candy, games and toys share shelf space with colonial clothing, jewelry and hats designed for kids. Sure to reduce the angst of children of all ages before the treck back to the Williamsburg Inn.