This guide begins with an Introduction to Virginia at large – its history, climate, scenic and historic attractions. Then the focus turns to Williamsburg, where we tell you about the history, the sights and activities, entertainment, shopping, dining, accommodations, and more. A vacation in and around Williamsburg can find one strolling down the streets of a restored 18th-century village, shopping in a modern outlet mall, dining in an elegant restaurant, golfing one of the East Coast's best courses, or screaming upside down on one of the world's scariest roller coasters at Busch Gardens. The College of William and Mary, founded in 1693, is the second-oldest in the nation, and counts three presidents in its alumni, including Thomas Jefferson. Other modern-day attractions make Williamsburg a timeless destination. Water Country USA is the Mid-Atlantic's largest water theme park. Busch Gardens is a wonderland of wild rides and live shows set on 360 acres. Outstanding shopping, dining, golf and entertainment help make a visit to Colonial Williamsburg unforgettable. From 1699 to 1780, Williamsburg was the political, social and cultural capital of a land that stretched west to the Mississippi and north to the Great Lakes. It was at Williamsburg that patriots developed the fundamental concepts of the new republic – responsible leadership, public duty, self-government and freedom of conscience. And it was at Williamsburg that lesser-known men and women became distinctly American citizens. A visit to the restored Colonial Williamsburg is a step back in time to a thriving 18th-century community. It's a theater of living history where merchants sell their wares, craftspeople ply their trades and patriots sit in dark corners and whisper of revolution. All the information you need is here to make your visit unforgettable. With color photos throughout.