Williamsburg, Virginia presents families with a two-for-one bargain: all the high-octane theme-park fun of Busch Gardens plus all the educational time-travel of Colonial Williamsburg. Thankfully, this area’s hotels and resorts know exactly how to cater to guests of all ages. Even the regal, historical hotels listed below are quick to offer family-oriented extras like kiddy pools, playgrounds, or mini golf. If you’re coming to this area with little ones, consider this list the ultimate shortcut to plan your family vacation.
One of the largest and best-equipped resorts in Williamsburg, the Kingsmill has plenty of family-friendly perks. A kids’ camp, a waterslide, and free shuttles to area amusement parks keep little ones happy, while parents can make use of adult-oriented features such as its spa, golf club, and fitness classes. Highlights include three large pools, three restaurants, and spacious suites with views of the James River. There are a handful of competing resorts nearby, but for the price, few offer as much as Kingsmill.
Operated by Colonial Williamsburg and located a short walk from its main street, the 62-room Williamsburg Inn is a top choice for families visiting this living history museum. Yes, it's elegant and ornate -- showcasing regency-style decor -- but unlike many other luxury properties, it's entirely child-friendly. The individually decorated rooms are equally opulent and finished with modern amenities like Bose sound systems and minibars. They're spacious, too, with sitting areas and bathrooms with double vanities and separate showers and tubs. Features are extensive and include two dining venues, an adjacent spa, and three pools. Service is also top-tier and includes babysitting, 24-hour room service, and concierge service (all for a fee).
Situated within a five-minute walk from the Williamsburg Historic District, the Williamsburg Lodge, Autograph Collection provides an excellent option for visiting families. Along with providing a central location, the Lodge also offers free shuttle service around the area. Its 323 guest rooms feature traditional colonial interiors combined with modern amenities like flat-screen TVs, coffeemakers, and free Wi-Fi. Family travelers can make use of the connected rooms as well as the larger Studios or Suites; some rooms include sofa-beds, too. There are two on-site restaurants; one serves a sit-down breakfast, or there's a buffet breakfast in the lobby (not included in room rates). Features are extensive and include three pools (one an outdoor family pool), a fitness center, and spa.
Built in 2010, this 77-room, all-suite hotel is one of the best values in the area, considering the amount of space and range of amenities. Families are the norm here, especially during the summer due to attractions like Busch Gardens and Water Country USA. Units range from basic suites with two-person occupancy to two-bedroom King Suites that can sleep six -- an especially helpful option for larger families. Select rooms offer whirlpool tubs and sofa beds. All rooms include flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, coffeemakers, mini-fridges, and microwaves. Kid-oriented features also enhance this properties appeal, like the indoor pool and game room with pool table and air hockey.
The Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites, Williamsburg-Historic Gateway is a particularly attractive option for families that put value over location. (The property is a short drive from the historic center.) Renovated in 2016, this hotel is a step up from many properties in the Holiday Inn chain. More than half of its 96 guest rooms are spacious suites, some of which offer two bedrooms and two full bathrooms -- a boon for those traveling with kids. Rooms are also well-equipped, with mini-fridges, microwaves, Keurig coffeemakers, and free Wi-Fi. There's a full-service restaurant and bar, plus a small 24-hour gym and indoor pool with a whirlpool. An on-site mini market also sells microwaveable meals that can help in a pinch.
Located five miles from Colonial Williamsburg, Historic Powhatan is a sprawling resort on 256 acres. This gated community is a maze of two-story apartment buildings with 444 spacious timeshare suites and a host of resort-style amenities. Highlights include a restored manor house built in 1735 and an impressive outdoor pool. Travelers with kids in tow are drawn to the property's miniature golf, playground, and kiddy pool. Another family favorite? The manor house's ghost tours. Active parents with energetic kids may also appreciate all the walking and hiking trails surrounding the property, and all guests appreciate the convenience of an on-site general store. One word of warning: This resort is a timeshare, and you may be subjected to aggressive sales pitches.