Frequently Asked Questions for Locals
After a parking study was conducted by the City of Williamsburg several years ago, it became clear that changes needed to be made to improve parking in the downtown area. Implementing a modest charge for parking ensures that spaces are not occupied unnecessarily for extended periods of time, and funds are generated to maintain and improve parking facilities to provide the best and safest possible experience for residents and guests visiting the area. Currently there are hundreds of free parking spaces throughout the downtown area that do not require use of the Passport App, including the parking lots adjacent to Merchants Square and at the Art Museums. The city parking garage on N. Henry Street utilizes a self-pay kiosk that does not require use of the app. Free two-hour parking is available in most parking lots, including the Williamsburg Inn, Williamsburg Lodge, and the Tavern parking lots, as well as the parking lots on Francis Street, but the app is required to log your visit. More information here.
Historic Area Paving
Historic Area street paving by the City of Williamsburg is done in two phases to allow the surfaces to cure between applications. City contractors first apply a standard paving material, which appears black and makes the streets look like a traditional road. A brown aggregate topcoat is then applied. The topcoat must be able to withstand the metal banded carriage wheels on Colonial Williamsburg carriages as the wheels would pulverize traditional aggregate topcoat as they travel along Duke of Gloucester and adjacent streets. Although paving began last year, complications arose during a test of a possible aggregate topcoat and further evaluation is needed by Colonial Williamsburg and the city before it can be applied throughout the Historic Area. We know that the aesthetics of the brown aggregate complements the Historic Area experience and look forward to applying a suitable material as soon as possible.
Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center
The Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center is open for ticket purchases, information, parking, and shuttles to the Historic Area. In addition, there is a small gift shop.
Looking toward the future, the City of Williamsburg, James City and York counties as well as other stakeholders, determined that repurposing a section of the Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center campus for a regional sports complex is in the best interest of the Greater Williamsburg community and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. The addition of these new facilities does not mean that the Visitor Center is closing. The campus has ample room to accommodate new facilities in addition to the current Visitor Center building. City-commissioned economic impact studies have come back very positive and funding for the publicly financed and operated facility is secured. The proposal aligns with the city's vision to reimagine Williamsburg's shared spaces while maintaining the traditions and history that shape our community. We are optimistic that it will benefit the region in new and exciting ways.
Restaurants and Taverns
We are pleased to see that so many are eager to enjoy our wonderful restaurants and taverns. There is currently a nationwide and regional shortage of hospitality/restaurant workers. Colonial Williamsburg’s hospitality group is hiring restaurant staff, but is confronting the same challenges as others in the region. When combined with the economic impact resulting from COVID-19 health and safety restrictions, the Foundation has temporarily reduced operating hours at some of our facilities to ensure that we provide a high-quality guest experience. We are actively recruiting talented restaurant staff in anticipation of a return to normal operations in the coming months as the world emerges from the pandemic.