Cabin-Style Suites with Massive Indoor Water Park
High above Fort Mackenzie, a four-story waterlogged treehouse that feels like it could be a part of The Swiss Family Robinson or Pirates of the Caribbean, a 1,000-gallon bucket slowly fills with water. Suddenly, the big bucket topples, drenching those gathered below in a torrent of water. Heated to a balmy 84 degrees, Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg’s indoor water park and its 15 splash-filled attractions draw visitors looking for an aquatic getaway no matter the season. In addition to braving Fort Mackenzie, you can crash into 3-foot waves at Beaver Tail Pond, careen down a six-story funnel slide at Howlin’ Tornado, and unwind on a raft in the Crooked Creek lazy river.
The 79,000-square-foot water park is merely one of the many activities at the hotel’s multi-entertainment campus. At the MagiQuest live-action adventure, kids wield magic wands and journey through a kingdom to meet mythical creatures, including a pixie and a dragon. More than 100 games, such as skee-ball and virtual pinochle, attract gamers to the Northern Lights Arcade, where you can win prizes geared toward all age groups. Scooops Kid Spa gives manicures and pedicures to pintsize patrons sitting atop ice-cream-cone stools and banana-split thrones—free ice cream completes each visit. Other options include Howl in One mini golf and Ten Paw Alley miniature bowling.
The resort’s suites accommodate up to seven guests and have microwaves and refrigerators. Some suites have private balconies or patios, and KidKamp suites feature tent-themed quarters for kids.
Williamsburg, Virginia: Art and Entertainment in Historic Colonial Town
Part of the Historic Triangle of Virginia, Williamsburg played a central role during the American Revolution—American forces gathered there in 1781 to march to Yorktown for the final British defeat. The city pays homage to this patriotic past in a living museum where fifers march in Revolutionary War regalia and costumed actors portray everyday colonists. Historians have carefully preserved and restored 88 original 18th-century structures within the town; buildings of note include the opulent Governor’s Palace, built in 1722 to house the British governor, and the residential home of George Wythe, the first Virginian patriot to sign the Declaration of Independence. Yorktown Battlefield is only a short drive east; there, a park ranger guides visitors along the British defense and tells the story of the Revolutionary War’s final siege.
Back in Williamsburg, the 18th-century-style specialty boutiques along Merchants Square sell everything from whimsical toys to hand-cooked Virginia peanuts. In addition to its historic sites, Williamsburg boasts a thriving artistic community, with original folk art and paint-by-number self-portraits of the Founding Fathers displayed at several galleries and art exhibits throughout the city.