Williamsburg, Virginia, is perhaps best known for its historical section, Colonial Williamsburg. And while that slice of the past is worth visiting, travelers in the area should also consider heading to Kingsmill. Situated on 2,900 acres, Kingsmill is located by the area’s top attractions and has an impressive number of dining options to boot.
Overlooking the lush James River, the scenery alone makes it worth the trip. But those staying at Kingsmill will have plenty do on property besides admiring the grounds. Enjoy a day at the spa, on the water or golfing. And then there’s the food. The resort is home to four on-site restaurants. For casual dining, head to Eagles. I enjoyed a fresh salad topped with crispy, savory fried oysters. It’s been about a month since my visit, and I’m still thinking about those tasty morsels. Comfort food rules Eagle's menu. Standouts include burgers, southern staple fried green tomatoes and hearty fries served with three different types of dressing. If you snag a window seat here, you’ll also enjoy a view of the resort’s green hills.
And speaking of gorgeous settings, riverfront views rule the setting of the James Landing Grille. It’s the only Williamsburg spot that offers diners views of the water. Hearty seafood items—think calamari and corn and crab chowder--dominate this menu. I loved my creamy spinach artichoke dip and had my first fried crab cakes here. The crispy shell gave this traditional seafood dish a welcome makeover with its unique texture.
The highlight of this press trip was a specialty dinner prepared by Kingsmill’s Executive Chef Dale Ford. As a food writer, I enjoy top-notch meals fairly frequently and this was one of the best I had all last year. Held at the casual, yet refined beach-house atmosphere of the on-site Pettus House (every sitting president since George H.W. Bush has stayed here), each dish was more impressive than the last. Our first course of fresh tuna and crab splashed with sesame vinaigrette was a sophisticated take on these two fish staples. The pan-roasted scallops that followed it were tender and juicy and not in the least bit chewy—my biggest pet peeve when it comes to scallops. Next up was chocolate tea roasted quail was packed with dynamic flavors and complemented with a sweet and savory braised pork belly bread pudding. The fourth course of roasted beef tenderloin was a smooth and tender cut of meat. Our dessert course was by far the best presentation of the bunch. The spiced chocolate semifreddo (a thicker mousse-like dessert) was shaped and decorated to look like a small house—complete with a sprinkling of powdered sugar in place of "snow" and cookie Christmas trees. From each plate's gorgeous presentation to the dynamic flavors present in each course, I’m certain I’ll remember this meal for years to come.
But even though the food here is great, that's not all Kingsmill has to offer. If you’d rather spend some time away from the property, Kingsmill is located near the area’s top attractions. Popular theme park Busch Gardens is just a quick shuttle ride away as is the bustling downtown Williamsburg area (head to The Spice & Tea Exchange or The Cheese Shop for dynamic culinary shopping experiences). History buffs will get a kick out of Colonial Williamsburg’s dedication to the past; expect to see people dressed in costume and demonstrations of a spinning wheel in action and even mock trails. The Williamsburg Winery is also just a short jaunt away. The tour will give you a sense of the history of the place and conclude with a tasting. I’d recommend the rose and dessert wines.
Travelers searching for a resort near Williamsburg’s best sights complete with plenty to do, and not to mention, eat should consider staying at Kingsmill.