A Convenient, Luxurious Bed & Breakfast in the Heart of Downtown Williamsburg
Our Colonial Williamsburg Inn is Adjacent to Merchant’s Square
Merchants Square is located on the North end of the Duke of Gloucester Street. The three block shopping area is composed of a variety of retail merchant shops and restaurants. Although the merchants cater primarily to visitors to the Williamsburg area, many residents shop “downtown” also.
I may be a tad partial but I believe some of the best food establishments on the east coast (well, at least in the Commonwealth of Virginia) offer their fare here. Berrets, Fat Canary, & the Blue Talon, just to name a few.
Some residents complain that tourist prices (high) come along with the location. I would argue that opinion by saying quality and uniqueness of the products make most everything purchased in Merchants Square a really good value.
The College of William & Mary bookstore is located in the Barnes and Noble on the corner of the Duke of Gloucester and Henry Streets.
The kids will definitely want to stop in to the Wythe Candy Shop.
It is also a very friendly and peaceful place to just wander and window shop. The Street is closed to auto traffic on that block so it makes for a pretty nice outdoor mall.
A great Market event happens every Saturday (in season). Area farmers are invited to sell their produce. This has become quite a locals place to gather on Saturday mornings.
And of course do not forget all this can be found right out the front door of our historic Colonial Williamsburg Inn!
History of Merchant’s Square
Prior to the restoration most Williamsburg business’s were located up and down the length of the Duke of Gloucester. The principals of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation had the foresight to realize that as merchants sold their historic sited properties, the area residents would still need those goods and services.
The foundation built a “down town” district which we know today as Merchants Square. This customer-oriented shopping district was built in order to make way for the accurate restoration of the rest of the town. The buildings for this “Merchants Square” would not be designed to duplicate the architecture of the 18th-century Historic Area, but to harmonize with the character of the restoration.
Over the years, as the town has grown, most of those early shops such as the small grocery stores have moved nearer the expanding neighborhoods and become super markets. But Merchants Square, that idyllic shopping district envisioned by those early architects who were ahead of their time in this type of design, retains that friendly, quaint quality much copied today by other shopping districts springing up throughout the country.