Mostly Sunny with a Chance of Fun: Autumn in Williamsburg

by Scott Krystiniak, Class of 2016

After Halloween, my home state of Michigan usually begins to experience a mixture of snow, sleet, and what would generally be considered less than sensational weather. The cold temperatures and inhibiting precipitation can ward off even the boldest and bravest of outdoor enthusiasts. Consequently, some of the best recreational activities become increasingly difficult to enjoy as the seasons change.

However, November in Williamsburg offers a much more amiable climate. For the most part, the weather oscillates between the warmth usually associated with the Tidewater region and a crisp yet refreshing autumnal frigidity.

During one of the warmer days this November, I took a break from subject matter jurisdiction and decided to enjoy on one of my favorite recreational subject matters: road cycling.

I started my trek riding adjacent to Colonial Williamsburg; however, I soon ventured around Merchant’s Square, and past the undergraduate campus. I then found myself careening down the smooth roads of the John Tyler Highway and onto the Capital 2 Capital Trail. All the while, my tires peeled over the crunching leaves, and I was left to enjoy the pristine scenery, emboldened by a palette of fall colors.

My journey took me all the way to the Chickahominy Bridge, where I witnessed the awesome panorama of the adjoining rivers.

cycling 3

I finished my ride by circling around and hopping onto the Colonial Parkway at Jamestown. I cruised on back towards Williamsburg; the James River escorted me on my right and the auburn and gold trees on my left.

cycling 2

When I got home, I returned with the encouraging thought that this would not be the last time I enjoy an opportunity like this. One of the best things about the Williamsburg is that the climate throughout most of the year does not altogether bar one from enjoying his or her favorite recreational activities. Whether it’s cycling, running, hiking, or some other activity, the climate in Williamsburg will usually offer at least a couple days during the week for everyone to appreciate the outdoors. Just don’t forget to bundle up if necessary!

cycling 1

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Chocolate Relief- The Blue Talon Bistro

by Liz Berry, Class of 2016

Every once in awhile, you have to treat yourself to a nice dinner out. Chipotle, Ramen, and popcorn can’t cut it for dinner every night. My advice? Try the Blue Talon Bistro.

The Blue Talon is right in the historic part of Colonial Williamsburg- one street over from Duke of Gloucester and maybe a ten-minute walk from the law school. So it’s perfect if you just need a luxurious dinner break…you can definitely go back to studying after (if you want).


Granted, The Blue Talon is a little more expensive than your average college priced meal. But if you don’t get Pita Pit or Chipotle twice a week every week (because let’s be real, that happens), you can totally afford to go to The Blue Talon once in awhile. And it’s totally worth it. The food will change your life. They call it “serious comfort food,” and they don’t lie. It’s not your momma’s cooking. They have pan-seared salmon, lump crab, chicken and mushroom crepes, Parmesan truffle fries, roasted scallops…is your mouth watering yet? It should be.

And even if NONE of those things tempt you even the slightest (and I have no idea how that is even possible), you should still go. Tuesdays are half-price wine night, so you can get a decent bottle of wine for ten dollars. Winning? I think so.

blue talon 1And to top it all off…let’s talk about dessert. Even if you don’t want to pay for a meal there, go and pay $6.95 for the dessert. I went with two friends and we split two desserts: the chocolate mousse and the crème brulee. I honestly wish I had gotten my own…and by that, I mean one of each just for me. The waiter brings out a vat of chocolate mousse and literally just fills a bowl for you at the table. After every scoop, you’re just praying if you smile nicely he’ll give you more. Or maybe just never even stop scooping the mousse. Hey, a girl can dream, right? Literally one of the best mousses I’ve had. And trust me, I’ve had quite a few. The crème brulee was good too, and I’d order it again…but I’d still go for the chocolate. Every. Single. Time.

So if you need a nice meal, or just a wine and dessert night with friends, check out The Blue Talon. You won’t regret it.

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Summer Entertainment in Williamsburg

Williamsburg is a great vacation spot with lots to do in the summer! You can visit Colonial Williamsburg, Busch Gardens, and Water Country for a price, but there is also so much to do for free in Williamsburg.

Two of my favorite events are the Summer Movies on Prince George Street and the Summer Breeze Concert Series in Merchant Square.Movie Series

Just bring a lawn chair, some snacks, and enjoy a great evening outside of music or your favorite movies. Look above for the summer movie selection, and here are the bands in Williamsburg this summer for the Summer Breeze Series:

JUNE 19 Williamsburg Classic Jazz Orchestra
JUNE 26 Party Fins (Jimmy Buffet Tribute Band)
JULY 10 Butter
JULY 17 Kings of Swing
JULY 24 RareMixx (R&B)
JULY 31 Slapwater
AUGUST 14 Air Force Band (Rhythm and Blues)
AUGUST 21 Blue Aces

summer breeze lamp

Summer is a great time to be in Williamsburg!


A 3L’s Williamsburg Experience

Zac is a 3L at William & Mary Law School.  He has a B.S. in Physics from Tufts loudenUniversity. Zac worked at a pharmaceuticals company before coming to law school. After graduating this May, he will begin his career in Washington, D.C.

As a current 3L at William & Mary Law School, I first moved to Williamsburg in August of 2010. I quickly learned that Williamsburg has its quirks. For example, a man dressed in traditional colonial garb is perfectly suited for Colonial Williamsburg. However, that same man is ever so slightly out of place when dining at a local restaurant, pumping gas, or picking up a carton of milk at the grocery store.

I may have noticed Williamsburg’s quirks rather quickly, but it has taken me a full two-and-a-half years to appreciate the town’s other offerings. The first thing that comes to mind is my apartment. I came to William & Mary Law School with my dog in tow, so I knew I needed off-campus housing. Williamsburg, being a college town, has a housing option for every situation. Students can live in the Gradplex (on-campus housing offered by William & Mary), apartment complexes, townhomes, and even single-family homes. All of these housing options are within walking distance. I found a perfect single-family home with a fenced-in backyard from which I can bike to school through Colonial Williamsburg. I will be very disappointed to leave what has become my home when I move to Washington, D.C., in the fall.

Another great feature of Williamsburg is the food. For being such a small town, Williamsburg offers nearly every type of cuisine imaginable. I can be eating Mexican, Chinese, Thai, Korean, BBQ, sushi, or steak after just a five-minute drive from my apartment. My fiancée and I enjoy the local BBQ joint so much that we have decided to have them cater our wedding. I should also note that my friends love the local KFC buffet.  I had never even heard of a KFC buffet before moving to Williamsburg, but now no other KFC franchise will ever compare.

Lastly, Williamsburg has plenty to offer in terms of recreational activities. My fiancée and I love to kayak, bike, bowl, and watch movies at the local Movie Tavern, which is an amazing establishment that crosses a movie theater with bar fare. Williamsburg also has a decent nightlife that focuses on several neighborhood bars. For me, Williamsburg is the perfect blend of city and country.

Williamsburg Christmas Parade

by Elizabeth Cavallari

December 1 was the annual Williamsburg Christmas Parade.  This year’s themes was Lights, Camera, Christmas…Capturing the Season.  More than 100 floats were displayed with the parade route going down Duke of Gloucester Street (DoG Street) in Colonial Williamsburg, Richmond Road, and through William & Mary’s main undergraduate campus.

I participated in the parade for the first time with Young Emerging Professionals of Williamsburg (YEP).  We had members carve a sleigh that we painted red and decorated with movie reels, stars, popcorn, and of course, holiday garland.

It was a great way to come together with young professionals in the Williamsburg area to start celebrating this holiday season!

Grand Illumination – A Wonderful Celebration

by Ashley J. Heilprin, JD/MPP Class of 2013

Photo by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Photo by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

For more than 70 years, Colonial Williamsburg’s Christmas festivities have begun with Grand Illumination, a wonderful celebration filled with twinkling lights, sparkling firecrackers, candlelit buildings, and music. Thousands of locals, tourists, and students alike turn out to watch the beautiful fireworks display.

This year’s Grand Illumination will take place on December 2nd at 5:15 p.m. in the historic area of Williamsburg. The fun begins with performances on the outdoor stages, then at 6:30 p.m. guests illuminate the Revolutionary City with glow sticks in preparation for the 7:00 p.m. spectacular fireworks show.

Don’t miss out on one treat for your ears; make sure you get a chance to listen to the Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums, who provide 18th century holiday music.

Consistent with the historical flair of Williamsburg and knack for traditions, officials say that in the 18th century, firing guns into the air, lighting fireworks, and otherwise illuminating the sky, were commonly used to celebrate major events.

Photo by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Photo by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

New Academic Year! New Faculty! New Students!

by Faye Shealy

The Law School has been a comfortable space (haven actually) amid summer storms and record high temperatures these last weeks. It has also been an exciting place with the arrival of new faculty, a variety of conferences, and recent graduates preparing for bar examinations. Professors Aden, Bellin, Gershowitz, and Griffin have arrived from Mississippi, Texas, and North Carolina – they are unpacked and prepared for classes. The Legal Practice Program kicks off in just a few weeks and will feature intensified emphasis on legal writing.

New students are moving to Williamsburg, meeting new roommates and new classmates, maneuvering through confusion corner, tasting options at the Crust, finding good beverages and bad parking at the GreenLeafe Café, purchasing books for Legal Practice, and reading those first assignments. The Class of 2015 is an outstanding group of new students selected from 5573 applicants representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and citizenship in 61 other countries. They earned academic degrees from over 875 different colleges and universities and have a wide variety of military, work, campus, community, and life experiences.

Visit the Law School web pages to learn more about the new class following their kick-off in late August!

First year students gather for an ice cream social and organization fair at the end of Law Week

First year students gather for an ice cream social and organization fair at the end of Law Week

Williamsburg’s Newest Eatery

by Elizabeth Cavallari

DoG Street Pub

Williamsburg has another great place to eat right in Colonial Williamsburg. The DoG Street Pub is an American Gastropub, inspired by traditional English pub food. Located on the corner of Duke of Gloucester Street and North Henry Street, it’s a short walk from the law school for lunch, dinner, or drinks.

Eggplant Sandwich

DoG Street Pub’s menu has two full pages of beer, so there is something for everyone.  Since I was there for lunch, I focused on the food menu. My fried eggplant sandwich was delicious, and it was served with “crisps” and marinated olives.  Other pub fare include fish and chips, bangers and mash, and great hamburgers.

It’s a great place for tourists and locals alike to visit.  Check them out on Facebook.

Happy Independence Day!

by Faye Shealy


With the Fourth of July approaching, tons of explosive ordnance will soon be bursting in the skies of Colonial Williamsburg (just two blocks from the Law School), Busch Gardens, and Yorktown. If your summer schedule permits, please join us as we salute those who fought for American independence and created this great nation. Everyone is invited, and there’s something for everyone to enjoy!

Below are the activities happening in Williamsburg and the surrouding areas on the Fourth:

  • Salute to the States behind the Courthouse at 10:00 a.m. A special militia muster salutes the 13 original states with Colonial Williamsburg’s Fifes and Drums, musket and cannon fire.
  • The Declaration of Independence is read to the citizens at the capitol at noon. The news arrives only a few weeks after Virginia’s representatives have adopted their own Declaration of Rights and a constitution for the new state. This special presentation gives voice to “the People’s” document.
  • Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center Auxiliary is sponsoring the 30th anniversary of the July 4th Ice Cream Social. The event will be held from 4:30-7:00 p.m. (rain date July 5), at the Wren yard in front of William & Mary. Music will be by the Smith Wade Band, with ice cream, cake, hot dogs, soft drinks, raffle prizes, games, and face painting available. The public is invited to this community family event.
  • The Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums march from the Capitol to Market Square at 5:30 p.m.
  • The U.S. Air Force Heritage of America Band performs on Palace Green at 6:00 p.m.
  • The Yorktown beach picnic area will be open to the public and annual Fourth of July fireworks will take place along the Yorktown waterfront. Performances on the Riverwalk Landing Stage begin at 7:00 p.m. and fireworks begin at 9:15 p.m. over the York River.
  • Colonial Williamsburg’s Fifes and Drums perform on Palace Green at 7:45 p.m.
  • Colonial Williamsburg welcomes the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, led by JoAnn Falletta, to the Independence Day Celebration on Palace Green at 8:00 p.m. Recognized as one of the nation’s leading regional symphony orchestras, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra has enriched the cultural life of the Hampton Roads community for more than eight decades.
  • Fireworks fill the sky and the Colonial Williamsburg event is best viewed from Market Square or Palace Green at 9:30 p.m.
  • Gambols at Chowning’s Tavern – Sing along and play popular games of the day while snacking on Virginia peanuts, light fare, local wines and ales, and a variety of other refreshments at 10:00 p.m.

Happy Fourth!

The World’s Most Beautiful Amusement Park – Just around the Corner!

by Rhianna Shabsin

Oktoberfest at Busch Gardens

It’s Memorial Day weekend, and today marks the beginning of the summer season at Busch Gardens Williamsburg! The amusement park is a short ten-minute drive from William & Mary and offers rides, shows, and special events from mid-March to the end of December each year.

One of the things that distinguishes Busch Gardens Williamsburg is its natural beauty. Filled with trees and a river that winds through the middle of the park, it has been voted the most beautiful theme park in the world for the past twenty-two years and has won the Golden Ticket award for best landscaping for the past fourteen years.

Two of my favorites at Busch Gardens are the inverted roller coaster Alpengeist and the haunted-house ride, Curse of DarKastle (yes, it’s both as silly and as wonderful as it sounds). If you’re a thrill seeker, you’ll also want to try the Griffon, a dive coaster with a ninety-degree drop; Apollo’s Chariot (made famous by Fabio’s unfortunate run-in with a goose); and the new Mach Tower, which is the highest ride in the park.

No matter what you do there, a visit to Busch Gardens is definitely a great way to kick off the summer!

Williamsburg’s Favorite Breakfast Spot

by Elizabeth Cavallari

4456 John Tyler HwyIf you have ever been to Williamsburg, you know that Richmond Road is home to nearly every pancake house and waffle shop known to man, but my favorite breakfast spot is not among them.  If you ask me, and any William & Mary Law student, the best breakfast in town is at Five Forks Cafe.

The menu has all of the traditional diner favorites with breakfast available all day.  It’s great for students on a budget:  good serving sizes, delicious food, and even better prices.  My menu suggestions include Country Fried Steak, 3-Egg Omelet (I order mine with tomatoes, spinach, and cheese), and Blueberry Pancakes.  If you don’t trust me, check out Yelp and see what other diners have to say!  Five Forks really is Williamsburg’s favorite breakfast spot.