GETTING THERE: Williamsburg is about 150 miles from Washington. Take I-95 south to the I-295 bypass around Richmond, then I-64 east to Williamsburg.

STAYING THERE: One of the most luxurious ways to experience Colonial America is to stay at the Williamsburg Inn (136 E. Francis St., 757-229-1000, www.history.org/visit/hotels/williamsburginn), a highbrow hostelry very near the historical activity. For most of the year, rooms start at around $350 a night for the main building, $185 for the adjacent Providence Hall. It is most convenient to the lawn bowling green, which is just outside the back door. You'll also find clay tennis courts, a lovely golf course and a fancy swimming pool. There are less expensive Colonial Williamsburg hotels with various vacation packages. Info: 800-447-8679, www.history.org. Or you can stay at one of the contemporary motels just a few blocks from the old houses and stores. The Crowne Plaza Williamsburg Hotel at Fort Magruder (6945 Pocahontas Trail, 757-220-2250, www.crowneplaza.com) has rooms for about $110 a night.

WHERE TO EAT: No matter where you stay, treat yourself to breakfast at the Williamsburg Inn. The buffet is around $20, but you can get a sampling of muffins and breads, plus juice and coffee, for $15. For lunch, drive out to Pierce's Pitt Bar-B-Que (447 E. Rochambeau, 757-565-2955, www.pierces.com). It's a little hard to find (Rochambeau runs parallel to I-64), but worth it. Dinner runs about $10 per person with tip. If you're feeling really bowled, try the Super Doc -- pulled pork, slaw, cheese and onions on a sub roll. Call ahead for directions. For dinner, nab an outdoor table at the Fat Canary on Merchants Square (410 Duke of Gloucester St., 757-229-3333). Smoked salmon, some pinot grigio, coffee and dessert will set you back $50 or so, but the food is tasty and the people-watching superb.

BOWLING: The lawn bowling green behind the Williamsburg Inn is mostly for hotel guests and members of the Williamsburg Inn Lawn Bowling Club, but the club invites anyone interested to drop by on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3 to 6 p.m. AMF's Hanover Lanes (7317 Bell Creek Rd., Mechanicsville, 804-559-2600, hanoverlanes.amfcenters.com) is just northeast of Richmond on the way to Williamsburg Or you could try AMF Williamsburg Lanes (5544 Olde Towne Rd., 757-565-3311, williamsburglanes.amfcenters.com).

INFO: Williamsburg Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, 800-368-6511, www.visitwilliamsburg.com.