Kingsmill on the James – A Williamsburg VA Neighborhood Spotlight by “Mr Williamsburg”
Kingsmill on the James is a gated residential and resort community, and one of Williamsburg, Virginia’s original master planned golf communities. Located on 2,900 acres of green hills and forests stretching for three miles along the banks of the James River, it offers a wide variety of home styles in stunning natural settings. Kingsmill is an active community that appeals to all ages, from young families to retirees, with amenities that include outdoor pools, playgrounds, tennis courts, and walking/hiking trails.
In addition to its expansive residential areas, Kingsmill encompasses the separate, 400-room Kingsmill Resort & Spa. Kingsmill residents have the option of becoming resort members in order to enjoy luxury extras such as world-class golf courses, a full-service marina, restaurants, tennis club, and much more.
Kingsmill is located less than three miles from historic Colonial Williamsburg and The College of William and Mary. In 2016, Kingsmill was named a “Best of the Best” College Town Community by ideal-LIVING magazine.
The Kingsmill development was started in the 1970’s by Busch Properties, Inc., in conjunction with the creation of the Busch Gardens theme park and the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. Kingsmill currently contains approximately 2,354 homes (and lots).
In 2010 Xanterra purchased the Kingsmill Resort, including the golf courses and surrounding undeveloped parcels. As of Feb 2017 The resort is under contract to Escalante Golf and scheduled to close soon.
Kingsmill’s Many Home Choices
From condos to townhouses and single family homes, Kingsmill offers homes for virtually any type of lifestyle.
Single Family Detached Homes
Resale single family detached homes are often available throughout Kingsmill. They are located in beautiful natural settings, some beside the James River or overlooking peaceful ponds, others sited along wooded ravines or the Resort’s immaculate golf fairways. These homes range in price from the $300,000’s to $2 million+. Some of the newer upper end neighborhoods in Kingsmill include: Sandys Fort, Brownings Grant, Spencers Grant, The Landing and Jefferson Hundred.
Building lots for new, custom designed and built single family residences are available in the Spencer’s Grant neighborhood, Kingsmill’s newest residential offering. This development of 38 home sites is heavily wooded for privacy and offers views of conservation areas and the James River. All utilities are underground, and the community preserves both green spaces (40% of the property will remain untouched) and archaeologically significant areas. Lots are priced from $200,000.
Resale building lots also become available occasionally. Resale lots are often priced under $200,000.
Courtyard/Villas/Patio Homes are single-family detached homes on smaller lots for minimal grounds upkeep. Located adjacent to a golf course, these low- profile, single-story residences feature private patios or decks designed for minimum maintenance and a carefree lifestyle. Most offer views of golf fairways or natural green space. Prices range from $300,000 to $500,000. Patio home neighborhoods in Kingsmill include: Yeardleys Grant & Burwells Green
Offering maintenance-free living, most Kingsmill townhomes feature main- level master bedrooms, screened porches, and large decks. Many offer abundant storage. Residences in the townhome communities of Winster Fax, Archers Mead, Littletown Quarter, Burwells Green, Harrops Glen , Warehams Point and some of Quarterpath Trace, are priced from $225,000 to $1.3 million. Search attached townhomes/ condos for sale in Kingsmill here
River’s Edge Luxury Villas are 3,000 to 3,900 square-foot, custom-designed, deluxe townhomes overlooking the James River. The focus of every room – from the kitchen to the master suite — is a panoramic vista of the river and surrounding natural settings. To fully enjoy the views, the homes also feature a front porch and a secluded, brick-and-stone textured terrace. Interiors of the villas include custom features such as built-in bookcases, ceramic tile and marble, and hand-crafted, hardwood millwork. These luxury townhomes, which include a private auto court leading to a two-car garage, are priced from the $800,000’s.
The River Bluffs condominiums sit 80 feet above the beautiful James River, offering panoramic views of the river and surrounding landscape. Resale prices for these mid-rise condos start around the $700,000s.
Resort condominiums consist of clusters of one, two, and three-bedroom villas with optional connecting guest rooms. They feature outdoor terraces overlooking the James River, Wareham’s pond, one of the community’s golf courses, and the tennis club. These are the only properties in Kingsmill that can be rented by their owners on a weekly basis. As an option, under Kingsmill’s rental program, villas can be leased on a nightly basis to conferees and resort guests. Prices range from $200,000 to $700,000.
The Kingsmill Quarterpath Trace neighborhood was designed to have the flavor of Colonial Williamsburg. The homes there are very close together as they were in Colonial Williamsburg. No garages but they do have detached garden sheds for storage. Both attached and detached homes were built in QP Trace most are fenced with white picket fences. Brick sidewalks add to the colonial flavor along with cedar shake roofs.
Kingsmill Home Owners Association
The Kingsmill Community Services Association (KCSA) is a self-governing body with various volunteer committees that allow homeowners to take an active part in the activities and operation of Kingsmill. One resident noted that joining the association’s Lifestyle Committee “is a great way to get plugged in.”
Social Clubs at Kingsmill
The Kingsmill community is brought together with a large offering of social clubs geared toward residents of all ages. Clubs range from children’s playgroups and a swim team to Watercolor and Needle Arts groups, Men’s and Ladies Golf Associations, and a Garden Club.
Kingsmill’s Recreational Amenities
All Kingsmill homeowners have access to the community’s beautiful hiking and biking trails, fishing & canoeing on its spring-fed ponds, the river beach, and tennis courts. They can also enjoy recreation centers with outside swimming pools (including swim team competition and toddler pools) and playgrounds that dot the community, much of which is connected by the walking trails.
For those choosing an optional membership in the Kingsmill Resort & Spa (there are two membership levels, “sport” and “golf”), numerous additional amenities are available. Resort & Spa amenities include:
Kingsmill’s World-Class Golf Courses
Kingsmill Resort & Spa is Virginia’s largest golf resort, boasting 63 holes of world-class golf on three courses along the historic James River. The pristine courses, designed with input from such golf legends as Arnold Palmer, Pete Dye, and Tom Clark, have been consistently ranked among the best by the nation’s foremost golf publications. Kingsmill’s Golf Club now has more than 1,200 members.
The resort’s year‐round golf academy offers half and full‐day golf school and private instruction. Home to over 30 years of PGA and LPGA tournament play , including the Kingsmill Championship, Kingsmill’s courses have garnered such distinctions as “Top 10 Best Courses for Women” by Golf Digest and #6 of Virginia’s Top 10 Golf Courses by Golfweek Magazine.
River Golf Course is Kingsmill’s 6,853-yard, par-71 championship course designed by Pete Dye. The course includes hills, elevated greens, thick woods, and many water features. It has hosted the Michelob Championship at Kingsmill. The River Course includes a driving range and practice putting green.
Plantation Golf Course has a 6,543-yard layout that is more wide open and less demanding of pinpoint accuracy. Designed by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay, the championship course has water coming into play on eight holes, and is marked with historical landmarks from a 1736 plantation. It includes a driving range and practice putting green.
Wood Golf Course, Kingsmill’s newest addition, was designed by Kingsmill Touring PGA Pro, Curtis Strange. This championship course includes deep ravines, fairway bunkers, and elevated greens that offer players a real challenge. It includes a driving range. The Woods Course has been honored by Golf Magazine as a “Top Ten New Course You Can Play.”
Kingsmill’s Boating and Marina
Kingsmill offers a full-service marina that includes 90 permanent slips with 15 transient boat slips, increased slip size, dockside fueling, a boat ramp, water and power connections, a marina store, and the James Landing Bar & Grille. Kayak, paddle boat, paddle board, and pontoon boat rentals are available, as are fishing and charter tours.
Kingsmill is located 35 miles upriver from the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, off channel marker #40 on the James River, and just a short cruise from the Intracoastal Waterway and the Chesapeake Bay.
Kingsmill’s Sports Club and Spa
Kingsmill’s Sports Club and Fitness Center is equipped with both indoor and outdoor swimming pools, including the seasonal River Pool. It also features racquetball courts, Cybex and Kaiser circuit training equipment, state-of-the-art cardiovascular stations, free weight equipment, and an aerobics studio with classes and personal training. Members also have access to a sauna, steam room, game room, whirlpool, massage therapy, and convenient babysitting services. A children’s Day Camp is available.
The community’s full-service spa offers a comprehensive array of restorative services, including massages, body and skin treatments, and specialized nail and hair treatments.
Kingsmill’s Tennis Club
The Tennis Club offers 15 tennis courts, including Deco-Turf all-weather courts and Vel-Play composition courts, two of which are lighted for evening play. The Club includes a newly renovated player’s lounge and locker facilities.
Kingsmill Resort Options for Dining Out
The community offers many restaurants on site, ranging from resort fine dining to casual family fare. Resort guests and members can dine at any of Kingsmill’s dining establishments, each boasting a distinct flavor that will leave a lasting impression long after the meal is finished. Whether you enjoy the rich, bold flavor of a steak grilled to perfection or lighter fare, Kingsmill’s menu of culinary creations will suit even the most discerning taste buds.
Elements 1010 However you describe it, our cuisine is a celebration of seasonal ingredients blended expertly together to form a culinary delight. With a wide-ranging and seasonally changing menu, there’s always something new to discover at Elements 1010. It’s comfort food in an elegant setting, with panoramic views of the James River providing the perfect backdrop to your dining experience
EAGLES Dine in style as you enjoy views of Kingsmill’s River Course and the James River at Eagles. Eagles features locally-sourced products and offers a selection of fresh and creative culinary choices in the restaurant, on the patio, or in the lounge.
JAMES LANDING GRILLE Enjoy an evening outdoors with friends, live entertainment and great food. Open seasonally, the James Landing Grille is an ideal setting for a memorable time. Enjoy time on the deck with friends and family and take in the fresh air and views of the adjoining marina as you dine on delicious food. Menu options include steaks, seafood and salads.
THE MILL Step into the bakery and take in the comforting aromas of freshly‐baked breads. The Mill features coffees, lattes, mochas and espressos made from organic and fair‐trade beans roasted in Virginia for a truly local flavor. Throw in its smile‐inducing, house-made gelato menu and you’ve got the recipe for a Virginia favorite.
CURRENTS During the summer, you can enjoy an entire day at the River Pool with the food and beverage selection at Currents. Currents has salad, sandwich and snack choices for every age and taste, along with comfortable poolside seating.
Public Safety at Kingsmill
The community has its own 24-hour police force with a highly-qualified staff, and two manned entry gates to ensure the safety and privacy of residents and guests.
Kingsmill’s Convenient Location
Kingsmill is located less than three miles from the College of William and Mary and the historic streets of Colonial Williamsburg, with dining, shopping, theme parks, and history tours. Grocery shopping is most convenient with a new Harris Teeter store right outside the entrance to Kingsmill. Fresh Market, Martins, Food Lion, Farm Fresh and Wal Mart Neighborhood Market are within a 10 minute drive.
Nearest Airports to Kingsmill include Newport News/Williamsburg (PHF), 20 minutes away; Norfolk International (ORF), 45 minutes away; and Richmond International (RIC), 45 minutes away.
Children living in Kingsmill attend public schools operated by the Williamsburg-James City County Public School Division, a joint school system that serves both localities. In recent years, Expansion Management magazine, which rates school systems nationally, has consistently rated this system with a gold ribbon, indicating ranking in the top 17% nationally of systems evaluated.
Kingsmill children attend:
- James River Elementary
- Berkley Middle School
- Jamestown High School
CAMPS Kingsmill Resort offers kids and teens unique opportunities to enjoy all the resort has to offer. Throughout the summer and on holidays, Kingsmill Resort offers a variety of children’s programs designed to keep kids active and engaged.
Kid’s Camp: Kids choose from a variety of activities ranging from craft projects to physical fitness classing in the pool or at the arcade. This camp including children’s boot camp and yoga, as well as time play includes a host of activities, a healthy lunch and tons of fun.
Kid’s Night Out: Kids will have dinner, golf, visit the arcade with tokens, or play at the outdoor playground. Afterwards, kids can enjoy movies and a snack in the activities center, the game room or indoor pool area.
Kingsmill’s Rich History
The land now known as Kingsmill has a rich history dating back to Colonial America, and has played a significant part in the growth of the Jamestown colony and Williamsburg. In fact, with its pastoral hills and woods located along the banks of the James River, the Hope area of Kingsmill was initially considered as a permanent base by the first Englishmen in 1607. However, they eventually decided to settle at nearby Jamestown, where their ships could anchor closer to shore.
Kingsmill Plantation. Located in the heart of Virginia‘s Historic Triangle, the property featured a bustling plantation from 1619 through the 1800s. Richard Kingsmill, who was granted one of the first land grants by the Virginia Company, an English organization charged with the founding and settlement of Virginia, initially purchased 300 acres where Kingsmill Plantation later was located.
In the mid-1730s, Colonial customs inspector and British Colonel Lewis Burwell III bought 1,400 acres of Kingsmill’s original plot. On the area that is now the site of the Plantation Golf Course, Burwell built a plantation with a grand mansion and outbuildings. He called it Kingsmill Plantation. A thriving, small riverbank community developed around it. The mansion burned in 1844, leaving only the office and kitchen intact; they are among the earliest brick dependencies in Virginia and can be viewed on the second hole of the Plantation Golf Course.
Burwell’s Landing and Ordinary. As headquarters for his inspection station, Colonel Burwell also established the Burwell’s Landing ferry and warehouse, which became a major port of entry for Williamsburg during the 18th century. The Landing also was home to a popular tavern, Burwell’s Ordinary, spurring the area’s growth as a social hub. The Burwell’s Landing site is visible from the 17th golf hole of Kingsmill’s River Golf Course.
Other plantations on the Kingsmill property. In the 1640s, Colonel Pettus built a tobacco plantation, called Littletown Plantation, on the property now featuring Kingsmill Resort’s marina. Around 1700, James Bray II built a brick house overlooking the James River; substantial foundations of this home still stand today located on the path between the Resort Center and the spa.
Revolutionary and Civil War connections to Kingsmill. Kingsmill Plantation saw action during the Revolutionary War. In the fall of 1775, as Patriot forces began to assemble near Williamsburg, the Colonial Governor of Virginia, Lord Dunmore, ordered that British ships patrol the James River to stop rebels from crossing by ferry. On November 5, 1775, militiamen from Chesterfield County assembled near Williamsburg, planning to embark upon Norfolk. The British vessel The Kingfisher patrolled the river but failed to stop 1,000 Colonial militiamen from crossing. The Kingfisher exchanged fire with a Colonial vessel at Burwell’s Ferry, but with no decisive action. Later, the Colonial Americans built two earthen forts in the area.
In 1781, at the end of the Revolutionary War, French forces under the Marquis de Lafayette utilized Burwell’s Landing as they docked and moved inland. Later that year, Colonial General Thomas Nelson and his militia foiled Benedict Arnold’s plan to land at Burwell’s Ferry, The Americans’ earthen forts were captured by the British that year.
The Civil War also saw battles in the vicinity of Kingsmill Plantation. Union General George B. McClellan’s Peninsular Campaign engulfed the plantation, as an army of 120,000 men landed and moved inland through the area on their way to Richmond. Several Confederate defensive lines, such as the Warwick and Williamsburg lines, also ran through the property. In 1865, the Battle of Williamsburg was fought on the property; the Confederates lost 1,682 men and the Union lost 2,283.
Artifacts from excavations on the Kingsmill property are on display at the Resort Center, the Jamestown Settlement Museum, and the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond.
Development of the Kingsmill community. The Kingsmill Community Services Association was incorporated in 1973 and lots were soon sold to builders and potential homeowners. Many of those who bought homes in 1974 still live in Kingsmill.
Beginning in the early 1970s the Kingsmill neighborhood and Kingsmill Resort were developed by Anheuser-Busch as a portion of the brewing company’s development of diversified activities in the Williamsburg area, which grew to include not only the brewery, but the Busch Gardens Williamsburg theme park, and the adjacent office and business properties.
The St. Louis-based brewer invested in the area following negotiations held between August Busch, II and Winthrop Rockefeller, a son of Colonial Williamsburg’s initial chief mentor, John D. Rockefeller, Jr.. Winthrop Rockefeller had been serving as both governor of Arkansas and chairman of Colonial Williamsburg in the 1960s and 1970s.
Both Winthrop Rockefeller, who died in 1973, and August Busch II, who died in 1989 have been credited by some historians with helping develop the Greater Williamsburg area into one of the top tourism destinations in the world. They felt that augmenting the attractions of the Historic Triangle of Colonial Virginia (Jamestown, Colonial Williamsburg, and Yorktown) with other attractions which would help draw future families to the region, as well as help balance out the local economy.
The Resort was incorporated in September 1975 to coincide with the grand opening of the golf club. The River Golf Course opened that year, followed by the Plantation Golf Course in 1985, and the Woods Golf Course 10 years later. Many nationally known sports and show business figures, including Presidents Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton, have played at Kingsmill Resort
What Residents Have to Say About Kingsmill:
We all have concerns about moving into a new community. So, what is it like to actually live in Kingsmill? Here’s what residents have to say:
It’s a kid-friendly community that gave us a “fabulous” welcome. Heidi and Chris Cook moved into Kingsmill in 2014 with a bit of trepidation. They loved the location that made commuting to their four Little Caesars Pizza shops so convenient. And they loved the neighborhood’s beautiful, mature landscaping and 1970s homes. But what about the neighbors? There were many older residents drawn to the amenities-rich community, but how would their two young children fit in?
“The week we moved in, numerous neighbors came by with baked goods,” Heidi said. “It was like a TV show… it absolutely exceeded my expectations!”
“Within the first week, I was already attending a Kingsmill playground picnic,” she added. “I was a little afraid of going into a community with an older population, but there are lots of kids in play groups and tons of families here. I felt very connected right away.”
Heidi noted that Kingsmill is the type of place where kids ride their bikes around and that was fine with her. “It’s gated with its own police force, so we feel very safe here.”
Heidi also found that Kingsmill offers a slew of recreational choices for adults. “I joined the tennis league and my husband is a golfer,” she said. “There are a lot of clubs geared toward all ages. Plus, there is a Lifestyle Committee – joining that is a great way to get plugged in!”
Chris and Heidi love Kingsmill. “We’ve made good friends here,” Heidi said. “And neighbors keep in touch with each other through the community website and the Facebook page.”
Longtime Kingsmill residents Dotty and Jack Gabig chose a parcel in Kingsmill, the last one available on a street where her friends lived. “We liked that the Kingsmill neighborhood had mixed architecture,” Jack notes. “The lot was level and the right size. Plus, it had a private back yard.” In 1999, the couple custom built their traditional Colonial-style home in Kingsmill.
Jack says he was not really a golfer when he moved in because he hadn’t had much time to play. “But I became a golfer after I moved into Kingsmill,” he notes.
Kingsmill offers many programs and events, and the couple notes that one way to get to know the neighbors are at the rec center. “There’s a lot to offer here — dancing, the boat club, and so on — and it’s up to you to find your niche,” Dotty says.
There are also activities informally organized by neighbors, such a block parties and some of Dotty’s favorites, the “Stitch and Chat” and “Wine and Dine” groups.
Jack notes his neighbors are very welcoming. “The first day we were here, someone was pounding on our door like the cops,” he says. “It was a neighbor who brought over a meal.”
If you need something, like a ride to the shop to pick up your car, you just call a neighbor. If you go anywhere, your neighbors check on your place; many of us have keys to other neighbors’ homes.”
The couple says that Kingsmill’s population is changing. “Seven or eight years ago, we didn’t see many children,” Jack notes. “Now, we see young people moving in, and it’s not uncommon to see children out on their bikes. Kingsmill is a thriving community with new people coming in all the time.”
The Gabigs also note that the greater Williamsburg area is a great place for becoming active with the community. For example, Jack does community service work as a court- appointed advocate for at-risk kids. “If you have a liking to do something in a small town like Williamsburg, it’s easy to get involved,” he says.
Ready to Check Out Kingsmill or other neighborhoods in Williamsburg VA?
I am a local Realtor who knows this friendly and active community very well. I would be happy to answer your questions, get you acquainted with the community, and help you find that perfect Kingsmill home. Just call/ text me, John Womeldorf, aka “Mr Williamsburg” at 757-254-8136, or send me an email at John@MrWilliamsburg.com
Location map for Kingsmill -Williamsburg VA