Beat the Heat

by Natalie Miller-Moore
June 1, 2008

June is the beginning of swelter season in Williamsburg Virginia, and for many people, they just stay inside and enjoy the AC. But if you are visiting the area, I’m sure you want to make the most of your time and actually see some of the natural beauty of Virginia. And, if you are local, you still need to get out and get some things done.

Being a native Ohioan, I never really knew what humidity could do…to the heat index, and to my hair. But, it makes a huge difference in how hot it feels, and how you feel as you try to walk, run or travel.

Here are a few strategies that have worked for me and my guests:

Book a hotel with a pool. Outdoor or indoor, a dip in the pool will help you cool off. Most hotels in Williamsburg do have one, like the Hospitality House or the Days Inn on Bypass Road.

Get up early. If you can get out and about by 8 a.m., you can take a long break during the hottest part of the day. It’s a tip that joggers use, and it can work for you, too.

If you have to be outside or even work outside, make sure you have a water bottle handy. Drink often and refill as needed. Depending on what you are doing, you might want a cool wet rag for your head.

Go places where water is part of the activity. Busch Gardens has a few choices, like the Roman Rapids where you’ll get drenched, and Escape from Pompeii where you probably will, too. Hit the beach in Yorktown or on the way to Jamestown. Water Country USA – need I say more?

Enjoy the evenings in Williamsburg and eat outside. Berret’s Taphouse is a good place, and there are few restaurants on Richmond Road with outdoor seating, like Casa Maya and Tequila Rose. Also, try the Backfin Seafood restaurant on Strawberry Plains Road.

Need a midday activity? Try the New Town Cinemas to cool off after lunch, or the AMC bowling alley on Olde Towne Road.

Dress for the weather. Linen is a nice cool fabric and comes in lots of styles. Wear a hat and sunglasses. Slather on the sunscreen in the morning and then set your alarm to do it again at lunch.

Remember, in colonial times, there was no AC…so you can adopt some of those strategies as well. Take your time and do things slower. Wear a wide-brimmed hat. Insulate yourself with layers of clothes to keep the heat out. Nap during mid-day or find a shady tree to sit under. Find a project in the cellar.

Whatever you do, pace yourself and you’ll have a more enjoyable time. And people will tell you, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.” But sometimes, it is the heat! So be prepared and enjoy yourself.

Williamsburg Resident and Author of A Window to Williamsburg, Natalie Miller-MooreNatalie Miller-Moore has been a resident of Williamsburg, Virginia for six years and is serving as our monthly columnist and local expert. On most days, Natalie can be found spending time with her historian husband and young son, tending to her thriving vegetable garden or enjoying all the thrills found right here in Williamsburg.

You can also enjoy Natalie’s writing in the Daily Press.

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