A 50th anniversary would be impressive in most places, but history runs a bit deeper at Virginia’s Colonial Williamsburg. Still, the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club’s Gold Course (website, 757-565-8911, $159), designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. in 1963, remains worthy of a celebration Ranked third on Golf Magazine’s Best Courses You Can Pay in Virginia, the layout’s four par-3s — all with an elevated tee and requiring a carry over water — form one of the best collections of one-shotters anywhere. While Jones emphasized strategy and shotmaking on this rolling layout, the 634-yard 15th remains an old-fashioned brute. During the 2007 NCAA Men’s Division I Championship, Dustin Johnson and Jhonattan Vegas reached that green in two shots. No one else has since then. Right next door is the Green Course ($79-$95) designed by Rees Jones. More generous off the tee but with far more bunkering than his father’s effort, the Green is a distinctly different but worthy alternative to the Gold.
WHERE TO STAY
The Williamsburg Inn: Celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, the Inn features 62 elegant rooms, some of which overlook the driving range at the Gold Course. More suited to a couples trip, the Inn has a multi-story spa worth visiting, as is the Restoration Bar just off the lobby. Website , 757-220-7978, $319-$799)
Williamsburg Lodge: Located just across South England Street from the Inn, the Lodge is a more low-key option for buddy trips and an equally short walk to the Gold Course. Website, 757-220-7976, $129-$469
WHERE TO EAT
The Williamsburg Inn’s Terrace Room is a much more casual option than the property’s Regency Room, yet with an appetizer of olives (try the Manzanilla), the crabcakes entrée and peppermint ice cream for dessert, it may be just as satisfying. Website, 757-229-2141.
King’s Arms Tavern: One of four historical dining taverns in the area, the King's Arms serves dinner options like the delicious Dueling Beef Collops by staff wearing 18th century clothing in a building located on East Duke of Gloucester Street, just a short walk down colonial-era streets from the Inn and Lodge. Website, 757-229-2141.
A Golden Golf package begins at $189 (per person, per night) through Dec. 31, 2013. It includes accommodations for two nights at the Williamsburg Lodge, one round on the Gold Course, per golfer, per day, complimentary replay rounds and complimentary rental clubs. Photo: Second hole at the Gold course at Golden Horseshoe Golf Club.