Williamsburg, VA is more than just a living museum – it is also a historical college town that offers many delights to its visitors. The first thing you’ll notice is Colonial Williamsburg, as it recalls street scenes from centuries ago.
Browse the unique boutiques and visit the artisans’ shops as you stroll through the old streets and let the city use its charms on you.
Williamsburg has unique historical attractions like Colonial Williamsburg Arboretum, Williamsburg Botanical Garden, William & Mary Museum of Fine Arts, and Busch Gardens Williamsburg, which offer a pleasant mix of both beauty and history.
I’ve compiled the list below, containing fun and exciting things to do in Williamsburg to spice up your visit and make sure you enjoy everything this city has to offer. If you haven’t been to Williamsburg before, this is all the guidance you need.
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The Best 10 Things To Do In Williamsburg VA
300 Palace Green St. // +18004478679
Williamsburg’s historic Governor’s Palace is one of my favorite spots. This structure served as a lodging for royal governors beginning in 1706 and Virginia elected governors from 1779-1786.
It burned down two times due to arson and was reconstructed in 1930 using methods derived from historical research. Currently, the palace houses a museum of colonial-era furnishings and many beautiful swords from that period.
The palace’s grand ballroom is impressive, complete with glittering chandeliers, marble columns, and intricate frescoes.
The original decor has been preserved, including an impressive silver tea set given to the royal governor Francis Fauquier by King George III of England.
1368 Colonial Pkwy. // +17578561250
Jamestowne is one of the most well-preserved archaeological sites in the nation. Touring the site offers one an up-close look at the rich history of the early days of America’s colonization. It is exciting to see what they discovered and how their camp looked as it would have been more than 400 years ago.
The archaeological site offers many markers and displays for visitors, but you will need to bring your imagination to fully experience the whole area.
Jamestowne is separate from the larger Colonial National Historical Park Visitors Center, which includes costumed park rangers, artifacts, battle reenactments, and the original fort in the shape of a stockade.
Today, you can see replicas of the three ships that brought the colonists over in 1607 (the Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery), go on guided tours through colonial-era buildings filled with artifacts recovered from archaeological digs, and climb down into an excavated James Fort cellar for a feel of what early life was like.
1 Busch Gardens Blvd // +17572294386
What makes Busch Gardens Williamsburg so special? It’s difficult to narrow it down to just one thing. The park certainly is impressive, with its three entrances modeled after the gates of France, England, and Germany.
You can choose to enter the park through the France entrance (known as Port Aventura) or park-hop through all three on an All-Day Park Explorer ticket.
This adventure-packed park has enough thrill rides to make anyone’s pulse race. The fun doesn’t stop there, though! The park has many things to offer all year long that don’t involve roller coasters, such as various shows and activities for both children and adults.
Everything from dinner shows to festivals celebrating the region’s music and art will have you saying “Adios,” “Bonjour,” “Auf Wiedersehen,” and “Hola” in no time.
The beauty of this theme park is that you can customize your day here to please all generations of your family. So whether you are trying to pass the time or looking for an exciting place to visit, this park is one of the best things to do in Williamsburg, VA, and offers unpredictable thrills for everyone!
603 Jamestown Rd. // +17572212700
Like many of the best things to do in Williamsburg, VA, the Muscarelle Museum of Art tours is free. And on the hour, every hour, employees lead groups through the art collection.
The tours can be on anything from ancient pottery, to Byzantine glass, to Chinese snuff bottles. There is also an annex on campus that houses European art.
The Muscarelle Museum of Art is one of the older Williamsburg attractions. The museum was founded in 1983 after an art collection was given to the college by local industrialist Charles S. Williams.
The museum bears the name of Dr. Joseph W. Muscarelle Jr., who also named the college’s performing arts center, the student art gallery (now known as the Joseph W. Muscarelle Jr. Gallery), and the Sculpture Garden (which bears his name).
All of the art is American and encompasses a wide range of periods. Such great artists as William Harnett, N.C. Wyeth, Thomas Sully, and James Cowardin created the objects in the Muscarelle Museum of Art.
301 S. Nassau St. // +18778488039
This Virginia folk art museum is fantastic. It helps to uplift the importance of folk art. It is especially popular with those who love history and those who love antiques.
Visiting this museum helps you realize that the USA’s cultural heritage is available in books and museums and can be viewed and enjoyed by touching and feeling these objects.
A visit to the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum is like visiting an art gallery made of other people’s houses.
The houses, sheds, attics, and other spaces that were transformed into galleries for self-taught artists are filled with paintings, sculptures, furniture, pottery, quilts, stoneware, and glassware. There are even places where you can walk inside the artwork.
Apart from its permanent collection, the museum occasionally hosts temporary exhibits, usually on loan from other institutions.
A carved wooden dog, a Prince, participates in Down on the Farm, with wooden toys, paintings, and sculptures depicting the countryside and folk music instruments used by folk musicians in the nineteenth and twentieth century, such as banjos, dulcimers, and fiddles.
Colonial National Historical Park is located on the Virginia Peninsula and is connected to Richmond by the Colonial Parkway. The city of Yorktown was the site of the last American Revolutionary War battle in 1781.
Founded by English settlers in 1607, Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement in America. Essentially, both sites share the same name, Williamsburg, which is also the name of the Colonial National Historical Park.
Williamsburg, VA, is home to two important historical sites, Colonial National Historical Park and Jamestown Settlement.
Among the most important historical sites in Colonial National Historical Park are Jamestown, the first English settlement in the New World, and Yorktown Battlefields, the location of the last battle of the Revolutionary War in 1781.
As the start and end of English colonial America, both sites are located on the Virginia Peninsula and are connected by a scenic road called Colonial Parkway.
The park is also home to Sir William Berkeley’s 17th-century estate Green Spring, where the colony’s first governor lived, and the Cape Henry Memorial, which was built on the site where the first Jamestown colonists landed in 1607.
Along with its historical sites, the park also boasts attractive natural features, including fields, forests, wetlands, and streams.
1348 Colonial Pkwy., Williamsburg // +17572292437
The Jamestown Glasshouse is a museum and piece of the Heritage Trail. It is located at the Colonial National Historical Park’s site of the 18th century Jamestown colony, the first permanent English settlement in North America.
The historic building was built in 1608 and is the only physical structure remaining from the original James Fort.
It’s now a museum, and visitors can walk through the area and see displays of glassmaking and the tools they would have used. In addition, guided tours are available, which will bring tourists through the entire process, from start to finish.
The Jamestown Glasshouse gives tourists an incredible look into history that they won’t soon forget.
The glasshouse is an anchor of sorts for visitors of Colonial Williamsburg. It’s where you can get a feel for the glassmaking process, try your hand at glassblowing, and see how artisans might have used glass to create things for everyday use. This is one of the only remaining sites connected with the early days of America’s first colony.
9801 York River Park Rd. // +17575663036
York River’s Area is one of the most popular attractions to check out in Colonial Virginia. There are several activities visitors can participate in at this park, which contributes to its popularity. In addition, the area hosts several historical sites, beaches, two wildlife refuges, and much more.
Marine and plant life teems in York River State Park, created by the unique combination of two habitats. Besides fossil beds, the park contains Colonial and Native American artifacts.
Its thirty miles of forests and coastline trails are suitable for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, and its playgrounds and pavilions provide plenty of fun for kids as well.
A boat ramp is also available at York River State Park for fishing enthusiasts. In addition, the York River State Park visitor center is an excellent place for learning about the York River’s history, uses, and habitat.
201 W. Duke of Gloucester St. // +17572292891
Virginia’s first cruciform-shaped church was Bruton Parish Episcopal Church, completed in 1715. The space measures 75 feet by 28 feet. The church underwent many additions and enhancements during its rise to prominence and received some of its greatest treasures.
An organ was installed in 1756, and the rare Book of Common Prayer and the Holy Bible were acquired in 1753. It is known that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson attended Bruton.
Confederate soldiers used the Bruton Hospital after the Battle of Williamsburg in 1862, and it was completely renovated in 1939 as part of the historic Williamsburg restoration. As a result, the church exists today as an authentic replica of its original splendor.
In addition to being an active parish church, Brunton offers more than 120 concerts and recitals on its precious organ and performances by visiting choral and instrumental groups.
5800 Wessex Hundred // +17579376801
Williamsburg Winery was officially formed in 1986 when two local wine producers, Mike and Norah Perten, joined forces with Bill Gould to produce Wasserhund Vineyards wines.
The name Wasserhund is an Alsatian German word meaning “water dog,” which refers to the large dogs of the Rhine River Valley that were used to pull carts of wine between vineyards and cellars.
A popular choice among winery visitors is taking a tour and eating at the restaurant. The central hotel of the winery is Wedmore Place, an elegant European-style inn with 28 individually designed rooms.
In the hotel’s Cafe Provençal, guests can dine on delicious meals paired with fine wines.
Summary Of The 10 Best Things To Do In Williamsburg VA
This charming and picturesque town in the Virginia piedmont is the ideal getaway for history buffs, folks looking to work on their golf swing and anyone who appreciates a good microbrew.
Its central location means many travelers will pass right through for a quick day trip, which is, in reality, not enough time at all because there are plenty of things to do in Williamsburg all week long.
So if you are passing through Virginia, make sure you get enough time to explore everything Williamsburg has to offer!
Visiting other destinations in Virginia? Check out our other delicious guides:
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Igor Jovanovski is an aspiring digital nomad, travel blogger and graphic designer who really loves food. He also has a creative side, and he works as a freelance graphic designer in his spare time. He has traveled across Europe quite a few times since he was young and recently started his mission to visit every country in the world! Igor’s favorite thing about traveling is the way he gets to know new people, food, places and cultures.
This exciting experience helps him create his own stories and make memories that will last forever