31 Best Places and Things To Do in Williamsburg, Virginia

Williamsburg, Virginia is a historic city known for its significant role in American history. As the capital of the Virginia Colony from 1699 to 1780, Williamsburg played a crucial part in shaping the early development of the United States. Today, it is a popular tourist destination that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and entertainment. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Williamsburg:

1. Colonial Williamsburg

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The centerpiece of the city, Colonial Williamsburg is a living history museum that allows visitors to step back in time to the 18th century. With its meticulously restored buildings, costumed interpreters, and engaging exhibits, Colonial Williamsburg offers an immersive experience of life during the Revolutionary War era.

2. Historic Jamestowne

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Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historic_Jamestown

Just a short drive from Williamsburg, Historic Jamestowne is the site of the original English settlement in the Americas. Explore the archaeological remains, tour the museum, and learn about the early struggles and triumphs of the Jamestown colonists.

3. Jamestown Settlement Museum

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Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamestown_Settlement

Expand your historical exploration by visiting Jamestown Settlement, a living history museum that commemorates the first permanent English settlement in North America. Witness historical reenactments, explore replicas of the settlers’ ships, and engage with costumed interpreters.

4. Governor’s Palace

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Step into the opulent world of Virginia’s colonial governors by visiting the Governor’s Palace. This grand residence, with its elegant gardens, period furnishings, and knowledgeable guides, provides a fascinating glimpse into the lifestyle of the colonial elite.

5. Busch Gardens Williamsburg

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For a dose of excitement and adventure, head to Busch Gardens Williamsburg. This world-class theme park combines thrilling roller coasters, live entertainment, and beautifully landscaped gardens. It’s a perfect place to have fun with the whole family.

6. Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum


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Located within Colonial Williamsburg, this museum showcases one of the largest collections of American folk art in the country. Discover the vibrant and diverse works of self-taught artists, including paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts.

7. Bruton Parish Episcopal Church

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Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruton_Parish_Church

Bruton Parish Church has witnessed significant events in American history. It served as a place of worship for prominent figures like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry. The church played a role in the colonial period, the American Revolution, and the establishment of the United States. The church’s architecture reflects its rich history. The current building, dating back to 1715, is a beautiful example of Georgian architecture. Its elegant exterior features a classical design, while the interior boasts ornate woodwork, a beautiful chancel, and intricate stained glass windows.

8. Jamestown Glasshouse


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The Jamestown Glasshouse was a pioneering endeavor in the early years of English settlement in America. It was established by settlers who hoped to capitalize on the abundant natural resources in the area, such as the sand and wood necessary for glass production. The glasshouse played a vital role in the colony’s economic development and helped to shape the early glass industry in America.

9. DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum

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Immerse yourself in the world of American art at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg. The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum together offer a comprehensive collection of fine and decorative arts from the 17th to the 19th century.

10. Colonial National Historic Park

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Colonial National Historical Park offers a variety of ranger-led programs, guided tours, and living history demonstrations. Engage with knowledgeable park rangers who share stories, historical insights, and interpretations of the sites and events that shaped early American history.

11. Bassett Hall

Bassett Hall in the Spring.

Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bassett_Hall

Bassett Hall is intimately connected to the history of Colonial Williamsburg. The Rockefeller family purchased the property in the 1920s and used it as their private retreat while actively supporting the restoration efforts in the area. Their involvement and dedication were instrumental in transforming Colonial Williamsburg into the living history museum it is today. Bassett Hall is a beautiful example of Colonial Revival architecture. The house, built in the 18th century, features period furnishings and decor that reflect the Rockefellers’ taste and their appreciation for Colonial American heritage. The surrounding gardens have been meticulously maintained and offer a tranquil setting for visitors to enjoy.

12. Colonial Williamsburg Capitol Building

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Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capitol_(Williamsburg,_Virginia)

The Capitol Building holds immense historical importance as the location where important political events unfolded during the colonial period and the American Revolution. It served as the meeting place for the House of Burgesses, the colony’s legislative body, and witnessed significant debates and decisions that shaped the course of Virginia and the nation.

13. York River State Park


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The park boasts stunning views of the York River, with its meandering waterways and peaceful surroundings. Take a leisurely stroll along the riverbank or find a cozy spot to sit and enjoy the tranquil beauty of the water and surrounding landscapes. York River State Park features over 30 miles of hiking and multi-use trails that wind through diverse ecosystems, including forests, wetlands, and open meadows. Lace up your hiking boots and embark on an adventure, immersing yourself in the park’s natural wonders. Keep an eye out for native wildlife, including deer, bald eagles, and a variety of bird species.

14. George Wythe House

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The George Wythe House is of great historical significance as the home of George Wythe, a respected lawyer, teacher, and statesman. Wythe played a vital role in shaping the early American legal system and was a mentor to notable figures such as Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, and Henry Clay. The house itself witnessed important discussions and debates among these influential figures during the Revolutionary era.

15. Wren Building


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The Wren Building was constructed between 1695 and 1700 and has a rich history spanning over three centuries. It was designed by Sir Christopher Wren, one of the most renowned architects of his time. The building has witnessed significant events in American history, including visits from notable figures such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and John Marshall.

16. Public Hospital Museum

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The Public Hospital Museum, located in Williamsburg, Virginia, is a historical museum that offers visitors a unique glimpse into the early history of mental health care in America. Housed within the reconstructed building of the original Public Hospital, the museum provides insights into the treatment of mental illness during the colonial period and sheds light on the evolving understanding of mental health over time.

17. Virginia Musical Museum


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The Virginia Musical Museum showcases a diverse collection of musical instruments spanning different eras and styles. From antique pianos and organs to string instruments, woodwinds, brass, and percussion, the museum offers a comprehensive display of musical craftsmanship. The museum’s collection includes instruments with historical significance, some of which may have been owned or played by notable musicians. You can learn about the evolution of musical instruments and their impact on the development of music over time.

18. Waller Mill Park


Image Source: https://www.williamsburgva.gov/675/Waller-Mill-Park

The highlight of Waller Mill Park is its 360-acre reservoir, which provides opportunities for fishing, boating, and kayaking. Anglers can try their luck at catching bass, catfish, and other freshwater fish species. Boaters and kayakers can explore the tranquil waters and enjoy the surrounding natural beauty. The park features several miles of hiking and nature trails, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the scenic woodlands and observe local wildlife. The trails cater to different skill levels, making it suitable for leisurely walks, nature photography, or more challenging hikes.

19. Saint Bede Catholic Church

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Saint Bede Catholic Church offers regular worship services for its parishioners. These services include Masses, which are conducted in accordance with Catholic traditions and liturgy. Whether you’re attending a daily Mass or a Sunday service, you can participate in prayers, scripture readings, and the celebration of the Eucharist. As a Catholic church, Saint Bede provides the opportunity to receive sacraments such as baptism, reconciliation (confession), Holy Communion, confirmation, marriage, and anointing of the sick. The church also celebrates religious holidays and feasts throughout the liturgical year, including Christmas, Easter, and other significant events in the Catholic calendar.

20. Freedom Park

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The park offers over 20 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails that wind through forests, wetlands, and meadows. These well-maintained trails cater to different skill levels and provide opportunities for outdoor exploration and exercise. You can immerse yourself in the serene beauty of nature while enjoying a leisurely walk, a challenging hike, or a bike ride. Freedom Park holds historical importance as the site of a 18th-century free Black settlement called “Violet Bank.” Interpretive signs throughout the park share information about the area’s history and the people who lived there. Visitors can learn about the contributions of African Americans and gain insights into their lives during that time.

21. Veterans Park

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Veterans Park serves as a tribute to the men and women who have served in the military. It offers a serene and contemplative space where visitors can honor and reflect upon the sacrifices made by veterans. The park features various elements that pay homage to veterans. These may include memorials, statues, plaques, or dedicated areas that represent different branches of the military or specific conflicts in which veterans have served. These features provide an opportunity for visitors to learn about the history and significance of military service.

22. Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg


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The highlight of the resort is its expansive indoor water park, which is available exclusively to lodge guests. The water park features a variety of water slides, wave pools, lazy rivers, and interactive play areas suitable for all ages. Whether you’re looking for thrilling water slides or a relaxing float along the lazy river, there are options for everyone to enjoy. Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg offers a variety of spacious and comfortable accommodations to suit different family sizes and budgets. From standard rooms to themed suites, each room is designed with families in mind and offers amenities like mini-fridges, microwaves, and Wi-Fi.

23. Muscarelle Museum of Art

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Located on the campus of the College of William & Mary, the Muscarelle Museum of Art features an impressive collection of European and American art. Explore rotating exhibitions that showcase works from various periods and genres, including contemporary art.

24. Colonial Williamsburg Wetherburn Tavern


Image Source: https://www.colonialwilliamsburg.org/locations/wetherburns-tavern/

The Wetherburn Tavern transports visitors back to the 18th century, allowing them to experience the ambiance and atmosphere of a colonial-era tavern. The building’s architecture and interior design reflect the style and character of the time period, providing an immersive historical experience. The tavern offers dining options where visitors can enjoy meals and refreshments inspired by colonial-era recipes. The menu typically features traditional dishes, beverages, and desserts that were popular during the 18th century. The staff may be dressed in period attire, further enhancing the immersive experience.

25. Jamestown Beach Event Park


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The park features nature trails that wind through the surrounding wooded areas, allowing visitors to explore the local flora and fauna. These trails are suitable for leisurely walks, jogging, or birdwatching, providing an opportunity to connect with nature. Fishing enthusiasts can enjoy the park’s fishing pier, which extends into the James River. Anglers can try their luck catching a variety of fish species that inhabit the river.

26. Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

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Ripley’s Believe It or Not! showcases an extensive collection of oddities, curiosities, and interactive exhibits. You’ll encounter displays that range from shrunken heads and unusual art pieces to rare artifacts and odd scientific discoveries. Each exhibit aims to intrigue and challenge your perception of what is possible. The museum features a wide array of strange and remarkable artifacts gathered from different corners of the world. You might come across peculiar artwork, unusual natural formations, mind-bending illusions, and intriguing cultural objects. The exhibits often highlight the fascinating aspects of human achievement, creativity, and the peculiarities of the natural world.

27. Redoubt Park


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Redoubt Park is home to one of the original 14 redoubts (small, triangular fortifications) that were built by British forces during the Siege of Yorktown in 1781, a crucial event during the American Revolutionary War. The redoubt at this site, known as Redoubt #9, played a significant role in the siege. When visiting Redoubt Park, you can explore the grounds and learn about the history of the site through interpretive exhibits. Informational signs and displays provide historical context, explaining the significance of Redoubt #9 and its role in the Battle of Yorktown.

28. Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church

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The church holds regular religious services that follow the traditions and rituals of the Greek Orthodox faith. Visitors are welcome to attend worship services, which include prayers, hymns, scripture readings, and sermons delivered by the clergy. Inside the church, you will find beautiful examples of iconography and Byzantine art. Greek Orthodox churches typically feature elaborate iconostases (icon screens) adorned with icons depicting Christ, the Virgin Mary, saints, and biblical scenes. These artistic representations hold significant religious and symbolic meaning within the Greek Orthodox tradition.

29. St. George Tucker House

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The St. George Tucker House is a fine example of Georgian-style architecture, which was popular during the colonial period. The house features a symmetrical façade, multiple chimneys, and a central entrance with decorative detailing. Its design reflects the elegance and craftsmanship of the era. The house has been restored and furnished to depict the lifestyle and furnishings of the late 18th century. Visitors can explore the interior and see period-appropriate furniture, artwork, and decorative elements. Knowledgeable guides provide historical interpretation and insights into the Tucker family’s life and the historical context of the time.

30. Everard House

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The Brush-Everard House is a two-story brick structure built in the Georgian architectural style. It features a symmetrical façade, large windows, and a prominent front entrance. The house reflects the architectural trends of the colonial period. The Brush-Everard House has a rich history dating back to the 18th century. It was built in the mid-1700s and has had several owners throughout its existence. The house is named after two prominent families who resided there, the Brush family and the Everard family.

31. Colonial Williamsburg Magazine

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The magazine covers a wide range of topics related to Colonial Williamsburg and the colonial period. It provides insights into the lives of the people who lived in the area during that time, the historical events that took place, the architecture, the material culture, and the various aspects of colonial life. The articles in the magazine are often based on historical research conducted by experts and historians. The content aims to provide accurate and detailed information, shedding light on lesser-known aspects of colonial history and offering fresh perspectives on familiar subjects.

Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or a thrill-seeker, Williamsburg has something to offer everyone. With its rich heritage, charming atmosphere, and diverse attractions, it’s no wonder that Williamsburg remains a beloved destination for visitors from around the world.