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20 Things To Do In Williamsburg Virginia

Williamsburg, Virginia is a city rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. As the capital of Virginia from 1699 to 1780, Williamsburg played a significant role in the formation of the United States. Today, it is a popular tourist destination, drawing visitors from around the world to experience its unique blend of colonial architecture, living history museums, cultural attractions, and outdoor recreation. Here are 20 things to do in Williamsburg that will make your visit unforgettable.

1. Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg VA

Colonial Williamsburg is a living history museum located in Williamsburg, Virginia, that recreates life in the 18th-century colonial capital of Virginia. It features more than 600 restored or reconstructed buildings, historical trades shops, and gardens, and offers visitors the opportunity to interact with costumed interpreters, attend demonstrations of traditional crafts, and watch reenactments of historical events. It is widely regarded as one of the most significant living history museums in the world and attracts millions of visitors each year.

2. Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Busch Gardens Williamsburg VA

Busch Gardens Williamsburg is a popular theme park located in Williamsburg, Virginia, that spans over 400 acres and offers a unique European-themed experience. The park features nine different sections inspired by countries such as Ireland, Scotland, and France, and offers a variety of attractions for visitors of all ages. It boasts thrilling roller coasters, water rides, and family-friendly attractions, as well as animal exhibits and live shows. The park also offers a variety of dining options, souvenir shops, and entertainment venues. Busch Gardens Williamsburg is a great destination for families and thrill-seekers alike, and is one of the most popular theme parks in the United States.

3. Water Country USA

Water Country USA in Williamsburg VA

Water Country USA is a water park located in Williamsburg, Virginia. The park covers 43 acres and offers a variety of water attractions for visitors of all ages. It features thrilling water slides, wave pools, lazy rivers, and family-friendly play areas. The park also offers dining options and souvenir shops. Water Country USA is known for its large wave pool, known as the “Surf Pool,” which generates waves up to 4 feet tall. The park is a popular summer destination and is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

4. Historic Jamestowne

Historic Jamestowne in Williamsburg VA

Historic Jamestowne is an archaeological site and museum located in Williamsburg, Virginia, that preserves and interprets the remains of the original Jamestown settlement. The site covers over 22 acres and features the ruins of the 1607 James Fort, which was the first permanent English settlement in North America. Visitors can tour the archaeological site, view the reconstructed Jamestown Memorial Church, and learn about the daily lives of the early colonists through interactive exhibits and guided tours. The museum also houses an extensive collection of artifacts, including tools, weapons, and household items. Historic Jamestowne is a National Historic Site and is managed jointly by the National Park Service and Preservation Virginia. It is an important historical site that offers a unique glimpse into the early years of American history.

5. Yorktown Battlefield

Yorktown Battlefield is a National Historical Park located in Yorktown, Virginia, that preserves and interprets the site of the last major battle of the American Revolutionary War. The park covers over 500 acres and includes a visitor center, museum, and multiple historical monuments and buildings, such as the Yorktown Victory Monument and the Yorktown National Cemetery. Visitors can tour the battlefield, view the earthworks and fortifications used by both the British and American armies, and learn about the events that led to the surrender of British forces to American and French troops in 1781. Yorktown Battlefield is a significant historical site that offers a unique perspective on the American Revolution and its impact on the United States.

6. Governor’s Palace

Governor's Palace in Colonial Williamsburg VA

The Governor’s Palace is a historical building located in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, that served as the official residence of the Royal Governors of the Virginia Colony in the 18th century. The palace was built in the Georgian style and features elegant architecture, period furnishings, and ornate gardens. Visitors can tour the palace, view its collections of art and artifacts, and learn about the daily lives of Virginia’s colonial governors and their families. The palace is also home to costumed interpreters who offer demonstrations of traditional crafts and activities. The Governor’s Palace is an important historical landmark in Colonial Williamsburg and offers visitors a unique glimpse into the colonial period of American history.

7. College of William and Mary

William & Mary College in Williamsburg VA

The College of William and Mary is a public research university located in Williamsburg, Virginia. It was founded in 1693, making it the second-oldest institution of higher education in the United States. The college is known for its strong academic programs in the arts, humanities, and sciences, and has a diverse student body of over 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The campus is home to numerous historical buildings, including the Wren Building, which is the oldest academic building in continuous use in the United States. The college is also known for its athletic programs, with several NCAA Division I teams competing in a variety of sports. The College of William and Mary is a highly respected institution of higher education and is considered one of the “Public Ivies” due to its academic rigor and reputation.

8. Williamsburg Winery

Williamsburg Winery in Williamsburg VA

The Williamsburg Winery is a family-owned winery located in Williamsburg, Virginia. Founded in 1985, the winery spans over 300 acres and produces a variety of award-winning wines, including Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, and Viognier. The winery features a tasting room, restaurant, and wine club, as well as a hotel and conference center. Visitors can take tours of the vineyard and production facility, as well as participate in events and tastings throughout the year. The Williamsburg Winery is a popular destination for both locals and tourists seeking a unique Virginia wine experience.

9. Williamsburg Farmers Market

Williamsburg Farmers Market in Williamsburg VA

The Williamsburg Farmers Market is a seasonal market that takes place every Saturday from early spring to late fall in Merchants Square, located in the heart of Williamsburg, Virginia. The market features over 40 local vendors who sell a variety of fresh produce, meats, seafood, baked goods, and handmade crafts. Visitors can also enjoy live music, cooking demonstrations, and educational programs that promote sustainable agriculture and healthy living. The Williamsburg Farmers Market is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike who seek to support local farmers and artisans while enjoying the vibrant atmosphere of this historic city.

10. Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg

Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg VA

Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg is a family-friendly resort located in Williamsburg, Virginia. The lodge features a variety of indoor and outdoor activities, including an indoor water park, arcade, mini golf, and ropes course. The water park is the main attraction, with over 79,000 square feet of water slides, pools, and other water activities. The resort also offers a variety of dining options, including a buffet, pizza restaurant, and snack bar. Accommodations include spacious suites with separate bedrooms, bunk beds, and whirlpool tubs. The Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg is a popular destination for families seeking a fun and convenient vacation experience.

11. Golden Horseshoe Golf Club

Golden Horseshoe Golf Club in Williamsburg VA

The Golden Horseshoe Golf Club is a championship golf club located in Williamsburg, Virginia. The club features two 18-hole golf courses, the Gold Course and the Green Course, both designed by renowned architect Robert Trent Jones Sr. The Gold Course has been ranked among the top 100 courses in the United States, while the Green Course offers a challenging yet playable course for golfers of all skill levels. The club also features a driving range, practice greens, and a clubhouse with dining and event spaces. The Golden Horseshoe Golf Club is a popular destination for golfers seeking a world-class golfing experience in a picturesque setting.

12. Williamsburg Pottery Factory

The Williamsburg Pottery Factory is a popular retail complex located in Williamsburg, Virginia. It offers a wide variety of products ranging from pottery to home décor, clothing, furniture, and more. Established in 1938, the complex has grown to become a top shopping destination for both locals and tourists. Visitors can watch skilled artisans at work creating intricate pottery designs and shapes using traditional techniques. In addition to shopping, the complex features dining options such as a café and bakery. Overall, the Williamsburg Pottery Factory is a unique and enjoyable shopping experience.

13. Williamsburg Botanical Garden

Botanical Gardens in Williamsburg VA

Williamsburg Botanical Garden is a beautiful public garden located in Williamsburg, Virginia. The garden offers a variety of plant species from different parts of the world, including native plants and rare and endangered species. The garden features several themed gardens, including a butterfly garden, a colonial herb garden, and a Virginia Native Plant Trail. Visitors can enjoy the beauty of the garden through guided tours, educational programs, and events. The Williamsburg Botanical Garden is a serene and educational experience for all ages.

14. Muscarelle Museum of Art

The Muscarelle Museum of Art in Williamsburg VA

    The Muscarelle Museum of Art is a museum located in Williamsburg, Virginia that features a diverse collection of art and artifacts from various cultures and time periods. The museum exhibits range from ancient artifacts to contemporary art pieces and feature both regional and international artists. The Muscarelle Museum of Art is associated with the College of William & Mary and is an educational and cultural resource for the college and the broader community. The museum offers a variety of educational programs, lectures, and events throughout the year. Overall, the Muscarelle Museum of Art is a unique and enriching experience for visitors interested in art and culture.

    15. Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum

    Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum in Williamsburg VA

    The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum is a unique museum located in Williamsburg, Virginia that features a diverse collection of American folk art dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. Established in 1957, the museum was named after Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, a prominent art collector and philanthropist who played a significant role in its creation. The museum’s collection includes paintings, sculptures, textiles, and other forms of folk art created by ordinary people from various regions of the United States. The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum is part of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, which also includes the Historic Area, the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, and other cultural and educational programs.

    16. Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra

    Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra in Williamsburg VA

      The Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra is a professional symphony orchestra based in Williamsburg, Virginia. Founded in 1984, the orchestra has grown to become a prominent cultural institution in the region, attracting world-class musicians and guest performers. The orchestra’s repertoire spans classical and contemporary music, and they perform a regular concert series throughout the year at the Kimball Theatre in Colonial Williamsburg. The orchestra is also actively involved in music education and community outreach, offering programs such as youth concerts, master classes, and workshops. The Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra is a nonprofit organization that relies on the support of donors and volunteers to continue its mission of bringing world-class music to the local community.

      17. American Heritage Chocolate

      American Heritage Chocolate in Williamsburg VA

      American Heritage Chocolate is a brand of chocolate that is inspired by the historic chocolate recipes of Colonial America. The chocolate is produced by the Mars Wrigley Confectionery company and is based in Williamsburg, Virginia. The recipe for American Heritage Chocolate is based on 18th-century recipes and uses ingredients such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and chili pepper to create a unique and authentic flavor. The chocolate is produced in small batches using traditional methods, and is sold at various locations throughout Colonial Williamsburg, including the Governor’s Palace, the Capitol, and the Raleigh Tavern Bakery. In addition to producing chocolate, American Heritage Chocolate also offers educational programs and workshops that explore the history and culture of chocolate in Colonial America.

      18. Williamsburg Walking Tours

      Walking Tours in Williamsburg VA

      Williamsburg Walking Tours is a tour company that offers a variety of guided walking tours in Williamsburg, Virginia. The company was founded in 1998 and has since become a popular way for visitors to explore the historic city. The tours are led by knowledgeable and experienced guides who provide insights into the history, architecture, and culture of Williamsburg. Some of the tours offered by Williamsburg Walking Tours include the Colonial Williamsburg Walking Tour, the Ghost Tour, the College of William & Mary Tour, and the Tavern Tour. Each tour is designed to provide a unique and immersive experience for visitors, and to showcase the rich history and culture of Williamsburg. The company also offers private tours for groups and can customize tours to meet specific interests and needs.

      19. Freedom Park

      Freedom Park in Williamsburg VA

      Freedom Park is a 600-acre park located in Williamsburg, Virginia. The park is managed by the James City County Parks and Recreation Department and features a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities. The park includes hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, playgrounds, and a fishing pond. One of the main attractions of Freedom Park is its historical significance as the site of a 18th-century free Black settlement known as the “Free Black Town.” Visitors can explore the archaeological remains of the settlement, including the foundations of houses and other structures. The park also hosts a variety of events and programs throughout the year, including outdoor concerts, nature walks, and educational programs on the history and culture of the area.

      20. York River State Park

      York River State Park in Williamsburg VA

      York River State Park is a 2,500-acre park located in Williamsburg, Virginia. The park is situated along the York River and offers a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities. Visitors can enjoy hiking and biking trails, fishing, kayaking and canoeing, and swimming at the park’s freshwater beach. The park also has a visitor center with exhibits on the local ecology and history of the area. One of the unique features of York River State Park is its fossil beach, which allows visitors to search for and collect ancient fossils. The park also hosts a variety of events and programs throughout the year, including guided nature walks, birdwatching, and educational programs for children and families.

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