Williamsburg, VA, is known as a historical attraction and offers living history museums, ancient indigenous sites, arts and crafts demonstrations, and more modern attractions like theme parks. There's plenty to do on your holiday here, from riding the roller coasters at an iconic amusement park to catching a full-sensory 4D film. You can walk directly in the footsteps of the early colonists and learn how they cooked, quilted, blew glass ornaments, and farmed. Visit museums of early and modern folk art or tour centuries-old mansions. Check out some of the best things to do on your holiday in Williamsburg.

    1

    Colonial Williamsburg

    Discover how the early colonists lived, worked, and played

    • Families
    • History
    • Budget

    Colonial Williamsburg is a living history museum where costumed performers show you what life was like in the early colonial days, in genuine historic buildings. The entire town has been restored to its original condition, and the performers even speak using the language, diction, and dialects of that era. Parents and kids can explore the entire town, participate in re-enactments and exhibits, listen to traditional music, and observe dance performances. When lunchtime rolls around, you can visit a local restaurant which may be decked out like an old-timey pub. It's a city centre district just 4 minutes from the centre of the city.

    Location: 101 Visitor Centre Dr, Williamsburg, VA 23185, USA

    Open: Daily from 8.45 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 855-771-3290

    Map
    2

    Historic Jamestowne

    Walk in the footsteps of the first British colonists

    • Families
    • History
    • Budget

    Historic Jamestowne is the site where the original British colonists on the New World landed, and today offers over 1,000 artefacts, information, and education about those first colonists. Some of the exhibits are interactive, and you and the children can sort through excavated material looking for additional treasures. While you explore, costumed guides will take you through a living history museum representing a restored part of the settlement. You'll learn about the conflicts, hardships, and life of these colonists first-hand. The site is located on the shores of the river just about a 14-minute drive from city centre.

    Location: 1368 Colonial Pkwy, Jamestown, VA 23081, USA

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 757-856-1250

    Map
    3

    Governor's Palace

    Take a tour of an elegant 18th-century mansion

    • Families
    • History

    The Governor's Palace offers tours of an authentic 18th-century mansion with demonstrations and education regarding life, cooking, and crafts from those bygone days. In the kitchen and scullery, you can see demonstrations of chocolate making, beer brewing, and even traditional cooking. A tour of the palace shows off elegant furniture, period weaponry, and a vast grand ballroom. Outside, formal gardens offer tended walking paths with colourful flowers and a serene escape from the noise and crowds. The mansion is located only a 4-minute drive northeast of the centre of town.

    Location: 300 Palace Green St, Williamsburg, VA 23185, USA

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 800-447-8679

    Map
    4

    Busch Gardens

    Tackle a coaster with a 200-foot drop

    • Couples
    • Families

    Busch Gardens is a huge family amusement park offering rides, games, food, live entertainment, and even live animals to thrill adults and kids of every age. The park is famed for its rides, especially its roller coasters, which rise hundreds of feet in the air and exceed 75 mph while engaging boomerangs, loop-the-loops, and thrilling corkscrews. You can also visit reconstructions of areas in Italy, France, and Germany, with exploration and thrill rides that lead you through the hearts of these old countries. After a day of pulse-pounding thrills, play some games, catch a Broadway-style show, or sit down for a great meal. All of this is only a 16-minute drive southeast of town.

    Location: 1 Busch Gardens Blvd, Williamsburg, VA 23185, USA

    Open: Hours vary by season

    Phone: +1 757-229-4386

    Map

    photo by Piotrus (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    5

    Water Country USA

    Race down waterslides, swim in the waves, or relax on the lazy river

    • Couples
    • Families

    Water Country USA is a waterpark offering lightning fast slides, lounge areas, wave pools, floating rivers, swimming, and other water sports for the family. There are 11 main waterslides of varying lengths and curves, plus 4 children's waterslides. The lazy river offers the chance to relax in gentle currents, while the wave pool offers that ocean tide swimming experience. The park is open in the summer every year, and multi-passes are available which allow you to access both this park and the famed Busch Gardens amusement park nearby. Water Country USA is just a 13-minute drive from the centre of town to the southeast.

    Location: 176 Water Country Pkwy, Williamsburg, VA 23185, USA

    Open: Hours vary by season

    Phone: +1 757-229-4386

    Map
    6

    Jamestown Glasshouse

    Discover the ancient art of glassblowing

    • Couples
    • Families
    • History

    The Jamestown Glasshouse offers demonstrations of traditional glass blowing and the process of creating handmade works of glass art using original furnaces. The Glasshouse is still standing from the earliest days of British colonisation, and glassmaking is a time-honored ancient art. While the craft didn't work out for early colonists, today it's a cherished form, and you can see everything from flasks to plates and bowls to ornaments as they're being made. The on-site gift shop lets you purchase these elegant pieces to take home.

    Location: 1348 Colonial Pkwy, Williamsburg, VA 23185, USA

    Open: Daily from 8.30 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 757-229-2437

    Map
    7

    York River State Park

    Walk shoreline trails through ancient fossil beds

    • Budget
    • Adventure

    York River State Park offers hiking, outdoor adventures, and the chance to explore fossil beds and artefacts from indigenous people and early colonists. You can tackle the various trails here on foot or horseback, and they encompass 30 miles of coastline and forested landscape. Scattered throughout the park are pavilions and playgrounds for the children to climb and run, and boat ramps allow fishing excursions. At the visitor's centre, you can discover the history and habitat of the York River and the conservation efforts represented by the park. The park is just 20 minutes' drive north of the city.

    Location: 9801 York River Park Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23188, USA

    Phone: +1 757-566-3036

    Map

    photo by Virginia State Parks staff (CC BY 2.0) modified

    8

    Bassett Hall

    Tour the home of John D. Rockefeller

    • Families
    • History

    Bassett Hall is a historic building and former home of John D. Rockefeller, with guided tours of the home and gardens offering a view of Rockefeller's collection. As you walk through this historic home you can see ornate furniture, figurines, art, and decorations. Regular events and speakers showcase specific forms of artwork and allow you to recreate these crafts yourself. Outside, the gardens are immaculately tended with walking paths, soft coloured flowers, and plenty of green space to relax.

    Location: 4207, 522 Francis St E, Williamsburg, VA 23185, USA

    Phone: +1 757-220-7453

    Map

    photo by AlbertHerring (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    9

    Great Wolf Lodge Williamsburg

    See a 4D film and ride thrilling waterslides

    • Couples
    • Families
    • Adventure

    Great Wolf Lodge is an indoor/outdoor water park and resort in Williamsburg offering thrilling water slides, a video arcade, a water fort tree, an outdoor lagoon, and even hot springs. The breadth of activities here is sure to thrill, relax, and offer enjoyment to kids and adults of every age. Besides water attractions, you can try mini-bowling, a ropes course, a 4D theatre, and even a workshop where kids can make their own custom furry friend to take home. The park is only 13 minutes to the north of the city centre centre.

    Location: 549 E Rochambeau Dr, Williamsburg, VA 23188, USA

    Phone: +1 800-551-9653

    Map
    10

    Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum

    View the entire world of folk art showcasing daily life

    • Couples
    • Families

    The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum offers a diverse collection of paintings, sculptures, crafts, and objects from local craftsmen and artists using everyday items. These bold pieces of expression use simple shapes and imagination to create truly stunning works of art representing everyday life in the region. The museum, in addition to its extensive permanent exhibits, holds rotating visiting folk-art exhibitions from museums all over. These display such things as farm life, traditional musical instruments, and other forms of artistic expression. It's all in the heart of city centre.

    Location: 301 S Nassau St, Williamsburg, VA 23185, USA

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +1 877-848-8039

    Map

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