The charming hamlet of Williamsburg, Virginia is an exceptional vacation destination. World-class theme parks and historic revolutionary war sites combine to create a remarkable mix of modern yet traditional attractions. Things to do in Williamsburg appeal to a wide variety of visitors. See what you can add to your itinerary by browsing our list of top things to do in America’s Historic Triangle.
Colonial Williamsburg is the epicenter of any Williamsburg vacation. Immerse yourself in the 18th century capitol city of Virginia. Become a part of history as the city comes to life with engaging recreations of the days, months of years leading up to the Revolutionary War. Meet and greet local, costumed interpreters. Listen and learn of the struggles of early America from shopkeepers, townspeople and political figures. Find yourself fully in the nation’s yesterdays as you dance with an 18th-century instructor, walk with curators and gardeners, take part in a witch trial, or march with the Fifes and Drums.
Unique sites such as Jamestown Settlement and Historic Jamestowne add to the educational yet entertaining things to do in the area. Both feature hands-on exhibits and displays. At Jamestown Settlement, the living history museum showcases the culture of 17th century Virginia with inside exhibitions while history really comes to life at their outside recreations. A Powhatan Indian Village and colonial fort allow visitors to see the world of America’s first permanent English colony, founded in 1607. Moored at the Settlement’s pier are recreations of the three ships that brought the settlers to Jamestown – the Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery. Board the ships and learn about the grueling four and a half month voyage of the first colonists. Historic Jamestowne, which is the original site of the Jamestown Colony, is adjacent to the Settlement. Visit to see historical preservation at work at the Jamestown Rediscovery Archaeological Project. Then, visit the Voorhees Archaearium to view curated artifacts, watch glassmaking at the Jamestown Glasshouse, and tour the Jamestown Memorial Church, featuring the brick and cobblestone foundations of the 1693 church.
Your colonial visit isn’t complete without a tour of Yorktown, the site of the final battle of the Revolutionary War. In 1781 General George Washington and his allied armies defeated besieged General Charles Lord Cornwallis’ British and German forces at the port of Yorktown, forcing the British to surrender. This final battle signaled not only the war’s end, but the end of the colonial period of our nation and the start of independence in America. Tour the Yorktown Victory Center and Battlefield to gain a new appreciation of the war efforts. Artifact-filled galleries offer intriguing items like headquarter’s tents George Washington used throughout the war, while outdoors visitors can explore a recreated Continental Army Encampment and 1780s farm. Both feature historical interpreters and provide unique insight into how Americans – both civilians and soldiers – lived during the Revolutionary era.
Discover the old world charm of 18th century Europe at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. The Williamsburg theme park, which has repeatedly been voted the most beautiful theme park in America, gives you the opportunity to explore the streets of countries like England, Scotland, France, Germany, Italy and Ireland. Plus, the theme park features over 50 exciting rides, shows and attractions as well as tasty and authentic cuisine and unique shops. Kids will love the Sesame Street Forest of Fun, a special area of the park where they can play with their Sesame Street friends.
Dive into Aquatic Fun: Make a splash a Water Country USA – Virginia’s largest water park. You’ll flashback to the surfin’ safari days of the ’50s and ’60s with splish-splashin’ slides, a way-out wave pool, and hours of fun in the summer sun. In all, there are more than 30 water rides and attractions catering to families, thrill seekers and those who just want to relax. Conquer the Colossal Curl, relax on the Hubba Hubba Highway, then get your high speed action on the Nitro Racer. Be sure to pack a swimswuit to experience the best in summer fun!
Eat, Drink and Be Merry: In a colonial town like Williamsburg, you’ll want to indulge in the local cuisine. Exceptional historic taverns within Colonial Williamsburg make dining a truly unique experience. With meals and spirits inspired by colonial receipts, establishments like Shield’s Tavern and King’s Arm Tavern immerse you in not only colonial flavors but traditional atmospheres. Looking for something more modern but just a unique? Make reservations for A Chef’s Kitchen. You’ll learn about food and be entertained as you are served fresh, seasonal food paired with carefully chosen wines. Williamsburg is home to a burgeoning wine scene. Raise your glass at Williamsburg Winery, a three hundred acre farm with colonial roots, or if beer is more your style, visit the Williamsburg AleWorks for tasty craft beer.
Shop ‘Til You Drop: Williamsburg is a fantastic place to shop because the offerings are a mix of historic, modern and unique boutiques. Looking for a deal? The Williamsburg Premium Outlets has more than 150 designer outlets. Specialty shops are a favorite for shoppers. Simply walk quaint High Street or stroll through New Town or the picturesque Riverwalk Landing to find one-of-a-kind items. Of course, the historic storefronts of Colonial Williamsburg are a true shopping highlight, as is downtown Merchants Square, where you can find 18th century style in a 21st century atmosphere.