Discover Fun Things to Do in Williamsburg, VA [MUST READ]

Things to Do in Williamsburg

Are you planning a trip to Williamsburg, VA and wondering what activities and attractions you should include in your itinerary? Look no further than our ultimate guide to fun things to do in Williamsburg!

From exploring the city’s rich historical sites to enjoying outdoor activities, amusement parks, and wineries, there is something for everyone in Williamsburg. You can also discover the city’s art and culture scene, dine at delicious restaurants, and shop in charming boutiques.

If you’re feeling brave enough, you can even go on a ghost tour or attend one of the city’s many festivals and events. And when it’s time to wind down, relax at one of Williamsburg’s luxurious spas and resorts.

In this guide, we’ll cover all of these activities and more, as well as provide helpful information on accommodations for every budget and answers to frequently asked questions. Let’s get started on planning your perfect trip!

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Experience Williamsburg’s Rich History

Williamsburg, Virginia is steeped in history, making it the perfect destination for those looking to immerse themselves in America’s past. Colonial Williamsburg, a living-history museum, is the crown jewel of the city and attracts millions of visitors each year.

Step back in time and experience life as it was in the 18th century. Learn hands-on trades such as blacksmithing, woodworking, and spinning, all while interacting with actors portraying historical figures. For a truly immersive experience, consider staying in one of the many colonial-style homes available for rent in the area.

But Colonial Williamsburg is just the beginning. Jamestown Settlement, located just a few miles outside of Williamsburg, is the site of the first permanent English settlement in North America. Visitors can explore recreated Native American villages and see replicas of the ships that brought English settlers to the New World.

Yorktown Battlefield, the site of the final major battle of the American Revolution, is also nearby and features a museum and self-guided driving tour.

Experience Williamsburg’s Rich History: Tips and Tricks

To get the most out of your historic Williamsburg experience, consider purchasing a multi-day pass to Colonial Williamsburg. This will give you access to all of the carefully restored buildings, historical reenactments, and special events happening throughout the year.

It’s also a good idea to plan your visit ahead of time. Check the Colonial Williamsburg website for a calendar of events and to purchase tickets in advance. This will help you avoid long lines and ensure you don’t miss out on any must-see attractions.

“Visiting Williamsburg’s historic sites is like stepping back in time. You can feel the history come alive all around you.” -Michelle, avid history buff and Williamsburg enthusiast

Explore Outdoor Activities in Williamsburg

If you love the great outdoors, Williamsburg has plenty of activities to keep you busy. From hiking and biking to kayaking and fishing, there’s no shortage of outdoor fun to be had in this beautiful Virginia city.

One of the best places to take in the natural beauty of Williamsburg is at the Freedom Park Interpretive Center. With over 600 acres of lush forests and wetlands, you can explore nature trails, go fishing, or have a picnic with family and friends.

ActivityDescription
HikingWilliamsburg has a variety of scenic hiking trails, including the Virginia Capital Trail and the Newport News Park Trail. The trails offer breathtaking views of nature and wildlife.
BikingFor cycling enthusiasts, the Capital Trail Bike Trail is a must-visit destination. Stretching from Jamestown to Richmond, the trail is 52 miles long and offers beautiful views of the James River.
KayakingEnjoy a day on the water with a kayaking adventure along the James River or the nearby Chickahominy River. Several local companies offer rentals and guided tours.
GolfingWilliamsburg is home to some of the best golf courses in the country, including Golden Horseshoe Golf Club and Kingsmill Resort. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, there’s a course for you.

If you’re looking for a more unique outdoor experience, visit Go Ape Treetop Adventure Course. With rope bridges, Tarzan swings, and zip lines, this adventure course is a thrill-seeker’s dream.

Explore Outdoor Activities in Williamsburg – Tips:

  • Check the weather forecast before planning your activity
  • Wear appropriate clothing and footwear
  • Bring sunscreen and bug spray
  • If you’re renting equipment, make sure to reserve it in advance
  • Always follow safety guidelines and instructions from guides

“Williamsburg is the perfect destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. With so many activities to choose from, you’ll never run out of adventures to embark on.” – John Smith, Outdoor Enthusiast

Virginia Amusement Parks

Also read : Ultimate Guide Travel Blogging Tips for Beginners in 2023

Have Fun at Williamsburg’s Amusement Parks

If you’re looking for some excitement, Williamsburg is home to some of the best amusement parks in the country. Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA are two of the most popular and a must-visit when in the area.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg is a theme park that offers a European-inspired experience, complete with roller coasters, thrill rides, and live shows. The park is divided into sections, each representing a different country, with rides and attractions that transport you to another world.

Don’t forget to try out the new pantheon coaster, recently added to the park’s attractions.

Water Country USA is a water park filled with water slides, wave pools, and lazy rivers, perfect for those hot summer days. The park has something for everyone, from toddlers to adults, with attractions like the Colossal Curl and the park’s newest addition, Cutback Water Coaster, a ride that combines elements of a water slide and roller coaster.

If you plan on visiting both parks, be sure to take advantage of their package deals to save money. Be sure to check their websites for park hours and special events throughout the season.

Discover Williamsburg’s Art and Culture Scene

Williamsburg is not only rich in history and outdoor activities but also in art and culture. Whether you’re interested in museums, art galleries, or theaters, Williamsburg offers a variety of cultural attractions to explore.

Art Museums and Galleries

Williamsburg is home to a range of art galleries and museums that showcase artwork from local and international artists. The Muscarelle Museum of Art is located on the campus of the College of William & Mary and offers changing exhibitions featuring a variety of art from around the world.

The Williamsburg Contemporary Art Center features rotating exhibits of contemporary art, jewelry, and pottery. The Art-cade Gallery, located on Merchants Square, offers a unique collection of art, antiques, and collectibles.

Theater and Performing Arts

The Kimball Theatre, located in the heart of Colonial Williamsburg, hosts a variety of live performances, including plays, comedy acts, and musical performances. The Virginia Shakespeare Festival, held annually at Phi Beta Kappa Memorial Hall, features performances of classic Shakespeare plays. The Williamsburg Players, a community theater group, performs a variety of shows throughout the year, including dramas, comedies, and musicals.

Historical Sites and Museums

Williamsburg’s rich history can also be explored through its many museums and historical sites. The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum features over 3,000 pieces of American folk art, including paintings, sculptures, and textiles.

The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, located in Colonial Williamsburg, showcases a collection of 18th-century American furniture, ceramics, textiles, and silver. The Jamestown Settlement tells the story of America’s first permanent English colony and features interactive exhibits and historical reenactments.

The Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra

The Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra provides classical music concerts throughout the year, featuring world-class musicians and conductors. The orchestra performs at venues such as the Kimball Theatre and Phi Beta Kappa Memorial Hall, as well as outdoor concerts at venues like the beautiful Lake Matoaka Amphitheater.

No matter what your interests, Williamsburg’s art and culture scene has something for everyone. So, be sure to take some time to explore the many museums, galleries, and performances that make Williamsburg such a vibrant and dynamic city.

Williamsburg Award-Winning Wineries

Visit Williamsburg’s Award-Winning Wineries

When it comes to wine, Williamsburg may not be the first place that comes to mind, but it should be. With its mild climate and rich soil, this region is home to some of the best wineries on the East Coast. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or just looking for a relaxing day out, you’ll find plenty to enjoy in the Williamsburg area.

Why Visit Williamsburg’s Wineries?

There are several reasons why you should add a winery visit to your Williamsburg itinerary. Here are a few:

  • Sample some of the best wines on the East Coast
  • Enjoy beautiful views of vineyards and countryside
  • Learn about the winemaking process from knowledgeable staff
  • Take a tour of the winery and learn about the history of the region

Which Wineries Should You Visit?

Williamsburg is home to several award-winning wineries, all of which offer tastings, tours, and beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. Here are some of the most popular:

WineryLocationSpecialty
Williamsburg WineryWilliamsburgEuropean-style wines
Saude Creek VineyardsNew KentBordeaux-style wines
New Kent WineryNew KentBordeaux-style wines
James River CellarsGlen AllenVariety of wines

At the Williamsburg Winery, for example, you can take a tour of the winemaking facility and the historic Wessex Hundred Farm, where the grapes are grown. You can also enjoy a tasting of their award-winning wines and dine at their on-site restaurant.

Plan Your Visit

Most wineries in the Williamsburg area are open year-round, but hours may vary depending on the season. It’s always a good idea to check the winery’s website or call ahead to confirm opening hours and schedule a tour.

Wine tastings typically cost between $10 and $25 and include a selection of wines and a souvenir glass. Some wineries offer tours for an additional fee.

Whether you’re a wine aficionado or just looking for a fun day out, a visit to one of Williamsburg’s award-winning wineries is sure to be a highlight of your trip.

Shop and Dine in Williamsburg

Williamsburg is not only a popular tourist destination, but also a haven for shoppers and foodies alike. From boutique shops to world-class restaurants, there’s something for everyone in Williamsburg.

Williamsburg Shopping

If you’re looking for unique shopping experiences, Williamsburg has you covered. The historic district is home to numerous shops and boutiques, including specialty stores selling handmade crafts and gifts. You can also find major retailers at outlets such as Williamsburg Premium Outlets and The Shops at High Street.

For a taste of local flavor, visit the Williamsburg Farmers Market, where you can browse locally grown produce, baked goods, and crafts from over 40 vendors.

Williamsburg Dining

Williamsburg’s dining scene is just as diverse as its shopping. From gourmet cuisine to casual eateries, you’re sure to find a restaurant to suit your taste buds and budget.

For a fine dining experience, try the Fat Canary or the Trellis Bar and Grill, both located in the historic district. If you’re in the mood for seafood, head to the Blue Talon Bistro or the Riverwalk Restaurant, both known for their fresh catches and waterfront views.

If you’re traveling with kids, the Cheese Shop and the Carrot Tree Kitchens are both family-friendly options, with menus featuring sandwiches, soups, and salads.

No matter what your dining preference, be sure to save room for dessert. Williamsburg is known for its colonial-inspired sweets, including peanut brittle and rum cakes. You can find these treats and more at the Wythe Candy and Gourmet Shop or the Williamsburg Chocolatier.

Williamsburg Ghost Tours

Get Spooked on Williamsburg’s Ghost Tours

If you’re looking for a thrilling and spooky experience in Williamsburg, look no further than the ghost tours available in the area. These tours take you on a journey through Williamsburg’s haunted history, revealing chilling stories of ghostly apparitions and unexplained phenomena.

One of the most popular ghost tours in Williamsburg is the Colonial Ghost Tour, which takes visitors on a guided walk through the streets of Colonial Williamsburg. You’ll hear tales of haunted houses and mysterious occurrences, all while enjoying the charm of the historic district at night.

If you’re feeling especially brave, check out the Dead of Night Ghost Tour. This tour takes place after dark and includes visits to some of Williamsburg’s most notoriously haunted locations, such as the Peyton Randolph House and the Public Gaol.

“These ghost tours are perfect for those who love a good scare and enjoy learning about the darker side of history.”

For a more immersive experience, consider booking the Ghost Walk Junior tour for your kids. This tour is designed for families with children ages 5 to 12 and includes spooky stories, interactive experiences, and a ghost hunt with special ghost-hunting equipment.

No matter which ghost tour you choose, you’re sure to have a spine-tingling time exploring Williamsburg’s haunted history. Just be sure to bring a brave friend along for the ride!

Discover Williamsburg’s Festivals and Events

Williamsburg is a vibrant city that celebrates its rich history and diverse culture through a variety of festivals and events throughout the year. From seasonal celebrations to annual events, Williamsburg has something to offer for every interest and age group.

Virginia Beer Festival

The Virginia Beer Festival is an annual event that takes place in May and celebrates the best of Virginia’s craft beer. With over 150 different beers on offer, this festival is a must-visit for beer lovers.

EventDateDescription
Virginia Beer FestivalMayCelebrates best craft beer of Virginia

Williamsburg Taste Festival

The Williamsburg Taste Festival is a four-day event that celebrates the rich culture of food and drink in Williamsburg. With over 40 events including food tastings, cooking demonstrations, and workshops, this festival is perfect for foodies and anyone looking to experience the culinary delights of Williamsburg.

EventDateDescription
Williamsburg Taste FestivalAprilCelebrates food and drink culture of Williamsburg

Grand Illumination

The Grand Illumination is a beloved holiday tradition that takes place on the first Sunday in December. During this event, the streets of Colonial Williamsburg are illuminated with thousands of candles, creating a beautiful and festive atmosphere.

EventDateDescription
Grand Illumination1st Sunday in DecemberHoliday tradition with thousands of candles

An Occasion for the Arts

An Occasion for the Arts is an annual festival that showcases the talent of local artists and performers. With over 160 artists and vendors showcasing their work, this festival is the perfect opportunity to support the local arts community while enjoying a day out with family and friends.

EventDateDescription
An Occasion for the ArtsOctoberCelebrates local arts community

Williamsburg Farmers Market

The Williamsburg Farmers Market is a weekly event that takes place on Saturdays throughout the year. With over 40 vendors offering fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and baked goods, this market is the perfect place to shop for locally sourced food and support local farmers.

EventDateDescription
Williamsburg Farmers MarketSaturdays throughout the yearWeekly market featuring local produce and goods

Whether you’re looking to celebrate the best of Virginia’s craft beer, experience the rich culture of food and drink in Williamsburg, or explore the local arts scene, there’s always something happening in Williamsburg. Check the city’s calendar of events to plan your visit around your favorite festival or event.

Williamsburg Spas and Resorts

Relax at Williamsburg’s Spas and Resorts

After a long day of exploring Williamsburg’s historic landmarks and enjoying its outdoor activities, nothing beats a relaxing visit to one of the area’s luxurious spas or resorts.

If you’re looking for the ultimate in pampering, consider booking a stay at one of the many renowned resorts in Colonial Williamsburg, such as the Williamsburg Inn or the Williamsburg Lodge. These properties offer world-class amenities, including on-site spas, fine dining restaurants, and championship golf courses.

For a more budget-friendly option, there are several chain hotels in the area that offer spa treatments and other relaxation services. The Hilton Garden Inn Williamsburg is one such option, offering a variety of spa treatments and massages to help you unwind.

Colonial Williamsburg Resorts

For a truly indulgent experience, consider booking a stay at one of the colonial-era inspired resorts in the area. Built with modern-day luxury in mind, they offer an array of amenities and activities to suit every taste.

Resort NameFeatures and Amenities
The Williamsburg InnOn-site spa, fine dining restaurant, golf course, fitness center, and outdoor pool.
The Williamsburg LodgeOn-site spa, fine dining restaurant, indoor pool, fitness center, and shuttle service to nearby attractions.
The Griffin HotelOn-site spa, restaurant, fitness center, and outdoor pool. Complimentary breakfast and afternoon tea service.

Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a family vacation, these resorts offer an escape from the ordinary.

Spa Treatments

If you’re just looking for a day of pampering, Williamsburg has plenty of spas that offer a range of treatments, from facials to massages and more.

The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg is a popular choice for those looking to relax and rejuvenate. Located at the Williamsburg Inn, the spa offers a range of treatments inspired by colonial-era wellness practices.

Another local favorite is the Spa at Kingsmill Resort, which offers a range of massages, facials, and body treatments in a serene and tranquil environment.

Conclusion

Whether you’re looking for a full-service resort experience or just a day of pampering, Williamsburg has plenty of options to suit every taste and budget. So book a treatment today and let the stress melt away!

Learn Something New at Williamsburg’s Educational Sites

Williamsburg is not only a destination for history and entertainment but also for learning. Educational sites such as the Virginia Living Museum and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science offer a wealth of knowledge and hands-on activities for visitors of all ages.

Virginia Living Museum

The Virginia Living Museum is a combination of a zoo, aquarium, and botanical garden, featuring exhibits and live animals native to Virginia. Visitors can explore a variety of indoor and outdoor exhibits, including the Chesapeake Bay Tank, Mountain Cove Aviary, and Dinosaur Discovery Trail. Educational programs and events are also available for visitors to enhance their learning about the natural world.

Virginia Institute of Marine Science

The Virginia Institute of Marine Science, located on the banks of the York River, is a leading research institution for marine and coastal science. Visitors can explore the exhibits at the Visitors Center and take a guided tour of the research facilities. The institute also offers educational programs and events for all ages, such as the annual open house where visitors can get a behind-the-scenes look at ongoing research projects.

Whether you’re interested in wildlife, marine science, or both, Williamsburg’s educational sites offer a unique and enriching experience for all visitors.

Stay in Williamsburg: Accommodations for Every Budget

Williamsburg offers a variety of accommodations to suit every budget, from budget-friendly hotels to luxurious resorts. No matter where you choose to stay, you’ll be close to all the action and attractions that this historic city has to offer.

Hotel NamePrice RangeLocationFeatures
Great Wolf Lodge$200-$400 per night549 East Rochambeau Drive, Williamsburg, VA 23188Indoor water park, spa, fitness center, arcade
The Colonial Williamsburg Inn$400-$700 per night136 E Francis St, Williamsburg, VA 23185On-site restaurant, spa, fitness center, outdoor pool
Wyndham Kingsgate$100-$200 per night619 Georgetown Cres, Williamsburg, VA 23185Indoor and outdoor pool, fitness center, game room, outdoor picnic area
Comfort Inn Williamsburg Gateway$70-$120 per night331 Bypass Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23185Complimentary breakfast, outdoor pool, fitness center, on-site restaurant

If you’re looking for a more unique experience, consider staying in one of Williamsburg’s many bed and breakfasts. These charming and quaint accommodations offer a cozy and personalized experience for guests.

For those who prefer camping or RVs, Williamsburg also has several campgrounds to choose from, such as the Williamsburg KOA Campground or the American Heritage RV Park.

With so many options to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect accommodation for your Williamsburg vacation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here are some common questions visitors have when planning their trip to Williamsburg:

What is the best time of year to visit Williamsburg?

Spring and fall are the best times to visit Williamsburg. The weather is mild and there are fewer crowds. Summers can be hot and humid, and winters can be cold and snowy.

What is the most popular attraction in Williamsburg?

The most popular attraction in Williamsburg is Colonial Williamsburg, a living history museum that recreates life in the 18th century.

What is the best way to get around Williamsburg?

The best way to get around Williamsburg is by car. However, there is also a free shuttle service that runs between Colonial Williamsburg, Busch Gardens, and Water Country USA.

What are the best restaurants in Williamsburg?

Some of the best restaurants in Williamsburg include The Fat Canary, Blue Talon Bistro, and The Trellis.

What are some kid-friendly activities in Williamsburg?

Some kid-friendly activities in Williamsburg include visiting Busch Gardens, exploring the Virginia Living Museum, and taking a pirate adventure on the Jamestown Discovery Boat Tour.

What is the closest airport to Williamsburg?

The closest airport to Williamsburg is Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport, which is about 20 minutes away by car.

Can I visit Williamsburg in a day?

While it is possible to visit Williamsburg in a day, it is recommended to allow at least 2-3 days to fully experience all the attractions and activities the city has to offer.

Do I need tickets to visit Colonial Williamsburg?

Yes, tickets are required to enter Colonial Williamsburg. However, there are different ticket options available, including multi-day passes and combination tickets with other attractions.

What is the dress code for Williamsburg’s restaurants?

Williamsburg’s restaurants have a casual dress code. However, some upscale restaurants may have a business casual dress code.

Can I bring pets to Williamsburg’s attractions?

Pets are not allowed in most of Williamsburg’s attractions. However, there are some pet-friendly hotels and restaurants in the area.

What is the cancellation policy for Williamsburg’s hotels?

The cancellation policy varies for each hotel. It is important to check the hotel’s cancellation policy before making a reservation.

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