Top 10 Tourist Attractions – Things To Do In Williamsburg

Whilst it’s all good sitting around and reading about American history, there are much better ways for you to learn more about this country’s rich history, and the best way to do so is definitely to go out there and see it for yourself.

For those who know their history, they know that Williamsburg is like a real-life museum.

Top Tourist Attractions in Williamsburg, Virginia

However, it’s not just a place to visit for the history buffs out there, and there are a load of attractions worth visiting, even if you’re someone who is the adventurous type, there is something for everyone here, which is why so many people make a point of visiting.

Whether it’s your first time visiting Williamsburg, or your thirtieth, there’s always something new for you to discover. So, if you’re looking for some of the best attractions in Williamsburg, then this guide is for you!

1. Colonial Williamsburg

Thought by many to be the perfect time capsule of the colonial past of America, this is widely considered to be the first of its kind, and was known to be extremely prosperous, as well as a place to settle during the American Revolution.

This hotspot of capital and commerce was fortified and defended heavily by the makeshift militias during the glory days of the 2nd amendment. So if you consider yourself something of a history buff, then it’s certainly worth a visit.

2. Governor’s Palace

Although it’s technically not the actual governor’s palace, as the original unfortunately burnt down in a fire, this replica was built in a collaboration between historians and academics, who aimed to build the replica as accurately and as faithful to the original as possible.

If you’re looking for an attraction that is both fun and educational, then a visit to the palace is definitely something you should consider adding to your trip’s itinerary, and it’s both an impressive sight to see as much as it’s an educational one too.

3. George Wythe House

Confident to Thomas Jefferson and other American leaders, as well as one of the final signers of the Declaration of Independence, it’s safe to say that George Wythe is one of the most important figures in the history of Virginia, even if his name isn’t mentioned nearly as much as it should be, so a visit to this house, which contains all of the original artwork and furniture is a great way to learn more about this incredible man.

With his expansive knowledge of politics, government, military, and history, he was an incredibly important person, which is why it is so important that people are aware of who he was and what he worked for!

So, if you’re looking for another educational visit on your trip, add this one to your to-do list.

4. Artisans’ Shops

If you’re looking to get a glimpse at where much of the skilled labor and creativity happened during colonial Williamsburg, then this is the place.

A huge variety of people from across various industries would pour blood, sweat, and tears inside of these walls, and some of the art pieces they produced without modern technology still remain impressive to this day.

Today, you can still find a variety of different craft workshops and stalls here, from goldsmiths to gunsmiths, as well as blacksmiths, and tanneries.

This is a great place to visit if you’re looking to immerse yourself into the rich history of Williamsburg, and treat yourself and your friends and family to some gifts too!

5. Busch Gardens

Stepping away from the historical and the educational, Busch Gardens is the perfect place to visit for the families full of adrenaline junkies, with incredible roller coaster rides throughout the park, including the infamous Loch Ness Monster ride, as well as the Alpengeist ride too!

If you’re not a fan of rollercoaster rides, then you can still enjoy walking through the zoo, as well as the entertainment and live music which is often put on at the park, and there’s even a learning area for children to explore too.

So, if you’re not a fan of the educational and historical attractions found in Williamsburg, this is a great way to add some action to your vacation.

6. Water Country

Think the fun stopped at Busch Gardens? No way! Water Country is the perfect place to take the family for a fun day in one of the best waterparks in the USA.

Since Virginia is known to get pretty hot, especially in the warmer months, it can mean that even a long trip to the beach can be unbearable, so a visit to the waterpark is a much better way of cooling down!

There’s also a whole host of rides, a wave pool, mini-golf courses, and a wide variety of waterslides for you and the family to explore during your time there, and it’s a great way of ensuring that you balance the fun with the historical.

7. DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Gallery

What’s better than visiting a gallery or a museum? Visiting both at the same time!

The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Gallery is connected to the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, which means that there is certainly a lot for you to look at and discover as you make your way through the two, and you could easily spend the entirety of your day checking everything out.

The gallery often gets a number of major exhibitions that pass through, including one of the biggest collections of English silver and porcelain outside of the country, so there’s always something new to see here!

8. Colonial Taverns

Taverns were one of the most prominent parts of life back in the 18th century, and whilst they still are to a certain extent, bars have taken over them for the most part, with traditional taverns running low on numbers, so if you want to take a culinary trip to the past, then a visit to a colonial tavern is a great way to immerse yourself in the history of Williamsburg.

The food and drink found on the menu of these traditional colonial taverns are as close as you can get today to the food and drink that would have been enjoyed by the founding fathers, so it’s definitely a call to the past.

9. Great Hopes Plantation

Although it isn’t pretty, it’s certainly necessary viewing, as Great Hopes Plantation provides a look into the humbling history of what plantation life was like back in the 18th century, which is when slave trade and ownership was at its peak, so much so that it is estimated that one fifth of the population owned atleast one slave at the time.

It might not be a particularly joyous attraction, but it’s a great educational tool.

10. College Of William And Mary

Known as the oldest active college institution in the country, it has been attended by a number of the most important figures in American history, so it’s amazing to be able to walk in their footsteps!


So, whilst Williamsburg’s attractions tend to lean towards the historical, there are plenty of things for you to see and do, and if you’re looking for a trip that is able to combine all of the usual fun of a vacation with educational and historical attractions, then a trip to Williamsburg, Virginia will be perfect for you and the family (You might also be interested in checking out Small Towns In Virginia You Need To Visit)!

We hope that this guide to Williamsburg has provided you with some inspiration for what you can get up to during your vacation, and that you begin to book your trip to this historic place as soon as possible. Thanks for reading!

Alex Kallen
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