Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg

4.3
#1 of 235 in Museums in Virginia
Step back in time to the days of the Founding Fathers and the Revolutionary War at Colonial Williamsburg. The interactive, living-history museum--which covers 122 hectares (301 acres)--is actually a network of restored Colonial structures manned by costumed, in-character employees. Ride in a rented horse-drawn carriage down the cobblestone streets past the Governor's Palace and Capitol Building. Walk through Merchants Square, an 18th-century marketplace dotted with original storefronts. Take part in America’s fight for independence during a reenactment of the storming of the Governor's Palace or the march to victory at Yorktown. You can even participate in a trial. Purchase the combined Historic Triangle ticket for discounted entries to Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown. For travelers who use our online itinerary creator, Williamsburg holidays become easier to arrange, with trips to the Colonial Williamsburg and other attractions mapped out and timetabled.
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Colonial Williamsburg Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
9,899 reviews
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4.4
TripAdvisor
  • This is the first time we visited in the winter. Unlike the summer, there were few visitors. The staff were eager to talk, almost over-eager. We basically had a private talk on Folk Art in the Rockefe...  more »
  • Lots going on in the area of Colonial Williamsburg. The reinactors take it seriously and you can not get them out of character. We participated in the trails and enjoyed this perspective of historical...  more »
  • For the third time in my life I visited Colonial Williamsburg and it did not disappoint! Still well maintained and once again I thought "I am never too old to learn something new." I think that I appr...  more »
Google
  • Beautiful place filled with hands on learning. My kids enjoy the freedom of running free since there are no cars permitted - only horse & carriage to worry about. They love exploring the gardens and 'secret' passageways. Then, there are the horses & sheep in the pastures. Did I mention all of this can be enjoyed for free? You only have to pay for going in the buildings, which is also a great experience if it's your first time.
  • Very nice village to walk through and learn about colonial times! I was very impressed with the staff in costume/character and how they all were so sincere in sharing the history of the landmarks with the kids. Love the live sheep herding and the costume rental so you can blend in. There is a large lawn in the town center that is great to take a rest and a great photo opportunity with a great background. There is also fun colonial games to try and great food at the taverns. I love that you can have a great time here without spending much money and it’s a great learning opportunity!
  • A national treasure. A piece of American history, lovingly & meticulously restored. Fully functioning colonial city. If some of the eateries seem pricey, keep in mind the extreme expense associated with recreating the meals & environment. Remember; every dime you spend is helping to preserve American history. Wander the streets & catch Thomas Jefferson discussing politics. Perhaps sit in as a member of the jury at the courthouse. Chat with the blacksmith about his opinion of the Loyalists. Let the kids chase hoops down the street. The gardens are delightful. Benches to sit & people-watch abound. And ironically, it's more wheelchair accessible than many modern day cities. There is no bad season to go, but our favorite is fall. The ghosts are most assuredly alive and present. If you really want to dive in, rent or buy period correct clothing (we snagged some inexpensive colonial looking dresses & capes). Williamsburg Lodge is beautiful, $$$. Less costly alternatives are nearby. William & Mary bookstore has a great coffee shop as well. Amazing. A favorite family memory for us; asked a shopkeeper if we might take his photo. He tipped his hat & responded; "Madam, you can take anything you like, as long as it isn't out of my pockets." Go there. You'll never forget it.
  • Great location and family orientated. The weather hindered a lot of the activities but you they still did a great job at showcasing that time period. Offered ghost tours at night, live reenactments, fife and drum parade, and so much more. Loved the period garb the staff wore and most of the time they never left character. Would go back!
  • We visited in the dead of winter and couldn't have come at a better time. There were very few visitors and the place was quiet and still, like it was frozen in time. Sometimes, we'd have an entire street all to ourselves. We really got a feel for what the place was like in its early years. The place is open 24/7 and there are no admission fees, except when entering the paid attractions, which include historic buildings and museums. Tickets are available at the Visitor Center or Lumber House. If you come in the winter like we did, it's not advisable to buy tickets as most of the notable paid attractions are closed. Some restaurants and gift shops, plus the Bruton Episcopal Church, are open. Read up on the main attractions and their historic significance before coming, so you can appreciate them better during your visit. There's parking around the area but the best place to park is at the Visitor Center because it's free and there’s plenty of spots. The Visitor Center also has good tourist amenities. From there, it's a 20-minute walk along a foot bridge and well-marked trails to the Governor's Palace, the first attraction on view. There is also a shuttle bus for those who do not wish to walk. Food places within the vicinity are generally expensive but there are a few reasonably-priced ones near the William & Mary University.
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