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Colonial Williamsburg, VA

From the beginning of the American Revolution to the Battle of Yorktown, travel back in time at Colonial Williamsburg, as part of this group bus tour. The restoration and recreation of historic Williamsburg was made possible by the efforts of community leaders such as Reverend Dr. W.A.R. Goodwin, organizations including Preservation Virginia, the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the Chamber of Commerce and the scion of the Rockefeller family, John D. Rockefeller Jr., and his wife, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, in order to celebrate rebel patriots and the early history of the United States. Today Colonial Williamsburg is the largest living history museum in the country and a top Williamsburg, Virginia attraction. It is part of the Historic Triangle of Virginia with the Colonial Parkway linking it to Jamestown and Yorktown.

Visiting Colonial Williamsburg

Start your visit to Colonial Williamsburg in the Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center. With so much to do, helpful staff can help orient you for your experience into the Revolutionary City and provide advice on all that Williamsburg has to offer. Tours and activities let you engage with your surroundings. Historic trades and places will offer in-depth insight into the time. Colonial and contemporary American folk art awaits you at the Colonial Williamsburg Art Museums. Shops and restaurants are endless.

The Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center

Orient yourself with Colonial Williamsburg past and present in the visitor center.  In the Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center watch the film Williamsburg: The Story of a Patriot, a film that explores the rich past of the city. Helpful staff can provide you with answers to frequently asked questions and give you information about local Williamsburg attractions and events.

Historic buildings in Williamsburg Historic buildings in Williamsburg
Portrayals of historic events Portrayals of historic events
Picturesque gardens Picturesque gardens
Beautiful buildings Beautiful buildings
Well preserved estates Well preserved estates

Colonial Williamsburg

Tours and Activities

Colonial Williamsburg offers more than 20 guided and self-guided tours daily. Enter the homes and gardens of Williamsburg’s 18th-century residents with a first-hand perspective from a curator. On a tour of the city, step inside famous residents’ homes like that of George Wythe, or visit the Capitol where a successful vote initiated American independence.  Explore vibrant 18th-centruy gardens at your leisure, or take a guided garden tour to enhance your understanding of heirloom gardening techniques. Surround yourself with the sights and sounds of the Revolutionary City on an authentic horse-drawn carriage ride.  Discover what goes on behind the scenes during a tour through Colonial Williamsburg’s campus of educational outreach, library and object conservation facilities. Bits and bridles is a tour that provides insight into Colonial Williamsburg’s modern stable and rare breeds program. Uncover Colonial Williamsburg’s grisly past on a ghost walk to the haunted taverns and historic buildings of the historic city.

Trades and Places

From a Public Armoury churning out weapons to a wigmaker that will teach you about the importance of the well-groomed and dressed gentlemen and lady of the day, discover how the townspeople of Williamsburg made a living and how industries were affected by the American Revolutionary War.  From the grandeur of the Governor’s Palace to the Wren Building, the oldest academic structure still in use in America, explore the community places where revolutionary ideas were born, discussed and disputed. Costumed interpreters in trades buildings, community spaces and family homes and gardens act as residents leading up to and during the Revolutionary War. Family homes and gardens offer a glimpse into the life of the townspeople of Williamsburg during the 18th century. See the elegant furnishings and eye-catching wallpapers of the wealthy, the modest dwellings of the middle class and the spartan quarters of the enslaved.

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg

Visit the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. Located in Colonial Williamsburg’s Public Hospital of 1773, the art museum’s main exhibits feature bold, imaginative pieces of colonial and contemporary American folk art. Examples of American and British antiques and decorative art from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries are also on display. Special exhibits detail mental illness treatments from the 18th and 19th centuries. Be sure to browse the art museum’s gift shop where you will find publications, gifts, jewelry and accessories related to the collections and exhibitions at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg.

 

Shopping and Dining at Colonial Williamsburg

Shopping at Colonial Williamsburg

Boasting more than 20 historic shops and Williamsburg Stores, Colonial Williamsburg offers a one-of-a-kind shopping experience.

Historic Shops

Heirloom Nursery carries seeds and plants, herbs, flowers, seasonal greens, wreaths, 18th-century clay flowerpots, and bird bottles. At the Golden Ball you can shop beautifully crafted jewelry, including bespoke pieces created by the Colonial Williamsburg Trades silversmiths.18th-century fashions including petticoats, short gowns, cloaks, mitts, caps, and more can be found in the Mary Dickinson Shop. The Prentis Store carries hand crafted, unique items, many made by the skilled tradespeople of the Revolutionary City using 18th-century tools and techniques, plus men’s apparel and Native American pieces. Explore the open-air market selling fresh food, toys and housewares. Treasures for the bibliophile including stationery, books, ink, quills and prints can be found in the Post Office. At Tarpley, Thompson and Company find the same tavernware, pewter and glassware used at historic taverns in Colonial Williamsburg along with mixes, jams, candies, cold beverages and 21st-century gifts.

Williamsburg Stores

Step inside one of the Williamsburg stores. At the Craft House modern trades come to life. Timeless home offering such as furniture, bedding, floor coverings, lighting, fabrics and decorative accessories are available for purchase in the Williamsburg At Home Store. Greenery and garden inspirations for all seasons await you at the Celebrations shop. Everything Williamsburg sells a broad selection of exclusive Colonial Williamsburg logo products and souvenirs.

Colonial Williamsburg Restaurants

From authentic 18th-century fare to modern favorites, an extensive list of restaurants and cafés are located in and around the Revolutionary City, offering something for everyone.

Historic Dining

Visit George Washington’s favorite tavern for seafood, Christiana Campbell’s Tavern.  Dine in Chowning Tavern, an 18th-century alehouse with period-inspired foods and speciality beer. If you have a sweet tooth, Dubois Grocer will satisfy it with its fine selection of baked goods and hand-scooped ice cream made by Homestead Creamery. Enjoy sandwiches and baked goods like homemade cookies and muffins at Raleigh Tavern Bakery.

Modern Dining

Step into Taste Studio, a contemporary, full-service demonstration kitchen that provides an intimate, fun setting to learn and share an unforgettable meal. All American cuisine including burgers, pizza and salads as well as a selection of local and regional beer can be found at Huzzah’s Eatery. Delight your taste buds with southern inspired and locally acquired cuisine at Traditions.

Travel Tips

-          Be sure to pick up your free copy of “Colonial Williamsburg This Week,” from the Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center. This weekly program guide will show you which buildings are open and which programs are offered during your visit along with a map and helpful tips.

-          Buildings with flags at their entrances are open for ticket holders to explore. Not all colonial buildings are open to the public; some are privately occupied by employees of Colonial Williamsburg and their families, and some hold administrative offices.

-          Folding wheelchairs are available to rent on a first-come, first-served basis from the visitor center. While ramps and wheelchair lifts are available at selected sites, some buildings at Colonial Williamsburg require a few steps.

Topiary gardens Topiary gardens
Horse and carriage Horse and carriage
Re-enactors Re-enactors
Costumed interpreters Costumed interpreters