Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Williamsburg, Virginia

Why read about American history when you can see it in-person and put your hands on the real relics of the country’s past. Williamsburg is a living history museum, but it’s not just for the history buffs, there’s plenty of things to do for the little ones and the adventurous types, as well. The sheer amount of places to see and things to do will probably surprise most first-time visitors. Let this mini tourist guide help inspire you along your travels.

Here is an overview of the top tourist attractions in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Things To Do in Williamsburg

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1: Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg
This is the time capsule of America’s colonial past, one of the first of its kind, which doubled as a hub of prosperity and a place to call home during the American Revolution. Here the glory days of the 2nd Amendment were taking part while militias fortified this important capital of commerce.

Address: 101 Visitor Center Dr, Williamsburg, VA 23185


2: Governor's Palace

Governor's Palace
The Governor’s Palace is actually a replica of what original stood there in the 1700’s. There was a fire that burned it down, so academics and historians worked together to rebuild it as faithfully as possible. The Palace is a fun and educational trip that impresses as much as it tells the story of Williamburg’s royal governance.

Address: 300 Palace Green St, Williamsburg, VA 23185


3: George Wythe House

George Wythe House
Flickr/Ken Lund
Continuing off the theme of lavish trappings and historical pieces, the George Wythe House is filled with all original furniture and artwork. George Wythe is a sort of unsung hero of Virginia. His astute knowledge and grasp of government, military, and history was invaluable. In fact, he was a close confident of Thomas Jefferson and other important early American leaders, including congress itself. He went on to be a signee of the final draft of the Declaration of Independence.

Address: Palace Green St, Williamsburg, VA 23185


4: Artisans' Shops

Artisans' Shops
This is where all the blood, sweat, and tears of early colonial Williamsburg occurred inside its walls. There was such a dense collection of skilled labor and artistic flair, even without the help of modern technology, they were able to produce pieces that are often unmatched even to this day. Stop by the various major craft workshops, like the Tannery, Blacksmith, Goldsmith, or Gunsmith shops.

Address: 402 W Duke of Gloucester St, Williamsburg, VA 23185


5: Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens
Considered the little brother of Florida’s Busch Garden’s location, Virginia brings all the great animals and rollercoaster rides for tourists to get lost in a world of African-inspired safari adventures. Busch Gardens has a little bit of everything: the zoo, children’s learning and playground areas, live entertainment and music, as well as plenty of rollercoasters, including the infamous Loch Ness Monster and Alpengeist rides. The layout is a little different than its Florida counterpart, but the excitement and quality is just as high.

Address: 1 Busch Gardens Blvd, Williamsburg, VA 23185


6: Water Country USA

Water Country USA
Another great destination to take the family out for a bit of a break from all the historical travels is one of the country’s best waterparks, located at Water Country USA. It can get pretty hot in Virginia, but rather than driving all the way out to the beach, why not head to the coldest, wettest, and most exciting waterpark on the coast? There’s rides, mini-golf courses, a wave pool, and of course the wild waterslides.

Address: 176 Water Country Pkwy, Williamsburg, VA 23185


7: DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Gallery

DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Gallery
This is actually a combination of both museum and art gallery. The Dewitt Wallace Decorative Arts Gallery is connected to Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. There is so much beauty and talent on display in such a single contained area, you could easily spend your whole day between these two buildings. Major pieces and exhibits regularly pass through here, including one of the world’s biggest single collection of English porcelain and silver outside of the country.

Address: 325 Francis St, Williamsburg, VA 23185


8: Colonial Taverns

Colonial Taverns
Taverns were a big staple of colonial life back in the 18th Century. They still are, but there aren’t very many traditional taverns left anymore, bars are their successors. The best thing about these colonial taverns is that their menus are as close as you can get to the original dishes and drinks that the founding fathers would have enjoyed. There’s something special about sharing a posthumous meal with great men of the past.

Address: 422 W Duke of Gloucester St, Williamsburg, VA 23185


9: Great Hopes Plantation

Great Hopes Plantation
For a more humbling and necessary glimpse into the country’s past, you have to visit the Great Hopes Plantation. In order to learn from our mistakes we must grasp all aspects of what it was like back in the 18th Century when an estimated one-fifth of the population owned slaves. These plantations in particular were mainly comprised of small farmers that were not part of the upper class.

Address: 100 Visitor Center Dr, Williamsburg, VA 23185


10: College of William and Mary

College of William and Mary
Flickr/Ken Lund
This is a special college in America, not just because of who attended its classes, but also because it is the oldest active institution of its kind in America. It first opened its doors in 1695 and has gone on to see the likes of Washington, Jefferson, and Monroe all attend the College of William and Mary. Stop by and learn a little, and after you can tell everyone you went to the same college as the first president of the United States.

Address: Sadler Center, 200 Stadium Dr, Williamsburg, VA 23185


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