Williamsburg, Virginia
Museums & Exhibitions

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Our most recommended Williamsburg, Virginia Museums & Exhibitions

Colonial Williamsburg: Self-Guided Walking Tour

1. Colonial Williamsburg: Self-Guided Walking Tour

On this self-guided walking tour where an app is your guide, narrator, and map all in one, explore Colonial Williamsburg, a beautifully restored colonial town full of actors living out the lives of 18th-century Americans. Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app that will function as your personal guide, audio tour, and map all in one. Your tour begins at Colonial Williamsburg’s visitor center just north of the town center. As you walk south, you’ll learn about the earliest residents of Williamsburg and the Native Americans who called this place home when the first European settlers arrived. The first major landmark you’ll arrive at is the Peyton Randolph House, a gorgeous home dating back to 1715. Its former owner was a key revolutionary figure, though you might not have heard about him in school. Next, arrive at the Fife and Drum Building, where you’ll learn about the importance these simple instruments had during battles. If you’re lucky, you may also catch a performance of Colonial Williamsburg’s very own fife and drum band as they march through town. Continuing onward, hear about the origins of the Colonial Williamsburg museum project, including how America’s first billionaire, John D. Rockefeller, bankrolled the whole thing. Afterward, you’ll see the Public Gaol, a grim prison that once held prisoners incarcerated for everything from petty theft to murder. It even held But would you Blackbeard’s pirate crew while they waited to be executed. Up next is Bassett Hall, the lavish estate where Rockefeller lived while overseeing the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg. Then, it’s on to the old Capitol Building, where Virginia once declared independence from Britain, just 4 days before the Declaration of Independence was signed. The next stop is Raleigh Tavern. During the 1700s, this tavern’s unassuming facade hid secret revolutionary meetings within. Next, come to the Williamsburg Magazine, an old munitions storehouse. Learn the dramatic tale of a standoff between British troops and Williamsburg residents on the eve of the revolution. As you make your way to the Play House Stage, a recreation of one of the country’s oldest theaters, you’ll hear a few spooky stories about ghost sightings that have taken place throughout Williamsburg. After that, you’ll reach the Governor’s Palace, where Virginia’s Royal Governor ruled over the people of this state, that is until he was forced to flee in the dead of night. Then, see two of the town’s most historic structures: the George Wythe House and the Bruton Parish Episcopal Church. The George Wythe House was home to a signer of the Declaration of Independence who was also a staunch abolitionist. Bruton Parish Episcopal Church predates the town itself and is the whole reason for the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg. Finally, make your way to the historic campus of the College of William & Mary, the nation’s second-oldest university. Finish your tour by seeing one of Williamsburg’s oldest and most impressive buildings and learning a little about the college’s controversial history.

Williamsburg: Jamestown & American Revolution Museum Ticket

2. Williamsburg: Jamestown & American Revolution Museum Ticket

Benefit from access to the Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown with a combo ticket. See two living-history museums that tell the story of America’s beginnings. Discover the real people and events of America’s first permanent English colony, and the American Revolution which lead to the establishment of a new nation almost two centuries later. Explore immersive, artifact-filled exhibition galleries with 4-D experiential theaters. Take part in hands-on activities and living-history demonstrations in outdoor re-created settings to learn about life in the 17th and 18th centuries. Jamestown Settlement: Learn about the early 17th-century English colonists at the Jamestown Settlement through a combination of film, gallery exhibits, and outdoor living history. Discover more about the cultures of the Powhatan Indians, Europeans, and Africans who converged in 17th-century Virginia. Trace Jamestown’s beginnings in England and the first century of the Virginia colony. The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown Get a sense of the transformational nature and epic scale of the American Revolution at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. Begin your visit in the 170-seat museum theater, “Liberty Fever,” which takes you into the world of Revolutionary America, setting the stage for the indoor gallery and outdoor living-history experiences. Enjoy an introductory film narrated by an early 19th-century storyteller who traveled the country gathering stories about the American Revolution and shares his accounts using a moving panorama presentation of the time period. Explore the 22,000-square-foot permanent exhibition galleries which portray the tumult, drama, and promise of the Revolution through period artifacts and immersive environments, dioramas, interactive exhibits, and short films. Discover a Continental Army encampment which represents a portion of an American regiment. See faithful recreations of soldiers' living quarters, surgeon's tents, and an artillery demonstration era. Make your way to a Revolution-era farm which with a replica of a typical farm house, kitchen, and tobacco barn. See the new building representing quarters for enslaved people, along with the crop fields, a corncrib, and orchard.

Williamsburg: Private Walking Tour Ideal for US Tourists

3. Williamsburg: Private Walking Tour Ideal for US Tourists

Visit the most charming locations in Williamsburg on a private tour led by a local guide and discover the premier center for the preservation of American colonial history. The restoration of Williamsburg to its original colonial state began in 1926. Today, Colonial Williamsburg's Historic Area houses preserved and restored buildings, 88 of which are originals. Explore this city while hearing fascinating facts about its past. Learn about local lore and hidden stories as you wander through the largest outdoor living museum in the United States.  

From DC: Colonial Williamsburg and Historical Triangle Tour

4. From DC: Colonial Williamsburg and Historical Triangle Tour

The adventure begins with pickup from your accommodation in Washington, DC and heads to Jamestown, Virginia. Learn how Jamestown was the first English settlement in North America, as well as the original capital of the state. Explore historic Jamestown with your guide, and admire the remnants of Fort James. Next, visit the reconstructed Glasshouse of 1608 and walk in the footsteps of Captain John Smith and Pocahontas. Continue onto Colonial Williamsburg, and enjoy a guided walk through the world’s largest living history museum. Travel back in time as you stroll through this historic site, complete with costumed actors who bring this revolutionary town to life. Before heading back to DC, visit Yorktown and check out the battlefield where General George Washington fought in the Revolutionary War. At the end of a fascinating experience, soak up views of the Colonial Parkway on the return journey.

Frequently asked questions about Williamsburg, Virginia Museums & Exhibitions

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What people are saying about Williamsburg, Virginia

We really enjoyed the Jamestown Settlement. It was all interesting to us.