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Are you planning a trip to Williamsburg, Virginia? Or do you live locally and you’re looking for something fun to do?
Either way, you’re in the right place.
What are the best things to do in Williamsburg? Theme parks, water parks, nature parks, adventure courses, axe throwing, kayaking, escape rooms, ghost tours, museums, breweries, cafes, virtual reality games… the list goes on down below!
There’s a lot.
With Williamsburg being my home away from home for a solid decade and counting, I’ve got firsthand insight on the crème de la crème of Williamsburg attractions, restaurants, and shopping. What the locals love and tourists flock to, plus trip tips and nearby attractions, all compiled in one place.
So, tuck in and enjoy this exploration of Williamsburg, VA.
(Attractions are listed in no particular order.)
Related Reading: Best Colonial Williamsburg Hotels
- Quick Questions Answered
- Best Williamsburg Attractions
- 1) Busch Gardens Williamsburg
- 2) Water Country USA
- 3) Great Wolf Lodge
- 4) Colonial Williamsburg
- 5) Historic Jamestowne
- 6) Go Ape
- 7) Go Karts Plus
- 8) Colonial National Historic Park
- 9) Williamsburg Premium Outlets
- 10) Jamestown Scotland Ferry
- 11) Whitley's Peanut Factory
- 12) AleWerks Brewing Company
- 13) Antique Mall
- 14) Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf
- 15) Ripley's Believe It or Not
- 16) Williamsburg Botanical Garden
- 17) Axe Republic
- 18) Room Escape
- 19) Colonial Ghosts
- 20) Decorative Arts Museum
- 21) Powhatan Creek Park
- 22) Virginia Capital Trail
- 23) Virginia Musical Museum
- 24) York County Historical Museum
- 25) American Revolution Museum
- 26) Bay Country Kayaking
- 27) Norge Depot Museum
- 28) Taste Studio
- 29) Mobjack Coffee Roasters
- 30) VR 64 Arcade
- 31) York River State Park
- 32) Yorktown Battlefield
- 33) College of William & Mary
- 34) Duke of Gloucester Street
- 35) James City County Marina
- Additional Williamsburg VA FAQs
- Round Up
Quick Questions Answered
Is Williamsburg worth visiting?
Williamsburg is absolutely worth visiting! Between the theme parks, historical tours, adventure courses, and dining experiences, Williamsburg has a variety of unique offerings that everyone can enjoy. There’s something special for every person and every occasion.
Things to do at night? See Colonial Ghosts.
Things to do for free? Visit Williamsburg Botanical Garden.
Things to do that’s cheap? Try out Axe Republic.
You get the idea.
How many days do you need to see Colonial Williamsburg?
Generally, you need 2-4 days to see Colonial Williamsburg if you’re looking to have the quintessential, best Williamsburg experience possible. Of course, it depends on what you’re interested in, but that’s the minimum I would recommend for your visit.
2 days: Tour the Historic Jamestown Settlement & Colonial Williamsburg areas, shop at the Williamsburg Premium Outlets, and indulge in AleWerks or Taste Studio.
4 days: Everything above for the first two days, and then take one day for Busch Gardens and the other day for Water Country USA. If it’s wintertime, substitute Water Country for Great Wolf Lodge.
If you want to maximize your time in Williamsburg and get the comprehensive, quintessential Colonial experience, check out one of the top 10 tours in Williamsburg. Some include the entire Historic Triangle, meals, and elusive secrets left out of the books!
What is the best time of year to go to Williamsburg?
Spring or fall is the best time of year to go to Williamsburg. Each season in Williamsburg presents great attractions, shopping, and dining to enjoy. But, spring and fall offer better temperatures, beautiful scenery, more attractions, and lower crowds.
Spring in Williamsburg: This time of year is always abloom with gorgeous florals and landscapes. Colonial Williamsburg, the Williamsburg Botanical Garden, and Busch Gardens will be stunning during these months. And, you’ll get warmer temperatures without overwhelming heat and crowds.
Summer in Williamsburg: The summer season will provide the most options for things to do and longer business hours to enjoy the attractions. Water Country USA, Bay Country Kayaking, and the Virginia Capital Trail will be in their prime. Just be forewarned that there will be busy crowds and the humidity is no joke.
Fall in Williamsburg: Autumn is probably my favorite time of year to visit Williamsburg. The orange leaves and fall air makes the whole experience picturesque. Crowds and temps are dwindling down while the spooky season amps up. Colonial National Historic Park, Colonial Ghosts, and the Williamsburg Premium Outlets are great around this time.
Winter in Williamsburg: The frostier months yield some lovely, quaint holiday decor throughout Williamsburg. Crowds are at their lowest this time of year, as are the temperatures, but business hours and attraction offerings will be a little more limited. Great Wolf Lodge, Mob Jack Bay Coffee Roasters, and Christmas Town (Busch Gardens) are perfect for winter.
Related Reading: 20 Unique Fall Things To Do In Williamsburg VA
Best Williamsburg Attractions
1) Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Naturally, to kick off our Williamsburg attractions list is the World’s Most Beautiful Theme Park, Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Rich in old European charm, the park is home to 9 world-class coasters, nationally acclaimed stage shows, and much beloved culinary dines. Shopping, games, and animal habitats accompany the renowned park.
You can get a discount on your Busch Gardens tickets (up to $25 off) through the link provided. These tickets are good for 1 year from your date of purchase and can be fully refunded with free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance of your trip. There’s also a 2-day ticket option that includes Water Country USA–speaking of…
Related Reading: How To Visit Busch Gardens Williamsburg On A Budget
2) Water Country USA
Owned by the same company as Busch Gardens, Water Country USA is a retro ’50s surf themed water park that is definitely one of the best places to visit in Williamsburg VA! It’s the largest water park in Virginia, with 11 slides (one of which is a water coaster), a wave pool, and a lazy river. Live entertainment, shops, and restaurants are also available.
These Water Country USA tickets have a lowest price guarantee, so make sure you grab your tickets here for the greatest savings on your visit! You can also reserve the tickets now and pay later at anytime up to 48 hours before your trip. Free cancellation for full refunds are also available until 24 hours before your trip.
3) Great Wolf Lodge
Great Wolf Lodge is a full vacation under one roof. Indoor water park? Check. Spa? Check. Arcade? Check. Highly themed, rustic lodging? Check. If your Williamsburg trip is scheduled for the fall or winter, Great Wolf Lodge is the perfect year-round attraction to enjoy! The resort caters to adults and children, families and solo travelers alike.
Book your reservation with Great Wolf Lodge through their site today.
4) Colonial Williamsburg
The heart and soul of Williamsburg itself, Colonial Williamsburg is a historical experience that takes you back to the olde colonial times of yesteryear. Museums, preserved sites, gardens, and tours recount the rich history Williamsburg is known for. Correlated shopping, dining, and live entertainment (like reenactments and such) are offered too.
To make the most of your Colonial Williamsburg visit, book the Colonial History Guided Tour. The tour includes the best sites and little-known secrets of Colonial Williamsburg, complete with recreations of the 18th century history and a personal guide donned in period attire.
Booking your tour through the link above includes free cancellation for a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. You can also make your reservation now and pay anytime up to 72 hours before your trip.
5) Historic Jamestowne
The counterpart to Colonial Williamsburg, Historic Jamestowne is another immersive history experience in the area. It’s a half day long type of excursion, offering tours of the site of the Jamestown colony alongside museums, shopping, and dining. The grounds are an archeological site, so keep a sharp eye during your visit!
Historic Jamestowne general admission can be booked online ahead of time. I definitely recommend doing so! That way, you can dive into your visit without getting caught up in long lines.
6) Go Ape
Go Ape is essentially an adult version of a jungle gym, complete with treetop obstacle courses, zip lines, and Tarzan swings. Jump lines and axe throwing are a few of the additional experiences offered at the attraction too. For their courses, they offer a beginner and a regular option based on your preference and skill level.
You can check out all of Go Ape’s adventures on their site.
7) Go Karts Plus
An entertainment park in Williamsburg Virginia, Go Karts Plus sports four kart tracks, a medley of midway-style flat rides, a Western themed mini golf course, and a state-of-the-art arcade. The park features attractions and tracks for all ages, so there’s something fun for everyone who visits.
Go Karts Plus admission is free, but the attractions are pay-per-ride.
8) Colonial National Historic Park
Williamsburg, being a place steeped in history and culture, is home to the Colonial National Historic Park. The park’s 9,300 acres encompasses many historical sites, including Jamestown and Yorktown. Visitors can explore these sites to get a glimpse into America’s past. It’s one of the more scenic, lovely things to do in Williamsburg.
Explore the Colonial National Historic Park.
9) Williamsburg Premium Outlets
A great place to visit for shopping and sightseeing, the Williamsburg Premium Outlets offer an array of both trendy and unique stores, from designer brands to bargain outlets. The Premium Outlets is one of the best places to shop in Virginia! Whether you’re looking for a new outfit or a keepsake souvenir, you’ll find it here.
Shop at any of the 100+ stores at the Williamsburg Premium Outlets.
10) Jamestown Scotland Ferry
The Jamestown Scotland Ferry is a great, scenic way to explore the historical town of Williamsburg, Virginia. The ferry takes you from the mainland to the island of Jamestown, where you can explore the colonial buildings and learn about its rich history. On your journey, you can also take in some stunning views of the James River and visit nearby attractions like Historic Jamestowne and Colonial Williamsburg.
The Jamestown Scotland Ferry is free to embark on and enjoy. Anchors away!
11) Whitley’s Peanut Factory
If you’re looking for something unique to do in Williamsburg, then you should definitely check out Whitley’s Peanut Factory. At this charming factory, visitors can take a guided tour of the factory and sample some of their peanut products. There’s also a gift shop where you can buy souvenirs and goodies. Be sure to add the Peanut Factory to your list of things to do in Williamsburg!
Check out more about Whitley’s Peanut Factory on their website.
12) AleWerks Brewing Company
Bouncing to a fun gem located back at the Premium Outlets, AleWerks is a great place to enjoy a few drinks in the ‘Burg. This award-winning brewery offers an extensive selection of craft beers and ciders that will satisfy any beer enthusiast. Plus, Alewerks also has a full bar with delicious cocktails and wines to choose from. So, if you’re in the area, make sure to stop by for an unforgettable experience!
Scout out AleWerks Brewing Company online.
13) Antique Mall
Another special shopping option in Williamsburg, the Antique Mall offers a wide selection of antiques and collectibles from 300 dealers within the 45,000 square foot building. Whether you’re looking for something vintage or modern, you’ll definitely find it here. It includes a cafe in case you get hungry during your antiquing.
The Williamsburg Antique Mall offers shopping in store and online.
14) Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf
Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf is another fun and exciting way to spend the day in Williamsburg VA. Located just off of Route 60, Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf is a challenging 18-hole miniature golf course with a pirate theme. With its beautiful landscaping, waterfalls, and caves, it’s sure to provide hours of entertainment for the whole family. There’s also an arcade with over 40 games and prizes.
Map out your pirate putting at Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf.
15) Ripley’s Believe It or Not
Continuing on in our list of things to do in Williamsburg Virginia, Ripley’s Believe It or Not is an enticing museum not typical of the many historical ones nearby. With its vast array of oddities and interactive exhibits featuring over 500 unusual artifacts, it will certainly be an unforgettable experience. From a 4D theater show to its own special minigolf course, Ripley’s is definitely a must visit Williamsburg attraction!
Visit Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum during your Williamsburg vacation.
16) Williamsburg Botanical Garden
The Williamsburg Botanical Garden is a must-see for anyone visiting the historic city. With its abundance of florals, photogenic backdrops, and outdoor activities, you don’t want to overlook this activity. Interactive workshops and guided tours of the garden are offered. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing stroll or an educational experience, you won’t be disappointed with what this garden has to offer.
The Williamsburg Botanical Garden is another lovely free thing to do in Williamsburg.
17) Axe Republic
One of the most unique activities to do in Williamsburg is axe throwing at Axe Republic. This indoor axe experience offers a variety of different games and activities for all ages and skill levels. It’s perfect for both adrenaline junkies and those wanting to have some fun with friends. With its group packages and private events, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the thrill of axe throwing in Williamsburg VA.
Reserve your Axe Republic experience on their website.
18) Room Escape
If you’re looking for a unique activity for your Williamsburg vacation that’s not just another museum, look no further than the Room Escape. This thrilling escape room experience is sure to provide hours of entertainment as you and your group attempt to solve puzzles and complete tasks in order to “escape” the room. So, if you’re vying for something different and interesting, consider trying out Williamsburg Room Escape!
Book a Room Escape session for your Williamsburg trip.
19) Colonial Ghosts
Now tapping into one of the spookiest tours in Williamsburg VA, Colonial Ghosts is a ghoulish way of exploring the area’s history. These ghost tours are offered in multiple formats including self-guided, traditionally guided, pub crawl (yes, really), and even paranormal investigations. They explore many historic places in Williamsburg, though if you’re interested in Busch Gardens’ hauntings, you’ll have to read the theme park ghost stories online.
Book your tour with Colonial Ghosts here for the lowest prices available (lowest price guarantee), free cancellation for a full refund up to 24 hours in advance, and the option to reserve your tour now and pay for it anytime until 48 hours before your tour.
Related Reading: Top 10 Tours In Williamsburg VA
20) Decorative Arts Museum
If you have an eye for the arts, the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum will be your go to in Williamsburg. Located in the heart of historic Williamsburg, this museum is home to a wide variety of decorative art pieces from different cultures and eras. It’s home to the world’s largest collection of southern furniture and it houses one of the largest collection of British ceramics outside of England. There’s truly a lot to see!
Grab your ticket for the Decorative Arts Museum.
21) Powhatan Creek Park
Powhatan Creek Park is one of the many beautiful parks in Williamsburg, Virginia. It’s perfect if you are looking for a place to relax and take in the scenery or if you’re looking for something more active, the park has plenty of activities to choose from. From hiking trails to picnic areas and a playground, there’s many quaint outdoor activities at this scenic park.
Powhatan Creek Park is another free thing to enjoy in Williamsburg.
22) Virginia Capital Trail
The Virginia Capital Trail is a 52-mile dedicated multi-use path that connects the Commonwealth’s two former capitals – Jamestown and Richmond. Along its route, the trail passes through some of Virginia’s most historic sites, including the Williamsburg. It’s open for walkers, runners, bikers, skateboarders, dog walkers, and so forth.
Virginia Capital Trail is free as are their itineraries.
23) Virginia Musical Museum
Diving into a few more interesting Williamsburg museums, the Virginia Musical Museum is a large collection of musical instruments and artifacts that provide insight into the history of Virginia music. With interactive exhibits and knowledgeable staff, you can learn about the evolution of music in Virginia and explore its many influences on American culture.
Check out the Virginia Musical Museum website to see all that the museum has to offer.
24) York County Historical Museum
The York County Historical Museum has a variety of exhibits that showcase the region’s colonial era, Revolutionary War, and Civil War eras. Visitors can also learn about the city’s architectural history and see artifacts from early settlers. With interactive displays and educational programs, the museum is a great way to spend an afternoon learning about Williamsburg’s past.
Visit the York County Historical Museum.
25) American Revolution Museum
The American Revolution Museum is a must-see for those interested in the history of the United States. The museum offers folks a unique opportunity to explore the events leading up to and during the American Revolution. Visitors can explore artifacts, documents, and interactive exhibits that tell the story of how our nation was born. Additionally, visitors can experience what life was like during this period of time through reenactments and living history programs.
American Revolution Museum tickets can be bought online before you go.
26) Bay Country Kayaking
Amongst the myriad of Williamsburg attractions, Bay Country Kayaking is a unique experience that’s perfect for summertime trips. Near the Colonial National Historical Park, it offers scenic tours and beautiful scenery along the Chesapeake Bay creeks. Guided tours are narrated, so kayakers can learn about the wildlife and history of the area during their journey.
Kayak with Bay Country Kayaking.
27) Norge Depot Museum
Located on the grounds of the former Norge Depot, this museum offers visitors an insight into the life of soldiers who served during World War II. Visitors can explore the barracks and other buildings that were once used by troops, as well as learn about the history of the depot and its role in World War II. The museum is an ideal destination for anyone looking to experience a piece of American history.
Check out the Norge Depot Museum.
28) Taste Studio
Taste Studio in Colonial Williamsburg is a full-service demonstration kitchen where you can learn and taste new recipes on the spot as well as sampling beers, wines, and chocolates. Both the food and decor are top notch, making this option a great dining experience for your Williamsburg trip.
Explore more of Taste Studio.
Related Reading: Best Colonial Williamsburg Restaurants In Depth Guide
29) Mobjack Coffee Roasters
Mobjack is a great way to experience Williamsburg’s rich history while satisfying your tastebuds in one swoop. The coffee shop and cafe are located in the Historic Cole Digges House which was a coffee and tea house back in the colonial days. The shop has a wide variety of coffees, teas, sandwiches, and even historical tours.
Mobjack Coffee Roasters menu is available online.
30) VR 64 Arcade
A modern must do in an area filled with blasts from the past, VR 64 Arcade is a virtual reality gaming center. Also known as New World VR Corp, the attraction boasts the latest in gaming technology utilized in their 150 games and simulators. The types of games offered include art, musical, horror, sports, fantasy, blasters, and friendly.
Head over to VR 64 Arcade to see all of the games they have.
31) York River State Park
York River State Park is a nature lover’s paradise waiting to be explored. This hidden gem boasts 40 miles of scenic trails that wind through lush forests and along the picturesque York River. It’s definitely a perfect way to see the natural beauty of the Williamsburg area.
Explore more about York River State Park on the Virginia State Parks website.
32) Yorktown Battlefield
Discover the Yorktown Battlefield in Williamsburg VA, where the pivotal Battle of Yorktown unfolded during the American Revolution. Roam through historic earthworks and explore authentic encampments at the site. Perfect for history buffs, the Yorktown Battlefield offers a glimpse into the past with its immersive exhibits and significant historical importance.
Plan your visit to the Yorktown Battlefield online.
33) College of William & Mary
Nestled in the heart of Williamsburg, the College of William & Mary is a historic institution that blends academic excellence with colonial charm. Founded in 1693, it’s the second oldest college in the U.S. And, with its picturesque campus and vibrant community, W&M provides a unique site to tour during your time in Williamsburg.
Explore the visiting and tour options of the William & Mary campus.
34) Duke of Gloucester Street
Take a stroll down Duke of Gloucester Street in Williamsburg, and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a living history book. Lined with well preserved colonial buildings, this charming thoroughfare is the heartbeat of the city’s Historic Area. From blacksmiths hammering away in open-air workshops to costumed interpreters recreating daily life in the 18th century, every step on Duke of Gloucester Street is a journey back in time.
Learn more about the Duke of Gloucester Street before you go.
35) James City County Marina
Nestled along the James River, the James City County Marina is a haven for boating enthusiasts. Boasting well-maintained facilities and easy access to the Chesapeake Bay, it’s an ideal launchpad for a day on the water. Enjoy the scenic beauty, relax by the riverside, and experience the welcoming atmosphere of this charming coastal spot.
Check out the rentals, marina store, and full-service offerings of the James City County Marina.
Bonus: Best Attractions Near Williamsburg
Additional Williamsburg VA FAQs
Can I walk in Colonial Williamsburg for free?
Yes, you can walk in Colonial Williamsburg for free, and it’s a gorgeous area to roam! You’ll stumble upon various colonial buildings, gardens, stores, restaurants, and more entertainment in the historic area.
Tickets for Colonial Williamsburg are for guided tours of hotspots like the Governor’s Palace and Capitol, staged performances throughout the living history museum, and admission to two renowned museums.
Can you walk around Colonial Williamsburg at night?
You can walk around Colonial Williamsburg at night. Of course, the stores, restaurants, and museums in the area will be closed, but pubs and bars like Paul’s and Brickhouse typically stay open late. Not to mention, Colonial Williamsburg makes for a scenic nighttime stroll.
Can you do Jamestown and Williamsburg in the same day?
Yes, you can do Jamestown and Williamsburg in the same day. As touched on above, it’s best to take 2 to 4 full days to enjoy all the immersive experiences in the area without being rushed. But, it’s still possible to squeeze both Jamestown and Williamsburg in the same day.
Bundle tickets are available that include all of the Historic Triangle for a lowest price guarantee.
Is Williamsburg VA worth it?
Williamsburg VA is most definitely worth it! Whether that be as a day trip or a weeklong getaway, there are so many fun things to do in Williamsburg as evident above–live performances, special events, roller coasters, water slides, historic buildings, craft beer… in short, plenty of fun for the entire family, for adults, for solo travelers, and more. You certainly don’t want to miss out on this charming historic city!
Williamsburg, Virginia is a great place to visit for its rich history and attractions, as proven above. From theme parks to historic sites, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing weekend getaway or an action-packed adventure, there are plenty of things to do in Williamsburg VA.
So, be sure to come explore all that Williamsburg has to offer and find out firsthand why it’s one of the top destinations in Virginia!
What’s one of your favorite things to do in Williamsburg, Virginia?
For more Williamsburg Virginia travel guides, you can also check out:
- Best Colonial Williamsburg Restaurants
- Top 5 Hotels Near Busch Gardens VA
- 10 Top Tours In Williamsburg VA
- Best Colonial Williamsburg Hotels
- 20 Unique Fall Things To Do In Williamsburg VA
- Christmas In Williamsburg VA Guide
Thanks for reading!