Looking for some of the best things to do in Williamsburg? There is everything from adrenaline-filled activities to theme parks, outdoor adventures, and tons of history.
No matter what time of year you visit there is something going on in Williamsburg. Here are the top things to do in Williamsburg.
Best Time to Visit Williamsburg
Although there is no wrong time to visit Williamsburg, some months might be better to visit than others. When looking for the best time to visit Williamsburg, we recommend planning your trip anytime between April and November.
Most outdoor attractions in Williamsburg open in April when the weather is pleasant and mild. With school holidays and vacationing families, summer is the busiest time of the year to visit. Although the weather can be hot and humid in the summer, you’ll find that the best things to do in Williamsburg stay open later during those times.
Winter in Williamsburg can be cooler, with even a chance for snow, which means many outdoor attractions will have reduced hours or be closed altogether. However, traveling during the off-season means the city will be less crowded, and flights and hotels will be far cheaper than in the high season.
Where to Stay in Williamsburg
There are tons of great hotels in Williamsburg, but there are two hotels that stand out. If you’re looking for a unique place to stay in Williamsburg, we highly recommend Wedmore Place, located at the Williamsburg Winery or the Williamsburg Inn right in the heart of Colonial Williamsburg.
1. Colonial Williamsburg
Step back in time and experience firsthand what it was like to live in 18th-century America. Colonial Williamsburg is an interactive living history museum where live historians recreate stories from all aspects of colonial life. As you wander the streets and enter the historic houses and buildings, you’ll become immersed in early American history.
Attend live wig-making demonstrations, take a horse-drawn carriage ride, or watch a real witch trial in the courtroom! With multitudes of daily performances to see and historic buildings to explore, you’ll be fascinated by the history and people at Colonial Williamsburg.
- Address: 101 Visitor Center Drive, Williamsburg, VA 23185
- Hours: Daily 8:45 am – 5 pm
2. Busch Gardens
For an action-packed adventure in Williamsburg, head to Busch Gardens. This thrilling theme park has it all – gravity-defying roller coasters, live performances, and even an animal reserve! If you dare, take a ride on Apollo’s Chariot, an award-winning roller coaster that shoots you 73 mph down a 210-foot drop.
Although Busch Gardens is known for its high-speed rides, it also has something unique compared to other theme parks. The park is divided into ten different European villages, where you’ll get to experience different countries without ever leaving Virginia! Marvel at Big Ben, stroll through Italian pizzas and even drink beer at an Oktoberfest-style tent.
- Address: 1 Busch Gardens Blvd, Williamsburg, VA 23185
- Hours vary by day
- Admission varies based on current ticket offers and dates
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3. Sample Local Williamsburg Microbreweries on the Tasting Trail
With a fun trip on the Williamsburg Tasting Trail, indulge in some of the best beers, spirits, and meads in the region. Whether you take a tour bus or visit the different wineries and breweries in Williamsburg on your own, you’ll enjoy sampling some of Virginia’s most delectable adult beverages.
There are 12 stops on the trail. Microbrew fans will enjoy the rotating daily tap at Alewerks Brewing Company, Amber Ox Public House, and Brass Cannon Brewing. When you need a beer break, you’ll be happy to know that there are a variety of meaderies, wineries, and distillers on the Tasting Trail.
4. Yorktown Sailing Charter
Hop aboard the Schooner Alliance and head out into the open waters of the York River on a Yorktown Sailing Charter! On a historical tour of Yorktown, you’ll sail through the same route that John Smith did over four centuries ago.
This interactive cruise takes you to some of the most iconic destinations in Williamsburg’s history. During the two-hour tour, you’ll sail by Victory Monument and gaze upon the Yorktown Battlefield. If you’re lucky, you might spot a few resident dolphins off the bow of the ship.
For younger sailors, we recommend booking the Pirate Adventure Tour. This hands-on cruise allows children (and children of all ages) to learn about the workings of a real sailboat.
- Address: 25 Water St, Yorktown, VA 23690
- Hours: April 4 – November 1. Cruise departure times vary
5. Silver Hand Meadery
For a unique taste of history, head to the Silver Hand Meadery to try one of the world’s oldest alcoholic beverages! Made with fermented honey, mead is often described as a mix between wine and beer.
At the Silver Hand Meadery, you’ll be able to enjoy a free mead tasting, where you’ll sample different styles of mead from around the world. Although the meadery is less than five years old, it’s still considered one of the best Williamsburg attractions.
You can also participate in the reserve tasting, which takes you behind the scenes to see how honey for the mead is produced. Make sure to stop by the gift shop and pick up a bottle of Mead and a jar of honey to bring home with you. Our favorite honey is their Meadow Foam
- Address: 224 Monticello Ave, Williamsburg, VA 23185
- Monday – Thursday: 12 pm – 6 pm
- Friday: 12 pm – 7 pm
- Saturday: 11 am – 7 pm
- Sunday: 1 pm – 5 pm
- Admission: Free to visit, $10 for the reserve tasting
6. Jamestown Settlement
Williamsburg is known for having some of the best living history museums in the world, and the Jamestown Settlement is no exception. The museum focuses on the Jamestown Colony, which was the first English settlement in America. Much of the museum’s history dates back to the early 1600s, centuries before the events that took place at Colonial Williamsburg.
During your visit, you’ll have the chance to explore dozens of activities that took place in the 17th-century. Walk through a traditional Powhatan Indian town, board the ships that carried the settlers from England, and see dramatic military reenactments.
Although the Jamestown Settlement is an educational exploration of America’s early history, it’s still full of entertaining events for the whole family.
- Address: 2110 Jamestown Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23185
- Hours: Daily: 9 am – 5 pm
- Admission: $17.50 (adults), $8.25 (reduced) – Purchase Tickets Online
7. Segway Yorktown
With so much in Yorktown to see, you’ll need a method of transportation that can easily take you to all the best spots and attractions around town. With a Segway rental, you’ll be able to breeze through the busy streets and learn about Virginia’s history, all while having fun!
There are several Segway rentals in the area, but we recommend Patriot Tours VA. Choose between a one or two-hour tour and let your experienced Segway Guide take you back in time to Yorktown’s most historic landmarks.
While tours are an excellent way to learn more about the city, it’s Virginia’s beautiful scenery that makes the rental worth it. Strolling past the scenic York River and around the colonial houses is guaranteed to be one of the highlights of your Williamsburg vacation.
Patriot Tours VA runs segway tours of Yorktown.
- Address: 321 Water St, Yorktown, VA 23690
- Hours: Daily 10 am – 6 pm
8. Shop in Merchant Square
Located in the heart of Colonial Williamsburg, Merchant Square is a shopper’s heaven. This 18th-century-style shopping plaza has over 40 shops for you to get your much needed retail therapy fix. From boutique clothing shops to handicrafts and traditional souvenirs, Merchant Square is the perfect place to spend the afternoon or evening.
Besides shopping and dining, Merchant Square has a variety of fun-filled activities that take place throughout the day. You’ll be treated to live music, comedy shows, and food and drink events on Friday nights. On the weekend, stop by the Farmer’s Market to purchase fresh produce and one-of-a-kind handmade goods.
When you get hungry, we suggest heading over to the Cheese Shop!
- Address: 134 N Henry St, Williamsburg, VA 23185
- Hours: Daily 9 am – 5 pm
- Admission: Free to enter
9. Williamsburg Winery
The Williamsburg Winery is situated on a sprawling 300-acre farm right in the middle of Virginia. This spectacular winery pours some of the most delicious wines from the region and is the perfect setting for a relaxing day with friends and family.
There are several tours and tasting options to choose from. For an in-depth winery tour, opt for the Extensive Tour and Reserve Tasting, where you can sample exclusive wines not generally offered to other visitors.
Besides the tasting room and vineyards, Williamsburg Winery is also home to a hotel and two restaurants. Whether you come for a tour, for lunch, or the weekend, we know you’ll have a memorable time during your visit to this breathtaking winery.
- Address: 5800 Wessex Hundred, Williamsburg, VA 23185
- Sunday – Friday: 12 pm – 5 pm
- Saturday: 11 am – 6 pm
- Admission: Free to enter
10. The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown
Dive deep into the heart of the Revolution with a trip to the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. Starting from the founding of the Jamestown settlement, this living history museum takes you through decades of American history.
With the help of live actors and historians, you’ll be able to experience first-hand the daily life and struggles of soldiers and residents during the Revolution. Learn about 18th-century farming, try your hand at loading a musket, and enlist in the Continental Army!
- Address: 200 Water St Route 1020, Yorktown, VA 23690
- Hours: Daily 9 am – 5 pm
- Admission: $17.50 (adults), $8.25 (reduced)
11. Go-Ape Adventure Park
Swing high above the forest canopy as you test your limits at the Go-Ape Adventure Park. Fun for the whole family, this zip outdoor adventure course has zip lines, Tarzan swings, and tons of amazing obstacles for you to conquer!
As you race through the maze of bridges and ropes, you’ll find that some courses are more challenging than others. Even if you have a fear of heights or low endurance, you’ll still find the Go-Ape Adventure Park to be a rewarding experience once you race across the finish line!
- Address: 5537 Centerville Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23188
- Hours: Daily 9 am – 6 pm
12. Kayak in Water Mill Park
Paddle out into the serene waters of Water Mill Park on a relaxing kayak journey. This 360-acre lake is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts. Surrounded by lush foliage and dense woods, the beautiful Water Mill Park is the best place to unwind and escape the bustling city.
Besides kayaking, Water Mill Park is a great destination for fishing, boating, and trail walking. If you’re looking for a slice of paradise in the middle of Williamsburg, don’t forget to spend a few hours at Water Mill Park.
- Address: 5537 Centerville Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23188
- Hours: Opening times vary throughout the year
- Admission: $2 per vehicle, kayak rentals & boat rentals vary based on length of time
13. Virginia Oyster Trail
If you venture down the Virginia Oyster Trail, you better come hungry! Since Virginia is the largest producer of fresh oysters, it’s no wonder that they have some of the best restaurants, seafood farms, and companies in the US.
There are eight different routes and dozens of stops on the Virginia Oyster Trail to choose from. The Dog & Oyster Vineyard, Casa Pearl, and Berret are just a few award-winning favorites. You’ll feast on a wide range of dishes and recipes, from fried oysters to oyster tacos.
Although you could do the highlights of the trail in one day, you’d need over a week to hit all the best spots on the map!
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14. Yankee Candle Village to make your own candles
Yankee Candle is known around the world for its fragrant, aromatic, and sometimes mouth-watering selection of wax candles. The Yankee Candle Village in Williamsburg is your one-stop shop for purchasing one of your favorite 200 scented fragrances.
If you’re looking for a unique souvenir, make sure to stop by Wax Works. You’ll be able to make a wax mold of your hand, print a personalized photo candle, and create a customized candle just for you! All you have to do is pick your favorite colors and fragrances, and you’ll have a one-of-a-kind candle unlike anything else in the store.
- Address: 2200 Richmond Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23185
- Hours: Daily 10 am – 9 pm
- Admission: Free to enter. Custom candle prices vary
15. Visit Historic Jamestown
As the first English settlement in America, Jamestown is a must-see during your trip to Virginia. In Historic Jamestown, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to broaden your understanding of this monumental landmark.
One of the biggest highlights is the excavation dig of James Fort. Items in this archeological site are still being unearthed today, so there is a lot to learn and discover during your visit. You can also visit the Glass House, where you watch costumed workers show you the techniques for glass blowing. Finally, don’t miss the Island Loop Drive, which takes you five miles through Jamestown’s natural surroundings.
- Address: 1368 Colonial Pkwy, Jamestown, VA 23081
- Hours: Daily 9 am – 5 pm