7 Top Things To Do in Williamsburg VA

When planning a trip to Williamsburg, VA, Colonial Williamsburg immediately jumps out as the must-see attraction in the historic town. However, there are many more things to do in Williamsburg, VA, including nearby historic Jamestown and Yorktown; wineries, cideries, and meaderies; and family entertainment and thrills at Busch Gardens. 

Here you will find the top things to do in Williamsburg, VA, as well as helpful information and links to help you plan your vacation to this historic town. 

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Colonial Williamsburg

No trip to Williamsburg, VA is complete without a stop at world-famous Colonial Williamsburg. Here you can explore a historic recreation of the 17th and 18th century site of some of the first European settlements in the New World.  The site features more than 40 buildings and attractions, many of which visitors can explore both inside and outside. There are also carriage rides, musket demonstrations, shops, restaurants, gardens, livestock, and more. Exploring the site can easily fill up an entire day. 


Be sure to take a guided tour of the Governor’s Palace and the George Wythe House, both of which are large, opulent examples of the architecture and lifestyles of the Colonial Williamsburg elite. The gardens behind the Governor’s Palace are gorgeous in Spring time. Also make sure to visit the imposing brick Capitol building.

I also highly recommend exploring the lovely gardens behind many of the homes, You may also see sheep and horses grazing in the nearby yards. 

I also recommend adding a night time activity to your visit. I took a Ghost Tour and it was really interesting, with colorful stories about the historic site’s past. You can find additional Evening Programs here


Can be purchased online here. There are numerous options, including Single-Day Tickets, Annual Passes, and Historic Triangle Tickets that include access to nearby Jamestown and Yorktown. 


Open Daily from 9am to 5pm. 

Estimated Visit Duration:

5+ hours


There are a number of guided tours available at Colonial Williamsburg. I took a Ghost Tour at night and it was a really interesting experience, with fascinating stories and definitely some eerie moments. 

You can also take a guided day tour right from the Northern Virginia/Washington, D.C. area that will take you to Colonial Williamsburg, Historic Jamestown, and Jamestown Settlement.

Jamestown Settlement

First, make sure to note that Jamestown Settlement is different from Historic Jamestown. Historic Jamestown is located about 1.6 miles from Jamestown Settlement, and primarily consists of excavation activities at the original historic site. 

Jamestown Settlement is largely a recreation of the original Jamestown colonial site. It includes an excellent museum with artifacts, presentations, videos, and narratives from the late 17th and early 18th century settlement. The museum is excellent, with a “not-to-be-missed” short video on the founding of the Jamestown Colony, as well as extensive exhibits that include British, European, Native American, African, the role of women and family in the early colonial days, and other subjects. 

After visiting the museum, it is a short walk outside to see the recreation of the original Jamestown Settlement, which is an imposing wooden fort structure, filled with replica buildings, churches, homes, and a Native American village. Inside the structures you will get a chance to watch demonstrations of how weapons, clothing and tools are made. Every hour there is a live musket demonstration on the stage at the far end of the fort, which is very cool to watch. 

A little further down, toward the water, you will be able to visit replicas of the three original ships that arrived at Jamestown from England. 


I really enjoyed the thorough information and artifacts in the museum, as well as getting to walk inside the church and Native American village.


Several ticket packages are available for purchase online, including a Virginia Resident American Heritage Pass. 


Open Daily from 9am to 5pm.

Estimated Visit Duration: 

3 to 4+ Hours


As mentioned above, you can also take a guided day tour right from the Northern Virginia/Washington, D.C. area that will take you to Colonial Williamsburg, Historic Jamestown, and Jamestown Settlement.

Yorktown Settlement

Yorktown Settlement is the third major historic site in the Williamsburg area. It is located about 12.8 miles to the east of Colonial Williamsburg, and is roughly equidistant between Williamsburg and Newport News, VA. 

Yorktown is a lovely small town filled with charm and history, and it is a great place just for a walk down the brick sidewalks, visiting numerous crafts stores and restaurants in the town itself.

The historic sites are also not to be missed, and include the Yorktown Battlefield site and the American Revolution Museum of Yorktown. Yorktown Battlefield includes Ranger-led tours of the battlefield and historic town. The museum features exhibits about the Revolutionary War, recreations of a Continental Army Camp and Revolution-era farm. 

Yorktown also has a free Trolley ride that runs daily, as well as numerous water-related activities, including visiting Yorktown beach, visiting ships, and visiting the marina and fishing pier.  


There are many activities to do in Yorktown. I had a lovely time just walking through the town itself, having lunch in a local restaurant, and taking in all of the historic buildings. Historical highlights that are not to be missed include the Yorktown Battlefield site and the American Revolution Museum of Yorktown. 


Several ticket packages are available for purchase online, including a Virginia Resident American Heritage Pass. 


American Revolution Museum at Yorktown and Yorktown Battlefield are open daily from 9am to 5pm.

Estimated Visit Duration: 

3 to 4+ Hours

Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Source: Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Busch Gardens is a major theme park located right near Colonial Williamsburg. It is also located right nextdoor to the Kingmill Resort, which is an excellent lodging option for those interested in visiting the amusement park. 

Busch Gardens features multiple major rollercoasters, including the Loch Ness Monster, Alpengeist, and Tempesto. Pantheon, the world’s fastest multi-launch roller coaster, is officially launching at Busch Gardens Williamsburg in March 2022.

The park also includes daily live shows, as well as holiday themed events, such as multiple Halloween shows (Howl-o-Scream, Phantoms of the Festhaus, Zombeats), Bierfest, and Christmas Town.


I love the high adrenaline rollercoasters like the Loch Ness Monster and Alpengeist. Busch Gardens also features dining and shopping areas that are inspired by European countries, including Germany, France, and Italy. These areas are fun to walk around and soak in the ambiance of old Europe. 


There are multiple ticket packages available here


The hours vary, and can be found here.

Estimated Visit Duration:

7 to 8 Hours

Colonial Williamsburg’s Merchants Square

Merchants Square is a great shopping and dining hub located a short walk away from Colonial Williamsburg. Many of my favorite restaurants, including The Cheese Shop and Amber Ox Public House, are located here. A list of those restaurants can be found here

In addition, there are numerous stores that range from books, to clothes, to Colonial Williamsburg and William and Mary souvenirs, and jewelry. 


Here are some of the shopping highlights in Merchant’s Square: 

  • William and Mary Bookstore and Cafe

  • Campus Shop

  • Talbots

  • The Christmas Shop

And here are some of the dining and food highlights in Merchant’s Square: 

  • The Cheese Shop

  • Amber Ox Public House

  • Fat Canary

  • Blue Talon Bistro

  • Dog Street Pub

  • The Peanut Shop


Not applicable


Vary by store. Please refer here for specific store hours. 

Estimated Visit Duration: 

3 to 4 Hours

Williamsburg Farmers Market

I stumbled upon the Williamsburg Farmers Market on a Saturday afternoon during my last visit to the area, and it was definitely one of the highlights of my trip. It is located right next to Merchant’s Square, and features a large number of booths featuring locally produced vegetables, fruits, breads, chocolate, cookies, teas, soaps, wines, pies, pastas, plants, and much more. It occurs every Saturday from 8am to noon, and includes free parking on Francis Street (lot P6). 


I have a notorious sweet tooth, and I found some of my all time favorite chocolate at the Farmers Market. It is produced by Chocolate Cravings, which is based in Richmond. I bought the smores chocolate bars and the jalapeno, coriander, and cinnamon bars.

I also bought some of the best kombucha I’ve ever had, courtesy Ninja Kombucha. 


Not applicable


Saturdays, 8am to 12pm

Estimated Visit Duration: 

1 to 2 Hours

Williamsburg Winery

I had a lovely late afternoon visit to the Williamsburg Winery during my last visit to Williamsburg. The location is excellent, located just 4.3 miles, or about a 12 minute drive, from Colonial Williamsburg’s Merchants Square. There is outdoor and indoor seating, wine tastings, some light snacks such as crackers and cheeses, and live music. There is also a restaurant on site – the Gabriel Archer Tavern, which is open for brunch, lunch, and dinner. The winery also features accommodations at Wedmore Place.  


Along with enjoying flights of wine, the Williamsburg Winery also features a Cycling Club and Run Club. The winery also features live music. 


Tasting Room:

Saturday: 11am to 6pm

Sunday: 12pm to 5pm

Closed Monday through Friday

1619 Wine Pavilion:

Sunday-Thursday: 12pm – 5:30 pm

Friday: 12pm – 6:30pm

Saturday: 11:00am – 6:30pm

Wine Shop:

Sunday-Thursday: 12pm – 6pm

Friday: 12pm – 7pm

Gabriel Archer Tavern:

Lunch Hours:

Daily: 11am – 4pm

Dinner Hours:

Friday and Saturday: 5pm – 8pm

Saturday: 11am – 7pm

Estimated Visit Duration:

2 to 3 Hours

Additional Williamsburg Wineries

There are a large number of other wineries in the Williamsburg area, including: 

A great compilation of Williamsburg area wineries can be found here

Silver Hand Meadery

Source: Silver Hand Meadery

For a refreshing alternative to the many wineries in the Williamsburg area, I strongly recommend making a trip to a local meadery. Mead is an alcoholic drink with ancient roots that is based on fermenting honey. It is sweet and perfect as a warm weather drink or dessert wine. Silver Hand makes delicious mead, which can be found at their main location, or at numerous stores around Williamsburg itself. For instance, the gift stores at Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown Settlement include Silver Hand mead for sale.  


Reservations for The Mead Hall tasting room can be made here. 


Monday to Thursday: 11am – 6pm

Friday: 11am – 8pm

Saturday: 10am – 8pm

Sunday: 12pm – 5pm

Estimated Visit Duration:

2 to 3 Hours 

Where to Stay in Williamsburg

Kingsmill Resort Williamsburg

Where to Eat in Williamsburg

Chocolate Mousse at the Blue Talon Bistro in Colonial Williamsburg

Learn even more about the best things to do in Colonial Williamsburg!

Learn all about the best Colonial Williamsburg Tours

Building and gardens at Colonial Williamsburg

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Christmas Wreath on a door

Spend the perfect Thanksgiving in Williamsburg

Thanksgiving dinner table

Learn about how to celebrate Christmas in Williamsburg

Christmas Light

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Colonial Williamsburg, VA house and garden