Travel back in time and immerse yourself in an 18th-century city. Explore historic buildings and wander through gardens. Engage the nation’s founders and gain a new perspective on the American story.
Colonial Williamsburg is the only place that takes you back in time to the dawn of America. This isn’t just a place where things once happened. They’re happening, right now, here in the 18th century. You’ll meet the people who made America—sing with them, dance with them, eat with them, and have fun with them.
The Historic Area of Colonial Williamsburg is the world’s largest living history museum, featuring more than forty historic sites and trades, four historic taverns, and two world-class art museums. Colonial Williamsburg stretches over 301 acres, and includes 88 original 18th-century structures. Hundreds of houses, shops, and public outbuildings are reconstructed on their original foundations.
The church, the tavern, the market, the theater; these are the places where early Viginians met their neighbors and exchanged all manner of currency. You can gather there, too, and listen to the echoes of 18th-century life.
Nose through the homes of the elite gentry class and everyday middling sort. Period furnishings and knowledgeable costumed interpreters let history surround you in three dimensions. See where Virginia’s first signer of the Declaration of Independence, George Wythe, slept. Experience the connection between life and land at Great Hopes Plantation. Walk the rooms where middling gaolkeeper Peter Pelham and his family spent their days.
Mere brick and mortar contained the combustion of ideas that were catalyst to the American Revolution. The opulent Governor’s Palace was the embodiment of British order in the colonies. The Capitol was witness to the vote for America’s move to independence. The Raleigh Tavern’s neutral setting encouraged free debate. The Magazine held the colony’s guns and ammunition, standing as a literal symbol of self-reliance.
Practicing tradesmen make Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area a living town, ringing with clanging hammers and tinged with the smoke of industry. Visit the blacksmith, see what the milliner is working on, smell what’s cooking in the kitchens, and more. Eighteen trades are practiced with 18th-century methods and tools.
The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum houses a variety of the “finer things,” including the world’s largest collection of southern furniture and one of the largest collections of British ceramics outside England. Relax in the Portrait Gallery, attend a lecture or musical event in the Hennage Auditorium, or take part in a hands-on activity in the Education Studio.
In the galleries of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, you’ll discover an amazing variety of paintings, sculptures, and other objects created by talented, self-trained artists, and craftsmen. In fact, it’s one of the largest collections of American folk art.
Enjoy a menu of colonial-inspired favorites and specialty beer, such as Colonial Williamsburg’s own Old Stitch and Dear Old Mum at the Chowning’s Tavern. Enjoy dining inside the tavern all day, seven days a week with shared plates, old favorites such as Brunswick Stew and Welsh Rarebit, as well as Shepherd’s Pye and Bangers and Mash. Join in for table games after 5 pm.
For outside dining under the grape arbor, Chowning’s Garden Snack Bar Grill is open from 11 am–4 pm daily serving burgers, hot dogs, bratwurst rolls, Brunswick Stew, BBQ, salads, and sweet treats.
When you arrive, start your visit at the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center to pick up a free copy of the “Colonial Williamsburg Map & Program Guide” and “Today’s Programs.” These guides will show you which buildings are open and which programs are offered during your visit along with a map and helpful tips.
Buildings with flags at their entrances are open to ticket holders. Not all buildings are open to the public; some are privately occupied by employees of Colonial Williamsburg and their families, and some hold administrative offices.
Admission, valid for one day, includes all Colonial Williamsburg historic sites and trade shops, two art museums, and complimentary shuttle service, $40.99; $20.49 (ages 6-12). Multiday admission available for three consecutive days, $50.99; $25.49 (ages 6-12). Other admission ticket combinations are also available.
Colonial Williamsburg is located in Williamsburg and is part of Virginia’s Historic Triangle, which includes Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown.
There’s never been a better time to plan your trip to the 18th century!
Wherever you travel…your ears are constantly astonished at the number of colonels, majors, and captains that you hear mentioned: In short, the whole country seems at first to you a retreat of heroes.
— Edward Kimber, an English traveler to America in 1745