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Things to do in Colonial Williamsburg

Our most recommended things to do in Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg: Colonial History Guided Walking Tour

1. Colonial Williamsburg: Colonial History Guided Walking Tour

Experience life in eighteenth-century America. In this guided walking tour of Colonial Williamsburg, you’ll hear stories left out of textbooks. Learn about the founding fathers and visit the same buildings they did. Discover unexpected connections between their times and ours. Start your journey from the Capitol Building. From there, visit historical sites including the Raleigh Tavern. At the Silversmith, watch skilled craftspeople work their trade. Imagine yourself back in the 1700s. The costumes worn by the staff are true to the period and add to the atmosphere. Discover colonial-era figures beyond Washington and Jefferson. Hear your guide tell stories about the royal government and the transition to elected officials around the Governor’s Palace. Learn the poignant history of America declaring independence before returning to the Capitol Building.

Colonial Williamsburg: Booze and Boos Haunted Pub Crawl

2. Colonial Williamsburg: Booze and Boos Haunted Pub Crawl

Drink like a founding father on this spooky walking tour of Williamsburg with stops at Bruton Parish Church, Peyton Randolph House, Kimball Theatre, and Wythe House. Visit 8 haunted sites, including 4 pubs, and listen to bone-chilling stories from your guide. Meet your guide at a pub to down a pint of liquid courage before delving into the creepiest ghost stories this historic town has to offer. If you're not a drinker, treat yourself to mocktails and other non-alcoholic drinks. Learn about the ghosts of William and Mary and the many tortured spirits who haunt Kimball Theatre. Stand in the shadow of the Public Hospital, where the screams of former patients still echo in the night. Mingle with the spirits of the 325-year-old Wren Building before topping off with a drinking game at DoG Street Pub in Colonial Williamsburg's Merchant Square.

Colonial Ghosts of the Revolution Haunted Tour by USGA

3. Colonial Ghosts of the Revolution Haunted Tour by USGA

Since the 1930s, Colonial Williamsburg has honored the city’s past by recreating the glory days of the 18th century. Horse-drawn carriages, cobblestone paths, historic brick buildings, and vintage clothing set a charming, patriotic scene — but there’s a dark energy lurking in the shadows of this tourist town… Join a seasoned local guide for a nighttime walking tour of the most chilling, haunted sites in Williamsburg. Did you know one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence was poisoned by his grandnephew? Or that a sadistic Civil War surgeon did his dirty deeds at Market Square? Williamsburg may be home to American treasures like the Raleigh Tavern, but it’s also home to one of the most haunted, cursed homes ever built: The Peyton Randolph House. Stand in its blood-red glow as you hear first-hand accounts of its evil energy. Tales of true crime, betrayal, and bloody wars line the streets of this famous city. Are you brave enough to get to know the real Williamsburg? The spirits are waiting.

Colonial Williamsburg: Self-Guided Walking Tour

4. 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.

From DC: Colonial Williamsburg and Historical Triangle Tour

5. 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.

Williamsburg: Pirate Tour

6. Williamsburg: Pirate Tour

Take a journey through the golden age of piracy on a guided tour of historic Williamsburg. Find out the pivotal role pirates played in the city's and greater Virginia's past as you visit taverns, stores, and more. Meet your 18th-century tour guide at the Williamsburg's Capitol Building and follow them through the city to historic sites such as the Raleigh Tavern, Wetherburn Tavern, Tarpley and Thompson store, and the city jail. Hear about how pirates were way beyond just a local menace. Understand how they had significant influence on the developing colonies of Virginia and other settlements in this country. Learn about their life and customs in the era and how they built up a full-scale smuggling empire. Listen to fascinating details of famous battles and captured pirates. During your tour uncover Blackbeard's infamous past and his demise.

Williamsburg: Colonial Conspiracy Tour

7. Williamsburg: Colonial Conspiracy Tour

Join your costumed, expert guide on a historical tour of colonial Williamsburg. During your tour, your guide will expose an often untold version of America's history and its founding fathers and the secret intentions they had for this nation. As you witness some of the city's landmarks, hear tales of the rites and rituals conducted by the multiple secrete societies which existed here - some of which still meet to this day. You'll also learn about some of the nation's most influential people from colonial America, all the way up to “Rockefeller’s Williamsburg”.

Colonial Williamsburg: Christmas Walking Tour with Gift

8. Colonial Williamsburg: Christmas Walking Tour with Gift

Get into the holiday spirit on this guided walking tour on a guided Christmas walking tour in Colonial Williamsburg. See Williamsburg's Christmas decorations and hear of how the colonists celebrated the holiday in the 18th century. Recieve a gift to celebrate your trip. Starting at the city’s capital building, follow alongside your guide to Williamsburg’s most magical and festive spots. As you stroll, listen in on Christmas stories, local Christmas traditions, and the history of the holidays here in town. Hear about the story of the Christmas tree in America and if Santa Claus was a part of the holiday celebration here in town. Why did the Masons have their own Masonic private holiday service on the 27th? You’ll learn all this and more as you explore. At the end of the tour, kick off the gift-giving season with a free lighted candle gift from your guide.

Colonial Williamsburg: Scavenger Hunt Audio Guide Tour

9. Colonial Williamsburg: Scavenger Hunt Audio Guide Tour

Embark on an educational and fun-filled audio tour of Colonial Williamsburg. Visit a series of important locations including Peyton Randolph House, Basset Hall, and more, and hear about their significance. Look out for clues to answer trivia questions in the included tour app. Your scavenger hunt-audio guide adventure through Colonial Williamsburg begins at the visitor center. From the visitor center, head to the Peyton Randolph House and check it out. Hear then about the connection that John. D. Rockefeller has with this town and how he helped in restoring it. From there if you prefer you can visit the public jail, or move towards Basset Hall and then come back to the jail later. On this part of the tour, hear about several buildings where revolutionaries met and discussed the idea of independence. Learn then about the Magazine. Some trivia questions will pop up while you are taking the tour. You can either answer the questions and advance ahead on the tour or you can skip the questions if you like. Pay attention to your surroundings for clues to answer the questions. Some other attractions on the route are the Governor’s House, George Wythe House, and Bruton Parish Episcopal Church. The tour will end on the William and Mary School campus.

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What people are saying about Colonial Williamsburg

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 50 reviews

Catherine gave such an amazing tour to what ended up being just my husband and I. She even took us to some unplanned spots when we mentioned that we were interested. This is a must when visiting Williamsburg. Highly recommend!

We had a fantastic time with Will!!!! He was very engaging and entertaining! I would definitely recommend taking this tour!!!

Frightfully fun! Robert was knowledgeable and entertaining. History mixed with some Ghost stories. Thanks!

Tom was fun, funny & so knowledgeable! Would definitely recommend.

Very well done and we enjoyed the presentation. Thanks.