Things to do in
Colonial Williamsburg

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Williamsburg: Secrets of Williamsburg Walking Tour

Williamsburg: Secrets of Williamsburg Walking Tour

Journey through the early days of America on this 90-120 minute walking tour of historic Williamsburg, Virginia. Equipped with hours of research, your guide will transport you to the 18th century and regale you with tales of love, war, brotherhood, and the costly fight for freedom. While Colonial Williamsburg is a true museum of living history, many storytellers shy away from the details that made it real and avoid unpopular stories of the great, and terrible, men and women who lived, loved, laughed, killed, and died here. On this tour experience, instead of stepping carefully around those stories, expert tour guides will dive headfirst into unflinching accounts and gripping backstories of the famous and infamous figures who called Williamsburg home. Dive in with them as they reveal and showcase America's first conspiracy ring, hidden vaults and crypts throughout the city filled with surprising artifacts and people, events and secret meetings held in seedy taverns filled with less savory characters, and more. They will attempt to paint portraits of historical figures so vivid and true that you'll believe you met them and know them as well as yourself. On this tour, you will visit up to 12-15 locations all tied to famous figures in American History and you will learn the true history of the most iconic places of Colonial Williamsburg as your expert guide takes you through the different pieces of the city and why Colonial Williamsburg was the city that history made and more. Experience the religious, political, and educational epicenters of the city and see where George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry and other famous figures walked, talked, ate, drank, and had some of the most important discussions and laid the most unforgettable battle plans that would change the nation forever. See the Bruton Parish church, one of Virginia's oldest religious buildings and stand at the gates of the Governor's Palace that housed the Governor of Virginia responsible for the capture of Blackbeard the Pirate. Explore the Gaol (Jail) where Blackbeard's Boys were housed before meeting an untimely fate and the house the George Washington, Marquis de Lafayette, and Thomas Jefferson's mentor--George Wythe--planned the final integral battle of the Revolutionary War. It’s one thing to read about history; it’s another to see, hear, smell, and touch it. As you journey through the nation’s largest living history exhibit, you’ll experience a deep connection to America’s earliest settlers. Stand in the shadow of iconic homes like the Peyton-Randolph House and the Governor’s Palace. Hear sobering tales of the black colonial experience - stories that have been glossed over for decades. By the end of the journey, you’ll have new insight into what life was really like 300 years ago, and how America developed into the country it is today. Bring the family along and take a relaxing stroll through this beautiful, historic town.

Williamsburg: The Patriots Historical Walking Tour

Williamsburg: The Patriots Historical Walking Tour

Our tour is filled with historical information in the city where it happened! We present the events of the 1770s in a clear timeline and discuss the actions and attitudes of the founders that shaped the revolution and the founding of our nation. The average visitor would have to spend multiple days (visiting just the right buildings) to learn the information we present in just 1 hour without waiting in long lines and missing information because of closed attractions. Questions are encouraged throughout the tour to ensure you get the information and experience you desire. Our tour starts at the reconstructed Colonial Capitol Building, Located on E Duke of Gloucester St, Williamsburg, VA 23185, where we will discover the creation of the first elected body in the New World and the creation of Colonial Williamsburg. Next, we will stop at the iconic Raleigh Tavern, a reconstructed building whose history is filled with espionage, subversion, and intrigue. The original 18th-century Powder Magazine is the third stop. Here we will discover the events that start Virginians down the path toward rebellion against the government. On our way, we will pass by the Peyton Randolph House, (president of the 1st and 2nd Continental Congress) and the 1770 Colonial Williamsburg Courthouse, (see the steps where the Declaration of Independence was read to the citizens of Williamsburg. Our tour will conclude on the palace green between the reconstructed Governor's Palace (learn about how the Royal Governor pushed the people of Virginia into rebellion), and the historic Bruton Parish Church, where many of the founding fathers worshiped while visiting the city. After the tour, you will be at the Bruton Parish Church which is open to the public at the church's discretion. You will be just a few blocks from modern shopping and dining areas and the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg.

Colonial Williamsburg: Colonial History Guided Walking Tour

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.

Williamsburg: 'We Shall Overcome' Black History Walking Tour

Williamsburg: 'We Shall Overcome' Black History Walking Tour

America is only beginning to rediscover our black founding fathers and mothers. It’s time their stories are told. Meet your knowledgeable guide at Kimball Theatre, where you’ll delve into the beginnings of the slave trade in Virginia. From there, you’ll wind through 10 historic locations, uncovering stories of black oppression, bravery, triumph, heartbreak, and determination at each one. Learn the story of Ona “Oney” Judge Staines, a mixed-race slave who ran away from George and Martha Washington to start a new life as a free woman in New Hampshire; Imagine hearing a sermon delivered by Gowan Pamphlet, one of the early pastors of the Williamsburg Baptist Church; And uncover the sneaky ways those in power kept slaves from communicating and revolting. No matter your race, gender, or nationality, this tour is for you. *Bonus Tour Inside Church: Only available Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Subject to availability.

Williamsburg: Colonial Ghosts Ultimate Dead of Night Tour

Williamsburg: Colonial Ghosts Ultimate Dead of Night Tour

Late at night, when the shopkeepers lock their doors and the streets are empty and quiet, the ghosts of Colonial Williamsburg come out to play… Are you brave enough to meet them? Join a seasoned US Ghost Adventures guide for a late-night walking tour of the most chilling, haunted sites in Williamsburg. Stand in the shadow of the terrifying Public Gaol, where an entity named “Mr. Scratch” likes to communicate with anyone who will listen. Learn about the torturous conditions at the Eastern Lunatic Asylum, and visit the home where one of the patients — “Mad Lucy” — remains to this day. You’ll end your tour at one of the most haunted, cursed homes ever built: The Peyton Randolph House. Stand in its blood-red glow as you hear tales of a vicious slave owner, a Native American burial ground, and violent spirits. Williamsburg may offer amusing, colonial-themed attractions by day, but the real stories are revealed at night. Step into the darkness. Book a tour today.

Colonial Williamsburg: Self-Guided Walking Tour

Colonial Williamsburg: Self-Guided Walking Tour

Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which will function as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map all in one. Note: This 2.5+ mile-long tour covers the essentials of Colonial Williamsburg in 2-3 hrs. Your tour through Colonial Williamsburg begins at the visitor center just north of the town center. As you walk south, you’ll learn not only about the earliest residents of Williamsburg but also about the Native Americans who called this place home when the first European settlers arrived. The first major landmark you’ll arrive at will be the Peyton Randolph House, a gorgeous home dating back to 1715. Its former owner was actually a key revolutionary figure, though you might not have heard about him in school! Next, you’ll learn about the importance 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 onwards, you’ll hear about the origins of the Colonial Williamsburg museum project, including how America’s first billionaire, John D. Rockefeller, bankrolled the whole thing! He was apparently a bit of a history buff. After that, you’ll see the Public Gaol, a grim prison that once held all manner of unsavory sorts. But would you believe it also held Blackbeard’s pirate crew while they waited to be executed? Then it’s on to the old Capitol Building, where Virginia declared independence from Britain… four days before the Declaration of Independence was signed! Speaking of independence, you’ll find the Raleigh Tavern next. During the 1700s, this tavern’s unassuming facade hid secret revolutionary meetings within. Next, you’ll come to the Williamsburg Magazine, an old munitions storehouse. Here, you’ll learn the dramatic tale of a standoff between British troops and Williamsburg residents on the eve of the revolution. Then get a good look at the Bruton Parish Episcopal Church. It actually predates the town itself, and is the whole reason for the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg! After that, you’ll make your way to the historic campus of the William & Mary School, the nation’s second-oldest university. Here, you’ll find one of Williamsburg’s oldest and most impressive buildings, and learn a little about the college’s controversial history. Then you’ll one two of the town’s most historic structures: the George Wythe House. This was home to a signer of the Declaration of Independence who was also a staunch abolitionist! As you make your way to the Play House Stage, a recreation of one of the country’s oldest theatres, you’ll hear a few spooky stories about ghost sightings that have taken place throughout Williamsburg--not especially surprising considering how much history li ves here! Finally, you’ll reach the Governor’s Palace, where Virginia’s Royal Governor ruled over the people of this state… until he was forced to flee in the dead of night. The tour concludes here.

Colonial Williamsburg & Yorktown: Self-Guided Audio Tour

Colonial Williamsburg & Yorktown: Self-Guided Audio Tour

Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which will function as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map all in one. Purchase one tour per car, not per person. Everyone listens together! Once downloaded, your tour begins at either the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center or the Yorktown Visitor Center. In Williamsburg, you’ll first delve into the indigenous history of the Powhatan tribe and the iconic Pocahontas. Experience their intriguing story of resilience and adaptation in a rapidly changing world. Next, stop by the Peyton Randolph House, a carefully restored example of colonial grandeur that once hosted American Founding Fathers. Nearby, discover the Colonial Williamsburg Fife and Drum Building. Here, the sights and sounds of colonial times come alive as the youthful corps performs in traditional regalia, beating out rhythms that once marshaled militias. A stop at the Secretary's Office reveals the administrative heart of the colony, while the Raleigh Tavern offers a glimpse into the social hub of the 18th century. Be amazed by the intricate, interactive exhibits at the Colonial Williamsburg Magazine, detailing the armaments and military workings of the era. The Courthouse, a symbol of law and order, and the Playhouse Theater, showcasing the colonists' love for drama, provide a comprehensive view of colonial society. Not to be missed is the Governor's Palace, a stunning architectural gem reflecting royal authority. The George Wythe House and Bruton Parish Episcopal Church take you deeper into colonial life, before arriving at the Bowden-Armistead House, an emblem of post-colonial resilience. Experience the academic atmosphere of the College of William and Mary, where you can explore the historic Brafferton Road and the revered Wren Building. In Yorktown, you’ll travel along Colonial National Historical Parkway, absorbing detailed accounts of the lead-up to the battle. Then you’ll see the Moore House, where terms of British surrender were negotiated. Hear about the thrilling siege and the pivotal French and American Alliance before reaching Surrender Field, where British troops laid down their arms. Then, continue on to the site of George Washington's former headquarters. As you explore the aftermath of the conflict, the birth of an independent nation, and the battlefield's impressive topography, take in panoramic views from the Grand French Battery, the solemn Yorktown National Cemetery, and the Yorktown Victory Monument. Your tour concludes here.

Williamsburg: Colonial Ghosts Haunted Walking Tour

Williamsburg: Colonial Ghosts Haunted Walking Tour

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 US Ghost Adventures 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: Christmas Walking Tour

Colonial Williamsburg: Christmas Walking Tour

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. 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.

Williamsburg, VA: History of Slavery Guided Walking Tour

Williamsburg, VA: History of Slavery Guided Walking Tour

Our tour starts at the Windmill at the corner of Francis St and Bucktrout Ln where we discuss the differences between domestic and plantation slavery. The rise of tobacco as the cash crop and the labor involved. In front of the Colonial Capitol building and talk about the origins of slavery in Virginia, the legal definition, and the laws passed to keep it in place. At the Courthouse, we discover how the laws were enforced. From the Geddy house, we explore the attitudes of the citizens of Virginia toward slavery.

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Things to Do in Colonial Williamsburg

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What people are saying about Colonial Williamsburg

Overall rating

4.4
(52 reviews)

Well done by Elizabeth (who is Grace the Witch on Ghost Tours). Although didn't go into most houses or shops, provided wonderful info and perspective on many, lacing the political and cultural history with plenty of real people stories. Learned the derivation of many American sayings. Included visits to Gaol and Bruton Parish that were particularly interesting. Thanks, Elizabeth! JR

It was very informative and interesting. We learned and became knowledgeable about other people from the past. Our tour guide was knowledgeable and kept us engaged. I would recommend this tour and look forward to returning.

A very educational tour. Only recommendation is to allow the tourists to go inside the buildings that are toured. Thanks much

We had an amazing time on our tour! Elizabeth was fantastic and very knowledgeable. Well worth the time and money.

Very informative, guide was very knowledgeable about the area and overall history of the country!!