William & Mary, Williamsburg

William & Mary, Williamsburg

William & Mary, Williamsburg: Our most recommended tours and activities

Colonial Williamsburg: Self-Guided Walking Tour

1. 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.

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Top sights near William & Mary, Williamsburg

William & Mary, Williamsburg: Our most recommended tours and activities

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.

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What people are saying about William & Mary, Williamsburg

Overall rating

3.9
(7 reviews)

This was an informative and fun look at Williamsburg. The GPS was a bit off as we tried to find the path to start the tour. Tip: You need to walk across the pedway at the visitors center! If we'd know to do that, we could have spent less time trying to find our path!

Little hard getting started with app but got the hang of it on about the 4th stop. Overall good self guided tour. I'd certainly use it again on future adventures.

The app didn't show that we could have parked much closer. Would have saved us a lot of time and likely 2,000+ steps.

We enjoyed the self guided tour except for the hurricane rain that day. Made the best we could of it.