Williamsburg, Virginia
Culture & history

Culture & history
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Our most recommended Williamsburg, Virginia Culture & history

Williamsburg: Busch Gardens Ticket & Water Country Option

1. Williamsburg: Busch Gardens Ticket & Water Country Option

Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia, is the world’s most beautiful theme park, as voted year after year since 1990. Wander through the classic European themed and artfully landscaped villages, resembling the Parisian streets of France, the hamlets of Scotland and the Oktoberfest celebrations of Germany. Explore all nine villages centered around six countries. Kids can sing with Elmo, feed a lorikeet and ride between mom and dad on a thrilling kid coaster all in the same day! After catching one of the many entertaining shows, head over to award-winning roller coasters inspired by Old World legends like the Apollo, the Griffin, and the Loch Ness monster. From virtual reality to carousels, everyone one in the family will find an activity they love and create cherished memories to think back on for years to come! Animal Exhibits: Spend some time at Highland Stables and take part in a celebration of centuries-old Scottish traditions. Interact with blackface sheep and their border collie guardians. Enjoy demonstrations of traditional herding and hunting methods. Visit Eagle Ridge to meet some gutsy American Bald Eagles, each one a survivor of injuries that left them unable to live on their own in the wild. Hear their inspiring stories and feel the sense of awe that travels with these majestic birds. Stroll through Lorikeet Glen and make a bunch of new friends as colorful birds glide down to greet you from the branches of a fascinating, free-flight aviary. Go beyond the haunting calls and piercing eyes of the mysterious gray wolf in Wolf Valley. Learn what you can do to help these important ancestors of modern-day canines survive and thrive. Theme Park Rides: Take a ride on Alpengeist, one of the tallest, fastest and most insane roller coasters in the world. Before you can say "boo" the floor drops beneath your feet, so get ready for what many coaster enthusiasts still call the ride of a lifetime. Experience the mind-bending climbs and weightless wonder of floating airtime at Apollo's Chariot, one of the mightiest coasters of all time. Hop on the classic Loch Ness monster which hurls its passengers along 3,240 feet of steel track into the air, over water, and through a dark cave. Join the bravest of ride warriors and challenge yourself to the 205-foot, 90-degree, 75 mph free fall of Griffon, a heart-pounding, tour de force roller coaster.

Williamsburg: Haunted Ghosts, Witches, and Pirates Tour

2. Williamsburg: Haunted Ghosts, Witches, and Pirates Tour

Hear the stories of the ghosts who inhabit the town of Williamsburg. Follow your ghostly guide down eerie streets and experience 13 haunted locations on this tour of the most haunted places in town. Discover the 17 spirits of the Peyton Randolph House, known as the most haunted place in Virginia. Learn what happened in the oak panel bedroom and hear what is waiting for you in your jail cell. Learn about the Wagon of Death, the gallows, and what happened to Lucy Ludwell, George Wythe, Ida Jones, and many more. Learn the outcome of the witch trials here and what happened to Williamsburg's most famous witch. Guests often see and hear strange, unexplainable sights and sounds, so you will not want to attend without a camera in hand.

Williamsburg: Secrets of Williamsburg Walking Tour

3. 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

4. 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

5. 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: Self-Guided Walking Tour

6. 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.

Williamsburg: Guided Food Tour with Tastings

7. Williamsburg: Guided Food Tour with Tastings

Take a flavorful walking tour through downtown Williamsburg, visiting seven local eateries and restaurants in a single afternoon. Taste a specialty from each place as you discover hidden facts, and get an introduction to downtown Williamsburg’s culinary scene.  Come hungry, because this tour will have you sampling cheeses, nuts, spices, teas, and more. Head to the Wythe Candy Shop on foot to try an assortment of chocolates, then stop at Paul's Deli for some local bites. Next, taste spices at Spice and Tea Exchange. Treat your sweet tooth during a visit to the Justified Bakery for samples of gourmet desserts. The tour finishes back at the meeting point in Williamsburg.

Williamsburg: 'We Shall Overcome' Black History Walking Tour

8. 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: Jamestown & American Revolution Museum Ticket

9. Williamsburg: Jamestown & American Revolution Museum Ticket

Benefit from access to the Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown with a combo ticket. See two living-history museums that tell the story of America’s beginnings. Discover the real people and events of America’s first permanent English colony, and the American Revolution which lead to the establishment of a new nation almost two centuries later. Explore immersive, artifact-filled exhibition galleries with 4-D experiential theaters. Take part in hands-on activities and living-history demonstrations in outdoor re-created settings to learn about life in the 17th and 18th centuries. Jamestown Settlement: Learn about the early 17th-century English colonists at the Jamestown Settlement through a combination of film, gallery exhibits, and outdoor living history. Discover more about the cultures of the Powhatan Indians, Europeans, and Africans who converged in 17th-century Virginia. Trace Jamestown’s beginnings in England and the first century of the Virginia colony. The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown Get a sense of the transformational nature and epic scale of the American Revolution at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. Begin your visit in the 170-seat museum theater, “Liberty Fever,” which takes you into the world of Revolutionary America, setting the stage for the indoor gallery and outdoor living-history experiences. Enjoy an introductory film narrated by an early 19th-century storyteller who traveled the country gathering stories about the American Revolution and shares his accounts using a moving panorama presentation of the time period. Explore the 22,000-square-foot permanent exhibition galleries which portray the tumult, drama, and promise of the Revolution through period artifacts and immersive environments, dioramas, interactive exhibits, and short films. Discover a Continental Army encampment which represents a portion of an American regiment. See faithful recreations of soldiers' living quarters, surgeon's tents, and an artillery demonstration era. Make your way to a Revolution-era farm which with a replica of a typical farm house, kitchen, and tobacco barn. See the new building representing quarters for enslaved people, along with the crop fields, a corncrib, and orchard.

Williamsburg: Colonial Ghosts Ultimate Dead of Night Tour

10. 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.

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Williamsburg, Virginia

Williamsburg, Virginia

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What people are saying about Williamsburg, Virginia

Overall rating

(22 reviews)

Elizabeth was AMAZING! She was funny and knowledgeable and kept it so engaging. It was sooooo worth the money. I highly recommend doing this tour even if you were doing the typical Williamsburg tickets to go in the buildings. We did both and we are so glad we did!!!! Thank you Elizabeth!

I thoroughly enjoyed my walking tour of Colonial Williamsburg with Alyssa! She was very informative and enthusiastic about the history of the tour she was leading! I would highly recommend this tour! Thanks Alyssa! :-)

The tour was excellent!!! Elizabeth was very knowledgeable. She called before the tour, which was wonderful because I was at the old capitol building and not the newer one. I highly recommend this tour.

Our tour guide Elizabeth made the tour fun & educational & entertaining all at same time! Highly recommend ❤️

Patrick made our tour fun and creepy! We absolutely loved it!