Colonial Williamsburg allows guests of all ages to immerse themselves in the 18th-century life of the capital of the largest English colony in the New World. On guided and self-guided tours, guests explore sites, gardens and trade shops, go behind the scenes of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, learn about rare breeds of animals, and experience ghostly figures that haunt the world’s largest outdoor living history museum.
The free Colonial Williamsburg Explorer app provides all the information guests need to make the most of visiting this 18th-century city where the idea of America was born. An interactive map, daily events calendar and turn-by-turn directions make it easy to navigate the 300 acres of historic buildings, trades, art museums, dining and lodging, spa, shopping and recreation options. The app is available for download via Google Play or the Apple App store.
In 2016, Colonial Williamsburg’s first-ever canine mascot, Liberty, formally took to the streets to greet guests in the Historic Area and Colonial Williamsburg hotels, and to serve as an ambassador in the community. By tradition her breed, the Briard, was introduced to America by Thomas Jefferson, who expressed his wish to share his French “Shepherd’s dog” puppies with George Washington.
Colonial Williamsburg also opened a musket range where guests 14 and older have the opportunity to learn about, handle and operate a musket and other real replica 18th-century firearms.
The Market House, recently rebuilt on the site of its 1757 predecessor, is the commercial and social heart of the 18th-century city. In addition to retail offerings and historical interpretation, regular live auctions offer guests an opportunity to bid on rare and one-of-a-kind products including items made by hand in Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Trades shops.
The Historic Area lights up – literally and figuratively – in the evenings. Illumination of the most iconic buildings, including the Capitol, the Magazine and the Governor’s Palace, creates a warm and inviting atmosphere for nighttime programming and hospitality offerings. The Official Colonial Williamsburg Ghost Walk shines a lantern on haunted sites and the unexplained events that occur there. In “Escape the King,” an escape room puzzle game, guests are “locked” in a room under suspicion of patriot tendencies and given an hour to crack clues and flee before their jailer returns.
Colonial Williamsburg offers hotel properties that range from the budget-priced Governor’s Inn (open seasonally), to the elegant Williamsburg Inn. The family-friendly Woodlands Hotel and Suites hosts a water park for kids, free breakfast and a fitness center for all guests. Meanwhile, the Williamsburg Lodge is decorated with furnishings inspired by the folk art in the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. For a unique lodging experience, guests can stay in one of Colonial Williamsburg’s Colonial Houses, in a tavern room that might have welcomed travelers in Washington’s time, or a house that served as a home for the gentry or indentured servants. Guests who stay in Colonial Williamsburg hotel properties receive exclusive guest benefits and discounts on admission tickets.
Four historic taverns include Chowning’s Tavern, an ale house that serves light fare and craft beers from opening in late morning until closing with no reservations required. Christiana Campbell’s Tavern, King’s Arms Tavern and Shield’s Tavern serve fare based on colonial recipes prepared with contemporary tastes in mind. The taverns all offer full bar service, a selection of fine wines, beers and ales, and delectable house-made desserts. Dining is a real experience at the Williamsburg Inn, with classic favorites served alongside fusion selections prepared by a culinary staff that is both creative and bold. Dining options include the Terrace Room, adjacent to the Restoration Bar, which serves specialty cocktails and an impressive wine list; the Goodwin Room, for elegant afternoon tea served four days a week seasonally; and outdoor dining behind the Inn. The Regency Room will be open for special events and receptions.
Colonial Williamsburg operates 45 holes of golf at The Golden Horseshoe Golf Club & Pro Shop and a 20,000-square-foot full-service spa and fitness quarters, with walking trails, indoor and outdoor pools, eight tennis courts, bicycle rentals and an ice skating rink in the winter months.
The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg showcase the finest British and American decorative arts pieces from 1670-1830 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, and the nation’s premier collection of American folk art at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum.
Colonial Williamsburg is open 365 days a year and offers a variety of ticket options available by calling
855-296-6627 or visiting www.colonialwilliamsburg.com.