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10 Best Tips for Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia

If you’re planning your first visit to Colonial Williamsburg or it’s been awhile since your last visit, these 10 tips are great to make sure you have the best trip ever.

1.The important info

About: Williamsburg is the former capital of Virginia, and in the 1920s John D Rockefeller & his wife began a full-scale restoration on many historical buildings, which eventually turned into what it is today - where you can immerse yourself into the 300 acres of the 18th century colonial capital.

What to Wear: It’s a lot of walking so make sure to wear proper footwear.

Map: Pick up a physical map for reference

2. Which Ticket to Get


1 Day Tickets are

$49.99 for adults

Ages 6-12 are $28.99

3 Day ticket

$59.99 for adults

Ages 6-12 $33.99

Annual pass

$74.99 for adults

Ages 6-12 $41.99

3. How Many Days to Stay

They recommend 2-3 days but we visited for 1 day and got to see a lot. I think we would have preferred more days though, as some activities felt rushed, and we didn't get to see everything.

4. Plan Your Meals

To-go: They have to go stands like McKenzie Apothecary and Chownings Cider stand that serve snacks and drinks.

Restaurant: Many taverns serve lunch and dinner

Merchant's Square: This is a short distance from Colonial Williamsburg. You can walk there for more food choices like Mellow Mushroom, which is where we are.

5. See the Favorites First

  • Governor’s Palace - home to seven royal governors and the first two elected governors in Virginia

Tours every 15 minutes from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m, from 4-5pm it’s self-guided

  • Capital - This is where the colony's representatives struggled with the British governor over the meaning of American liberty.

Tours run every 15 minutes from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m, from 4-5pm it’s self-guided

6. Follow the Flags

You will know what buildings and taverns are open by whether or not they have a flag out front. Look for these when choosing where to go.

7. Leave time for Art Museums

There are two world-class art museums with thousands of objects on display in Colonial Williamsburg.

  • Dewitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum - features American and British antiques & decorative arts

  • Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum - which houses colonial and contemporary folk art 

8. Pick a Trade and Go

There are skilled craftspeople of different colonial trades located around colonial Williamsburg like blacksmith, farmer, wigmaker and more!

It’s recommended to pick approx 2-3 trades to visit.

Allow 20-30 minutes at each location to ask questions and learn from them.

9. See a Performance

There are outdoor plays, storytelling and theatrical performances to see. This is also a great opportunity to sit down.

For example on the day we visited, Dec 21, there was:

1:30pm Governor’s Music at the Art Museums

2:00 Thomas Jefferson

4:00pm A Holiday Medley 

4:30pm Fife & Drum

10. Watch Out for the Poop

There are horse and carriage rides that you can take throughout Colonial Williamsburg. This is a way to see everything without having to walk too much. But because there are a lot of horses, there will be a lot of poop on the roads - so watch out!

Colonial Williamsburg is definitely worth a visit, especially if you are a history lover. There is so much to see and do and it really does feel like you are visiting back to the 18th century.

For the full YouTube video, watch here:


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