History is alive in Colonial Williamsburg. The historical attraction is a great outdoor destination all year long. You seriously cannot live in RVA and not visit Colonial Williamsburg to learn about the many layers of history. There are so many things to see and do. With hands-on activities, special events, and historical sites – it’s a great place for all ages. Whether you are visiting for a week or a day, there’s lots to see and do—for time-travelers of all ages.
You can purchase a ticket, make a getaway and enjoy an incredible vacation – or simply take the short drive from RVA and then enjoy a free walk around the beautiful grounds and colonial buildings and streets. Stroll into the local bookstore, visit the shops, and don’t miss the Virginia peanuts. You may even be lucky enough to stroll by as warm gingerbread, or hot apple cider are being served.
Check out the many free things you can enjoy at and around Colonial Williamsburg.
Free and Fun
- Grounds are open to visitors free so stroll around and take it all in. That includes many historic buildings, seeing historical interpreters strolling along, and visiting shops and museums.
2. If you’re visiting during the summer, you may find free concerts throughout the property!
3. Lock up the kids or your friends in the stocks and pillory on the streets of Williamsburg. It’s a great photo opp!
4. Visit the post office and mail a letter with an official Colonial Williamsburg stamp.
5. Take the ferry for free. The Jamestown-Scotland ferry is a free car ferry that runs across the James River to Scotland and Surry. It’s a nice way to experience the area and see centuries old plantations and sites.
6. Visit Bruton Parish Church. Located in the heart of historic Colonial Williamsburg, Bruton Parish Church has been a spirited and dynamic parish for more than 300 years. It’s an incredible site filled with the ghosts of the past and an awesome feeling of peacefulness and reverence.
8. Walk through Jefferson’s alma mater on a self-guided tour, the historic campus of William & Mary. William & Mary is the second-oldest college in America. The original plans for W&M date back to 1618 — decades before Harvard — but were derailed by an “Indian uprising.” Really! A 17-year-old George Washington received his surveyor’s license through W&M and would return as its first American chancellor. Thomas Jefferson received his undergraduate education here, as did presidents John Tyler and James Monroe.
9. Another great feature are the taverns where the food, music, and entertainment are worth the stop. The food is a treat that will take you back to the 18th century. You’ll have to purchase food, but the free music, experience, and historical significance of the taverns are all worth it.
10. Drive the 23-mile parkway and take the scenic tour through Williamsburg, Yorktown, and Jamestown. Enjoy a picnic and bask in the beauty of the James and York Rivers.
11. Visit one of the beautiful parks including Freedom Park with biking and walking trails, or check out the Williamsburg Botanical Gardens (yes it’s free!). Visit Veteran’s Park – Kidsburg or Kiwanis Park, where children will find modern playgrounds with zip lines!
Your ticket gets you even more. Enjoy walking guided tours, visit the Governor’s Mansion, enjoy a carriage ride, take the full Capitol Tour, enjoy two world-class art museums, and more. You can also get discounts on exclusive tours, children’s costume rentals, evening programs, and more. And your ticket purchase helps preserve Colonial Williamsburg for years to come.
But not everything in Colonial Williamsburg is ‘old’. The Williamsburg In offering luxury accommodations and an exceptional culinary experience along with the state-of-the-art spa, and more, will provide all of the comforts of today with pampering you’ll love.
If you’re looking for something a little more rustic or more like 18th century accommodations, check out one of the historic Colonial Homes for an overnight stay. A crackling fire and a good book are all you need!
In addition to Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown make up the Historic Triangle. The events in these three places—establishing the first permanent English settlement in Jamestown, declaring independence in Williamsburg, and winning the last major battle of the American Revolution at Yorktown—led to the birth of our nation.
No matter if you’re looking for a day of free sightseeing and adventure, or you want to spend a few bucks (or a lot), you’ll find it all at Colonial Williamsburg and the surrounding areas.
You decide and then enjoy!
From their website:
In Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area, you will be transported back in time to meet tradespeople, women, members of the enslaved community, shopkeepers, and political figures that call Williamsburg home. With so much to see and do, there is something for everyone—history lovers, makers, and fans of architecture. Get caught up in the historic moments taking place around you. Take a scenic carriage ride through the city for a unique perspective on transportation in the 18th century.
Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center, 101 Visitor Center Drive, Williamsburg, VA 23185
Open daily 8:45 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
July 2022 Admission: Single-Day Ticket · $46.99. Adult. $25.99. Youth (6-12) ; Multiday Ticket · $56.99. Adult. $30.99. Youth (6-12) ; Annual Pass · $74.99.
More things to do in and around Richmond:
- Free Open Studio Sundays at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
- Five hikes to try this fall around RVA
- Discounts & Free Programming for Military Families
- Hike it Baby offers FREE outdoor recreation for children & caregivers
- Richmond’s Farmers Markets
Lindsay Garrison loves Richmond and is proud to raise her own family here. As a teacher for 12 years, she learned how to save, budget and stretch every penny. Additionally, she led groups of students to Europe annually, and took great pride in planning affordable, fun-filled trips. She transferred those skills to her daily life and shares them with readers of RVA on the Cheap. Lindsay utilizes RVA on the Cheap to make enriching life experiences accessible to all.