Williamsburg is a city with tons of character. You’ll find plenty of historical buildings, along with modern art and boutique shops. No matter the season, you can always find something fun to do in Williamsburg. Whether you’re looking for things to do in Williamsburg as a family or ways to meet new people, this ultimate guide will help you plan your trip and discover everything this city has to offer.
If you love exploring small-town charm, coffee shops, breweries, wineries, and distilleries, then read on for our recommendations on the best things to do in Williamsburg.
From outdoor activities to indoor attractions and everything in between, we’ve got you covered on all the best things to do in this great little town!
Go hiking at Historic Jamestown
Jamestown is Virginia’s first settlement and one of the first successful colonies in North America. This makes it a particularly significant part of American history. They have a great program called the Jamestown Adventure that is geared toward families. It’s a 3-hour tour that includes walking and also a short boat ride. They also have a nighttime program that includes a tour and also a ghost tour. If you happen to go on a night when there is a full moon, it’s supposed to be even more spectacular.
Jamestown also has a nice hiking trail that takes you around the entire site, giving you a great look at the area. Especially during the spring or fall, it’s a really beautiful walk and a great way to spend a day with the family. It’s also a great place to go if you are into photography.
You can take some really great pictures of the sites, especially if you go during a time of year when the leaves are changing.
Visit the Colonial Colleges
Williamsburg is home to three Colonial Colleges: William and Mary, The College of William and Mary, and Virginia State University.
The College of William and Mary (W&M) is a public research university located in Williamsburg, Virginia. Founded in 1693, it is the second-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and the oldest to award undergraduate degrees.
William & Mary, along with the University of Virginia (UVa), is one of two Virginia public research universities, and the two were the first to be chartered in the Colony of Virginia.
Tour the Ukrop’s Food Museum and Cafe
Ukrop’s is an award-winning grocery store and cafe. The store has an extensive collection of food tastings that provide an entertaining and educational look into the history of food in Virginia. The cafe serves a wide selection of sandwiches, salads, and baked goods.
The museum is free to visit, but there is a cost to eat at the cafe. The store also features a tasting room that features Virginia wines. This tasting room is a great place to learn about the history of Virginia winemaking, as well as try some of the best wines in the state. The store is open Monday through Saturday and is located in downtown Williamsburg.
Watch a play at the American Theatre Company
The American Theatre Company is a non-profit theatre company that performs a wide variety of theatre productions, including musicals, comedies, and dramas.
They are a small theatre and so the shows are generally intimate and very interactive. The theatre is located inside the Architecture and Design Center and is a great way to learn about the history of Williamsburg and Virginia. There are no actual theatre tickets, just a suggested donation at the end of the show.
The theatre is open 7 days a week and is a great place for the whole family, as well as for date nights or groups looking for something to do together. They are a non-profit theatre and all of their proceeds go to the upkeep of the building, as well as towards the productions, so they are very affordable.
Check out local art exhibits and events
The Williamsburg Art and History Museums offers a wide variety of art exhibits and events. They have a full calendar of events so there is plenty of opportunity to learn about and see art. There is something new almost every day, so it’s a great way to spend a few hours on your trip. Most events are free, and some have a small charge.
There are several art museums in Williamsburg and they each have their own distinct focus. The Art and History Museums’ exhibits and events focus primarily on Virginia and the history of the area. Their galleries are spread across several buildings and are connected by a path that winds through the gardens and along the river.
There are also several other art museums in Williamsburg, including the Lillie and Hugh M. Williams Gallery at the College of William and Mary.
Enjoy a picnic by the river
The Jamestown River is a popular place for a picnic in Williamsburg. The river is very scenic and has plenty of space for a picnic. It’s a great place for the whole family to spend a few hours and just relax.
There are lots of great areas along the river. It’s a very popular place for people to go fishing as well, so you may see some people with fishing poles in the river. The river is also a great place to go if you are into kayaking, canoeing, or paddle boarding.
Go wine tasting at Virginia Wineries
Virginia is well known for its many wineries, and there are several rights in Williamsburg. These are a great way to spend an afternoon, especially if you are traveling with friends.
The wineries are generally very close together and offer a variety of tasting experiences. You can also usually also get a tour if you want to learn a little bit more about how the wine is made.
Some of the wineries also offer food pairings with the wine and generally have very friendly staff who are happy to answer any questions you have about the wine or the process. It’s a great way to spend the afternoon and really learn a lot about the history of winemaking in Virginia.
Go on a brewery tour and taste-test beer
Williamsburg is home to a growing number of local breweries. While some are only open by appointment, there are a few that offer tours and tastings. You can learn about the brewing process while also trying a few different beers.
If you are a beer drinker, this is a great way to explore the local beer culture, while also learning more about the history of beer. If you are looking for some more family-friendly breweries, then you can go to Virginia Brewery, or you can go to Blue Bee Cider.
Blue Bee Cider is a brewery that also makes cider. Both are very kid-friendly and offer a wide variety of tastings, including non-alcoholic tastings for the kiddos.
Play some disc golf
The Williamsburg area is home to four disc golf courses. This is a very popular sport in Virginia and people play year-round. It’s a great way to get outside and enjoy the weather and learn a bit about the history of the area. The first disc golf course was built in the area in the early 1900s. The sport is very similar to regular golf, but you use a frisbee as your club. The location of the course will depend on which one you choose to play, but they are all within a short drive from downtown Williamsburg. They are a great way to spend a few hours with friends or family, while also learning more about the history of the area.
Let the kids play in the river
The Jamestown River is really safe for kids to play in, and it’s a great way for them to burn off some steam after walking around downtown. It’s a very wide and slow-moving river, so there is very little danger in letting the kids play in it.
There are also plenty of rocks for the kids to climb on or sit on. It’s also a great place for the adults to relax and enjoy a cold drink while the kids play and splash around in the water. It’s very popular with families, so you’ll likely see lots of other kids playing in the water. It’s a great place to spend a few hours on a warm day.