For anyone who is interested in learning about the history and culture of Colonial America in the 18th century, Colonial Williamsburg in Williamsburg, Virginia is the perfect place to visit. This quaint little town is a historic district and living-history museum located in the heart of one of America’s oldest cities. Read on to find out what you can see and do at Colonial Williamsburg.
As soon as you arrive at this iconic destination, you may be overwhelmed by the sheer number of attractions to check out. What to do first? We suggest booking a Colonial Ghost Tour for a one of a kind, unique experience. These guided walking tours are held nightly, and are a fun and thrilling alternative to the usual daytime tours.
Learn about the dark side of Colonial Williamsburg’s history, and hear about reported encounters with colonial ghosts from licensed and experienced tour guides. These stories are not just unsubstantiated rumors and urban legends; they are backed by extensive research and are based on actual historical events. They are a hundred percent the real deal, and the tour guides are trained to recount them in a lively and engaging manner, so you definitely won’t be bored.
For a more traditional Colonial Williamsburg experience, visitors can get a taste of what daily life was like for both free and enslaved people in the 18th century by exploring the Historic Area, where you will find the Wythe House, Geddy House, Peyton Randolph House, and the Anderson Blacksmith Shop and Public Armoury.
The George Wythe House is the home of the esteemed attorney George Wythe, who was also Thomas Jefferson’s teacher. Here, you can take part in discussions about the ideas that helped shape the American Revolution. The Peyton Randolph House is the home of one of America’s most prominent families. Pay a visit here to gain a deeper understanding of the early African American experience in this household, and learn more about how the enslaved fought hard to win their freedom.
The James Geddy House is designed to replicate a prosperous 18th-century household. The members of the Geddy family go about their daily activities here and demonstrate various chores, music, dance, games and toys to visitors, who are often invited to participate. Finally, the Anderson Blacksmith Shop and Public Armoury is where resident blacksmiths show visitors how to fashion a wide variety of tools, weapons and hardware out of red-hot iron taken out of the sweltering fires of their forges.
There are plenty of other fascinating buildings and shops to explore within the Historic Area, including an authentic apothecary, a bindery where books are painstakingly put together, a courthouse, church, and a brickyard, where hardworking brick makers mold and dry thousands of bricks during the summer.
An entire day would be insufficient to discover all the interesting sights that Colonial Williamsburg has to offer, so we suggest staying for a few days to really make the most of your visit. Conveniently located within and nearby the Historic Area are six unique hotel properties, namely the Williamsburg Inn, where you can expect an exceptional culinary experience; the Griffin Hotel; the Governor’s Inn; the cozy Williamsburg Lodge; Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel & Suites, which is perfect if you’re bringing the entire family along; and of course, the Colonial Houses, which are about as authentic as you can get.
No matter who you’re traveling with, where you choose to stay, and what activities you plan to do first, a trip to Colonial Williamsburg is sure to be an unforgettable, enlightening, and exciting one.