Though it’s most renowned for its Colonial and cultural riches, there are plenty of adventures and attractions that make Williamsburg a super-fun family vacation! Brilliantly restored architectural charm of an era gone by, residents dressed in Colonial attire, horse-drawn carriages… the works! Of course, this tourist attraction also is a treasured educational U.S. landmark. But Colonial Williamsburg is updating its act for a new generation. It’s more like stepping back in time but with a contemporary flair. For years, Colonial Williamsburg has been a shrine for the American past, but never before have such re-enactments gone to such great lengths, integrating its multicultural history as well. Located on the Virginia Peninsula, Williamsburg is in the northern part of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, which also includes Norfolk and Virginia Beach. It’s bordered by James City County and York County, and serves as the county seat of James City County. In 1699, it was designated the capital of the British colony, though named at that point as “Middle Plantation.” It wasn’t until 1722 that the town received a royal charter and officially became the City of Williamsburg, so named after King William III. Williamsburg is one point of a historical triangle, including historic Jamestown, the first English settlement in the New World and Yorktown where the tide of the Revolutionary War turned at the Battle of Yorktown. It was a sleepy little town until the 20th century when it went thorough a restoration and renovation revival. Williamsburg is still updating and refining its attractions. Today, it’s a quaint town filled with many adventures and the cultural riches that make it a treasured family destination. Modern Williamsburg is also a college town, inhabited in large part by William and Mary students and staff. Williamsburg is located in the humid subtropical climate zone, allowing outdoor activities to be enjoyed year round, which makes it a prized destination for golfers and outdoor enthusiasts. One thing is for sure, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the activities and entertainment that compete with the attractions for your attention.
Though the historical riches of Williamsburg are the main attraction, there is so much more the Williamsburg than meets the eye, and it makes for amazing family-fun getaways! Perhaps the most frequented stop is 18th-century Colonial Williamsburg, replete with costumed residents and historical buildings. You'll tour historically accurate sites and view magnificent architecture that tells the story of the birth of America. Families spend an average of 2-6 hours there walking in the shoes of our Forefathers and enjoying demonstrations of what life was like during the early years of America and enjoying opportunities for the kids to dress up in Colonial costumes. Another hot spot is Busch Gardens, which includes pulse-pounding roller coasters, sensational family attractions and the new autobahn touring experience through Germany’s scenic countryside, which takes a thrilling detour twisting and turning through the forbidden Black Forest in a harrowing, action-packed adventure on Verbolte. A vacation in Williamsburg also isn’t complete without a stop at the Virginia Living Museum, which became the first interactive establishment east of the Mississippi to combine exhibition elements including a native wildlife park, science museum, aquarium, botanical preserve and planetarium. It’s filled with enough educational exhibits to keep the family busy throughout your Willlamsburg adventure. Aboard the Miss Hampton II Harbor Cruise, your family can also experience a fully narrated journey through Chesapeake Bay, Hampton Roads Harbor, naval base in Norfolk, VA, and many other unforgettable sights of the Williamsburg. For wine lovers, the city’s Virginia Wine Company is the largest winery on the state of Virginia. For even more exciting adventures, check out our list of Must-Do activities.
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