10 Reasons to Visit Williamsburg

Updated July 21, 2020.

It’s Faraway Friday! This week we are not only going some place incredible, we’re sort of going back in time! Here are 10 reasons you should put a visit to Colonial Williamsburg on your list!

10. Shop Like a Colonist

Clothes, food, housewares, you can get it all in Colonial Williamsburg! While you won’t be paying Colonial prices, you will be getting the most authentic things possible. I love going into the shops along Duke of Gloucester Street and seeing what they have. Sometimes it’s fun to try and guess what some of the items are really for!

Any guesses what this is? It’s a bird feeder!
More here: Where to Shop in Colonial Williamsburg

9. Tour the College of William and Mary

I highly recommend a tour of the College of William and Mary. Tour times vary, so check before you go, but the history here can’t be beat! Even if you can’t get on a tour, there is plenty of information to be found around campus, so take some time to wander.

Wren Building at the College of William and Mary

8. See where Blackbeard’s Crew was Imprisoned

It’s true! The infamous pirates were imprisoned and executed here. Blackbeard himself had already been killed, but his surviving crew were crammed into the Public Gaol (“jail”) to await their trial for four months. All but two were sentenced to death in March 1719. Their ghosts have been known to haunt the streets even still!

Public Gaol

7. Take a Turn in the Stocks and Pillory

What’s the difference between the stocks and the pillory? You’ll have to visit to find out! (Hint: the contraption below is the stocks!) There are not many places left in the world where you can experience Colonial punishment (and survive), but it’s worth a stop over by the old Court House to give it a go!

Not sure how we ended up here!

6. Visit a Palace

It’s true! There is a palace in Williamsburg. It was the King’s appointed Governor of Virginia’s palace from the 17th century until the American Revolution. It’s impressive both inside and out, so don’t miss it on your trip! If the armory in the entryway doesn’t impress you, nothing will.

Governor’s Palace

5. Try the Drinking Chocolate

This might be my favorite thing in Williamsburg! Be sure to check out R. Charlton’s Coffeehouse near the Capitol Building and pop in for a coffee or chocolate beverage. Coffeehouses have been around much longer than Starbucks! See what they were like in Virginia’s Colonial Capitol city.

Mr. Peabody Pembroke enjoys his Colonial Chocolate!

4. Meet Someone from the Past

How can you tell someone is employed at Colonial Williamsburg? They are dressed for the part! Everyone from the waitstaff to the carriage drivers to Thomas Jefferson is dressed for their role and time period! It’s amazing how well they can stay in character, and you will inevitably learn something new. The research they do and the passion for their part really shines through.

Always happy to help you understand the past! 
Keep reading: What to Know Before You Visit Williamsburg

3. Dine Colonial Style

One of the best parts of traveling to a new place or a new time is trying the food! I have to say my favorite Williamsburg restaurant is Chowning’s Tavern (pronounced “Chew-nings”). All their restaurants regularly have strolling minstrels for entertainment, and all the tableware is the type you would have been served on 300 years ago. It’s always a fun experience!

Got to keep that one set of clothes clean–use your napkin!

2. Take a Carriage Ride

Hop into a carriage with a costumed historical interpreter and experience Colonial-style travel! Imagine traveling in one for days on end just to go from one city to another. It’s certainly a perspective you can’t get just anywhere!

Carriage ride through town! 
More here: How to Spend 1 Day in Colonial Williamsburg

1. Step Back into American History

This list all adds up to a unique experience. The history in Williamsburg is so well-researched and authenticated, you can truly get a taste of Colonial American life in a way you can’t get anywhere else in the world! Whether or not you love history, Colonial Williamsburg is a destination not to be missed!

Experience it! Smells and bumps and all! 
Read next: FREE Things to Do in Colonial Williamsburg

Are you ready for your visit to Colonial Williamsburg? Get more essential info on my United States Page!

3 responses to “10 Reasons to Visit Williamsburg”

  1. I went this summer and it was so educational and fun–a very different type of vacation than I’d ever had. I loved it! 🙂

    1. I love it, too! Bringing history to life is definitely a labor of love, and they do such a great job!

  2. […] you ready for your own trip to Williamsburg? Check out What to Know Before You Go! Have you been before? Let me know […]

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