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Guests of Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area explore dozens of original buildings, homes, and shops reconstructed on 301 acres - most on their original foundations. Rare animal breeds, historic trades, and lovingly restored gardens add layers of authenticity to the Colonial Williamsburg experience.
Historic Area | MuseumsThe People | Places to Stay | Places to Shop
On May 15, 1776, from The Capitol of what was England’s first permanent colony in the New World, Virginia legislators instructed their delegation at Philadelphia’s Continental Congress to introduce a resolution to make the colonies independent from Great Britain. The gentlemen at Williamsburg sat in the oldest representative assembly in what was then the world’s newest nation. The assembly traces its beginnings to 1619 when the House of Burgesses first convened at Jamestown.
» Nearby: The Gaol * Benjamin Powell House * Presbyterian Meetinghouse * Christiana Cambell's Tavern
Standing as evidence of the position the king's representative enjoyed in the capital of England’s largest American colony, the Governor’s Palace was the third largest public building in Williamsburg. The 3,380-square-foot Georgian home included an 11-bin wine cellar. The immaculate grounds offered a formal garden and natural park that stretched to the north. The stable, carriage house, kitchen, scullery, laundry, and an octagonal bathhouse were arranged in service yards. It was an elaborate household requiring 25 servants and slaves to tend.» Nearby: Everard House * Play Booth Theatre
Raleigh Tavern was the center of events and a gathering place where plans were made to join other colonies in the American Revolution. Meet people from the past and then enjoy freshly baked gingerbread cakes in the adjacent Bakery. » Nearby: Silversmith * Printer * Apothecary * Prentis Store * Tarpley's Store * Milliner * Wigmaker * Shields Tavern * King's Arms Tavern
See The Magazine, the colonial arsenal housing a collection of muskets and cannon. Take part in musket-firing demonstrations and drills, watch the militia, and listen to the fife and drums.
Pretend you are justices, defendants, and witnesses at The Courthouse, and then swing into Chowning's Tavern, one of the most popular places for BBQ, beers, and ales.
Bruton Parish Church was the Anglican church of the capital and is still active today.» Nearby: The Colonial Garden and Nursery * Geddy House and Foundry * Mary Dickinson Shop * Wythe House * Greenhow Store
"Upcoming Events ~ Feb 1: Ruth Moody Concert~ Feb 1, 8, 15: Shakespeare a la Mode~ Feb 2: Rosanne Cash Concert ~ Feb 16: Breakfast with the Presidents~ Feb 16: The Great Men of Williamsburg~ Feb 16: Wolf by the Ear: A Play About Thomas Jefferson and Slavery~ Feb 22-26: The 65th Annual Colonial Williamsburg Antiques Forum~ Mar 8: Martha's Decision, Oney's Choice~ Mar 8: Freedom Denied: Slavery in the Time of Liberty~ Mar 9: Freedom to Slavery~ Mar 9, 16, 23: Her Enduring Spirit~ Apr 6, 13: Her Enduring Spirit~ May 24: Arturo Sandoval~ May 25: Bravo Broadway! At Festival Williamsburg~ May 26: Hot Sardines~ Jun 1: Run for the Dream Kids Fun Run~ Jun 2: Run for the Dream 8K Run/Walk~ Jun 2: Run for the Dream Half Marathon ~ See More "
~ Feb 1: Ruth Moody Concert~ Feb 1, 8, 15: Shakespeare a la Mode~ Feb 2: Rosanne Cash Concert ~ Feb 16: Breakfast with the Presidents~ Feb 16: The Great Men of Williamsburg~ Feb 16: Wolf by the Ear: A Play About Thomas Jefferson and Slavery~ Feb 22-26: The 65th Annual Colonial Williamsburg Antiques Forum~ Mar 8: Martha's Decision, Oney's Choice~ Mar 8: Freedom Denied: Slavery in the Time of Liberty~ Mar 9: Freedom to Slavery~ Mar 9, 16, 23: Her Enduring Spirit~ Apr 6, 13: Her Enduring Spirit~ May 24: Arturo Sandoval~ May 25: Bravo Broadway! At Festival Williamsburg~ May 26: Hot Sardines~ Jun 1: Run for the Dream Kids Fun Run~ Jun 2: Run for the Dream 8K Run/Walk~ Jun 2: Run for the Dream Half Marathon
~ See More
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is reconstructing an industrial site that helped forge the American Revolution. The new buildings, which include the armoury, a kitchen, privy, two storage buildings, and a tinsmith's shop, will be located on the site of the present blacksmith's shop. When complete, Anderson's Blacksmith Shop and Public Armoury will reflect the complexity and urgency of mounting a war effort against the world's most powerful 18th-century nation.
2009 marked the 30th anniversary of Colonial Williamsburg’s African American programs.
Colonial Williamsburg offers two historic sites to explore the day-to-day lives of enslaved Virginians.» The Peyton Randolph House and outbuildings provide hands-on activities that represent the daily life of Peyton and Elizabeth Randolph and their relationship with Eve, Johnny, and the other 23 slaves during the American Revolution.» Great Hopes is a hands-on site where interpreters perform a variety of daily activities that represent slave history, culture, agriculture, and carpentry on a small, rural 18th-century plantation. The site represents the way the majority of Virginians lived at the time of the Revolution.
The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum features an extensive collection of American and British antiques, showcasing furniture, metals, ceramics, glass, painting, prints, firearms, and textiles from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.
Young patriots can enjoy hands-on activities and exhibits throughout the year, such as Wee Folk, Map Quest and Crack the Code. Also see the Public Hospital exhibition depicting the treatment of mentally ill patients. Visit the Museum Shop and the Museum Cafe, too.
Under the same roof, you'll find the award-winning Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, the oldest institution in the United States dedicated solely to the collection and preservation of American folk art.
Bassett Hall was the home of John D. Rockefeller Jr. and his wife Abby Aldrich Rockefeller during the restoration of the Colonial Williamsburg Historic Area. Tour the house and walk among the gardens and the woodland trails established during the 1940s.
» See Colonial Williamsburg: Things to Do for events, suggested itineraries, maps and more.
Colonial Williamsburg is an experience that doesn't have to end when you check in for the night. These properties are within walking distance of the Historic Area:
The Williamsburg Inn
The Williamsburg Lodge
Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel & Suites
Book a Williamsburg Area Travel Package
In addition to the Historic Area shops offering period clothing, silver, pottery, foods, and gift items, Merchants Square on Duke of Gloucester Street features more than 40 shops including jewelry, pewter, quilts, quality clothing, restaurants, and a theater.
Williamsburg Prime Outlets - national name-brand stores within a short drive from the Historic Area.» More Williamsburg Shopping
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