Best Attractions & Activities

With all of the things to do and see in a city, deciding how to spend your time can be quite an agonizing decision. 10best has narrowed all of the available attractions in Williamsburg to a list of the most appealing and reputable, to aide in your decision making. You can rest easy knowing that any choice you make from our list is sure to please.

10 Water Country USA
When it's time to take a break from the past, and the heat, head to Water Country USA. Zip down the twisty Jet Scream slide, float along the Hubba Hubba Highway, or splash with the kids in the Kritter Korral. End your Williamsburg vacation on a lighthearted note with a day here. (800-343-7946)

9 DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum
Built in 1985 by world-renowned architect I.M. Pei, the museum contains one of the world's largest collections of historical American and British furniture. Their collection of British pottery is also the largest outside that country. Over 8,000 decorative art pieces from 1600 to 1830 are permanently on display in the 11 galleries. Rotating exhibits are also presented, and a courtyard, cafe and gift shop are located on the premises. (757-220-7693)

8 Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center
The first museum in the country dedicated to American folk art is on England Street, right across from the Williamsburg Lodge. Refurbished and enlarged in the early '90s, this museum houses everything from stenciled coverlets to mourning pictures to paintings and sculpture. It chronicles everyday life, as many of the items were once functional and used on a daily basis. (757-220-7693, 757-229-1000)

7 Ghosts of Williamsburg Candlelight Tours
Based on the L.B. Taylor book "The Ghosts of Williamsburg," this tour is informative and fun! It is a walking tour of the historic area, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes. Reservations are absolutely required -- about 85,000 people per year take this tour, so reserve as early as you can. Tours are held rain or shine. Most major holidays they are closed but do offer tours on Halloween and Thanksgiving. (757-253-1058, 877-624-4678)

6 Jamestown Settlement
View replicas of the three ships and a fort occupied by the first settlers to arrive at Jamestowne in 1610. Historians, dressed in authentic period clothing, walk the grounds and are happy to answer your questions about life at the settlement. Visit the indoor gallery to see 30-minute documentary film and exhibits that document the lives of the English settlers, Powhatan Indians and African slaves who occupied the colony. (757-253-4838)

5 Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Thrilling rides and villages inspired by Europe and Colonial America are among the attractions at this family theme park. Tour the French town of Aquitaine and the English village of Burberry Cross, and be sure to pet the Budweiser Clydesdale horses in Heatherdowns, Scotland. Last but not least, the looping Loch Ness Monster roller coaster and the frightful 205-foot drop from Griffon provide a perfect adrenaline rush. (800-343-7946)

4 The College of William and Mary
The easiest way to explore this college is to get a map (available on campus or at www.wm.edu) and start off on a self-directed tour. Wandering around the school is also an option -- the students are not only bright (Phi Beta Kappa was founded here), they are also polite and helpful. For the second oldest college in the country, this place looks fantastic. This is an elegant site full of living history so don't miss it. There are numerous cultural and arts events held on campus -- check out a schedule while you are visiting. (757-221-2630)

3 Waller Mill Park
The 2705-acre Waller Mill Park, centered around a reservoir, is Williamsburg's outdoor escape. Locals and visitors come here for fishing, boating and picnicking. Wooded hiking trails and paved biking trails are also available, and your four-footed companions will enjoy the Waller Mill Dog Park. The park rents a variety of paddle boats and kayaks, so pack a picnic and enjoy a day at the lake. ((757) 259-3778)

2 Go Ape Treetop Adventure Course
Get in touch with your inner monkey at the Go Ape Treetop Adventure Course. New to Williamsburg as of 2012, the staff at Go Ape equip you with a harness, carabiner and training in how to safely use the equipment before letting you run wild on their aerial obstacle course. Ladders, walkways, bridges and tunnels are yours to explore, plus one of the state's best zip lines. Great fun, particularly if you're traveling with older children or teenagers. (800-971-8271)

1 Colonial Williamsburg
The best place to start with this outdoor museum is at the visitor center. A film and an orientation walk are informative and will save you time. There is so much to see here -- buildings, gardens, taverns, trade shops and demonstrations -- that it is virtually impossible to see it all in a day or even two. The mini-city is laid out well (think of an 18th-century Disney World), and walking the area is a pleasure. Evening events are held during the summer, so be sure and check those out. Extended summer hours. (757-229-1000, 800-447-8679)


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1
Water Country USA 10Best List Arrow
Type: Family Friendly, Theme Parks
Neighborhood: BUSCH GARDENS
2
DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum 10Best List Arrow
Type: Art Museums, Museums
Neighborhood: COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG
3
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center 10Best List Arrow
Type: History Museums, Museums
Neighborhood: Colonial Williamsburg
4
Ghosts of Williamsburg Candlelight Tours 10Best List Arrow
Type: Tours and Excursions
Neighborhood: Colonial Williamsburg
5
Jamestown Settlement 10Best List Arrow
Type: Historic Sites
Neighborhood: Williamsburg
6
Busch Gardens Williamsburg 10Best List Arrow
Type: Family Friendly, Theme Parks
Neighborhood: BUSCH GARDENS
7
The College of William and Mary 10Best List Arrow
Type: Historic Sites, Sightseeing
Neighborhood: Williamsburg
8
Waller Mill Park 10Best List Arrow
Type: Active, Outdoor Activities, Outdoor Activities - Summer, Parks
9
Go Ape Treetop Adventure Course 10Best List Arrow
Type: Adventure, Family Friendly
10
Colonial Williamsburg 10Best List Arrow
Type: Historic Sites
Neighborhood: Colonial Williamsburg
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