Spend a Day at Colonial Williamsburg

Love history?

Maybe you have a thing for tri-cornered hats?

Perhaps you’ve always wondered exactly what it means when people say Colonial Williamsburg is the largest outdoor educational living museum in the country.

No matter the reason you’re interested in Colonial Williamsburg, the good thing is that when you stay at Camp Cardinal, you’re only 30 minutes away from letting your history nerd flag fly.

Wondering what a day might look like?

Read on for a sample itinerary. 


You can purchase your tickets here. Colonial Williamsburg offers multi-day tickets and annual passes in addition to single-day tickets, as well as tickets for special events and offers.

9 a.m.

Arrive to the famed Duke of Gloucester Street, all access passes in hand, and begin by exploring the historic sites. There are plenty to choose from: the royal Governor’s Palace, the Capitol Building, the arms and ammunition magazine and the old public jail stand out. After you’ve explored these sites, pop over to the Market Square to do some shopping fully immersed in colonial life.

11 a.m.  

In the mood to learn about archeological research? Visit one of the active dig sites. Might we suggest the First Baptist Church, where archeologists are excavating one of the first churches founded by an African American congregation.

12 p.m.

Throughout the morning, you’ve noticed people dressed in colonial garb. Be sure to look around for a tall one in a red and blue coat. It might be George Washington. Yes, the George Washington, and he has plenty of tales to share about his time leading the Continental Army to victory against the British.

1 p.m.

Hungry by now? Thought so. Stop for a quick bite to eat at the Raleigh Tavern Bakery and enjoy light sandwiches for lunch and ginger cakes with ice cream for a refreshing dessert.

2 p.m.

Talking with George was likely pretty great, but you’d like to know more about how the common people lived. Take time to explore the historic trades. There’s a lot to choose from, but one in particular is the blacksmith, who you can watch forge 18th century tools.

3 p.m.

In the mood to take in some fine arts? Head over to the art museums. Take in craftwork and painting in the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Art Museum, or quilts and pottery in the Abby Aldritch Folk Arts Museum.

4 p.m.

Colonial Williamsburg is a Level II Certified Arboretum, so you can decide to explore the trees as well as its 32 gardens. Begin with the Palmer House Garden and make your way down Duke of Gloucester Street, exploring the beautiful flowers and trees that line the cobbled street. Use this map to find the gardens and trees that pique your interest.

5 p.m.

Pick up gifts and souvenirs from several shops in Merchant’s Square, including the Wythe Candy & Gourmet Shop, the Scotland House and the Spice & Tea Exchange

6 p.m.

Worked up an appetite? We bet. Head over to the historic King’s Arms Tavern for dinner. At this reproduction of an 18th century tavern, you’ll get fully immersed in the colonial era. Everything is true to the time period, from the meals to the decor to the clothing worn by the servers.

8:30 p.m.

To finish your evening, if you dare, consider a Haunted Williamsburg ghost tour. During this candlelit tour, a costumed guide leads you through some of Colonial Williamsburg’s most haunted buildings, telling of both colonial tales and modern encounters.