10 Most Popular Attractions in Greater Williamsburg
From theme parks to living-history museums to outdoor adventure facilities, Greater Williamsburg is bursting with fun and unique things to do. To help you plan for your visit — and not miss any of the greatest hits — here are the 10 most visited attractions.
Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Sprawling across 383 acres, Busch Gardens is home to European-themed hamlets that feature food, rides, ever-changing shows and roller coasters, lots of them. Opening in April is The InvadR, the park's first wooden coaster featuring a 74-foot plunge and speeds up to 50 mph. Need something tranquil? Stop and smell the flowers. The park has repeatedly been named the country’s most beautiful.
Water Country USA. When you get to the top of Colossal Curl at Water Country USA, the mid-Atlantic's largest water theme park, it is a daunting 552 feet down the slide. While the 43-acre park offers plenty of adrenaline rushes like that one, it's also a place to chill on the Hubba Hubba Highway, a river float, or the KIDsiderate water playgrounds.
Colonial Williamsburg. Walk down Duke of Gloucester Street in Williamsburg and it seems as if you're on the giant lot of a movie set depicting 250 years ago. Then go one step deeper and live that life in the world’s largest living-history museum. Explore the food, crafts and stories of a revolutionary time with the characters — tinker, tailor, solider, wig maker — who lived then.
Jamestown Settlement. Get hands deep into history at Jamestown Settlement by grinding corn, digging out a canoe or trying on armor in the recreation of 17th-century life from the Powhatan Indian village to the James Fort to the ships that transported colonists to Virginia in 1607. Board the Susan Constant where you can steer with the tiller, tie sailors’ knots and climb into a sailor’s bunk.
Historic Jamestowne. At Historic Jamestowne you can watch archaeologists literally dig into the past in the field where for 20 years they have been excavating the site of the ill-fated first English colony in America. Then slip over to the Archaearium, a museum that houses some of the two million artifacts uncovered since the Jamestown Rediscovery Project began in 1994.
Yorktown Battlefield. You learned in grade school about Yorktown, where the British surrendered, leading to American independence. Now, experience not only the place, but also the history. Watch the twice-monthly artillery firings from April to November. Take a tour guided by a ranger or hop in your car for a self-guided exploration and visit the field where Lord Cornwallis surrendered in 1781.
American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. Hunker down in a Continental Army encampment at this new museum in Yorktown where you experience history as well as learn from it. In addition to the artillery demonstrations, military drills and the Revolution-era farm, there are new indoor exhibits including "The Siege of Yorktown" with a 180-degree surround screen.
Williamsburg Premium Outlets. Stretch your dollars and your legs by browsing the Williamsburg Premium Outlets. This discount mall opens at 10 a.m. daily so you could spend a few hours there or all day, bargain hunting through Burberry, Calvin Klein, Nike, the Coach Outlet, Ralph Lauren, L'Occitane, Waterford and others.
Go-Karts Plus. Race around eight acres of fast and furious in Williamsburg from beginner tracks to the expert Super Stockart Track, where you zoom around a high-banked oval, NASCAR style. There's also mini-golf, the watery blaster boats, bumper cars, an arcade, and more.
Freedom Park. Freedom, indeed. This is a place with so many choices. Ride 20 miles of mountain bike trails through historical sites and forests, hike along a paved path, smell the wildflowers — literally — and shoot some photographs in the butterfly haven of the Williamsburg Botanical Garden, and let out your inner Tarzan or Jane at the Go Ape Treetop Adventure course by racing down zip lines and rope swings.