Looking to make a splash on your vacation? Turn to the water for a variety of attractions and recreational experiences. Whether you seek the thrill of water-park rides or crave shoreline scenery and fresh air on a kayaking trip, there’s a water activity for everyone.

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Cruise on by.

Head for the Yorktown Waterfront to board a sightseeing cruise with Yorktown Sailing Charters. Pick from two different schooners — Alliance and Serenity — to sail the Chesapeake Bay, the York River, and surrounding waterways during the day or at sunset. The Historic Yorktown route takes you past sites like the Yorktown Battlefield and Victory Monument; the pirate adventure cruise is a family-friendly experience where kids can help steer and the costume-adorned crew fires a cannon. Other Williamsburg sailing excursions include the daily cruises of York River ChartersJamestown Discovery Boat Tours, and Williamsburg Charter Sails, which let you sit back and relax to enjoy the sights or you could schedule a private fishing charter with York River Charters.

Cast your line.

Try your luck at catching bass, perch, catfish, and other species in the waters around the Greater Williamsburg area — just be sure to get a permit first. York River Charters, since 2011, has provided an intimate small boat experience for both fishing and sightseeing charters alike. Because of the operating area of the York River and the tributaries of Mobjack Bay, convenient to visitors and residents with docking available in Williamsburg, Yorktown, and Gloucester, VA.  Little Creek Reservoir Park is a scenic spot overlooking a 996-acre reservoir on which only electric trolling motors are permitted. Freshwater and saltwater meet at York River State Park, a marshy preserve with three different areas for anglers. Jamestown Beach Park benefits from a newly restored beachfront, paddle-craft launch, and a designated fishing area.

Experience water-park thrills.

Conquer the rides and slides of two Williamsburg water parks. Water Country USA is Virginia’s largest and makes for an exciting day of play. Highlights include the spiraling Colossal Curl mega-slide, Surfer’s Bay wave pool and the 75-foot drop of Vanish Point’s tower, along with special splash zones for little ones. Great Wolf Lodge encompasses a family resort, gaming arcade, and 67,000-square-foot indoor water park in one. The temperature inside the park is always 84 degrees so you can enjoy slide boarding, floating the lazy river, and rafting down a six-story funnel.

Get your feet wet …

The water trails (also called blueways) around Williamsburg are ideal for exploration by canoe, kayak, or paddleboard. You can rent rowboats, canoes, and pedal boats at Waller Mill Park, or kayaks and canoes from Chickahominy Riverfront Park’s facilities. For guided excursions, look to Bay Country Kayaking: The company offers eco-tours of tidal wetlands, launching just minutes from Colonial Williamsburg at New Quarter Park

… and then jump right in.

When you’re up for a swim, venture to Yorktown Beach for the day. The recreational beach boasts two acres along the York River, complete with a fishing pier, grassy picnic areas, and shower facilities. If sand and surf isn’t your thing, Upper County Park and Chickahominy Riverfront Park each have an outdoor pool, among other amenities like volleyball courts and playgrounds.


From leisurely cruises aboard historic schooners to thrilling slides at world-class water parks, Williamsburg has a water activity for everyone.