What’s New in Greater Williamsburg, VA in 2018

Splashy music festivals, innovative restaurants, fun museum exhibits — and a thrilling virtual reality action ride are some of the many new reasons to visit Williamsburg this year.

More Music for Now People
Enjoy More Than a Few Grains of Salt
Diamonds Are an Inn's Best Friend
Explore the Arts from the Old World to the New
Cover Your Ears
Virtually Ride a Dragon

Go ahead, admit it. You get a secret thrill when you discover something new. For visitors to Greater Williamsburg throughout 2018, there are more new thrills than an afternoon of roller coaster rides at Busch Gardens.

We've scoured the nooks and crannies — and the calendar — for the best new attractions and events coming to the area this year.

More Music for Now People

The Cabin Fever Series on Yorktown's Riverwalk Landing is bigger than ever, running additional weeks through March 1. And if that's not enough, the Sounds of Summer Concert Series is also bigger and longer this year, kicking off on June 7. 

No Ticket to Cannes? No Problem

The 2018 William & Mary Global Film Festival runs from Feb. 15-18 and features William Fletcher, editor of the award-winning films, Dunkirk and Phantom Thread as well as William & Mary alum Milan Chakraborty, producer of My Friend Dahmer. There will be workshops on screenwriting, steadycam usage, audio recording, marketing your art, breaking into television and numerous other subjects. 

Enjoy More Than a Few Grains of Salt

The Williamsburg Salt Spa celebrates its 10th anniversary with a grand reopening in March that will introduce new services including infrared sauna in addition to their salt cave — check out their breathing therapy — and float tanks. 

Party Like It's March

The Virginia Beer Company celebrates its second anniversary with Waypost Week, the release of its Waypost Imperial Stout on March 17 in three versions including Bourbon Barrel-Aged and Rum-Maple Barrel-Aged Imperial Stouts. The week's finale will be a performance of Good Shot Judy on March 23 followed by an all-day party on March 24 and, of course, a Hangover Brunch on March 25 featuring City Plus Coffee Porter, a bit of hair of the sudsy dog.

Diamonds Are an Inn's Best Friend

What's new at The Williamsburg Inn? The grand hotel where the queen has stayed got a facelift last year as well as diamonds — five of them. The inn was awarded AAA's coveted Five Diamond Award given to just 120 hotels.

Calling all Families

Known for its massive indoor water park, the Great Wolf Lodge was named one of the top 25 hotels in the U.S. for families in TripAdvisor’s 2018 Travelers’ Choice Awards.

A Brewery and a Restaurant?

Yes. At Amber Ox. Granted, the place opened in December 2017, but we’re counting it for this year because it’s a new concept for Greater Williamsburg. The folks behind it combined their passions for running a restaurant with their passion for craft beer. It's casual and communal and the eats range from new takes on dishes and ingredients of the Old South to healthy modern classics-to-be.

Don't Just Stand There and Stare. Experience History

The new offerings at Colonial Williamsburg are so numerous that old Ben Franklin is complaining about working overtime to get them into Poor Richard's Almanac. At the Capitol, guests will find it's 1776 and the Virginia Convention is on the eve of the Revolution. The nearby Raleigh Tavern has a newly restored porch, where our nation's builders discuss the events of the day. DIYers will want to stop by the trades shops where they can put together a wheel at the wheelwright's shop, comb and style a wig at the wigmaker's and even throw an axe. Feeling royally romantic or just interested in living history? Take a ride in Lord Dunmore's carriage. 

Experience Man Bites Hound

The Hound's Tale restaurant debuts the "BarKery" this spring with a menu of new bites, new outdoor and indoor seating areas and, of course, the welcome mat with special pup treats and drinks for your four-legged friends. 

Explore the Arts from the Old World to the New

Feel like you are an expert at “Upholstery CSI: Reading the Evidence,” opening May 26 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.  Learn how to look for clues like the experts in this new interactive exhibit, which allows guests to sit in reproduction chairs, touch examples of upholstery materials, consider X-ray evidence and learn about upholstery techniques still used today. 

Marvel at Navajo weavings in an exhibit that opens July 14 at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. If you need to know more about rugs, return for “Folk Art Underfoot: American Hooked Rugs” featuring 20 hooked and sewn rugs, examples of America's one indigenous folk art that originated in Maine. Finally, learn the story of America's Revolutionary fighting men and women at “Arming Virginia: Weapons for the Revolution” opening in September at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum 

Hit a Ball Really Hard

You have two chances to watch some athletes in action this July with the National Softball Association Fastpitch World Series from July 12-15 for those ages 10 to 18 and the Battle of the Paddle pickleball tournament at the Quarterpath Recreation Center. What's pickleball? Sort of like indoor tennis on a smaller court with a hard Wiffle ball. It’s fun, fun, and more fun — just like softball.

Cover Your Ears

The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown opens a new exhibit, "Blast from the Past: Artillery in the War of Independence" on June 1, which runs through Jan. 5, 2019. Learn about American, French and British artillery used on all fronts of the American Revolution including innovations in design and the roles of an artillery crew. A series of special programs, including artillery demonstrations and musical performances, accompany the exhibition. 

Mark a Women's Centennial in Virginia

In the fall of 1918, 24 women were admitted as undergraduate students at the College of William & Mary, making it the first public coeducational university in Virginia. A yearlong celebration to mark the 100th anniversary of that milestone kicks off this fall with Women's Weekend Sept. 21-23. As part of the weekend, the school is launching MARY Talks, a twist on the popular TED Talks.

Go Back in Time

Explore Historic Jamestowne on several special days, including Archaeology Day on Oct. 13 and Indigenous Chesapeake Day celebrating Native Americans on Nov. 3. Over at Jamestown Settlement, appreciate historical women in a special exhibit, “Tenacity: Women in Jamestown and Early Virginia,” opening Nov. 10. Learn the personal stories of the women in Jamestown and the Virginia colony and their impact on a struggling society.  Theatrical and musical performances and public lectures will accompany the exhibition. 

Virtually Ride a Dragon

Busch Gardens debuts “Battle for Eire,” a revolutionary virtual reality action ride that allows you to hop aboard a dragon and follow a fierce fairy warrior battling to save the Magic of Ireland. You will soar above the Emerald Isle's lush landscapes and battle the dark force, including the evil Dark Lord, Balor.

For more ideas about adventures in Greater Williamsburg, explore the 10 most popular attractions, find some family fun and plan your next visit now.