An image of Freedom Park, one of the best free attractions in Williamsburg VA.

8 Free Attractions in Williamsburg VA You Need to See

What’s better than having a good time? Having a good time for FREE.

Sure, Busch Gardens is great, but sometimes you need to give your wallet a little break on your getaway — and we know how to do just that. These free attractions in Williamsburg VA can keep you and your family entertained for the low, low price of zero dollars.  

  1. Freedom Park 

Love nature? Then we have the perfect place for you.

It has a rich history, dating back to the 1650s, and offers plenty of fun things to do – and free admission. History lovers love visiting the 18th-century cemetery or the accurately recreated cabins from America‘s earliest Free Black Settlement (which, by the way, was located in Freedom Park). 

The walking trails are beautiful by day — but they’re even more beautiful by the light of the full moon. While usually the hiking trails close after sunset, on full moon nights, you can come to the park and take a self-guided walking tour on Trail 3. 

There’s also a stunning garden. The Williamsburg Botanical Garden features more than 800 species of native vegetation. Freedom Park is one of the most interesting free things to do, thanks to its historical sites and beautiful grounds. 

  1. Jamestown Scotland Ferry 

Speaking of beautiful views, why not take in the James River? The Jamestown Scotland Ferry allows you to relax and take in the scenery while crossing from Surry County into James County – landing you right near the Jamestown Settlement and its historical buildings. The ferry runs 24 hours a day, every day, so you can even take a calming night cruise across the river FOR FREE. 

  1. Drive Colonial Parkway

This scenic byway stretches over 23 miles, linking the historic towns of Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown together. You can travel the Historic Triangle by car and immerse yourself in the beauty of the area. Free from billboards or commercial developments, this area has maintained the same natural ambiance and beauty since the Revolutionary War. There are several pull-off picnic areas where you can park, have lunch, and explore the area’s history by browsing informative plaques and markers. Basically, it’s like a free, outdoor history museum.  

  1. Relive History in Colonial Williamsburg and Merchants Square 

Speaking of historical ambiance, you get plenty in Colonial Williamsburg and Merchant Square. While buildings like the Governor’s Palace require a ticket to enter, you can walk the streets of the historic area for free. Walk along the same cobblestone streets that George Washington once did, and witness historical reenactors bring the 18th century back to life. (And if you do have some money to spare, you can drop in and have a meal at an authentic tavern.) 

Merchant’s Square is just a short walk from the historic area, with a colonial aesthetic and more than 40 shops and restaurants. It’s a great place to window shop and grab a few photo ops. It’s also often home to live music events and seasonal festivals. 

  1. Explore William and Mary’s Campus 

Another great historical site to visit is the College of William & Mary. This is the second-oldest higher education institution in the United States and is home to the Sir Christopher Wren Building, the oldest college building in the nation. In fact, the college was once attended by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson

In addition to cultural events, the campus holds weekly, free organ recitals in Wren Chapel, which is played on an authentic English chamber organ from the 18th century

  1. Bike From Richmond to Jamestown 

Or just part of the way, if you want. 

You can jump on the Virginia Capital Trail from Williamsburg – a 52-mile-long bike trail that links Jamestown and Richmond. As you coast across the trail, take in historic and scenic sites such as the Richmond National Battlefield Park and the Virginia State Capitol.

  1. Take in the Sights at Powhatan Creek Park 

The Powhatan Creek Park and Blueway is a great place to take in the beauty of Jamestown River, as well as views of Historic Jamestowne. It’s also home to rare plant species, bald eagles, and great blue herons. The creek is one of the most biodiverse and beautiful in the area. 

  1. Visit Yorktown Battlefield and Historic Jamestowne (On the Right Day)

On specific days, the National Parks Service gives free admission to both the Yorktown Battlefield and Historic Jamestowne. Usually, these days fall on national holidays such as Martin Luther King, Jr Day, Veterans Day, or the first day of National Park Week. 

Yorktown Battlefield offers interactive and interpretive exhibits and living history demonstrations where you can learn about the most decisive battle of the Revolutionary War, where the British surrendered and American independence was won. In Historic Jamestowne, you can see archeological discoveries from the first permanent English settlement and see living history demonstrations that allow visitors to interact with customer interpreters who bring historical figures to life. 

Find Your Fun in Virginia 

From art museums to carriage rides to water parks, there are plenty of affordable (if not completely free), fun things to do in the Williamsburg area. After you visit these free attractions in Williamsburg VA, why not use some of that money you saved to treat yourself to something special? Maybe an ice cream cone down at Virginia Beach or grab a drink at one of the many wineries?  After all, you also deserve to treat yourself.