Children on a guided tour of the historic area.

History Buff? You Can’t Miss These Museums in Williamsburg VA

Want to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern America and step back into the past? Or maybe slow down and take in some fine art? Then these museums in Colonial Williamsburg VA are perfect for you.

Immerse yourself in a living history museum or feast your eyes on hundreds and hundreds of pieces of folk art – or even a shrunken head or two! Anything is possible in Colonial Williamsburg where the past and present collide.

Must See History Museums

If you’ve ever dreamed of being a time traveler, then Colonial Williamsburg is the perfect place for you. It’s home to some of the best museums in all America. In fact – the historic area of the city is like stepping back into the 18th century all on its own.

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg is 301 acres of reconstructed buildings styled after original 18th-century homes and shops. The historic area is like a living, breathing, interactive history museum in and of itself. You can take walking tours of the historic area, eat authentic 18th-century food and witness 18th-century trades in action, or shop the unique wares in Merchant Square. And find several extensive and unique American history museums, too.

Capitol Building

Located just a little over a mile away from the Colonial Williamsburg visitor center is the Capitol Building. This building was home to many iconic historical events that led to the creation of the USA. Now guided tours detailing the history of the building are offered, and even reenactments.

Governor’s Palace

Want a look at how British royalty lived before the revolution? The Governor’s Palace housed seven royal appointed governors before America’s founding, and two elected officials after. The grounds and the palace are a sight to see on their own, but the guided tours are especially superb for those looking to learn about the history of the site.

Historic Jamestowne

A little bit further afield you can find more authentic and interactive history in Jamestown. Historic Jamestowne began as an archeological site run by the Jamestown Rediscovery project and now has expanded to include guided tours of the site as well as a museum of the artifacts found during the dig such as original ceramics and armory.

Jamestown Settlement

The Jamestown Settlement is a living history museum that will take you back to 17th-century Virginia. They offer living exhibits showcasing the life and culture of Virginia Indians, English settlers, and West Central Africans in the colonial period. It’s a great spot to take your family for a double dose of education and fun.

American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown is run by the same organization as the Jamestown settlement and provides exhibits and immersive live-history enactments that feature period artifacts from the Revolutionary War and colonial times. You can learn about the lives of soldiers during the war at a re-created army encampment and more.

Virginia Musical Museum

Are you a music lover? Then you need to stop by the Virginia Musical Museum. This museum pays homage to great Virginian musicians such as Ella Fitzgerald, Pharrell Williams, and Missy Elliot. It also showcases antique pianos, music boxes, and phonographs.

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg

You can get your fill of history and beauty in Williamsburg! There’s a collection of art museums to explore in the city that can both educate and inspire their visitors.

Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum

Unique and whimsical, the Rockefeller Folk Art Museum is quite the sight to see. It features American folk art as well as pieces from artists around the world. This is the oldest institution dedicated to collecting folk art, and it’s got quite the extensive collection.

The Dewitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum

This museum puts a new spin on the term “fine arts” by displaying a collection of the finer things in life throughout the ages. Here you can check out home decor and portraits from grand houses, as well as the largest British ceramics collection housed outside of England.

Muscarelle Museum of Art

This museum can be found at the college of William & Mary, and serves as a working laboratory for its students, as well as an extensive art museum. This is a must-stop spot for lovers of classical and modern art.

Looking for Something Strange?

If you want a touch of the extraordinary during your getaway to Williamsburg, you’re in luck. Williamsburg is no stranger to a little strange history.

Ripley’s Believe It Or Not

We promised you shrunken heads in the introduction – and here they are! There’s a variety of strange artifacts to see at the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museum in Williamsburg – even a mermaid! But those with little ones, never fear – this is a great spot to take your family and even has a mini-golf course if you want to get in a game after you tour the museum.

Historic District Ghost Tours

If you like a side of haunted with your history, check out one of Williamsburg’s haunted ghost tours. Costumed guides will show you the spookiest historic sites in the area.

Plan Your Historical Getaway in Williamsburg Virginia

Whether it’s your first time in Williamsburg or your 100th time – there’s always something new to do and some new piece of history to discover. After you check out these museums in Williamsburg VA, head over to our blog to find even more fun in the area.