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Know Before You Go

Colonial Williamsburg is the world’s largest living history museum. Over 300 acres feature more than 40 historic sites and trades, four historic taverns, and two world-class art museums. With so much to see, a little planning will help you make the best of your trip. The video below is the best place to start. For answers to specific questions, use the icons below to navigate to information on the page.

General Information and Hours

Colonial Williamsburg is open 365 days a year. Most Historic Trades and Sites are open from 9 am to 5 pm. After hours, check out Evening Programs, which run well into the night. The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg are open daily from 10 am to 7 pm. Restaurant and store hours vary.

Inclement Weather
When adverse weather occurs, we encourage guests to explore The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, as well as take a tour of the Governor's Palace and The Capitol, which are all indoor activities.

See inclement weather updates here.

For your safety, Colonial Williamsburg has a security force available 24/7. In the event of an emergency, please call 911 or speak with any employee for assistance.

Admission Tickets

Admission tickets are required to enter buildings and experience programming in the Historic Area. With your ticket, visit over 40 Historic Trades and Sites, tour homes and government buildings, visit colonial gardens, and get access to both of our world-class Art Museums. You’ll also be able to take advantage of our complimentary shuttle service, take interpreter-led tours of the Governor’s Palace and the Capitol, and get seasonal discounts on carriage rides.

Ticketing Locations
Tickets can be purchased at the Visitor Center, The Merchants Square Ticket Office, The Lumber House Ticket Office, and The William Pitt Shop, as well as online and with the Colonial Williamsburg Explorer app. Ticketing agents can answer any questions that you might have. Agents are available by phone at (877) 392-3786 Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5:30 pm. View Ticketing locations on the map.

To receive a refund on ticket orders, performances, or programs, you must cancel your reservation 72 hours prior to arrival or the performance date.

What to Bring

Virginians often experience multiple seasons of weather in a day. Wear layers and comfortable walking shoes, and don’t forget your mobile device with the Colonial Williamsburg Explorer app downloaded.

Pets are allowed on certain areas of Colonial Williamsburg property if they are on a leash and under direct control of the handler at all times. Specifically, pets are allowed in parts of the Historic Area including Duke of Gloucester Street, Colonial Williamsburg’s shuttle buses and the Visitor Center. Pets are not permitted in the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, Rockefeller Library, administrative buildings, on carriages or ox carts, retail outlets, trade sites, historic buildings or in any site or Colonial Williamsburg owned facilities requiring an admission ticket. Pets are also not permitted in Colonial Williamsburg facilities that serve food, which includes outdoor eating areas. Dangerous animals or animals that are not on a leash or otherwise under the control of their owner are prohibited. Owners are required to pick up after the pets. We reserve the right to request owners to remove a pet that is disrupting Colonial Williamsburg programming. Colonial Williamsburg hotels each have specific pet policies. Click one of the hotel properties below to review its pet policy.

Prohibited Items
Firearms and weapons are prohibited at Colonial Williamsburg. Only Colonial Williamsburg sworn security personnel and law enforcement officers are permitted to bring firearms or other weapons of any kind onto Foundation property or onto Foundation parking lots.


When you arrive, start your visit at the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center to pick up a free copy of the “Colonial Williamsburg Map & Program Guide” and “Today's Programs.” These guides, plus watching the "Tips for Time Travel" video above will help you get the most out of your visit. You can also explore our interest-based itineraries to start planning your adventure.

Check out the CW Planner to see what's happening each day, with interest filters to customize your visit. For a printable version take a look at This Week At A Glance and Next Week At A Glance.

Complimentary Shuttle Buses
To get started, you can walk or take the shuttle. Your ticket gets you free unlimited use of our shuttle, which runs from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Shuttle routes begin at the Visitor Center and run throughout the Historic Area. Stops include the Governor's Palace, the Capitol, the Taverns, Market House, Williamsburg Lodge, the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, and Merchants Square. Express shuttle routes are also available from the Visitor Center to the Market House.

Open Sites
The historic area is a mile long and a half-mile wide, but not everything is open all the time, plus, some of our buildings are still private residences. So, look for the Grand Union Flag; it shows that building or location is open to the public. You'll need to show your ticket, so have it ready and come on in.

Colonial Williamsburg

Map & Guide

Carriage & Wagon Rides

How Do I Reserve a Carriage or Wagon Ride?
Tickets for the Red Carriage can now be purchased online, here. Tickets for the remaining carraiges are sold on the day of the ride at all Colonial Williamsburg ticket locations and on the Colonial Williamsburg Explorer app. Availability is limited, and tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis, so purchase your tickets early in the day. Carriages may be cancelled due to weather.

Learn More about Carriage and Wagon Rides here.

Mutual Respect

Colonial Williamsburg strives to conduct its activities in accordance with the highest ethical standards to assure accountability, informed decision-making, and policies that are consistent with the institution’s mission statement and public service responsibility. This is articulated in the Foundation’s mission and is supported by numerous policies and standards. Read our Code of Ethics.

When You Visit
In order to create a safe environment and community, we ask you to use your 21st-century manners when you visit. Our costumed interpreters are happy to share with you the stories of the past, but please be respectful. Do not touch our interpreters without consent and please abstain from inappropriate or disrespectful language.


There are plenty of dining choices to please all tastes. Experience Historic Taverns in the Historic Area, enjoy exquisite cuisine in Modern Restaurants, or check out a sandwich shop or bistro in Merchants Square.

While lunch seats are first-come, first-served, dinner reservations are strongly recommended. A Colonial Williamsburg Reservation Team member (1-800-447-8679) will assist you dining reservations, admission or program tickets, hotel accommodations, and answer your specific questions.


Colonial Williamsburg's official hotels offer a range of accommodations. Whether you are traveling for business, looking for a romantic getaway, or planning a family vacation, you'll find an option that will meet your needs. Visit the Colonial Williamsburg Hotels site for more information.


Visit our Accessibility page for more information

Getting Here

By Car
Colonial Williamsburg is located in Williamsburg, Virginia, and is part of Virginia's Historic Triangle, which includes Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown. We're located midway between Richmond and Virginia Beach, and 150 miles south of Washington, DC.

We recommend parking at the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center, which is free. The City of Williamsburg operates a pay-by-the-hour parking garage as well as other timed parking lots.

By Plane
There are more than 200 flights daily into three nearby airports: Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (PHF) (20 minutes), Norfolk International Airport (ORF) (45 minutes), or Richmond International Airport (RIC) (45 minutes)

By Train
Amtrak serves the Williamsburg Transportation Center with a connecting train from Washington, DC. The center is just blocks from Colonial Williamsburg's Historic Area and offers car rentals and taxi service.

Nearby Attractions

America’s Historic Triangle

Three places in Virginia can lay claim to where America was born. The first permanent English settlers arrived at Jamestown in 1607. At Williamsburg, the ideas of independence and revolution took form. The siege of Yorktown in 1781 was the last major battle of the American Revolution. In this Historic Triangle, Europeans, Indians, and Africans came together, and the result was the United States of America. Experience the past and enjoy commemorative events, educational programming, and entertainment all in one place. In fact, we’ve packaged a Historic Triangle ticket so that you can save when you explore all three places.

Discover the world of the settlers who established the first permanent British settlement in the New World at Historic Jamestowne, a National Park Service and Preservation Virginia site. Then visit Jamestown Settlement and watch 1607: A Nation Takes Root, explore artifact-filled exhibit galleries, board replicas of the Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery, and see re-creations of a Powhatan Indian village and a 1610-1614 English fort.

Explore Yorktown Battlefield, a National Park Service site. Then stroll through the 18th-century village of Yorktown. The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown offers unique looks at the lives of everyday people overtaken by revolutionary events. Explore museum exhibits recounting the lives of individuals, a re-created Continental Army encampment, and a 1780s farm.

Colonial Parkway
The Colonial Parkway is a 23-mile scenic roadway stretching from the York River at Yorktown to the James River Jamestown, connecting Virginia's Historic Triangle--Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown. It is operated and maintained by the National Park Service.

Other Local Attractions

Busch Gardens
Busch Gardens® offers fun for the whole family. Enjoy thrilling roller coasters, animal encounters, great dining, and shows.

Water Country USA
Guests can splash and slide the summer away at Water Country USA®, Virginia's largest water park. Experience more than 25 water attractions.

William & Mary
The second oldest institution of higher education in America and home to the Wren Building, the oldest academic building still standing and in use today.

Nearby Destinations

Washington, DC
Just a few hours away, visit the nation's capitol. Experience museums, national monuments, and arts and culture.

Virginia Beach
Located approximately an hour to the east, enjoy sunny skies and the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean in Virginia Beach.

Richmond Raceway
An hour west, Richmond Raceway, known as America’s Premier Short Track, offers great racing action and a commitment to the fan experience. One of the most popular facilities among drivers and fans in all of motorsports, Richmond Raceway annually hosts two NASCAR doubleheader weekends.