Colonial Williamsburg: Summer Destination

flowers Colonial Williamsburg.governor's mansion

A Summer Trip to Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia is a perfect family adventure if you are staying close to home. Experience history through education, art, and food. Feel like you’ve traveled  far while staying safe, being outdoors, and learning together.

Colonial Williamsburg: Summer Destination

Colonial Williamsburg, located in Williamsburg, Virginia is the country’s largest Living History Museum. Travel back to the 18th Century and experience the people and events that shaped our nation.

The Historic Area offers entertainment and activities for each visitor with a paid ticket. But in response to COVID-19, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation has adjusted both offerings and ticket prices. A Summer 2020 ticket allows access to a limited number of exhibits at a reduced price. These adjustments provide an unforgettable vacation opportunity, without compromising your safety or health.

fall family activities Colonial Williamsburg historic site

Colonial Williamsburg: Open for Summer 2020

Colonial Williamsburg has a number of buildings open for visitors this summer. Explore the Capitol, the Governor’s Palace and its beautiful gardens, and the Courthouse where you can participate in an 18th Century trial.

History comes alive and gets to work at the trade sites. Perfect for the kid, or adult, who learns by being hands-on, this summer, you can visit the weaver, the Carpenter’s Yard, and the Colonial Garden. Each of these historic sites is led by a trained and skilled tradesperson, eager to teach you about their trade. Your family can also shoot a canon in the Magazine Yard, learn all about the Armoury, and stomp mud for bricks in the Brick Yard.

romantic bridge colonial williamsburg

Ghost Tours are up and running this summer. Wait until twilight and then enjoy a ticketed tour around the haunts of the historic area.

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg are also open this summer. The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum has recently gone through a restoration and expansion. This museum houses one of the largest collections of American Folk Art, in air conditioning.

Photo Credit: Colonial Williamsburg

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation closed Colonial Williamsburg for the quarantine period throughout the spring. They took that time to carefully plan for safe reopening procedures. Beginning, June 14th, the historic area reopened with limited sites, and new safety guidelines. (And if you had tickets during the Closure Period, the Visitor Center will expand your admission compensate for the closure. )

Per Virginia ordinance, all visitors must wear face coverings in indoor exhibits and are advised to wear them outdoors. Staff and employees in the colonial area are wearing masks at all times. Social distancing is required in and outdoors, with indoor exhibits and sites, limiting capacity.

But, due to its commitment to historic accuracy, Colonial Williamsburg is a great place to visit during COVID-19. Yes, we’ve learned much about germs and cleanliness, but the lifestyle of Colonial America relied on the outdoors.

romantic bridge colonial williamsburg

All the Outdoor Air in Colonial Williamsburg

Enjoy green spaces and gardens galore. Pop into an exhibit for a few minutes and then back outside again to walk along Duke of Gloucester Street. Visit the horses and the sheep with plenty of distance for you and your family to interact safely.

The historic district provides new scenery and fresh air in a season of being home and isolated. But you do not have to compromise any safety guidelines, and you can still see new places and discover American history.

Williamsburg’s Summer Outdoor Dining

Merchant’s Square is the shopping and dining area next to Colonial Williamsburg. As the area began reopening, tables and chairs were set up throughout this portion of Duke of Gloucester St, inviting guests to sit down and rest or food and drink from the surrounding eateries.

romantic bridge colonial williamsburg

The result is an alfresco experience reflective of European cafes, with families gathered, and the hum of conversation everywhere. Enjoy a sandwich from the Cheese Shop, or get the kids burgers and fries at Retros. Then have some ice cream from one of the three ice cream shops around the block or visit Wythe Candy Shop for a caramel apple, or fudge, or any treat of your choosing.

romantic bridge colonial williamsburg

Beyond the Historic Area

Colonial Virginia’s Historic Triangle offers more than Colonial Williamsburg. And while some COVID-19 attraction closures are still in place, there are plenty of family-friendly adventures still available to you.

Visit Jamestowne Island Loop Road to bike or walk while the road is still closed to cars. Make the drive to Yorktown and drive the Yorktown Tour Roads. Visit the Yorktown Victory Monument and Main Street and explore the American Revolution and the settings for some of your favorite Hamilton songs.

Jamestown Beach Festival Park has beautiful access to James River Beaches. Bring your family to swim or float for a few hours, and see if you can spot the ships at Jamestown Settlement, just around the bend.

Colonial Williamsburg: A Summer Trip Not Canceled

Busch Gardens and Water Country will soon reopen. Camps will be back next year. But this summer, take a break from your above ground pool and visit the history that made it all possible.

Summer 2020 may be the perfect moment to take a road trip back in history.  After a season of virtual learning, get outside and hands-on with the people and places that tell the stories of our nation. As a family together, experience the ways  America has overcome and grown through challenges. Make memories that will shape you for years to come.

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