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8 Photo-Ops Not to Miss

Camera-ready opportunities abound at Colonial Williamsburg

September 16, 2019 BY STAFF

It’s a truth supported by millions of pictures tucked in scrapbooks, hanging on walls and stored in devices around the world: Colonial Williamsburg is photogenic. And the Historic Area makes a beautiful backdrop for your family photos, Facebook selfies and Instagram stories.

We’ve asked you for your favorite photo spots and the results are in! During your next visit, be sure to stop and collect reminders of your memories in these particularly photogenic opportunities.

1. The Pillory

There’s something about putting your loved ones in an ancient punishment device that really makes a great photo. Check out this classic photo op outside The Courthouse.


2. Under the Compton Oak

As the largest known Compton oak in the U.S., this majestic star of our ArbNet Level II Arboretum is sure to provide the perfect backdrop for a beautiful image.

Photo by April Renee Photography

3. With Nation Builders

Get your picture with George Washington, the Marquis de Lafayette, or others who contributed to the beginnings of our nation. Just be sure to treat all our costumed interpreters with the same respect you’d use interacting with any 20th-century human. Do not touch them without their consent.

4. On the Palace Green

The long Palace Green, backed by the Governor’s Palace, makes for a dramatic background. Portraits here are a must, whether you’re with your boo, your pooch or your family.

Photo by DJ Headlee

Two follower stories about this spot stood out a little extra. We think you’ll see why:

“Everyone loves taking pictures with the Governor's Palace, but we have our own spot. Since we love CW so much, I gave my wife a necklace with the latitude and longitude of a spot on the sidewalk on DoG Street with the Palace in the background for our 23rd anniversary. So now we make sure to get her picture there on each trip.”

— Chris


Photo by Lindsey Atkins Harris

“The Governor’s Palace. We renewed our vows last year and our wonderful photographer Lindsey Atkins Harris took this one.”

— Katherine

5. The Palace Gardens

Use your admission ticket to dip behind the Palace walls for shots among the iconic arbor trees, in the picturesque brick cutout, or by the canal.


6. With Your Favorite Sign

Let one of our signs caption your shot, whether it’s simply the Colonial Williamsburg logo as you stop at the Visitors Center, or a hand-painted sign with language that gives you.

This sign reads “A Cure for the Refractory.” What other curious phrases can you find?


7. In Costume

Colonial Williamsburg is transportive, but wait until you dress the part! A simple tri-corn hat or bonnet can put you in the 18th-century spirit, but if you want the full experience, check out our costume rental options.

8. By a Window in the Wythe House

It’s specific, we know. You really can’t go wrong with the window architecture in any of the big historic homes of Colonial Williamsburg. But there’s something extra contemplative about a shot by the window in the home of George Wythe, a noted thinker. Plus, with a new interpreter bringing Wythe to life, you might chance a Nation Builder encounter while securing your picture.

Use #wherehistorynevergetsold when you share your trip pictures with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or submit them through our website.