Governor’s Palace

Colonial Williamsburg Governor's Palace
Colonial Williamsburg Tours
Governors Palace

A Symbol of Royal Authority under Siege

Enter the years immediately before the Revolution and experience the grandeur of royal government in Virginia just before its collapse. Feel the tension between the rulers and the ruled in this revolutionary time as the British government’s authority was increasingly questioned.

Home to seven royal governors and the first two elected governors in Virginia, the Palace was meant to project British authority and wealth. From the large display of period swords and guns to the elegant décor and grand ballroom, the Palace was built to impress.

Behind the Palace, get lost in the elaborate, tiered gardens overlooking the stream. Children will love finding their way through the boxwood maze. In summer, you’ll find welcome coolness in the original icehouse at the back of the property. In every season, the gardens provide a place of privacy and shelter from the noises of the bustling city.

Preparing Meals for the Governor

Be sure to find out what’s going on in the buildings that surround the Palace. The kitchen and scullery are often filled with activity as members of historic foodways prepare meals for the governor and his family. Be drawn in by the aromas of hearty onion soup or sweet candied pineapple, and learn the “high cooking arts” of a British kitchen in America, courtesy of our foodways experts. Weather permitting, you may learn about brewing beer or making chocolate.

Learn more about the Governor’s Palace on History.org Go
Schedule of
Operation:

Hours effective through
Nov. 22, 2016
Mon.: 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Tues.: 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Wed.: 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Thurs.: 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Fri.: 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Sat.: 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Sun.: 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Ticket Required?
check Yes
ticketCW Admission
About this Historic Site: Walking Tour placeholder

Upcoming Events at the Governor’s Palace Events

Sep 30
4:00 PM
Palace Exploration
Experience the grandeur of royal government in Virginia just before its collapse. From 9:00-3:45, visit the home for a 25-minute guided experience, and hear about the challenges faced by the last royal governor and his family on the eve of the Revolution. From 4-5, explore the residence of the royal governor at your own pace. Wander the Palace and feel free to ask any questions.
Oct 1
4:00 PM
Palace Exploration
Experience the grandeur of royal government in Virginia just before its collapse. From 9:00-3:45, visit the home for a 25-minute guided experience, and hear about the challenges faced by the last royal governor and his family on the eve of the Revolution. From 4-5, explore the residence of the royal governor at your own pace. Wander the Palace and feel free to ask any questions.
Oct 1
7:00 PM
Come Let’s Dance
Join us for an evening of colonial dance, "a most charming entertainment" very much enjoyed by colonial Virginians. Virginians hosted public and private balls and assemblies to be sociable, to celebrate an occasion, or just for fun. Participation is encouraged!
Oct 2
4:00 PM
Palace Exploration
Experience the grandeur of royal government in Virginia just before its collapse. From 9:00-3:45, visit the home for a 25-minute guided experience, and hear about the challenges faced by the last royal governor and his family on the eve of the Revolution. From 4-5, explore the residence of the royal governor at your own pace. Wander the Palace and feel free to ask any questions.
Oct 5
11:45 AM
The Indian Trader Tour
An "Indian trader" just returned from the frontier walks you through sites associated with Virginia's deerskin trade. Meet the people involved. Discover a complex world of politics, commerce, and communities--local, Native and British. Free reservations are required and may be obtained at any ticket location or by phone.
Oct 8
10:00 AM
Military Field Hospital
At the military field hospital, you're in the middle of the drama and tension as surgeons around you care for wounded soldiers and smallpox victims who have put their own lives at risk for the greater cause of freedom.
Oct 9
10:00 AM
Military Field Hospital
At the military field hospital, you're in the middle of the drama and tension as surgeons around you care for wounded soldiers and smallpox victims who have put their own lives at risk for the greater cause of freedom.
Oct 12
11:45 AM
The Indian Trader Tour
An "Indian trader" just returned from the frontier walks you through sites associated with Virginia's deerskin trade. Meet the people involved. Discover a complex world of politics, commerce, and communities--local, Native and British. Free reservations are required and may be obtained at any ticket location or by phone.
Oct 16
10:00 AM
The Arts and Mysteries of Brewing
Beer was a common beverage in the 18th century, even for children. Enjoy this enlightening demonstration of the brewing process as it was practiced in the 18th century.
Nov 2
10:00 AM
The Arts and Mysteries of Brewing
Beer was a common beverage in the 18th century, even for children. Enjoy this enlightening demonstration of the brewing process as it was practiced in the 18th century.
Nov 20
10:00 AM
The Arts and Mysteries of Brewing
Beer was a common beverage in the 18th century, even for children. Enjoy this enlightening demonstration of the brewing process as it was practiced in the 18th century.
Dec 1
10:00 AM
Pamunkey Fishing and Hunting for Market
During the 18th century, the Pamunkey Indians engaged the colonial market economy by providing labor, produce, and wares to Virginia settlements. Travelling the waterways of the Pamunkey and York Rivers, men and women from Indian Town frequented middling and gentry farms, offering wild fish and game to plantation residents.
Sep 30
11:15 AM
What Holds the Future
After Lord Dunmore and his family flee Williamsburg, the enslaved servants at the Palace are to be auctioned to raise money for the war effort. This tightly-knit group is thrown into chaos, wanting to unite in their last moments together. But past hurts and broken promises threaten to pull them apart, and at least one will make the ultimate sacrifice. Program is weather permitting.
Oct 4
11:15 AM
What Holds the Future
After Lord Dunmore and his family flee Williamsburg, the enslaved servants at the Palace are to be auctioned to raise money for the war effort. This tightly-knit group is thrown into chaos, wanting to unite in their last moments together. But past hurts and broken promises threaten to pull them apart, and at least one will make the ultimate sacrifice. Program is weather permitting.
Oct 7
11:15 AM
What Holds the Future
After Lord Dunmore and his family flee Williamsburg, the enslaved servants at the Palace are to be auctioned to raise money for the war effort. This tightly-knit group is thrown into chaos, wanting to unite in their last moments together. But past hurts and broken promises threaten to pull them apart, and at least one will make the ultimate sacrifice. Program is weather permitting.
Oct 11
11:15 AM
What Holds the Future
After Lord Dunmore and his family flee Williamsburg, the enslaved servants at the Palace are to be auctioned to raise money for the war effort. This tightly-knit group is thrown into chaos, wanting to unite in their last moments together. But past hurts and broken promises threaten to pull them apart, and at least one will make the ultimate sacrifice. Program is weather permitting.
Sep 30
10:15 AM
Storming the Palace
In 1774, Virginia's gunpowder was taken from the Magazine by British sailors in the dead of night. The Williamsburg Independent Company plans to march on the Governor's Palace to defend their rights and demand its return. Enjoy the action as a citizen of Williamsburg! Weather permitting.
Sep 30
10:30 AM
Ox Wagon Rides
Take a step back in time and go for a ride on an 18th-century ox wagon and enjoy a beautiful view of Palace Green.
Sep 30
11:00 AM
Ox Wagon Rides
Take a step back in time and go for a ride on an 18th-century ox wagon and enjoy a beautiful view of Palace Green.
Sep 30
11:30 AM
Ox Wagon Rides
Take a step back in time and go for a ride on an 18th-century ox wagon and enjoy a beautiful view of Palace Green.
Handicap AccessibilityFirst floor accessible. Wheelchair lift located at west entrance (weight capacity of 450 lbs., including occupant). West advance, kitchen, and scullery accessible via the west entrance gate.
Family restroom, in east yard of Palace, is completely wheelchair accessible. Gardens and grounds completely accessible.