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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Colonial Williamsburg?

The largest living history museum in the United States, Colonial Williamsburg is a private not-for-profit foundation that operates the restored 18th-century capital of colonial Virginia and the adjacent all-encompassing resort.

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Where is Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area?

Williamsburg, Virginia. Set your GPS for the Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center.

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Why do I need a ticket?

To experience all that the Historic Area has to offer—including live action, theatrical performances, vibrant gardens, guided tours of original 18th-century buildings, personal interaction with townspeople, three museums, and so much more—you’ll need an admission ticket.

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Where is the closest airport and train station?

There are more than 200 daily flights into three nearby airports.


  • Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (PHF) (20 minutes)
  • Norfolk International Airport (ORF) (45 minutes)
  • Richmond International Airport (RIC) (45 minutes)
  • Click the here to download the full-size graphic.


  • Amtrak serves the Williamsburg Transportation Center with a connecting train from Washington, D.C. The center is just blocks from the Revolutionary City and provides car rentals and a cab stand.
  • Amtrak: 1-800-872-7245 or (757) 229-8750

Where should I start?

Begin your visit at the Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center.

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Where can I park? Is there a bus system?

Automobiles are not permitted in the Historic Area, but shuttle-bus service is provided.

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When can I visit?

Colonial Williamsburg is open 365 days a year, with reduced program schedule in January. During the reduced program scheduling tickets to Historic Trades and Historic Area programming are not available to guests.

What should I see?

When you arrive, start your visit at the Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center to pick up a free copy of the “Colonial Williamsburg Map & Guide” and “Today's Programs.” These guides will show you which buildings are open and which programs offered during your visit along with a map and helpful tips.

Which buildings in the Historic Area can I enter?

Buildings with flags at their entrances are open to ticket holders. Not all colonial buildings are open to the public; some are privately occupied by employees of Colonial Williamsburg and their families, and some hold administrative offices.

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How long does it take to tour the Historic Area?

Colonial Williamsburg offers its guests a variety of opportunities to relive the 18th Century. Depending on your interests or focus, visits vary in length and activities. Guests can get a small sample of the Historic Area in about half a day, but plan to stay at least two or three days to enjoy the full experience. Colonial Williamsburg is filled with exciting historic sites, informative programs that are constantly changing and expanding, and family-friendly fun.

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What happens during bad weather?

The Historic Area is open all year, with a reduced program schedule in January. 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 inside activities. Extenuating circumstances such as steady rain for more than 3 hours during the day may sometimes require a guest to request a ticket for another days’ visit. And at Colonial Williamsburg guest satisfaction always comes first. Only if requested the guest will be offered a return visit (given same product originally purchased) that must be used by the end of the current year.

Where can I rent colonial costumes?

Learn more about costume rental in our Shopping section.

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What can we do in the evening?

Evening programs include tours, plays, dances, concerts, and reenactments. Evening meals in colonial taverns are complete with strolling musicians and 18th-century fare. From romantic to kid-friendly, there’s something to do every night of your stay.

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Can I make a reservation for a carriage or wagon ride?

Tickets are sold on the day of the ride at all Colonial Williamsburg ticket locations. Availability is limited, and tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis, so purchase your ticket early in the morning. Reservations are not taken in advance due to the unpredictable nature of the weather.

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Are costumed people in character?

All costumed interpreters will be acting as residents of the Historic Area and will portray the period leading up to or during the Revolutionary War. Many guests enjoy dressing in 18th-century costume, and you may encounter them during your stay.

Where can I stay?

Colonial Williamsburg’s official hotels offer a range of accommodations. Whether you’re traveling for business, looking for a romantic getaway, or planning a family vacation, you’ll find an option that will meet your needs.

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Are pets allowed?

The Williamsburg Inn, The Williamsburg Lodge, The Griffin Hotel, and Williamsburg Woodlands offer pet friendly accommodations based on availability.

Is there a fee to bring a pet?

Yes. The Williamsburg Inn, The Williamsburg Lodge, and The Griffin Hotel guesthouses require a non-refundable $50 per day cleaning fee. The Williamsburg Lodge accepts dogs only. The Williamsburg Woodlands requires a non-refundable $25 per day cleaning fee.

Is there a deposit required for pets?


Are there restrictions for weight, height, or types?

Yes. Dogs must be less than 50 pounds and no more than 2 dogs per room are permitted. You will be asked to sign a short pet policy accepting responsibility for any damage or special cleaning costs. We'll also ask for your cellular phone number so we may contact you, if necessary, while your pet is alone in the room.

Pet policy for the Williamsburg Inn and The Griffin Hotel.

Pet policy for the Williamsburg Woodlands.

Are there places to eat?

From historic taverns to modern sandwich shops and bistros, the Revolutionary City, Colonial Williamsburg Resort, and Merchants Square have plenty of choices to please all tastes. Restrooms are available, and cool drinks can be purchased throughout town.

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Are there places to shop?

The Colonial Williamsburg Resort and the Revolutionary City are complemented by convenient and unique shopping options. From luxe home accessories to authentic reproduction 18th-century flatware and furniture—you’ll find the perfect gift, souvenir, or accent for your home.

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Is the Historic Area accessible?

A limited number of folding wheelchairs are rented on a first-come, first-served basis from the Visitor Center. Ramps and wheelchair lifts are available at selected sites, but many buildings require a few steps.

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Where can I get information on bringing a large group of people or hosting an event or meeting?

Try something different—plan your next group event here. Whether it’s a high-profile meeting, educational school trip, or romantic wedding, you'll find facilities and amenities suited to your tastes and needs.

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