Williamsburg is the most popular destination in the state of Virginia – there is a lot a family can pack into a day trip or one that lasts just a few days. Williamsburg vacations offer the opportunity to learn and experience a lot in a family-friendly environment. Check out these four reasons why Williamsburg vacations are a great family option.


Spend the day at Busch Gardens Williamsburg and make sure to ride the Alpengeist, a runaway ski lift on an inverted steel roller coaster than takes riders on a series of drops and loops, including climbs as high as 195 feet into the air. Thrill-seekers should brave the Apollo’s Chariot, the 4,882 foot-long purple roller coaster that is a whopping 170-foot tall. The highest point drops coaster riders 210 feet and goes as fast as 73 miles per hour.

Just around the corner from Busch Gardens you’ll find Water Country USA®. The state’s largest water park is perfect for visitors who want to enjoy water slides or lounge in pools or lazy rivers. The park offers appealing attractions for visitors, no matter their wishes. There are areas designated just for kids that feature shallow pools and playground attractions. Water Country USA® makes life easy for its guests; the park offers free life jackets, baby changing tables, nursing rooms, kid-friendly menus, and stroller rentals.


There are various world-class museums in Williamsburg guests rave about, and you will too. The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and the DeWitt Wallace Museum are located inside a building that housed mentally ill patients years ago. The fascinating museum is full to the brim with items children of all ages love to see, such as toys from different time periods and antique dollhouses. There are also hands-on activities, like drawing pictures, throughout the museums. Kids will love the Down on the Farm and Sidewalks to Rooftops exhibits, and make sure your teens can see the special audio tour by teenagers called “Teen Takes: A New Angle on Art.”


The Berkeley Plantation is one of many places just outside of the city that offers guests the chance to learn an abundance of history. In nearby Charles City you’ll find the Berkeley Plantation, the birthplace of former President G.B. Harrison. It also serves as the Civil War headquarters of General McClellan and was the site of the very first official Thanksgiving in 1619. When you visit, guides wearing costumes provide tours and information about the Plantation. The 1726 mansion is available for tour and so are the riverfront Gardens, only closing on Thanksgiving and Christmas. There are many more historical sites to see in the area, which is why USA TODAY readers voted Williamsburg No. 3 on the 10 Best Historic List.


If you want some fresh air and to keep the family active, there are various parks that are worth visiting while your family is in Williamsburg. Waller Mill Park offers walking and hiking trails, and canoes and kayaks are available for rent on the lake. Enjoy the beauty and peace and visit the park ready to have a picnic and enjoy nature and the scenery.

The Beach

Jamestown Beach Event Park is the perfect year-round place to visit for fun for you and your family. Grill dinner on the park’s charcoal grills, enjoy fishing (a freshwater license is required), and plan to get some ice cream cones at the concession stand if you visit between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Swim (there are no lifeguards on duty) and enjoy the sand and sun, followed by beautiful views of the sunset.

Williamsburg is packed with places to visit and award-winning things to do all year long. The city is rich in history, will satisfy the thrill-seekers, and offers an abundance of places to get active and enjoy breathtaking scenery. Your family trip to Williamsburg will be one that creates memories that last a lifetime.

Katie Parsons travels with her family often and writes about it on parenting blog Mumbling Mommy. She is a reservation communications specialist with Westgate Resorts.