Discover Williamsburg Beyond Traditional History
They say you need to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes to understand their experiences. So, lace up your sneakers and join in on one of Williamsburg’s diverse and original walking tours. These themed tours of the city include historic tours, ghost tours and seasonally-offered Christmas tours. With so much preserved history in Williamsburg, there’s a lot to explore, including Colonial Williamsburg’s 301-acre Historic Area. These walking tours offer three centuries of extraordinary history, an endless collection of local stories and are led by knowledgeable professionals with decades of experience.
Colonial Williamsburg Walking Tours
While you’re free to explore all of the attractions around the 301-acre Historic Area on your own, you can learn even more along one of Colonial Williamsburg’s informative guided tours. There are several tours available that take you into the homes, gardens and shops of Colonial Williamsburg’s 18th-century locals. Along with getting an inside look at the history surrounding the city and the people who helped shape the nation, tours at Colonial Williamsburg also include behind-the-scenes tours, tours specifically for children, tours of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg and more. ColonialWilliamsburg.com/Explore/Tours
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Celebrate Williamsburg’s African-American History
Williamsburg Walking Tours
Immerse yourself in the area’s little-known history as you follow along Williamsburg’s exclusive history tour dedicated to the African-American experience. Williamsburg Walking Tours offers the city’s only tour dedicated solely to black history. During the 18th century, African American slaves, freedmen, craftsmen and businessmen comprised half of the city’s population. This tour gives an exclusive and well-researched glimpse into the lives of African-American people.
In 1742, a 10-year-old boy was brought to Yorktown as a slave and given the name Caesar. Caesar went on to become a talented barber. Find out how Caesar used his skill to become a spy for the Patriot cause. Then, as a freed man named John Hope, became a well-known barber catering exclusively to white clientele.
This intimate tour around the Historic Area guides guests along the same streets, shops and homes that enslaved African American’s walked when they were brought to this burgeoning city. Williamsburg Walking Tours’ African American History Tour has earned Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence and has received reviews from visitors all over the country. Hear more stories on the achievements and contributions of African American’s from the beginning of America’s story, and discover the impact they had on Colonial Williamsburg and the Revolutionary War.
Ghost Walks in Williamsburg
As dusk falls over the cobbled streets, you know it’s time for some eerie experiences. Every now and then we all like to indulge in a little frightful fun, whether it’s watching a scary movie or riding a roller coaster. But since Williamsburg is full of history, the city comes with its historical haunts. If you’re feeling brave and in the mood for a hair-raising experience, schedule a time during your Williamsburg vacation to embark on a ghostly walking tour where some of the area’s deepest and darkest haunts are uncovered. Williamsburg offers ghost tours that are sure to scare your socks off!
Official Colonial Williamsburg Ghost Walk
Begin your terrifying tour at Colonial Williamsburg on the Official Colonial Williamsburg Ghost Walk. Creep through the streets and gardens of the historic area as a guide shares stories of the spirits who call Williamsburg home. Colonial Williamsburg also offers the only ghost tour that takes brave visitors inside the centuries-old historic buildings. The past will come to life as you hear ghostly tales of hauntings and horrors straight from 18th-century sources. For more kid-friendly, not-too-spooky fun, take the Official Ghost Walk Junior, recommended for families with children ages 4–7.
Original Ghosts of Williamsburg Tours
Hear haunting tales and even spot spooky specters on Virginia’s oldest ghost tour. The Original Ghosts of Williamsburg leads guests on a candlelit stroll through the shadowy streets of the Historic Triangle. These tours combine local folklore with historical facts, ghost stories and even some humor. For an elevated eerie experience, take the Extreme Ghost Tour. This late-night tour is two hours long and gives guests the chance to use ghost-hunting equipment to track any paranormal activity. Stops include the historic Peyton Randolph House—one of the most haunted houses in the United States, where creepy activity continues to happen today.
The Original Ghosts of Williamsburg also offers a Ghosts of Yorktown tour. This hour-and-a-half long tour cruises the dark streets of Yorktown. Listen as the ghost guide shares tales of deceased soldiers from the Revolutionary War, who may be seen walking though the battlefields. Stops include the York River Waterfront, including Cornwallis’ haunted cave.
Colonial Ghosts Tours
Ranked in the top ten of the “13 Bone-Chilling Haunted Tours” by US City Traveler, Colonial Ghosts has earned Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence in 2018. These tours offer a genuine experience based on research, eyewitness interviews and a ghost story book connected to factual and historic events. They offer daily daytime cemetery tours and nightly ghost tours. The most popular tour, the Ultimate Ghost Tour, skips the theatrical show and gets straight to the informative stories. These stories span from the Colonial era, through the Civil War and even to the 21st century. Journey, if you dare, to the Public Hospital—America’s first “insane asylum.” Rumor has it that Dr. John Minson Galt, II still haunts the grounds where he lived and worked. Colonial Ghosts also gives amateur ghost hunters a chance to use ghost hunting equipment, just like paranormal investigators, on their ghost hunt.
Put your camera phones to work as you tour the sites of some of Colonial Williamsburg’s most haunted places and capture photos of the ghosts that dwell there. Author Tim Scullion conducted a photo study with over 10,000 photos and used them to write “Haunted Historic Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia: with Breakthrough Ghost Photography.” His book is now the basis of the Ghostographer Tour. Every stop on the tour features the best photos taken by Scullion. Two tours are offered—the Williamsburg West Tour and the Williamsburg East Tour. Learn the background, and possibly the identities, of the phantoms in the photos.
Williamsburg Walking Tours’ Ghost Tour
Another ghost tour that tells haunted stories of the past is Williamsburg Walking Tours’ Ghostly Tales. This journey is an eerie, 60-minute tour through the colonial capital led by an expert of ghostly lore from the days of old. Legend has it that ghosts have stirred up all sorts of trouble in some of these areas; it’s merely up to the brave to find out which ones.
Holiday Tours in Williamsburg
During the holiday season, Williamsburg sparkles with glistening lights and ornate wreaths. Take a tour of the historic homes, decorated in the traditional colonial style.
Williamsburg Walking Tours offers a Christmas Past & Present Walking Tour. During Thanksgiving weekend through New Year’s Eve, stroll down Williamsburg’s colonial streets and discover how Christmas was celebrated from the 18th-century to modern day. While you take in the festive decorations, learn the history of the decorations and hear stories from Christmases of the past.
Whether it is your first time in Williamsburg, or your 50th, the guided walking tours offered around the area never disappoint and are sure to show you and your family an unforgettable time filled with lots of laughs, thrills and new stories to share.