Museums in Williamsburg

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  • Smith's Fort Plantation
    Founded in 1889, Preservation Virginia is one of the oldest historic-preservation organizations in the country. Its dedicated team has worked on more than 200 historic places, including landscapes, structures, and archaeological sites. The organization provides visitors with a tangible example of life in the past at a number of historic homes from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, including Patrick Henry's and Chief Justice John Marshall's homes. Historic Jamestowne, the site of the first permanent British settlement in North America, recreates the landscape of the first meeting between the explorers and Native Americans. Due to the work of the organization, visitors still gaze upon a yeoman planter's cottage that dates back to 1740. Preservation Virginia also teaches aspiring laymen during conservation workshops, compiles lists of endangered historic sites, and spearheads tobacco-barn-protection efforts.
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    217 Smith Fort Ln
    Surry, VA US
  • Ripley's Believe It or Not
    An extensively strange museum, Ripley's Believe It or Not! boasts more than 350 exhibits showcasing odd, rare, and mind-undoing world records, people, and animals. At the in-house 4-D theater, Ripley's hosts thrilling flicks with fantastical on-screen action—action that is complemented by the fourth dimension of interaction, in-audience effects. To cap off the strange-sperience, visitors take a single shot at the impossible laser race, a laser-laden challenge that requires cat-like balance and a cat's-cradle-like ability to weave through light beams. Between perusing the exhibits, taking in the audio-visual amalgamation of the theater, and overcoming futuristic obstacles, this adventurous outing to Ripley's is primed to shock, surprise, and brain-tickle even the most seasoned of UFO investigators or pilots.
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    1735 Richmond Rd
    Williamsburg, VA US
  • Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
    Colonial Williamsburg's 300 acres of taverns, tradeshops, homes, and community buildings stand preserved as if it were the 1770s, at the turbulent moment when Virginia colonists were debating independence from Britain. As visitors stroll the sun-dappled streets, they immerse themselves in the daily life of the town's citizens—shopkeepers, artisans, politicians, and enslaved servants who dream of freedom, but fear the chaos of war. Political discussions and protest demonstrations give guests the chance to leap into the revolutionary spirit themselves. Or, they can browse the town's 22 historic trade shops, where nearly 80 masters, journeymen, and apprentices practice pre-industrial trades from blacksmithing to leatherworking. A duet of museums give historical context to the town's vibrant life. Housed under one roof, the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum let guests admire three centuries' worth of rustic ornamental woodwork or learn how a portrait of George Washington saved a family farm. Alternatively, for a taste of the 20th century, they can stroll across the landscaped grounds of Basset Hall, the former residence of John D. and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Jr.
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    301 First St
    Williamsburg, VA US