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A Guide to Williamsburg’s Museum Scene

Williamsburg, Virginia, is home to a diverse menu of thrills, culture, entertainment and education. Between Jamestown and Yorktown, Colonial Williamsburg, Busch Gardens, the sailing and hiking scenes, and all the shopping and dining you could ever want, you’ll never run out of things to do in the picturesque Historic Triangle!

Williamsburg is also a magnet for history lovers all over the world. If you’re interested in knowing more about Williamsburg’s amazing museums, read on!

For Fine Works of Art

College of William & Mary’s Muscarelle Museum

This museum’s collection has been growing since 1732, and now holds almost 5,000 works of art! Explore English and American portraits from the 17th and 18th centuries, a collection of European and American prints and drawings dating from as early as the 6th century, plus Japanese prints, African art, Asian ceramics, and a remarkable collection of German Expressionist works. The Museum also has special exhibitions that bring works of art from public and private collections worldwide. Check them out here!

DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum 

One of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg (the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum is the other) the DeWitt contains 15 galleries that display the furniture, paintings, firearms, textiles, ceramics and more from the 17th – 19th centuries. Here you can also meet the ghosts of the Public Hospital, where the earliest mentally ill patients were kept in America.

Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum 

Under the same roof as the DeWitt, this folk art museum contains one of the largest collections of American folk art in the world. Browse an amazing variety of paintings, sculptures, and other objects created by talented, self-trained artists and craftsmen!

For Living History

The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown gives you the opportunity to learn about our nation’s revolutionary heritage through fascinating gallery exhibits and outdoor living history displays. Experience real-life exhibits of a Continental Army encampment and an original Revolution-era farm. This is one of the few places in the country you can visit that offers a living-history experience, coming as close as possible to life as it was hundreds of years ago!

Jamestown Settlement

Jamestown is a cultural landmark and virtual living exhibit—a must-see as America’s first permanent English colony. Explore replicas of the first three ships that sailed from England to Virginia in 1607, and marvel at the recreations of military outpost James Fort and a Powhatan Indian village.

For Science

Virginia Living Museum

If you’re looking for an engaging day trip that your kids will love, the Virginia Living Museum is just right! Just a 20-minute drive from King’s Creek Plantation, you’ll find Virginia’s living creatures on vivid display. Explore fascinating galleries and exhibits that showcase the amazing flora and fauna of Virginia, from plant and animal life to the far reaches of the universe. We’d recommend checking out the Abbitt Observatory, with a computer-controlled telescope that shows you the heavens, and the planetarium theatre, which hosts amazing shows all year.  

Virginia Air & Space Center (VASC)

The VASC is located in nearby Hampton, Virginia—the birthplace of America’s space program! If you’re a space nerd, a science geek, or just a diehard learning enthusiast, you shouldn’t miss an opportunity to visit a place that teaches about the wonders of our world, both seen and unseen. It’s a perfect setting for growing minds, too, and features exhibits that will turn your kids into passionate scientists! Come for the IMAX movies, flight simulator, and exhibits that ignite the imagination.

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