December 16, 2019
Williamsburg, Virginia is well known as one of the best destinations for history buffs and people who want a glimpse into early colonial life. There are museums around every corner and you won’t want to miss out on any existential exhibits simply because you didn’t know about them! Luckily for you, we’ve created a list of our 5 favorite museums in Williamsburg.
Every year hundreds of thousands of people visit the United States’ first museum dedicated solely to American folk art. This unique museum not only hosts pieces of artwork that are known to draw emotional responses but paint a unique picture of the lives of the first Europeans to land here, as well as the Native Americans they encountered. The museum boasts a most impressive collection of exhibitions from outdoor sculptures to American Shop Paintings, German toys, and iron objects made in the 18th and 19th centuries. There are also several rotating displays that bring together important pieces from American history.
Colonial Williamsburg is the world’s largest living history museum and offers an experience like no other. More than just an interactive experience, the museum boasts over 40 sites and trades, 4 historic taverns, and two art museums, one of which is the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. Take a step back in time and experience the lives of early colonial settlers. Architecture fanatics, history buffs, guests aged 1-100, and every American will love this incredible museum extraordinaire.
Learn about maritime history at this interactive museum in Newport News. As you walk around the museum, you’ll find impressive displays of historic ships, fascinating stories about sailors and pirates on the open sea, and priceless artifacts that are the only connection to the ships swallowed by the sea. Entry tickets are only $1 per person as the museum aims to allow everyone to find their connection to the ocean that connects us all. After touring the museum, take a stroll on their 550-acre park with award winning trails and beautiful gardens.
Just south of Williamsburg lies Fort Eustis where the U.S. Army Transportation Museum hosts the most impressive collection of vehicles, exhibits, and artifacts. With over 7,000 objects on display, you may want to schedule more than an afternoon to visit this incredible museum. You’ll find old bomber planes from WWII, Chinooks from the Vietnam War, and overland vehicles used in various conflicts over the last century. Celebrate the feats of engineering conducted by the U.S. Army Transportation Corps at this interactive gallery of precious artifacts.
Inside Lamberson Hall on the campus of William & Mary lies a culturally rich museum with a wide range of displays. Exhibitions change seasonally from historical artifacts to collections of modern art, to student-curated exhibits. The museum also features a permanent collection that continues to grow through generous donations to the gallery. One of the most acclaimed collections are the Colonial American and English seventeenth and eighteenth-century portraits that show a glimpse into the artistic style of the period in addition to shining a light on the first settlers on this country.
One of the best parts about these museums is that you can visit them over and over again. New exhibits will come, pieces will be added to collections, and as you learn more, these museums will impact you differently. Visit one museum, visit them all, or make it a tradition to come back each year and immerse yourself in the amazing artifacts and art pieces preserved by these Williamsburg museums.
Ready to visit Williamsburg’s best museums? Book a stay at the Cedars of Williamsburg, a relaxed Bed & Breakfast housed in a Gregorian-style mansion in the heart of Williamsburg, VA.