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Visit a living museum at Colonial Williamsburg

Get an up-close look at what life was like for America's founding generation.

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — Colonial Williamsburg is the largest living history museum in the country. The historic area is a mile long and a half mile wide -- filled with experiences to connect you with life in Virginia’s 18th century capital.

There are real craftspeople, historical reenactments, military demonstrations and more.

Authentically costumed people, or interpreters, explain what life was like for America’s founding generation.

Credit: WUSA9
An actor-interpreter portraying George Wythe, Thomas Jefferson’s legal mentor, gives an informative speech to a crowd.

Walking down the town’s main street is an immersive experience. Some actor-interpreters talk to visitors from an authentic first-person perspective. The experience is meant to give visitors a glimpse into what life was like for those who built America, including enslaved and free African Americans.

Credit: Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Enslaved and free African Americans made up more than half of Colonial Williamsburg’s population during the Revolutionary era.

While anyone can walk around the main street of Colonial Williamsburg, tickets are needed to enter many of the historical sites. Tickets can be purchased in advance online. They include access to an on-site shuttle.

Credit: WUSA9
Carriage rides are available for an extra cost.

Blacksmiths, woodworkers and other craftspeople are trained in 18th century techniques to produce goods for cultural institutions across the globe. Visitors can watch the men and women at work while learning about the different trades.

Credit: WUSA9
If a Grand Union flag is displayed outside a building, it is currently open to ticketholders.

There are two world-class art museums in Colonial Williamsburg. The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum contains collections of southern furniture, British ceramics and do-it-yourself activities in the Education Studio. The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum is home to one of the largest collections of American folk art.

Download the Colonial Williamsburg app to access an interactive map, performance schedules and more.

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