Don’t Visit Colonial Williamsburg Without This Action Packed Family Trip Itinerary

Colonial Williamsburg 48 Hour Itinerary – Things to Do In Colonial Williamsburg, Va With Kids

Colonial Williamsburg Best Itinerary.jpg2

Colonial Williamsburg, but make it Exciting!

This exciting Colonial Williamsburg Itinerary for your family is filled with pastries, mansions, and ghosts. Take a carriage ride, have a picnic on the lawn and tour the historic Governor’s Mansion.

Williamsburg, VA Accolades

In general, the Williamsburg area is full of highly rated attractions and accomodations with activities for all ages. These are just the highlights- we’ll touch on all of our favorties throughout this post.

Colonial Williamsburg Itinerary with Kids
The kids running around outside on the Palace Green in Colonial Williamsburg

Things to do: Colonial Williamsburg Itinerary

48 Hours- Here’s What We Did With the Kids at Colonial Williamsburg VA

As a Virginia native, we grew up going to CW for field trips every year. It was great at first and then it became boring. But, as an adult with young kids, now living in Williamsburg, we LOVE going downtown to Colonial Williamsburg and enjoying all it has to offer.

Day 1. Wander Colonial Williamsburg (Saturday)

  • Breakfast pastries at Aroma’s World
  • Hit the Farmer’s Market
  • Walk around Historic Colonial Williamsburg
  • Schedule a Children’s Tour of the Governor’s Palace
  • Lunch at Golden Horseshoe Clubhouse Grille
  • Shop on Duke of Gloucester Street
  • Dinner at Sals

Day 2. Take the Colonial Tours (Sunday)

  • Sunday Breakfast at Blue Talon
  • Carriage Ride around the Estate
  • Lunch at DoG Street Pub
  • Art Museums at Colonial Williamsburg
  • Dinner at La Piazza, Mellow Mushroom
  • Ice cream at Kilwins

Grab the Printable Itinerary at the bottom of this post.

Aromas World Cafe at Williamsburg Farmers Market
Aroma's Cafe in Williamsburg Virginia on

Breakfast Pastries at Aroma’s World

Lunch at Aromas World Cafe

Another local Williamsburg favorite is Aromas. Whether you’re grabbing a coffee or lunch, you will find something you love.

Aromas World | Menu | Facebook Page | 757-221-6676

431 Prince George Street
Williamsburg, VA 23185
Monday, Tuesday & Thursday 7:30AM – 5:00PM
Wednesday 7:30AM – 5:00PM
Friday – Saturday 7:30AM – 8:00PM
Sunday 7:30AM – 5:00PM
Local Aromas cafe coffee shop in Williamsburg VA
Grab a coffee at Aromas in Williamsburg while you are on vacation here

What to Expect at Aromas

Aromas is a narrow brick bistro, reminiscent of a french cafe, with dark wood paneling, black painted ceilings and a sponged ochre colored wall (that’s yellowish). The tables show signs of many cups of coffee had while enjoying the company of a friend.

The walls are lined with local artwork. And the tables are close together, you’ll likely have to push your way through with excuse me’s and pardon.

But it is worth every second of waiting in line for a coffee and a specialty pastry from the cabinet or one of our favorite meals from below for lunch.

On Saturday mornings you’ll catch them with a pop up shop at the Farmer’s market a few streets over. You’ll know its’ Aromas because the line will be snaked around other vendors. It’s a local favorite. You can still pop into the store on Sat. mornings if you prefer.

Fan Food Favorites

  • Coffee
  • Quiche
  • Cranberry Muffin
  • Stuffed French Toast

Lunch Favs

  • Nachos (the kids’ favorite)
  • Grilled Cheese + goldfish (kids)
  • Portobello burger
  • Aromas Club (husband’s favorite)
  • House Salad (my favorite)
  • Nachos (after 3PM- this is an adult portion)

Don’t forget to check the bakery counter for delicious muffins, cupcakes, scones and pie. You’ll even find tasty quiches.

fresh produce at the Williamsburg farmers market

Hit the Farmer’s Market

Williamsburg Farmer’s Market (Saturday Mornings)

Over 30 local vendors offer a variety of products, among which are fresh seasonal produce, free-range chicken, beef, pork, fish, seafood (crabs!), fresh cut flowers, baked goods, confections, honey, goat cheese, mushrooms, kombucha, handmade soaps, and more.

Website | Facebook Page | P: 757-259-3768

Francis Street Parking Lot
401 W Francis Street
Williamsburg, VA 23185
Saturdays: 8AM- 12 noon
April 1- December 20

There’s something for everyone to enjoy at the Farmers Market. We usually start off with a coffee from the Aromas tent and then grab a breakfast pastry.

Next we head straight for the goat cheese which comes in a variety of flavors from chives to bacon and pumpkin to chocolate. It’s truly a delight.

Then we grab a pie from Jamestown Pie Company, sometimes a quiche and other times a strawberry rhubarb mini pie.

MUST LOVE DOGS. That’s right, it’s a pet lovers dream- pups everywhere, walking CW with their families.

Here's a helpful map of the farmer's market in Williamsburg VA for your vacation visit.

Walk around Historic Colonial Williamsburg

It’s time to head downtown to Colonial Williamsburg. You don’t have to be a planner or spend a ton to enjoy CW.

If you’re a history buff, it can be enjoyable to plan the trip and do one of the scheduled tours of shops and attractions.

Here’s the low down on admission. You are welcome to walk around Colonial Williamsburg free off charge. There’s plenty to see.

From Duke of Gloucester Street shopping and dining to walking around the Palace Green (lawn) and through the gardens, outside of the homes and buildings.

However, if you want to enter the buildings to see how candles are made or what a historical blacksmith did, you’ll want to get tickets.

If you are a local Williamsburg or James City County resident, you can purchase the Good Neighbor pass which includes discounts all over the city to local attractions and vendors.

Below are the ticketing options, plus add ons.

Colonial Williamsburg Ticket Pricing (Sept 2021) | TICKETS |

101 Visitor Center Drive, Williamsburg, VA 23185

Walk Around Self GuidedFREEFREE
Single-Day Ticket$44.99$24.99
Fall into Holiday Savings Ticket (Fall – Dec 31)$54.99$29.99
Annual Pass$74.99$41.99
Art Museum Pass$14.99$8.99
Historic Triangle Ticket (Colonial Wmsbg, Jamestown, Yorktown)$106.40$46.95
Good Neighbor Pass (residents)$19.99$9.99

There are add ons that you can also schedule, but you must purchase a CW ticket in order to do those activities.

Haunted Williamsburg$19$12
Carriage Ride$50 for family

Lastly, make sure you check the CW website because they run specials, have discounts for groups, and have discounts for teachers, military, medicaid and lodging.

If you have time in your itinerary to go to Jamestown or Yorktown, do the Historic Triangle pass because you’ll save some dough. (Jamestown is REALLY cool).

Schedule a Children’s Tour of the Governor’s Palace

By far the coolest thing we have ever done in Colonial Williamsburg was go on a Governor’s Palace tour with the kids. (It’s free with the daily ticket or Good Neighbor locals pass).

In fact, I would do this over and over again. You start out in the kitchen and servant’s wing of the property and work your way through the marble entryway, parlors, bedrooms of First Lady and children.

You’ll make your way to the ballroom and the entertaining spaces before heading out the East Wing into the Governor’s Palace gardens, which includes a boxwood maze. If you were wondering, I got lost, ha!

Note to self: do the tour before it’s blazing hot- ideally early fall so that you don’t get stuck in a maze of bushes with young kids who are hungry and tired in the blazing sun.

One of the entertaining spaces in the Colonial Williamsburg Governor's Palace mansion. The green paint is a historically accurate representation of the style at the time of it's use.
One of the entertaining spaces in the Colonial Williamsburg Governor’s Palace mansion. The green paint is a historically accurate representation of the style at the time of it’s use.
One of the ballroom spaces in the Colonial Williamsburg Governor's Palace mansion. The blue paint is a historically accurate representation of the style at the time of it's use.
This grand, brightly colored blue room was a ballroom where we learned a traditional Colonial dance.

The architecture and design details of the Governor’s Palace are phenomenal. I wish I could take longer to walk through the spaces and comb over ever little detail.

It is definitely worth the guided tour and something you won’t want to miss.

Taking the Free Road

If you are looking for fun cheap or free, you can still have a great time downtown without spending a ton. While I suggest budgeting a bit for lunch or drinks as it’s a lot of walking, you don’t need to do guided tours to enjoy the exterior of the homes, window shopping or looking at the landscape.

The area if partly shaded and partly in full sun, so dress appropriately for hot days (75 – 100 degrees) and bring a jacket or coat on cooler days (75 and cooler).

You can walk the property from Duke of Gloucester Street and Price George Street to the Palace Green, down to the Capital. Follow behind the Capital and loop back around to Nicholson street and head back towards the start.

You can then cross the street and see the Art Museum and Galleries on the corner of Francis Street & Henry Street.

Looking at the map on the Colonial Williamsburg website will clear these directions up for you!

Gold Course grille Williamsburg, VA

Lunch at Golden Horseshoe Clubhouse Grille

Enjoy fresh Virginia local oak smoked BBQ, sandwiches and burgers sure to satisfy. A gathering place for golfers and guests alike, the Gold Course Clubhouse.

401 S England St.
Williamsburg, VA 23185
Monday – Sunday : 11:00 AM – 3:00PM
Check Seasonal Dates

Shop on Duke of Gloucester Street/Merchants Square

Shop til you drop on Duke of Gloucester Street in Colonial Williamsburg! Merchant’s Square has shops hosting colonial trinkets, to housewares and t shirts, there’s something for everyone.

Here is a listing of the shops of DOG Street:

  • Everything Williamsburg (the name says it all)
  • Brick & Vine – WILLIAMSBURG® brand home décor
  • Williamsburg Revolutions
  • Blink – Decoe & High Style Interior Design Shop
  • William & Mary Campus Shop – Grab your W&M gear
  • The Carousel – Boutique children’s clothing
  • Chico’s – Women’s clothing
  • Christmas Shop – all the ornaments you could ask for
  • Danforth – Handcrafted pewter jewelry and decor
  • FatFace – clothing
  • French Twist Boutique – Fashion with a Parisian Flair
  • J Fenton Gallery – women’s clothing
  • The Peanut Shop – Gourmet, flavored peanuts
  • The Precious Gem – custom designed jewelery
  • General Wallace Souvenirs
  • Scotland House – gifts & apparel
  • The Shoe Attic – the best shoes in every style
  • Spice & Tea Exchange – custom tea blends you’ll love
  • Three Cabanas – Lilly Pulitzer shop in Williamsburg
  • Wythe Candy – when bribing the kids, pay up here to tasty treats and handmade chocolates
  • Williamsburg Winery Tasting Room
Sals by Victor for dinner in Williamsburg VA while on vacation

Dinner at Sals

Hands down the best Italian restaurant in Williamsburg, Virginia is Sals by Victor- it is phenomenal. While we have our favorites, there’s nothing not to love at Sals.

You’ll find carefully curated specials and a wine cellar to match your taste. The restaurant is HUGE so we hardly ever have to wait, even when it’s packed they manage to find a way.

Sals by Victor | Menu | Facebook Page | (757) 220-2641

1242 Richmond Rd.
Williamsburg, VA 23185
Sunday – Thursday : 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Friday & Sat: 11:00 AM – 12:00 AM

Fan Food Favorites

  • We love the Seafood Thermadore
  • cheese pizza or gluten free cheese pizza for the win
  • the kids love kids spaghetti + meatballs
  • italian sub is delish
  • chocolate cheesecake for dessert

Day 2. Downtown Adventures & Colonial Tours

On Day 2 of our mini Colonial Williamsburg, VA vacation itinerary we’ll focus on fun things to do outdoors with the kids. Back to Colonial Williamsburg to start off the day, but this time at Blue Talon.

  • Sunday Breakfast at Blue Talon
  • Carriage Ride around the Estate
  • Lunch at DoG Street Pub
  • Art Museums at Colonial Williamsburg
  • Dinner at La Piazza, Mellow Mushroom
  • Ice cream at Kilwins

Sunday Breakfast at Blue Talon Bistro

Celebrated Chef David Everett presents his “serious comfort food” offering a break from the day’s demands with great food, wine, and service in a relaxed atmosphere. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

While we grab Sunday Brunch pretty regularly, every year my sister in law and myself head to Blue Talon for a Mimosa or Cosmo and lunch. It’s become a tradition, made special by a bustling atmosphere, amazing food and delicious drinks.

Williamsburg, VA 23185

Sunday, Monday, & Thursday
Breakfast 8:00AM – 10:30AM
All-Day Menu 11:30 – 3:00 / 4:00 – 8:00
Sunday Brunch 11:30AM – 3:00PM

Friday & Saturday
Breakfast 8:00AM – 10:30AM
All-Day Menu 11:30 – 3:00 / 4:00 – 9:00

Closed Tuesday & Wednesday

Carriage Ride around Colonial Williamsburg

By far the most fun part of the weekend will be taking a carriage ride around downtown with a horseman in full colonial attire. The horses will clop along the patrons walking down the streets as you pass the houses, governor’s mansion and the palace green.

These rides are a popular experience and often sell out quickly, so we recommend making your reservation as early in the day as possible.

Lunch at DoG Street Pub

An American Gastropub with an English accent. DoG Street Pub has been in the heart of Colonial Williamsburg since June of 2012 serving craft beer and & elevated British influenced food in a family friendly environment.

Our favorite by far are the sliders + dessert! Just look at them, yum!

Merchants Square
401 W. Duke of Gloucester St.
Williamsburg, VA 23185
Sunday, Wednesday & Thursday: 11:30 AM – 8:00 PM
Friday: 11:30 AM – 9:00 PM
Saturday: 11:30 AM – 9:00 PM
Closed Monday & Tuesday

While it might be called DoG Street Pub because it’s on Duke of Gloucester Street, the pups not only adorn the patio dining, but they feature a dog of the week over on their social pages (below are some of the pups).

Art Museums at Colonial Williamsburg

Art Museums at Colonial Williamsburg

With new exhibits coming and going, there is always something fresh and interactive to see. From pottery to tools and paintings to woven art, you will love seeing the history, taking a guided tour or exploring at your own pace.

Art Museums at Colonial Williamsburg

Dinner Time in CW

La Piazza Williamsburg

Dinner at La Piazza or Mellow Mushroom

Saturday: Grab dinner at La Piazza in Merchant’s Square. Italian restaurant featuring Northern Italian dishes including handmade pasta, salads, and healthy Mediterranean fare.

Tuesday:11:30 AM – 8:00 PM
Wednesday:11:30 AM – 8:00 PM
Thursday:11:30 AM – 8:00 PM
Friday:11:30 AM – 8:00 PM
Saturday:11:30 AM – 8:00 PM
Monday – Closed
Sunday – Closed

Sunday: Mellow Mushroom (amazing pizza, salads and more)!

Kilwins Original Recipe Ice Cream in Williamsburg VA- Things to Do in Williamsburg VA

Get Ice Cream At Kilwins

Oh Kilwins, how you derail my diet every time. THE BEST ICECREAM in Williamsburg VA is Kilwins in Colonial Williamsburg.

So after an afternoon playing at the beach, pack up the kids and head back to Colonial Williamsburg for icecream.

421 Prince George Street
Williamsburg, VA 23185
Mon – Thu:10:00 am-10:00 pm
Fri – Sat:10:00 am-11:00 pm
Sun:10:00 am-10:00 pm

We love the chocolate peanut butter, lemon, superman (the kids’ favorite, yikes) and pistachio.

Family sitting at the Palace Green Play State during October haunting
Here we are having a haunting good time with skellie and friends.

Where to Stay in Williamsburg

Getting to Williamsburg

By Car
Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Historic Triangle, which includes Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown. We are halfway between Richmond and Virginia Beach, and 150 miles south of Washington, DC.

You’ll travel along Interstate 95 to Route 64. Take Exit 238 to VA-132 South towards Colonial Williamsburg. Follow specific directions from this point.

By Plane
There are 3 airports within a short distance to fly into and travel to Williamsburg, VA:

  • Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (PHF) (20 minutes)
  • Norfolk International Airport (ORF) (45 minutes)
  • Richmond International Airport (RIC) (45 minutes)

By Train

Amtrak offers train service from Washington D.C. to the Williamsburg Transportation Center. For information call 1-800-USA-RAIL.

Downtown Colonial Williamsburg things to do- kids playing on the Palace Green

Best Places to Eat in Williamsburg

While there are a ton of choices for dinner in this touristy town, I’m going to stick to local places that aren’t chain restaurants.


  • Blue Talon Bistro
  • Fat Canary
  • Aromas
  • Baskin Robins
  • The Cheese Shop
  • DOG Street Pub
  • Berret’s Seafood
  • Blackbird Bakery
  • Illy Cafe
  • La Piazza
  • Mellow Mushroom

Our Favorite Restaurants in Williamsburg (Outside of CW)

  • Emilys Donuts
  • Aroma’s Cafe
  • The Corner Pocket
  • Sportsmans Grill
  • Sals
  • Fat Tuna
  • Food for Thought
  • Casa Pearl
  • Charley’s Airport Restaurant
  • Pierce’s BBQ
  • Old City Barbecue

Printable 48 Hour Colonial Williamsburg Itinerary for Families

Here’s your FREE copy of our 48 Hour Colonial Williamsburg Itinerary:

Colonial Williamsburg Travel Itinerary Planner
Colonial Williamsburg Travel Itinerary Planner

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Do you have any tips on things to do in Colonial Williamsburg, VA? Or, if you’re planning a trip and have questions on what to do in Williamsburg VA, please share in the comments.

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