This home, which was built in the mid-1750s, belonged to George Wythe, who helped to lead the patriotic movement against England's rule and became Virginia's first signer of the Declaration of Independence. His home, which stands today as part of the Colonial Williamsburg living museum, has been restored to how it would have looked when George Wythe and his wife lived there. Aside from being the home of a famous patriot, the house also served as George Washington's headquarters when the British seized Yorktown. Thomas Jefferson also made a visit to the home in 1776, adding to the house's list of famous guests. Today, visitors can explore the beautiful brick building and perhaps even imagine that they are standing where George Washington once stood.
The Bassett Hall is an 18th Century farmhouse that is known for its prominent owners, lovely architectural details, and Colonial Revival gardens. The house was named in 1800 after its owner Burwell Bassett, who was Martha Washington's nephew. In the the 1920s, John D. Rockefeller Jr. moved in with his wife Abby Aldrich Rockefeller and they renovated the already historic home. Today, you can see how the Rockefellers lived since the building and its furniture has been beautifully preserved. After taking a tour make sure you take a stroll around the gorgeous gardens.
Music aficionados will be sure to love the Virginia Musical Museum, where historic and beautiful instruments from throughout Virginia's history are on display. Visitors to the museum will learn all about the fascinating history of music in Virginia and will recognize some of the famous musicians that have come out of Virginia, including June Carter, Ella Fitzgerald, and Wayne Newton. Kids will delight in watching the music boxes and nickelodeons play music, witness a talking doll, and explore the amusement park musical instruments. Whatever your age, you are sure to be fascinated by the instruments on display at the Virginia Musical Museum.
This beautifully laid out museum hosts an extensive range of antiques and artifacts from colonial USA and the United Kingdom. Permanent exhibits include American Furniture: From Virginia to Vermont, which showcases local furniture dating from the late seventeenth century. There are also some beautiful examples of silverware and ceramics; one notable feature is a sterling silver chandelier, made for King William III.
The Governor's Palace was the home of Colony of Virginia's Royal Governors and later post-colonial governors Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry. Built in the early 1700s, the main building was burned down in 1781 and was reconstructed in 1930. The reconstructed building was based upon the original architectural design as well as influenced by Jefferson's suggested renovations while he was a governor. Visitors can tour this elegant residence which was built to showcase the Crown's influence. After seeing the Palace, make sure you explore the gardens outside and see if you can navigate your way around the boxwood maze.
The Peyton Randolph House is noteworthy because it is both a prime example of colonial architecture, and a reminder of the history of slavery in Williamsburg. The house, which is located inside the Colonial Williamsburg living museum, was built in 1715 and has undergone several restorations. Visitors today will be able to see what the house looked like when in was owned by Peyton Randolph in the early 1700s. Randolph acted as the first President of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, the event that eventually led the forming of the Unites States. Visitors to the house can wander through its beautiful halls while also learning about the slaves that lived in the outer houses, and what their lives were like. The house is sometimes opened up at night for special night tours, during which visitors search for the many ghosts that are said to haunt this big red estate.
Inspired by the 18th Century architectural history of Williamsburg, Merchants Square is a lovely blend of old charm and new flair. Beautiful colonial buildings house a variety of boutiques, shops and restaurants. If it's souvenirs you're looking for, head over to Everything Williamsburg, or if it's a new outfit you're after, try clothing boutiques located in the square. There are plenty of fabulous restaurants in the area too, with menus that range from seafood, to comfort food. The square also offers a variety of practical amenities and services, such as banks and ATMS, information centers and ticketing booths.
In operation since 1933, Kimball Theater is an independent theater that can seat 410 people. Featuring chandeliers, warm lighting and elegant wall sconces, the theater has a cozy ambience for catching the latest event. Besides the main theater, there is also a 35-seat screening room that shows contemporary, art house films as well as films by independent filmmakers. The theater presents all kinds of programs, from question and answer sessions with iconic people to dramas and live music events. There is also a bar on-site from where patrons can buy drinks and refreshments.
Established in 1693, the College of William & Mary is the second-oldest educational institution in the United States; just a few decades younger than the prestigious Harvard University. Commissioned by King William III and Queen Mary II, the college received royal patronage until 1776, when it was declared as a public establishment. A public research university since 1906, the college currently has a strength of nearly 8,500 students and offers a diverse range of undergraduate and graduate courses. Set amidst a beautiful 1,200 acre (485.62 hectares) campus, the property is home to a multitude of historical pieces of architecture such as the Earl Gregg Swem Library, the Matoaka Amphitheater, and the Crim Dell bridge. Most notable alumni include Robert M. Gates, Mike Tomlin, Christina Romer, John Stewart and David M. Brown.
Williamsburg Presbyterian Church is housed in a classically built brick building, very much in keeping with the colonial architectural styles of surrounding buildings. Its weekly services are on Saturdays and Sundays (the second Sunday service is broadcast on local radio) along with other events throughout the year. Check their website for details and service times.
The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Museum honors the work of past and present art visionaries. Featuring a variety of ongoing and temporary exhibitions ranging from painting to the art of quilting, the museum offers a rich visual tapestry that epitomizes America's long and distinctive history of folk art. Admission is included in your ticket to Colonial Williamsburg