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11 Reasons Every Parent Should Add Williamsburg, VA, To Their Summer Plans

Time to get crackin' on those summer vacay itineraries.

1. Because it's full of adventures the whole family can enjoy, like zip-lining through forest canopies and sailing on pirate schooners.

Courtesy of Visit Williamsburg

Go Ape offers zip lines, obstacle courses, and other outdoor activities for the whole family. Families with younger children don't need to worry about missing out on the action; there are junior courses available as well. In nearby Yorktown, the family can enjoy pirate cruises, complete with costumed crew and cannons. Kids are invited to raise the sails and steer the ship!

2. And because it's home to the unforgettable Busch Gardens!

Courtesy of Visit Williamsburg
Courtesy of Visit Williamsburg

Amusement park days are always memorable. Williamsburg happens to be home to Busch Gardens, a Euro-vibe theme park that boasts some of the tallest and fastest roller coasters in the country. In addition to daredevil experiences, there are shows, kid-friendly rides, and even attractions with wild animals.

3. Because the whole family can be a part of living history at Jamestown Settlement.

Courtesy of Visit Williamsburg

Jamestown Settlement tells the story of 17th-century Virginia through films, exhibitions, and outdoor living history. Activities include climbing abroad replicas of the ships that sailed from England to Virginia in 1607, entertaining reenactments, and exploring around re-creations of forts and villages.

4. And because you can experience life like America's first settlers at Historic Jamestowne.

Courtesy of Visit Williamsburg

And experiencing life in the first permanent colony in the U.S. has never been more literal, thanks to modern-day technology. 3D printers at Historic Jamestowne make it possible to actually touch and feel findings from the 18th century!

5. Because nothing spells "family bonding" like escaping a locked room together.

Courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg

Offered through Colonial Williamsburg, Escape the King is a challenge in which you're locked in a room with other suspected patriots. In order to escape the room, everyone must work together to solve puzzles before a wrathful British officer returns. You have one hour!

6. Because a revolutionary city really knows how to celebrate Independence Day.

Courtesy of Visit Williamsburg

In addition to impressive fireworks displays throughout Greater Williamsburg (we recommend the shows at Busch Gardens and Colonial Williamsburg), the 4th offers a variety of activities celebrating the nation's birth. Check out the Fife and Drum Corps salute behind the courthouse, military exercises at the Yorktown Victory Center, and more!

7. Because you can go on hikes to the beach and even leave with souvenir fossils.

The lush area around York River State Park has thousands of years of geological history. In fact, it used to be a shallow sea! Remnants of those days can still be found in the form of fossils. The Fossil Frenzy hike is free and only two miles round trip.

8. Because you can kayak or canoe on the most biodiverse creek on the peninsula, Powhatan Creek.

Imagine paddling through a lush creek with views of scenic marshes and glimpses of wildlife. Powhatan Creek offers just that experience, with various nonmotorized boat rentals. Plus, the creek leads to the James River at Jamestown Island, offering excellent views of Historic Jamestown.

9. Because the water parks are seriously incomparable.

Courtesy of Visit Williamsburg
Courtesy of Visit Williamsburg

Swimming and splashing all day is fun and counts as exercise, which is a definite win-win. Greater Williamsburg happens to be home to multiple spectacular water parks, including the 84-degree indoor Great Wolf Lodge (which is also a hotel!) and Water Country USA, which offers 43 acres (!!) of aquatic delight.

10. Because even lunch and dinner can be exciting and noteworthy.

Courtesy of Carrot Tree
Courtesy of Chowning's Tavern

Williamsburg has a ton of excellent restaurants and culinary experiences, including authentic Southern pit barbecue at Pierce’s Pitt Bar-B-Que, a 19th-century alehouse experience at Chowning's Tavern, and homemade fare at Carrot Tree.

11. And because you can relax at the city's top-notch spas when the kids are asleep. ;)

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Having a vacation crammed with fun activities can take its toll on your body! Let all that hubbub melt away at Williamsburg's renowned spas. We recommend Kingsmill Resort, the unique Williamsburg Salt Spa, and the elegant spa at Colonial Williamsburg.

There's something exciting for everyone at all times. Visit Williamsburg for the most memorable family vacation ever.

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