COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG 757-220-7645 or 800-HISTORY
TTY (800) 637-4677 (Office hours only)
P. O. Box 1776, Williamsburg, VA 23187-1776
Colonial Parkway and State Rte 132.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The colonial capital city of Virginia. Eighty-eight original structures have been restored and others have been reconstructed on original foundations. Interpreters bring to life the historic events that led to the American Revolution. Artisans practice traditional trades with the same tools and techniques as their eighteenth century predecessors used.
Colonial Williamsburg recognizes that 18th-century architecture may present difficulties for those with physical impairments and are prepared to make special accommodations, including special parking arrangements. Link to PDF document on accessibility.
If you have special needs, contact
The Visitor Center Administrative Office
Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center
101A Visitor Center Drive
Williamsburg, Virginia 23185
PARKING: At the Visitor Center. Width of spaces 12 ft. Also at the Historic Area, but special pass from the Visitors Center is needed.
TYPES OF PATHS: Brick, gravel and cement. Accessible buses run between the Visitor Center and Historic Area and make a circuit around the area. Path from Visitor Center to the Historic Area is accessible, but the loose gravel in places and a sharp incline may make the going difficult. Also a main highway with heavy traffic must be crossed to reach the path. Dirt or rock trails are frequent between the sites and bus stops, but brick walkways are also available. These trails may have extremely steep inclines as well as uneven surfaces.
VISITOR CENTER: Wheelchair rentals and accessibility information. Accessible throughout the facility. Folding wheelchairs are available at the Visitor Center and may be rented on a first-come, first-served basis. No motorized chairs are available.
PUBLIC REST ROOMS: Accessible rest rooms located at the Visitor Center, Shield’s Tavern, Chowning’s Tavern, King’s Arms Purdie Kitchen, the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, Bassett Hall Reception Center, Williamsburg Lodge, and Merchants Square Ticket Office. In some locations, rest rooms are identified by a raised figure with pants or skirt on door to designate men or women. Unisex and/or companion assisted rest room available at some public rest rooms.
SPECIAL SERVICES: Special brochures are available from Visitor Center free of charge.
Colonial Williamsburg Explorer App
Free Colonial Williamsburg Daily Dispatch with daily news from the 18th-century Virginia Gazette, the photo of the day and more.
Free Podcasts "Past and Present" takes you behind the scenes to meet interpreters, chefs, tradesmen, musicians, historians, curators, and more.
Videos on a wide variety of topics.
Webcams for Raleigh Tavern, Capitol, Courthouse, Merchants Square, and Armoury.
Slide shows with photos and text on a wide-ranging topics covering all aspects of Colonial Williamsburg.
For guests with hearing disabilities, a printed synopsis of the orientation film Williamsburg—The Story of a Patriot is available at the Visitor Center, as are headsets with adjustable volume control. The East Theater has a rear-screen projection system that allows guests to see a captioned version of the film. Please ask the usher for assistance.
Headsets with adjustable volume control are also available for programs in the Hennage Auditorium of the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, the Kimball Theatre, and the Virginia Room of the Williamsburg Lodge.
Upon request, Colonial Williamsburg will contract with a signing interpreter to accompany hearing-impaired guests through the Revolutionary City. Requests for this service must be made at least two weeks in advance through the Visitor Center Administrative Office at (757) 220-7205.
For guests with visual disabilities, there are hands-on activities at many exhibitions. Information on these activities is available at the Visitor Center. The Historic Area has a 30-minute orientation walk for ticketed visitors designed to help provide an overview of modern wayfinding, dining, and shopping options as well as give a glimpse at a town on the edge of Revolution and war and learn of the many ways to engage with fellow citizens--our interpreters.
Guests may make use of the headset soundtrack that describes the on-screen action in the historic film Williamsburg—The Story of a Patriot. Ask the usher for assistance in setting up the headset.
Audio programs to download cover a variety of topics involving history and music.
For guests with mobility disabilities, the streets, most gardens, and outdoor activities in the Historic Area are wheelchair accessible. While ramps and wheelchair lifts are available at selected exhibitions, many of the historic buildings require at least a few steps.
On ground level with no steps are
- Anderson Blacksmith Shop
- Carpenters Yard
- Playbooth Theater
- Printer and Bookbinder
- Military Encampment
- Wheelwright Shop, Cooper and Rural Trades.
When visiting a trade shop not accessible to wheelchairs, please request assistance from the interpreter. Historic trade interpretations can often be done outside the shops at the guest’s request.
Most buildings in the Historic Area have entrance steps, but most interior doorways are wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair. Many of the exhibition buildings have second floors that are interpreted, and stairs are often steep and narrow. Photographic interpretations of many exhibition buildings are available upon request.
The following is a list of places which are wheelchair accessible with ramps or lifts:
- Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center
- Basset Hall,
- Dewitt Wallace Decorative Arts Gallery
- Governor’s Palace and Grounds
- Powell House
- Public Hospital
- Raleigh Tavern
- Raleigh Tavern Bakery.
The Randolph House and the Geddy House have ramps that can accommodate non-motorized wheelchairs. The ramps and lifts are able to accommodate a wheelchair with a 20 in. seat width. Be aware that not every building is open every day, so consult the Visitor’s Companion for days and hours of operation.
FOOD AND BEVERAGE FACILITIES: Shield’s Tavern in the Historic Area has a ramp. Other accessible restaurants are the Chowning’s Tavern, Williamsburg Lodge and Wallace Gallery Cafe, adjacent to the Historic Area, and the Cascade, near the Visitor Center.
REFRESHMENTS: Benches, water fountains, and cold drink vending machines are located at intervals throughout the Revolutionary City. Please refer to the map in “Colonial Williamsburg This Week” for exact locations.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Accepted credit cards: V, MC and AE. Visitor Center open daily 8:30 AM-6 PM, Mar 15-Dec 31. The rest of the year 9 AM-5 PM.
Discounted Colonial Williamsburg Single-day and Multi-day admission tickets and Annual Passes (50% off) are available at on-site ticketing centers
Accessible shuttle buses are available at the Visitor Center and at any of the regular bus stops around the Historic Area. An admission ticket is required to use the bus system.
Please consult the individual descriptions of Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Buildings, restaurants, hotels, shops, and other facilities when planning your visit. Most Colonial Evening Performances take place in the historic buildings. Check accessibility before purchasing separate tickets for these performances and other special events.
Guests with limited mobility will also find the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg welcoming and accommodating. Some wheelchairs are available for use at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum in addition to those located at the Visitor Center. Motorized wheelchairs are permitted, and there is an outdoor ramp for easy access as well as several elevators inside. Hearing assistance is also offered in the Hennage Auditorium.