Photo Credit: Joe Ross

Most touristy towns are a ripoff, but not Williamsburg. In fact, it's a steal. One of the most affordable family vacations you can take, treat yourself to a living history lesson at prices almost akin to what the first colonists were paying.

Three Colonial Williamsburg Museums

Adult one day $12.99; Youth (age 6-17) one day $6.49 -- covers admission to all three museums when used on the same day. The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum is home to an extensive collection of American and British antiques. See furniture, metals, ceramics, glass, paintings, prints, firearms and textiles form the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Then head to the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum where Colonial and Contemporary artists and craftspeople work to record aspects of everyday life using unique mediums. Basset Hall is a restored two story, 18th century frame house located on 585 acres of gardens and rolling woodlands, a beautiful depiction of life from that period.

Carriage Ride in Colonial Williamsburg

$12.50 with admission pass, $20.00 without pass. When in Williamsburg, do as the colonists would do and take a carriage ride through the Historic District. Carriage rides last approximately 15 minutes and give you an overview of the area.

Colonial Williamsburg Evening Performances

$12 For adults, $6 for children (reservations required). As night falls, enchanting evening programs begin. Listen to the sweet sounds of music played on period instruments or take a walking tour by lantern light. Hear stories passed down through generations of free and enslaved blacks. Enjoy seeing - and learning - colonial dancing and dance steps or watch an 18th-century play. Whatever your choice, you’ll find a program unlike anything you’ve experienced before.

Ghosts of Williamsburg Candlelight Tour

$12 for the original family-friendly tour; $16 to participate in a ghost hunt. A guide will lead you through the streets of Colonial Williamsburg by candlelight while sharing eerie and fun folklore of this historic capital.

Historic Jamestowne and Yorktown Battlefield

$14 adult combined ticket; ages 15 and under free. In Jamestowne, experience a wealth of activities in the 1st permanent English settlement in North America. Start at the Visitor Center with exhibits and an immersion theatre experience before taking a walking tour through the New Towne area along the scenic James River. Tour the Archaearium, which tells the story of James Fort through archaeology and don’t miss the Jamestown Glasshouse, saluting America’s first English industry of glassblowing in 1608. You can watch costumed craftsman create period reproductions and contemporary pieces using tools and techniques similar to those of the 17th-century. Then, head over to Yorktown for the site of the final victory in the American Revolution. You'll see fortification and siege lines, Surrender Field, the Moore House, and where negotiations for Cornwallis’ surrender took place. The National Park Service Visitor Center offers an orientation film, a museum featuring artifacts from the battle, including the original tents used by General Washington, and maps for a self-guided auto tour of the battlefield and a walking tour of the picturesque town of York. Main Street and its surrounding streets are lined with historic buildings, antique shops and galleries.

Jamestown Settlement

$16.75 Adult; $7.75 Child (6-12). Through films, galleries, exhibits and living history interpretive areas, Jamestown Settlement traces the story of the English settlers who founded Jamestown and the Virginia Indians and African Americans who helped this first permanent English settlement in North America survive and thrive in early colonial times.

Yorktown Victory Center

$9.75 Adult; $5.50 Child (6-12). The Yorktown Victory Center chronicles America’s evolution from colonial status to nationhood through film, thematic exhibits, and outdoor living history with costumed interpreters. An outdoor exhibit walkway details events that led to American colonies to declare independence from Britain.

The Muscarelle Museum of Art (at the College of William and Mary)

Admission $10. Explore the college’s permanent collection, which has grown to more than 4,000 works of art from many cultures and historical eras. The Muscarelle also regularly features special exhibitions from around the world. And you won’t want to miss the “world’s first solar painting,” which transforms the south façade of the Museum into a dramatic and innovative work of art when monumental tubes, filled with colored water, are lit from behind. The title, Sun Sonata, describes both the rhythmic pattern of colors visible at night and the function of the wall as a solar energy collection system by day.

The College of William and Mary Sir Christopher Wren Building

Free. The Wren Building, which first underwent construction in between 1695 and 1700, is the oldest academic building in the United States still in use today. Where the first William and Mary students ate, lived, and studied - including several of our Founding Fathers -- the Wren Building continues to maintain an academic function, but also includes a crypt and chapel that houses historical Virginia figures. The building is open to the public for self-guided tours and offers free guided tours, too.

Go Karts Plus

Free Admission, Pay per Ride. Gear up for fun at Williamsburg’s premier family entertainment center featuring four exhilerating go-kart tracks.

MagiQuest at Great Wolf Lodge

$19.99 for a 60 minute game. Located in the beautiful Great Wolf Lodge, MagiQuest is the first live action adventure game of its kind at a resort. Armed with high-tech wands, MagiQuest allows you to cross into a 3-D interactive world and become the main character as your family solves magical challenges throughout the resort to gain powers (and points) and move to higher levels of the game.

Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf

Adults $8.95 (18-holes) - $15.50 (36 Hole Adventure), Child $8.50 - 14.50 (36 Hole Adventure). Putt your way through winding mountain caves, over foot bridges and under cascading waterfalls. Players of all ages and skill levels will enjoy two 18-hole, pirate-themed courses - the Captain’s Course and Blackbeard’s Challenge. It's swashbuckling fun for the whole family.

Chickahominy Riverfront Park

Canoe/Kayak rental $6.00/hr. Driving Range bucket of balls $5. Fishing - free. Come enjoy this 140-acre outdoor facility located on the Chickahominy River. Facilities include two outdoor swimming pools, a boat ramp, fishing pier, camp sites, small driving range, a pavilion, and access to the Virginia Capital Trail.

Market Days in the Greater Williamsburg Area

Free. Explore a plethora of local produce, meats, seafood, cheeses, baked goods and sweets, specialty foods, seasonal plants and herbs tantalize the senses at our area’s farmers’ markets, held in the historic settings of Williamsburg and Yorktown And did we mention the live entertainment generally on hand during these Saturday morning markets?

Yankee Candle

Free. Yankee Candle Williamsburg is one of the world’s largest candle stores. But you can also enjoy delicious treats, musical performances, candle making and more. It’s Christmas every day of the year inside Holiday Park. It’s always snowing, the ice pond is frozen, Santa’s Workshop is always bustling and the holiday shops are always full of surprises for you to uncover year round. You can take home a wax impression of your hand or create your own candle, choosing from multiple colors and scents.

Historic Triangle Shuttle

Free. The Historic Triangle shuttle provides transportation from the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center to both the nearby Jamestown and Yorktown sites. As you ride, enjoy the introductory audio program that describes the area’s rich natural and cultural history.

Williamsburg Trolley

$.50 for adults; Free for Children under 12. A fun and inexpensive way to travel, each trolley car features ornamental wooden seating, a cheerful, two-tone red and green exterior and bicycle racks. On warm days, the trolley has an open-air atmosphere. During your trip, the driver will point out historic sites.

Yorktown Trolley

Free. A service of York County, the trolley provides continuous service between the Yorktown Battlefield Visitor Center and the Yorktown Victory Center, with stops in the village at Riverwalk Landing, along the Yorktown waterfront.