Exterior sign for the Art Museums at Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia.

© eurobanks/Shutterstock

Art Museums

Top choice in Virginia

Entered through Colonial Williamsburg's former public hospital, this complex is home to two equally splendid museums: the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. The decorative arts museum is home to the world's largest collection of Southern furniture and one of the largest collections of British ceramics outside England. The folk art museum has one of the largest collections of American folk art in the world – portraits, quilts, toys, musical instruments and much more.

Most of the exhibits are on the 1st floor; the lower level is home to a cafe and gift shop. Guided tours of the museums depart at 11am and 1pm (decorative arts museum) and at noon and 2pm (folk art museum).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Virginia attractions

2. College of William & Mary

0.57 MILES

Chartered in 1693, the College of William & Mary is the second-oldest college in the country and retains the oldest academic building in continued use in…

3. Jamestown Settlement

5.35 MILES

Popular with kids, the state-run Jamestown Settlement reconstructs the 1607 James Fort; a Native American village; and full-scale replicas of the first…

4. Historic Jamestowne

5.66 MILES

Run by the NPS, this fascinating place is the original Jamestown site, established in 1607 and home of the first permanent English settlement in North…

5. American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

10.48 MILES

Formerly the Yorktown Victory Center, this expanded exhibition space and living history museum vividly describes the build-up to the Revolutionary War,…

6. Yorktown Battlefield

11.46 MILES

Yorktown Battlefield, run by the NPS, is the site of the last major battle of the American Revolution. Start your tour at the visitor center and check out…

7. Sherwood Forest

17.93 MILES

The longest frame house in the country, this was the home of 10th US president John Tyler. Full tours are available by appointment only ($35 per person),…

8. Virginia Living Museum

18.5 MILES

A fine introduction to Virginia's terrestrial and aquatic life, set in naturalistic ecosystems. The complex comprises open-air animal enclosures, an…