Best camping in Williamsburg atChickahominy Riverfront Park Campground

The Best Camping in Williamsburg, Virginia: Chickahominy Riverfront Park

With three major attractions within 30 minutes, Williamsburg makes a great roadtrip destination.

We took a road trip to Colonial Williamsburg and stayed at Chickahominy Riverfront Park, a sweet little campground that’s the best place to camp in this historic area.

The campground is located 20 minutes from the historic Colonial Williamsburg village; 30 minutes from Busch Gardens, and just 15 minutes from Jamestowne, the site of the first permanent English settlement in North America.

It’s a small campground that has tent camping, full hookup sites for RVs, and a good number of waterfront campsites on Gordon Creek, which flows into the James River on the Chesapeake Bay.

The campground is run by James City County, and like other county-run campgrounds, it isn’t included in the big reservation websites like recreation.gov. To make a reservation, you have to call the county.

I love this type of campground. Despite being smaller, county campgrounds are often easier to reserve. We had no trouble getting a waterfront site with an electric hook-up for three nights during a weekend that – judging by the crowds at Colonial Williamsburg – was a busy one. We paid $107 for our stay.

After a long day of touring the attractions, it was lovely to retreat to this scenic campground with a friendly vibe.

A campsite at Chickahominy Riverfront Park in Williamsburg, Virginia
Our campsite at Chickahominy was large, level, and peaceful.

There are hook-up sites and non-hookup sites. The campground has nice restrooms with showers within walking distance. Sites have sturdy picnic tables and large fire rings with grills. Some offer direct access to the water.

Here is a campground map of Chickahominy Riverfront Park.

You can rent kayaks and canoes. This popular fishing spot also hosts fishing derbies. Boat launch access is offered for a fee. There is also a playground and a pool.

Or you can just use this campground as a jumping-off point to see the surrounding sights, as we did.

In a long weekend, you’ll be able to cover Williamsburg’s biggest sites.

Top three sites in Williamsburg, Virginia

1. Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg is a reconstructed 18th-century village and was the first stop on our visit. Most of Williamsburg is easy to experience: a single ticket purchased the day of your visit gets you into all of the workshops and buildings along the main drag, Duke of Gloucester Street, and its side streets.

You choose what buildings to enter and go at your own pace. We bought a two-day ticket for just a few dollars more so we wouldn’t have to rush.

Highlights included the weaver’s shop, apothecary, and government buildings.

The Capitol building tour required a wait but it was well worth it. It gives Independence Hall in my hometown of Philadelphia a run for its money!

The Governor’s Palace, where Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry lived, is another must-see. It is a replica – the original burned down – but the outbuildings and an English-style garden remain. We poked around the root cellar and saw old bottles that looked like they had been there for hundreds of years.

Tour of the Capitol Building in Colonial Williamsburg
We got a terrific history lesson during the Capitol tour. Photo credit: Hunt & Peck Blog

The only experience that requires advance planning here is for the colonial taverns. They are renowned, fill up quickly, and are typically closed for part of the week. Definitely make reservations in advance if you’d like to experience a proper public house meal.

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2. Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens is consistently named the most beautiful theme park in the country. It also has fantastic roller coasters.

The grounds are lovely. Beautiful landscaping and themed spaces, similar to the country pavilions at Disney World’s Epcot, provide a pleasant backdrop you just don’t get at coaster parks these days.

Unlike Epcot, you can do this park in a day and get your fill of thrills.

3. Jamestowne

The first thing to know about Jamestowne is that there are really two Jamestowns.

The one with an “e” on the end – known as Historic Jamestowne – is the actual site of where the Virginia Company colonists settled when they arrived from England.

Today, there is little left of the colony, mostly due to fire. Visiting Historic Jamestowne requires imagination, the same way Pompeii does. It’s an archeological site with few remnants of its past left for you to see. There is a museum on the site that houses some of the artifacts, but mostly, you are left to fill in the blanks.

That’s where the other Jamestown (without an “e”) comes in handy.

This Jamestown, known as Jamestown Settlement, is a museum that tells the story of Jamestowne with exhibits, films, and ship replicas.

These two sites are separated by a five-minute drive. Each charges its own admission but they really are best taken together, and package deals bundling all the historic sites in the area are available.

One day is more than enough time to see both Jamestowns and get back to Chickahominy Riverfront Park to relax in a hammock before nightfall.

Waterfront campsite at Chickahominy Riverfront park.
Chickahominy Riverfront Park. Photo credit: huntandpeckblog

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