A Travel Price Comparison for Virginia Virginia Beach vs. Williamsburg for Families, Food, Couples, and Nightlife

Should you visit Virginia Beach or Williamsburg?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Virginia Beach or Williamsburg, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach is a fun-filled, relaxing, and bustling coastal city. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. Other popular activities here include nightlife and beaches.

Williamsburg

Williamsburg is a well-preserved, historic, and charming town. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. Visitors also love the shopping, museums, and food.

Virginia Beach and Williamsburg: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular for students
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Scenic old town
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife


Is there more to do in Virginia Beach or Williamsburg?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Williamsburg. Although Virginia Beach and Williamsburg are both popular with visitors, Williamsburg has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Williamsburg is more popular for its museums, food, historical sights, and shopping, while Virginia Beach is known for its nightlife, resorts, and beaches. Williamsburg is more touristy than Virginia Beach and is popular for its historic and colonial charm, its award winning amusement parks, and its historical reenactments. It is also home to Colonial Williamsburg. Virginia Beach is popular for its fun boardwalk, many seafood restaurants, and classic beach town vibe.

How is Virginia Beach different from Williamsburg?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Williamsburg and Virginia Beach. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Virginia Beach or Williamsburg?

Virginia Beach
Williamsburg

Williamsburg is great for its historical sights. However, Virginia Beach does not have museums and landmarks.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Williamsburg can be an interesting and educational experience. Colonial Williamsburg is like a living museum with reenactments and historic buildings that date back to the colonial days. In addition to the historic area, there are folk art museums and other historic sights in the area.

Virginia Beach does not have museums and landmarks.


Is the Food Better in Virginia Beach or Williamsburg? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Virginia Beach
Williamsburg

Williamsburg is great for its local flavors and cuisine. However, Virginia Beach is not a good destination for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Williamsburg has a huge number of terrific restaurants. Head to Historic Williamsburg if you want to try some colonial classics. There are historic taverns that maintain their old world charm and serve dishes such as peanut soup and stewed beef. Around town you'll also find casual restaurants with pizza, macaroni and cheese, and burgers.

Virginia Beach may not make the list for most foodies, but you'll find what you need while you're in town. Seafood is plentiful around town and there are all-you-can-eat buffets as well as high end, waterfront seafood restaurants. Make sure you try the She Crab Soup, soft shell crabs, and oysters.

Is Virginia Beach or Williamsburg Better for Nightlife?

Virginia Beach
Williamsburg

Virginia Beach is a good destination for its evening party scene. However, Williamsburg is a town with minimal options for nightlife.

Virginia Beach has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. While it's a family-friendly beach, there's still a great nightlife scene with many bars and clubs in the area. Popular places to hang out at night include Omega Bar, Peabody's Nightclub, and Sky Bar.

Williamsburg doesn't have the most active nightlife scene. Despite its student population, there isn't much of a nightlife scene in town. There are restaurants where you can enjoy fine wine or cocktails, but nightclubs and bars are limited.

Is Virginia Beach or Williamsburg Better for Resorts?

Virginia Beach
Williamsburg

Virginia Beach is a good destination for its resorts. However, Williamsburg is not a resort destination.

Virginia Beach has a few great resort options. Some of the best resorts in the area include the Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club, the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront, and The Founders Inn and Spa.

Williamsburg is not a resort destination.


Is Virginia Beach or Williamsburg Better for Beaches?

Virginia Beach
Williamsburg

Virginia Beach is a good destination for the beach. However, Williamsburg is not a beach destination.

Virginia Beach offers a nice beach destination. The beaches are long and sandy, but they can get crowded during the summer months. The waves are just the right size for playing in the surf and the water temperature is usually warm enough to swim well into the fall months.

Williamsburg is not a beach destination.

Is Virginia Beach or Williamsburg Better for its Old Town?

Virginia Beach
Williamsburg

Williamsburg is terrific for its old town. However, Virginia Beach does not have a historic old town.

Williamsburg has a unique history which comes to life in its historic area. Colonial Williamsburg is an impressively maintained area with museums, shops, and taverns. There are live reenactments of historic events as well as blacksmiths, wig shops, and carriage rides. You can wander around without a ticket, but for access to many parts of the historic area you'll need to purchase a pass.

Virginia Beach does not have a historic old town.

Is the Shopping Better in Virginia Beach or Williamsburg?

Virginia Beach
Williamsburg

Williamsburg is great for its shopping opportunities. However, Virginia Beach is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Williamsburg is well-known for its shopping. Charming shops both in the historic area and just outside sell unique items that reflect the city's past. There are souvenirs, food items, cookbooks, and home decor to choose from.

Virginia Beach is not a noteworthy shopping destination.


Is Virginia Beach or Williamsburg Better for Families?

Virginia Beach
Williamsburg

Williamsburg is terrific for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Virginia Beach is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for its family-friendly activities.

Williamsburg is an amazing family-friendly town to visit. Older kids will appreciate the history in the area. For kids of all ages there are a number of amusement parks and water parks such as Great Wolf Lodge, Busch Gardens, and the award winning Water Country USA.

Virginia Beach is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. This is a popular family-friendly beach with a nice boardwalk, a fun waterpark, aquarium, and nice beaches. It attracts families in the area for its long beaches and fun atmosphere. Most restaurants have kid's menus and there are ice cream shops and minigolf around.

Is Virginia Beach or Williamsburg Better for Couples?

Virginia Beach
Williamsburg

Williamsburg is great for its romantic activities. Also, Virginia Beach is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for couples.

Williamsburg is a great town if you're traveling as a couple. Historic Williamsburg is filled with inns and charming restaurants that make this a beautiful destination for couples. There are quaint restaurants that serve colonial food and interesting southern shops with unique trinkets. You can also wander around the campus of William and Mary College.

Virginia Beach is a good coastal city for couples to visit. Couples will enjoy a nice escape to the beaches and boardwalk. There are many great seafood restaurants, some with waterfront settings. There's also a variety of activities ranging from many golf to dance clubs.

Is Virginia Beach or Williamsburg Better for Students?

Virginia Beach
Williamsburg

Williamsburg is terrific for its student-friendly activities. Also, Virginia Beach is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for students.

Williamsburg is a great destination for students. The College of William and Mary has a beautiful campus and students enjoy the charming atmosphere with colonial architecture around town. There are also good restaurants and a great collegiate vibe.

Virginia Beach is a good coastal city to visit for students. It's not as popular as more southern beach towns, but you'll still find students heading here for the spring break holidays.


Is Virginia Beach or Williamsburg Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Virginia Beach
Williamsburg

Williamsburg is adequate for times when you don't have a car. However, Virginia Beach is not a good destination for its public transit.

Public transit is mostly limited in Williamsburg. There are buses around town, and they offer access to Historic Williamsburg, but for most places you'll need to have your own car.

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Virginia Beach. There is very limited public transit in the area so you'll need to have a car to get around.

Is Virginia Beach or Williamsburg a more walkable city?

Virginia Beach
Williamsburg

Virginia Beach and Williamsburg are decent when it comes to walkability.

Virginia Beach is generally not a very walkable coastal city. Most people prefer to have a car but do note that parking can be a nightmare, particularly during the summer season.

Williamsburg is generally not very walkable. Historic Williamsburg and the neighborhoods around the College of William and Mary are all walkable, but if you plan to visit the amusement parks then you'll absolutely need a car.

For even more information, also check out Is Virginia Beach Worth Visiting? and Is Williamsburg Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Williamsburg or Virginia Beach?

How long in Virginia Beach or Williamsburg?

It's fun to spend time in either Virginia Beach or Williamsburg. Generally, people tend to spend more time in Virginia Beach due to the larger number of activities and things to do. Usually, 5-7 days is a good amount of time for Virginia Beach, and 2-4 days is enough time in Williamsburg.

Families should spend more time in Williamsburg than Virginia Beach. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Williamsburg, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Williamsburg than Virginia Beach. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Williamsburg that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Williamsburg than Virginia Beach if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Williamsburg.


  • How many days in Virginia Beach or Williamsburg? Ideal Length of Stay
    Virginia Beach 5-7 
    Williamsburg 2-4

One day in Virginia Beach or Williamsburg?

In Virginia Beach, many people enjoy the nightlife that this relaxing coastal city offers. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything.

In Williamsburg, you'll find food and shopping. Visiting the old town is also a must. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.


A weekend in Virginia Beach or Williamsburg?

Virginia Beach is a fun place to experience. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring.

Williamsburg is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. The old town is one of the main draws for visitors. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Because of this, a weekend is usually enough time for a trip here.

Five days in Virginia Beach or Williamsburg?

In Virginia Beach, many people enjoy the nightlife that this fun-filled destination offers. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Plenty of people spend five days in the area when traveling. So, five days is just the right amount of time to spend here.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Williamsburg. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. It offers something for everyone. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

A week in Virginia Beach or Williamsburg?

Virginia Beach is a popular place to visit. Many people spend one week here. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then one week is just the right amount of time to spend here. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Travelers enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the town of Williamsburg. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. Your budget might influence how long you stay. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Tours for Seniors to United States of America, The Best Contiki Tours to United States of America, The Best G Adventures Tours to United States of America, and The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Las Vegas.


Which place is cheaper, Williamsburg or Virginia Beach?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Virginia Beach is $126, while the average daily cost in Williamsburg is $112. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Virginia Beach and Williamsburg in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Virginia Beach $71
    Williamsburg $66
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Virginia Beach $142
    Williamsburg $132
Compare Hotels in Virginia Beach and Williamsburg

Looking for a hotel in Virginia Beach or Williamsburg? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Virginia Beach


Hotels in Williamsburg


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Virginia Beach Hotel Prices and Williamsburg Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Virginia Beach $39
    Williamsburg $11
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Virginia Beach

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Virginia Beach:


  • Beach Parking
    $10

Is it cheaper to fly into Virginia Beach or Williamsburg?

Prices for flights to both Williamsburg and Virginia Beach change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Virginia Beach $30
    Williamsburg $31

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Williamsburg

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Williamsburg.

  • Taste of Williamsburg Food Tour by Junket: $63

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Virginia Beach $21
    Williamsburg $34

Tours and Activities in Virginia Beach

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Virginia Beach.

  • Unique Scavenger Hunt Experience in Virginia Beach by Wacky Walks: $10
  • Neptune Ghosts: Ghosts of the Coast By US Ghost Adventures: $24
  • Ziplining and Climbing at The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium: $59
  • Wetland Zip Tour: $65
  • Sunset Dolphin Kayak Tours: $68
  • Small Group Dolphin Kayak Eco-Tour: $68
  • Dolphin Kayak Tour in Virginia Beach Must know how to swim: $77
  • Kayak Dolphin Experience in Virginia Beach Must know how to swim: $77
  • Virginia Historic Adventure!: $200

Tours and Activities in Williamsburg

Here are a few actual costs in Williamsburg for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Colonial Williamsburg Ghost Stories and Walking Tour: $25
  • 1 Hour Christmastide Walking Tour in Virginia Past and Present : $25
  • 2-Hour Private Guided The best of Williamsburg Walking Tour: $175
  • Busch Gardens Williamsburg Admission Ticket: $79
  • Colonial Ghosts Tour By US Ghost Adventures: $24
  • Colonial Ghosts Ultimate Dead of Night Haunted Ghost Tour: $28
  • Colonial History Tour in Williamsburg Virginia: $25
  • Colonial Williamsburg & Yorktown Self-Guided Audio Tour Bundle: $25
  • Colonial Williamsburg Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour: $15
  • Dark History Tour: $25
  • Dead Of Night Tour in Williamsburg: $30
  • Exclusive Private Jamestown to Yorktown Tour with Surrender Field: $235

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Virginia Beach $11
    Williamsburg -

Sample the Local Flavors in Williamsburg

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Williamsburg:

  • Colonial Ghosts Boos and Brews Haunted Pub Crawl : $28
  • The Murder Tour and Pub Crawl: $48


When comparing the travel costs between Virginia Beach and Williamsburg, we can see that Virginia Beach is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in North America, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Virginia Beach Expensive? and Is Williamsburg Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Virginia Beach or Williamsburg?

Virginia Beach has a larger population, and is about 40 times larger than the population of Williamsburg. When comparing the sizes of Virginia Beach and Williamsburg, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Virginia Beach or Williamsburg?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Virginia Beach or Williamsburg in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Virginia Beach as well as Williamsburg. Many travelers come to Virginia Beach for the beaches and the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Williamsburg in the summer for the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Virginia Beach is around the same temperature as Williamsburg. Typically, the summer temperatures in Virginia Beach in July average around 79°F (26°C), and Williamsburg averages at about 78°F (26°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Williamsburg. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Virginia Beach this time of the year. In the summer, Virginia Beach often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Williamsburg. Virginia Beach gets 279 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Williamsburg receives 279 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Williamsburg. Virginia Beach receives a lot of rain in the summer. Virginia Beach usually gets more rain in July than Williamsburg. Virginia Beach gets 5.7 inches (145 mm) of rain, while Williamsburg receives 4.7 inches (120 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Virginia Beach 79°F (26°C) 
    Williamsburg 78°F (26°C)

Should I visit Virginia Beach or Williamsburg in the Autumn?

Both Williamsburg and Virginia Beach are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Virginia Beach in the autumn for the natural beauty of the area. Also, most visitors come to Williamsburg for the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

In October, Virginia Beach is generally around the same temperature as Williamsburg. Daily temperatures in Virginia Beach average around 62°F (16°C), and Williamsburg fluctuates around 61°F (16°C).

It's quite sunny in Williamsburg. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Virginia Beach. Virginia Beach usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Williamsburg during autumn. Virginia Beach gets 211 hours of sunny skies, while Williamsburg receives 211 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Virginia Beach usually receives more rain than Williamsburg. Virginia Beach gets 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain, while Williamsburg receives 2.8 inches (71 mm) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Virginia Beach 62°F (16°C) 
    Williamsburg 61°F (16°C)

Should I visit Virginia Beach or Williamsburg in the Winter?

Both Williamsburg and Virginia Beach during the winter are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Virginia Beach for the cuisine during these months. Furthermore, the winter months attract visitors to Williamsburg because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

The weather in Williamsburg can be very cold. Virginia Beach can be very cold during winter. Virginia Beach is a little warmer than Williamsburg in the winter. The daily temperature in Virginia Beach averages around 39°F (4°C) in January, and Williamsburg fluctuates around 38°F (4°C).

In the winter, Virginia Beach often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Williamsburg. Virginia Beach gets 168 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Williamsburg receives 168 hours of full sun.

Virginia Beach usually gets less rain in January than Williamsburg. Virginia Beach gets 3.3 inches (85 mm) of rain, while Williamsburg receives 3.6 inches (93 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Virginia Beach 39°F (4°C) 
    Williamsburg 38°F (4°C)

Should I visit Virginia Beach or Williamsburg in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Virginia Beach and Williamsburg. The spring months attract visitors to Virginia Beach because of the beaches and the natural beauty. Furthermore, the natural beauty are the main draw to Williamsburg this time of year.

In the spring, Virginia Beach is around the same temperature as Williamsburg. Typically, the spring temperatures in Virginia Beach in April average around 58°F (14°C), and Williamsburg averages at about 57°F (14°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Williamsburg this time of the year. In Virginia Beach, it's very sunny this time of the year. Virginia Beach usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Williamsburg during spring. Virginia Beach gets 253 hours of sunny skies, while Williamsburg receives 253 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Virginia Beach usually receives less rain than Williamsburg. Virginia Beach gets 2.7 inches (69 mm) of rain, while Williamsburg receives 3 inches (76 mm) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Virginia Beach 58°F (14°C) 
    Williamsburg 57°F (14°C)

Typical Weather for Williamsburg and Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach Williamsburg
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 39°F (4°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm) 38°F (4°C) 3.6 inches (93 mm)
Feb 41°F (5°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm) 41°F (5°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Mar 49°F (10°C) 3.4 inches (87 mm) 49°F (9°C) 4.2 inches (106 mm)
Apr 58°F (14°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm) 57°F (14°C) 3 inches (76 mm)
May 67°F (19°C) 3.3 inches (85 mm) 66°F (19°C) 4 inches (102 mm)
Jun 74°F (24°C) 3.6 inches (92 mm) 74°F (24°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm)
Jul 79°F (26°C) 5.7 inches (145 mm) 78°F (26°C) 4.7 inches (120 mm)
Aug 78°F (25°C) 5.9 inches (150 mm) 78°F (25°C) 4.7 inches (120 mm)
Sep 72°F (22°C) 4.2 inches (107 mm) 72°F (22°C) 4.6 inches (118 mm)
Oct 62°F (16°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 61°F (16°C) 2.8 inches (71 mm)
Nov 53°F (12°C) 3 inches (75 mm) 52°F (11°C) 3.2 inches (81 mm)
Dec 44°F (7°C) 3.1 inches (79 mm) 43°F (6°C) 3.5 inches (90 mm)