Historic Yorktown

Historic Yorktown, Virginia

Immerse yourself in 300 years of Yorktown history. Here you can experience 18th century homes, revolutionary battlefields, a scenic riverfront beach, one-of-a-kind restaurants and lodging apart from city crowds. Park your car and stroll along picturesque streets or take the free trolley.

Welcome to Historic Yorktown 1691 Sign with flowers at an entrance, Green park area at Riverwalk Landing, Waterman’s Museum.

Yorktown, Virginia has been a strategic port along the York River since colonial times.  Originally a port for shipping tobacco to England, the town figured prominently in the American war for independence and later the Civil War. It is best remembered for being the place that George Washington tricked British General Cornwallis into thinking he was in New York, and gained a strategic advantage, thereby forcing Cornwallis to surrender his army and lose the war for Britain. During the American Civil War, the town changed hands a few times in fierce fighting involving both naval and land forces.

The  Victory Monument is located on the southeastern end of Main Street;  A summer day at Riverwalk Landing; The  Victory Center is located near Yorktown Battlefield and Visitor Center.

The riverfront bustles with activities, especially on Saturdays where the Saturday Market is held often with entertainment ranging from Fife & Drum Corps to bands. There are sunset sails on the river and if you are lucky, you may see a Tall Ship.Today surrounding communities host a major US Navy supply base as well as US Coast Guard facilities. Yorktown has been restored along with Jamestown and Colonial Williamsburg, and has become one of the most visited colonial heritage sites in the country and one that everyone should visit to appreciate life as it was over three hundred years ago. There are quaint shops, galleries, antique stores, museums, monuments, town-folk in colonial costume showing aspects of colonial daily life such as tradesmen, shopkeepers and reenactments of battles to watch. The Yorktown Victory Monument commemorates the peace brought about by the victory of the American and French forces over the British. A cemetery for the French war is nearby. The colonial architecture in the town has been painstakingly restored with 18th century homes, shops, public buildings, and gardens open for touring; a free trolley; fine dining in unique restaurants, battlefields to view; and beautiful parks and beaches along the scenic York river to relax on or explore.

Waterman’s Museum with bridge in the background at Yorktown; Green park area at Riverwalk Landing 

Yorktown Battlefield Park
The Yorktown Battlefield marks the end of the American Revolutionary War, though skirmishes continued for another couple of years.  This last great battle involved over 25,000 French army and naval forces, 21,000 British forces as well as 9,000 American soldiers.  British general Lord Charles Cornwallis established a naval base at the colonial tobacco port in the 7th year of the Revolutionary War.

Today the Yorktown Victory Center chronicles America’s evolution from colonial status to nationhood through a unique blend of timeline, film, thematic exhibits and outdoor living history.