Yorktown Battlefield

Visit Yorktown Battlefield and take yourself back in time to where history was made.

Visit Historic Yorktown Battlefield

Jamestown is where America was born. Williamsburg is where our nation’s ideas matured. Yorktown is where America became of age. Visit Yorktown Battlefield and take yourself back in time to where history was made. A tour of the battlefield begins at the National Park Service Visitor Center (Colonial National Historical Park), where the battle on land and at sea is presented through a series of multimedia exhibits. You can walk through a full-sized replica of the quarterdeck of a British warship, view the movement of troops through a special lighted map display and browse the beautiful collection of Revolutionary War artifacts, including the tents used by General George Washington to plan the siege. A 15-minute film, “The Siege at Yorktown,” discusses the importance of the battle. Then, explore exhibits that focus on the 1781 Siege of Yorktown, the Battle of the Capes and British General Cornwallis’ campaign tables used during the siege.

There is no better way to experience the National Park and Historic Yorktown than taking a stroll with a professional historian. Mobjack Bay Coffee Roasters, located in the Cole Digges House c1726 in Heart of Historic Yorktown, is just a short walk from the Battlefields and is the only certified and permitted business to offer Historian led tours in the National Park. General tours and Private tour options are available. Stop in for coffee, tea, wine, beer, and bite to eat before or after your tour. 

Through careful examination of 18th century military maps and archaeological excavations, the National Park Service has reconstructed a nearly complete picture of General Washington’s siege. Earth works and siege lines mark the positions of British and American troops during the battle. Tours of the battlefield are conducted from the Visitor Center by park rangers. Park brochures, maps and audio tours are also available for a self-guided driving tour of the battlefield and encampment areas, as well as a walking tour of the town of York. The National Park Service also maintains the restored 18th century homes of Augustine Moore, where negotiations were conducted for the surrender of the British army, and Thomas Nelson Jr., one of Virginia’s signers of the Declaration of Independence.

Be sure to ask about these opportunities when you visit the National Park Service Visitor Center, or call 757-898-2410 for dates and hours.   

Historic Yorktown

Yorktown is a must-see for anyone who wishes to fully understand the story of our nation’s birth.

Visit Historic Yorktown

Immerse in an area as rich in American history as it is modern-day charm. Whether you book a riverfront hotel room or choose a quaint bed and breakfast, you will find yourself within walking distance of beautiful, sandy beaches and a charming waterfront village nestled along the York River. You’ll find several different restaurants, an expert coffee shop and roastery, specialty boutiques, museums and outdoor recreational fun. 

Yorktown is a must-see for anyone who wishes to fully understand the story of our nation’s birth. Travel back to October 1781 and tour the home where the commander of the Virginia militia negotiated terms of surrender that effectively ended the Revolutionary War. The original brick walls of the Nelson Home still bear the scars of cannonballs fired during that final clash at Yorktown. Explore the battlefields and walk in the footsteps of our founders—such as George Washington and Alexander Hamilton. Pay tribute to those who sacrificed their lives to ensure our independence at the Yorktown Victory Monument—a statue first commissioned at the end of the war and completed almost a century later in the late 1800s. Take a trolley ride down the road to the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, which offers a comprehensive look at the struggles and victories from the twilight of the colonial period to the dawn of the Constitution. The educational Watermen’s Museum demonstrates the role Chesapeake Bay watermen played in the molding of our nation from pre-colonial to modern times.  

And as you reflect on the events that led to the creation of our nation, step back into the 21st century where art galleries, locally owned shops and culinary temptations await. Yorktown  includes several one-of-a-kind eateries with vast menus featuring fresh seafood, artisan pizzas, gourmet burgers and even sushi. Everywhere you turn, you will find beautiful views of the York River, no matter the time of year. 

Take a stroll down Main Street to find Mobjack Bay Coffee Roasters and Petite Cafe located in the Cole Digges House (c. 1726). After many iterations over the last 296 years, Mobjack has brought the charming pre-Revolutionary era building back to its chapter as a Historic Coffee and Tea House that also offers Historian led tours through the National Park and Village.

From late spring through early November, the Schooner Alliance promises to make your trip even more memorable. Spend a romantic evening scanning the horizon for dolphins during a sunset sail or team up with a band of marauders one summer day when you embark on a pirate adventure cruise with the kids. Rent a bicycle to take a relaxing ride along the Riverwalk and historic Main Street. Or hop on a Segway for a guided tour that includes some lesser-known (but equally memorable) moments in history, and beautiful backdrops for snapping pictures. 

Yorktown is joined by the scenic Colonial Parkway, which travels from Jamestown to Williamsburg, and is located just 12 miles east of Williamsburg. While it remains much as it was during the waning days of the Revolution, it has become a premier travel destination for fine dining, shopping, outdoor recreation and special events. Whether it’s reliving the chronicles of America’s struggle for independence, taking a leisurely stroll down the Riverwalk with an ice cream cone or listening to the Fifes and Drums march down the street—there’s always something going on in Yorktown!

To book your next day trip or family vacation, check out VisitYorktown.org