Article and Photos Courtesy of: York County Public Affairs
Spring is here, which can mean only one thing: Yorktown will soon be bustling with boaters, beachgoers, and history buffs. If you find yourself in the area in April, May or early June, consider taking advantage of our adventurous, historical, and artistic attractions.
Tour the Area in Unique, Leisurely Ways
The Yorktown Trolley is one of the most exciting ways to see Historic Yorktown! This complimentary service is back in action daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friendly guides provide helpful information at each stop, so riders can relax and enjoy the scenery. The trolley’s designated route goes from the Yorktown Battlefield Visitor Center to the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, making several convenient stops along the way. Each trolley is ADA accessible and features infotainment and an interactive tracking system. Track the trolley using the SPOT ETA mobile app and get an estimated time of the trolley’s arrival at various attractions.
Riverwalk Landing Piers reopen Saturday, April 1, and welcome recreational boaters who desire to dock for overnight or daily stays. Once tied up, mariners can step ashore for attractions, shops, restaurants, museums, and other touring opportunities.
Thanks to Patriot Tours and Provisions, visitors can stroll around the area in style! Rent bicycles – even electric bikes – to explore Historic Yorktown, including the trails of the Yorktown Battlefield. Families with teenagers can book guided Segway tours with routes traveling along the waterfront and Historic Main Street. During the two-hour tour, riders will learn the basic history of Yorktown during the Colonial, Revolutionary, and Civil War Periods.
Beginning Memorial Day weekend, the Schooner Serenity will be offering sunset cruises along the York River.Guests will relive sailing in the Golden Age as they glide past the Victory Monument and Yorktown Battlefield. Kids 12 and under can join the ship’s crew for its Pirate Adventure Cruise during the day, when they’ll be able to help raise sails, learn how to tie knots, or even steer the ship. Reservations can be made beginning April 27 by phone at 888-316-6422 or online at www.sailyorktown.com.
For those who love spooky stories year round, Yorktown Ghost Walks is a must-do. Learn about the history and haunts of Colonial Yorktown as told by actual paranormal investigators in the historic area after the sun goes down.
Embark on an Engaging History Lesson
The Watermen’s Museum reopens Saturday, April 1. The museum features compelling exhibits that give visitors an understanding of the role the Chesapeake Bay watermen played in shaping our nation—from pre-colonial to modern times. This year’s new exhibits feature indigenous people, piracy in the Chesapeake Bay, colonial maritime laws, the Yorktown Tea Party, and the Oyster Wars. Don’t miss the 8th Annual Tartans and Tie-Dye Celebration from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on April 22. Put on the fanciest tartans and tie-dye to join Team Shenanigans and the museum for music, storytelling, living history, cannon firing, and more. Learn more about the museum and how it’s a “must ‘sea’ in Historic Yorktown.”
Explore immersive, artifact-filled exhibition galleries at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. The museum shares the story of the nation’s founding of the colonial period to the dawn of the Constitution and beyond. While enjoying the indoor exhibit, be sure to check out the short, immersive 4D film “The Siege of Yorktown” shown in the Experiential Theater. There are always hands-on activities taking place in the outdoor living history exhibits. There’s also a scavenger hunt that incorporates indoor and outdoor activities. The museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free to all York County, James City County, and Williamsburg residents.
Explore fields, earthworks, and historical buildings where American independence was won at the Colonial National Historical Park – Yorktown Battlefield. Driving tours of the battlefield include siege lines and encampment areas. Enjoy free admission during National Park Week, April 22-30. To avoid lines, consider purchasing Colonial seven-day or annual passes online. These experiences are administered by the National Park Service as part of Colonial National Historical Park.
The York County Historical Museum opens for the season on April 1. View artifacts that tell the rich and varied stories of York County’s past—from the time of the earliest Native Americans, colonial-era Yorktown, and both the battlefield and home fronts of the Revolutionary War through World War II. The museum is free and located in the lower level of York Hall. Hours vary based on the availability of volunteers.
Discover Art with Heart
The Gallery at York Hall on Historic Main Street reopens April 1 with regular hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is free. The Gallery features the work of more than 300 local artists along with a variety of themed exhibits that change every six to eight weeks. This year’s season kicks off with a Quilts Past & Present Exhibit for April and May. The Gallery is the perfect place to pick up a symbolic souvenir featuring the Yorktown Onion, Fifes and Drums of York Town, and Revolutionary-era soldiers.
On the Hill Gallery offers unique and sought-after artwork from local and regional artists. Located on Historic Main Street in a quaint little building, visitors will find everything from paintings and jewelry to home and office decor. In April, the gallery features a Camera to Canvas exhibit. The Gallery will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 12 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Black Dog Gallery on Ballard Street offers an array of antique prints, textiles, pottery, maps, and more, year round.
Learn more about these galleries that feature “Art wit HeART.”