Whether you’re a history buff, water lover, or both – Yorktown offers plenty to plan a great day, weekend or full week of fun. You can brush up on American history, refreshing your memory about the pivotal battle in America’s fight for independence at several museums and historic sites. Take a break and enjoy the sounds of authentic fifes and drums. Fast forward to today and learn about working watermen on the river. Walk off an excellent meal with a stroll on the Riverwalk. You can also get out on the river yourself on the Schooner Alliance or a fishing charter. Click on the resources below to plan your visit.
YORKTOWN BATTLEFIELD (757.898.2410)
Begin your visit at the Yorktown Battlefield Visitor Center, where an orientation film, museum exhibits, and bookstore are available. Explore the fields, earthworks, and historic buildings where American independence was won. Driving tours of the battlefield include siege lines and encampment areas. Ranger led tours of the battlefield and historic town leave from the visitor center daily, and Junior Ranger Programs are available for younger visitors. Administered by the National Park Service as part of Colonial National Historical Park. Admission $.
Other points of interest are included with a National Park Service Admission ticket. Please note these sites are open seasonally as volunteers are available.
CORNWALLIS’ CAVE - While legend places Cornwallis’ headquarters here, he was actually located in a bunker near Tobacco Road.
MOORE HOUSE - Site of negotiations that led to the British surrender at Yorktown on October 19, 1781.
NELSON HOUSE - Restored mansion of Thomas Nelson Jr., a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Governor of Virginia, and commander of the Virginia Militia during the Siege of Yorktown.
POOR POTTER ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE - Described as a “poor potter” by Royal Governor William Gooch in 1732, William Rogers actually operated a large-scale pottery in Yorktown from 1720-1745 in violation of English trade laws.
YORKTOWN VICTORY MONUMENT - Commissioned by the Continental Congress in 1781 to commemorate the great victory at Yorktown, this monument was constructed between 1881 and 1884.
YORKTOWN VICTORY CENTER (757.253.4838) Open daily!
The American Revolution, from colonial unrest to the formation of the new nation, is chronicled through thematic exhibits and historical interpretation in a re-created Continental Army encampment and 1780s farm. The Yorktown Victory Center remains in daily operation while work is under way on a replacement museum, to be known as the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. Gift Shop. Admission $.
WATERMEN'S MUSEUM & GIFT SHOP (757.887.2641)
Tells the story of “lives along the Chesapeake Bay” and the history of the people who work on and harvest the bounty of the bay. Admission $.
WATERMEN'S MUSEUM MARITIME EXHIBITS (757.887.2641)
A dynamic exhibit space featuring artifacts and activities that explore Yorktown's past as a center of maritime commerce. Free.
ALEXANDER’S PHOTOGRAPHY (757.898.0632)
While visiting historic Yorktown with your family and friends schedule your family portrait taken by Alexander using the York River picturesque scenery as a backdrop. For reservations call 757.898.0632 or visit website
SCHOONER ALLIANCE (888.316.6422 / 757.273-8225) (For private charter, call 757.639.1233)
Sail into history aboard Yorktown’s 105’ tall ship. Three sails daily from Riverwalk Landing pier. Apr-Oct. Admission $. Schedule & Prices
SCHOONER SERENITY PIRATE CRUISES (888.316.6422 / 757.273-8225) (For private charter, call 757.639.1233)
Set sail for a Pirate Adventure Cruise aboard Yorktown's 65' Schooner Serenity. Available for Private Charters and Special Events. Departing from Riverwalk Landing pier. May-Oct Admission $. Schedule and Prices
PATRIOT TOURS & PROVISIONS, LLC (757.969.5400) Tour Fee Schedule
Enjoy a guided Segway PT tour through Historic Yorktown or rent a bicycle for a self-guided tour. Beach provisions, snacks and various sundries available. Admission $.
YORK RIVER CHARTERS (855.257.2628 / 757.645.8397) Information and Rates (2 pages)
Departing daily from Yorktown offering guests a personalized experience on the beautiful York River. This could mean a fishing charter combining some bottom fishing with an equal amount of time spent live baiting for cobia or trolling for striped bass, bluefish or Spanish mackerel. For others, it may mean an intimate sunset cruise topped off by riverview dining in Yorktown. So, come on down, kick off your sandals and let us show you what time on the rivah' is really all about.
MUSEUM ON MAIN (757.898.4910) Reopening soon in a new location!
Changing exhibits of York County’s history, sites, and events. Displays include archeology from the Tabb area, WWII collections, and more. An extension of the York County Historical Museum. Call 757.898.4910 for hours or to arrange a group tour. Free.
YORK COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM (757.898.4910)
Exhibits highlighting York County’s 400-year history; including Naval Weapons Station, the battlefield golf course, the Coleman Bridge, and the archeology of several local sites. Call 757.898.4910 for hours or to arrange a group tour. Free.
FIFES & DRUMS OF YORK TOWN (757.898.9418)
Reminiscent of 18th century musicians who served the Continental Army in Yorktown, this group of young fifers and drummers march and perform throughout Historic Yorktown. Members wear Regimental uniforms and colors, and can be seen parading and heard playing in frequent public appearances. For a listing of future Yorktown performances, check the event calendar.
GRACE EPISCOPAL CHURCH (757.898.3261)
This original building, built in 1697, survived fire and 2 wars and continues to serve an active Episcopal congregation. Historic tours on Sat. Services held on Sunday. Book and Gift Shop. Seasonal, Sundays, 1-4 pm, Memorial Day to Oct 19.
CUSTOM HOUSE (757.532.6472)
Built circa 1720, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and owned by the Comte de Grasse Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution. Gift Shop. Seasonal.
RIVERWALK LANDING PIERS (757.890.3370)
Public piers available for docking. Tie-up and step ashore for lunch or stay overnight. Shuttle connections to Williamsburg and Jamestown. Docking fee $.
FREIGHT SHED (757.890.3730)
Originally located on the water’s edge, the 1930s building served as a terminal for waterborne commerce. Renovated and in its new location, the Freight Shed is available to rent for receptions, meetings, and functions. Rental fee $.