Attractions & Museums
Yorktown provides a unique blend of the past and present. You can spend the day at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown traveling back to the 18th century and learning the stories of citizens and soldiers. Then, return to spend your night with Yorktown Ghost Walks searching for signs of the supernatural as you explore history’s most haunted places. The following are just a few of the many opportunities awaiting you your next visit.
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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. Call for reservations.
2019 marks the 400th anniversary of key historical events that occurred in Virginia in 1619 and continue to define America today. As part of the 2019 Commemoration, American Evolution, an array of special exhibitions, events, public lectures and programs will take place throughout the year at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown and Jamestown Settlement.
The museum is open daily where America’s struggle for independence, from the beginnings of colonial unrest to the formation of the new nation, is chronicled through the stories of citizens and soldiers in gallery exhibits, films and outdoor living history. Visitors can muster with troops in a re-created Continental Army encampment and help with chores at a re-created Revolution-era farm. There is a gift shop and a seasonal café. Entry requires an admission fee. Entry is free to James City County, York County, and Williamsburg neighbors with proof of residence.
Built circa 1720, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and owned by the Comte de Grasse Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution. There is a gift shop. The Custom House is open seasonally.
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. There is a rental fee.
This original building, built in 1697, survived fire and two wars and continues to serve an active Episcopal congregation. Grace Episcopal Church offers tours on Saturday and holds services on Sunday. Seasonal, Sundays, 1 - 4 p.m. Open Memorial Day through October 19.
Located in the Historic Cole Digges House (c.1730) on Main Street in Yorktown Village, this is a must visit. After many recreations over the past 289 years, the café has returned to a part of its Colonial heritage as a coffee and tea house. In addition to their tasty café selections, you can watch them roast coffee on Saturdays, join them for their monthly wine classes or historical talks, or enjoy a drink in the yard while appreciating one of the original seven buildings in Yorktown.
Enjoy a guided Segway tour through Historic Yorktown or rent a bicycle for a self-guided tour. You can also rent paddle boards and kayaks by the hour. Beach provisions, snacks and various sundries available. Ticket fees vary based on type of tour. 2019 Schedule and Prices
Phone: 888-316-6422 (For private charters, call 757-639-1233)
Bring the kids to Captain Mayhem’s School of Piracy aboard Yorktown’s Schooner Alliance. Dates include April 18 - 24 and then May 25 through September 2; Monday through Saturday at 11 a.m. Advance reservations are recommended. Call to purchase tickets. There is an admission fee. 2019 Rates and Schedule.
Along the waterfront is Riverwalk Landing—a fine blend of riverfront dining, outdoor recreation,shopping, and special events—all with a beautiful view of the York River. Take a sunset sail on the Schooner Alliance and then treat yourself to ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s, or simply relax as you take in the sights and sounds of the bustling Riverwalk.
Private Charters: 757-639-1233
For those who love history, yearn for romance, or have dreamed of a true sailing adventure—this outing is for you! Lend a hand at setting sail, take the helm and steer the ship, or look for dolphins and osprey as you glide along the shores of the York River. Sails are two hours long and leave three times a day from the Riverwalk Landing Pier. Seasonal Attraction: April 12 - November 3 and weather dependent. Food and beverages are available for purchase on board. Advanced reservations are recommended. 2019 Rates and Schedule.
The Fifes and Drums of York Town can be seen and heard throughout the year at many of Yorktown’s signature Events. In the summer, they also perform weekly at the Park Service Visitor Center, American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, and down at the waterfront. This talented hometown corps works to preserve and present Revolutionary War era fife and drum music in a tribute to the era in which American independence was won.
The Watermen’s Museum 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. The museum also offers school field trips, summer camps, festivals/events, and more. There is an admission fee.
Exhibits in this museum highlight York County’s 400-year history, including Naval Weapons Station, the battlefield golf course, the Coleman Bridge, and the archaeology of several local sites. Admission is free. Call for hours or to arrange a group tour.
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. There is an admission fee to enter the Yorktown Battlefield.
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 to 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.
Located in Historic Yorktown, this 2-acre beachfront provides opportunities for boating, swimming, and fishing. It is also ADA accessible with a special Mobi-Mat that extends from the Riverwalk, down the sand, all the way to the water. Disabled guests with an accompanying escort may also rent our Mobi-Chair from the Dockmaster’s office which allows wheelchair bound visitors to get into the river.
In an area so rich in conflict, it’s no wonder there are whisperings of haunted buildings and lingering spirits. If you’re fascinated with the paranormal, you won’t want to miss this guided tour of Historic Yorktown’s streets after sunset. Currently offered on Fridays and Saturdays. Please call ahead to check availability.
Mon–Thurs, 8:30 pm (Apr 15–Nov 7); Fri & Sat, 7:30 & 9:30 pm (Jan–Dec)
York County offers full-service hotels, bed and breakfasts, and camping. We have several family-friendly resorts, including Great Wolf Lodge which features an indoor water park! Challenge the family to a competitive game of miniature golf at Pirate’s Cove or spend the day at Water Country USA, the Mid-Atlantic’s largest water park offering live entertainment, shops, restaurants, and rides. Our area is also home to several craft breweries including Alewerks, The Virginia Beer Company, and Brass Cannon Brewing Co. You’ll find something for everyone!