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Aug 17

How to Celebrate the Final Weeks of Summer in Yorktown!

Posted on August 17, 2017 at 9:27 AM by Jenn Conlee

Yorktown Beach Picnic

As the pictures of kids returning to school start to fill our Facebook feeds, we're reminded that another summer is coming to an end. Soon the leaves will change, the pumpkin craze will begin, and sweaters will replace those beach cover-ups. Soon. But not just yet....

The official first day of fall is Friday, Sept. 22. That means we have exactly five weeks to take advantage of the longer days—to savor those sunset dinners on the patio, to pack weekend picnics for the beach, and to find any and every excuse to enjoy the outdoors!

Patriot Tours Paddleboarding

Here is our list of "must-dos" in Yorktown for you and your family in the coming weeks. 

Set Sail on the York River
Schooner Alliance Riverwalk Landing Yorktown
Let's Go Sail
How many of you live on the Peninsula but have never booked a sailing adventure in Yorktown? Locals and vacationers alike can take advantage of these unique nautical excursions that leave from the Riverwalk Landing piers throughout the week and on the weekends. 

Historic Yorktown Lets Go Sail

Williamsburg Charter Sails offers six unique options including one ticket centered around history. What a great way to ease into a new school year with your kids! They'll be able to imagine how the 1781 Battle of the Capes and the Battle of Yorktown unfolded from the waters of the York River. They'll see where the French bottled up the River to prevent a British rescue by their Navy fleet. Learn how Gen. Cornwallis failed to attack Washington in Williamsburg. And discover where the term “hot shot” was derived and where the Purple Heart was founded! 

Let's Go Sail is open through November and rates vary based on your group size which can include up to six people. 

Lets Go Sail Reserve Now

Insider Tips: Enjoy 15% off Mondays and 10% off Tuesday sails. Just use discount code Flex116 at checkout. Also, dogs are allowed on board but the captain recommends small to medium-sized breeds and dogs that won't be tempted to jump into the water. He also requests advance notice so if there are other guests on board, he can provide them with a courtesy heads up.

Schooners Alliance & Serenity
Schooner Alliance and Serenity

 Have a bigger group... or simply want to sail on a bigger ship? The 
Schooners Alliance and Serenity are just the ticket! 

Yorktown Charters offers two daily sails through Labor Day (Saturdays only in September). The schooners leave the pier at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and the morning sail is typically an interactive pirate adventure cruise. This is one the younger kids will definitely love! Why?
  • The crew dresses as pirates.
  • Young recruits get to help raise the sails.
  • They also get to help steer the ship.
  • A cannon will be fired!
  • Everyone will get themed tattoos.

The sunset sails that leave the dock in the evenings are a perfect way to step up your game for date night! These have varying departure times but beer, wine, and snacks are sold on board. This memory is full of photo ops, and not just with your friends or significant other. You're likely to spot osprey and maybe even dolphins while you're out on the water. 
Schooner Alliance Riverwalk Landing Sunset

Insider Tips: Box lunches are available if you purchase before 9 a.m. Also, groups of 20 or more get a 10% discount on each admission ticket. This is a great idea for youth groups, company outings, and family celebrations.
Grab a Seat Outside
Ben and Jerrys Outdoor Dining Family

Nothing says summer like ice cream! And there's something oddly satisfying about being able to finish a cone before it has a chance to melt—quite the feat in this Virginia heat. Ben & Jerry's and Carrot Tree are just two of the waterfront restaurants to offer outdoor seating. They're the perfect spots for lunch, dinner (who says you can't have ice cream for dinner?), and everything in between.

Carrot Tree
Carrot Tree Outdoor Seating

 Most of you are probably familiar with Carrot Tree's delicious desserts, but did you know the bakery and cafe also serves lunch? Not only is there plenty of outdoor seating, but the prices are extremely reasonable! The menu offers quite a bit of variety too. You can order the traditional soups, salads, and wraps, but you can also get southern ham biscuits and quiches. If you're really hungry, go for the 1607 Sampler: a
 scoop of chicken salad, ham salad, egg 
salad, and pimiento cheese with sides of chickpea salad and marinated carrot salad—all on a bed of greens with tomato, cucumber, carrots and crackers. Hungry yet? 

Carrot Tree Cakes

Insider Tips
: The appetizers here are amazing and include everything from Pimiento cheese to spanakopita to deviled eggs. Order several different items and share. Just be sure you save room for dessert!

Ben & Jerry's

Ben and Jerrys Instagram from saramarie12323 on Instagram

With more than 30 different flavors to choose from, Ben and Jerry’s Yorktown makes it almost impossible to pick just one. Our advice? Order a large and make it a double… scoop! Popular flavors include Phish Food®, Bourbon Brown Butter, The Tonight Dough®, and Triple Caramel Chunk. You’ll also find several flavors that aren’t available in most stores, as well as ice cream cakes and pints to help stock your freezer. The menu includes sundaes, milk shakes, sorbets, and smoothies

Ben and Jerrys Milkshakes

Insider Tip: You can order your scoop in a waffle cone or a bowl, but we recommend a waffle bowl. I know. Right?!? It's the best of both worlds! The bowls come plain, dipped in chocolate, or dipped in chocolate and sprinkles.
Enjoy Sightseeing with a Twist!

Patriot Tours Segway Rentals

Whether you've lived here for years or you're visiting from out of town—you’re bound to learn something new when you take a guided Segway tour with Patriot Tours & Provisions.  There are two options, a 1-hour and a 2-hour tour. The longer "Historical" Tour is $65 per person. Your guide will cover the basic history of Yorktown during the Colonial, Revolutionary, and Civil War periods. You'll ride along the waterfront area, the bluffs overlooking the river, and the historic village along Main Street. The shorter, 60-minute tour is $39 per person. That tour starts along the beautiful York River and continues through the historic village. You'll travel down Water Street from the bluff near the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown to the entrance of the Colonial National Historical Park Visitor Center, learning about significant historical sites along the way.

Insider Tip: Wear the right shoes—no wedges or anything with heels. Your shoes should also be closed toe with a strap on the back. Since you control your Segway through your feet, you want to be smart about what you wear. Our recommendation? Good, ol' reliable tennis shoes.

Patriot Tours Cyclists

You can also rent bicycles to ride along the Riverwalk and up through the Battlefield trails, exploring at your own pace. You'll be given a complimentary bike lock and you'll find several bike racks conveniently located throughout town. Bicycles are $7.50 per hour, $25 for 4 hours, and $40 for the entire day.

If you're feeling really adventurous, you can explore Yorktown by water. Paddle boards and kayaks are also available to rent by the hour. A cool perk of this option is that you get a day pass to visit Watermen's Museum. A portion of your rental is donated to the museum to fund educational programs and to maintain the facilities.

Take Advantage of FREE Outdoor Concerts

Rhythms on the Riverwalk Concert Series

York County offers several free outdoor concerts to the community leading into the fall. The Military Band Concert Series is going on through the end of the month. The next two Tuesday nights, talented musicians from both the Air Force and the Army will perform at Riverwalk LandingGrab your lawn chairs or blankets, pack your coolers, and head down to the waterfront. August 22 will feature the USAF "Rhythm in Blue" Band and the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Band's "Premium Blend Jazz Combo" is scheduled to perform August 29. 

After a week break, our next concert series, Rhythms on the Riverwalk, kicks off and lasts all through September. These performances are also at the Yorktown Waterfront but on Friday nights, from 6:30 - 8:30. This year’s diverse entertainment line-up features several musical genres including jazz, big band, and country music! 

Grace Church Concerts

On Sunday nights, up the hill at Grace Episcopal Church, the Celebrate Yorktown Committee sponsors Summer Concerts at 5 p.m. There are two shows left this summer—the Magic of Harmony Show Chorus and Poisoned Dwarf!

Spend the Day at the Beach
Yorktown Beach
We saved one of our most popular attractions for last! Yorktown's public 2-acre beachfront provides opportunities for boating, swimming, and fishing. A recently installed Mobi-Mat can accommodate walkers, wheelchairs, and strollers so everyone can access the beach. The fishing pier is open year-round and is also wheelchair accessible. You don't need a license to fish there! This is the time of year you're likely to catch croaker, flounder, and speckled trout. The trout and puppy drum should also stick around through fall.
Fishing Pier

The pier is also a great stop for sightseeing. Just off the dock is the deepest water of the York River. In addition to fevers of sting rays and pods of dolphins, you may also get lucky and see a Navy destroyer, submarine, or other large vessel (including visiting tall ships) pass through the channel on any given day!   

Dolphins in the York River

Stay Connected
If you come to visit, we want to know. Tell (and show) us your experience by tagging Visit Yorktown on social media. We're active on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. We may end up sharing pictures and videos on our accounts!

Instagram Pirate Adventure Cruise

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