Yorktown is known for the Virginia Tea Party on November 7, 1774, and the victory of the French and American allied forces over the British at the last major battle of the American Revolution. Lord Cornwallis’s British Army capitulated on the ground known today as Surrender Field on October 19, 1781.
Yorktown’s many historic sites gives visitors the opportunity to discover:
• How the French fleet won a critical battle for control of the Chesapeake Bay at just the right moment forcing Cornwallis to dig in for a siege in Yorktown;
• How General Washington and General Rochambeau were able to move their combined force so quickly to Yorktown; and
• The culmination of the stories of Washington, Rochambeau, Cornwallis, Lafayette, De Grasse, and the thousands of soldiers and sailors, Native Americans, enslaved people, and civilian refugees that make up the collective story of Yorktown.
• Yorktown Battlefield at Colonial National Historical Park – 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.
• Grace Church, Yorktown’s oldest building, is a historic Episcopal church and cemetery constructed in 1697 and later updated with a Greek Revival style. Thomas Nelson, Jr., a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and other pre-Revolution Founding Fathers attended the church.
• Custom House – The Custom House, built circa 1720, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and owned by the Comte de Grasse Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution.
• Moore House – The site of negotiations that led to the British surrender at Yorktown in 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 Baptist Church – Yorktown Baptist Church is set in the midst of the Yorktown Battlefield where brave individuals gave their lives for our freedom.
• Yorktown Victory Monument – A marble monument erected in 1884 in Colonial National Historical Park commemorating the 1871 victory at Yorktown and the alliance with France that brought the end of the American Revolution.
• American Revolution Museum at Yorktown – This museum tells the story of the nation’s founding, from the twilight of the colonial period to the dawn of the Constitution and beyond. Exciting indoor galleries feature period artifacts, immersive environments, and films, including “The Siege of Yorktown,” with a 180-degree surround screen and dramatic special effects. Visitors can muster with troops in a re-created Continental Army encampment and help with chores at a re-created Revolution-era farm.
• 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.
• York County Historical Museum – Displays artifacts from Yorktown’s past including Native American tools, colonial Yorktown, Revolutionary and Civil War, and 20th Century exhibits of the USS Yorktown, the Naval Weapons Station, and more.
October 14, 2023 - October 14, 2023
Join the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on October 14, as they celebrate the 242nd anniversary of America’s momentous ... Read More
October 14, 2023 - October 15, 2023
Join Historic Yorktown for the 242nd anniversary of America’s 1781 Revolutionary War victory at Yorktown. Town wide activities include: • Yor... Read More
October 19, 2023 - October 19, 2023
Celebrate Yorktown Day in a big way -- at a parade! The Yorktown Day Parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, October 19. The route will follow Yo... Read More
October 19, 2023 - October 19, 2023
Discover what it took for the United States to be independent as you explore the site of the last major battle of the Revolutionary War. Colonial... Read More
October 26, 2023 - October 26, 2023
The year is 1773. A minister must obtain an official license from British Crown authorities to preach in public. Archibald Cary, the magistrate of Che... Read More
October 29, 2023 - October 29, 2023
As portrayed by Jim Gallagher, Thomas Nelson Jr. addresses the citizens of Yorktown on November 6, 1774. He'll describe British reprisals for the Bost... Read More