Yorktown Travel Guide

  • yorktown battlefield
    yorktown battlefield
    by doug48
  • surrender road
    surrender road
    by doug48
  • york county historical museum
    york county historical museum
    by doug48

Yorktown Things to Do

  • Yorktown Battlefield

    On 19 October 1781, five years after the American Revolution began, Lord Cornwallis surrendered his command of over 8,500 soldiers and sailors to the combined French and American forces at Yorktown. There are two main driving tours of the battlefield areas. The first is the "Battlefield Tour" which takes you to the British Inner Defense Line, the...

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  • Williamsburg (Colonial and otherwise)

    I have visited Williamsburg two or three times in my life, but I've never been as impressed with the town as so many others seem to be. Maybe it's the partially restored, partially recreated area of town called Colonial Williamsburg or its neighbor Busch Gardens that throw me off. I love history, but Colonial Williamsburg has destroyed more history...

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  • redoubts 9 and 10

    the completion of the american and french second siege line was blocked by a portion of the british outer works called redoubts 9 and 10. on october 14 th general george washington ordered his army to take this position. the redoubts were bombarded during the day and at 8:00 pm american and french infantry stormed the redoubts and over ran them....

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  • yorktown national cemetery

    the yorktown national cemetery was established in 1866 for the internment of civil war dead during the 1862 peninsular campaign. there are 1,596 marked graves in the cemetery. of the total 2,204 burials only 10 confederate soldiers are interned here.

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  • surrender road

    on october 19 th 1781 the soldiers of lord conrwallis' army marched down this road and filed off into a field to the left. this place is designated as the formal capitulation of cornwallis' british garrison. the siege of yorktown and the defeat of lord cornwallis was the last major land battle in the revolutionary war.

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  • second siege line

    pictured is part of the american and french second siege line. after the capture of british redoubts 9 and 10 the second siege line was completed. by this time in the battle lord cornwallis knew that defeat was emanate.

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  • grand french battery

    the grand french battery is part of the american and french first siege line. the grand french battery was the largest gun emplacement on the first siege line.

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  • moore house

    this plantation house was built by lawrence smith in the 1730's. in 1768 the smith family sold temple farm plantation to augustine moore. in the fall of 1781 the moore family fled to richmond to avoid the battle of yorktown. on october 17 th lord cornwallis contacted general george washington to begin the british surrender of yorktown. the...

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  • first siege line

    pictured is the first american and french siege line. on october 6 th 1781 french and american soldiers began constructing these fortifications. from this position american and french forces on the 9 th of october began the siege of yorktown.

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  • yorktown victory monument

    in 1781 a congressional resolution mandated the construction of a monument to commemorate the surrender of lord cornwallis to general george washington at yorktown. however the monument was not built until 1881 a hundred years after the resolution. this 98 ft monument is topped by a statue of lady liberty. the statue was destroyed by lightning and...

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  • somerwell house

    mungo somerwell established a ferry across the york river in 1702. somerwell was also a merchant and town constable. somerwell died around 1707. little is known about his early life or the date of construction of his house.

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  • york county historical museum

    the york county historical museum has an interesting collection of native american tools, and revolutionary and civil war artifacts. the york county museum is worth a stop when in downtown yorktown.

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  • swan tavern

    swan tavern was established in 1722 by thomas nelson and joseph walker. swan tavern remained in operation just prior to the civil war. in 1862 the union occupied yorktown and used the building to store munitions. in december 1863 a fire set off stored munitions and an explosion destroyed the tavern. the building you see today was reconstructed in...

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  • cole digges house

    cole digges built this house around 1720. digges was a member of the royal governor's council and was a wealthy tabacco merchant. on his death in 1744 digges owned this house, two plantations, a warehouse, wharf, and other properties in yorktown.

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  • dudley digges house

    dudley digges was the son of royal council member cole digges. dudley digges built this classic virginia tidewater style house around 1760. digges was a member of the virginia assembly and was captured by the british in charlottesville in june 1781. the digges house was damaged during the battle of yorktown and after the war digges moved to...

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Yorktown Hotels

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Yorktown Restaurants

  • FUN dining experience at Stinky's

    I stopped by on my way home to grab a bite, and was amazed at what the new owners had done with it. It was Kelsey's Deli up until about a month ago. They have totally revamped the place! It is clean as a whistle now too. Anyway, the staff was prompt and friendly and I felt right at home. Everyone seemed to be having a good time (jukebox in the...

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  • Waterstreet Landing

    A quaint "diner-like" restaurant right on the beach with full view of the York river, sunbathers, and beach-goers. Of course, no shirt no service, no uncovered beachware at this establishment. Beer and soda, sandwiches, and family dining with a view of the York River from every seat. They boast specialty sandwiches, gourmet pizza, fresh seafood,...

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  • GREAT FOOD, HISTORIC BUILDING, SMALL...

    Our tour of Yorktown led by the incomperable Ted Fort of the National Park Service ended at the historic Cole Digges house. Built in 1720, the small abode limits what the kitchen can offer - mainly sandwichs, soups and salads. But the food is great and VERY affordable. I opted for The Admiral's Crab Rarebit - a delicious hot crab sauce served over...

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  • Cole Digges House

    Since my husband's grandmother was a Diggs (without the 'e'), I was interested in the various Digges houses. So I took a picture of this house. We didn't eat here.The websites say that it offers a variety of salads, soups and sandwiches and then add: Don't miss their fabulous desserts! Open Mon - Sat 8am - 4 pm and Sunday 10 am - 4 pm.

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  • Fresh fish

    We didnt go in this restaurant, but the lady driving the trolley bus, told us that the owners of this restaurant had come over to the US from Greece in the 1940's. They had built this restaurant up, and loved their home in Yorktown. Outside the restaurant was a stone statue, and we were told that Nicks wife liked to travel and always brought...

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  • A cooling drink

    This restaurant is in an old building that used to be called the Pate House. Apparently though now Architects and the National Park Service think that it was once in fact owned by Cole Digges and built about 1720.We did not in actual fact have a meal here, but called in for a drink to cool us down.They do however, serve salads, sandwiches, soups,...

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Yorktown Transportation

  • Trolley Bus

    The Trolley bus can be caught at the Visitor Centre. You can park your car there in a large car park.The bus is free and leaves every 20 minutes to do a circuit of Yorktown. If you take a tour round first you can get a layout of the place.The lady driver gave a really good commentary as she drove us around. There are 7 stops for the trolley bus....

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  • Yorktown Trolley

    Yorktown Trolley starts at 10 am at the Yorktown Visitor Center and Battlefields. It stops at the Yorktown Monument, Waterstreet Landing Restaurant, Riverwalk Landing, Waterman's Musuem, Yorktown Victory Center, Riverwalk Landing, Historical Main Street, and then at Nancy Thomas Galleries, then back to the Visitor Center. This year we have two...

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  • Yorktown Hotels

    9 Hotels in Yorktown

    99 Reviews and Opinions

Yorktown Shopping

  • grandmaR's Profile Photo
    Yorktown Gift Shop

    by grandmaR Updated Jan 2, 2005

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    We looked at the museum sales shop in the Visitor's Center, but didn't have much time because it was so late. Otherwise we might have bought our Passport to America's Parks here and had it stamped.

    It has mostly items such as books, posters, prints, maps, pins, patches, apparel, games and collectables which focus on America's Colonial Period and the American Revolution

    What to buy: We did not get it, but an audio tour of the 7-mile Battlefield Auto Tour Road is available for purchase in the sales shop. The cost of the audio tour is $3.95 for a cassette and & 4.95 for CD. It takes one hour and 15 minutes to complete.

    Note the website for e-purchases below is not a NPS website.

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Yorktown Local Customs

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    Photo with street sign 4 more images

    by grandmaR Updated Apr 9, 2011

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    Since Bob's grandmother was a Diggs (with no E), I was always interested in finding information about the family. I was told that the Digg's were two brothers descended from Sir Dudley Diggs (England) and that one settled in Matthews CO VA and spelled the name Diggs and were Catholic and the other family went to MD and spelled the name Digges and was Protestant. That seems backward to me since MD was settled by Roman Catholics, and also since my husband's family was Episopal and were in MD. I found out later that Bob's grandmother's family had originally settled in Virginia.

    In any case, these were Digges (with the E) and they were in Virginia and probably Church of England (aka Episcopal)

    Yorktown lawyer Dudley Digges built this classic Virginia style Colonial home in 1760. Like his father Gov. Edward Digges and relatives, Dudley was active in Colonial politics and served as Virginia's Lieutenant Governor and a member of the Virginia Assembly. On June 4, 1781, British forces under Tarleton raided Charlottesville, and captured several legislators, including Yorktown's Dudley Digges and Daniel Boone. Governor Jefferson escaped by hiding in the woods near Monticello.

    The Dudley Digges house is the only wood-frame building to survive the Siege of Yorktown and the Great Fire. It is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Yorktown. After the siege of Yorktown, the house was used as the headquarters of General George McClellan. After moving through Yorktown, the Union forces used the house as a post headquarters for Fort Yorktown in Yorktown Village.

    The house was restored in 1960. The house is privately owned and not open to the public. However, it can be seen from Main Street in Yorktown. (Map photo 3)

    605 Main St., Yorktown, VA

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Yorktown Off The Beaten Path

  • Waterman's Museum

    When we got to the Waterman's Museum on the day after Thanksgiving, it was closed. The website says that it was founded in 1981 for the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Yorktown to interpret the heritage of the Chesapeake Bay’s watermen and women who harvest the bay’s seafood from the time Native Americans fished local waters...

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  • Williamsburg

    If you are visiting Yorktown then you are also in the vicinity of Williamsburg and it is definitely worth a visit.This old colonial town was once the capital of Virginia. The people are dressed in the colonial style. It was named after the reigning Kind William of Orange. The town became quite run down and it was in the 1920's that the Reverand...

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  • Busch Gardens

    Only 20 minutes away is Busch Gardens. A must for kids especially. As we had our son and his friend with us, both 16 you can imagine that walking around Yorktown didnt have the same appeal as riding white knuckle rides at Busch Gardens.This tip is purely on what my son and his friend said. We dropped them both of at 10am when the park opens. They...

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Yorktown Favorites

  • grandmaR's Profile Photo
    1 more image

    by grandmaR Updated Sep 21, 2010

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    Favorite thing: My grandfather sent this postcard to my grandmother from where they lived in Philadelphia in1907. My grandmother had apparently gone home to her parents for a visit because the postcard is addressed to her in NC and he had gone to Norfolk. In 1907, the Jamestoen Exposition was held - and many of the buildings were constructed in Norfolk.

    Fondest memory: The card says:
    No 22. MAIN STREET, YORKTOWN, VIRGINIA.
    This dreamy old town of York was immortalized and made a living actor in history by the siege and surrender of Lord Cornwallis in 1781, the victory by which the independence of the United States of America was achieved. The town has changed but little since then, and is picturesque and quaint to a degree. The old custom house, the first in the United States, can be seen on the left in this view, and is one of the links connecting the present with that glorious day.

    Related to:
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    • National/State Park
    • Budget Travel

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Explore Deeper into Yorktown
nelson house
Things to Do
custom house
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visitor center
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Vistor's Center and Battlefield
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Main Street in Yorktown
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Yorktown Civil War History
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Yorktown Victory Monument
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American Independance
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Cornwallis Cave
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Victory Monument
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Nelson House
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Nelson House
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Tobacco Road
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Grace Church
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Grace Church
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Dudley Digges
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Sessions House
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Dr. Griffiths House
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Customs House
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Side trip to Jamestown
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Surrender Field
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Yorktown Victory Monument
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The Battlefield
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Watermen's Museum
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The Old Colonial Port
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Medical Shop
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Yorktown waterfront
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Custom House
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Yorktown Colonial National Historical Park
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Yorktown Victory Center
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American Independance
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Water Country
Off The Beaten Path
Virginia Beach
Off The Beaten Path
George P. Coleman Bridge
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Yorktown by Night
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The Visitors Centre
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Battlefields
Off The Beaten Path
Yorktown Cruise
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The Yorktown Pub
Restaurants
Map of Yorktown

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