It might be tiny in land area, at just 0.6 square miles, but Yorktown, VA is big in historical importance. The town is part of the state’s Historic Triangle, along with Jamestown and Williamsburg. It is best known for the eventual surrender of General Charles Cornwallis to General George Washington in 1781 during an American Revolutionary War battle. Most homes in the area were constructed in the 1960s or later, and numerous new properties are available in contemporary styles.
The town is home to Yorktown Beach, a large public beach that includes grassy picnic areas and a fishing pier, along with public showers. Heritage tourism draws visitors to several adjacent downtown neighborhoods. Yorktown Village, or Historic Yorktown, is near the York River, where Water Street is lined with an antique shop, restaurants, a park and a pier. Main Street can be found on a bluff that sits above the floodplain, and structures here are built mostly in the colonial era’s architectural style. Nine buildings in this section of town are pre-Revolutionary, including the Somerwell House and Nelson House. A short drive will bring you to the Colonial National Historical Park and the Yorktown Victory Monument, both located just along the town’s borders.
The quaint town is home to only about 200 permanent residents, but adjacent neighborhoods and college students give it a larger feel. The new Riverwalk Landing added boutique shopping, art galleries, a place to grab coffee or ice cream and more restaurants to the area. If you’re interested in studying history, the Yorktown Victory Center is a must-see. The multimedia museum is based around the Revolutionary War and costumed interpreters can be found on the battlefield. The Watermen’s Museum tells the story of the history and craft of watermen during the war, and also offers boat-building classes. The York County Historical Museum traces the county’s and town’s histories through local artifacts from its earliest days, including Native American tools, up through the Revolutionary and Civil Wars to the present. Just down the road by 20 minutes is Newport News and Norfolk is about a 50 minute drive. The airports at each of these cities are used by Yorktown residents when they wish to fly, for business or pleasure.