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Yorktown Battlefield Visitor Guide

Yorktown; Source: National Park Service
Yorktown Battlefield is a part of the Colonial National Historical Park in Virginia.

The battlefield played an integral role in the independence of the United States and is protected today by the National Park Service.

It is the site of the last major battle in America’s war against England for independence.

History


Yorktown was first established in 1691. Its main purpose was to collect taxes for trade items imported from and exported to Great Britain.

Yorktown’s location on the water made it a booming business town.

In 1750, Yorktown had a population of about 2,000 people. The town itself had between 250 and 300 buildings, making it one of the largest towns of its time.

The year 1781 marked the seventh year of the Revolutionary War. British general Lord Charles Cornwallis came to Yorktown with his army.

Cornwallis knew Yorktown would be an important location to establish a naval base.

American and French forces, led by General George Washington, lay siege to the town. In the days and months to follow, Yorktown would be reduced to a mere 71 buildings and the population reduced to 600 people.

The siege of Yorktown ultimately led to Cornwallis’ surrender and the end of the Revolutionary War.

Yorktown never fully recovered from the siege. A fire in 1814 further set back the town, and in 1862 Yorktown was seized and occupied by Union troops during the Civil War.

Location


Yorktown is part of the Colonial National Historic Park, which includes Jamestown, Williamsburg, Colonial Parkway, and Cape Henry.

Yorktown is a two and half hour drive from Washington, D.C., and an hour drive from Richmond. The Yorktown Battlefield is a three hour and 40 minute drive away from Roanoke.

Hours and Admission


The Yorktown Visitor Center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Visitor Center is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

Admission to the Yorktown Battlefield is $7 for adults ages 16 and over. Passes are good for seven consecutive days.

Colonial Annual Park Passes are $30.

Things to Do


Visitors to the Yorktown Battlefield can explore the area with two self guided audio tours.

The 7-Mile Battlefield Tour Road takes about an hour, and gives visitors a step by step look at the events of the siege.

The 9-Mile Encampment Tour Road takes about a half hour, and covers the allied encampments during the siege.

The Visitor Center has a 15 minute film explaining more about the siege. The center also has tents similar to those used by the armies of the day on display.

The museum shop has books for sale detailing the war and the siege.

Hours and Location

Hours: 9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.
Location: Yorktown
Address: 1000 Colonial Parkway, 23690
Telephone: 757-898-2410
Web site: www.nps.gov
Cost: $7 per adult and teens 16 and older; children 15 and younger are free
Latitude: 43.965389
Longitude: -70.822654
Categories > Eastern Shore > National Parks > Colonial Beach > Historical

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