Beyond Boating: Exploring Quaint & Historic Yorktown, Virginia

Nestled along the scenic banks of the York River in the beautiful state of Virginia lies a quaint and historically rich gem: Yorktown. Steeped in colonial history and dotted with picturesque views, Yorktown offers its visitors a captivating blend of past and present, inviting you to embark on a journey through time. Today, we’re sharing the ultimate itinerary for must-see spots to stop by and enjoy during your time in the area.  

Take A Glimpse into Colonial Heritage

Yorktown stands as a living testament to America’s not-so-long-ago colonial past. It served as the site of the pivotal Battle of Yorktown in 1781, which marked George Washington’s decisive victory over Charles Cornwallis in the American Revolutionary War. Today, as you walk through its cobblestone streets and historic landmarks, you can almost feel the echoes of history reverberating through the air.

Start exploring the Yorktown Battlefield in the Colonial National Historical Park, and feel history come alive as you wander through the well-preserved strongholds and cannons that witnessed the Revolutionary War’s final showdown. Make sure you spend some time learning the stories of courage and sacrifice from soldiers of long ago when you visit the Yorktown Victory Monument, a towering tribute to the triumph of American independence.

Stop and Stroll Through Time in Downtown Yorktown

Beyond its revolutionary legacy, Yorktown is also home to some incredible architectural and cultural landmarks for all to appreciate and enjoy. Take a leisurely stroll down Main Street, where centuries-old buildings now house charming boutiques, art galleries, and cozy cafes. Yorktown is known for its timeless ambiance and colonial charm, so soak it all in while you explore. 

Be sure to stop by the Yorktown Custom House, a historic landmark dating back to the 18th century. Today, it offers a bird’s-eye view of the town’s maritime heritage and trade history. 

Later, stop by the Watermen’s Museum for a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the Chesapeake Bay watermen and to experience interactive exhibits and activities that are fun and engaging for all ages!

Explore the Chesapeake Bay’s Natural Beauty

Of course, Yorktown’s scenic wonderland also extends beyond its historic sites and offers outdoor enthusiasts the perfect opportunity to explore all of the area’s other natural wonders. If you’re looking to head out on a leisurely bike ride, be sure to make your way along the picturesque Colonial Parkway, where you’ll find both lush forests and serene waterways that have created the perfect oasis away from the hustle and bustle of Yorktown.

Spanning 34 miles and flowing into the Chesapeake Bay, the nearby York River serves as the focal point of bustling activity all along the Yorktown waterfront. For those seeking some sort of aquatic adventure, the nearby York River is the perfect place to head out for a kayaking, paddle boarding, or sailing excursion. The area is surrounded by marshlands, teeming with diverse wildlife and ecological marvels, and is well known for the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Dock your boat at the public pier to easily access the area’s picturesque beaches and activities, or spring for a guided tour so you can sit back and relax. Depending on the time of year, you might be able to hop aboard a local sailing charter for a romantic sunset cruise or pretend to be a pirate on a fun-filled, pirate-themed cruise. 

Sample Local Flavors Around Town

No exploration of the area would be complete without taking a little time to indulge in the town’s wide variety of culinary delights and local flavors. Savor authentic Southern cuisine at any one of the town’s cozy eateries, where fresh seafood, hearty stews, and decadent desserts await your taste buds. There’s something for everyone — and the best part is, no matter which way you turn, you’ll still find yourself surrounded by beautiful views of the York River!

Find Something to Do, No Matter the Season

Yorktown is always bustling year-round, with a calendar full of a variety of activities. Everything from art exhibits and wine festivals to a vibrant local farmer’s market and lively outdoor concerts. 

Make sure you save some time to visit the Yorktown Farmers Market, where local vendors display a ton of unique, artisanal products, farm-fresh produce, and homemade delicacies. Whether you’re craving gourmet cheeses, handcrafted wines, or freshly baked pastries, this market offers a feast for all the senses.

Start Planning Your Visit to Yorktown

In Yorktown, history and beauty come together to create an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages and stages of life. 

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, nature lover, or simply seeking a peaceful retreat, this charming enclave has something to offer everyone. One of the best parts about visiting Yorktown is that every season brings with it a fresh chance to come together as a community and indulge in delicious food, dazzling fireworks, soul-stirring music, and entertainment fit for the whole family!

Visit Morningstar Marinas’ Little Creek & Gwynn’s Island Locations

Did you know that two of Morningstar Marina’s beautiful locations are right off the open water of the Chesapeake Bay along the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) and only a few miles away from historic Yorktown, Virginia? 


If you need a place to land when exploring the area, be sure to stop by our Little Creek location, which is just a stone’s throw away from the James River and the Atlantic Ocean. There, you will find our state-of-the-art, storm-resistant Bellingham dock system for easy in-and-out access. Stop in to fuel up — for either your boat or yourself! 

Our other location can be found in historic Gwynn’s Island, 75 miles east of Richmond and right off the Chesapeake Bay. We’re in the prime location to quite a few of the area’s best fishing spots, but there are plenty of other opportunities for fun for the whole family, too! Plus, Morningstar Marinas is proud to offer transportation options for our transient guests who may want to explore the area while they’re nearby. Learn more.