Immerse yourself in 300 years of Yorktown history. Here you can experience 18th century homes, revolutionary battlefields, a scenic riverfront beach, one-of-a-kind restaurants and lodging apart from city crowds. Park your car and stroll along picturesque streets or take the free trolley. Visit art galleries, antique stores and specialty shops. Experience the museums offering hands-on history programs and exhibits. Walk along the scenic Riverwalk and relax on the sandy beach at river’s edge. Enjoy sounds of The Fifes and Drums of York Town and live entertainment on the riverfront. After working up an appetite, dine at one of the charming restaurants, many with a view of the York River. Enjoy a sail on the York River during the day and as the sun goes down, enjoy a sunset sail on the Schooner Alliance.
The County of York, Virginia, part of the Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), is located on the Virginia Peninsula between the James and York Rivers. The 108-square-mile county is 27 miles long, 6 miles wide at its broadest point, and ranges in elevation from sea level to 124 feet above sea level. There are more than 200 miles of coastline along the York River and other creeks and estuaries.
The County lies 50 miles from Richmond and 25 miles from Norfolk, and borders the cities of Poquoson, Hampton, Newport News, Williamsburg, James City County and Gloucester County.
During its 350-year history, the County of York has figured prominently in both the political and economic history of the Virginia Peninsula, the Commonwealth, and the Nation. The port of Yorktown, which remains the seat of government, was the site of the final battle of the American Revolution where on October 19, 1781, Lord Cornwallis surrendered his British Army to the combined American-French forces under Washington and Rochambeau. Yorktown also figured prominently in the Civil War, serving as a major port to supply both northern and southern towns, depending on who held Yorktown at the time.
After World War II, one of the nation's largest and most diversified military-industrial complexes emerged in the Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News MSA, spawning numerous small precision machine, metal fabrication and technical research companies. The influence of the early waterman remains active; seafood processing, ship building, and ship repair prosper.
Today, Yorktown is part of an important national resource known as the "Historic Triangle" (Yorktown, Jamestown, and Williamsburg).
The County of York successfully blends contemporary living with the appreciation and preservation of a rich community heritage.
To learn more about our exciting history, take a look at the Yorktown / County of York Timeline.