Yorktown, VA: Walking the Battlefields of the American Revolution

When you’re visiting the Historic Triangle area of Virginia, you can’t miss Yorktown, VA! This was our next to last full day in the area. We had visited Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, gone on a day trip to Washington, DC, and then taken a day of rest of the condo before heading out to Yorktown. You can read about the rest of our trip on my post, A Homeschool Mom’s Dream Trip! Williamsburg, Jamestown, & Yorktown, VA + Washington, D.C. Yorktown is just a short, lovely drive up Colonial Parkway from Williamsburg, where we made our home base for the week.

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The American Revolution Museum

The American Revolution Museum was our first stop in Yorktown. After a quick consult with General Washington, we felt like we were armed with all the intel we needed to advance safely!

The exquisite exhibits inside the museum boasted of pain-staking attention to detail, telling the story of the unwavering fight for a growing nation’s independence! Make sure you don’t miss the 4D-experiential “Siege of Yorktown” theater!

The outdoor area was just as well-appointed! At the Continental Army encampment, we learned about the medical treatment practices of the Revolution-era military, and Elijah got to shoot a musket.

18th-Century farming was also on display, complete with a real tobacco barn…you couldn’t fake that distinct, overwhelming aroma!

Yorktown Visitor’s Center

We were itching to see the battlefields first-hand, so we pulled ourselves away from the American Revolution Museum and made our way to the Yorktown Visitor Center to start our tour. While we were at the visitor’s center, we took a quick walk through the museum exhibits, where we determined that the 6’2″-6’4″ tall Felkins guys wouldn’t have been very comfortable aboard an 18th-Century ship!

PRO-TIP: While you’re at the Yorktown Visitor’s Center, be sure to pick up the audio CD that is for sale in the gift shop to accompany you along the 7-mile Battlefield Auto Tour Road. It was $4.95 when we were there and worth every penny! As a matter of fact, on the first stop of the tour, a couple heard the audio coming from our car and asked where we got it. They were already lost!

7-Mile Battlefield Auto Road Tour

As we journeyed from battlefield to battlefield, listening to the stories, and taking the time to get out and traverse the fields which hold such bloody and courageous secrets, our mood became one of solemn gratitude.

Just think about the stories this wise old tree could tell!

I was filled with pride to see the reverence my kids showed for this place and those who gave their lives there, even taking time to connect with the people of the past by reading the gravestones of those buried in a little connecting cemetery. I have always felt compelled to do this myself anytime I am in a cemetery. You see, I believe that every person is significant none should be forgotten. It warms my heart to see my kids emulating this conviction.

The Moore House is not to be missed. It is the very location where the surrender negotiations of the American Revolution took place! Can you imagine having your house taken over for the purpose of ending a war and freeing a nation? What a humbling, yet startling, honor that must have been!

The rest of the 7-mile Battlefield Auto Tour Road was a magnificent display of the stunning Virginia landscape!

These gorgeous wooden bridges carried us safely across the swampy areas. They are only one lane wide, but the entire tour is a one-way road. As long as everyone is following the rules, you should be okay. Don’t worry, it didn’t seem like there were too many rogue history buffs galavanting around Yorktown!

Beach at York River on Riverwalk Landing

Sunset was quickly approaching, and we wanted to spend some time on the beach before leaving Yorktown. We had hoped to make a day trip down to Virginia Beach to take in the sandcastle contest that was going on in late September 2019, but after spending a whirlwind day in Washington, DC, we just didn’t have the energy to fit it in on this trip. We couldn’t leave Virginia without seeing some kind of a beach, and though it wasn’t on the ocean, the York River beach on the quaint Riverwalk Landing provided the perfect sunset beach moment!

I had to take a picture of this sweet little vessel, Miss Nancy, for my sweet mama who shares the same name!

We had a full day in Yorktown, and there were quite a few other things we could have done, but we felt satisfied with our choices and went back to Williamsburg with happy hearts. It was a day well spent.

What historical places have you been to that have etched a solemn memory on your heart?

I love to share my passion for family, faith, learning, and adventure! I am a worship pastor's wife, a homeschool mom to three teens (well, one has graduated), a former public school teacher and counselor, and a Ph.D. in educational psychology. At our church, I serve on the worship team and as the Fine Arts coordinator, helping students to discover, develop, and deploy their God-given gifts. I'm so excited for you to follow along on this joyous journey!

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