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Our visit to the Yorktown Battlefield was part of one of our many weekend road trip adventures.
The stop at Yorktown Battlefield was the last stop on the Road Trip and happened on Monday, so we got to avoid a lot of the weekend crowds.
We didn’t get a chance to visit the Yorktown Victory Center, due to time constraints so that will have to remain on the Bucket List for completion next time I find myself on a Road Trip through the area! The tour takes about an hour or two, depending on how often you get out to explore and extremely easy to navigate thanks to the the countless signs you will find along the route.
Along the tour you will stop at the British Inner Defense Line, the Grand French Battery, the Second Allied Siege Line (which is also right next to the Yorktown National Cemetery), Redoubts 9 and 10, the Moore House, and Surrender Field. When you stop at the Second Allied Siege Lines beside to take a few minutes to visit the Yorktown National Cemetery that is right next to the stop. The visit to Redoubts 9 and 10 is a must stop, because the events here where the changing point of the war. After departing the Moore House we traveled to Surrender Field, where on October 19th 1781 the British Formally surrendered to the Colonists, ending the war.
While Surrender Field is the end of the primary auto tour, from the parking lot you will discover access to the second auto tour that covers the allied encampment tour, which includes visits to the Colonial Artillery Park, General George Washington’s Headquarters, the French Cemetery, French Artillery Park, French Encampment Area, and the British Untouched Redoubt. For parents and homeschooling families the Yorktown has a great Jr Ranger program for the kids! I have visited a number of Battlefields around the country and while battlefields may not be everyone’s cup of tea, Yorktown is certainly one of the better ones to visit. Have you been to Yorktown already, did I miss something super awesome during my visit that I need to see next time I find myself in the Yorktown area?
About AuthorAvery Z ChipkaBorn in central Vermont, Avery has spent is life exploring the wonders of nature.

Except as noted all content here in is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. While we had a purpose for the trip, there is nothing like driving two hours out-of-the-way for a little diversion and education.
The Journey begins inside of the Visitor Center, where they have a theater which provides visitors with an overview of how the American Revolution came to be and how the French got involved, you know just incase you missed that somewhat significant part of American history in school. What makes the town of Yorktown so cool is its not a recreation and it’s still actually a real town. Everything I have heard about it says if your going to Yorktown Battlefield you should certainly make it part of your adventure! Due to the excessively high heat we decided not to do the walking tour of the battlefield and instead jumped in our car for the self-guided auto tour. In addition to the navigation signs, each site along the tour is designated by a letter, which also matches up to the CD that gives you a brief history before you get out to explore. It’s not actually part of the Yorktown Battlefield tour because the cemetery is from the civil war not the revolutionary war.
This is the location where the French and Colonists broke through the British lines, and can easily be viewed as the point where victory of the battle was truly in sight! While these sites are not as impressive as the locations on the main tour, the auto tour will bring you right back to the Visitor Center and it doesn’t take much longer to use the allied encampment tour road as your route back instead of just driving back. Our daughter is a huge fan of these programs and looks forward to getting her patch for every National Park we visit, earning the one at Yorktown brought her up to Four Jr Ranger Awards! If you find yourself doing this some day, stop in the gift shop and spend the $5.00 on a the CD that goes with the auto tour. An interesting point of reference here is the vast majority of gravesite’s in the cemetery are for union soldiers.

Its easy to miss but there is also a small kids area on the upper floor of the museum that puts the events in easy to comprehend terms for the young ones in your group. You’ll find a number of historic builds owned by the National Park service in the town, one of the highlights is the Nelson House. This is the spot in the audio tour I mentioned before, when you leave the Redoubts un-pause the CD, there is lots of great information provided along the route to the Moore House. Remember back in those days there was no email so communications took a good amount of time to be transmitted. We visited the Jamestown Settlement, Historical Yorktown, the Yorktown Battlefield, and even a quick stop in Colonial Williamsburg to grab some lunch at the Kings Arms Tavern. In terms of the revolutionary war just think how the holiday of independence day would be different if the British had won the war!
One of the coolest items to see at Surrender Field is the display of artillery that was turned over by the British to the Colonists, all of which are on display here in there full glory!
Multiple times we thought it was time to pause it, only to discover when we hit play again there was a whole bunch of information we missed out on. As a side note there are actually two auto-tours at Yorktown Battlefield, not one, but more on that latter. It was the locations that the terms of the British surrender where negotiated on October 19th, 1781!

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