The Colonial National Historical Park in Virginia spans acres of natural beauty, containing some of the most historic sites in the country.
The park is located about two and half hours from Washington D.C., (624 Water St., Yorktown VA).
It includes Cape Henry (where the first English colonists landed in 1607, and later one of the sites of the largest naval battles of the Revolutionary War), Historic Jamestowne, the Yorktown Battlefield and Colonial Parkway.
There is also the Moore House (photo above), where terms were negotiated after the 1781 Battle of Yorktown. It was heavily damaged during the 1862 Siege of Yorktown but fully restored by October 1934.
Make sure to take at least a self-guided tour through the grounds – but if you want the full experience and to learn more about the rich history of the area, you are better off taking either the Ranger and Park Guide Tours, or the Living History Tours performed by characters of years gone by.
The park’s website recommends planning to spend about two hours at each of the sites of Jamestown and Yorktown to allow for enough time to really enjoy your visit.
Start your trip in historic Yorktown and then follow Colonial Parkway to Jamestown or Williamsburg to complete your experience; together with Yorktown, these three towns form what is known as the Virginia “Historic Triangle.”
Colonial Parkway runs 23 miles long, connecting the three areas, and allowing for a very scenic drive through the park grounds.
For nature lovers, the park also offers plenty of walking, running and biking opportunities. Over 200 species of birds can be found here, including bald eagles and wild turkeys, as well as other animals like red tailed foxes, opossums and deer.
The Yorktown-Williamsburg-Jamestown area is known for its historic battles, colonial architecture, and natural beauty, making it an ideal spot for a Virginia vacation weekend.
An important thing to note is that the park closes at sunset, and is also closed on Thanksgiving Day, December 25 and January 1. The park is open all year and closed on select holidays. The Historic Jamestowne Visitor Center and the Yorktown Battlefield Visitor Center are open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. All park grounds close at sunset.