In the summer of 1781, the war for Independence had entered its 6th year. It had been a long and costly war for both sides. They were stalemated. Great Britain was fighting against the French and Spanish around the world, besides the unruly American colonists. Back home, the drone constant war news was growing weary on the citizens. Calls for ending the conflict in the Americas were growing louder.
With Cornwallis' defeat and surrender that fall in 1781, it marked what would become the last major conflict to be fought in the east. The little town of Yorktown would always be associated with that victory. When word of the victory at Yorktown reached Congress a few days later, they immediately authorized a monument to be erected at the town to not only honor both the American and French forces that fought and died there, but also to recognize the significance of that victory.
Today, Yorktown carries on that tradition of honoring that victory and the sacrifices made here. The entire town is geared to welcome visitors to the little shipping port on the York River. Besides the National Park Battlefield, the Victory Monument, and the Victory Center, the citizens of Yorktown have also created a beautiful boardwalk that follows the white sandy beaches along the river. Along the boardwalk are shops, restaurants and museums to help make most visitor's stay a memorable one.
During the Bicentennial of our country, the Adventure Cycling Association established the TransAmerican Trail. This trail runs from Astoria, Oregon (where Lewis and Clark first saw the Pacific Ocean) to Yorktown Virginia. The trail covers over 4,000 miles. Today, it is still one of the most used bicycle routes for bicyclists cross the country.
From spring to fall, a free trolley stops at designated locations every 20-25 minutes making getting around the village very easy and affordable.
Due to its location, severe weather has played a major role in Yorktown's history. Owing to its location, its weather can be severe at times. In 1933 a hurricane completely destroyed the Yorktown waterfront. In September 2003, Hurricane Isabel caused much damage and flooding.