Facts About the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

Theme

The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, which replaced the Yorktown Victory Center, tells anew the story of the nation’s founding, from the twilight of the colonial period to the dawn of the Constitution and beyond. Comprehensive indoor exhibits and outdoor living history capture the transformational nature and epic scale of the Revolution and its relevance today.

Location

On Route 1020 in Yorktown; adjacent to Colonial National Historical Park, which encompasses Yorktown Battlefield, and 12 miles from Williamsburg. Six miles from Interstate 64, Exit 247. GPS address: 200 Water Street, Yorktown, VA 23690.

Exhibit Areas

Inside the museum building, “Liberty Fever,” an introductory film shown at regular intervals daily, sets the stage for indoor gallery and outdoor living-history experiences. The 22,000-square-foot permanent exhibition galleries engage visitors in the tumult, drama and promise of the Revolution through period artifacts and immersive environments, dioramas, interactive exhibits and short films, including an experiential theater that transports visitors to the Siege of Yorktown with wind, smoke and the thunder of cannon fire. In an outdoor re-created Continental Army encampment, historical interpreters describe and depict the daily life of American soldiers and engage visitors in military drills, basics of espionage, and demonstrations of medical and surgical practices. At a Revolution-era farm that includes a dwelling, kitchen, tobacco barn, and vegetable and herb garden, visitors are invited to help tend crops, process plant fiber for cloth and play 18th-century games. Some hands-on experiences may be limited to ensure safety protocols related to COVID-19.

Historical Perspectives

Yorktown was the site of the climactic battle of the American Revolution. In early fall 1781, Generals Washington and Rochambeau had the British army trapped along the shores of the York River. The allied American and French armies had all of the land routes blocked. The French navy blockaded escape by sea. General Cornwallis had no option but to surrender to the combined forces.

Hours of Operation

Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily year-round. Living-history areas open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed on New Year’s and Christmas days. Allow a minimum of three to four hours for a visit.

2021 Admission

$16.00 adults, $8.00 ages 6-12. Value-priced combination ticket with Jamestown Settlement:  $28.90 adults, $14.45 ages 6-12. Discount for groups of 15 or more. Annual pass with Jamestown Settlement: $44.00 adults, $22.00 ages 6-12. Children under 6 are free. Parking is free.

Visitor Amenities

The gift shop complements and extends the museum experience with a comprehensive selection of books, prints, artifact reproductions, educational toys and games, jewelry and mementos. A café with seasonal food service and year-round snack and beverage vending offers seating indoors and on an outside patio. A museum admission ticket is not required to visit the gift shop or cafe.

Safety Protocols

In response to COVID-19, the museums have adjusted operations and access to outdoor living-history areas and gallery exhibits so visitors can enjoy the museum experience while following new safety protocols and social-distancing procedures. Learn more at jyfmuseums.org/welcome.

Administration

Operated by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, an agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.
Chairman: Kenneth R. Plum.
Executive Director: Christy S. Coleman.
Senior Director of Museum Operations and Education: Mariruth Leftwich.

Museum History

Opened April 1, 1976, as one of three Bicentennial centers in Virginia. In the 1990s, the museum’s focus broadened to encompass the entire American Revolution. Work began in mid-2012 on transforming the Yorktown Victory Center into the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. The project included reorganization of the 22-acre site, an 80,000-square-foot structure encompassing expanded exhibition galleries, classrooms and support functions, and enlarged and enhanced outdoor living-history areas. Museum operations transitioned to the new museum building in late winter 2015, as work continued on permanent exhibition galleries, an introductory film, and the outdoor encampment and farm. The film and galleries debuted on October 15, 2016, along with the new museum name, and a grand opening celebration March 23-April 4, 2017, and dedication on April 1, 2017, officially launched the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown.

Information/Media Inquiries

For information and images, journalists should contact Media Relations, Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, P.O. Box 1607, Williamsburg, Virginia 23187-1607. Media inquiries can be submitted to enews@jyf.virginia.gov, or by emailing one of the media contacts below. All emails end with the extension: @jyf.virginia.gov.

Tracy Perkins, (757) 253-4114 or tracy.perkins

Meghan van Joosten, (757) 253-4175 or meghan.vanjoosten

Inquiries from the general public should be directed to (757) 253-4838, or jyfmuseums.org.

2021