Weekend in Yorktown, Va., one of three ways: on a budget, spending a bit more, or when the getaway calls for a splurge.
Part of Southeastern Virginia’s Historic Triangle (with Jamestown and Williamsburg), Yorktown hugs the York River with 18th-century homes, quaint boutiques and restaurants along the shores. The 23-mile Colonial Parkway links the three towns and is part of the National Park Service’s Colonial National Historical Park. www.nps.gov/colo/index.htm.
Motor through nearly 400 years of American Colonial history and dramatic vistas of the James and York rivers, shady forest passageways and tidal estuaries. Begin at the Historic Jamestowne National Park and retrace the steps of Capt. John Smith and Pocahontas. Experience the natural environment and the lives of colonists along a 5-mile Island Loop Drive (or walk a 3-mile route). A series of interpretive paintings are located at pull-offs along the drive. www.nps.gov/jame/island-loop-drive.htm.
The park also offers free guided tours and living history tours with costumed interpreters.
Toward Yorktown, take the 7-mile self-guided driving tour through battlefields at Colonial National Historical Park. Free ranger-guided tours are offered at the Yorktown Battlefield Visitor Center. www.nps.gov/york/index.htm.
Park entrance fees range from single park admission to combination and multiday passes. www.nps.gov/colo/planyourvisit/fees.htm.
Getting there: Round-trip rates start from $280 to Newport News/Williamsburg (10 miles to Yorktown); from $310 Norfolk (36 miles) and from $254 Richmond (57 miles); based on 21-day advance purchase. Service is nonstop on Delta.
Stay: The Marl Inn is a casual family-operated (and kid-friendly) bed-and-breakfast just a two-minute walk to the York County Historical Museum, two blocks to Yorktown River Beach and less than a block to the restored area on Main Street. The inn sits on a half-acre lot with a beautiful perennial garden, a patio and honeybees in the fenced vegetable garden. Rates from $119 with breakfast. 220 Church St., Yorktown. 301-807-0386, www.marlinnbandb.com.
Eat: Save room after lunch at the Carrot Tree for a fresh baked dessert. Soups, salads, crepes, wraps, to barbecue platters to $9. 323 Water St., Yorktown. 757-988-1999, www.carrottreekitchens.com/yorktown.html.
Experience: Ride the free Yorktown Trolley along a 4-mile loop around Yorktown Village. The route includes the Yorktown Battlefield Visitor Center, Victory Monument, Historic Main Street, Riverwalk Landing (waterfront Colonial-style shops with quilts, art, patriotic items, home decor and more), the Watermen’s Museum and more. The air-conditioned old-world trolleys have mahogany and brass trimmings; 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. to Labor Day. Cool off at the downtown public beach. The park has a 10-acre grassy picnic area, a fishing pier and opportunities to rent kayaks, paddle boards, bikes, or to arrange a river cruise.
Stay: Soak up the nature along the tranquil shores of the Chesapeake Bay and Bay Tree Creek at Bay Tree Manor. Four suites feature handmade mattresses and traditional decor and furnishings. On-site are a pub, outdoor pool and deck area, a patio, and garden waterfall. Rates from $159-$189 include breakfast and afternoon snacks. This 9.5-acre bed-and-breakfast is about an 18-minute drive to Historic Yorktown. 4201 Seaford Road, Seaford. 757-897-6062, www.btmanor.com.
Eat: For locally harvested, hand-picked and -shucked oysters, head to the York River Oyster Company located in Gloucester Point — just across the river from Yorktown. Seafood and steak entrees share the all-day menu with brunch, pizzas and creative small plates, $9-$28. 8109 Yacht Haven Road, Gloucester Point. 804-993-7174, http://yorkriveroysterco.com.
Experience: Sail the Yorktown schooners Alliance or Serenity past the Yorktown Battlefield and the Victory Monument on the banks of the York River (and watch for dolphins). Lend a hand with the sails, or just sit back for the relaxing ride. Choose from a two-hour Sightseeing Cruise offered twice daily ($37 adult; $22 age 12 and under) or a two-hour Sunset Sail ($37; no child discount). 425 Water St., Yorktown. 757-639-1233, www.sailyorktown.com.
Stay: Pull up a rocking chair on the Hornsby House’s private patio to watch the Yorktown Fife and Drums march to the Yorktown Victory Monument (just across Main Street). Choose from two rooms or two suites at rates from $159-$209. The most elegant suite features a king bed and two twins, a private bathroom with tub, a fireplace and large sitting area. Rates, $189-$258 double; plus $25 for children 8-14. All accommodations include gourmet dining room breakfast and afternoon wine and cheese reception. 702 Main St., Yorktown. 757-369-0200, www.hornsbyhouseinn.com.
Eat: Riverwalk Restaurant overlooks York River and serves elegant yet hearty organic dishes. Entrees, $24-$32; steaks and lobster, $36-$42. The bar at Riverwalk offers the full menu and special tapas and wine menu all day. 323 Water St., Yorktown. 757-875-1522, http://riverwalkrestaurant.net.
Experience: Glide through Historic Yorktown and back in time to the Colonial, Revolutionary and Civil War periods on a two-hour Segway Patriot Tour. The tour takes in the waterfront area, the historic village along Main Street and the bluffs overlooking the York River. $65, includes instruction and helmets. Minors under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian (minimum age for riders is 14). 321 Water St., Yorktown. 757-969-5400, www.patriottoursva.com.
Clara Bosonetto is a retired travel consultant.