Colonial National Historical Park | PARK AT A GLANCE

Colonial National Historical Park (click to enlarge)

Colonial National Historical Park (click to enlarge)

UNITS OF COLONIAL NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK

Historic Jamestown

Yorktown Battlefield

Cape Henry Memorial

Colonial Parkway

Green Spring


Colonial National Historical Park consists of five units. The most popular are the original Jamestown fort and settlement site and the Yorktown battlefield where British General Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington, effectively ending the American Revolution. There is also a small memorial site at Virginia Beach, the Cape Henry Memorial. This is where the English colonists who eventually settled at Jamestown first set foot on the North American continent. The Colonial Parkway, a scenic, limited-access road, connects Jamestown and Yorktown together. Williamsburg is also on the route, and while not part of the National Historical Park, it is a popular tourist destination. The National Park Service also purchased Green Spring, the property that once belonged to Virginia governor William Berkeley. This was never developed as a park attraction and is of no interest to tourists.

The state of Virginia operates a living-history park known as Jamestown Settlement, a re-creation of James Fort complete with costumed actors and Hollywood quality sets. It is located just outside the National Historical Park, which goes by the name Historic Jamestown to distinguish the two apart. Virginia also runs a similar attraction near the Yorktown Battlefield called the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. These parks will appeal more to families with young children than the National Park sites, which are more academic. But make no mistake, if you want to say that you were at the Yorktown Battlefield or Jamestown, the real deal is Colonial National Historical Park.

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Last updated on April 6, 2020
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