Here are some of the holiday happenings we are most looking forward to this upcoming season!

Market Days: The Farmers Market on Riverwalk Landing is a weekly event (happening every Saturday) that you don’t want to miss!

Watermen’s Museum Swing Dances: These happen the third Monday of every month and include a dance lesson – learn some new moves, or freshen up your old ones!

11/2 Whisky Dinner at Water Street Grille: one of our favorite Yorktown restaurants will be putting on a delicious one-night event featuring High West Whisky along with a four course meal.

11/4 Williamsburg Harvest Celebration Chowder Fest: This has become a Triangle area tradition. Taste dozens of chowders from the best local restaurants, and vote for your favorite one! Live music, fun crowd, and libations make the evening even more fun.

11/11 Wine Expo at Riverwalk Restaurant: Over 50 different wines + fabulous hors d’oeuvre + benefiting Boys & Girls Club… what’s not to love?

11/18 Holiday Open House Weekend: This is a wonderful time to explore the businesses you haven’t had the chance to in Historic Yorktown. There will be special events going on, as well as holiday sales, and much more.

11/23 Food & Feasts of Colonial Virginia: Enrich your Thanksgiving holiday by coming to Jamestown & Yorktown and learning what life would have been like (and how food was gathered and prepared) during the very first Thanksgiving.

12/1-31 “A Colonial Christmas” at Jamestown Settlement: This program will give you insight into just how different – and similar – the Christmas experience was centuries ago compared to today’s.

12/1 Christmas Tree Lighting: This glowing event has been happening since 1945 and is a must-do for your Yorktown holiday adventures. Includes Fifes and Drums of York Town at the Victory Monument, festive music at Riverwalk Landing, the procession of lights through the historic village, and the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus.

12/2 Yorktown Lighted Boat Parade: Yes, it is exactly what it sounds like – countless boats are decked out with holiday lights and parade through the waterfront, competing for Best In Show!

12/3 Colonial Williamsburg’s Grand Illumination: One of our area’s most popular holiday events, the Illumination features the Colonial Williamsburg Fife and Drum Corps, other live bands, special programs, and one of the best fireworks displays you’ll ever see!

12/15 Toyland Parade: The Fife and Drum Corps will lead this parade around the neighborhood; Santa and Mrs. Clause will be there, and anyone can participate!

12/15-16 “At Christmas Be Merrie”: Bring your loved ones and travel back to the days of yore with music, dancing, card playing, and singing at the Nelson House!

12/17 Liberty’s Ice Pavilion in Colonial Williamsburg’s Merchants Square: Ice Skating begins this day from 10AM – 10 PM every day! Rentals available.

12/24 Christmas Eve

12/25 Christmas Day

1/1 New Year’s Day


What are you most looking forward to in Yorktown this winter? Tell us below!


It is true – no matter where you are, or what you do, there are steps you can take to reduce the footprint we are leaving on the earth and to live as environmentally responsibly as we can. And though it’s sometimes overlooked, this mindset should be extending into the tourism and hospitality industries as well.

The great thing is, we don’t have to change our whole lives to make a change toward the environment – there are small decisions that can be made every day that will have a monumental impact. 

In this post, Jeanette, one of the innkeepers, will explain a bit about the compost that the Hornsby House Inn recently created – she’ll cover WHAT exactly is put into our compost, WHY composting is so beneficial, and what YOU can do to begin your own composting.

What inspired the Hornsby House Inn to begin composting? What exactly do you/can you compost?

My family has always composted, so it just felt really strange to be throwing away food waste when I began working here. Especially because we use materials that are exceptionally great for compost, and we use them in large amounts compared to a normal household. We have melon rind, egg shells, and coffee grounds EVERY DAY. And even better than that, it’s predictable quantities–which makes it easier to plan the flow of dry material for the process.

What do you do with the compost once it’s composted?

Well we’re still on our first barrel, so I’ll let you know where it ends up going! But we have more than enough growing ground on the property to use it effectively, and once we get into a real rhythm with it we’re planning on offering it to neighbors as well. If you’ve ever taken a quick jaunt around the neighborhood, you know that there are more than enough gardens to keep one little composting operation in constant rotation!

What are the benefits of composting in general?

Many! I think when most people hear the word “compost”, they immediately equate it with gardening. And there’s good reason for that–compost makes lovely fertilizer, especially when you’re concerned with growing nutrient-rich food, and it helps soil retain water well.
However, I wish people wouldn’t equate it so narrowly with gardening because everyone should compost what they can in order to keep food waste out of landfills. Anyone can do cursory reading on this so I feel weird explaining it, but the gist is that the way food waste in massive quantity breaks down is significantly different from the way it typically does in a process that’s smaller. In landfills you have piles of food that are deprived, except for on the most superficial layers, of oxygen. And organic matter that breaks down in the absence of oxygen releases proportionally massive amounts of methane gas. Which is a bad thing even though it’s a “natural process”, because we’re currently producing quantities too large for the earth to handle naturally.
And it’s just silly to have something so harmful happening with food when it’s relatively easy to 1) eliminate the happening altogether and 2) invert the situation completely into one that can be nourishing.

What are the specific benefits of composting for an inn or Bed and Breakfast?

Well, it’s actually a more difficult operation, in a sense,  than it is at the average family home. It’s important for our outdoor grounds to look particularly styled–and what that means is removal of yard trimmings/grass clippings, which is what a lot of people use for dry material. We usually bag grass, but Tom (our INCREDIBLE handyman) and I are trying to figure out a good way to make dry material without it being really unsightly.
But we’re so lucky because if we make good choices with our business, the world is proportionately that much better off than it is on account of an average family doing the same. The benefit? It’s the same as it is for anyone: it’s that we, as a human race, may survive longer than we otherwise would.
As a guest, you don’t have control over the environmental impact of most of your stay once you’ve checked into a place of hospitality, but you do have the initial choice. I know it matters to me–if I’m traveling and have the choice of a place that does what it can to host high volumes of people responsibly, I’m all about it. I hope our guests feel the same, even though it’s not a regular part of our marketing–this care doesn’t make the inn “crunchy”, it’s probably not even noticeable unless you’re looking for it, but we’re trying to find as many things to tweak–getting rid of aerosols, eliminating individually sized toiletries (in non-recyclable plastics), buying ingredients in bulk. Buying the ugly produce that grocery stores usually end up throwing out. That sort of thing. We’re really concerned with forming better and better habits of sustainable operation.

I want to begin a compost–how do I get started?

Figure out where you’re going to source your dry material so that you don’t just have a bucket of rotten food! That’s usually what happens when people start it up outside of a completely rural setting–manicured lawns don’t leave a lot of social for curing clippings. Yeah, it’s not difficult but just figure that out first so you’re not frustrated. And the biggest thing is to set up a system that you’ll actually continue to maintain, even if it’s not 100% of what you think you could be doing.

As we enjoy these dog days of summer, we can’t help but to be excited for the Autumn season rolling right around the corner and all the exciting events coming with it! If you need an excuse to plan your visit to Yorktown this fall, look no further – we have a whole slew of them for you to choose from below.


Weekly Happenings: 

Rhythms on the Riverwalk Concert Series: Come see live jazz & country music outside on Riverwalk Landing for free on Fridays! See lineup here.

Yorktown Market Days – Every Saturday (except 10/1) until October 29th.


9/2 “Before the Siege: The British Army in Yorktown” – step back in time as reenactors take over the town to educate you on exactly how life was for the British forces under General Cornwallis before the siege began.

9/16 Oyster Roast at Watermen’s Museumthis celebration is a yearly tradition complete with all-you-can-eat fresh, local oysters and lovely locals.

9/23 Watermen’s Museum Folk Festival this is a free festival bringing together a cacophony of exceptional local folk musicians.

9/24 Yorktown Art Stroll – we are fortunate to have so many artists in and around our little town, and this is your chance to mosey down Riverwalk Landing and peruse all their wonderful art in one spot! 

*9/30 Public Lands Day (Historic Jamestowne and Yorktown Battlefield)

10/7 Yorktown Wine Festival – Taking place on Riverwalk Landing, this event will have you tasting wines from Virginia and around the world! Live music, great food, AND wine? Yes please!

10/14 Yorktown Market Days and Fall Festival Celebration – adds a little bit of fall influence to the regular Market Day with hayrides, face painting, children’s games and activities, pumpkins and mums. 

10/14 York River Maritime Heritage Festival – you’ll meet reenactors, sing sea shanties, make crafts and more at the Watermen’s Museum. 

10/14-15 Yorktown Victory Weekend CelebrationThis is always an exciting (and busy) weekend complete with the Fifes and Drums of Yorktown! Truly a special time to be in Yorktown.

10/15 Reenactment Play of the York Town Tea Party of 1774 on the Riverwalk Landing. 

10/19 Yorktown Day the 236th anniversary of the Battle of Yorktown, at which Cornwallis surrendered, ending the American Revolution!

*11/11 Veterans Day (Historic Jamestowne and Yorktown Battlefield)

11/11 Watermen’s Museum Chilli Cookoff do you love chilli? Here’s your chance to sample multiple kinds and styles while playing judge for the chefs!

11/23 Foods & Feasts of Colonial Virginiaan interesting and informative weekend of displaying all the things you didn’t know (and may have wondered) about food in the 17th and 17th centuries.

11/23 Thanksgiving – one of our favorite holidays, as we always have a full house of guests to enjoy a Thanksgiving Dinner with! 

*Free entrance to National Parks and other Federal sites throughout the country.

Which events will you make it to? Let us know!


There is no doubt that Historic Williamsburg is the largest and busiest of the three Historic Area towns. When it comes to planning where to stay on your visit, however, sometimes bigger and busier is not always better!

Many of our guests come with the plan to visit all three points of the Historic Triangle – Yorktown, Jamestown and Williamsburg – and quickly come to discover that staying in Yorktown versus Williamsburg has a few significant advantages.

  1. “Colonial” Yorktown is quieter & less congested, while remaining easily accessible to both Williamsburg & Jamestown – we recommend taking the picturesque 20 minute drive along the Colonial Parkway (connecting all three areas), which boasts spectacular views of both the York & the James Rivers.


  1. Your hosts at the Hornsby House are natives of the area and routinely give advice to visitors on how to better spend their time at all three places, taking your trip from a normal tourist experience to a truly memorable visit with a deeper appreciation for the area.


  1. Staying at the Inn also has its perks – we are happy to provide you with discounts on certain restaurants close to us as well as particular passes for parts of the historic area!

For those of you who are visiting the Historic Area for the first time and aren’t sure where exactly to stay, the Hornsby House Inn at Yorktown provides the perfect home-base for you, whether you are seeking adventure & exploration or a private romantic getaway. It also places you just minutes away from the newly expanded, state-of-the-art American Revolution Museum where you can learn more about birthplace of our nation.

For those who have visited the Historic Area but have not stayed in Yorktown – this is your chance to experience the area with a fresh new perspective. 

Enjoy the peace, charm, restaurants, shops, waterfront, battlefields, and the historic Main Street of the village where our liberty from the British was won in 1781.

Experience the flavor of three generations of hospitality in a Georgian style family home built by the Innkeepers’ grandfather in 1931 right on Main Street with a lovely view of the Monument and the York River from your bedroom window. Relax and unwind in our comfortable yet elegant rooms containing many of the original antiques acquired by David and Phil’s grandmother.


We cannot believe it is almost July – this summer is flying! In this post, we wanted to highlight some great reasons why Yorktown is the perfect place for you and your loved ones to celebrate Independence Day. The 4th of July falls on a Tuesday this year. Why not take a day off, steal away from real life for a few hours in scenic Yorktown?

And, really, what better place to celebrate the birth of our country than the spot where our independence began?

In Yorktown, not only are you surrounded by the rich and significant history of the area, but you also have access to all the traditional American activities we celebrate the 4th of July with! Every great Independence Day needs:

Beach time: The Hornsby House is a five minute walk to Yorktown Beach on the York River, a beautiful family friendly area to swim, sunbathe, picnic, and enjoy the day with friends & family!


American food: Everybody loves a good old BBQ or Hot Dog on Independence Day. Enjoy your traditional American fare, with fresh seafood options, at the Yorktown Pub right across the lane from the beach.

Or, you can splurge a bit and Try out Riverwalk Restaurant or Water Street Grille, right on the Riverwalk. Sip a refreshing cocktail and munch on delicious food out on the back terrace with a gorgeous view of the river.

Wherever you choose to spend your all-American meal, be sure to stop by Ben & Jerry’s to get a big ol’ scoop of ice cream for dessert!

Parade: There is something nostalgic about parades on holidays – and the 4th is no exception! The Yorktown parade will begin at 9AM through Water & Main Streets (passing right by us!)


Liberty Bell: The “Sounds of Liberty Bell” Ringing Ceremony will happen at 7PM on the Riverwalk Landing Stage. Let freedom ring!

Music: The US Army Training and Doctrine Command Band will be serenading its audience with traditional, moving, & patriotic music sure to make your 4th of July celebrations unforgettable. Happening at 8PM on Riverwalk Landing Stage.

Fireworks: No Independence Day is complete without celebrations culminating into a spectacular Fireworks show! You’ll Oooo and ahhh at the Yorktown Fireworks show over the beautiful York River at 9:15PM!


Wherever you are this Independence Day, we hope you have a wonderful day celebrating our country – the “great experiment”, the land of the free, the home of the brave!

*** Our rooms fill up fast on holidays, so be sure to book as far in advance as possible for your next visit! ***