Though it may surprise you, winter is the PERFECT time to make a getaway to our quaint, quiet, picturesque town. We’ve devised an hour-by-hour guide to the perfect winter day in Historic Yorktown just for you!

7:20AM Sunrise (Sleep in a little… you’re on vacation!)

9AM Wake up to a fresh, warm home-made breakfast around a community table.  

10AM Go on a morning drive and take your own Yorktown Battlefields Tour – we have a CD of a fabulous guided tour, narrated from the perspectives of the military on both sides of the war that we lend to guests for the day. Ask us about it!

11AM While you’re driving, why not continue on for a bit and see more of the Historic Triangle’s beautiful landscape? Take a ride on the Colonial Parkway and soak in the sights for both the James and York Rivers.

12PM As you’re close to Jamestown, you absolutely must visit the Archaerium at Historic Jamestowne, home to over 4,000 artifacts on vivid display. 

1PM There is no better lunch in our town than lunch at the Carrot Tree, just a few blocks away. A staple in our community for years, the food is delicious, as is the carrot cake! 

2PM Time to work off that carrot cake – with a bit of shopping! Whether you’re looking for yourself, wanting to find souvenirs to bring back home, or even shopping for the next holiday (we admire you), you’ll find what you’re looking for in the array of unique shops in our area. Some that we recommend popping into are The Black Dog Gallery, Auntie M’s American Cottage, and The Yorktown Onion.  

3PM The Yorktown Bookshop needs a whole hour itself to perouse the isles of this unassuming gem. You’ll find countless treasures in this used bookstore – and winter is the perfect time to catch up on reading.

4PM Stop by the American Revolution Museum. The museum really deserves at least a half-day on its own, but you can get a quick scope of everything in an hour and plan on what you want to come back to spend more time on tomorrow. 

5PM Join us for Wine & Cheese Hour back at the Inn as we tell the great stories and history of Yorktown, its famous battle, and of the Hornsby family’s own history in the town. There’s nothing like good people and good conversation to warm you right up!

6PM Sit down for a lovely dinner at the Water Street Grille. With an extensive, family friendly menu, everyone will be walking out satisfied! (Might we recommend the Whole Lobster Mac? Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like!) Browse the menu here.

7PM Switch spots and grab some incredible dessert at Riverwalk Restaurant right next door. Some of the options: Bailey’s Chocolate Chip Cheesecake, Gelato, Double & Chocolate Decadence. 

8PM Take out that book you got at the bookstore earlier, pick a good place by our fireplace, and get cozy!

Is a winter vacation sounding better and better to you right about now? We certainly hope so! If you’re ready to book your stay, simply visit our reservations page or call us today!

Read More...

Frequently, the Hornsby House plays host to groups of people who have come together for a few days with a distinct purpose – to reunite after months or years of being apart, to converse late into the night about their lives or their passions, to escape their everyday lives and come together in a safe haven of nostalgia and comforting surroundings.

Sometimes, the group is made up of siblings. Recently, some sisters stayed at the inn for an entire week. Exploring the historic triangle by day and surveying the wonderful restaurants on River Street at night, the sisters explained that they each lived in a different corner of the country, but that every single year, they came together in a different spot to spend time together and catch up.

Sometimes the group is comprised of old friends. A few months ago, the inn was filled with music from the living room piano every evening for a week. A group of retired music teachers had come to celebrate their friendship and lives in music, which they have done every single year for decades.

Sometimes the group is people who find themselves united by a common cause or passion. The American Friends of Lafayette stayed with us this year, and it was truly a treat to see the appreciation that these guests possessed for history itself and for one of the greatest historical figures of this area (okay, so we may be a bit biased)!

Though they can seem like the busiest times, the holidays provide an opportunity to slow down and reflect on the important things in life. Certainly communion with friends and family is at the top of the essentials list. This task just happens to go perfectly with a cup of tea, a cozy fireplace, and picturesque paths through wide open fields – lucky us!

Who are the people in your life who you need to catch up with? This season, we hope that you get the chance, and if we can play a part in hosting your happy reunion, please give us a call.

  

Read More...

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. https://www.historyisfun.org/jamestown-settlement/a-colonial-christmas/

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!

Read More...

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.
Read More...

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!

Read More...