Watermen's Museum

Watermen’s Museum

The Watermen’s Museum is a perfect addition to your visit to Virginia’s Historic Triangle of Yorktown, Williamsburg, and Jamestown. Our mission is to demonstrate the role that Chesapeake Bay watermen played in the shaping of our nation through a historical display of crafts and methods of their trade.

The Watermen’s Museum offers educational field trips and Summer camp programs, as well as a volunteer traditional Chesapeake Bay boat building program.

Located on the Yorktown, Virginia waterfront next to the newly developed RiverWalk shopping and dining area. The museum also offers rentals of its beach front patio area for special events and weddings.

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April 1 through December 23

Tuesday through Saturday 10 AM – 5 PM, Sunday 1 PM – 5 PM, Closed Mondays (Except some Monday Holidays)

December 24 through  March 31

Closed – Except for Special Events and Scheduled Tours

Seasonal Grand Re-Opening is April 1st

(Note: Many places fill to capacity on busy, nice weather days, especially holiday weekends. Please call ahead or visit the official website to get the most up-to-date information before visiting.)


Members and Active Duty Military – FREE

Adults – $5

Seniors and Students – $4

Under 6 – Free


Indoor exhibits include workboat models and displays that show the challenge and skills used in crabbing, oystering, clamming, and fishing during the seasonal changes on the Bay.

Outdoors, visit the workboats, try your hand at tonging for oysters and see the tools of the trade of the watermen. Also, visit the Boat Shop where voluteers work at restoring workboats.

Our gift shop presents many unique articles related to the Chesapeake Bay and features work of local artists and craftsmen.


The first Virginia watermen were the American Indians. They eventually taught the English colonists to fish and set nets. The York River was originally known as the Pamunkey, named for the tribe that lived near it. Today, members and descendants of the region’s tribes still fish the York for shad each spring and operate shad hatcheries on both the Pamunkey and the Mattaponi Indian Reservations. Their ancestors also helped the Jamestown colonists stay alive by trading them corn.


Last updated: July 07, 2022
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