YORK-A Yorktown waterfront hotspot for locals and tourists alike has reopened for the season. Patriots Tours & Provisions on Water Street offers Segway tours and rents kayaks, paddle boards, and bikes in addition to selling souvenirs and beach essentials.
Prior to opening Patriot Tours & Provisions, owners Jill and Randy Pryor had been in the coffee business, selling and servicing expresso machines.
“We sold the business and were looking for a new venture,” said Jill Pryor. Their next business enterprise was born after the couple took a Segway tour at First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach in February 2010. Two months later, they had a business license to open their own Segway shop.
“We thought about where the location should be, and Yorktown seemed like the logical place,” said Jill Pryor. “Our first location was right across the sidewalk from where we are now and where the Carrott Tree is currently located.”
As their business grew and inventory expanded, the owners were able to move to their current location in 2011, as it offered more space.
“We started asking the other shop owners and vendors in the area what was needed, so we added items like sunscreen, batteries, and beach towels,” said Jill Pryor. “We kind of turned it into a beach store to accommodate what people were looking for, while also trying to be as diverse as possible and not carry the same thing as our neighbors.”
The shop also found a niche in kite sales. “Kitty Hawk Kites was our example of what we wanted our store to look like, only a smaller and more historic version of it,” said Pryor. Souvenirs came into play through customers’ requests. “People were asking for T-shirts, postcards, and magnets, so our souvenir assortment has really evolved over time,” said Pryor.
The shop offers the choice of one- or two-hour guided Segway tours. The two-hour tour costs $69 per person. Sightseeing guides cover the basic history of the Colonial, Revolutionary, and Civil wars. Guests explore the waterfront area, bluffs overlooking the York River, and the historic village along Main Street.
The one-hour tour costs $45 per person and starts along the York River. Explorers travel through the historic village while checking out sights from the Victory Center to the entrance of the National Park Service Visitors Center. On this tour, tour guides point out the significant historical sites while customers roll along and enjoy the ride. Helmets are required and complimentary for all Segway tours, though customers may bring their own. All minors under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Beach cruiser bikes can be rented by the hour for $8 per person.
Kayak and paddleboard rentals are also available for two-hour increments of time. Single kayak rental is $30 for two hours, tandem kayak rental is $45 for two hours, and paddleboard rental is $30 for two hours. Equipment, life jackets, and a brief orientation are included with the price. Guests launch from the Watermen’s Museum’s private beach, which is located next door to the shop. A portion of all kayak and paddleboard rentals is donated to the museum to assist with educational program funding and facility maintenance. Children 10 and under must be accompanied by an adult in a tandem kayak. Paddleboard lessons are available by appointment.
Patriot Tours & Provisions store is open daily March 1 through December 1, with the exception of holidays, not including the 4th of July. Segway tours are offered year-round by appointment. Hours of operation are 10am to 5pm Monday through Saturday, and 11am to 5pm on Sunday for the months of March, April, November, and December. Hours are 10am to 6pm Monday through Saturday, and 11am to 5pm on Sunday for the months of May through October. The Pryors are planning to offer Segway bookings by appointment for the months of January and February in 2023.
A 10-percent discount is offered to York County Citizen Reward Card holders in addition to active and retired military personnel. Patriot Tours & Provisions is located at 321 Water St. in Historic Yorktown.