Margaret Wilson has deep roots in Aberdeen Gardens — her grandparents were among the first families to settle there decades before it became a renowned historic district in Hampton.
The enclave was a product of Depression-era resettlement programs and sprung up with the might of Blacks who moved there in 1937. To the nation, it was a trial experiment. To Wilson, it was a place where she could walk freely without being afraid.
Graylyn Owens came to Fort Monroe early Saturday and sat in his car overlooking the Chesapeake Bay near the state marker that commemorates the arrival of first Africans to Virginia in 1619. Lulled by the passing barges, Owens reflected on times he enjoyed the annual African Landing Day, honoring the first “20 and odd,” Africans as recorded by the colonist John Rolfe. They arrived, by force, aboard the White Lion that landed at Old Point Comfort, in English North America.
Built in 1803 and automated in 1972, the lighthouse is the second oldest on Chesapeake Bay. In the Anglo-American War it was seized by British forces during their advance on Washington, but survived serious damage.
You can easily spend a few days here and combine your visit with a side trip to some of the other popular destinations around the region. Use this guide to plan your visit and enjoy the best things to do in Hampton, VA.
Virginia’s Fort Monroe National Monument is the largest stone fort in American history as well as the site of Chief Black Hawk’s detainment, Civil War salvation, and the first arrival of Africans to the continent. Along the coast, a historical plaque reads, “First Africans in Virginia,” denoting the time in August 1619 when the first enslaved Africans made landfall in present-day Fort Monroe.
This is another of the beaches in Virginia with historical significance! Buckroe Beach is one of the oldest recreational areas in the state and was first designated for public use in 1619. Over the years, a public bathhouse, a hotel, a dancing pavilion, a playground, and an amusement park were all added.
Old Point Comfort Lighthouse is located at Fort Monroe in Hampton. It was commissioned by Thomas Jefferson in 1802, making it the second oldest in the Bay. At 54 feet in height, it was used as a watchtower during the War of 1812. It’s not open to the public but can be seen from the street.
Grandview Nature Preserve is a gem of a beach in the Hampton Roads Area. Strolling the shoreline, visitors will have the opportunity to admire beautiful birds and wildlife. You’ll also find an abundance of shells to admire. This quiet beach on the bay is the perfect place to reflect. Curious to learn more about this dazzling and secluded beach?
In Hampton Roads and across the country, beer festivals have been a hallmark of spring and summer — from the mostly local Williamsburg Craft Beer Festival to the left-field collaboration beers of the overnight Common Grounds festival in Virginia Beach. It was tipsy, and it was glorious.
Hampton Roads is the region around coastal Virginia that includes Hampton, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and Newport News. It’s accessible by three airports and is a few hours from Richmond. The region is not far from Williamsburg if you want to add to your trip.
Even long before bridges made them easy to reach, Virginia beaches were attracting tourists from Washington D.C. and other communities on the eastern coast. Virginia offers something for everyone
Emancipation Oak is perhaps one of the most iconic trees in all of Virginia. This Live Oak, located on the campus of Hampton University, has born witnessed to some of the most significant moments of our state’s history.
A year ago, Hank and Henry Morgan were scurrying around War Memorial Stadium making sure the last coats of paint were applied and the final nails were driven just days before the Peninsula Pilots started another Coastal Plain League season.
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Virginia Beach native Pharrell Williams’ Something in the Water music festival was crushed by the COVID-19 pandemic, but his generosity in Hampton Roads is having an even greater impact for people in need.
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