Hampton is an extraordinary city in the heart of Coastal Virginia. The 405-year old waterfront settlement is multi-faceted; rich in Civil War history, African American heritage, and abundant shopping and dining options.
Hampton’s remarkable heritage as the nation’s oldest continuous English-speaking settlement is showcased in downtown Hampton at the Hampton History Museum. Explorer Captain John Smith, Blackbeard the pirate, Booker T. Washington and America’s first astronauts, the Mercury Seven, have all played integral parts in creating a distinctive Hampton timeline displayed in ten permanent galleries. The museum offers interactive opportunities through their monthly events focusing on different themes such as music and storytelling, appealing to all ages.
The Virginia Air & Space Center, located across the street, is the visitor center for NASA Langley Research Center and Langley Air Force Base. The center features the Adventures in Flight and Space Quest galleries as well as over 100 “hands-on” exhibits. See four generations of spacecraft on permanent display including the Apollo 12 Command Module, a DC-9 suspended above your head, and a three-billion year-old moon rock! Now complimentary with exhibit admission purchase, enjoy a 45-minute educational film on the Riverside 3D IMAX Theater’s five-story screen.
Hampton University, founded in 1868, is a short walk from downtown. Hampton University Museum is the oldest African American Museum in the U.S. and maintains a collection of more than 9,000 cultural artifacts as well as traditional and contemporary works of art.
Fort Monroe National Monument is located on Old Point Comfort where the Hampton Roads harbor meets the Chesapeake Bay. Fort Monroe served as an Army installation for nearly 180 years until September 2011. The Casemate Museum chronicles the rich cultural and military history of the largest stone fort ever built in the U.S. with special emphasis on the Civil War. Since the Army’s departure, Fort Monroe has continued as a place of celebration, offering many special events, interpretive tours, and the popular Paradise Ocean Club.
Many of Hampton’s most popular itinerary suggestions are offered in one inclusive Sea to Stars Ticket, good for a one time admission to the Virginia Air & Space Center including an IMAX® film, the Miss Hampton II Cruise, Hampton History Museum and the Hampton Carousel. Available at the Hampton Visitor Center, the cost is $39 for adults, $25 for youth ages 4 -11.