Things to do in Hampton Roads, Virginia
Hampton Roads is filled with non-stop entertainment and offers a variety of exciting things to do. Complete with rivers and cities to explore, American history to uncover and beaches to lounge about, there’s never a dull moment. Explore Revolutionary War history in the Historic Triangle. Take a time out at Busch Gardens or head to Virginia Beach for some summer fun. Filled with spectacular festivals, shopping, dining, museums, nightlife and outdoor activities, you’ll always find something happening in the Hampton Roads.
Hampton History Museum
Through September 15, 2013
Celebrate the exploration of Hampton, Virginia at the unique exhibit “The Fragile Balance: Man and Nature in Hampton” at the Hampton History Museum. This innovative display will lead you through the prehistoric cataclysms that formed the topography of the Chesapeake Bay region to the history of the geological and ecological forces that influenced human habitation.
Highlighting the fragile balance of forces – man and nature – this exhibit shows how human behaviors and environmental progression can cause adverse effects on the order of the natural world. Travel the eyes of the Indian culture and its minimal carbon footprint to the descendants of the European settlers that have in turn substantially affected the supply of natural resources of the New World.
Through its time of settlement, Hampton has been tested by severe heat and cold, drought, starvation, nor’easters, tornadoes and hurricanes. “The Fragile Balance: Man and Nature in Hampton” tells an amazing story of survival, growth and perseverance of the Hampton people.
In conjunction with this exhibition, the museum with feature a family friendly event “Digging for Dinosaurs.” Families can enjoy a day of interactive animal displays, molding dinosaurs out of clay, digging for fossils, and the study of fossilized footprints.
For more information about “The Fragile Balance: Man and Nature in Hampton,” go to http://hamptonroads.com/events/details/57784.
Every year, September 11th is a day when Americans remember with intense emotion and sadness the horrific tragedy and loss at the World Trade Center in New York City. It also a day when people from every corner of our great nation remember the profound heroism and solidarity of a brave city and country that held strong and made a difference in a time of devastation and fear.
This year, the Hampton and Virginia Beach communities will come together to celebrate “A Day of Remembrance and Hope” at Gosnold’s Hope Park in Hampton, Virginia on September 11, between at 8 and 9 am. Hampton’s annual 9/11 ceremony honors the service and sacrifice of the first responders at Ground Zero, fallen heroes and members of the armed services who have made the supreme sacrifice for our country in support of combat operations.
This year marks the 12th anniversary of September 11th attacks and A Day of Remembrance in Hamptons, VA. On December 11, 2001, the City of Hampton planted 11 evergreen “Trees of Hope” in The Soils of Justice” – land from the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Every year since, the people of Hampton have gathered annually at the Trees of Hope to keep the memory of that fateful day alive.
So, join the Hampton’s community in remembering and paying tribute to the men and women who lost their lives on 9/11. Meet in the spirit of hope, love and unity to make sure that 9/11 is never forgotten.
Gosnold’s Hope Park is a beautiful 105-acre recreational destination with a fitness trail, BMX track, boat ramp, athletic fields, children’s playground, camping sites and scenic picnic areas with tables and grills. This peaceful park is a perfect place for reflection and reverence.
The easternmost city of the Hampton Roads area, Virginia Beach is a resort city with miles and miles of beaches, tons of great restaurants, and fantastic waterfront activities that attract visitors from around the globe. With its vast selection of attractions and landmarks, Virginia Beach has something for everyone, like historic parks, water sports, aquariums and the world-renowned boardwalk.
Take a little time to sample some of the most scrumptious foods on the east coast, from fresh seafood to specialty desserts. Explore popular waterfront restaurants and quaint downtown eateries, like Mini Italia New York Pizzeria, P.F. Chang, Sofia’s North End Grill and 501 City Grill.
If your idea of vacation is sunning on the beach, Virginia Beach will not let you down. Featuring miles of refreshing shoreline, you’ll find tons of activities that include the sun and sand. From sunset concerts and live music to marathons and surfing competitions, Virginia Beach offers great fun in the sun!
Enjoy an action-filled getaway in Hampton Roads, Virginia. Spend the day at the Virginia Beach Boardwalk, discover the Historic Triangle’s heroes and landmarks sail Chesapeake Bay, tour world-class museums or take a tour of the diverse neighborhoods that make of the Hampton Roads area. . Be delighted with all that this historic region has to offer – and make sure carve out enough time to take it all in!
For more information on Virginia Beach attractions and events, go to http://www.travelguide-hamptonroads.com/tag/virginia-beach.
August 17 & 18, 2013
Admission & Parking are free
Join a day of celebration at the annual Winchester Greek Festival that will be held on August 17th & 18th at the Dormition of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church. Become a Greek for the day and take part in Greek culture and traditions, enjoy traditional Greek dance and music and sample authentic Greek food, like Athenian Chicken, Pastitsio, Spanakopita and Moussaka. Make your rounds of the food tents to taste Souvlaki, Gyros and Roasted Lamb and the great assortment of mouthwatering desserts, pastries and sweet dishes sure to cure any sweet tooth. Bring the family and enjoy great fun for the entire weekend.
Want to learn more about the Dormition of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church? Guided tours of the church will be offered all weekend long by the clergy, welcoming questions of the faith and traditions of the church. For more information, the Parish store will be open each day offering reading materials and religious items of the Orthodox faith.
The Dormition of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church has been a leader in the Northern Shenandoah Valley of spiritual the needs of Eastern Orthodox Christians. Situated in the historic area of Winchester, this vibrant community-focused congregation is made up of nearly 100 families of different cultural groups and ethnic backgrounds practicing and living to the ancient Christian disciplines and principles of the Orthodox Christian Church.
For more information and a complete schedule of the Winchester Greek Festival, go to http://dormition.va.goarch.org/GreekFestival/.
August 19-25, 2013
Held in Virginia Beach since 1963, the Coastal Edge East Coast Surfing Championship is the longest running surfing event in the US and the second longest surfing contest in the world. Each year, over 100 of the world’s top male and female surfers and several hundred amateur participants converge on the beautiful beaches of Virginia Beach to vie for the most coveted East Coast surfing titles. As this event has grown, many other beach focused sports and outdoor recreations have been included to open this event to all sports lovers, including volleyball, skim boarding, an 8k race, swimsuit contests, the extreme sport of skateboarding, street skate and ramp showcases, tons of food and beverage vendors and daily live entertainment on the beach. Beginning on August 19, top surfers from around the globe will travel the Oceanfront to ride the curl that could bring in a huge chunk of prize money from the $200,000 purse.
More than just a surfing competition, dozens of fans will take part in the fundraising activities leading up to and surrounding the Coastal Edge East Coast Surfing Championship. Lining up on Atlantic Avenue on August 19, patrons can run, walk or jog the 8k course ending at the boardwalk. For golf lovers, you can tee it up at the 2013 Coastal Edge ECSC Golf Tournament on August 19 at Red Wing Golf Course. Test your endurance at the Inaugural King of the Surf Fitness Challenge the kicks off with a paddle out and wave catch, one mile sand run ending up with a 300 meter obstacle course.
For more information on the 2013 Coastal Edge East Coast Surfing Championship, go to http://www.surfecsc.com/.
From beautiful beach ceremonies to oceanfront hotels to intimate wedding chapels, Hampton Roads and Virginia Beach offer the perfect venues for your special day. Surrounded by the spanning views of the Atlantic Ocean and wonderful landscaped backdrops, you’ll easily find a setting that is fitting to kick off the start of your life together. Virginia Beach is overflowing with hotels, ballrooms, outdoor gardens and pristine beaches ideal for your wedding ceremony, family gatherings and receptions.
- Holiday Inn & Suites North Beach
- Courtyard by Marriott, North
- Courtyard by Marriott, South
Hampton Roads is an intimately historic community located at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Filled with stunning waterfront properties, miles and miles of white sand beaches and a harbor full of sail boats and ferries, visitors to Hampton Roads will discover historic landmarks telling the stories of the early settlers. This Virginia colony is surrounded by outdoor fun, exciting attractions, shopping, entertainment venues and restaurants in Virginal Beach, Williamsburg, Norfolk, Newport News and many other nearby beautiful cities.
Take your children — or the kid in you — to a magical place, as a two-hour extravaganza unfolds under the big tent in Virginia Beach for the summer of 2013. Cirquesa Dreamquest features quality circus performance acts on the aerial high wire and incredible acrobatic feats performed on the ground.
See a bicyclist ride a tightrope, marvel at trapeze performances, watch as an arrow pierces the apple on a woman’s head, all enhanced by dramatic lighting and flourishes. Expect expressions of disbelief, laughter, and tears from the audience as they experience the dangerous, the thrilling, and the fantasy world brought to life before their eyes.
Woven around the story of a young boy as he works his way through learning some valuable and powerful lessons in life, kids are enthralled by this dazzling show. It’s intended to have audiences appreciate theater in a whole new way.
The circus theater is run by two brothers, fifth-generation performers, Noe and Ivan España. Their wives are performers and Noe’s 9-year-old son, Elan, plays the lead role. The extended family of 25 cast members includes more relatives. Based in Florida, they’ve performed all over the world.
Look for the illuminated white big top tent at 212 Atlantic Avenue near 3rd Street. Inside, there are 14-foot-high theater risers for 1,000 audience seats. Tents are climate controlled, with restrooms, concessions, limited free parking, an outdoor garden area. The popular hybrid-electric VB Wave shuttle has added a stop here and offers a complimentary popcorn at the show. In town through September 2, 2013, tickets are from $37.95 adults, $12.95 for children, and an active military discount. Show times are Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with 2 p.m. matinees on Thursdays and Sundays.
On approaching this charming grey and white structure at the beach, one notices the quarter board reading DeWitt Cottage hanging above and the striking bronze of five mallards in the cottage garden. This museum housed in a cottage at the beach is a sportsman’s paradise with an outstanding collection of beautifully lifelike wooden decoys.
Resident award-winning carvers are on hand to have discuss their skilled handicraft and preferred tools as they demonstrate their work, or perhaps to sit and chat by the fireplace in the building’s hunting lodge area. Meet master father and son carvers in residence on a Friday. See owls, kingfishers, ospreys, songbirds, fish, shells, and flowers, and whatever subject strikes the carver’s fancy. Original decoys and sculptures handmade by these highly talented volunteer carvers are on sale in the museum gift shop.
Wandering through beyond the decoys, lovely landscape paintings feature local wildfowl in flight, and a hand carved 1930 surfboard are among the exhibits. One takes a step back in time at the cottage, boathouse, and library on the grounds. Among outdoor sculptures, the seaside garden features 50 varieties of plants and flowers which flourish in the salt air.
Founded in 1974 as the Back Bay Wildfowl Guild, and housed at the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum at the century-old DeWitt Cottage since 1992, the guild and the city jointly maintain and administer.
Admission is free at this Virginia Beach oceanfront museum, generally open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 1113 Atlantic Avenue. Closed Mondays from October 1 to Memorial Day, and open at noon on Sundays.
Everybody loves a historic boardwalk at an Atlantic Ocean beach, and great local food enhances the experience manifold. That’s where Virginia Beach Boardwalk Food Tour comes in.
This 28-foot-wide boardwalk has been attracting vacationers of all ages since 1888 to stroll along the oceanfront on what is also called Beach Street USA. In fact, the three-mile long boardwalk running parallel to the beach has been called one of the world’s longest and America’s favorites. Naturally, over 125 years or so, the coastal strip has seen many changes. One of the best is the modern addition of a culinary tour with an emphasis on farm-to-table produce.
Sample freshly caught seafood straight from Chesapeake Bay accompanied by locally brewed artisan beers. Or, how about an a home grown cocktail before award-winning Chesapeake oyster stew accompanied by fresh baked bread? Your tour guide knows where all these gourmet goodies are to be found. Some of the chefs’ signature dishes are created just for your group.
As you are guided from one tasting stop to the next, your tour guide will be explaining the history of the oceanfront history, culture, and architecture beginning with Virginia’s earliest settlers. What did a hungry Capt. John Smith and his crew eat during a stop here before continuing their journey to Jamestown in 1607?
Tours priced at $59 per person depart (and return) from a free parking lot on Friday and Saturday afternoons at 3:30 p.m. areaChild foodies are welcome on the 3.5 hour-long experience and dietary restrictions can be catered to in advance, as well as wheelchair access.
Who wants a day spent lazily floating upon a bobbing inner tube on a gentle river, shooting down plumes on serpentine slides, ducking under spouting waterfalls, and having buckets of fun? Just grab your swimsuit and head for Virginia Beach’s own Ocean Breeze Waterpark. You’ll know when you’ve arrived when you see big Hugh Mongous the Gorilla at the park entrance.
Discover a world of 16 different water slide experiences that will capture your attention with names like Sea Serpent, Topsy Turvy, Hurricane, and Vortex. Imagine rocketing down on your back, feet first, arms folded to maximize speed.
Experience the pull of centrifugal force taking your two-person tube high upon banked walls in a dark tunnel before dropping into the splash pool below. Take the little ones to the giant wave pool at Runaway Bay where one million gallons of water makes for a million smiles.
Groups can do up the day in style in a cabana complete with lounge chairs and dining tables for up to eight under the gentle whir of a ceiling fan, switch on a flat screen cable television, and order from a food and beverage menu. Couples enjoy Bimini Bay where sun umbrella canopies offer cushioned chaise lounges and poolside service beside a private sandy beach.
So whether you go for exhilarating thrills or prefer to just chill out, there’s no better way of spending the day. Kids under 12 must come with an adult and the fast water rides have a 48” minimum requirement. Two gentler rides welcome children from 42”. Open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, amusement park hours vary.