Set on a finger of land reaching through the James and York Rivers to Chesapeake Bay, Hampton is the oldest English speaking community in America. History isn't the town's only attraction though - a thoroughly modern waterfront lines this Hampton Roads port town, with gleaming sailing ships and glistening yachts to give lie to the area's true age.
Settled in 1610, Hampton's African American history runs deep. In 1619, the first shipment of slaves arrived at the port town, and in 1868, Hampton University, one of the country's most well-known black universities was founded (the campus museum commemorates the area's history). Learn more about early settlement (both involuntary and otherwise) at the Hampton History Museum downtown, where exhibits explore the last four centuries of growth. Nearby, the Virginia Air and Space Center is the official visitor center for NASA Langley Research Center, and houses the Apollo 12 Command Module, moon rocks and a selection of other aviation-associated sights. At the west side of the city sits Fort Monroe, an old stone fortification built in the 19th century to protect the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay, the one-time station of Edgar Allen Poe and Robert E. Lee; the site's Casement Museum is open to visitors.
Enjoy the restored 1921 Hampton Carousel on Buckroe Beach or concerts at this Chesapeake Bay-side spot when you're ready for a break from cultural sight-seeing. Explore Chesapeake Bay aboard the Miss Hampton II, a double-decker motor boat and satisfy your appetite for fresh seafood or other fare at a downtown restaurant.
Hampton is located along the southeastern shore of Virginia, about 80 miles southeast of Richmond on I-64. It is adjacent to Norfolk and across the Chesapeake Bay from Norfolk and Portsmouth.