Hampton Roads

Hampton Roads

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Encyclopedia
Hampton Roads is the name for both a body of water and the Norfolk
Norfolk, Virginia
Norfolk is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. With a population of 242,803 as of the 2010 Census, it is Virginia's second-largest city behind neighboring Virginia Beach....

–Virginia Beach metropolitan area which surrounds it in southeastern Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

, United States. Hampton Roads is notable for its year-round ice-free harbor, for United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

, Coast Guard
United States Coast Guard
The United States Coast Guard is a branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven U.S. uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission and a federal regulatory agency...

, Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

, NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

, Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

, and Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 facilities, shipyards, coal pier
Coal pier
A coal pier is a transloading facility designed for the transfer of coal between rail and ship.The typical facility for loading ships consists of a holding area and a system of conveyors for transferring the coal to dockside and loading it into the ship's cargo holds...

s, and hundreds of miles of waterfront property and beaches, all of which contribute to the diversity and stability of the region's economy.

The water area known as Hampton Roads is one of the world's biggest natural harbor
Harbor
A harbor or harbour , or haven, is a place where ships, boats, and barges can seek shelter from stormy weather, or else are stored for future use. Harbors can be natural or artificial...

s (more accurately a roadstead
Roadstead
A roadstead is a place outside a harbor where a ship can lie at anchor. It is an enclosed area with an opening to the sea, narrower than a bay or gulf. It has a surface that cannot be confused with an estuary. It can be created artificially by jetties or dikes...

 or "roads"), and incorporates the mouths of the Elizabeth River
Elizabeth River (Virginia)
The Elizabeth River is a tidal estuary forming an arm of Hampton Roads harbor at the southern end of Chesapeake Bay in southeast Virginia in the United States. It is located along the southern side of the mouth of the James River, between the cities of Portsmouth and Norfolk...

 and James River
James River (Virginia)
The James River is a river in the U.S. state of Virginia. It is long, extending to if one includes the Jackson River, the longer of its two source tributaries. The James River drains a catchment comprising . The watershed includes about 4% open water and an area with a population of 2.5 million...

 with several smaller rivers and itself empties into the Chesapeake Bay
Chesapeake Bay
The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States. It lies off the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by Maryland and Virginia. The Chesapeake Bay's drainage basin covers in the District of Columbia and parts of six states: New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and West...

 near its mouth leading to the Atlantic Ocean..

The land area (also known as "Tidewater"
Tidewater region of Virginia
The Tidewater region of Virginia is the eastern portion of the Commonwealth of Virginia formally known as Hampton Roads. The term tidewater may be correctly applied to all portions of any area, including Virginia, where the water level is affected by the tides...

) includes dozens of cities, counties and towns on the Virginia Peninsula
Virginia Peninsula
The Virginia Peninsula is a peninsula in southeast Virginia, USA, bounded by the York River, James River, Hampton Roads and Chesapeake Bay.Hampton Roads is the common name for the metropolitan area that surrounds the body of water of the same name...

 and in South Hampton Roads
South Hampton Roads
South Hampton Roads is a region located in the extreme southeastern portion of Virginia in the United States, and is part of the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA with a population about 1.7 million....

. Some of the more outlying areas from the harbor may or may not be included as part of "Hampton Roads", depending upon the organization or purpose. For a commonly used example, as defined for federal economic purposes, the Hampton Roads metropolitan statistical area (MSA) additionally includes one county
Currituck County, North Carolina
-National protected areas:*Currituck National Wildlife Refuge*Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge -Demographics:As of the census of 2010, there were 23,547 people, 6,902 households, and 5,204 families residing in the county. The population density was 70 people per square mile . There were...

 in northeastern North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

 and two counties in Virginia’s Middle Peninsula
Middle Peninsula
The Middle Peninsula is the second of three large peninsulas on the western shore of Chesapeake Bay in Virginia, in the United States. It lies between the Northern Neck and the Virginia Peninsula. This peninsula is bounded by the Rappahannock River on the north and the York River on the south...

. Officially, the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA has a population of about 1.7 million, the 36th-largest metropolitan area in the United States.

"Hampton Roads" (or "Tidewater") is a "vernacular region"; that is, a distinctive area where the inhabitants collectively consider themselves interconnected by a shared history, mutual interests, and a common identity. Such regions are "intellectual inventions" and a form of short-hand to identify things, people, and places. Vernacular regions reflect a "sense of place", but rarely coincide with established jurisdictional borders.

The area is steeped in 400 years of American history and hundreds of historical sites and attractions in the area draw visitors from around the world each year. The harbor was the key to the Hampton Roads area's growth, both on land and in water-related activities and events. Ironically, the harbor and its tributary waterways were (and still are) both important transportation conduits and obstacles to other land-based commerce and travel. Creating and maintaining adequate infrastructure has long been a major challenge. The Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel
Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel
The Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel is the -long Hampton Roads crossing for Interstate 64 and U.S. Route 60. It is a four-lane facility comprising bridges, trestles, man-made islands, and tunnels under the main shipping channels for Hampton Roads harbor in the southeastern portion of Virginia in the...

 (HRBT) and the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel
Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel
Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel is the 4.6 mile-long Hampton Roads crossing for Interstate 664 in the southeastern portion of Virginia in the United States...

 (MMMBT) are major harbor crossings of the Hampton Roads Beltway
Hampton Roads Beltway
The Hampton Roads Beltway is a loop of Interstate 64 and Interstate 664, which links the communities of the Virginia Peninsula and South Hampton Roads which surround the body of water known as Hampton Roads and comprise much of the region of the same name in the southeastern portion of Virginia in...

 which links each of the largest population centers of Hampton Roads. In 2007, the new Hampton Roads Transportation Authority
Hampton Roads Transportation Authority
Hampton Roads Transportation Authority is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States that has the responsibility for funding several major traffic projects in the Hampton Roads area...

 (HRTA) was formed under a controversial state law to levy various additional taxes to generate funding for major regional transportation projects, including a long-sought and costly third crossing of the harbor of Hampton Roads.

Definitions


The U.S. Census Bureau defines the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA as the 16 cities and counties of Virginia and North Carolina listed below. While the borders of what locals call "Hampton Roads" may not perfectly align with the definition of the MSA, Hampton Roads is most often the name used for the metropolitan area.

Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA is a U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). According to the 2010 Census its population is 1,671,683.

According to the 2010 Census, the racial composition of Hampton Roads was as follows:
  • White or Caucasian
    White American
    White Americans are people of the United States who are considered or consider themselves White. The United States Census Bureau defines White people as those "having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa...

    : 59.6%
  • Black or African American
    African American
    African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

    : 31.3%
  • American Indian
    Native Americans in the United States
    Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

    : 0.4%
  • Asian
    Asian American
    Asian Americans are Americans of Asian descent. The U.S. Census Bureau definition of Asians as "Asian” refers to a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan,...

    : 3.5%
  • Some other race: 1.7%
  • Two or more races
    Multiracial American
    Multiracial Americans, US residents who identify themselves as of "two or more races", were numbered at around 9 million, or 2.9% of the population, in the census of 2010. However there is considerable evidence that the real number is far higher. Prior to the mid-20th century many people hid their...

    : 3.4%
  • Hispanic or Latino
    Hispanic and Latino Americans
    Hispanic or Latino Americans are Americans with origins in the Hispanic countries of Latin America or in Spain, and in general all persons in the United States who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino.1990 Census of Population and Housing: A self-designated classification for people whose origins...

     (of any race): 5.4%
  • Non-Hispanic White
    Non-Hispanic Whites
    Non-Hispanic Whites or White, Not Hispanic or Latino are people in the United States, as defined by the Census Bureau, who are of the White race and are not of Hispanic or Latino origin/ethnicity. Hence the designation is exclusive in the sense that it defines who is not included as opposed to who is...

    : 57.2%


Source:
Note: Since a state constitutional change in 1871, all cities in Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 are independent cities
Independent city
An independent city is a city that does not form part of another general-purpose local government entity. These type of cities should not be confused with city-states , which are fully sovereign cities that are not part of any other sovereign state.-Historical precursors:In the Holy Roman Empire,...

 and they are not legally located in any county. The OMB considers these independent cities to be county-equivalent
County-equivalent
A county-equivalent in the United States is a term used by the federal government to describe one of the two following governmental subdivisions:#A unit of local government in certain states which is comparable to a county as found in most states....

s for the purpose of defining MSAs in Virginia. Each MSA is listed by its counties, then cities, each in alphabetical order, and not by size.

Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA or more commonly known as the Hampton Roads Metropolitan area includes areas in Virginia and the State of North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

.

The MSA consists of these locations in Virginia:
  • Gloucester County
    Gloucester County, Virginia
    Gloucester County is within the Commonwealth of Virginia in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area in the USA. Formed in 1651 in the Virginia Colony, the county was named for Henry Stuart, Duke of Gloucester, third son of King Charles I of Great Britain. Located in the Middle Peninsula region, it...

  • Isle of Wight County
    Isle of Wight County, Virginia
    As of the census of 2010, there were 35,270 people, 11,319 households, and 8,670 families residing in the county. The population density was 94 people per square mile . There were 12,066 housing units at an average density of 38 per square mile...

  • James City County
    James City County, Virginia
    James City County is a county located on the Virginia Peninsula in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of the Commonwealth of Virginia, a state of the United States. Its population was 67,009 , and it is often associated with Williamsburg, an independent city, and Jamestown which is within the...

  • Mathews County
    Mathews County, Virginia
    As of the census of 2010, there were 8,978 people, 3,932 households, and 2,823 families residing in the county. The population density was 108 people per square mile . There were 5,333 housing units at an average density of 62 per square mile...

  • Surry County
    Surry County, Virginia
    As of the census of 2010, there were 7,058 people, 2,619 households, and 1,917 families residing in the county. The population density was 24 people per square mile . There were 3,294 housing units at an average density of 12 per square mile...

  • York County
    York County, Virginia
    York County is a county located on the north side of the Virginia Peninsula in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of the Commonwealth of Virginia, a state of the United States. Situated on the York River and many tributaries, the county seat is the unincorporated town of Yorktown...

  • City of Chesapeake
    Chesapeake, Virginia
    As of the census of 2000, there were 199,184 people, 69,900 households, and 54,172 families residing in the city. The population density was 584.6 people per square mile . There were 72,672 housing units at an average density of 213.3 per square mile...

  • City of Hampton
    Hampton, Virginia
    Hampton is an independent city that is not part of any county in Southeast Virginia. Its population is 137,436. As one of the seven major cities that compose the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, it is on the southeastern end of the Virginia Peninsula. Located on the Hampton Roads Beltway, it hosts...

  • City of Newport News
    Newport News, Virginia
    Newport News is an independent city located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of Virginia. It is at the southeastern end of the Virginia Peninsula, on the north shore of the James River extending southeast from Skiffe's Creek along many miles of waterfront to the river's mouth at Newport News...

  • City of Norfolk
    Norfolk, Virginia
    Norfolk is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. With a population of 242,803 as of the 2010 Census, it is Virginia's second-largest city behind neighboring Virginia Beach....

  • City of Poquoson
    Poquoson, Virginia
    Poquoson is an independent city located on the Virginia Peninsula, in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of the U.S. state of Virginia. The population was 12,150 according to the 2010 Census...

  • City of Portsmouth
    Portsmouth, Virginia
    Portsmouth is located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of the U.S. Commonwealth of Virginia. As of 2010, the city had a total population of 95,535.The Norfolk Naval Shipyard, often called the Norfolk Navy Yard, is a historic and active U.S...

  • City of Suffolk
    Suffolk, Virginia
    Suffolk is the largest city by area in Virginia, United States, and is located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 84,585. Its median household income was $57,546.-History:...

  • City of Virginia Beach
  • City of Williamsburg
    Williamsburg, Virginia
    Williamsburg is an independent city located on the Virginia Peninsula in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of Virginia, USA. As of the 2010 Census, the city had an estimated population of 14,068. It is bordered by James City County and York County, and is an independent city...



The MSA also includes the following location in North Carolina:
  • Currituck County
    Currituck County, North Carolina
    -National protected areas:*Currituck National Wildlife Refuge*Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge -Demographics:As of the census of 2010, there were 23,547 people, 6,902 households, and 5,204 families residing in the county. The population density was 70 people per square mile . There were...


Name


The term "Hampton Roads" is a centuries-old designation that originated when the region was a struggling English outpost nearly four hundred years ago. The name is believed to have originated from the combination of two separate words.

The word "Hampton" honors one of the founders of the Virginia Company of London and a great supporter of the colonization of Virginia, Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton
Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton
Henry Wriothesley , 3rd Earl of Southampton , was the second son of Henry Wriothesley, 2nd Earl of Southampton, and his wife Mary Browne, Countess of Southampton, daughter of the 1st Viscount Montagu...

. In the easternmost part of the new colony, downstream from Jamestown, the early administrative center was known as Elizabeth Cittie
Elizabeth City (Virginia Company)
Elizabeth City was one of four incorporations established in the Virginia Colony in 1619 by the proprietor, the Virginia Company of London, acting in accordance with instructions issued by Sir George Yeardley, Governor.The plantations and developments were divided into four political divisions,...

 [sic], named for Princess Elizabeth
Elizabeth of Bohemia
Elizabeth of Bohemia was the eldest daughter of King James VI and I, King of Scotland, England, Ireland, and Anne of Denmark. As the wife of Frederick V, Elector Palatine, she was Electress Palatine and briefly Queen of Bohemia...

, the daughter of King James I, and formally designated by the Virginia Company in 1619. (The Elizabeth River
Elizabeth River (Virginia)
The Elizabeth River is a tidal estuary forming an arm of Hampton Roads harbor at the southern end of Chesapeake Bay in southeast Virginia in the United States. It is located along the southern side of the mouth of the James River, between the cities of Portsmouth and Norfolk...

 was also named for the princess).

The town at the center of Elizabeth Cittie became known as simply "Hampton", and a nearby waterway was designated Hampton Creek (also known as Hampton River). The town (and later city) of Hampton was the county seat
County seat
A county seat is an administrative center, or seat of government, for a county or civil parish. The term is primarily used in the United States....

 of Elizabeth City County
Elizabeth City County, Virginia
Elizabeth City County was a county in southeastern Virginia from 1634 to 1952. Originally created in 1634 as Elizabeth River Shire, it was one of eight shires created in the Virginia Colony by order of the King of England. In 1636, it was subdivided, and the portion north of the harbor of Hampton...

 for over 300 years, until they were politically consolidated into the current large independent city
Independent city
An independent city is a city that does not form part of another general-purpose local government entity. These type of cities should not be confused with city-states , which are fully sovereign cities that are not part of any other sovereign state.-Historical precursors:In the Holy Roman Empire,...

 known as Hampton, Virginia
Hampton, Virginia
Hampton is an independent city that is not part of any county in Southeast Virginia. Its population is 137,436. As one of the seven major cities that compose the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, it is on the southeastern end of the Virginia Peninsula. Located on the Hampton Roads Beltway, it hosts...

, in 1952. The City of Hampton thus became one of the large cities of Hampton Roads, of which four others also grew to the larger sizes by consolidating with neighboring jurisdictions such as counties and towns in the mid-twentieth century.

A land area to the north across the bay in what is now called "the Eastern Shore
Eastern Shore of Virginia
The Eastern Shore of Virginia consists of two counties on the Atlantic coast of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. The region is part of the Delmarva Peninsula and is separated from the rest of Virginia by the Chesapeake Bay. Its population was 45,553 as of 2010...

" became known as Northampton
Northampton County, Virginia
As of the census of 2010, there were 12,389 people, 5,321 households, and 3,543 families residing in the county. The population density was 63 people per square mile . There were 6,547 housing units at an average density of 32 per square mile...

. Another area south of the James River became Southampton
Southampton County, Virginia
As of the census of 2010, there were 18,570 people, 6,279 households, and 4,502 families residing in the county. The population density was 29 people per square mile . There were 7,058 housing units at an average density of 12 per square mile...

. As with Hampton, both of these names also remain in use in modern times.

The term "Roads" as applied to a water channel is used elsewhere. Examples include Castle Roads
Castle Roads, Bermuda
Castle Roads is the primary channel by which vessels enter Castle Harbour, Bermuda, from the Atlantic Ocean. Although little used, today, except by pleasure boats, Castle Harbour was once an important anchorage, and an access route used by ships to reach the still important St. George's Harbour....

, in another of the Virginia Company's
London Company
The London Company was an English joint stock company established by royal charter by James I of England on April 10, 1606 with the purpose of establishing colonial settlements in North America.The territory granted to the London Company included the coast of North America from the 34th parallel ...

 settlements, Bermuda
Bermuda
Bermuda is a British overseas territory in the North Atlantic Ocean. Located off the east coast of the United States, its nearest landmass is Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, about to the west-northwest. It is about south of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and northeast of Miami, Florida...

, and Lahaina Roads
Lahaina Roads
Lahaina Roads, also called the Lahaina Roadstead is a channel of the Pacific Ocean in the Hawaiian Islands. The surrounding islands of Maui, and Lānai make it a sheltered anchorage....

, in Hawaii. Signifying the safety of a port, the word "roads" (also called roadstead
Roadstead
A roadstead is a place outside a harbor where a ship can lie at anchor. It is an enclosed area with an opening to the sea, narrower than a bay or gulf. It has a surface that cannot be confused with an estuary. It can be created artificially by jetties or dikes...

) in nautical terminology of the day meant "a place less sheltered than a harbor where ships may ride at anchor."

The combination of the words as "Hampton Roads" was recorded as the channel linking the James, Elizabeth, and Nansemond rivers with the Chesapeake Bay in an act of the Virginia General Assembly
Virginia General Assembly
The Virginia General Assembly is the legislative body of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the oldest legislative body in the Western Hemisphere, established on July 30, 1619. The General Assembly is a bicameral body consisting of a lower house, the Virginia House of Delegates, with 100 members,...

 in 1755. Though it may be a misnomer, Hampton Roads has become well-known as the "world's greatest harbor." This is partially because it is the northernmost major East Coast port of the United States which is normally ice-free year round. The latter status is claimed with the notable exception of extraordinarily cold winter of 1917, which was the entire U.S.'s coldest year on record.

Although the designation initially applied to the water area, the region has also come to be known as "Hampton Roads", a label more specific than the term "Tidewater Virginia", which could by implication, include other areas of tidal lands in eastern Virginia. The U.S. Postal Service changed its postmark from "Tidewater Virginia" to "Hampton Roads, Virginia" beginning in 1983.

History


The first colonists arrived in 1607 when English Captain Christopher Newport's
Christopher Newport
Christopher Newport was an English seaman and privateer. He is best known as the captain of the Susan Constant, the largest of three ships which carried settlers for the Virginia Company in 1607 on the way to find the settlement at Jamestown in the Virginia Colony, which became the first permanent...

 three ships, his flagship
Flagship
A flagship is a vessel used by the commanding officer of a group of naval ships, reflecting the custom of its commander, characteristically a flag officer, flying a distinguishing flag...

 Susan Constant
Susan Constant
Susan Constant, captained by Christopher Newport, was the largest of three ships of the English Virginia Company on the 1606-1607 voyage that resulted in the founding of Jamestown in the new Colony of Virginia.-History:Susan Constant was rated at 120 tons. Her keel length is estimated at 55.2 feet...

, the smaller Godspeed
Godspeed (ship)
Godspeed, under Captain Bartholomew Gosnold, was one of the three ships on the 1606-1607 voyage to the New World for the English Virginia Company of London. The journey resulted in the founding of Jamestown in the new Colony of Virginia.-History:All 39 passengers and 13 sailors she carried on that...

, and even smaller Discovery
Discovery (1602 ship)
Discovery was a 20-ton "fly-boat" of the British East India Company, launched before 1602.Discovery was the smallest of three ships that were led by Captain Christopher Newport on the voyage that resulted in the founding of Jamestown in the new Colony of Virginia in 1607...

 landed in April 1607 at Cape Henry
Cape Henry
Cape Henry is a cape on the Atlantic shore of Virginia north of Virginia Beach. It is the southern boundary of the entrance to Chesapeake Bay.Across the mouth of the bay to the north is Cape Charles...

 along the Atlantic Coast in today's City of Virginia Beach, an event now known as the "First Landing." However, they moved on, under orders from the Virginia Company of London, the crews and new colonists sought a more sheltered area up one of the rivers. Their major concern was other European competitors such as the Spanish, who had earlier discovered the Chesapeake Bay
Chesapeake Bay
The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States. It lies off the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by Maryland and Virginia. The Chesapeake Bay's drainage basin covers in the District of Columbia and parts of six states: New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and West...

 and Virginia's rivers, and had even in 1570 begun a small settlement on the Virginia Peninsula
Virginia Peninsula
The Virginia Peninsula is a peninsula in southeast Virginia, USA, bounded by the York River, James River, Hampton Roads and Chesapeake Bay.Hampton Roads is the common name for the metropolitan area that surrounds the body of water of the same name...

 known as the Ajacan Mission
Ajacàn Mission
The Ajacán Mission was a failed attempt in 1570 to establish a Jesuit mission on the Virginia Peninsula. They intended to bring Christianity to the Virginia Indians. The effort to found what was to be called St...

, which had failed.

During 18 days of exploring the area, they surely saw the enormous harbor of Hampton Roads, and some of the party must have appreciated its possibilities. However, after exploring the James River
James River (Virginia)
The James River is a river in the U.S. state of Virginia. It is long, extending to if one includes the Jackson River, the longer of its two source tributaries. The James River drains a catchment comprising . The watershed includes about 4% open water and an area with a population of 2.5 million...

 west at least as far as present-day Hopewell
Hopewell, Virginia
Hopewell is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The population was 22,591 at the 2010 Census . It is in Tri-Cities area of the Richmond-Petersburg region and is a portion of the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area...

, they agreed upon Jamestown Island, where they established the first successful English colony in the New World
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

 on May 14, 1607.

Despite the defensive advantages of that location against Spanish attacks, the low and marshy site at Jamestown proved a very poor choice in many other ways. More than five years of fragile existence and high mortality rates followed including the Starving Time
Starving Time (Jamestown)
The Starving Time at Jamestown in the Colony of Virginia was a period of forced starvation initiated by the Powhatan Confederacy to remove the English from Virginia. The campaign killed all but 60 of the 500 colonists during the winter of 1609–1610....

 of 1609–10 when over 80% of the 500 colonists perished before the future of the Virginia Colony  began to appear more promising. The change came about with the just-in-time arrival of a new Governor, Lord De La Warr, and a new colonist with a successful business idea named John Rolfe
John Rolfe
John Rolfe was one of the early English settlers of North America. He is credited with the first successful cultivation of tobacco as an export crop in the Colony of Virginia and is known as the husband of Pocahontas, daughter of the chief of the Powhatan Confederacy.In 1961, the Jamestown...

, who established the Virginia tobacco industry.

For centuries, the harbor and rivers of Hampton Roads have been ideal locations for both commerce and for many major shipyards. Some were established as early as the late 18th century such as the Gosport Navy Yard
Norfolk Naval Shipyard
The Norfolk Naval Shipyard, often called the Norfolk Navy Yard and abbreviated as NNSY, is a U.S. Navy facility in Portsmouth, Virginia, for building, remodeling, and repairing the Navy's ships. It's the oldest and largest industrial facility that belongs to the U.S. Navy as well as the most...

 in what is now the City of Portsmouth
Portsmouth, Virginia
Portsmouth is located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of the U.S. Commonwealth of Virginia. As of 2010, the city had a total population of 95,535.The Norfolk Naval Shipyard, often called the Norfolk Navy Yard, is a historic and active U.S...

.

The harbor was also a key point for military control of the region. Even the earliest settlers created fortifications at Old Point Comfort
Old Point Comfort
Old Point Comfort is a point of land located in the independent city of Hampton. It lies at the extreme tip of the Virginia Peninsula at the mouth of Hampton Roads in the United States....

 by 1610 against potential attacks by ships of Spanish or other unfriendly European forces.

Revolution and War of 1812


Important conflicts of the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

 involved Norfolk and Craney Island
Craney Island (Virginia)
Craney Island is a point of land in the independent city of Portsmouth in the South Hampton Roads region of eastern Virginia in the United States. The location, formerly in Norfolk County, is near the mouth of the Elizabeth River opposite Lambert's Point on Hampton Roads. It is managed by the U.S...

 (at the mouth of the Elizabeth River
Elizabeth River (Virginia)
The Elizabeth River is a tidal estuary forming an arm of Hampton Roads harbor at the southern end of Chesapeake Bay in southeast Virginia in the United States. It is located along the southern side of the mouth of the James River, between the cities of Portsmouth and Norfolk...

 in Portsmouth). It was at Norfolk where the last Royal Governor of the Virginia Colony, Lord Dunmore
John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore
John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore was a British peer and colonial governor. He was the son of William Murray, 3rd Earl of Dunmore, and his wife Catherine . He is best remembered as the last royal governor of the Colony of Virginia.John was the eldest son of William and Catherine Murray, and nephew...

, departed mainland Virginia for the last time.

The first naval action of the War of 1812
War of 1812
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States of America and those of the British Empire. The Americans declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions because of Britain's ongoing war with France, impressment of American merchant...

 took place on July 8, 1812, when the Bermuda sloop
Bermuda sloop
The Bermuda sloop is a type of fore-and-aft rigged sailing vessel developed on the islands of Bermuda in the 17th century. In its purest form, it is single-masted, although ships with such rigging were built with as many as three masts, which are then referred to as schooners...

, HMS Whiting, its crew oblivious to the US declaration of war, dropped anchor in Hampton Roads. As its captain was being rowed ashore, the Royal Naval
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 vessel was seized by the American privateer Dash, which happened to be leaving port.

Under the new United States government, by the 1830s, the entrance from Chesapeake Bay
Chesapeake Bay
The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States. It lies off the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by Maryland and Virginia. The Chesapeake Bay's drainage basin covers in the District of Columbia and parts of six states: New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and West...

 was defended by Fort Monroe
Fort Monroe
Fort Monroe was a military installation in Hampton, Virginia—at Old Point Comfort, the southern tip of the Virginia Peninsula...

, built by the U.S. Army beginning in 1819 on Old Point Comfort
Old Point Comfort
Old Point Comfort is a point of land located in the independent city of Hampton. It lies at the extreme tip of the Virginia Peninsula at the mouth of Hampton Roads in the United States....

, and by Fort Wool
Fort Wool
Fort Wool was the companion to Fort Monroe in protecting Hampton Roads from seafaring threats. This site was once the dumping place for ships’ ballast....

, built as Fort Calhoun in 1829, on a small island called the Rip Raps
Rip Raps
Rip Raps is a small 15 acre artificial island at the mouth of the harbor area known as Hampton Roads in the independent city of Hampton in southeastern Virginia in the United States.-History:...

 near the middle of the channel (and now adjacent to one of the manmade islands of the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel
Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel
The Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel is the -long Hampton Roads crossing for Interstate 64 and U.S. Route 60. It is a four-lane facility comprising bridges, trestles, man-made islands, and tunnels under the main shipping channels for Hampton Roads harbor in the southeastern portion of Virginia in the...

). Much work in the building of these fortresses in the early 19th century was done by a 24-year-old engineer in the U.S. Army, a Lieutenant named Robert E. Lee
Robert E. Lee
Robert Edward Lee was a career military officer who is best known for having commanded the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the American Civil War....

.

Civil War


During the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 (1861–1865), the famous Battle of Hampton Roads
Battle of Hampton Roads
The Battle of Hampton Roads, often referred to as either the Battle of the Monitor and Merrimack or the Battle of Ironclads, was the most noted and arguably most important naval battle of the American Civil War from the standpoint of the development of navies...

 between the first American ironclad warship
Ironclad warship
An ironclad was a steam-propelled warship in the early part of the second half of the 19th century, protected by iron or steel armor plates. The ironclad was developed as a result of the vulnerability of wooden warships to explosive or incendiary shells. The first ironclad battleship, La Gloire,...

s, the USS Monitor
USS Monitor
USS Monitor was the first ironclad warship commissioned by the United States Navy during the American Civil War. She is most famous for her participation in the Battle of Hampton Roads on March 9, 1862, the first-ever battle fought between two ironclads...

 and the CSS Virginia (ex-USS Merrimack)
CSS Virginia
CSS Virginia was the first steam-powered ironclad warship of the Confederate States Navy, built during the first year of the American Civil War; she was constructed as a casemate ironclad using the raised and cut down original lower hull and steam engines of the scuttled . Virginia was one of the...

 took place off Sewell's Point
Sewell's Point
Sewells Point is a peninsula of land in the independent city of Norfolk, Virginia in the United States, located at the mouth of the salt-water port of Hampton Roads. Sewells Point is bordered by water on three sides, with Willoughby Bay to the north, Hampton Roads to the west, and the Lafayette...

, on March 8–9, 1862. That battle was inconclusive, but later in 1862, Union forces took control of Hampton Roads, Norfolk, and the lower James River. However, their efforts to take the Confederate
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

 capital of Richmond
Richmond, Virginia
Richmond is the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia, in the United States. It is an independent city and not part of any county. Richmond is the center of the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Greater Richmond area...

 via the James River with their vastly superior Navy were thwarted by a strong Confederate battery position high above a bend in the river about 8 miles (13 km) below Richmond at Drewry's Bluff.

Fort Monroe was the launching place for Union General George McClellan
George B. McClellan
George Brinton McClellan was a major general during the American Civil War. He organized the famous Army of the Potomac and served briefly as the general-in-chief of the Union Army. Early in the war, McClellan played an important role in raising a well-trained and organized army for the Union...

's massive 1862 Peninsula Campaign
Peninsula Campaign
The Peninsula Campaign of the American Civil War was a major Union operation launched in southeastern Virginia from March through July 1862, the first large-scale offensive in the Eastern Theater. The operation, commanded by Maj. Gen. George B...

, a land campaign of many months which began at Fort Monroe and advanced up the Virginia Peninsula
Virginia Peninsula
The Virginia Peninsula is a peninsula in southeast Virginia, USA, bounded by the York River, James River, Hampton Roads and Chesapeake Bay.Hampton Roads is the common name for the metropolitan area that surrounds the body of water of the same name...

, with a Siege at Yorktown and another battle at Williamsburg before the Union Army almost literally reached the gates of Richmond, ending at the Chickahominy River
Chickahominy River
The Chickahominy is an river in the eastern portion of the U.S. state of Virginia. The river rises about northwest of Richmond and flows southeast and south to the James River...

 within earshot of the city's church bells, according to the journals of Union soldiers. However, the Confederates mounted a credible defense of their capital city, and McClellan's campaign failed to capture Richmond, ending in the Seven Days Battles
Seven Days Battles
The Seven Days Battles was a series of six major battles over the seven days from June 25 to July 1, 1862, near Richmond, Virginia during the American Civil War. Confederate General Robert E. Lee drove the invading Union Army of the Potomac, commanded by Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, away from...

, during which the Union Army withdrew, effectively extending the War for almost three more years.

On February 3, 1865, as the Confederacy was near total collapse, President Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

 met with three senior Confederates in an effort to negotiate for peace (the "Hampton Roads Conference
Hampton Roads Conference
The Hampton Roads Conference was an unsuccessful attempt to negotiate an end to the American Civil War. On February 3, 1865, near Fort Monroe in Newport News, Virginia, aboard a ship, the River Queen, President Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of State William H. Seward, representing the United...

"). Lincoln wanted the states to return to the Union and indicated the Union would pay for the slaves. The Confederates insisted their demand was complete independence, so the 4-hour conference ended in failure.

Beginning in 1861, some of the former slaves found refuge in a camp
Grand Contraband Camp
Grand Contraband Camp was located in Elizabeth City County on the Virginia Peninsula near Fort Monroe during and immediately after the American Civil War. The area was a refuge for escaped slaves who the Union forces refused to return to their former Confederate masters, by defining them as...

 near Fort Monroe
Fort Monroe
Fort Monroe was a military installation in Hampton, Virginia—at Old Point Comfort, the southern tip of the Virginia Peninsula...

, which remained in Union hands throughout the War. There, the commander, Union Army General Benjamin F. Butler
Benjamin Franklin Butler (politician)
Benjamin Franklin Butler was an American lawyer and politician who represented Massachusetts in the United States House of Representatives and later served as the 33rd Governor of Massachusetts....

, a lawyer by training, declared them to be "Contraband of war"
Contraband (American Civil War)
Contraband was a term commonly used in the United States military during the American Civil War to describe a new status for certain escaped slaves or those who affiliated with Union forces after the military determined that the US would not return escaped slaves who went to Union lines to their...

. On that legal basis, Union forces refused to return them to Confederate owners as would have been the practice even in many "free states" before Virginia seceded and declared itself a foreign power. Soon, word spread, and many slaves were understandably anxious to become "contraband."

Although many of the "contraband" men at Hampton and elsewhere during the War volunteered and became part of the United States Colored Troops
United States Colored Troops
The United States Colored Troops were regiments of the United States Army during the American Civil War that were composed of African American soldiers. First recruited in 1863, by the end of the Civil War, the men of the 175 regiments of the USCT constituted approximately one-tenth of the Union...

 (USCT), others and the women and children grew in increasing numbers near Fort Monroe in Elizabeth City County
Elizabeth City County, Virginia
Elizabeth City County was a county in southeastern Virginia from 1634 to 1952. Originally created in 1634 as Elizabeth River Shire, it was one of eight shires created in the Virginia Colony by order of the King of England. In 1636, it was subdivided, and the portion north of the harbor of Hampton...

. From the wood and materials salvaged from the remains of the Town of Hampton, which had been burned earlier by retreating Confederates, they built the Grand Contraband Camp
Grand Contraband Camp
Grand Contraband Camp was located in Elizabeth City County on the Virginia Peninsula near Fort Monroe during and immediately after the American Civil War. The area was a refuge for escaped slaves who the Union forces refused to return to their former Confederate masters, by defining them as...

, near, but outside the protective walls of the Army base. It was the first self-contained African American community in the United States.

Postwar


Close by is the Emancipation Oak
Emancipation Oak
Emancipation Oak is a historic tree located on the campus of Hampton University in what is now the City of Hampton, Virginia. The large sprawling oak is 98 feet in diameter, with branches which extend upward as well as laterally...

, on the grounds of the school for them which grew to become Hampton University
Hampton University
Hampton University is a historically black university located in Hampton, Virginia, United States. It was founded by black and white leaders of the American Missionary Association after the American Civil War to provide education to freedmen.-History:...

. Beginning as a normal school
Normal school
A normal school is a school created to train high school graduates to be teachers. Its purpose is to establish teaching standards or norms, hence its name...

 founded to train teachers, Hampton University was established by church groups and former Union Army
Union (American Civil War)
During the American Civil War, the Union was a name used to refer to the federal government of the United States, which was supported by the twenty free states and five border slave states. It was opposed by 11 southern slave states that had declared a secession to join together to form the...

 officers. Early educators of the era included Mary Smith Peake
Mary S. Peake
Mary Smith Peake, born Mary Smith Kelsey , was an American teacher and humanitarian, best known for starting a school for the children of former slaves starting in the fall of 1861 under what became known as the Emancipation Oak tree in present-day Hampton near Fort Monroe...

 and former Union Army General Samuel Chapman Armstrong, who was himself the son of missionaries, and had commanded a USCT force during the War. Among the earlier students was a young former slave named Booker T. Washington
Booker T. Washington
Booker Taliaferro Washington was an American educator, author, orator, and political leader. He was the dominant figure in the African-American community in the United States from 1890 to 1915...

, who became a famed African-American educator and was the first head of present-day Tuskegee University
Tuskegee University
Tuskegee University is a private, historically black university located in Tuskegee, Alabama, United States. It is a member school of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund...

. The Emancipation Oak is part of the official logo of the modern city of Hampton.

20th century


The Jamestown Exposition
Jamestown Exposition
The Jamestown Exposition was one of the many world's fairs and expositions that were popular in the United States in the early part of the 20th century...

 for the 300th anniversary of the 1607 founding of Jamestown
Jamestown, Virginia
Jamestown was a settlement in the Colony of Virginia. Established by the Virginia Company of London as "James Fort" on May 14, 1607 , it was the first permanent English settlement in what is now the United States, following several earlier failed attempts, including the Lost Colony of Roanoke...

 was held at Sewell's Point
Sewell's Point
Sewells Point is a peninsula of land in the independent city of Norfolk, Virginia in the United States, located at the mouth of the salt-water port of Hampton Roads. Sewells Point is bordered by water on three sides, with Willoughby Bay to the north, Hampton Roads to the west, and the Lafayette...

 in a rural section of Norfolk County
Norfolk County, Virginia
Norfolk County was a county of the South Hampton Roads in eastern Virginia in the United States that was created in 1691. After the American Civil War, for a period of about 100 years, portions of Norfolk County were lost and the territory of the county reduced as they became parts of the separate...

 in 1907.

President Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

 arrived by water in the harbor of Hampton Roads, as did other notable persons such as Mark Twain
Mark Twain
Samuel Langhorne Clemens , better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist...

 and Henry Huttleston Rogers
Henry H. Rogers
Henry Huttleston Rogers was a United States capitalist, businessman, industrialist, financier, and philanthropist. He made his fortune in the oil refinery business, becoming a leader at Standard Oil....

, who both arrived aboard the latter's steam yacht Kanawha
Kanawha (1899)
Kanawha was a 471-ton steam-powered luxury yacht initially built in 1899 for millionaire industrialist and financier Henry Huttleston Rogers . One of the key men in the Standard Oil Trust, Rogers was one of the last of the robber barons of the Gilded Age in the United States...

. A major naval display was featured, and the U.S. Great White Fleet
Great White Fleet
The Great White Fleet was the popular nickname for the United States Navy battle fleet that completed a circumnavigation of the globe from 16 December 1907 to 22 February 1909 by order of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. It consisted of 16 battleships divided into two squadrons, along with...

 made an appearance. The leaders of the U.S. Navy apparently did not fail to note the ideal harbor conditions, as was later proved.

Beginning in 1917, as the United States became involved in World War I under President Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

, formerly rural Sewell's Point
Sewell's Point
Sewells Point is a peninsula of land in the independent city of Norfolk, Virginia in the United States, located at the mouth of the salt-water port of Hampton Roads. Sewells Point is bordered by water on three sides, with Willoughby Bay to the north, Hampton Roads to the west, and the Lafayette...

 became the site of what grew to become the largest Naval Base in the world which was established by the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 and is now known as the Naval Station Norfolk
Naval Station Norfolk
Naval Station Norfolk, in Norfolk, Virginia, is a base of the United States Navy, supporting naval forces in the United States Fleet Forces Command, those operating in the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and Indian Ocean...

.

Twice in the 20th century, families of mostly African American heritage were displaced in entire communities when land along the northern side of the Peninsula
Virginia Peninsula
The Virginia Peninsula is a peninsula in southeast Virginia, USA, bounded by the York River, James River, Hampton Roads and Chesapeake Bay.Hampton Roads is the common name for the metropolitan area that surrounds the body of water of the same name...

 primarily in York County
York County, Virginia
York County is a county located on the north side of the Virginia Peninsula in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of the Commonwealth of Virginia, a state of the United States. Situated on the York River and many tributaries, the county seat is the unincorporated town of Yorktown...

 west of Yorktown was taken in large tracts for military use during World War I and World War II, creating the present-day U.S. Naval Weapons Station Yorktown
Naval Weapons Station Yorktown
Naval Weapons Station Yorktown is a United States Navy base in York County, James City County, and Newport News in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia...

, which includes Cheatham Annex, and a former Seabee
Seabee
Seabees are members of the United States Navy construction battalions. The word Seabee is a proper noun that comes from the initials of Construction Battalion, of the United States Navy...

 base which became Camp Peary
Camp Peary
Camp Peary is a military reservation in York County near Williamsburg, Virginia. Officially it is referred to as the Armed Forces Experimental Training Activity under the auspices of the Department of Defense, but it is widely believed to be the location of a covert CIA training facility known...

.

Communities including "the Reservation"
Lackey, Virginia
Lackey was a small unincorporated community near Yorktown in York County, Virginia, United States...

, Halstead's Point
Halstead's Point, Virginia
Halstead's Point was an unincorporated community in York County, Virginia. In 1918, during World War I, a large tract of land in the area including Halstead's Point was taken by the U.S. Navy to create a military base initially known as a mine depot, where ordnance for military shifts was handled...

, Penniman
Penniman, Virginia
Penniman was an unincorporated town in northwestern York County, on the south bank of the York River six miles northeast of Williamsburg in the Virginia Peninsula area of the Hampton Roads region of southeastern Virginia in the United States...

, Bigler's Mill
Bigler's Mill, Virginia
Bigler's Mill was a small town in Virginia near Williamsburg in York County which is now extinct. It is now considered one of the many lost towns of Virginia....

, and Magruder
Magruder, Virginia
Magruder was a small unincorporated town in Virginia near Williamsburg in York County. Now extinct, it once had its own church, post office, cemetery, lodge, and homes. Magruder is considered one of the many lost towns of Virginia. The land on which it stood is now part of the US military...

 were all lost and absorbed into the large military bases.

Although some left the area entirely, many of the displaced families chose to relocate nearby to Grove
Grove, Virginia
Grove is an unincorporated community in the southeastern portion of James City County in the Peninsula subregion of Virginia in the United States. It is located in the center of the Historic Triangle of Colonial Virginia, communities linked by the Colonial Parkway; the area is one of the busiest...

, an unincorporated town in southeastern James City County
James City County, Virginia
James City County is a county located on the Virginia Peninsula in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of the Commonwealth of Virginia, a state of the United States. Its population was 67,009 , and it is often associated with Williamsburg, an independent city, and Jamestown which is within the...

 where many generations of some of those families now reside. From a population estimated at only 37 in 1895, Grove had grown to an estimated 1,100 families by the end of the 20th century. (To its north, Grove actually borders the Naval Weapons Station property and on its extreme east, a portion of the U.S. Army's land at Fort Eustis extends across Skiffe's Creek, although there is no direct access to either base).

Colonial Williamsburg


A dream of one Episcopalian priest to save his 18th-century church building was to expand to create the world's largest living museum
Living museum
A living museum is a type of museum, in which historical events showing the life in ancient times are performed, especially in ethnographic or historical views, or processes for producing a commercial product in terms of technical and technological developments are shown, especially the craft...

. Replacing Jamestown at the end of the 17th century, Williamsburg
Williamsburg, Virginia
Williamsburg is an independent city located on the Virginia Peninsula in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of Virginia, USA. As of the 2010 Census, the city had an estimated population of 14,068. It is bordered by James City County and York County, and is an independent city...

 had been capital of the Colony and the new State of Virginia from 1699–1780. After the capital moved to Richmond in 1780, Williamsburg became a quieter and sometimes described as "sleepy" small town. It saw some action during the Battle of Williamsburg
Battle of Williamsburg
The Battle of Williamsburg, also known as the Battle of Fort Magruder, took place on May 5, 1862, in York County, James City County, and Williamsburg, Virginia, as part of the Peninsula Campaign of the American Civil War...

 of the 1862 Peninsula Campaign during the Civil War. However, it was not located along any major waterway and did not have railroad access until 1881. Perhaps due to the secure inland location originally known as Middle Plantation
Middle Plantation
Middle Plantation in the Virginia Colony, was the unincorporated town established in 1632 that became Williamsburg in 1699. It was located on high ground about half-way across the Virginia Peninsula between the James River and York River. Middle Plantation represented the first major inland...

, for Williamsburg, growth and great expansion of commerce in the 19th century did not occur as rapidly as in many other Virginia cities. The main activities were The College of William & Mary and Eastern State Hospital, each historic institutions in their own right. In addition to the city's historic past, quite a few buildings of antiquity from the 18th century were still extant, although time was taking a toll by the early 20th century.

The Reverend Dr. W.A.R. Goodwin of Bruton Parish Church
Bruton Parish Church
Bruton Parish Church is located in the restored area of Colonial Williamsburg in Williamsburg, Virginia, USA. It was established in 1674 in the Virginia Colony, and remains an active Episcopal parish.-History of Bruton Parish Church:...

 initially had wanted merely to save his historic church building. This he accomplished by 1907. He later served in Rochester, New York
Rochester, New York
Rochester is a city in Monroe County, New York, south of Lake Ontario in the United States. Known as The World's Image Centre, it was also once known as The Flour City, and more recently as The Flower City...

 for many years. Upon returning to Williamsburg in 1923, he began to realize that many of the other colonial-era buildings also remained, but were in deteriorating condition, and their continued longevity was at risk.

Goodwin dreamed of a much larger restoration along the lines of what he had accomplished with his historic church. A cleric of modest means, he sought support and financing from a number of sources before successfully drawing the interests and major financial support of Standard Oil
Standard Oil
Standard Oil was a predominant American integrated oil producing, transporting, refining, and marketing company. Established in 1870 as a corporation in Ohio, it was the largest oil refiner in the world and operated as a major company trust and was one of the world's first and largest multinational...

 heir and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Jr. and his wife Abby Aldrich Rockefeller
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, , was a prominent socialite and philanthropist and the second-generation matriarch of the renowned Rockefeller family...

. The result of their combined efforts was the creation of Colonial Williamsburg
Colonial Williamsburg
Colonial Williamsburg is the private foundation representing the historic district of the city of Williamsburg, Virginia, USA. The district includes buildings dating from 1699 to 1780 which made colonial Virginia's capital. The capital straddled the boundary of the original shires of Virginia —...

, which included a restoration of the Wren Building
Wren Building
The Wren Building is the signature building of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, USA. Along with the Brafferton and President's House, these buildings form the College's Historic Campus....

 at The College of William & Mary and a change of much of the downtown Williamsburg area into a 301 acres (1.2 km²) Historic Area of restored and replica buildings and surrounds to celebrate the patriots and the early history of America.

By the 1930s, Colonial Williamsburg had become the centerpiece of the Historic Triangle of Colonial Virginia
Historic Triangle
The Historic Triangle is located on the Virginia Peninsula of the United States and includes the colonial communities of Jamestown, Colonial Williamsburg, and Yorktown, with many restored attractions linked by the Colonial Parkway in James City and York counties and the City of...

. These were, of course, Jamestown, where the colony started, Williamsburg, and Yorktown
Yorktown, Virginia
Yorktown is a census-designated place in York County, Virginia, United States. The population was 220 in the 2000 census. It is the county seat of York County, one of the eight original shires formed in colonial Virginia in 1634....

, where independence from Great Britain
Kingdom of Great Britain
The former Kingdom of Great Britain, sometimes described as the 'United Kingdom of Great Britain', That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of GREAT BRITAIN. was a sovereign...

 was won. The three points were joined by the U.S. National Park Service
National Park Service
The National Park Service is the U.S. federal agency that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations...

's Colonial Parkway
Colonial Parkway
Colonial Parkway is a scenic 23-mile parkway linking the three popular attractions of Virginia's Historic Triangle of colonial-era communities, Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown...

, a remarkable accomplishment built over a period of 27 years. The Historic Triangle area of the Hampton Roads region became one of the largest tourist attractions in the entire world.

In Dr. Goodwin's words: "Williamsburg is Jamestown continued, and Yorktown is Williamsburg vindicated."

Other notable Hampton Roads "firsts"


America's first free public schools, the Syms and Eaton free schools (later combined as Syms-Eaton Academy
Syms-Eaton Academy
The Syms-Eaton Academy was America's first free public school. Also known as Syms-Eaton Free School, the school was established in Hampton, Virginia in 1634...

), were established in Hampton in 1634 and 1659 respectively. The Syms-Eaton Academy was later renamed Hampton Academy and in 1852 became part of the public school system, thus Hampton High School
Hampton High School (Hampton, Virginia)
Hampton High School is a public secondary school located in Hampton, Virginia. It is the oldest standing high school in Hampton Public Schools. It contains an International Baccalaureate World School with the Diploma Programme.Hampton high is the first high school in the Hampton city high school...

 lays claim to being the oldest public school in the United States. The trust fund created from the Syms and Eaton donations has remained intact since the 17th century and was incorporated into support for the Hampton public school system.

In 1957, the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel
Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel
The Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel is the -long Hampton Roads crossing for Interstate 64 and U.S. Route 60. It is a four-lane facility comprising bridges, trestles, man-made islands, and tunnels under the main shipping channels for Hampton Roads harbor in the southeastern portion of Virginia in the...

 was the first bridge-tunnel
Bridge-tunnel
A fixed link, fixed crossing, or bridge-tunnel is a persistent, unbroken road or rail connection across water that uses some combination of bridges, tunnels, and causeways and does not involve intermittent connections such as drawbridges or ferries.The Confederation Bridge was commonly referred to...

 complex in the world, to be followed by the area's much longer Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel
Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel is a long fixed link crossing the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay and connecting the Delmarva Peninsula's Eastern Shore of Virginia with Virginia Beach and the metropolitan area of Hampton Roads, Virginia...

 in 1963. This was followed by the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel in 1992. The prevalence of bridge-tunnels in the area is due to the number of shipbuilding and naval bases in the area. Access to the open ocean from Norfolk Naval Shipyard (in Portsmouth), Naval Station Norfolk, Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek – Fort Story, and Newport News Shipbuilding (where all U.S. nuclear aircraft carriers have been built) do not pass under any bridges. Passing under bridges was considered a potential threat to the U.S. fleet.

In the 1960s, the first astronaut
Astronaut
An astronaut or cosmonaut is a person trained by a human spaceflight program to command, pilot, or serve as a crew member of a spacecraft....

s of Project Mercury
Project Mercury
In January 1960 NASA awarded Western Electric Company a contract for the Mercury tracking network. The value of the contract was over $33 million. Also in January, McDonnell delivered the first production-type Mercury spacecraft, less than a year after award of the formal contract. On February 12,...

 trained at the NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

 facility adjacent to Hampton's Langley Air Force Base. Local features including Mercury Boulevard
Mercury Boulevard
Mercury Boulevard in the cities of Hampton and Newport News in the Peninsula region of southeastern Virginia carries U.S. Highway 258 approximately south from Fort Monroe at Old Point Comfort on Hampton Roads to the north end of the James River Bridge...

 commemorate this fact.

Government


The area consists of ten independent cities and seven counties. Each city is independent and has the powers and responsibilities of a county, including maintaining courts, schools, and a sheriff. Some cities do share these responsibilities with an adjoining county. These localities do come together to consult on regional issues.

The military has a large presence in the region. Area military facilities (alphabetically) include Camp Peary
Camp Peary
Camp Peary is a military reservation in York County near Williamsburg, Virginia. Officially it is referred to as the Armed Forces Experimental Training Activity under the auspices of the Department of Defense, but it is widely believed to be the location of a covert CIA training facility known...

 in York County, Fleet Training Center Dam Neck
Fleet Training Center Dam Neck
Training Support Center Hampton Roads is the current name of the facility in Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA, which was long-known as "FTC Dam Neck". It is the home of the "Fleet Combat Training Center Atlantic" of the United States Navy.- Dam Neck Mills, U.S...

 in Virginia Beach, Fort Eustis in Newport News, Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek
Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek
The Naval Amphibious Base, Little Creek is the major operating base for the Amphibious Forces in the United States Navy's Atlantic Fleet. The base comprises four locations in three states, including almost 12,000 acres of real estate. Its Little Creek location in Virginia Beach, Virginia totals...

 in Virginia Beach, Fort Monroe
Fort Monroe
Fort Monroe was a military installation in Hampton, Virginia—at Old Point Comfort, the southern tip of the Virginia Peninsula...

 in Hampton (scheduled to be closed by 2011), Norfolk Naval Shipyard
Norfolk Naval Shipyard
The Norfolk Naval Shipyard, often called the Norfolk Navy Yard and abbreviated as NNSY, is a U.S. Navy facility in Portsmouth, Virginia, for building, remodeling, and repairing the Navy's ships. It's the oldest and largest industrial facility that belongs to the U.S. Navy as well as the most...

 in Portsmouth (not to be confused with Portsmouth Naval Shipyard
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard
The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard , often called the Portsmouth Navy Yard, is a United States Navy shipyard located in Kittery on the southern boundary of Maine near the city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. It is used for remodeling and repairing the Navy's ships...

, in Kittery, Maine
Maine
Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

), Naval Station Norfolk
Naval Station Norfolk
Naval Station Norfolk, in Norfolk, Virginia, is a base of the United States Navy, supporting naval forces in the United States Fleet Forces Command, those operating in the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and Indian Ocean...

, Naval Air Station Oceana
Naval Air Station Oceana
Naval Air Station Oceana or NAS Oceana is a military airport located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and is a United States Navy Master Jet Base. It is also known as Apollo Soucek Field, named after Lieutenant Apollo Soucek, a Navy Test Pilot who set the global altitude record in 1930 by flying a...

 in Virginia Beach, the Coast Guard Integrated Support Command
Coast Guard Integrated Support Command
Coast Guard Integrated Support Command, as a US Coastguard component, could mean:*Integrated Support Command Kodiak in Alaska*Integrated Support Command Alameda in Alameda, California*Integrated Support Command New Orleans...

 Portsmouth. Saint Julian Creek Naval Depot Annex in Chesapeake, Fort Story
Fort Story
Formerly a sub-installation of Fort Eustis, Fort Story is a sub-installation of the United States Navy and Little Creek Amphibious Base...

 in Virginia Beach, and Naval Weapons Station Yorktown
Naval Weapons Station Yorktown
Naval Weapons Station Yorktown is a United States Navy base in York County, James City County, and Newport News in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia...

 in York County.

The federal government also has two major research laboratories there. NASA/Langley is the home of a variety of aircraft-related research, including several one-of-a-kind wind tunnels. It is on the northeast edge of Hampton, near Poquoson. Also, the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility
Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility
Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility , commonly called Jefferson Lab or JLab, is a U.S. national laboratory located in Newport News, Virginia. Since June 1, 2006, it has been operated by Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, a joint venture between Southeastern Universities Research...

 (known as 'Jefferson Lab') conducts cutting edge physics research in Newport News; the lab hosts the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (CEBAF) and a kilowatt-class Free-Electron Laser.

Virginia defines regional planning districts by law. Generally, members are independent cities and counties; incorporated town
Incorporated town
-Canada:Incorporated towns are a form of local government in Canada, which is a responsibility of provincial rather than federal government.-United States:...

s are located within counties in Virginia. Localities around the state are allowed to belong to more than one Planning District, as their constituents may have interests which crossover individual planning district boundaries.

The Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC) currently includes 16 cities and counties, all in Virginia, and represents over 1.6 million people.

The 16 jurisdictions include: the Cities of Chesapeake, Franklin, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, and Williamsburg, and the Counties of Gloucester, Isle of Wight, James City, Southampton, Surry, and York. It is noteworthy that there are incorporated towns located in three of the counties within the district (Isle of Wight, Southampton and Surry). The differences between the service area of the HRPDC and the federally defined metropolitan area are:
  • Southampton County and the City of Franklin are not in the federally defined metropolitan area.
  • Mathews County is in the metropolitan area but not part of the HRPDC. The metropolitan area also includes Currituck County, North Carolina.

Geography


The water area known as Hampton Roads is a wide channel through which the waters of the James River
James River (Virginia)
The James River is a river in the U.S. state of Virginia. It is long, extending to if one includes the Jackson River, the longer of its two source tributaries. The James River drains a catchment comprising . The watershed includes about 4% open water and an area with a population of 2.5 million...

, Nansemond River
Nansemond River
The Nansemond River is a tributary of the James River in the U.S. state of Virginia. The Nansemond River Bridge crosses the river near its mouth. Both it and the former State Route 125 bridge, demolished in 2008, were once toll bridges. The river begins at the outlet of Lake Meade north of...

, and Elizabeth River
Elizabeth River (Virginia)
The Elizabeth River is a tidal estuary forming an arm of Hampton Roads harbor at the southern end of Chesapeake Bay in southeast Virginia in the United States. It is located along the southern side of the mouth of the James River, between the cities of Portsmouth and Norfolk...

 pass (between Old Point Comfort
Old Point Comfort
Old Point Comfort is a point of land located in the independent city of Hampton. It lies at the extreme tip of the Virginia Peninsula at the mouth of Hampton Roads in the United States....

 to the north and Sewell's Point
Sewell's Point
Sewells Point is a peninsula of land in the independent city of Norfolk, Virginia in the United States, located at the mouth of the salt-water port of Hampton Roads. Sewells Point is bordered by water on three sides, with Willoughby Bay to the north, Hampton Roads to the west, and the Lafayette...

 to the south) into the Chesapeake Bay
Chesapeake Bay
The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States. It lies off the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by Maryland and Virginia. The Chesapeake Bay's drainage basin covers in the District of Columbia and parts of six states: New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and West...

 and the Atlantic Ocean.

The region has extensive natural areas, including 26 miles (42 km) of Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay beaches, the Great Dismal Swamp
Great Dismal Swamp
The Great Dismal Swamp is a marshy area on the Coastal Plain Region of southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina between Norfolk, Virginia, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina in the United States. It is located in parts of southern Chesapeake and Suffolk in Virginia, as well as northern...

, picturesque rivers, state parks, wildlife refuges, and botanical gardens. Inland from the bay, the region includes Lake Drummond
Lake Drummond
Lake Drummond is located at the center of the Great Dismal Swamp, a marshy region on the Coastal Plain of southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina between Norfolk, Virginia, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina in the United States. Surface area of the lake is approximately and the...

, one of only two natural lakes found in Virginia, and miles of waterfront property along the various rivers and waterways. The region's native flora is consistent with that of the Southeast Coastal Plain and the lower Southeast Maritime Forest.

The land area which constitutes "Hampton Roads" varies depending upon perspective and purpose. Most of the land area of Hampton Roads is geographically divided into 2 smaller regions: the eastern portion of the Virginia Peninsula
Virginia Peninsula
The Virginia Peninsula is a peninsula in southeast Virginia, USA, bounded by the York River, James River, Hampton Roads and Chesapeake Bay.Hampton Roads is the common name for the metropolitan area that surrounds the body of water of the same name...

 (the Peninsula) and South Hampton Roads
South Hampton Roads
South Hampton Roads is a region located in the extreme southeastern portion of Virginia in the United States, and is part of the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA with a population about 1.7 million....

 (locally known as "the Southside"), which are separated by the harbor. When speaking of communities of Hampton Roads, virtually all sources (including the three discussed in the following paragraphs) include the seven major cities, two smaller ones, and three counties within those two subregions.

In addition, the Middle Peninsula
Middle Peninsula
The Middle Peninsula is the second of three large peninsulas on the western shore of Chesapeake Bay in Virginia, in the United States. It lies between the Northern Neck and the Virginia Peninsula. This peninsula is bounded by the Rappahannock River on the north and the York River on the south...

 counties of Gloucester and Mathews, while not part of the geographical Hampton Roads area, are included in the vast metropolitan region's population. Also, a small portion of northeastern North Carolina (Currituck County
Currituck County, North Carolina
-National protected areas:*Currituck National Wildlife Refuge*Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge -Demographics:As of the census of 2010, there were 23,547 people, 6,902 households, and 5,204 families residing in the county. The population density was 70 people per square mile . There were...

) is included in the region's statistics. Due to a peculiarity in the drawing of the Virginia-North Carolina border, Knott's Island in that county is connected to Virginia by land, but is only accessible to other parts of North Carolina across waterways via a ferry system.

Each of the following current cities, counties and towns is included by at least one of the three organizations that define "Hampton Roads"


The Hampton Roads area consists of nine independent cities (which are not part of any county). Chesapeake
Chesapeake, Virginia
As of the census of 2000, there were 199,184 people, 69,900 households, and 54,172 families residing in the city. The population density was 584.6 people per square mile . There were 72,672 housing units at an average density of 213.3 per square mile...

, Norfolk
Norfolk, Virginia
Norfolk is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. With a population of 242,803 as of the 2010 Census, it is Virginia's second-largest city behind neighboring Virginia Beach....

, Portsmouth
Portsmouth, Virginia
Portsmouth is located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of the U.S. Commonwealth of Virginia. As of 2010, the city had a total population of 95,535.The Norfolk Naval Shipyard, often called the Norfolk Navy Yard, is a historic and active U.S...

, Suffolk
Suffolk, Virginia
Suffolk is the largest city by area in Virginia, United States, and is located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 84,585. Its median household income was $57,546.-History:...

, and Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Virginia Beach is an independent city located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of Virginia, on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay...

 cover the Southside of Hampton Roads while Hampton
Hampton, Virginia
Hampton is an independent city that is not part of any county in Southeast Virginia. Its population is 137,436. As one of the seven major cities that compose the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, it is on the southeastern end of the Virginia Peninsula. Located on the Hampton Roads Beltway, it hosts...

, Newport News
Newport News, Virginia
Newport News is an independent city located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of Virginia. It is at the southeastern end of the Virginia Peninsula, on the north shore of the James River extending southeast from Skiffe's Creek along many miles of waterfront to the river's mouth at Newport News...

, Poquoson
Poquoson, Virginia
Poquoson is an independent city located on the Virginia Peninsula, in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of the U.S. state of Virginia. The population was 12,150 according to the 2010 Census...

, and Williamsburg
Williamsburg, Virginia
Williamsburg is an independent city located on the Virginia Peninsula in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of Virginia, USA. As of the 2010 Census, the city had an estimated population of 14,068. It is bordered by James City County and York County, and is an independent city...

 reside on the Peninsula. Franklin
Franklin, Virginia
Franklin is an independent city in Virginia. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the city of Franklin with Southampton county for statistical purposes. The population was 8,582 in 2010.-History:...

 borders Suffolk but the Census Bureau does not consider it as a part of the metro area.

The metro area has one county in North Carolina, Currituck
Currituck County, North Carolina
-National protected areas:*Currituck National Wildlife Refuge*Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge -Demographics:As of the census of 2010, there were 23,547 people, 6,902 households, and 5,204 families residing in the county. The population density was 70 people per square mile . There were...

. The remaining counties, in Virginia, include Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight County, Virginia
As of the census of 2010, there were 35,270 people, 11,319 households, and 8,670 families residing in the county. The population density was 94 people per square mile . There were 12,066 housing units at an average density of 38 per square mile...

 and Surry
Surry County, Virginia
As of the census of 2010, there were 7,058 people, 2,619 households, and 1,917 families residing in the county. The population density was 24 people per square mile . There were 3,294 housing units at an average density of 12 per square mile...

 on the Southside, James City
James City County, Virginia
James City County is a county located on the Virginia Peninsula in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of the Commonwealth of Virginia, a state of the United States. Its population was 67,009 , and it is often associated with Williamsburg, an independent city, and Jamestown which is within the...

 and York
York County, Virginia
York County is a county located on the north side of the Virginia Peninsula in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of the Commonwealth of Virginia, a state of the United States. Situated on the York River and many tributaries, the county seat is the unincorporated town of Yorktown...

 on the Virginia Peninsula, and Gloucester
Gloucester County, Virginia
Gloucester County is within the Commonwealth of Virginia in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area in the USA. Formed in 1651 in the Virginia Colony, the county was named for Henry Stuart, Duke of Gloucester, third son of King Charles I of Great Britain. Located in the Middle Peninsula region, it...

 and Mathews
Mathews County, Virginia
As of the census of 2010, there were 8,978 people, 3,932 households, and 2,823 families residing in the county. The population density was 108 people per square mile . There were 5,333 housing units at an average density of 62 per square mile...

 on the Middle Peninsula. While Southampton
Southampton County, Virginia
As of the census of 2010, there were 18,570 people, 6,279 households, and 4,502 families residing in the county. The population density was 29 people per square mile . There were 7,058 housing units at an average density of 12 per square mile...

 is adjacent to Surry, Isle of Wight, and the City of Suffolk, the Census Bureau does not consider it part of the metro area.

Five incorporated town
Incorporated town
-Canada:Incorporated towns are a form of local government in Canada, which is a responsibility of provincial rather than federal government.-United States:...

s reside in the metro area including Claremont
Claremont, Virginia
Claremont is an incorporated town in Surry County, Virginia, United States. The population was 343 at the 2000 census.- History :A granite marker in a circle in the center of town commemorates the landing here on May 5, 1607, of English settlers...

 in Surry County, Dendron
Dendron, Virginia
Dendron is a town in Surry County, Virginia, United States. The population was 297 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Dendron is located at ....

 in Surry County, Smithfield
Smithfield, Virginia
Smithfield is a town in Isle of Wight County, in the South Hampton Roads subregion of the Hampton Roads region of Virginia in the United States. The population was 8,089 at the 2010 census....

 in Isle of Wight County, Surry
Surry, Virginia
Surry is an incorporated town in Surry County, Virginia, United States. The population was 262 at the 2000 census...

, Surry County's seat, and Windsor
Windsor, Virginia
Windsor is an incorporated town in Isle of Wight County in the Hampton Roads region of southeastern Virginia in the United States. It is located near the crossroads of U.S. Route 460 and U.S. Route 258. The population was 916 at the 2000 census...

 in Isle of Wight County. (Two other incorporated towns, Boykins
Boykins, Virginia
Boykins is a town in Southampton County, Virginia, United States. The population was 620 at the 2000 census.-Geography:According to the United States Census Bureau, Boykins has a total area of 0.7 square miles , all of it land....

 and Courtland
Courtland, Virginia
Courtland is an incorporated town in Southampton County, Virginia, United States. The population was 1,270 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Southampton County....

 are located in Southampton County, and therefore, like the county within which they are located, are not part of the federally defined metropolitan area).

Other unincorporated towns and communities in the metropolitan area which are not within its cities include Gloucester Courthouse
Gloucester Courthouse, Virginia
Gloucester Courthouse is a census-designated place in and the county seat of Gloucester County, Virginia, United States. The population was 2,269 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Gloucester Courthouse is located at ....

 and Gloucester Point
Gloucester Point, Virginia
Gloucester Point is a census-designated place in Gloucester County, Virginia, United States. The population was 9,429 at the 2000 census. It is also home to The College of William & Mary's Virginia Institute of Marine Science, a graduate school for the study of oceanography.-Geography:Gloucester...

 in Gloucester County, Isle of Wight Courthouse, Rushmere
Rushmere, Virginia
Rushmere is a census-designated place in Isle of Wight County, Virginia, United States. The population was 1,083 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Rushmere is located at ....

, Rescue, Carrollton
Carrollton, Virginia
Carrollton is a census-designated place in Isle of Wight County, Virginia, United States. The population as of the 2010 Census was 4,574....

, Benns Church
Benns Church, Virginia
Benns Church is a census-designated place in Isle of Wight County, Virginia, United States. It is located at the junction of U.S. Route 258 and State Routes 10 and 32, southeast of Smithfield. The population as of the 2010 Census was 872....

, and Walters
Walters, Virginia
Walters is an unincorporated community in Isle of Wight County in the Hampton Roads region of southeastern Virginia in the United States. The elevation is ....

 in Isle of Wight County, Yorktown
Yorktown, Virginia
Yorktown is a census-designated place in York County, Virginia, United States. The population was 220 in the 2000 census. It is the county seat of York County, one of the eight original shires formed in colonial Virginia in 1634....

, Grafton
Grafton, Virginia
Grafton is a community in York County, Virginia, United States, on the Virginia Peninsula.- Landmarks :Grafton is home to local landmarks such as the Grafton High/Middle School complex, Pop's Drive In, and Snozone.- History :...

, Seaford
Seaford, Virginia
Seaford is an unincorporated community in York County, Virginia, United States, on the Virginia Peninsula.-History:John Chisman patented on Crab Neck in 1636 and began the Seaford Settlement. The area was originally called Crab Neck, Crab Rock and Calamar. The Crab Neck post office was...

, and Tabb
Tabb, Virginia
Tabb is an unincorporated community in York County, Virginia, United States, on the Virginia Peninsula. Major roads include U.S. Route 17 and State Route 134 ....

 in York County, Jamestown
Jamestown, Virginia
Jamestown was a settlement in the Colony of Virginia. Established by the Virginia Company of London as "James Fort" on May 14, 1607 , it was the first permanent English settlement in what is now the United States, following several earlier failed attempts, including the Lost Colony of Roanoke...

, Ford's Colony, Grove
Grove, Virginia
Grove is an unincorporated community in the southeastern portion of James City County in the Peninsula subregion of Virginia in the United States. It is located in the center of the Historic Triangle of Colonial Virginia, communities linked by the Colonial Parkway; the area is one of the busiest...

, Lightfoot
Lightfoot, Virginia
Lightfoot is an unincorporated community which straddles the James City–York county border, west of Williamsburg, in the U.S. state of Virginia....

, Toano
Toano, Virginia
Toano is an unincorporated town in James City County, Virginia, United States.-History:Toano was established in the late 19th century in western James City County at the former site of Burnt Ordinary, which was named in the 18th century for a roadside tavern that had burned down...

, and Norge
Norge, Virginia
Norge is an unincorporated community in James City County, Virginia, United States.-Location:Norge was located on the old Richmond-Williamsburg Stage Road, which is U.S. Route 60 in modern times. Interstate 64 was built through the area in the 1970s, and passes nearby...

 in James City County, Moyock
Moyock, North Carolina
-Geography:It is located on NC 168 just south of the Virginia state line. The community sits at the end of the Chesapeake Expressway toll road, and is only a short drive from downtown Norfolk, Virginia. Because of this, Moyock has begun to witness an increase in residential development as an...

, Knotts Island
Knotts Island, North Carolina
Knotts Island is a small unincorporated community in Currituck County, North Carolina. The community is located on a marshy island, bordered by the Currituck Sound, North Landing River, Back Bay, and Knotts Island Bay. Knotts Island is home to Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge. Knotts Island...

, and Currituck
Currituck, North Carolina
Currituck is an unincorporated community in extreme northeastern North Carolina, USA. Situated along the Currituck Sound, it serves as the county seat for Currituck County. Currituck is part of the Inner Banks region and is one of the state's few unincorporated county seats. The community harbors...

 in Currituck County, North Carolina.

Transportation




Historically, from the earliest times, the harbor was the key to the Hampton Roads area's growth, both on land and in water-related activities and events. Ironically, the harbor and its tributary waterways were (and still are) both important transportation conduits and obstacles to other land-based commerce and travel. Yet, the community leaders learned to overcome them.

In modern times, the region has faced increasing transportation challenges as it has become largely urbanized, with additional traffic needs. In the 21st century, the conflicts between traffic on vital waterways and land-based travel continue to present the area's leaders with extraordinary transportation challenges, both for additional capacity, and as the existing infrastructure, much of it originally built with toll revenues
Toll road
A toll road is a privately or publicly built road for which a driver pays a toll for use. Structures for which tolls are charged include toll bridges and toll tunnels. Non-toll roads are financed using other sources of revenue, most typically fuel tax or general tax funds...

, has aged without an adequate source of funding to repair or build replacements. The now-closed Kings Highway Bridge
Kings Highway Bridge
Kings Highway Bridge was located on the Nansemond River in the independent city of Suffolk, Virginia, United States. Built in 1928, it carried traffic on the Kings Highway, also known as State Route 125, for over 75 years....

 in Suffolk
Suffolk, Virginia
Suffolk is the largest city by area in Virginia, United States, and is located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 84,585. Its median household income was $57,546.-History:...

 and the Jordan Bridge
Jordan Bridge
Jordan Bridge was a tolled highway lift bridge which carried State Route 337 over the southern branch of the Elizabeth River from the City of Portsmouth into the City of Chesapeake in South Hampton Roads, Virginia....

 closed by neighboring Chesapeake
Chesapeake, Virginia
As of the census of 2000, there were 199,184 people, 69,900 households, and 54,172 families residing in the city. The population density was 584.6 people per square mile . There were 72,672 housing units at an average density of 213.3 per square mile...

 in 2008 were each built in the 1920s. These were considered locally prime examples of this situation.

In 2007, the new Hampton Roads Transportation Authority
Hampton Roads Transportation Authority
Hampton Roads Transportation Authority is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States that has the responsibility for funding several major traffic projects in the Hampton Roads area...

 (HRTA) was formed under a controversial state law to levy various additional taxes to generate funding for major regional transportation projects, including a long-sought and costly additional crossing of the harbor of Hampton Roads (The Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, Monitor-Merrimac Bridge Tunnel, and the James River Bridge are the existing crossings). As of March 2008, although its projects were considered to be needed, the agency's future was in some question while its controversial sources of funding were being reconsidered in light of a Virginia Supreme Court decision.

Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport
Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport
Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport is an airport located 9 mi northwest of downtown Newport News, Virginia, and serves the entire Hampton Roads metropolitan area along with Norfolk International Airport in Norfolk...

, located in Newport News, and Norfolk International Airport
Norfolk International Airport
-Baggage Claims:Southwest Airlines #1,Delta Airlines #2,US Airways | American Airlines #3,Continental Airlines|United Express #5- Facilities and aircraft :...

, in Norfolk, both cater to passengers from Hampton Roads. The primary airport for the Virginia Peninsula is the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport. The Airport is experiencing a 4th year of record, double-digit growth, making it one of the fastest growing airports in the country. In January 2006, the airport reported having served 1,058,839 passengers.
Norfolk International Airport
Norfolk International Airport
-Baggage Claims:Southwest Airlines #1,Delta Airlines #2,US Airways | American Airlines #3,Continental Airlines|United Express #5- Facilities and aircraft :...

 , serves the region. The airport is located near Chesapeake Bay, along the city limits of Norfolk
Norfolk, Virginia
Norfolk is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. With a population of 242,803 as of the 2010 Census, it is Virginia's second-largest city behind neighboring Virginia Beach....

 and Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Virginia Beach is an independent city located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of Virginia, on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay...

. Seven airlines provide nonstop services to twenty five destinations. ORF had 3,703,664 passengers take off or land at its facility and 68,778,934 pounds of cargo were processed through its facilities. The Chesapeake Regional Airport
Chesapeake Regional Airport
Chesapeake Regional Airport is a public use airport located in the city of Chesapeake, Virginia and serving the Hampton Roads area. The airport is 12 nautical miles south of the central business district of Norfolk, Virginia. It is owned by the Chesapeake Airport Authority. Tidewater Flight...

 provides general aviation services and is located on the other side of the Hampton Roads Harbor.

Amtrak
Amtrak
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

 serves the region with three trains a day to its Williamsburg and Newport News stations. The line runs west along the Virginia Peninsula
Virginia Peninsula
The Virginia Peninsula is a peninsula in southeast Virginia, USA, bounded by the York River, James River, Hampton Roads and Chesapeake Bay.Hampton Roads is the common name for the metropolitan area that surrounds the body of water of the same name...

 to Richmond
Richmond, Virginia
Richmond is the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia, in the United States. It is an independent city and not part of any county. Richmond is the center of the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Greater Richmond area...

 and points beyond. Connecting buses are available to Norfolk and Virginia Beach. A high speed rail connection at Richmond to both the Northeast Corridor
Northeast Corridor
The Northeast Corridor is a fully electrified railway line owned primarily by Amtrak serving the Northeast megalopolis of the United States from Boston in the north, via New York to Washington, D.C. in the south, with branches serving other cities...

 and the Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor
Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor
The Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor is a passenger rail transportation project in the United States to extend high speed passenger rail services from Washington, DC south through Richmond and Petersburg in Virginia through Raleigh and Charlotte in North Carolina and connect with the existing...

 are also under study.

Intercity bus
Intercity bus
An intercity bus is a bus that carries passengers significant distances between different cities, towns, or other populated areas. Unlike a municipal bus, which has frequent stops throughout a city or town, an intercity bus generally has a single stop at a centralized location within the city, and...

 service is provided by Greyhound Lines
Greyhound Lines
Greyhound Lines, Inc., based in Dallas, Texas, is an intercity common carrier of passengers by bus serving over 3,700 destinations in the United States, Canada and Mexico, operating under the well-known logo of a leaping greyhound. It was founded in Hibbing, Minnesota, USA, in 1914 and...

 (Carolina Trailways) with bus stations in Newport News, Hampton, and Norfolk. Transportation within Hampton Roads is served by a regional bus service, Hampton Roads Transit
Hampton Roads Transit
Hampton Roads Transit a.k.a. "HRT" formed in October 1999 by the voluntary merging of PENTRAN on the Virginia Peninsula and TRT Hampton Roads Transit a.k.a. "HRT" formed in October 1999 by the voluntary merging of PENTRAN (Peninsula Transportation District Commission) on the Virginia Peninsula and...

. Local routes serving Williamsburg, James City County, and upper York County is operated by Williamsburg Area Transport
Williamsburg Area Transport
Williamsburg Area Transit Authority is a governmentally-operated agency which provides transit bus and paratransit services in the City of Williamsburg, James City County, and York County in the Historic Triangle area of the Virginia Peninsula subregion of Hampton Roads in southeastern...

.

A light rail
Light rail
Light rail or light rail transit is a form of urban rail public transportation that generally has a lower capacity and lower speed than heavy rail and metro systems, but higher capacity and higher speed than traditional street-running tram systems...

 service known as The Tide
Tide Light Rail
The Tide is a light rail line in Norfolk, Virginia, connecting Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk State University, and Newtown Road. Service began on August 19, 2011....

 was constructed in Norfolk. It began service in August 2011. Operated by Hampton Roads Transit, it is the first light rail service in the state. It is projected to have a daily ridership of between 7,130 to 11,400 passengers a day. There has also been a light rail study in the Hampton – Newport News areas.
The Hampton Roads area has an extensive network of Interstate Highways, including the Interstate 64
Interstate 64
Interstate 64 is an Interstate Highway in the Midwestern and Southeastern United States. Its western terminus is at I-70, U.S. 40, and U.S. 61 in Wentzville, Missouri. Its eastern terminus is at an interchange with I-264 and I-664 at Bowers Hill in Chesapeake, Virginia. As I-64 is concurrent with...

, the major east-west route to and from the area, and its spurs and bypasses of I-264
Interstate 264 (Virginia)
Interstate 264 is an Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of Virginia. It runs from a junction with Interstate 64 and Interstate 664 near Bowers Hill in Chesapeake east into Portsmouth and through the Downtown Tunnel under the South Branch of the Elizabeth River into Norfolk...

, I-464
Interstate 464
Interstate 464 is an Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of Virginia. The highway runs from U.S. Route 17 and Virginia State Route 168 in Chesapeake north to I-264 in Norfolk. I-464 connects two major highway junctions in the South Hampton Roads region...

, I-564
Interstate 564
Interstate 564 is an Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of Virginia. Known as Admiral Taussig Boulevard, the Interstate runs from Virginia State Route 337 east to I-64 within the city of Norfolk. I-564 is the primary access highway to Naval Station Norfolk, the world's largest naval base...

, and I-664
Interstate 664
Interstate 664 is an Interstate Highway in the U.S. state of Virginia. The Interstate runs from I-64 and I-264 in Chesapeake north to I-64 in Hampton. I-664 forms the west side of the Hampton Roads Beltway, a circumferential highway serving the Hampton Roads metropolitan area...

.

The Hampton Roads Beltway
Hampton Roads Beltway
The Hampton Roads Beltway is a loop of Interstate 64 and Interstate 664, which links the communities of the Virginia Peninsula and South Hampton Roads which surround the body of water known as Hampton Roads and comprise much of the region of the same name in the southeastern portion of Virginia in...

 extends 56 miles (90 km) on a long loop through the region, crossing the harbor on two toll-free bridge-tunnel
Bridge-tunnel
A fixed link, fixed crossing, or bridge-tunnel is a persistent, unbroken road or rail connection across water that uses some combination of bridges, tunnels, and causeways and does not involve intermittent connections such as drawbridges or ferries.The Confederation Bridge was commonly referred to...

 facilities. These crossings are the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel
Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel
The Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel is the -long Hampton Roads crossing for Interstate 64 and U.S. Route 60. It is a four-lane facility comprising bridges, trestles, man-made islands, and tunnels under the main shipping channels for Hampton Roads harbor in the southeastern portion of Virginia in the...

 between Phoebus
Phoebus, Virginia
Phoebus was an incorporated town located in Elizabeth City County on the Virginia Peninsula in eastern Virginia. Upon incorporation in 1900, it was named in honor of local businessman Harrison Phoebus , who is credited with convincing the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway to extend its tracks to the...

 in Hampton and Willoughby Spit
Willoughby Spit
Willoughby Spit is a peninsula of land in the independent city of Norfolk, Virginia in the United States. It is bordered by water on three sides: the Chesapeake Bay to the north, Hampton Roads to the west, and Willoughby Bay to the south.- History :...

 in Norfolk and the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel
Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel
Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel is the 4.6 mile-long Hampton Roads crossing for Interstate 664 in the southeastern portion of Virginia in the United States...

 between Newport News and Suffolk.
The Beltway connects with another Interstate highway and three arterial U.S. Highways at Bower's Hill
Bower's Hill, Virginia
Bower's Hill is a community located in the independent city of Chesapeake, Virginia in the United States. It is located in the South Hampton Roads region at the northeastern edge of the Great Dismal Swamp, an area consisting of generally low-lying sandy terrain of the coastal plain.Popular legend...

 near the northeastern edge of the Great Dismal Swamp
Great Dismal Swamp
The Great Dismal Swamp is a marshy area on the Coastal Plain Region of southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina between Norfolk, Virginia, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina in the United States. It is located in parts of southern Chesapeake and Suffolk in Virginia, as well as northern...

. Other major east-west routes are U.S. Highway 58, U.S. Highway 60, and U.S. Highway 460. The major north-south routes are U.S. Highway 13 and U.S. Highway 17.

There are also two other tunnels in the area, the Midtown Tunnel, and the Downtown Tunnel
Downtown Tunnel
The Downtown Tunnel on Interstate 264 crosses the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River in the South Hampton Roads area. It links the independent City of Portsmouth with the independent City of Norfolk...

 joining Portsmouth and Norfolk, as well as the 17 miles (27 km)-long Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel
Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel
The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel is a long fixed link crossing the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay and connecting the Delmarva Peninsula's Eastern Shore of Virginia with Virginia Beach and the metropolitan area of Hampton Roads, Virginia...

, a toll facility which links the region with Virginia's Eastern Shore
Eastern Shore of Virginia
The Eastern Shore of Virginia consists of two counties on the Atlantic coast of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. The region is part of the Delmarva Peninsula and is separated from the rest of Virginia by the Chesapeake Bay. Its population was 45,553 as of 2010...

 which carries US 13. The original Downtown Tunnel in conjunction with the Berkley Bridge
Berkley Bridge (Virginia)
The Berkley Bridge is a double-leaf bascule bridge across the Eastern Branch of the Elizabeth River in Norfolk, Virginia, United States. It carries Interstate 264, U.S. Route 460 Alternate, and State Route 337 across the river, connecting the Berkley neighborhood south of the river with downtown...

 were considered a single bridge and tunnel complex when completed in 1952, perhaps stimulating the innovative bridge-tunnel
Bridge-tunnel
A fixed link, fixed crossing, or bridge-tunnel is a persistent, unbroken road or rail connection across water that uses some combination of bridges, tunnels, and causeways and does not involve intermittent connections such as drawbridges or ferries.The Confederation Bridge was commonly referred to...

 design using man-made islands when the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel was planned, first opening in 1957. The George P. Coleman Memorial Bridge
George P. Coleman Memorial Bridge
The George P. Coleman Memorial Bridge is a double swing bridge that spans the York River between Yorktown and Gloucester Point, in the U.S. state of Virginia...

 is a major toll bridge
Toll bridge
A toll bridge is a bridge over which traffic may pass upon payment of a toll, or fee.- History :The practice of collecting tolls on bridges probably harks back to the days of ferry crossings where people paid a fee to be ferried across stretches of water. As boats became impractical to carry large...

 connecting U.S. Highway 17 on the Peninsula
Virginia Peninsula
The Virginia Peninsula is a peninsula in southeast Virginia, USA, bounded by the York River, James River, Hampton Roads and Chesapeake Bay.Hampton Roads is the common name for the metropolitan area that surrounds the body of water of the same name...

 at Yorktown
Yorktown, Virginia
Yorktown is a census-designated place in York County, Virginia, United States. The population was 220 in the 2000 census. It is the county seat of York County, one of the eight original shires formed in colonial Virginia in 1634....

 with Virginia's Middle Peninsula
Middle Peninsula
The Middle Peninsula is the second of three large peninsulas on the western shore of Chesapeake Bay in Virginia, in the United States. It lies between the Northern Neck and the Virginia Peninsula. This peninsula is bounded by the Rappahannock River on the north and the York River on the south...

 region. Another major crossing of waterways is the James River Bridge
James River Bridge
The James River Bridge is a four-lane divided highway lift bridge across the James River in the U.S. state of Virginia. Owned and operated by the Virginia Department of Transportation, it carries U.S. Route 17, U.S. Route 258, and State Route 32 across the river near its mouth at Hampton Roads...

, carrying US 17 US 258, and SR 32 from Newport News to Isle of Wight County
Isle of Wight County, Virginia
As of the census of 2010, there were 35,270 people, 11,319 households, and 8,670 families residing in the county. The population density was 94 people per square mile . There were 12,066 housing units at an average density of 38 per square mile...

.

The region is notable in that it has 2 types of public transport services via ferries
Ferry
A ferry is a form of transportation, usually a boat, but sometimes a ship, used to carry primarily passengers, and sometimes vehicles and cargo as well, across a body of water. Most ferries operate on regular, frequent, return services...

. A passenger ferry is operated on the Elizabeth River between downtown areas of Norfolk and Portsmouth by HRT. The Jamestown Ferry
Jamestown Ferry
The Jamestown Ferry is a free automobile and bus ferry service across a navigable portion of the James River in Virginia...

 (also known as the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry) is an automobile ferry system on the James River
James River (Virginia)
The James River is a river in the U.S. state of Virginia. It is long, extending to if one includes the Jackson River, the longer of its two source tributaries. The James River drains a catchment comprising . The watershed includes about 4% open water and an area with a population of 2.5 million...

 connecting Jamestown
Jamestown, Virginia
Jamestown was a settlement in the Colony of Virginia. Established by the Virginia Company of London as "James Fort" on May 14, 1607 , it was the first permanent English settlement in what is now the United States, following several earlier failed attempts, including the Lost Colony of Roanoke...

 in James City County
James City County, Virginia
James City County is a county located on the Virginia Peninsula in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of the Commonwealth of Virginia, a state of the United States. Its population was 67,009 , and it is often associated with Williamsburg, an independent city, and Jamestown which is within the...

 with Scotland in Surry County
Surry County, Virginia
As of the census of 2010, there were 7,058 people, 2,619 households, and 1,917 families residing in the county. The population density was 24 people per square mile . There were 3,294 housing units at an average density of 12 per square mile...

. It carries State Route 31. Operated by VDOT
Virginia Department of Transportation
The Virginia Department of Transportation is the agency of state government responsible for transportation in the state of Virginia in the United States. Headquartered in Downtown Richmond, VDOT is responsible for building, maintaining, and operating the roads, bridges and tunnels in the...

, it is the only 24-hour state-run ferry operation in Virginia and has over 90 employees. It operates four ferryboats, the Pocahontas, the Williamsburg, the Surry, and the Virginia. The facility is toll-free.

Education



Hampton Roads' individual cities and counties administer their own K-12 education for their localities. In addition to public education, area residents have many private and religious school options.

The area also has a number of higher education options for area residents. The College of William and Mary
College of William and Mary
The College of William & Mary in Virginia is a public research university located in Williamsburg, Virginia, United States...

 in Williamsburg was founded in 1693 and has served as the second oldest institution of higher education in the United States. Old Dominion University
Old Dominion University
Old Dominion University is a state university located in Norfolk, Virginia, United States, and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools...

, founded as the Norfolk Division of the College of William and Mary
College of William and Mary
The College of William & Mary in Virginia is a public research university located in Williamsburg, Virginia, United States...

 in 1930, became an independent institution in 1962 and now offers degrees in 68 undergraduate and 95 (60 masters/35 doctoral) graduate degree programs. Norfolk's Eastern Virginia Medical School
Eastern Virginia Medical School
Eastern Virginia Medical School commonly referred to as EVMS, in Norfolk, Virginia is a public-private medical school founded by the citizens of Hampton Roads, Virginia...

, founded as a community medical school by the surrounding jurisdictions in 1973, is noted for its research into reproductive medicine and is located in the region's major medical complex in the Ghent district
Ghent District
The Arrondissement of Ghent is the largest of the six administrative arrondissements in the Province of East Flanders, Belgium. It is both an administrative and a judicial arrondissement...

. Norfolk State University
Norfolk State University
Norfolk State University is a four-year, state-supported, coed, liberal arts, historically black university located in Norfolk, Virginia. It is member school of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund and the Virginia High-Tech Partnership.-Academics:...

 is the largest majority black university in Virginia and offers degrees in a wide variety of liberal arts
Liberal arts
The term liberal arts refers to those subjects which in classical antiquity were considered essential for a free citizen to study. Grammar, Rhetoric and Logic were the core liberal arts. In medieval times these subjects were extended to include mathematics, geometry, music and astronomy...

. Virginia Wesleyan College
Virginia Wesleyan College
Virginia Wesleyan College is a small Methodist liberal arts college on the border of Virginia Beach and Norfolk, Virginia offering a Bachelor of Arts in many disciplines and has added Bachelor of Science programs as well...

 is a small private liberal arts
Liberal arts
The term liberal arts refers to those subjects which in classical antiquity were considered essential for a free citizen to study. Grammar, Rhetoric and Logic were the core liberal arts. In medieval times these subjects were extended to include mathematics, geometry, music and astronomy...

 college on the border of Norfolk and Virginia Beach. Hampton University
Hampton University
Hampton University is a historically black university located in Hampton, Virginia, United States. It was founded by black and white leaders of the American Missionary Association after the American Civil War to provide education to freedmen.-History:...

, a private HBCU university, has a long history serving Hampton. Christopher Newport University
Christopher Newport University
Christopher Newport University, or CNU, is a public liberal arts university located in Newport News, Virginia, United States. CNU is the youngest comprehensive university in the Commonwealth of Virginia...

 serves as a public university and is located in Newport News. Regent University
Regent University
Regent University is a private coeducational interdenominational Christian university located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States. The school was founded by the American televangelist Pat Robertson in 1978 as Christian Broadcasting Network University. A satellite campus located in...

, a private university founded by Christian Evangelist and Leader Pat Robertson
Pat Robertson
Marion Gordon "Pat" Robertson is a media mogul, television evangelist, ex-Baptist minister and businessman who is politically aligned with the Christian Right in the United States....

 which has historically focused on graduate education but is attempting to establish an undergraduate program as well. Atlantic University
Atlantic University
Atlantic University is an American institution of higher education in Virginia Beach, Virginia. It is associated with an Edgar Cayce organization, the Association for Research and Enlightenment . Its offices are in the A.R.E. headquarters....

, associated with the Edgar Cayce organization, the Association for Research and Enlightenment
Association for Research and Enlightenment
The Association for Research and Enlightenment , also known as Edgar Cayce's A.R.E., was founded by Edgar Cayce in 1931 to research and explore subjects such as holistic health, ancient mysteries, personal spirituality, dreams and dream interpretation, intuition, philosophy and reincarnation...

 (ARE), offers instruction in New Age subjects and an M.A. in Transpersonal Studies.

Area residents also have options for training for technical professions. The Apprentice School was founded in 1919 and offers four/five year programs in mechanical and technical fields associated with the shipbuilding industry. Graduates from the Apprentice School go on to work at the Newport News Shipbuilding. technology-focused ECPI University has campuses in Virginia Beach and Newport News while ITT Technical Institute
ITT Technical Institute
ITT Technical Institute is a for-profit technical institute with over 130 campuses in 38 states of the United States. ITT Tech is owned and operated by ITT Educational Services, Inc. , a publicly traded company headquartered in Carmel, Indiana. ITT Educational Services, Inc...

 has a campus in Norfolk. Avarett University is in Newport News, Bryant and Stratton College has campus in the Town Center shopping complexes of Virginia Beach and Hampton; The Culinary Institute of Virginia is located in Norfolk.

Three institutions in the Virginia Community College System offer affordable higher education options for area residents. Tidewater Community College
Tidewater Community College
Tidewater Community College is a two-year higher education institution in South Hampton Roads with campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Virginia Beach — and serving approximately 46,000 students. The school is known locally by its abbreviation, TCC.-History:The school was founded...

 in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Portsmouth, Paul D. Camp Community College
Paul D. Camp Community College
Paul D. Camp Community College, located in the city of Franklin, Virginia in Southeast Virginia, is one of 23 schools in the Virginia Community College System ....

 in Suffolk, Franklin, and Smithfield, and Thomas Nelson Community College
Thomas Nelson Community College
Thomas Nelson Community College is a two-year college located in Virginia. It has two campuses - one located in Hampton, and the other in James City County near Williamsburg. It also has two education centers The Southeast Higher Education Center in Newport News and the Williamsburg Discovery...

 in Hampton and Williamsburg offer two-year degrees and specialized training programs.

Bible training schools include Hampton University and Regent University, but also Canaan Theological College & Seminary, Bethel College and Victory Baptist Bible College and Seminary in Hampton, Tabernacle Baptist Bible College & Theological Seminary, Gateway Christian College and Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Virginia Beach, Providence Bible College & Theological Seminary in Norfolk and the Hampton Roads campus of the John Leland Center for Theological Studies
John Leland Center for Theological Studies
The John Leland Center for Theological Studies is a Christian institution of higher education, comprising a seminary and a school of ministry. The center offers classes in Falls Church, Virginia, and at several satellite locations throughout Virginia...

.

Economy


Hampton Roads is home to four Fortune 500 companies. Representing the food industry, transportation, retail and healthcare, these four companies are located in Smithfield
Smithfield, Virginia
Smithfield is a town in Isle of Wight County, in the South Hampton Roads subregion of the Hampton Roads region of Virginia in the United States. The population was 8,089 at the 2010 census....

, Norfolk
Norfolk, Virginia
Norfolk is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. With a population of 242,803 as of the 2010 Census, it is Virginia's second-largest city behind neighboring Virginia Beach....

, Chesapeake
Chesapeake, Virginia
As of the census of 2000, there were 199,184 people, 69,900 households, and 54,172 families residing in the city. The population density was 584.6 people per square mile . There were 72,672 housing units at an average density of 213.3 per square mile...

 and Virginia Beach.
2010 Fortune 500
Fortune 500
The Fortune 500 is an annual list compiled and published by Fortune magazine that ranks the top 500 U.S. closely held and public corporations as ranked by their gross revenue after adjustments made by Fortune to exclude the impact of excise taxes companies collect. The list includes publicly and...

 Corporations         
  • 163 Smithfield Foods
    Smithfield Foods
    Smithfield Foods, Inc. is the world’s largest pork producer and processor. Headquartered in Smithfield, Virginia, it runs facilities in 26 U.S. states, including the world's largest meat-processing plant in Tar Heel, North Carolina, and has operations in Brazil, China, France, Mexico, Poland,...

  • 287 Norfolk Southern
  • 397 Dollar Tree
    Dollar Tree
    Dollar Tree, Inc. is an American chain of discount variety stores that sells every item for $1.00 or less. A Fortune 500 company, Dollar Tree is headquartered in Chesapeake, Virginia and operates 4,010 stores throughout the 48 contiguous U.S. states. Its stores are supported by a nationwide...

  • 404 Amerigroup
    Amerigroup
    Amerigroup is a health insurance company headquartered in Virginia Beach, Virginia. It is the largest publicly-traded company focused exclusively on meeting the needs of those enrolled in publicly-funded healthcare programs such as Medicaid and Medicare...




Hampton Roads has become known as the "world's greatest natural harbor". The port is located only 18 miles (29 km) from open ocean on one of the world's deepest, natural ice-free harbors. Since 1989, Hampton Roads has been the mid-Atlantic leader in U.S. waterborne foreign commerce and is ranked second nationally behind the Port of South Louisiana based on export tonnage. When import and export tonnage are combined, the Port of Hampton Roads ranks as the third largest port in the country (following the ports of New Orleans/South Louisiana and Houston). In 1996, Hampton Roads was ranked ninth among major U.S. ports in vessel port calls with approximately 2,700. In addition, this port is the U.S. leader in coal exports. The coal loading facilities in the Port of Hampton Roads are able to load in excess of 65 million tons annually, giving the port the largest, most efficient and modern coal loading facilities in the world.

It is little surprise therefore that the Hampton Roads region's economic base is largely port-related, including shipbuilding, ship repair, naval installations, cargo transfer and storage, and manufacturing related to the processing of imports and exports. Associated with the ports' military role are almost 50,000 federal civilian employees.

The harbor of Hampton Roads is an important highway of commerce, especially for the cities of Norfolk
Norfolk, Virginia
Norfolk is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. With a population of 242,803 as of the 2010 Census, it is Virginia's second-largest city behind neighboring Virginia Beach....

, Portsmouth
Portsmouth, Virginia
Portsmouth is located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of the U.S. Commonwealth of Virginia. As of 2010, the city had a total population of 95,535.The Norfolk Naval Shipyard, often called the Norfolk Navy Yard, is a historic and active U.S...

, and Newport News
Newport News, Virginia
Newport News is an independent city located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of Virginia. It is at the southeastern end of the Virginia Peninsula, on the north shore of the James River extending southeast from Skiffe's Creek along many miles of waterfront to the river's mouth at Newport News...

.

Northrop Grumman Newport News
Northrop Grumman Newport News
Newport News Shipbuilding , originally Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company , was the largest privately-owned shipyard in the United States prior to being purchased by Northrop Grumman in 2001...

 (formerly Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company), the world's largest shipyard
Shipyard
Shipyards and dockyards are places which repair and build ships. These can be yachts, military vessels, cruise liners or other cargo or passenger ships. Dockyards are sometimes more associated with maintenance and basing activities than shipyards, which are sometimes associated more with initial...

, is located a short distance up the James River
James River (Virginia)
The James River is a river in the U.S. state of Virginia. It is long, extending to if one includes the Jackson River, the longer of its two source tributaries. The James River drains a catchment comprising . The watershed includes about 4% open water and an area with a population of 2.5 million...

. In Portsmouth, a few miles up the Elizabeth River, the historic Norfolk Naval Shipyard
Norfolk Naval Shipyard
The Norfolk Naval Shipyard, often called the Norfolk Navy Yard and abbreviated as NNSY, is a U.S. Navy facility in Portsmouth, Virginia, for building, remodeling, and repairing the Navy's ships. It's the oldest and largest industrial facility that belongs to the U.S. Navy as well as the most...

 is located. BAE Systems, formerly known as NORSHIPCO, operates from sites in the City of Norfolk. There are also several smaller shipyards, numerous docks and terminals.


Massive coal pier
Coal pier
A coal pier is a transloading facility designed for the transfer of coal between rail and ship.The typical facility for loading ships consists of a holding area and a system of conveyors for transferring the coal to dockside and loading it into the ship's cargo holds...

s and loading facilities were established in the late 19th and early 20th century by the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway
Chesapeake and Ohio Railway
The Chesapeake and Ohio Railway was a Class I railroad formed in 1869 in Virginia from several smaller Virginia railroads begun in the 19th century. Led by industrialist Collis P...

 (C&O), Norfolk and Western Railway
Norfolk and Western Railway
The Norfolk and Western Railway , a US class I railroad, was formed by more than 200 railroad mergers between 1838 and 1982. It had headquarters in Roanoke, Virginia for most of its 150 year existence....

 (N&W), and Virginian Railway
Virginian Railway
The Virginian Railway was a Class I railroad located in Virginia and West Virginia in the United States. The VGN was created to transport high quality "smokeless" bituminous coal from southern West Virginia to port at Hampton Roads....

 (VGN). The latter two were predecessors of the Norfolk Southern Railway
Norfolk Southern Railway
The Norfolk Southern Railway is a Class I railroad in the United States, owned by the Norfolk Southern Corporation. With headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia, the company operates 21,500 route miles in 22 eastern states, the District of Columbia and the province of Ontario, Canada...

, a Class I railroad
Class I railroad
A Class I railroad in the United States and Mexico, or a Class I rail carrier in Canada, is a large freight railroad company, as classified based on operating revenue.Smaller railroads are classified as Class II and Class III...

 which has its headquarters in Norfolk, and continues to export coal from a large facility at Lambert's Point
Lambert's Point
Lamberts Point is a point of land on the south shore of the Elizabeth River near the downtown area of the independent city of Norfolk in the South Hampton Roads region of eastern Virginia, United States...

 on the Elizabeth River. CSX Transportation
CSX Transportation
CSX Transportation operates a Class I railroad in the United States known as the CSX Railroad. It is the main subsidiary of the CSX Corporation. The company is headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, and owns approximately 21,000 route miles...

 now serves the former C&O facility at Newport News. (The VGN's former coal facility at Sewell's Point
Sewell's Point
Sewells Point is a peninsula of land in the independent city of Norfolk, Virginia in the United States, located at the mouth of the salt-water port of Hampton Roads. Sewells Point is bordered by water on three sides, with Willoughby Bay to the north, Hampton Roads to the west, and the Lafayette...

 has been gone since the 1960s, and the property is now part of the expansive Norfolk Navy Base
Naval Station Norfolk
Naval Station Norfolk, in Norfolk, Virginia, is a base of the United States Navy, supporting naval forces in the United States Fleet Forces Command, those operating in the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and Indian Ocean...

).

The Hampton Roads area has the largest concentration of military bases and facilities of any metropolitan area in the world. Nearly one-fourth of the nation’s active-duty military personnel are stationed in Hampton Roads, and 45% of the region's $81B gross regional output is Defense-related. All five military services’ operating forces are there, as well as several major command headquarters: Hampton Roads is a chief rendezvous of the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

, and the area is home to the Allied Command Transformation
Allied Command Transformation
Allied Command Transformation is a NATO military command, which was formed in 2003 after North Atlantic Treaty Organisation restructuring....

, which is the only major military command of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on U.S. soil. Langley Air Force Base is home to Air Combat Command
Air Combat Command
Air Combat Command is a major command of the United States Air Force. ACC is one of ten major commands , reporting to Headquarters, United States Air Force ....

 (ACC). The Norfolk Navy Base
Naval Station Norfolk
Naval Station Norfolk, in Norfolk, Virginia, is a base of the United States Navy, supporting naval forces in the United States Fleet Forces Command, those operating in the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and Indian Ocean...

 is located at Sewell's Point
Sewell's Point
Sewells Point is a peninsula of land in the independent city of Norfolk, Virginia in the United States, located at the mouth of the salt-water port of Hampton Roads. Sewells Point is bordered by water on three sides, with Willoughby Bay to the north, Hampton Roads to the west, and the Lafayette...

 near the mouth, on the site used for the tercentennial Jamestown Exposition
Jamestown Exposition
The Jamestown Exposition was one of the many world's fairs and expositions that were popular in the United States in the early part of the 20th century...

 in 1907. For a width of 500 feet (152.4 m) the Federal government during 1902 through 1905 increased its minimum depth at low water from 25.5 feet (7.8 m) to 30 feet (9 m), and the channel has now been dredged to a depth of 55 feet (17 m) in some places.


NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

's Langley Research Center
Langley Research Center
Langley Research Center is the oldest of NASA's field centers, located in Hampton, Virginia, United States. It directly borders Poquoson, Virginia and Langley Air Force Base...

, located on the Peninsula adjacent to Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, is home to scientific and aerospace technology research. The Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility
Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility
Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility , commonly called Jefferson Lab or JLab, is a U.S. national laboratory located in Newport News, Virginia. Since June 1, 2006, it has been operated by Jefferson Science Associates, LLC, a joint venture between Southeastern Universities Research...

 (commonly known as Jefferson Labs) is located nearby in Newport News.

The area's experiences with commercial and retail centers began early in 1918. Afton Square, located in the Cradock
Cradock
-People:*Christopher Cradock , admiral in the Royal Navy.*Johnnie Cradock , British cook, writer, broadcaster and Army Major.*Fanny Cradock , British writer, restaurant critic and television cook....

 naval community of Portsmouth, was the first planned shopping center in the USA and has served as template for future developments throughout the nation.

Hampton Roads experienced tremendous growth during and after World War II. In the 1950s, a trend in retail was the shopping center, a group of stores along a common sidewalk adjacent to off-street parking, usually in a suburban location.

In 1959, one of the largest on the east coast of the USA was opened at the northeast corner of Military Highway and Virginia Beach Boulevard on property which had formally been used as an airfield. The new JANAF Shopping Center
JANAF Shopping Center
JANAF Shopping Center in Norfolk, Virginia was one of the first large shopping centers in the United States.The Hampton Roads area experienced tremendous growth during and after World War II. In the 1950s, a trend in retail was the shopping center, a group of stores along a common sidewalk adjacent...

, located in Norfolk, featured acres of free parking and dozens of stores. Backed by retired military personnel, the name JANAF was an acronym for Joint Army Navy Air Force.

During the 1950s and early 1960s, other shopping centers in Hampton Roads were developed, such as Wards Corner Shopping Center, Downtown Plaza Shopping Center and Southern Shopping Center in Norfolk; Mid-City Shopping Center in Portsmouth; Hilltop Shopping Center (now known as The Shops at Hilltop) in Virginia Beach; Riverdale Shopping Center in Hampton and the Warwick-Denbigh Shopping Center in Newport News.

In the late-1960s, a new type of shopping center came to Hampton Roads: the Indoor Shopping Mall. In 1965, South Hampton Roads broke ground on its first shopping mall in Virginia Beach, known as Pembroke Mall
Pembroke Mall
Pembroke Mall is an enclosed shopping mall located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States. Opened in March 1966 as the first shopping mall in the Hampton Roads MSA, it comprises more than 100 stores, including anchor stores Kohl's, Sears and Stein Mart, as well as a food court, and a movie...

. The mall opened in 1966, and became Hampton Road's newest indoor shopping destination. The Virginia Peninsula
Virginia Peninsula
The Virginia Peninsula is a peninsula in southeast Virginia, USA, bounded by the York River, James River, Hampton Roads and Chesapeake Bay.Hampton Roads is the common name for the metropolitan area that surrounds the body of water of the same name...

 had its first indoor shopping mall in 1973, with Coliseum Mall
Coliseum Mall
Coliseum Mall was a medium-size shopping mall located in Hampton, Virginia. It was located in the middle of the peninsula in the "Coliseum Central" commercial district of Hampton, adjacent to the major highway interchange of Interstate 64 and Mercury Boulevard...

. Coliseum Mall drew so much traffic from Interstate 64
Interstate 64
Interstate 64 is an Interstate Highway in the Midwestern and Southeastern United States. Its western terminus is at I-70, U.S. 40, and U.S. 61 in Wentzville, Missouri. Its eastern terminus is at an interchange with I-264 and I-664 at Bowers Hill in Chesapeake, Virginia. As I-64 is concurrent with...

, that a towering flyover
Overpass
An overpass is a bridge, road, railway or similar structure that crosses over another road or railway...

 was built at the Mercury Boulevard and Coliseum Drive intersection, to accommodate eastbound mall traffic, from the Mercury Boulevard interchange. Coliseum Mall was demolished to make way for the open air mixed-use development Peninsula Town Center
Peninsula Town Center
Peninsula Town Center is an open air mixed-use development located in the Coliseum Central Business improvement district of Hampton, Virginia in the Hampton Roads region. The Town Center is located on the site of the original Coliseum Mall, an enclosed facility constructed in 1973 by Mall...

. Also in the 1970s, Tower Mall was built in Portsmouth, but was torn down and turned into the Victory Crossing shopping development. In Norfolk, Military Circle Mall on Military Highway
Military Highway
Military Highway is a four-lane roadway built in the South Hampton Roads region of eastern Virginia, USA during World War II.- Original construction :...

 was built across Virginia Beach Boulevard
Virginia Beach Boulevard
Virginia Beach Boulevard is a major connector highway which carries U.S. Route 58 most of its length and extends from the downtown area of Norfolk to the Oceanfront area of Virginia Beach, passing through the newly-developed New Urbanist Town Center development of the latter as it links the two...

 from the large JANAF Shopping Center with its own high-rise hotel right in the center. In 1981, Greenbrier Mall
Greenbrier Mall
Greenbrier Mall is a nearly 900,000 sq. ft. regional mall in Chesapeake, Virginia, in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area. The mall has a hillside terrain, meaning entries exist on both upper and lower levels...

 gave Chesapeake a shopping mall of its own as well, and Virginia Beach got the massive Lynnhaven Mall the same year.

Chesapeake Square Mall
Chesapeake Square Mall
Chesapeake Square is a 717,282 sq. ft. regional mall and was built in 1989 in Chesapeake, Virginia, in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area.The mall has approximately 100 stores, five anchors , several eateries at the mall's food court including Chick-Fil-A, Dairy Queen & Sbarro, and two...

 was constructed in Chesapeake, VA in 1989, near the border of Suffolk, Virginia, and has spawned a number of shopping centers in the surrounding areas.

MacArthur Center
MacArthur Center
The MacArthur Center is a shopping center of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area. It is majority-owned and operated by the Taubman Company.-Mall Highlights:...

 opened in March 1999, which made downtown Norfolk a prime shoppers destination, with the region's first Nordstrom
Nordstrom
Nordstrom, Inc. is an upscale department store chain in the United States, founded by John W. Nordstrom and Carl F. Wallin. Initially a shoe retailer, the company today also sells clothing, accessories, handbags, jewelry, cosmetics, fragrances, and in some locations, home furnishings...

 department store anchor. MacArthur Center is compared to other downtown malls, such as Baltimore's Harborplace
Harborplace
Harborplace is a festival marketplace in Baltimore, Maryland, that opened in 1980 as a centerpiece of the revival of downtown Baltimore. As its name suggests, it is located on the Inner Harbor....

, Indianapolis' Circle Centre
Circle Centre
Circle Centre is a large indoor shopping mall located in downtown Indianapolis. Plans for a downtown Indianapolis mall had been in development by the Simon Property Group since 1979. Circle Centre was opened to the public on September 8, 1995, adjoining Simon corporate headquarters, and...

 Mall, Atlanta's Lenox Square
Lenox Square
Lenox Square is an upscale enclosed super regional shopping mall located in the Buckhead District of Atlanta, Georgia. Lenox Square comprises more than of retail space, with 250 stores on four levels, including a large food court. The mall is home to three anchor stores: Macy's, Bloomingdale's,...

 Mall and most comparably to The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City
Fashion Centre at Pentagon City
The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, also known as Pentagon City Mall, is an upscale shopping mall in Arlington, Virginia. It is situated in the Pentagon City neighborhood on the lower levels of the Washington Tower office building, former home of MCI's Consumer Markets headquarters, near...

 near Washington, D.C., in Arlington, Virginia.

Currently, Virginia Beach's Lynnhaven Mall
Lynnhaven Mall
Lynnhaven Mall is an enclosed super-regional shopping mall in Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA. It opened in August 1981. At of gross leasable area, it is not only the largest mall in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of southeastern Virginia, but also one of the largest malls on the East Coast...

 is the region's largest shopping center with nearly 180 stores, and is one of the region's biggest tourist draws, with the Virginia Beach oceanfront, Colonial Williamsburg
Colonial Williamsburg
Colonial Williamsburg is the private foundation representing the historic district of the city of Williamsburg, Virginia, USA. The district includes buildings dating from 1699 to 1780 which made colonial Virginia's capital. The capital straddled the boundary of the original shires of Virginia —...

, Busch Gardens Williamsburg: The Old Country and MacArthur Center.

For a long time, the indoor shopping malls were seen as largely competitive with small shopping centers and traditional downtown type areas. However, in the 1990s and since, the "big-box stores" on the Peninsula and Southside, such as Wal-mart, Home Depot, and Target have been creating a new competitive atmosphere for the shopping malls of Hampton Roads.

Several older malls such as Pembroke and Military Circle have since their grand openings have been renovated several, and others have been closed and torn down. Newmarket North Mall is now NetCenter
NetCenter
Netcenter, located in the independent city of Hampton, Virginia, is a former Shopping Mall redeveloped beginning in 2000 and converted into a business center with supporting retail, personal services and food service amenities. It was the first of its kind in the Hampton Roads region.-History:The...

, a business center (the Sears store remains). Coliseum Mall
Coliseum Mall
Coliseum Mall was a medium-size shopping mall located in Hampton, Virginia. It was located in the middle of the peninsula in the "Coliseum Central" commercial district of Hampton, adjacent to the major highway interchange of Interstate 64 and Mercury Boulevard...

, in Hampton, has been redeveloped as Peninsula Town Center
Peninsula Town Center
Peninsula Town Center is an open air mixed-use development located in the Coliseum Central Business improvement district of Hampton, Virginia in the Hampton Roads region. The Town Center is located on the site of the original Coliseum Mall, an enclosed facility constructed in 1973 by Mall...

 in a new style, in step with the latest commercial real estate trend: the nationwide establishment of "lifestyle centers
Lifestyle center (retail)
A lifestyle center is a shopping center or mixed-used commercial development that combines the traditional retail functions of a shopping mall with leisure amenities oriented towards upscale consumers...

". Additional malls which have closed include Mercury Mall in Hampton (converted to Mercury Plaza Shopping Center in the mid-1980s, then completely torn down in 2001), and Tower Mall in Portsmouth (Built in the early 1970s, then torn down in 2001).
Shopping mall Location Number of stores Area Year opened
Lynnhaven Mall
Lynnhaven Mall
Lynnhaven Mall is an enclosed super-regional shopping mall in Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA. It opened in August 1981. At of gross leasable area, it is not only the largest mall in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of southeastern Virginia, but also one of the largest malls on the East Coast...

Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Virginia Beach is an independent city located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of Virginia, on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay...

 
180 1400000 sq ft (130,064.3 m²) 1981
MacArthur Center
MacArthur Center
The MacArthur Center is a shopping center of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area. It is majority-owned and operated by the Taubman Company.-Mall Highlights:...

 
Norfolk
Norfolk, Virginia
Norfolk is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. With a population of 242,803 as of the 2010 Census, it is Virginia's second-largest city behind neighboring Virginia Beach....

 
140 1100000 sq ft (102,193.3 m²) 1999
Chesapeake Square Mall
Chesapeake Square Mall
Chesapeake Square is a 717,282 sq. ft. regional mall and was built in 1989 in Chesapeake, Virginia, in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area.The mall has approximately 100 stores, five anchors , several eateries at the mall's food court including Chick-Fil-A, Dairy Queen & Sbarro, and two...

 
Chesapeake
Chesapeake, Virginia
As of the census of 2000, there were 199,184 people, 69,900 households, and 54,172 families residing in the city. The population density was 584.6 people per square mile . There were 72,672 housing units at an average density of 213.3 per square mile...

 
130 800000 sq ft (74,322.4 m²) 1989
Greenbrier Mall
Greenbrier Mall
Greenbrier Mall is a nearly 900,000 sq. ft. regional mall in Chesapeake, Virginia, in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area. The mall has a hillside terrain, meaning entries exist on both upper and lower levels...

 
Chesapeake
Chesapeake, Virginia
As of the census of 2000, there were 199,184 people, 69,900 households, and 54,172 families residing in the city. The population density was 584.6 people per square mile . There were 72,672 housing units at an average density of 213.3 per square mile...

 
120 809017 sq ft (75,160 m²) 1981
Patrick Henry Mall
Patrick Henry Mall
Patrick Henry Mall is a shopping mall in Newport News, Virginia. It is located on Interstate 64 Westbound and Jefferson Ave at exit 255A. Patrick Henry Mall, which is named after Patrick Henry, opened as the Peninsula area's third enclosed regional mall in 1987 after Coliseum Mall in Hampton 15...

 
Newport News
Newport News, Virginia
Newport News is an independent city located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of Virginia. It is at the southeastern end of the Virginia Peninsula, on the north shore of the James River extending southeast from Skiffe's Creek along many miles of waterfront to the river's mouth at Newport News...

 
120 644000 sq ft (59,829.6 m²) 1987
The Gallery at Military Circle  Norfolk
Norfolk, Virginia
Norfolk is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. With a population of 242,803 as of the 2010 Census, it is Virginia's second-largest city behind neighboring Virginia Beach....

 
120 944447 sq ft (87,742 m²) 1970
Pembroke Mall
Pembroke Mall
Pembroke Mall is an enclosed shopping mall located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States. Opened in March 1966 as the first shopping mall in the Hampton Roads MSA, it comprises more than 100 stores, including anchor stores Kohl's, Sears and Stein Mart, as well as a food court, and a movie...

 
Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Virginia Beach is an independent city located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of Virginia, on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay...

 
100 650000 sq ft (60,387 m²) 1966

America's First Region


In late 2006, the Hampton Roads Partnership, a non-profit organization representing 17 localities (ten cities, six counties, and one town), all local universities and major military commands as well as leading businesses in southeastern Virginia, commenced a campaign aimed at branding land area of Hampton Roads as "America's First Region".

The new title is based on events in 1607 when English Captain Christopher Newport's
Christopher Newport
Christopher Newport was an English seaman and privateer. He is best known as the captain of the Susan Constant, the largest of three ships which carried settlers for the Virginia Company in 1607 on the way to find the settlement at Jamestown in the Virginia Colony, which became the first permanent...

 three ships – the Susan Constant
Susan Constant
Susan Constant, captained by Christopher Newport, was the largest of three ships of the English Virginia Company on the 1606-1607 voyage that resulted in the founding of Jamestown in the new Colony of Virginia.-History:Susan Constant was rated at 120 tons. Her keel length is estimated at 55.2 feet...

, Godspeed
Godspeed (ship)
Godspeed, under Captain Bartholomew Gosnold, was one of the three ships on the 1606-1607 voyage to the New World for the English Virginia Company of London. The journey resulted in the founding of Jamestown in the new Colony of Virginia.-History:All 39 passengers and 13 sailors she carried on that...

, and Discovery
Discovery (1602 ship)
Discovery was a 20-ton "fly-boat" of the British East India Company, launched before 1602.Discovery was the smallest of three ships that were led by Captain Christopher Newport on the voyage that resulted in the founding of Jamestown in the new Colony of Virginia in 1607...

 landed at Cape Henry
Cape Henry
Cape Henry is a cape on the Atlantic shore of Virginia north of Virginia Beach. It is the southern boundary of the entrance to Chesapeake Bay.Across the mouth of the bay to the north is Cape Charles...

 along the Atlantic Coast in what is today Virginia Beach. After 18 days of exploring the area, the ships and their crews arrived at Jamestown Island where they established the first English speaking settlement to survive in the New World
New World
The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere, specifically America and sometimes Oceania . The term originated in the late 15th century, when America had been recently discovered by European explorers, expanding the geographical horizon of the people of the European middle...

 on May 14, 1607.

Because the region's east-west boundaries (now the City of Virginia Beach and James City County) have not changed since 1607, the Partnership felt justified in labeling Hampton Roads "America's First Region". It unveiled the new brand before 800 people at the annual meeting of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce on December 13, 2006. A video shown that afternoon included endorsements from mayors and county board of supervisors chairs representing Hampton, Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg and James City County as well as the Governor of Virginia
Governor of Virginia
The governor of Virginia serves as the chief executive of the Commonwealth of Virginia for a four-year term. The position is currently held by Republican Bob McDonnell, who was inaugurated on January 16, 2010, as the 71st governor of Virginia....

, Timothy Kaine.

The mission of Hampton Roads Economic Development Alliance (HREDA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to business attraction—marketing the Hampton Roads region as the preferred location for business investment and expansion. HREDA represents the cities of Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg and Franklin, as well as the counties of Gloucester, James City, Isle of Wight, York, and Southampton.

Flag



In 1998, a flag representing the Hampton Roads region was adopted. The design of the flag was created by a contest. The winner, sixteen-year-old Andrew J. Wall of Frank W. Cox High School
Frank W. Cox High School
Frank W. Cox High School is a secondary school located in the Great Neck subdivision of Virginia Beach, Virginia. It was founded in 1961 as the Northeast Junior High School, but upon opening, it was named after a former superintendent of Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Frank Woodard Cox, who...

 in Virginia Beach, raised the new regional flag for the first time on the mast of a ship moored in the harbor.

As conceived by student Andrew Wall and embellished by the selection committee, his flag is highly symbolic:
The ring of sixteen white stars stands for the cities and counties that comprise the region of Hampton Roads. The blue upper panel refers to the sea and sky, recalling the first European settlers at Jamestown in 1607, the first battle between ironclad ships in 1862, the importance of shipbuilding and ship repair in the area, as well as maritime commerce, fishing, recreational boating, and the major military and government installations around the area’s shores. Agriculture, the environment, tourism, industry, and a healthy quality of life are suggested by the lower panel of green. The wavy white central band with three crests suggests past, present, and future. The wave also recalls the surf and sand dunes of the area as seen from the sea. Water is the central theme. It touches all the components and binds them together.

Culture



The area is most often associated with the larger American South. People who have grown up in the Hampton Roads area have a unique Tidewater accent
Tidewater accent
Tidewater accent, also known as Tidewater English or the Tidewater Dialect is a specific dialect of Southern American English. While the dialect is said to have roots up and down the eastern seaboard, it is primarily concentrated in the southeastern part of Virginia otherwise known as the Tidewater...

 which sounds different than a stereotypical Southern accent
Southern American English
Southern American English is a group of dialects of the English language spoken throughout the Southern region of the United States, from Southern and Eastern Maryland, West Virginia and Kentucky to the Gulf Coast, and from the Atlantic coast to most of Texas and Oklahoma.The Southern dialects make...

. Vowels have a longer pronunciation than in a regular southern accent.

Attractions, museums and sites of interest


There's also a wealth of other points of history to explore in the Hampton Roads area. Led by the Historic Triangle area, Hampton Roads consistently rates among the top tourism destinations in the world.

Cultural attractions include museums, historical sites, and venues from tiny to massively large for such things as art and musical shows. The region hosts two week-long visits by the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is an American circus company. The company was started when the circus created by James Anthony Bailey and P. T. Barnum was merged with the Ringling Brothers Circus. The Ringling brothers purchased the Barnum & Bailey Circus in 1907, but ran the circuses...

 each year with multiple performances at Norfolk Scope and the Hampton Coliseum, and even attracts a group of Circus Train Enthusiasts, railfan
Railfan
A railfan or rail buff , railway enthusiast or railway buff , or trainspotter , is a person interested in a recreational capacity in rail transport...

s who watch, photograph and report on the blue or red unit trains as they make their move between the two sites, requiring a long inland trip through Petersburg
Petersburg, Virginia
Petersburg is an independent city in Virginia, United States located on the Appomattox River and south of the state capital city of Richmond. The city's population was 32,420 as of 2010, predominantly of African-American ethnicity...

 and Richmond
Richmond, Virginia
Richmond is the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia, in the United States. It is an independent city and not part of any county. Richmond is the center of the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Greater Richmond area...

 in order to avoid crossing the 10 miles (16.1 km) geographical distance across the harbor (a trip impassable directly by modern trains; the two bridge-tunnel
Bridge-tunnel
A fixed link, fixed crossing, or bridge-tunnel is a persistent, unbroken road or rail connection across water that uses some combination of bridges, tunnels, and causeways and does not involve intermittent connections such as drawbridges or ferries.The Confederation Bridge was commonly referred to...

 facilities operated by VDOT
Virginia Department of Transportation
The Virginia Department of Transportation is the agency of state government responsible for transportation in the state of Virginia in the United States. Headquartered in Downtown Richmond, VDOT is responsible for building, maintaining, and operating the roads, bridges and tunnels in the...

 accommodate only highway traffic).

Historic Triangle


The Historic Triangle
Historic Triangle
The Historic Triangle is located on the Virginia Peninsula of the United States and includes the colonial communities of Jamestown, Colonial Williamsburg, and Yorktown, with many restored attractions linked by the Colonial Parkway in James City and York counties and the City of...

 is located on the Virginia Peninsula
Virginia Peninsula
The Virginia Peninsula is a peninsula in southeast Virginia, USA, bounded by the York River, James River, Hampton Roads and Chesapeake Bay.Hampton Roads is the common name for the metropolitan area that surrounds the body of water of the same name...

 and includes the colonial communities of Jamestown
Jamestown, Virginia
Jamestown was a settlement in the Colony of Virginia. Established by the Virginia Company of London as "James Fort" on May 14, 1607 , it was the first permanent English settlement in what is now the United States, following several earlier failed attempts, including the Lost Colony of Roanoke...

, Williamsburg
Williamsburg, Virginia
Williamsburg is an independent city located on the Virginia Peninsula in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of Virginia, USA. As of the 2010 Census, the city had an estimated population of 14,068. It is bordered by James City County and York County, and is an independent city...

, and Yorktown
Yorktown, Virginia
Yorktown is a census-designated place in York County, Virginia, United States. The population was 220 in the 2000 census. It is the county seat of York County, one of the eight original shires formed in colonial Virginia in 1634....

, with many restored attractions linked by the Colonial Parkway
Colonial Parkway
Colonial Parkway is a scenic 23-mile parkway linking the three popular attractions of Virginia's Historic Triangle of colonial-era communities, Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown...

.

The National Park Service
National Park Service
The National Park Service is the U.S. federal agency that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations...

's Colonial Parkway
Colonial Parkway
Colonial Parkway is a scenic 23-mile parkway linking the three popular attractions of Virginia's Historic Triangle of colonial-era communities, Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown...

 joins the three popular attractions of Colonial Virginia with a scenic and bucolic roadway carefully shielded from views of commercial development. This helps visitors mentally return to the past, and there are often views of wildlife
Wildlife
Wildlife includes all non-domesticated plants, animals and other organisms. Domesticating wild plant and animal species for human benefit has occurred many times all over the planet, and has a major impact on the environment, both positive and negative....

 and waterfowl
Waterfowl
Waterfowl are certain wildfowl of the order Anseriformes, especially members of the family Anatidae, which includes ducks, geese, and swans....

. This two lane roadway is the best (but not quickest) way to move between the three points. Near the James River and York River
York River (Virginia)
The York River is a navigable estuary, approximately long, in eastern Virginia in the United States. It ranges in width from at its head to near its mouth on the west side of Chesapeake Bay. Its watershed drains an area including portions of 17 counties of the coastal plain of Virginia north...

 ends of the parkway, there are several pull-offs, where some families allow their children to feed bread to the seagulls. Commercial vehicles, except for tour buses, are prohibited.

For an even better experience, approach the area from the south by water from Surry County
Surry County, Virginia
As of the census of 2010, there were 7,058 people, 2,619 households, and 1,917 families residing in the county. The population density was 24 people per square mile . There were 3,294 housing units at an average density of 12 per square mile...

 with a ride aboard one of the Jamestown Ferry
Jamestown Ferry
The Jamestown Ferry is a free automobile and bus ferry service across a navigable portion of the James River in Virginia...

s, which include the Pocahontas and Williamsburg. As passengers cross, they can walk about the boat or go up to an enclosed viewing level with restrooms. Weather and daylight permitting, passengers usually see Jamestown Island much as the first colonists may have approached it. In fact, the replicas of Christopher Newport
Christopher Newport
Christopher Newport was an English seaman and privateer. He is best known as the captain of the Susan Constant, the largest of three ships which carried settlers for the Virginia Company in 1607 on the way to find the settlement at Jamestown in the Virginia Colony, which became the first permanent...

's the three tiny ships, Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery are docked near the northern ferry landing at Glass House Point
Glass House Point
Glass House Point in James City County, Virginia is the northern terminus of the Jamestown Ferry, which was relocated there as part of the development of Jamestown for the celebration the 350th anniversary in 1957...

. Both the Jamestown Ferry and Colonial Parkway are toll-free.

The first permanent English settlement in the New World which was established at Jamestown
Jamestown, Virginia
Jamestown was a settlement in the Colony of Virginia. Established by the Virginia Company of London as "James Fort" on May 14, 1607 , it was the first permanent English settlement in what is now the United States, following several earlier failed attempts, including the Lost Colony of Roanoke...

 in 1607. The 350th anniversary celebration at Jamestown Festival Park in 1957 was so popular, tourism has been continuously increasing ever since. The 400th anniversary was celebrated with an 18-month long celebration called Jamestown 2007
Jamestown 2007
Jamestown 2007 is the name of the organization planning the events commemorating the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, Virginia in 1607, the first permanent English-speaking settlement in what is now the United States of America...

.

Today, at Jamestown, you can visit recreations of an American Indian
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 village and colonial fort, and archaeological sites where current work is underway by archaeologistss from the Jamestown Rediscovery
Jamestown Rediscovery
Jamestown Rediscovery is an archaeological project of Preservation Virginia investigating the remains of the original settlement at Jamestown established in the Virginia Colony beginning on May 14, 1607. The period under study was from 1607-1698.Preservation Virginia archaeologist Dr...

 project, with recently recovered archaeological artifacts in a new display building. Replicas of the three ships, Susan Constant
Susan Constant
Susan Constant, captained by Christopher Newport, was the largest of three ships of the English Virginia Company on the 1606-1607 voyage that resulted in the founding of Jamestown in the new Colony of Virginia.-History:Susan Constant was rated at 120 tons. Her keel length is estimated at 55.2 feet...

, Godspeed
Godspeed (ship)
Godspeed, under Captain Bartholomew Gosnold, was one of the three ships on the 1606-1607 voyage to the New World for the English Virginia Company of London. The journey resulted in the founding of Jamestown in the new Colony of Virginia.-History:All 39 passengers and 13 sailors she carried on that...

, and Discovery
Discovery (1602 ship)
Discovery was a 20-ton "fly-boat" of the British East India Company, launched before 1602.Discovery was the smallest of three ships that were led by Captain Christopher Newport on the voyage that resulted in the founding of Jamestown in the new Colony of Virginia in 1607...

 are docked nearby.

The two major attractions, which are complementary to each other, are the state-sponsored Jamestown Settlement
Jamestown Settlement
Jamestown Settlement is a name used by the Commonwealth of Virginia's portion of the historical sites and museums at Jamestown. Jamestown was the first successful English settlement on the mainland of North America...

near the entrance to Jamestown Island, and the National Parks Service's Historic Jamestowne
Historic Jamestowne
Historic Jamestowne is the official name used for promotional purposes for the original site of the 1607 James Fort and the later 17th century city of Jamestown. It is located on the James River at Jamestown, Virginia and operated as a partnership between Preservation Virginia and the U.S...

, on Jamestown Island itself.

In 1699, the first capital of Virginia was moved to Middle Plantation
Middle Plantation
Middle Plantation in the Virginia Colony, was the unincorporated town established in 1632 that became Williamsburg in 1699. It was located on high ground about half-way across the Virginia Peninsula between the James River and York River. Middle Plantation represented the first major inland...

 at the suggestion of students from the College of William & Mary (established 1693). It was soon renamed to Williamsburg
Williamsburg, Virginia
Williamsburg is an independent city located on the Virginia Peninsula in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of Virginia, USA. As of the 2010 Census, the city had an estimated population of 14,068. It is bordered by James City County and York County, and is an independent city...

, but became a largely forgotten little town after the capital was moved to Richmond
Richmond, Virginia
Richmond is the capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia, in the United States. It is an independent city and not part of any county. Richmond is the center of the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area and the Greater Richmond area...

 in 1780. Largely due to the 20th-century preservation efforts of the Reverend Dr. W.A.R. Goodwin, rector of Bruton Parish Church
Bruton Parish Church
Bruton Parish Church is located in the restored area of Colonial Williamsburg in Williamsburg, Virginia, USA. It was established in 1674 in the Virginia Colony, and remains an active Episcopal parish.-History of Bruton Parish Church:...

 and the generosity of Standard Oil
Standard Oil
Standard Oil was a predominant American integrated oil producing, transporting, refining, and marketing company. Established in 1870 as a corporation in Ohio, it was the largest oil refiner in the world and operated as a major company trust and was one of the world's first and largest multinational...

 heir John D. Rockefeller Jr., today Colonial Williamsburg
Colonial Williamsburg
Colonial Williamsburg is the private foundation representing the historic district of the city of Williamsburg, Virginia, USA. The district includes buildings dating from 1699 to 1780 which made colonial Virginia's capital. The capital straddled the boundary of the original shires of Virginia —...

 is a large living museum
Living museum
A living museum is a type of museum, in which historical events showing the life in ancient times are performed, especially in ethnographic or historical views, or processes for producing a commercial product in terms of technical and technological developments are shown, especially the craft...

 of early American life. It has dozens of restored and recreated buildings and reenactors. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. The Visitor's Center (right off the Colonial Parkway) features a short movie and is an excellent place to start (and leave automobiles, which are restricted from the restored area, where wheelchair-accessible shuttle bus
Bus
A bus is a road vehicle designed to carry passengers. Buses can have a capacity as high as 300 passengers. The most common type of bus is the single-decker bus, with larger loads carried by double-decker buses and articulated buses, and smaller loads carried by midibuses and minibuses; coaches are...

 service is provided).

Bassett Hall
Bassett Hall
Bassett Hall is an 18th-century farmhouse located in Williamsburg, Virginia. It was the home of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and his wife Abby Aldrich Rockefeller during the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg.-Early history:...

, an 18th-century farmhouse, is located in Williamsburg just southeast of the Historic Area, was the Williamsburg home for over 25 years of the family of John D. Rockefeller Jr and his family from the mid-1930s until 1960, following over 7 years of restoration and expansions. The Rockefeller family bequeathed Bassett Hall to Colonial Williamsburg in 1979. The home is now open to the public and appears much as it did in the 1930s and 40s when the Rockefellers made it their home.

The third point of the Historic Triangle of Colonial Virginia is Yorktown
Yorktown, Virginia
Yorktown is a census-designated place in York County, Virginia, United States. The population was 220 in the 2000 census. It is the county seat of York County, one of the eight original shires formed in colonial Virginia in 1634....

 where General Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington
George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

 in 1781, ending the American Revolution
American Revolution
The American Revolution was the political upheaval during the last half of the 18th century in which thirteen colonies in North America joined together to break free from the British Empire, combining to become the United States of America...

. There are two large visitor centers, battlefield drives, and a waterfront area.

Notwithstanding the amazingly successful efforts to provide a non-commercial atmosphere at the three Historic Triangle areas (and on the Colonial Parkway between them), there are many hotels, motels, campgrounds, restaurants, shops and stores, gasoline stations, and amusements close by.
  • Busch Gardens Europe
    Busch Gardens Europe
    Busch Gardens Williamsburg is a 383 acre theme park located in James City County, Virginia about 3 miles southeast of Williamsburg, originally developed by Anheuser-Busch and currently owned by SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, a division of The Blackstone Group...

     is a major theme park located near Williamsburg
    Williamsburg, Virginia
    Williamsburg is an independent city located on the Virginia Peninsula in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of Virginia, USA. As of the 2010 Census, the city had an estimated population of 14,068. It is bordered by James City County and York County, and is an independent city...

     in James City County
    James City County, Virginia
    James City County is a county located on the Virginia Peninsula in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of the Commonwealth of Virginia, a state of the United States. Its population was 67,009 , and it is often associated with Williamsburg, an independent city, and Jamestown which is within the...

    .

  • Williamsburg Pottery Factory is also nearby on U.S. Highway 60, seven miles (11 km) west of Williamsburg
    Williamsburg, Virginia
    Williamsburg is an independent city located on the Virginia Peninsula in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of Virginia, USA. As of the 2010 Census, the city had an estimated population of 14,068. It is bordered by James City County and York County, and is an independent city...

     in James City County
    James City County, Virginia
    James City County is a county located on the Virginia Peninsula in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of the Commonwealth of Virginia, a state of the United States. Its population was 67,009 , and it is often associated with Williamsburg, an independent city, and Jamestown which is within the...

    .

Peninsula museums


Recovered artifacts from the USS Monitor
USS Monitor
USS Monitor was the first ironclad warship commissioned by the United States Navy during the American Civil War. She is most famous for her participation in the Battle of Hampton Roads on March 9, 1862, the first-ever battle fought between two ironclads...

 are displayed at the Mariners' Museum
Mariners' Museum
The Mariners' Museum is located in Newport News, Virginia. It is one of the largest maritime museums in the world as well as being the largest in North America.- History :The museum was founded in 1932 by Archer Milton Huntington, son of Collis P...

, one of the more notable museums of its type in the world. The Museum’s collection totals approximately 35,000 artifacts, of which approximately one-third are paintings and two-thirds are three-dimensional objects. The scope of the Museum's collection is international. Included are 10 permanent galleries, changing and traveling exhibits, and virtual galleries available through the museum website. The collection of over 600,000 prints and 35,000 maritime artifacts is international in scope and includes miniature ship models, scrimshaw, maritime paintings, decorative arts, carved figureheads, and working steam engines.

The Virginia War Museum
Virginia War Museum
The Virginia War Museum is located in Huntington Park on Warwick Blvd., Newport News, Virginia. The museum contains exhibits on American military history from 1775 to the present.-History:...

 covers American military history. The Museum's collection includes, weapons, vehicles, artifacts, uniforms and posters from various periods of American history. Highlights of the Museum's collection include a section of the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic starting on 13 August 1961, that completely cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin...

 and the outer wall from Dachau Concentration Camp.

The Peninsula Fine Arts Center
Peninsula Fine Arts Center
The Peninsula Fine Arts Center is an art center located in Newport News, Virginia and is associated with the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. It is located at 101 Museum Drive on the grounds of the park surrounding the Mariners' Museum and is accredited with the American Association of Museums...

 in Newport News contains a rotating gallery of art exhibits. The Center also contains a Studio Art School of private and group instruction for all ages. It maintains a permanent "Hands On For Kids" gallery designed for children and families to interact in what the Center describes as "a fun, educational environment that encourages participation with art materials and concepts."

The Hampton University
Hampton University
Hampton University is a historically black university located in Hampton, Virginia, United States. It was founded by black and white leaders of the American Missionary Association after the American Civil War to provide education to freedmen.-History:...

 museum was established in 1868 in the heart of the historic Hampton University campus. The Museum is the oldest African American museum in the United States and one of the oldest museums in the State of Virginia. It contains over 9,000 objects, including African American fine arts, traditional African, Native American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Island, and Asian art.

The Charles H. Taylor Arts Center is Hampton's public access arts center. It offers a series of changing visual art exhibitions as well as a quarterly schedule of classes, workshops and educational programs.

The Casemate Museum (where former Confederate
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

 President Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Finis Davis , also known as Jeff Davis, was an American statesman and leader of the Confederacy during the American Civil War, serving as President for its entire history. He was born in Kentucky to Samuel and Jane Davis...

 was imprisoned) is at Fort Monroe
Fort Monroe
Fort Monroe was a military installation in Hampton, Virginia—at Old Point Comfort, the southern tip of the Virginia Peninsula...

 in the historic Phoebus
Phoebus, Virginia
Phoebus was an incorporated town located in Elizabeth City County on the Virginia Peninsula in eastern Virginia. Upon incorporation in 1900, it was named in honor of local businessman Harrison Phoebus , who is credited with convincing the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway to extend its tracks to the...

 area at Old Point Comfort
Old Point Comfort
Old Point Comfort is a point of land located in the independent city of Hampton. It lies at the extreme tip of the Virginia Peninsula at the mouth of Hampton Roads in the United States....

 in Hampton
Hampton, Virginia
Hampton is an independent city that is not part of any county in Southeast Virginia. Its population is 137,436. As one of the seven major cities that compose the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, it is on the southeastern end of the Virginia Peninsula. Located on the Hampton Roads Beltway, it hosts...

.

NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

 Langley Research Center is in Hampton, the original training ground for the Mercury Seven
Mercury Seven
Mercury Seven was the group of seven Mercury astronauts selected by NASA on April 9, 1959. They are also referred to as the Original Seven and Astronaut Group 1...

, Gemini
Project Gemini
Project Gemini was the second human spaceflight program of NASA, the civilian space agency of the United States government. Project Gemini was conducted between projects Mercury and Apollo, with ten manned flights occurring in 1965 and 1966....

, and Apollo
Project Apollo
The Apollo program was the spaceflight effort carried out by the United States' National Aeronautics and Space Administration , that landed the first humans on Earth's Moon. Conceived during the Presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Apollo began in earnest after President John F...

 Astronauts. Visitors are able to learn about the region's aviation history at the Virginia Air and Space Center
Virginia Air and Space Center
The Virginia Air and Space Center is a museum and educational facility in Hampton, Virginia that also serves as the visitors center for NASA's Langley Research Center...

 in Hampton
Hampton, Virginia
Hampton is an independent city that is not part of any county in Southeast Virginia. Its population is 137,436. As one of the seven major cities that compose the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, it is on the southeastern end of the Virginia Peninsula. Located on the Hampton Roads Beltway, it hosts...

.

Air Power Park is an outdoor on-site display of various air craft and a space capsule. It is located on Mercury Boulevard at the intersection of LaSalle Blvd, near the AF Base.

Harbor Tour Sites

  • Fort Wool
    Fort Wool
    Fort Wool was the companion to Fort Monroe in protecting Hampton Roads from seafaring threats. This site was once the dumping place for ships’ ballast....

     is located in the middle of the Hampton Roads harbor. Harbor tours departing from Hampton
    Hampton, Virginia
    Hampton is an independent city that is not part of any county in Southeast Virginia. Its population is 137,436. As one of the seven major cities that compose the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, it is on the southeastern end of the Virginia Peninsula. Located on the Hampton Roads Beltway, it hosts...

     and Newport News
    Newport News, Virginia
    Newport News is an independent city located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of Virginia. It is at the southeastern end of the Virginia Peninsula, on the north shore of the James River extending southeast from Skiffe's Creek along many miles of waterfront to the river's mouth at Newport News...

     provide access to Fort Wool
    Fort Wool
    Fort Wool was the companion to Fort Monroe in protecting Hampton Roads from seafaring threats. This site was once the dumping place for ships’ ballast....

    .
  • Newport News Shipbuilding – America's largest military shipbuilder – may also been seem from aboard a Hampton-based harbor tour.

South Hampton Roads


The Chrysler Museum of Art
Chrysler Museum of Art
The Chrysler Museum of Art is an art museum in the Ghent district of Norfolk, Virginia. The museum was originally founded in 1933 as the Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences. In 1971, automotive heir, Walter P. Chrysler, Jr. , donated most of his extensive collection to the museum...

, located in the Ghent district
Ghent District
The Arrondissement of Ghent is the largest of the six administrative arrondissements in the Province of East Flanders, Belgium. It is both an administrative and a judicial arrondissement...

, is the region's foremost art museum and is considered by the New York Times to be the finest in the state. Of particular note is the extensive glass collection and American neoclassical
Neoclassicism
Neoclassicism is the name given to Western movements in the decorative and visual arts, literature, theatre, music, and architecture that draw inspiration from the "classical" art and culture of Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome...

 marble sculptures.

Nauticus, the National Maritime Center, opened on the downtown waterfront in 1994. It features hands-on exhibits, interactive theaters, aquaria
Aquarium
An aquarium is a vivarium consisting of at least one transparent side in which water-dwelling plants or animals are kept. Fishkeepers use aquaria to keep fish, invertebrates, amphibians, marine mammals, turtles, and aquatic plants...

, digital high-definition films and an extensive variety of educational programs. Since 2000, Nauticus has been home to the battleship USS Wisconsin
USS Wisconsin (BB-64)
USS Wisconsin , "Wisky" or "WisKy", is an , the second ship of the United States Navy to be named in honor of the U.S. state of Wisconsin...

, one of the last battleships to be built in the United States. It served briefly in World War II and later in the Korean
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

 and Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

s.
The General Douglas MacArthur
Douglas MacArthur
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur was an American general and field marshal of the Philippine Army. He was a Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor for his service in the...

 Memorial, located in the 19th-century Norfolk court house and city hall in downtown, contains the tombs of the late General and his wife, a museum and a vast research library, personal belongings (including his famous corncob pipe) and a short film that chronicles the life of the famous General of the Army
General of the Army (United States)
General of the Army is a five-star general officer and is the second highest possible rank in the United States Army. A special rank of General of the Armies, which ranks above General of the Army, does exist but has only been conferred twice in the history of the Army...

.

Also in downtown Norfolk and inside Nauticus is the Hampton Roads Naval Museum
Hampton Roads Naval Museum
The Hampton Roads Naval Museum is one of the 12 Navy museums that are operated by the Naval History & Heritage Command. It celebrates the long history of the U.S. Navy in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia. It is co-located with the Nauticus National Maritime Center in downtown Norfolk, Virginia...

, an official U.S. Navy museum that focuses on the 220 plus year history of the Navy within the region.

The Children's Museum of Virginia
Children's Museum of Virginia
The Children's Museum of Virginia is the largest children's museum in the state of Virginia. It is located in the heart of Olde Town Portsmouth at 221 High Street.The Children's Museum of Virginia highlights:...

 in Portsmouth
Portsmouth, Virginia
Portsmouth is located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of the U.S. Commonwealth of Virginia. As of 2010, the city had a total population of 95,535.The Norfolk Naval Shipyard, often called the Norfolk Navy Yard, is a historic and active U.S...

 has one of the largest collection of model electric trains and other toys.

The Norfolk Naval Shipyard
Norfolk Naval Shipyard
The Norfolk Naval Shipyard, often called the Norfolk Navy Yard and abbreviated as NNSY, is a U.S. Navy facility in Portsmouth, Virginia, for building, remodeling, and repairing the Navy's ships. It's the oldest and largest industrial facility that belongs to the U.S. Navy as well as the most...

 in Portsmouth
Portsmouth, Virginia
Portsmouth is located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of the U.S. Commonwealth of Virginia. As of 2010, the city had a total population of 95,535.The Norfolk Naval Shipyard, often called the Norfolk Navy Yard, is a historic and active U.S...

 is one of the oldest shipyards and has the first dry dock
Dry dock
A drydock is a narrow basin or vessel that can be flooded to allow a load to be floated in, then drained to allow that load to come to rest on a dry platform...

 on display.

The Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
The Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge was created in 1974 to help protect and preserve a portion of the Great Dismal Swamp, a marshy region on the Coastal Plain of southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina between Norfolk, Virginia, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina in the...

 (in Suffolk and Chesapeake) is accessed from U.S. Route 17
U.S. Route 17
U.S. Route 17 or U.S. Highway 17 is a north–south United States highway. The highway spans the southeastern United States and is close to the Atlantic Coast for much of its length. The highway's southern terminus is at Punta Gorda, Florida, at an intersection with U.S. Route 41...

 in Chesapeake
Chesapeake, Virginia
As of the census of 2000, there were 199,184 people, 69,900 households, and 54,172 families residing in the city. The population density was 584.6 people per square mile . There were 72,672 housing units at an average density of 213.3 per square mile...

.

The Suffolk-Nansemond Museum is in the restored Seaboard
Seaboard Air Line Railroad
The Seaboard Air Line Railroad , which styled itself "The Route of Courteous Service," was an American railroad whose corporate existence extended from April 14, 1900, until July 1, 1967, when it merged with the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, its longtime rival, to form the Seaboard Coast Line...

 and Virginian Railway
Virginian Railway
The Virginian Railway was a Class I railroad located in Virginia and West Virginia in the United States. The VGN was created to transport high quality "smokeless" bituminous coal from southern West Virginia to port at Hampton Roads....

 passenger train station in Suffolk
Suffolk, Virginia
Suffolk is the largest city by area in Virginia, United States, and is located in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 84,585. Its median household income was $57,546.-History:...

.

The Isle of Wight Museum is in Smithfield
Smithfield, Virginia
Smithfield is a town in Isle of Wight County, in the South Hampton Roads subregion of the Hampton Roads region of Virginia in the United States. The population was 8,089 at the 2010 census....

.

The Contemporary Art Center of Virginia located in Virginia Beach features the significant art of our time.

Music and venues


The Hampton Roads region has a thriving music scene, with a heavy concentration thereof in the Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Norfolk areas. Many clubs, venues, and festivals exist within the region, all playing host to a wide variety of musical styles. There are a few hundred bands that play routinely in the region, spanning multiple genres. There are also twenty to thirty musical acts based in the region that perform throughout Hampton Roads and its surrounding areas on a "full time" basis.

In addition, plenty of well known acts have come from the area. Some of the major rock/pop artists include Bruce Hornsby
Bruce Hornsby
Bruce Randall Hornsby is an American singer, pianist, accordion player, and songwriter. Known for the spontaneity and creativity of his live performances, Hornsby draws frequently from classical, jazz, bluegrass, folk, Motown, rock, blues, and jam band musical traditions with his songwriting and...

, Gary "U.S." Bonds, Juice Newton
Juice Newton
Judith Kay "Juice" Newton is an American Pop music and Country singer, songwriter and guitarist...

, Mae
Mae
Mae was an American alternative/indie band that formed in Norfolk, Virginia in 2001. The band's name is an acronym for "Multi-sensory Aesthetic Experience," based on a course taken by drummer Jacob Marshall while a student at Old Dominion University....

, Seven Mary Three
Seven Mary Three
Seven Mary Three, occasionally abbreviated to 7 Mary 3 or 7M3, is an American hard rock band. They have released seven studio albums and one live album, and are best known for their hit singles "Cumbersome", "Water's Edge", "Lucky", and "Wait"....

, Gene Vincent
Gene Vincent
Vincent Eugene Craddock , known as Gene Vincent, was an American musician who pioneered the styles of rock and roll and rockabilly. His 1956 top ten hit with his Blue Caps, "Be-Bop-A-Lula", is considered a significant early example of rockabilly...

, Keller Williams
Keller Williams
Keller Williams is an American musician from Fredericksburg, Virginia, who began performing in the early 1990s. He is also known by the names K-Dub or just Keller, when performing. Williams' music combines elements of bluegrass, folk, alternative rock, reggae, electronica/dance, jazz, funk, and...

, and Steve Earle
Steve Earle
Stephen Fain "Steve" Earle is an American singer-songwriter known for his rock and Texas Country as well as his political views. He is also a producer, author, a political activist, and an actor, and has written and directed a play....

. Ella Fitzgerald
Ella Fitzgerald
Ella Jane Fitzgerald , also known as the "First Lady of Song" and "Lady Ella," was an American jazz and song vocalist...

 is the most recognizable jazz musician from the area. Robert Cray
Robert Cray
Robert Cray is an American blues guitarist and singer. A five-time Grammy Award winner, he has led his own band, as well as an acclaimed solo career.-Career:...

 and Ruth Brown
Ruth Brown
Ruth Brown was an American pop and R&B singer-songwriter, record producer, composer and actress, noted for bringing a pop music style to R&B music in a series of hit songs for Atlantic Records in the 1950s, such as "So Long", "Teardrops from My Eyes" and " He Treats Your Daughter Mean".For these...

 are both prominent blues and R&B artists. Tommy Newsom
Tommy Newsom
Thomas Penn "Tommy" Newsom was a saxophone player in the NBC Orchestra on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, for which he later became assistant director. Newsom was frequently the band's substitute director, whenever Doc Severinsen was away from the show or filling in for announcer Ed...

 is another famous jazz musician. Many prominent rap and hip hop artists come from the area including Chad Hugo
Chad Hugo
Charles Edward Hugo is an American musician and record producer. He is best known as one half of the music production and writing duo The Neptunes and as a member of the funk/rock band N.E.R.D. He is a saxophonist, pianist and guitarist...

, Clipse
Clipse
Clipse is a Virginia Beach, Virginia-based hip hop duo. Formed in 1992 by brothers Malice and Pusha T , the group is heavily affiliated with production team The Neptunes and signed to Star Trak Entertainment.- Exclusive Audio Footage :The Thornton brothers were born in The Bronx, New...

, Magoo, Missy Elliott
Missy Elliott
Melissa Arnette "Missy" Elliott , is an American rapper, singer-songwriter, record producer, and actressA five-time Grammy Award winner, Elliott, with record sales of over seven million in the United States, is the only female rapper to have five albums certified platinum by the RIAA, including one...

, Nicole Wray
Nicole Wray
Nicole Monique Wray, also known as simply Nicole, is an American R&B and hip hop singer. Her 1998 debut single, "Make It Hot"—written and produced by Timbaland and co-written by and featuring Missy Elliott—was certified gold.-Musical career:...

, Pharrell Williams
Pharrell Williams
Pharrell Williams , commonly known simply as Pharrell, is an American rapper, singer, record producer, composer, and fashion designer. Williams and Chad Hugo make up the record production duo The Neptunes, producing hip hop and R&B music...

, Quan
Quan (rapper)
Clifford Peacock, better known by his stage name Quan or Don Ferquan, is an American rapper, affiliated with Nas and Ill Will Records...

, Teddy Riley, and Timbaland
Timbaland
Timothy Zachery Mosley , better known by his stage name Timbaland, is an American record producer, songwriter and rapper....

.

The region has a number of venues hosting live music and performances. Several of the larger (in order of maximum seating capacity) are:
  • Verizon Wireless Virginia Beach Amphitheatre in Virginia Beach (seating 20,000)
  • Norfolk Scope
    Norfolk Scope
    Norfolk Scope is a multipurpose culture, entertainment, convention and sports arena at the northern perimeter of downtown Norfolk, Virginia, designed by Italian architect/engineer Pier Luigi Nervi in conjunction with the local firm of Williams and Tazewell...

     in Norfolk (seating 13,800)
  • Hampton Coliseum
    Hampton Coliseum
    The Hampton Coliseum is a multi-use cultural, entertainment and sports arena in Hampton, Virginia. Construction on the arena began on May 24, 1968 and the venue opened in 1970 as the first large multi-purpose arena in the Hampton Roads region and the state of Virginia, opening a year prior to...

     in Hampton (seating 13,800)
  • Kaplan Arena at William and Mary Hall in Williamsburg (seating 10,175)
  • Ted Constant Convocation Center
    Ted Constant Convocation Center
    The Ted Constant Convocation Center is a 9,520-seat multi-purpose arena in Norfolk, Virginia, located on the campus of Old Dominion University. "The Ted" has 7,519 fully cushioned seats, 16 luxury suites, and a state-of-the-art scoreboard. The arena currently seats 8,639 for basketball games...

     at Old Dominion University
    Old Dominion University
    Old Dominion University is a state university located in Norfolk, Virginia, United States, and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools...

     in Norfolk (seating 9,500)
  • nTelos Pavilion at Harbor Center in Portsmouth (seating 7,500)
  • Le Palais Royal Theatre at Busch Gardens Williamsburg in James City County (seating 5,600)
  • Ferguson Center for the Arts in Newport News (seating 1,725 and 453 in 2 separate concert halls)
  • Lake Matoaka Amphitheatre at The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg (seating 1,700)
  • The NorVa in Norfolk (standing 1,500)


Dozens of much smaller commercial establishments offer live music and other entertainment such as comedy shows and mystery dinner-theater throughout the region.

Parks and recreation


The Norfolk Botanical Garden
Norfolk Botanical Garden
The Norfolk Botanical Garden is a botanical garden with arboretum located at 6700 Azalea Garden Road, Norfolk, Virginia.- Hours of operation :April 1st - October 16th*Gate is open from 9am - 7pm*Garden is open from 9am - 7pm...

, opened in 1939, is a 155 acre (0.6272633 km²) botanical garden
Botanical garden
A botanical garden The terms botanic and botanical, and garden or gardens are used more-or-less interchangeably, although the word botanic is generally reserved for the earlier, more traditional gardens. is a well-tended area displaying a wide range of plants labelled with their botanical names...

 and arboretum
Arboretum
An arboretum in a narrow sense is a collection of trees only. Related collections include a fruticetum , and a viticetum, a collection of vines. More commonly, today, an arboretum is a botanical garden containing living collections of woody plants intended at least partly for scientific study...

 located near the Norfolk International Airport. It is open year round.

The Virginia Zoological Park, opened in 1900, is a 65 acres (263,045.9 m²) zoo
Zoo
A zoological garden, zoological park, menagerie, or zoo is a facility in which animals are confined within enclosures, displayed to the public, and in which they may also be bred....

 with hundreds of animals on display, including the critically endangered Siberian Tiger and threatened White Rhino.

First Landing State Park
First Landing State Park
First Landing State Park offers recreational opportunities at Cape Henry in the independent city of Virginia Beach, Virginia....

 and False Cape State Park
False Cape State Park
False Cape State Park is a state park in the independent city of Virginia Beach, Virginia. It is a mile-wide barrier spit between Back Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The park adjoins the state border with North Carolina and lies shortly north of Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge...

 are both located in coastal areas in Virginia Beach. Both offer camping facilities, cabins, and outdoor recreation activities in addition to nature and history tours. First Landing is the site of Cape Henry
Cape Henry
Cape Henry is a cape on the Atlantic shore of Virginia north of Virginia Beach. It is the southern boundary of the entrance to Chesapeake Bay.Across the mouth of the bay to the north is Cape Charles...

 while False Cape is located at the southeastern end of Virginia Beach.

Newport News Park
Newport News Park
Newport News Park, located in Newport News, Virginia, is the largest park in the system of municipal parks maintained by the Newport News Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism. At 8,065 acres , it is one of largest city-run parks in the United States...

 is located in the northern part of the city of Newport News. The city's golf course also lies within the Park along with camping and outdoor activities. There are over 30 miles (50 km) of trails in the Newport News Park complex. The park has a 5.3-mile (8.5-km) multi-use bike path. The park offers bicycle and helmet rental, and requires helmet use by children under 14. Newport News Park also offers an archery range, disc golf course, and an "aeromodel flying field" for remote-controlled aircraft, complete with a 400 ft (120 m) runway.

The region also has amusement parks which attract tourists and locals alike. Ocean Breeze Waterpark, Shipwreck Golf, and Motor World are Virginia Beach's amusement parks, which were formerly called Ocean Breeze Fun Park. As separate parks, they provide miniature golf, go-karts, water slides, pools, climbing wall, paintball area, and kiddie rides. Busch Gardens Williamsburg and Water Country USA
Water Country USA
Water Country USA is a water theme park in York County, Virginia, about 3 miles southeast of Williamsburg, Virginia, USA. It is the Mid-Atlantic's largest water park, and it offers live entertainment, shops and restaurants, water rides, and other attractions, all of which have a 1950s or 1960s...

 are the major theme parks in Williamsburg.

Collegiate and other indoor arenas

  • Kaplan Arena at William & Mary Hall
    William & Mary Hall
    William & Mary Hall is a building used for athletic events for The College of William & Mary Tribe sports teams in Williamsburg, Virginia. Kaplan Arena is the 8,600-seat multi-purpose arena within the Hall. When the extra bleachers are pulled out, however, it seats up to 11,300. The arena's floor...

     at The College of William & Mary – Williamsburg (10,300)
  • Ted Constant Convocation Center
    Ted Constant Convocation Center
    The Ted Constant Convocation Center is a 9,520-seat multi-purpose arena in Norfolk, Virginia, located on the campus of Old Dominion University. "The Ted" has 7,519 fully cushioned seats, 16 luxury suites, and a state-of-the-art scoreboard. The arena currently seats 8,639 for basketball games...

     at Old Dominion University
    Old Dominion University
    Old Dominion University is a state university located in Norfolk, Virginia, United States, and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools...

     – Norfolk (9,650) sometimes known as the Constant Convocation Center or "the Ted"
  • Joseph G. Echols Memorial Hall
    Joseph G. Echols Memorial Hall
    Joseph G. Echols Memorial Hall is a 7,000-seat multi-purpose arena in Norfolk, Virginia. It was built in 1982 and is home to the Norfolk State University Spartans basketball team. It hosted the 1997 MEAC Men's Basketball Tournament.-External links:*...

     at Norfolk State University
    Norfolk State University
    Norfolk State University is a four-year, state-supported, coed, liberal arts, historically black university located in Norfolk, Virginia. It is member school of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund and the Virginia High-Tech Partnership.-Academics:...

     (8,500)
  • Hampton Convocation Center
    Hampton Convocation Center
    Hampton Convocation Center is a 7,200-seat multi-purpose arena in Hampton, Virginia. It was built in 1993 and is home to the Hampton University Pirates basketball team. The arena replaced Holland Hall gymnasium, which holds women's volleyball matches and tournaments. The construction cost was about...

     at Hampton University
    Hampton University
    Hampton University is a historically black university located in Hampton, Virginia, United States. It was founded by black and white leaders of the American Missionary Association after the American Civil War to provide education to freedmen.-History:...

     (8,200)
  • Robert Freeman Center at Christopher Newport University
    Christopher Newport University
    Christopher Newport University, or CNU, is a public liberal arts university located in Newport News, Virginia, United States. CNU is the youngest comprehensive university in the Commonwealth of Virginia...

     – Newport News (6,000)
  • Old Dominion University Fieldhouse
    Old Dominion University Fieldhouse
    Old Dominion University Fieldhouse was a 5,200 seat multi-purpose arena in Norfolk, Virginia. It opened in 1970. It was home to the Old Dominion University Monarchs and Lady Monarchs basketball teams. The venue also played host to the American Basketball Association's Virginia Squires for a...

     – Norfolk (5,955) (Torn down in 2007)
  • Gills Gymnasium at Norfolk State University
    Norfolk State University
    Norfolk State University is a four-year, state-supported, coed, liberal arts, historically black university located in Norfolk, Virginia. It is member school of the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund and the Virginia High-Tech Partnership.-Academics:...

     (4,000)
  • Jerome H. Holland Hall at Hampton University
    Hampton University
    Hampton University is a historically black university located in Hampton, Virginia, United States. It was founded by black and white leaders of the American Missionary Association after the American Civil War to provide education to freedmen.-History:...

     (3,000)
  • Anderson Field House at Fort Eustis – Newport News (2,200)
  • Jane P. Batten Student Center at Virginia Wesleyan College
    Virginia Wesleyan College
    Virginia Wesleyan College is a small Methodist liberal arts college on the border of Virginia Beach and Norfolk, Virginia offering a Bachelor of Arts in many disciplines and has added Bachelor of Science programs as well...

     – Virginia Beach (2,120)
  • Boo Williams Sportsplex in Hampton, Virginia (a 135000 sq ft (12,541.9 m²). multisport complex, the largest sportsplex between Washington D.C. and Greensboro, North Carolina). Opened March 14, 2008

Collegiate and other stadiums

  • William "Dick" Price Stadium at Norfolk State University (30,000) football
  • Foreman Field at S. B. Ballard Stadium
    Foreman Field
    Foreman Field at S. B. Ballard Stadium is a 19,818-seat multi-purpose stadium on the campus of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. It opened in 1936 with a football game between the University of Virginia and the College of William & Mary's Norfolk Division...

     at Old Dominion University – Norfolk (19,782) football
  • Walter J. Zable Stadium at The College of William and Mary – Williamsburg (15,279) football
  • Samuel C. Armstrong Stadium
    Armstrong Stadium
    Armstrong Stadium is a 17,000-seat multi-purpose stadium in Hampton, Virginia. It opened in 1928. It is home to the Hampton University Pirates football team. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the stadium underwent several renovations, and in 1999, a new section behind an end zone was added. The new...

     at Hampton University (14,000) football
  • Norfolk Scope
    Norfolk Scope
    Norfolk Scope is a multipurpose culture, entertainment, convention and sports arena at the northern perimeter of downtown Norfolk, Virginia, designed by Italian architect/engineer Pier Luigi Nervi in conjunction with the local firm of Williams and Tazewell...

     – Norfolk (12,600) – Hockey, opened in 1971
  • Harbor Park
    Harbor Park
    Harbor Park is a stadium along the Elizabeth River, in downtown Norfolk, Virginia, USA. It has been rated the best minor league stadium by Baseball America. It is primarily used for baseball, and is the home field of the Norfolk Tides minor league baseball team. The Tides are the International...

     – Norfolk (12,067) – Baseball
  • John B. Todd Stadium
    John B. Todd Stadium
    John B. Todd Stadium is a football stadium located on Warwick Blvd. between Minton and Hidenwood Drives in Newport News, Virginia. It is named after John B. Todd, who was a standout football player at Newport News High School and at the College of William and Mary. Todd Stadium is owned and...

     – Newport News (11,000) football
  • Joseph S. Darling Memorial Stadium
    Joseph S. Darling Memorial Stadium
    Joseph S. Darling Memorial Stadium, located in Hampton, Virginia, serves primarily as a high school football stadium, and also hosts various track-and-field meets, as well as marching band competitions. The 8,000-seat brick facility opened in 1989....

     – Hampton (8,000) football, track
  • B. Herman Bailey Field – Yorktown (6,000) football
  • Cooley Field – Williamsburg (3,000) football
  • Old Dominion University Soccer Stadium – Norfolk (6,000)
  • Union Kempsville Stadium – Virginia Beach (5,100) football (recently demolished to build Reniassance Academy)
  • Anheuser-Busch Field
    Busch Field
    Busch Field is a stadium on the campus of the College of William and Mary located in Williamsburg, Virginia. It is currently used by the college's field hockey team for home games, as well as many intramural and club sport contests. There are two fields in the designated "Busch Field" area. One is...

     at The College of William and Mary – Williamsburg (4,450) soccer
  • Pomoco Stadium at Christopher Newport University – Newport News (4,200) football
  • District Park Sports Complex – Williamsburg (4,000) proposed
  • Powhatan Stadium – Norfolk (4,000) – football, lacrosse and field hockey, opened in fall 2006
  • Bud Metheny Baseball Complex
    Bud Metheny Baseball Complex
    The Bud Metheny Baseball Complex is a stadium on the campus of Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, USA. It is primarily used for baseball, and is the home field of the Old Dominion University Monarchs NCAA collegiate baseball team. The Monarchs are members of the Colonial Athletic...

     at Old Dominion University – Norfolk (3,000) baseball
  • Marty L. Miller Baseball Field at Norfolk State University (1,600)
  • Joe Plumeri Park
    Plumeri Park
    Plumeri Park is The College of William & Mary Tribe baseball team's home stadium located in Williamsburg, Virginia. It has been in use since 1999. Joseph J...

     at The College of William and Mary – Williamsburg (1,200) baseball
  • Mark McCormack-Betsy Nagelsen Tennis Center
    McCormack-Nagelsen Tennis Center
    The McCormack–Nagelsen Tennis Center is a $3,000,000, facility that is home to the College of William & Mary’s women’s tennis team as well as the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Women’s Tennis Hall of Fame. It is located in Williamsburg, Virginia. The facility includes six indoor courts and...

     at The College of William and Mary – Williamsburg
  • Virginia Beach Sportsplex
    Virginia Beach Sportsplex
    -External links:[]Category:Sports venues in Hampton RoadsCategory:United Football League venuesCategory:Soccer venues in VirginiaCategory:Sports in Virginia Beach, VirginiaCategory:Visitor attractions in Virginia Beach, Virginia...

    -Virginia Beach (est. 16,000) Football,soccer

Golf Courses


Hampton Roads has a number of public and private golf courses.
  • Chesapeake – Cahoon Plantation – Three 9-hole, par 36 courses
  • Chesapeake – Golf Club – One 18 hole, par 70 course
  • Hampton – The Hamptons Golf Course – One 18 Hole, par 71 Woods/Lakes Course
  • Hampton – Woodlands Golf Course – One 18 hole, par 69 course
  • Newport News – Deer Run Golf Course – Two 18 hole courses
  • Newport News – Kiln Creek Golf & Country Club – One 18 hole, par 72 course
  • Norfolk – Lake Wright Golf Course – One 18 hole, par 70 course
  • Norfolk – Ocean View – One 18 hole, par 70 course.
  • Portsmouth – Bide-a-Wee Golf Club – One 18 hole, par 72 course
  • Portsmouth – Links at City Park – One 9 hole, par 30 course
  • Smithfield – Cypress Creek Golfer's Club – One 18 hole, par 72 course
  • Smithfield – Smithfield Downs Golf Club – One 18 hole, par 71 course.
  • Suffolk – Sleepy Hole Park & Golf Course – One 18 hole, par 72 course
  • Suffolk – Suffolk Golf Course – One 18 hole, par 72 course
  • Suffolk – Riverfront Golf Course – One 18 hole, par 71 course
  • Virginia Beach – Bow Creek Municipal Golf Course – One 18 hole
  • Virginia Beach – Cypress Point Golf & Country Club – One 18 hole, par 72 course
  • Virginia Beach – Hell's Point Golf Club – One 18 hole, par 72 course
  • Virginia Beach – Heron Ridge Golf Course – One 18 hole, par 72 course
  • Virginia Beach – Honey Bee Golf Club – One 18 hole, par 70 course
  • Virginia Beach – Kempsville Greens Municipal G.C.- One 18 hole, par 70 course
  • Virginia Beach – Owl's Creek Family Golf Course – One 18 hole, par 62 course
  • Virginia Beach – Red Wing Lake Golf Course – One 18 hole, par 72 course
  • Virginia Beach – Stumpy Lake Golf Course – One 18 hole, par 72 course
  • Virginia Beach – Tournament Players Club of Va. Bch – One 18 hole, par 72 course, Home of The Nike Tour
  • Williamsburg – Colonial Golf Course – One 18 hole, par 72 course
  • Williamsburg – Ford's Colony – Three 18 hole courses. Marsh Hawk course: Par 71. Blackheath course: Par 71. Blue Heron course: Par 72.
  • Williamsburg – Golden Horseshoe Golf Club – Two 18 hole courses. Gold course: Par 71. Green course: Par 72.
  • Williamsburg – Kingsmill Golf Club (Home of The Michelob Tournament) – Three 18 hole courses. River Course: Par 71. Woods Course: Par 72. Plantation Course (Designed by Arnold Palmer): Par 72. Also One 9 hole par-3
  • Williamsburg – Williamsburg National Golf Course – One 18 hole, par 72 course.

Convention centers

  • Virginia Beach Convention Center 516522 sq ft (47,986 m²) opened early 2007
  • Williamsburg Convention Center 259000 sq ft (24,061.9 m²) proposed
  • Hampton Roads Convention Center – Hampton 258000 sq ft (23,969 m²)
  • Norfolk Executive Conference Center 73000 sq ft (6,781.9 m²) planned
  • Chesapeake Conference Center 37000 sq ft (3,437.4 m²)
  • Portsmouth Conference Center 37000 sq ft (3,437.4 m²)
  • Waterside Convention Center – Norfolk 35000 sq ft (3,251.6 m²)
  • City Center at Oyster Point Conference Center – Newport News (Under Construction)

Auditoriums and performing arts theatres

  • American Theatre – Hampton
  • Chrysler Hall
    Chrysler Hall
    Chrysler Hall is a performing arts venue in Downtown Norfolk, Virginia. Built in 1972 and located next to the Norfolk Scope arena, the venue is home to the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, the Virginia Ballet and hosts Broadway plays while serving as Norfolk's primary theater and concert venue.The...

     – Norfolk
  • Hampton Coliseum
    Hampton Coliseum
    The Hampton Coliseum is a multi-use cultural, entertainment and sports arena in Hampton, Virginia. Construction on the arena began on May 24, 1968 and the venue opened in 1970 as the first large multi-purpose arena in the Hampton Roads region and the state of Virginia, opening a year prior to...

     – Hampton (13,800 – concerts, 9,777- basketball)
  • Crispus Attucks Cultural Center
    Attucks Theatre
    The Attucks Theatre, located in Norfolk, Virginia, USA, was financed, designed and constructed by African American entrepreneurs in 1919. The theatre was designed by Harvey Johnson, an African-American architect. The theatre was named in honor of Crispus Attucks, an African American who was the...

     – Norfolk
  • Devary Theatre at Norfolk Naval Base – Norfolk
  • Ferguson Center for the Performing Arts
    Ferguson Center for the Performing Arts
    The Ferguson Center for the Arts is a theater and concert hall on the campus of Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia, USA. The complex fully opened in September 2005 with two concert halls and many other facilities.-Performing arts venues:...

     – at Christopher Newport University
    Christopher Newport University
    Christopher Newport University, or CNU, is a public liberal arts university located in Newport News, Virginia, United States. CNU is the youngest comprehensive university in the Commonwealth of Virginia...

     – Newport News
  • Fort Monroe Theatre – Hampton
  • Harrison Opera House
    Harrison Opera House
    The Edythe C. and Stanley L. Harrison Opera House, also known as the Harrison Opera House, is the official home of the Virginia Opera in the Ghent district of Norfolk, Virginia. Once a World War II USO theater, this historic venue was renovated in 1993. With 1,632 seats, the renovated Harrison...

     – Norfolk
  • Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center at Tidewater Community College – Norfolk
  • L. Douglas Wilder Performing Arts Center at Norfolk State University – Norfolk
  • Liberty Baptist Church, Hampton (3000)
  • Music Theatre of Williamsburg (752)
  • Norva Theatre
    Norva Theatre
    The NorVa is a performing theatre located in Norfolk, Virginia. The NorVa's name consists of an abbreviation relating to its location.The NorVa was the brainchild of local music venue entrepreneurs Bill Reid and Rick Mersel, who have also developed the NTelos Wireless Pavilion and have ties to the...

     – Norfolk
  • nTelos Wireless Pavilion- Portsmouth, Virginia
  • Ogden Hall at Hampton University – Hampton
  • Peninsula Community Theater
  • Phi Beta Kappa Memorial Hall
    Phi Beta Kappa Memorial Hall
    Phi Beta Kappa Memorial Hall is a multi-use building at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, USA. It contains the largest auditorium on the campus, containing two floors of seating...

     at The College of William and Mary – Williamsburg
  • Premiere Theatre (aka Granby Theatre) – Norfolk
  • Regent University Performing Arts Center – Virginia Beach
  • Riverview Theatre – Norfolk
  • Rockwell Hall at Little Creek Amphibious Base – Virginia Beach
  • Sandler Performing Arts Center – Virginia Beach
  • Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts – Suffolk
  • Wells Theatre
    Wells Theatre
    The Wells Theatre is a performing arts venue located in downtown Norfolk, Virginia. It currently houses the which has called the Wells Theatre home for the past 33 years. The Wells Theatre is owned and operated by the City of Norfolk and is part of The Seven Venues.On August 26, 1913, the Wells...

     – Norfolk
  • Willett Hall – Portsmouth
  • Yoder Dairy Barn Theater – Newport News

Media


Two major newspapers serve Hampton Roads: The Virginian-Pilot
The Virginian-Pilot
The Virginian-Pilot is a daily newspaper based in Norfolk, Virginia, and serving the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, southeastern Virginia, the Eastern Shore of Virginia, and northeastern North Carolina. The flagship property of Landmark Media Enterprises, The Pilot is Virginia's largest daily...

 in the Southside, and The Daily Press
Daily Press (Virginia)
The Daily Press is a morning newspaper located in Newport News, Virginia, that covers the Hampton Roads metro area of Virginia. It was established in 1896 and has been owned by the Tribune Company since July 1986...

 on the Peninsula. Smaller publications include the six days a week Suffolk News-Herald, the Williamsburg-James City County area's twice-weekly Virginia Gazette (the state's oldest newspaper), the weekly New Journal and Guide
New Journal and Guide
The New Journal and Guide is a regional weekly newspaper based out of Norfolk, Virginia and serves the Hampton Roads area. The weekly focuses on local and national African-American news, sports, and issues and has been in circulation since 1900....

, and the Smithfield Times which publishes a weekly edition in the Isle of Wight County town of the same name.

Hampton Roads Magazine is one of the region's city and lifestyle magazine. The publication is published ten times a year and covers all of Hampton Roads, Williamsburg and the Eastern Shore.

Suffolk Living Magazine is another of the region's city and lifestyle magazines. The publication is published four times a year and covers the City of Suffolk. Suffolk Publications also produces Virginia-Carolina Boomers, a regional guide for Boomers in the area, which comes out twice a year.

Inside Business is the area's only business newspaper. It covers all of Hampton Roads and is published weekly.

The Hampton Roads designated market area (DMA) is the 42nd largest in the U.S. with 712,790 homes (0.64% of the total U.S.). The major network television affiliates are WTKR-TV 3 (CBS), WAVY 10 (NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

), WVEC-TV
WVEC-TV
WVEC is the ABC affiliate television station for the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, which includes Norfolk, Portsmouth, Newport News, and the surrounding area. It is licensed to Hampton, with its main studio in downtown Norfolk. Its transmitter is located in Suffolk, Virginia...

 13 (ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

), WGNT
WGNT
WGNT, channel 27 , is a television station licensed to Portsmouth, Virginia, USA. WGNT is the CW Television Network affiliate for the Hampton Roads television market and is owned by Local TV, which also operates WTKR , Hampton Roads' CBS affiliate...

 27 (CW
The CW Television Network
The CW Television Network is a television network in the United States launched at the beginning of the 2006–2007 television season. It is a joint venture between CBS Corporation, the former owners of United Paramount Network , and Time Warner's Warner Bros., former majority owner of The WB...

), WTVZ 33 (MyNetworkTV
MyNetworkTV
MyNetworkTV is a television broadcast syndication service in the United States, owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, a division of News Corporation...

), WVBT
WVBT
WVBT is the Fox-affiliated television station for the Hampton Roads area of Southeastern Virginia that is licensed to Virginia Beach. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 29 from a transmitter in the Driver section of Suffolk...

 43 (Fox
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Broadcasting Company, commonly referred to as Fox Network or simply Fox , is an American commercial broadcasting television network owned by Fox Entertainment Group, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Launched on October 9, 1986, Fox was the highest-rated broadcast network in the...

), and WPXV
WPXV
WPXV-TV is the Ion Television owned and operated station for the Hampton Roads area, licensed to Norfolk, Virginia. The station is owned by ION Media Networks, and operates on UHF digital channel 46.-Pre-WJCB :...

 49 (ION Television). The Public Broadcasting Service
Public Broadcasting Service
The Public Broadcasting Service is an American non-profit public broadcasting television network with 354 member TV stations in the United States which hold collective ownership. Its headquarters is in Arlington, Virginia....

 station is WHRO-TV
WHRO-TV
WHRO-TV digital channel 15 is the Public Broadcasting Service member Public television station for Hampton Roads, Virginia . The station is licensed to both Hampton and Norfolk with the studios at the Public Telecommunications Center for Hampton Roads next to the campus of Old Dominion University...

 15. WUND 2
UNC-TV
University of North Carolina Television, known on-air as UNC-TV, is a public television network in the U.S. state of North Carolina. It is operated by the University of North Carolina, with studios located at the UNC Center for Public Television at Research Triangle Park...

(UNC-TV
UNC-TV
University of North Carolina Television, known on-air as UNC-TV, is a public television network in the U.S. state of North Carolina. It is operated by the University of North Carolina, with studios located at the UNC Center for Public Television at Research Triangle Park...

/PBS member station
Public Broadcasting Service
The Public Broadcasting Service is an American non-profit public broadcasting television network with 354 member TV stations in the United States which hold collective ownership. Its headquarters is in Arlington, Virginia....

), broadcasting out of Edenton, NC
Edenton, North Carolina
Edenton is a town in Chowan County, North Carolina, United States. The population was 4,966 at the 2008 census. It is the county seat of Chowan County. Edenton is located in North Carolina's Inner Banks region. In recent years Edenton has become a popular retirement location and a destination for...

, serves as another PBS affiliate for the area. Area residents also can receive independent stations, such as WSKY
WSKY-TV
WSKY-TV, which was launched in October 2001, is a full-power/full market television independent station serving the Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, VA television market and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The station, which is part of the Hampton Roads market, broadcasts on digital channel 9...

 broadcasting on channel 4 from the Outer Banks of North Carolina, WGBS
WGBS-LP
WGBS-LD is a low-power television station in Hampton, Virginia, broadcasting locally on channel 11 and serving the Greater Hampton Roads area. It is owned and operated by Joan & Kenneth Wright....

 broadcasting on channel 7 from Hampton, and WTPC 21, a TBN
Trinity Broadcasting Network
The Trinity Broadcasting Network is a major American Christian television network. TBN is based in Costa Mesa, California, with auxiliary studio facilities in Irving, Texas; Hendersonville, Tennessee; Gadsden, Alabama; Decatur, Georgia; Miami, Florida; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Orlando, Florida; and New...

 affiliate out of Virginia Beach. Most Hampton Roads localities are served by Cox Cable which provides LNC 5, a local 24-hour
24-hour news cycle
The 24-hour news cycle arrived with the advent of television channels dedicated to news, and brought about a much faster pace of news production with increased demand for stories that can be presented as news, as opposed to the day-by-day pace of the news cycle of printed daily newspapers...

 cable news
United States cable news
Cable news refers to television channels devoted to television news broadcasts, with the name deriving from the proliferation of such networks during the 1980s with the advent of cable television. In the United States, early networks included CNN in 1980, Financial News Network in 1981, and CNN2 ...

 television network. Suffolk, Franklin, Isle of Wight, and Southampton are served by Charter Communications. Verizon FiOS
Verizon FiOS
Verizon FiOS is a bundled Internet access, telephone, and television service which operates over a fiber-optic communications network. It is offered in some areas of the United States by Verizon Communications. Verizon was one of the first major U.S...

 service is currently available in parts of the region and continues to expand, offering a non-satellite alternative to Cox. DirecTV
DirecTV
DirecTV is an American direct broadcast satellite service provider and broadcaster based in El Segundo, California. Its satellite service, launched on June 17, 1994, transmits digital satellite television and audio to households in the United States, Latin America, and the Anglophone Caribbean. ...

 and Dish Network
Dish Network
Dish Network Corporation is the second largest pay TV provider in the United States, providing direct broadcast satellite service—including satellite television, audio programming, and interactive television services—to 14.337 million commercial and residential customers in the United States. Dish...

 are also popular as an alternative to cable television.

Norfolk is served by a variety of radio stations on the FM and AM dials, with towers located around the Hampton Roads area. These cater to many different interests, including news, talk radio
Talk radio
Talk radio is a radio format containing discussion about topical issues. Most shows are regularly hosted by a single individual, and often feature interviews with a number of different guests. Talk radio typically includes an element of listener participation, usually by broadcasting live...

, and sports, as well as an eclectic mix of musical interests.

Professional Sports


Norfolk serves as home to two professional franchises, the Norfolk Tides
Norfolk Tides
The Norfolk Tides are a minor league baseball team in the Triple-A International League. They play at Harbor Park in Norfolk, Virginia. Since 2007 they have been a farm team of the Baltimore Orioles; prior to that, they had a 38-year affiliation with the New York Mets.-Franchise history:The...

 of the International League
International League
The International League is a minor league baseball league that operates in the eastern United States. Like the Pacific Coast League and the Mexican League, it plays at the Triple-A level, which is one step below Major League Baseball. It was so named because it had teams in both the United States...

 and the Norfolk Admirals
Norfolk Admirals
The Norfolk Admirals are a minor professional ice hockey team in the American Hockey League, and are affiliated with the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Admirals play in Norfolk, Virginia, at the Norfolk Scope.-History:...

 of the American Hockey League
American Hockey League
The American Hockey League is a 30-team professional ice hockey league based in the United States and Canada that serves as the primary developmental circuit for the National Hockey League...

. The Tides play at Harbor Park
Harbor Park
Harbor Park is a stadium along the Elizabeth River, in downtown Norfolk, Virginia, USA. It has been rated the best minor league stadium by Baseball America. It is primarily used for baseball, and is the home field of the Norfolk Tides minor league baseball team. The Tides are the International...

, seating 12,067 and opened in 1993. The Admirals play at Norfolk Scope
Norfolk Scope
Norfolk Scope is a multipurpose culture, entertainment, convention and sports arena at the northern perimeter of downtown Norfolk, Virginia, designed by Italian architect/engineer Pier Luigi Nervi in conjunction with the local firm of Williams and Tazewell...

 Arena, seating 8,725 or 13,800 festival seating, which opened in 1971.

The Peninsula Pilots
Peninsula Pilots
The Peninsula Pilots are an amateur baseball team in the Coastal Plain League, collegiate summer baseball league. The team plays its home games at the War Memorial Stadium in Hampton, Virginia...

 play in the Coastal Plain League
Coastal Plain League
The Coastal Plain League is a wood-bat collegiate summer league, featuring college players from throughout the nation. The league takes its name from a Class D minor league baseball league which operated in the same area from 1937 to 1952. The modern league was formed with six teams in 1997...

, a summer baseball league. The Pilots play in Hampton at War Memorial Stadium
War Memorial Stadium (Hampton)
War Memorial Stadium is a stadium in Hampton, Virginia. It is primarily used for baseball and has been the home of the various incarnations of the Peninsula Pilots, including the current Coastal Plain League incarnation. It is also the home for the Apprentice School Builders college baseball team...

 seating 5,125 and opened in 1948.

On the collegiate level, four Division I programs—two on the Southside and two on the Peninsula—field teams in many sports, including football, basketball, and baseball, with all four playing football in the second-tier FCS. The Southside boasts the Old Dominion Monarchs and the Norfolk State Spartans, both in Norfolk, while the Peninsula features the William & Mary Tribe
William & Mary Tribe
The William & Mary Tribe are the athletic teams for the College of William & Mary. The name Tribe now refers to the unity and comradery that William & Mary student-athletes share when competing in the classroom and on the field. William & Mary has transitioned through several official nicknames...

 in Williamsburg and Hampton Pirates in Hampton. ODU and W&M are both members of the Colonial Athletic Association
Colonial Athletic Association
The Colonial Athletic Association is a NCAA Division I college athletic conference whose full-time members are located in East Coast states from Massachusetts to Georgia. Most of its members are public universities, with five in Virginia alone, and the conference is headquartered in Richmond,...

. Norfolk State and Hampton, both historically black institutions
Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Historically black colleges and universities are institutions of higher education in the United States that were established before 1964 with the intention of serving the black community....

, compete in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference is a collegiate athletic conference of historically black colleges and universities in the Southeastern United States...

. The area also has two Division III programs, one in each subregion—the Virginia Wesleyan Marlins
Virginia Wesleyan College
Virginia Wesleyan College is a small Methodist liberal arts college on the border of Virginia Beach and Norfolk, Virginia offering a Bachelor of Arts in many disciplines and has added Bachelor of Science programs as well...

 on the border of Virginia Beach and Norfolk, and the Christopher Newport University Captains in Newport News. The Captains sponsor fourteen sports and compete in the USA South Athletic Conference
USA South Athletic Conference
The USA South Athletic Conference is an athletic conference which competes in the NCAA's Division III...

.

The Hampton Coliseum
Hampton Coliseum
The Hampton Coliseum is a multi-use cultural, entertainment and sports arena in Hampton, Virginia. Construction on the arena began on May 24, 1968 and the venue opened in 1970 as the first large multi-purpose arena in the Hampton Roads region and the state of Virginia, opening a year prior to...

, seating 10,761 ot 13,800 festival seating, hosts the annual Virginia Duals wrestling events, and the annual Hampton Jazz Festival
Hampton Jazz Festival
The Hampton Jazz Festival is a major musical event started in 1968, and features many of the world's major jazz artists. It is held during the last full weekend in June each year, with the primary venue being Hampton, Virginia's Hampton Coliseum...

. The arena opened in 1970 and has previously hosted Hampton University
Hampton University
Hampton University is a historically black university located in Hampton, Virginia, United States. It was founded by black and white leaders of the American Missionary Association after the American Civil War to provide education to freedmen.-History:...

 basketball along with NBA and NHL preseason exhibition games.

Virginia Beach serves as home to two soccer teams, the Hampton Roads Piranhas
Hampton Roads Piranhas
Hampton Roads Piranhas is an American women’s soccer team, founded in 1995. The team is a member of the United Soccer Leagues W-League, the second tier of women’s soccer in the United States and Canada...

, a men's team in the USL Premier Development League
USL Premier Development League
The USL Premier Development League is the amateur league of the United Soccer Leagues in the United States, Canada, and Bermuda, forming part of the American Soccer Pyramid...

, and a women's team by the same name in the W-League
W-League
The USL W-League is a national women's soccer league in the United States on the 2nd level of women's soccer in the United States soccer pyramid, alongside the Women's Premier Soccer League and below Women's Professional Soccer....

. The Piranhas play at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex
Virginia Beach Sportsplex
-External links:[]Category:Sports venues in Hampton RoadsCategory:United Football League venuesCategory:Soccer venues in VirginiaCategory:Sports in Virginia Beach, VirginiaCategory:Visitor attractions in Virginia Beach, Virginia...

. The Virginia Beach Sportsplex
Virginia Beach Sportsplex
-External links:[]Category:Sports venues in Hampton RoadsCategory:United Football League venuesCategory:Soccer venues in VirginiaCategory:Sports in Virginia Beach, VirginiaCategory:Visitor attractions in Virginia Beach, Virginia...

, seating 11,541 and opened in 1999, contains the central training site for the U.S. women's national field hockey
Field hockey
Field Hockey, or Hockey, is a team sport in which a team of players attempts to score goals by hitting, pushing or flicking a ball into an opposing team's goal using sticks...

 team. The Sportsplex will be expanded to accommodate the Virginia Destroyers, an expansion franchise in the United Football League for the 2011 UFL season. The North American Sand Soccer Championships, a beach soccer
Beach soccer
Beach soccer, also known as beach football or beasal, is a variant of association football played on a beach or some form of sand. The game emphasises skill, agility and shooting at goal....

 tournament, is held annually on the beach in Virginia Beach.

Virginia Beach is also home to the East Coast Surfing Championships
East Coast Surfing Championships
The East Coast Surfing Championships is an annual surfing contest held in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and is one of the United States Surfing Federation’s major amateur events. The ECSC stretches over a four day period every year in late August at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront...

, an annual contest of more than 100 of the world's top professional surfers and an estimated 400 amateur surfers. This is North America's oldest surfing contest, and features combined cash prizes of $40,000.

Langley Speedway
Langley Speedway (Virginia)
Langley Speedway is a race track located in Hampton, Virginia, in the United States. In November 1970, it became the site of the last Grand National race before the series was renamed Winston Cup . The track is located in front of NASA's Langley wind tunnel on Armistead Avenue...

 in Hampton, seating 6,500, hosts stock car races every weekend during Spring, Summer, and early Fall.

The Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmill
Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmill
The Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmill was a women's professional golf tournament, played from 2003 through 2009 on the LPGA Tour. It took place annually in Virginia in May, with the final round traditionally played on Mother's Day since 2004...

, an event on the LPGA Tour, is contested annually on Mother's Day
Mother's Day
Mother's Day is a celebration honoring mothers and celebrating motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, yet most commonly in March, April, or May...

 weekend at Kingsmill Resort near Williamsburg.

The Norfolk Nighthawks
Norfolk Nighthawks
The Norfolk Nighthawks are a now-defunct charter member of the AF2. They played their home games at The Norfolk Scope Arena in Norfolk, Virginia...

 were a charter member of the Arena Football League's minor league, af2
Af2
AF2 was the name of the Arena Football League's developmental league; it was founded in 1999 and played its first season in 2000. Like parent AFL, the AF2 played using the same arena football rules and style of play. League seasons ran from April through July with the postseason and ArenaCup...

. They ceased operations in 2003 after their fourth season. Also, the Virginia Beach Mariners
Virginia Beach Mariners
The Virginia Beach Mariners were an American soccer club, who formerly played in the USL First Division of the United Soccer Leagues, the second division in the US Soccer hierarchy behind Major League Soccer...

 of soccer's USL First Division
USL First Division
The United Soccer Leagues First Division was a professional men's soccer league in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico....

 were active from 1994 until 2006.

Hampton Roads has hosted many professional wrestling events throughout the years. The Norfolk Scope has served as the site of these events, including Total Nonstop Action Wrestling
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling is a privately held professional wrestling promotion founded by Jeff Jarrett and Jerry Jarrett. The company broadcasts its events on television and the Internet fifty two weeks a year with over a million weekly viewers on its primary television program, Impact...

's Destination X and World Championship Wrestling
World Championship Wrestling
World Championship Wrestling, Inc. was an American professional wrestling promotion which existed from 1988 to 2001. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, it began as a regional promotion affiliated with the National Wrestling Alliance , named Jim Crockett Promotions until November 1988, when Ted Turner and...

's World War 3. Norfolk Scope was also the site of an infamous episode of WCW Monday Nitro
WCW Monday Nitro
WCW Monday Nitro was a weekly professional wrestling telecast produced by World Championship Wrestling, created by Ted Turner and Eric Bischoff. The show aired Monday nights on TNT, going head-to-head with the World Wrestling Federation's Monday Night Raw from September 4, 1995 to March 26, 2001...

, where several members of the World Wrestling Federation
World Wrestling Entertainment
World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. is an American publicly traded, privately controlled entertainment company dealing primarily in professional wrestling, with major revenue sources also coming from film, music, product licensing, and direct product sales...

 stable D-Generation X
D-Generation X
D-Generation X was a professional wrestling stable in WWE . The group originated in the midst of the WWF's "Attitude Era" from 1997 to 2000...

 literally drove a tank to the entryway of the Scope, thus "invading" the competition. The Hampton Coliseum has also hosted many events, including WWF/WWE
World Wrestling Entertainment
World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. is an American publicly traded, privately controlled entertainment company dealing primarily in professional wrestling, with major revenue sources also coming from film, music, product licensing, and direct product sales...

 RAW
WWE RAW
WWE Raw ) is a sports entertainment television program for WWE that currently airs on the USA Network in the United States...

, in April 1998, August 2005, May 2007, and January 2008, as well as SmackDown! and for ECW on Sci Fi on December 2006. In January 2008, WWE broadcast its first television show taped in high definition
High-definition video
High-definition video or HD video refers to any video system of higher resolution than standard-definition video, and most commonly involves display resolutions of 1,280×720 pixels or 1,920×1,080 pixels...

 from Hampton, VA.

The Hampton Roads area is also home to at least one professional wrestling promotion, Vanguard Championship Wrestling, which holds events throughout the region, and has a weekly television show on the local Fox affiliate.

In 1997, Norfolk presented a proposal to bring an expansion hockey team to Hampton Roads. But that initiative failed. The team was going to be called the Hampton Roads Rhinos
Hampton Roads Rhinos
The Hampton Roads Rhinos were a proposed National Hockey League expansion team in the late-1990s to play in Norfolk, Virginia. The franchise would be under the ownership of George Shinn and play in a proposed $142 million arena to be constructed in Downtown Norfolk...

.

In 2002, Norfolk presented a proposal to bring the Charlotte Hornets basketball team to southeastern Virginia, but New Orleans won the bid for the team, renaming it the New Orleans Hornets.

In 2004, Norfolk presented a proposal to bring the Montreal Expos
Montreal Expos
The Montreal Expos were a Major League Baseball team located in Montreal, Quebec from 1969 through 2004, holding the first MLB franchise awarded outside the United States. After the 2004 season, MLB moved the Expos to Washington, D.C. and renamed them the Nationals.Named after the Expo 67 World's...

 baseball team to the metro area, but Washington, D.C. won the bid for the team, renaming it the Washington Nationals
Washington Nationals
The Washington Nationals are a professional baseball team based in Washington, D.C. The Nationals are a member of the Eastern Division of the National League of Major League Baseball . The team moved into the newly built Nationals Park in 2008, after playing their first three seasons in RFK Stadium...

.

See also

  • List of tallest buildings in Norfolk, Virginia
  • 2003 Virginia earthquake
  • Colonial Williamsburg
    Colonial Williamsburg
    Colonial Williamsburg is the private foundation representing the historic district of the city of Williamsburg, Virginia, USA. The district includes buildings dating from 1699 to 1780 which made colonial Virginia's capital. The capital straddled the boundary of the original shires of Virginia —...

  • Historic Triangle
    Historic Triangle
    The Historic Triangle is located on the Virginia Peninsula of the United States and includes the colonial communities of Jamestown, Colonial Williamsburg, and Yorktown, with many restored attractions linked by the Colonial Parkway in James City and York counties and the City of...

  • Jamestown, Virginia
    Jamestown, Virginia
    Jamestown was a settlement in the Colony of Virginia. Established by the Virginia Company of London as "James Fort" on May 14, 1607 , it was the first permanent English settlement in what is now the United States, following several earlier failed attempts, including the Lost Colony of Roanoke...

  • List of famous people from Hampton Roads
  • List of Athletes from Hampton Roads
  • Lost counties, cities and towns of Virginia
  • South Hampton Roads
    South Hampton Roads
    South Hampton Roads is a region located in the extreme southeastern portion of Virginia in the United States, and is part of the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC MSA with a population about 1.7 million....

  • Virginia Peninsula
    Virginia Peninsula
    The Virginia Peninsula is a peninsula in southeast Virginia, USA, bounded by the York River, James River, Hampton Roads and Chesapeake Bay.Hampton Roads is the common name for the metropolitan area that surrounds the body of water of the same name...


External links