Williamsburg and Hampton Roads Travel Guide
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Plan Your Williamsburg and Hampton Roads Vacation

Perhaps no other region in Virginia contains more variety and options for the traveler than its southeastern coastline. Colonial Williamsburg has evoked the days of America's forefathers since its restoration began during the 1920s. Jamestown and Yorktown make the area one of the most historically significant in the United States. When it's time for pure recreation, you can head to theme parks such as Busch Gardens Williamsburg and resort areas, including Virginia Beach.

At the end of the Virginia peninsula is the enormous Hampton Roads harbor, where the James, Elizabeth, and Nansemond Rivers flow together into the Chesapeake Bay and then eastward into the Atlantic Ocean. Hampton Roads has also played a crucial role in the discovery and settlement of the nation, its struggle for independence, and the conflict that nearly dissolved the Union.

This entire area, known as the Tidewater, is land where water in rivers and streams is affected by tides. The cities in southeast Virginia take on different roles depending on their proximity to the Chesapeake Bay and the rivers that empty into it. Hampton contains the world's largest naval base, and enormous shipbuilding yards are in Norfolk and Newport News. The area is also committed to recreation and tourism: there are many resort hotels, a bustling beachfront, and boardwalk attractions. Virginia Beach, which in the 1950s claimed to have the world's longest public beach, has a showy boardwalk.

Finally, there’s Virginia’s Eastern Shore, which offers funky waterside hamlets tucked away against the Chesapeake and Atlantic shorelines on either side of the highway. The most celebrated of these is Chincoteague, dominating an island of the same name and famous for its wild ponies.


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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Colonial Williamsburg Escape to the 18th century in the world's largest living-history museum. Virginia's capital from 1699 to 1780 and Britain's largest, wealthiest New World outpost was restored so "That the future may learn from the past."
  2. Celebrate early American history Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. Washington's momentous 1781 Revolutionary War victory at Yorktown secured the country's independence.
  3. Water, water, everywhere! From the James River and Chesapeake Bay to the Atlantic Ocean, get in or on the waters of Tidewater Virginia. Surf the waves, steam past the world's largest naval station, sail on a schooner, or sup on a ship.
  4. Immerse yourself in nautical and military history Don't miss the Mariners' Museum, the MacArthur Memorial, the Virginia Air and Space Center, and the world's largest naval base at Norfolk Naval Station.
  5. Visit plantations and historic homes Visit America's oldest plantations and historic homes, including Shirley Plantation, chartered in 1613 and continuously occupied by 11 generations; and Berkeley Plantation, home to presidents, and claiming to have celebrated the first Thanksgiving.

When To Go

When to Go

Fall and spring are the most pleasant times to go to the Historic Triangle. Winters can be chilly and summers in Virginia are damp and hot.

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