Hampton Roads, located on the Virginia Peninsula in the Hampton Roads region of southeastern Virginia is a popular tourist destination as well as the spot for the historic battle of Hampton Roads, an important point in American and international naval history. While in Hampton Roads, take time to visit the many area museums including the Virginia Air & Space Center, home of the Hampton Roads History Center.
On your visit to the Hampton Roads History Center, read about the battle of Hampton Roads. This battle was an inconclusive one that began on March 8, 1862, involving the Confederate ironclad Virginia (a seagoing vessel) that steamed into Hampton Roads where she sank Cumberland (another ship) and ran Congress aground. On March 9, the Union ironclad Monitor arrived to do battle with the Virginia, initiating the first engagement of ironclads in history, making this battle of Hampton Roads a notable one in naval history. The two ships fought each other to a standstill, but the Virginia ironclad eventually retired leaving the battle of Hampton Roads an undecided one. Although this battle in Hampton Roads Virginia was inconclusive, it became significant in naval history because prior to then, nearly all warships were made primarily of wood. After the battle at Hampton Roads, the design of ships and naval warfare changed dramatically, and nations around the world began converting to iron ships. The Hampton Roads History Center notes this as a remarkable facet of Hampton Roads Virginia history, and it‘s a wonderful tale that fascinates visitors even today.
Visitors to Hampton Roads Virginia, perhaps taken with this important city’s role in our nation’s history, will be interested in other Hampton Roads events and will want to stay in Hampton Roads long enough to enjoy some of the city‘s great seasonal events. During the month of May, try the Romance on the River Wine and Jazz Festival in Hampton Roads, this annual festival is located in Mill Point Park overlooking the Hampton River in Downtown Hampton Roads Virginia. Twelve Virginia Wineries will provide tastings and food is provided by local eateries and entertainment by local jazz musicians. Vendors will be available to sell hand-painted wineglasses and handmade jewelry. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the gate.
Other Hampton Roads events you shouldn’t miss include the Hampton Jazz Festival at the Hampton Coliseum where the best touring jazz and blues musicians come to play, and the Hampton Cup Regatta in August, where nine classes of hydroplane boats race along the waterway in a jovial summertime atmosphere. Admission to the Regatta is free.
Once you’ve scheduled your Hampton Roads events and finished your tour of the Hampton Roads History Center, a Hampton Roads restaurant will be next on the list. Harpoon Larry’s Oyster bar is a Hampton Roads restaurant favorite, so don’t miss out on all the fresh seafood. Harpoon Larry's Oyster Bar was named by Coastal Living Magazine as, "One of the best 23 seafood dives in the USA.” For a palette more turf oriented, the Hampton Roads restaurant County Grill 7 Smokehouse is also a local and tourist favorite. They offer great barbecue and old fashioned Southern sides, so come hungry.
No matter what you choose to do in Hampton Roads, whether you start out at the Hampton Roads History Center or end up in a Hampton Roads restaurant, you’re bound to have a great time in this city by the sea.