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Hampton VA is the oldest continuous English-speaking settlement in America–and continues as a vibrant diverse community of rare coastal beauty. In Downtown Hampton, you’ll experience award-winning restaurants, unique shops, the most live music venues in Hampton Roads, myriad festivals celebrating of Hampton’s history and culture, and a waterfront district where citizens and visitors alike enjoy pleasant days and exciting nights.

At the Hampton Visitor Center, you’ll be guided through the history and wealth of attractions that Downtown Hampton offers.

A Sea to Star Ticket will introduce you to the Virginia Air & Space Center and its 3D IMAX Theater, the Miss Hampton II Harbor Cruise, the Hampton History Museum, and the vintage Hampton Carousel, one of only a few antique merry-go-rounds working in the U.S.

In the center of Downtown, witness the beauty of St. John’s Episcopal Church, built in 1728.  Today, St. John’s is the only surviving original Colonial structure in Downtown Hampton.  When you visit, be sure to tour the cemetery and find the mysterious gravestone dated November 31.

A short walk across the Booker T. Washington Bridge will lead you to the spot where Mary Peake taught her first African American students under the shade of a tree in 1861.

The Emancipation Oak is the spiritual heart of Hampton University, where the University Museum boasts more than 12,000 multi-cultural artifacts and global works of art.

The Hampton Marina Hotel offers premier waterfront accommodations and amenities. Nearby, the Magnolia House Inn Bed & Breakfast, an exceptional Queen Anne Victorian, is a fabulous choice for a unique B&B experience.

Downtown Hampton photo

The Hampton River waterfront offers a scenic half-mile walking trail, boat ramps and floating docks allow easy access for boaters and kayakers alike. Check with the folks at the Hampton Maritime Center to book a spot on the Miss Hampton II for a tour of beautiful Hampton Roads Harbor, including the Norfolk Naval Base, the world’s largest naval base.  Located on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and the Chesapeake Bay, Hampton is an ideal stopping point with five marinas that will accommodate watercraft ranging from small motorboats to large sailboats and luxury motor yachts.

Family-friendly events are held year-round. On Saturday nights every May through August, the downtown Block Party features local and regional musical acts performing under the stars. After sunset, most of Downtown’s enchanting restaurants present live entertainment Wednesdays through Saturdays. For unique experiences at lunch, dinner, or a night of fun, visit Bull Island Brewing Company, the oldest waterfront Brewery in Hampton, and Vanguard Brewpub and Distillery for craft beers and craft spirits. v

Visit DowntownHampton.com for more detailed information on events, restaurants, stores, and their historic downtown.