a few months ago

The Best Places to Visit in Hampton Virginia

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 The Best Places to Visit in Hampton Virginia

It feels like a lifetime ago that I lived in Hampton, Va. It really was a lifetime ago I wasn’t married yet and I didn’t have children. This place sure has changed and I recently had the opportunity to visit and see the place I once called home through the lens of a parent, educator, and tourist. We were hosted by the town and they provided insight and lodging while we were there.

We stayed at the Candlewood suite it was budget and pet-friendly and it featured rooms with a kitchenette and free laundry. You can see how we save money when we travel in my travel with kids tips article.

The Historical City of Hampton, VA offered something for everyone. I have three kids age range 7-13 so finding locations that not only are fun but grow their mind is difficult on a budget. It is my duty as a parent to make sure our children are educated and experience different cultures and have a firm understanding of time and place. We want to make sure that our vacations seamlessly blend enrichment with entertainment.

We had three objectives in mind for our quick trip.

The first was fun! The second was to learn more about Black History and the impact African Americans had on our state and our country. The third was to learn the history of the space program and some military history for my husband. I would like to add my objective on every trip is finding the best cupcakes which I did. Thank you, Scratch Bakery for the cupcakes and the banana pudding was superior.  I would also like to provide an honorable mention to Grey Goose.

Hampton Virginia offered everything we were looking for in a family vacation.  We found  The Best Places to Visit in Hampton Virginia.

These are our the kids top picks for fun:

  1. Blue Gap Farm– Admission was free there were a large variety of animals, flowers and a place to play. I enjoyed the gardens and the kids loved the animals. My husband enjoyed sitting and just watching the kids play on the playground.
  2.  Hampton Carousel– It was an old fashion carousel ride and for just $1 each child it was worth the investment. There are only 70 antique carousels remaining in the United States and this one evokes the beauty of American Craftmanship. It is restored by the organ is original from 1920.
  3. Buckroe Beach– It wasn’t beached weather for our trip but this beach features everything a family could want. In the summer they have lifeguards and live concerts and they even have films on Tuesday evening. This free option will save you money and time I would bypass Virginia Beach.

These are our top picks for education with fun. These are also the places we learned about Black, Space, and State History.

  1. Virginia Air& Space Center- Nasa Langley Visitor Center – I think my children could have stayed here for days. The kids and I learned so much about our history into space. The museum provided hands-on learning where it allowed us to conduct experiments and become not only scientists but pilots. We learned about how we got into space and the people behind the journey. It was fantastic. I especially liked learning about the role the Tuskegee Airmen played in the war and seeing one of the planes they were responsible for defending. We were also treated to a movie in their Imax theater. The movie was also a part of our vacation goal since it talked about the process of proving a scientific theory while traveling on a journey back in time to support evolution.
  2. Fort Monroe–  This free attraction was my husband’s favorite since it was the largest stone fort ever built. The fort was constructed in 1834 and became the escape for enslaved people. The history buff in you will like seeing the jail cell of Jefferson Davis who was imprisoned there during the civil war. We took a long time reading and viewing all the information in the Casemate Museum. It was pretty fascinating to see and to think this was still a working base until 2011 when it was finally decommissioned made it a part of our recent history. The base currently houses civilian and retired military it is a neat place to live and the city hopes to continue to revitalize it.
  3.  Hampton University – The Emancipation Oak is located on site which boosts the first reading in the south of the Proclamation of Independence. The University is said to be founded by the educated newly freed slaves who were housed at Fort Monroe after the civil war. The Museum at the University is the oldest African American Museum in America. I spent hours in there enjoying the art. There wasn’t a fee to partake in the museum so the next time I am in town I will go back to continue to soak up the experience. The kids went on a tour of the campus after walking through the museum. They wanted to see the beautiful campus. I was very impressed with the diverse degrees that were offered at Hampton University and it is now a school we will consider depending on what major our children decide upon.
  4. Hampton History Museum- The history museum was actually very interesting I was a little put off when I first walked in all to be pleasantly surprised by the amount of information. The museum gave us an exceptional glimpse into the oldest English speaking settlement in the United States. We were able to see not only the history of Hampton from the Native America lens but the lens of English settlers and African American. The kids enjoyed the interactive musical instruments. The museum made sense to visit since it housed the visitor center and it was close to the downtown. I wouldn’t suggest it for little kids because it requires a lot of reading but my school age children walked out with new found knowledge.

 

The foodie scene:

I will say that I wish we ate out more but we were so busy exploring that we didn’t have the time we wanted to eat. This is what we enjoyed:

Mango Mangeaux- It had a great breakfast. I had fish, eggs, and grits and my son had a waffle with chicken all with their famous preserves! I loved them so much I brought home a large jar. The kid’s meals were tiny so go ahead and order an adult meal it is a vacation!

Goody’s Deli and Pub– They had a great Reuben and one of the best build your own sandwich options. If you are looking for something special or unique to Hampton I would skip the pub. If you love a great sandwich, hot dog, or Reuben stop in.

Old Hampton Seafood Kitchen– The owner is as salty as the food. It was a perfect place if you like seafood. The crab cakes and fish and chips were delicious. It was also a quick walk from the Air and Space Museum.

Pho 97

We have a family tradition of trying a unique food every trip we go on this trip it was Vietnamese food. The food and service were exceptional. I am now a huge fan.

 

I was pleasantly surprised to find that most of the activities in Hampton, Virginia were free. We often think that the more we spend the more we receive that isn’t true.

I will never just drive by Hampton again on my way to another Virginia location I will include it on my itinerary. I would even consider making it my hub since they offer free beaches. They are also just 34 miles from Williamsburg and 11 miles from Norfolk and if you like crowded beaches you can get to Virginia Beach. There are plenty of places to select from to eat. You can learn about our nation’s history and you can have fun!

 

 

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Dana Rodriguez - a few months ago Reply

This looks like a great place to visit. So many things to do and the food looks amazing!

Ali - a couple of months ago Reply

Love posts as the above. We travel a lot and are always looking for new and exciting places to visit.

Brix - a couple of months ago Reply

I love all kinds of museums so my favorite off this list would most definitely be the Hampton History Museum.

Stafford - a couple of months ago Reply

We love finding new food places when we travel. Love that you even put a Vietnamese restaurant on there!

Stafford - a couple of months ago Reply

My kids would love the Langley Center and the Museum for sure.

Dana Rodriguez - last month Reply

Great list of fun ideas and great places to eat!

amanda cronin - last month Reply

wow need to see some of these places!!!!

Tracey Lapham - last month Reply

I haven’t been to the States since I was a kid, but this looks like a good place to start

KATHRYN TEEL - last month Reply

This seems like a really family friendly affordable place to visit I’ll have to add it to my list especially for the carousel ride my grandkids love those things!

KATHRYN TEEL - last month Reply

This seems like an family friendly and affordable place to visit I’ll have to add it to my list especially for the carousel ride my grandkids love that stuff!

Amy Judkins - last month Reply

Oh Boy!! I live right in Virginia and have never been to Hampton. This is showing many things I will have to put on my list of things to do!

Yalanda Woods - last month Reply

Those meals look amazing. Love to eat

Leona Olson - last month Reply

What a wonderful family trip. When our kids were young we traveled a saw a lot of museums.

Tammie Trinh - last month Reply

Nice! I would love to visit there one day.

June S. - last month Reply

(The Best Places to Visit in Hampton Virginia) I have not visited the Virginia area since the 1970’s. I do remember really liking the area that we were in and the great scenery as well. (so beautiful)

Linda Linneman - last month Reply

This sounds like so much fun. I have driven through this area but never visited. What I saw was beautiful. I love seeing historical places and I enjoy sharing this with my family. Thank you so much for sharing

Linda Linneman - last month Reply

This sounds like so much fun. So much to see and do. It sounds like there is some good eating there also. Thank you so much for sharing

Donna L Holder - last month Reply

WOW! What a town. Iam so happy for you. Enjoy it ?

Kate bobb - last month Reply

Wow that food looks good

Linda Linneman - last month Reply

The older I get the more I enjoy history. There is so much to learn. I love sharing this with my family. Thank you for sharing this great vacation place

Laurie Strebe - last month Reply

Intending to Visit VA someday. I had no idea of all the things to do and wow this makes me want to visit sooner then later! Thanks for all the info!!

Gloria Walshver - last month Reply

What a quaint little place this is with many great ideas to enjoy yourself.

Gloria Walshver - last month Reply

I enjoy small towns without the hustle and bustle.

Casey Garvey - 4 weeks ago Reply

This looks like a great place to visit! I am definitley all about the food options when I travel!

Abigail Schuette - 3 weeks ago Reply

Wow I didn’t know that their are only 70 antique carousels in the United States that is so cool! I really do appreciate the Beauty of it as well! My three year old definitely would love the petting farm he loves animals he doesn’t quite understand them as he was just now yelling at our chiuahua Betsey to fix his YouTube on his tablet lol but he sure does love them he loves to pet people’s dogs as well too when their walking it would be so fun and such a dream of mine to take my little fam on a vacation especially to VA thank you for sort of taking us with you in your article at least we made it there in spirit!

Abigail Schuette - 3 weeks ago Reply

Now I seriously want to go to VA! I live here in California and I actually have been wanting to move. I think the hustle and bustle of the large City is too much for me :/ I was born and hadnmy children here but I’m ready to move I always dream about places like this VA it sounds so phenomenal!

Casey Garvey - 3 weeks ago Reply

I love to take day trips and just go exploring. Go find something new and exciting.

Casey Garvey - 3 weeks ago Reply

I like to visit museums to learn about a towns history. I like to try small food places too.

Casey Garvey - 3 weeks ago Reply

I cant wait to go on our vacation this year! My husband and I have been together for 4 years and its our first!

Dana Rodriguez - 3 weeks ago Reply

I know I would really enjoy the beach!

Trisha McKee - 3 weeks ago Reply

My daughter and I are always looking for places to go. This is not that far from us. It looks like a great place for a vacation.

Casey Garvey - 3 weeks ago Reply

I love to check out the free attractions offered in an area. Fort Monroe looks like an awesome place to visit!

Marci - a couple of days ago Reply

This looks like a fun place to visit

Alicia Hewitt - yesterday Reply

Virginia is close to me. I’ll have to vacation there. Looks like a lot of fun!

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