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Fun things to do in Hampton Roads

If you’re looking for something fun to do in Hampton Roads, you never have far to go; there are loads of fun family attractions all over the area.


1. Go to the Oceanfront, in the summer there are always things to see and do: there are free concerts all along the boardwalk as well as festivals and events all summer long. For this Summer’s schedule, click here.

The Outer Banks

2. Chicks, Bubbas and Dockside restaurants by the Lesner bridge are all very good; they’re very popular with the locals at weekends and you get a great view of the sun setting.

3. Take the Elizabeth River Ferry that travels between Norfolk and Portsmouth. Once there you can walk through the pretty ‘Olde Towne’ and visit the multitude of shops and eateries.

4. Drive to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. The Cape Hatteras waterfront is known for its natural beauty and you can visit Jockey’s Ridge where the Wright brothers took their first flight.

5. Take surfing lessons at the Oceanfront beaches.

6. Rent a four person cycle buggy on the boardwalk at the Oceanfront.

7. Take a Kayak into the inlets and watch the dolphins or visit the Dismal Swamp.

8. Take a dolphin watch boat trip in the ocean.

9. Go to Busch Gardens, a popular amusement park in Williamsburg. Discounted tickets are available from ITT Offices for military families and don’t forget to check out their special offers.

The rollercoaster at Busch Gardens

10. Go to Ocean Breeze Waterpark, next to the Virginia Beach Aquarium.

11. Hike or bike through First Landing State Park. There are marked trails and picnic areas.

12. Tour the Battleship Wisconsin at Nauticus in downtown Norfolk. Discounted tickets available for military families from ITT Offices.

ODU Basketball

13. Visit the old lighthouse at Cape Henry, site of the British landing in the New World in 1607.

14. Go watch a basketball or football game at the ODU stadium.

15. Go to Fort Story to see the lighthouses and Revolutionary war memorial.

16. Visit Adam Thoroughgood House. The house is one of the oldest houses from early Colonial period and provides insight into the of the kind of  lifestyle lived by the gentry in Princess Anne County.

17. Go to Sandbridge Island; you can drive from the oceanfront all the way down the coastal road. On a clear day it’s a beautiful drive and the Sandbridge Island Restaurant and raw bar serves amazing pizza!

18. Have a day out at Virginia Beach Aquarium. You can stroke the stingrays, tickle a crab and see great educational exhibits about the Chesapeake Bay. There’s also an IMAX cinema.

19. Chrysler Museum has many interesting exhibits and is well worth a visit – a good one to save for a rainy day!

20. Nauticus – good ‘sea’ museum, with some live exhibits, plus they do boat trips out to see the ‘Atlantic Fleet’ moored at the Naval Station.

21. Hermitage Museum – very small but interesting location and history.

22. MacArthur Mall (for ladies who shop), with a multiplex cinema & the MacArthur Museum opposite (for men who don’t)

23. The Botanical Gardens; in the holiday season the lights are amazing. Become a member and enjoy the gardens all year round.

24. Drive through/stay on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, the Eastern Shore and Cape Charles.

25. Go to the historic centre of Williamsburg or for shopping try the outlet stores, Premium Outlets, The Williamsburg Outlet Mall or the Williamsburg Pottery for a day.

26. Visit Jamestown, a museum of 17th Century life, chronicling the first 100 years of the Virginia Colony.

27. Make a trip to Yorktown; must see landmarks are George Washington’s HQ and the Colonial National Historical Park.

28. Go to Lee Hall Mansion, an Italianate mansion from the mid Victorian period. The mansion has been turned into a museum with authentically furnished rooms.

29. The quaint river-port town of Smithfield makes for an interesting day trip. The town is rich in history and is famous for its hams and peanuts!

30. Visit the civil war museums at Fort Monroe and see the old fort. The town is also home to the landmark American Theater and numerous Irish pubs.

31. Pick Your Own – Virginia Beach has strong rural roots.  Today many farmers still offer pick your own grapes, strawberries, blueberries. The Pungo Strawberry Festival during Memorial Day is a major event.

32. Mount Trashmore – If you’ve had all the sand you can stand, you might like Mt. Trashmore for a change.  Mount Trashmore is built from a landfill of garbage and dirt. Don’t let that put you off – it’s a perfect place for flying a kite.  There are picnic shelters, walking trails, 2 lakes for fishing, a skateboard park fit for inline skaters and BMX bikes as well as skateboards.  Kids Cove is a fort and playground, handicapped accessible.

33. Miniature Golf – There are many miniature golf spots at the Beach.  One popular spot is Jungle Golf that has both golf and a game room filled with pool tables, pinball, and video games. The other popular mini golf is Pirate’s Paradise Miniature Golf which offers an 18-hole mini golf experience with a pirate theme plus a snack bar with hotdogs and funnel cakes.

34. Segway Tours – Tour First Landing State Park on a Segway PT.

35. Motor World – In addition to 250 go-karts, you’ll find a climbing wall, Skycoaster, bumper boats, mini-golf, kiddie rides, arcade games, and paintball.

To get information about local events, for example, the wine festivals, sand soccer event, Neptune festival, art shows etc each city has their own website.

Click here to find out about events in Virginia Beach

Click here to find out events in Norfolk