Sunday, September 4, 2016

What to do in Hampton

So, you are going to be attending the SAGA National Convention in Hampton, Virginia and you have some free time and are wondering what you can do in the area. Well here are a few suggestions.

Virginia Air Space Museum
600 Settlers Landing Road, Hampton, VA 23669
The visitor center for NASA Langley Research Center and Langley Air Force Base. This world-class facility features the Adventures in Flight and Space Quest galleries and more than 100 “hands-on” exhibits that tell the story of air and space exploration. See the Apollo 12 Command Module, a Mars meteorite and a three-billion year-old moon rock! Make a crater, travel to Mars and fly an airplane. Visit the technologically advanced 3D IMAX® Theater and see a film on a five-story screen with 16,000 watts of digital-sound.

Aberdeen Gardens Historic Museum
55 and 57 N. Mary Peake Boulevard, Hampton VA, 23666
Free Admission
The museum celebrates the history, heritage and future of historic Aberdeen Gardens. Built for and by African-Americans in 1935 as part of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal program, the neighborhood provided modern homes to African-American workers. The museum, dedicated in 2002, represents an original Aberdeen Gardens dwelling. The 440-acre subdivision consisted of 158 single family homes along with gardens for sustenance, a school, and a commercial center.  The Hampton Institute-initiated project was designed as a model other African-American communities could emulate.
The community, which is listed on the Virginia State Register of Historic Landmarks as well as the National Register of Historic Places, and the museum that celebrates its history are a testament to the great accomplishments possible when a group of people work together to achieve a common goal.
For tours, call for an appointment.

Casemate Museum at Fort Monroe
20 Bernard Road, Hampton, VA 23651
The largest stone fort ever built in the U.S., Fort Monroe is the home of the Casemate Museum, which chronicles the history of the fort and the Coast Artillery Corps. During the Civil War, more than 6,000 slaves escaped to Union-held Fort Monroe, earning it the nickname, “Freedom’s Fortress.” Highlights include the cell where Confederate President Jefferson Davis was imprisoned.  Additional Fort Monroe sites to note are Quarter’s Number One, Old Point Comfort Light, Chapel of the Centurion and Lt. Robert E. Lee's quarters.
Admission is free for self-guided tours. Guided tours by reservation and the cost is $3 per person.

Charles H. Taylor Cultural Arts Center
4205 Victoria Boulevard, Hampton, VA 23669

The Charles H. Taylor Arts Center is one of the most familiar sites in downtown Hampton. Built in 1925 the building served as Hampton's public library for over 60 years. After careful renovation and restoration, the building now presents changing exhibitions of the best of local, regional, and national artists, as well as classes for children and adults. The Arts Center is also the meeting space for the Hampton Arts League, the Tidewater Artists Association, and the Peninsula Glass Guild.

Gallery Hours:
Tuesday-Friday 10 AM - 6 PM;
Weekends 1-5 PM;
Closed Mondays.

Air Power Park
413 W. Mercury Boulevard, Hampton, VA 23666

Visit this outdoor park and see the air power that played a vital part in America’s early space exploration and aircraft testing. Admission is free to this 15 acre park that includes a children's playground. Many of the displays have connections with nearby Langley AFB and the NASA Langley Research Center. A time capsule was filled and sealed in 1965 and will be opened in 2065. Soar through aviation history! Learn about the vital role Hampton played in America's early space exploration and aircraft testing. Conduct your own self-guided tour of the park displays featuring jets, missiles, and rockets. Kids may enjoy the playground area. Launch your paddle craft or simply relax on the floating dock, enjoying the view of wildlife on Newmarket Creek.

Hampton Carousel
602 Settlers Landing Road
Open Seasonally: Tuesday - Sunday: 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Closed Monday.
Rider fees are $1.00 per ride. Tickets on sale at the Hampton History Museum and at the Hampton Carousel.
Housed in its own pavilion, Hampton's Carousel is a whirling tribute to the skill of its creators. It still boasts its original mirrors and oil paintings, as well as 48 intricately decorated horses.  Rising and falling to the strains of the original band organ, many of these carousel horses are so finely carved that the veins in their necks and legs are visible. With the popularity of antique carousels at its peak, Hampton's restored 1920 merry-go-round has drawn thousands of visitors to the city's downtown waterfront. One of only 170 antique carousels still in the United States, the Hampton Carousel is a rare and beautiful example of American folk art. Its prancing steeds and stately chariots were painstakingly carved from fine-grained hardwood and painted by German, Italian and Russian immigrant artisans.

Hampton History Museum
120 Old Hampton Lane, Hampton, VA 23669
Galleries represent Hampton history, including the city's early inhabitance by the Kecoughtan tribe and contributions of African-American residents. View ten permanent galleries that bridge the past with the present, spanning Hampton's settlement to the city's role as the founding site for the U.S. space program.
Experience four centuries of national history and view how Hampton evolved as “America’s Gateway” from Native American days to the Space Age. Ten galleries illustrate a narrative beginning with the Virginia Colony and continue through phases of Coastal Virginia life with surprises along the way. Meet Blackbeard the Pirate, experience the burning of Hampton during the Civil War and see how the Contraband decision was the first step toward freedom for millions of African-Americans. The museum also shares space and gift shop with the Hampton Visitor Center.
Museum Hours: Mon.–Sat., 10 am–5 pm and Sunday, 1–5 pm. Closed major holidays.
Admission: $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, active military, active NASA, AAA and children 4–12. Children under 4, free.

Free visitor parking is available in the parking garage located at 555 Settlers Landing Road and accessed from History Museum Way, across the street from the museum entrance.
Highway exit: I-64, Exit 267 to Settlers Landing Road.  Continue to History Museum Way.

St. John’s Church
100 West Queen’s Way, Hampton, VA 23669
Free Admission
Established in 1610, St. John's is the oldest continuous English-speaking parish in the U.S. The worship building has been at its present site on Queens Way since 1728. A recorded message introduces visitors to the church and its history, which includes a stained-glass window depicting the baptism of Pocahontas.

Peninsula Town Center
4410 E. Claiborne Square, Hampton VA 23666
Peninsula Town Center features over 70 stores and restaurants located within Hampton's Coliseum Central Business District. With top retailers such as Target and JC Penney, the center also features luxury apartments, specialty retail, two public parks, and Bryant & Stratton College.

Thanks to the This is Hampton Virginia website for the photos and information.