Take a stroll along the cobblestone streets and brick sidewalks of the recently renovated downtown waterfront area of Hampton where you’ll find shops, restaurants, pubs, galleries, a restored antique carousel, and a waterfront park. Right across from the 1920’s carousel is the Virginia Air and Space Center (complete with an IMAX theater) where visitors come to learn about the history and phenomena of aviation and space exploration. The Virginia Air and Space Center found Hampton, VA to be the perfect home due to the existing NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton. The NASA Langley Research Center was established as the United States' first civilian aeronautics laboratory in 1917, and was the home of the very first astronauts, the Mercury 7. The research performed here is imperative in solving the tough problems of air, space, and earth science.
The Langley Air Force base also plays a major role in the life and community of Hampton, VA. The base hosts an open house and free airshow each year in May where spectators are invited onto the base to learn the history and role of the various military aircraft. You can hop aboard some of the planes first hand as well as see them in action with their thrilling action packed performances.
One of the areas main multi-use entertainment venues is the Hampton Coliseum which seats over 13,000 people. The Coliseum hosts a wide array of events through the year including concerts, plays, monster truck races, and sporting events such as basketball, hockey, and World Wide Wrestling. For the outdoor enthusiast there are several golf courses and nature parks to enjoy including the Woodlands Golf Course and the Gosnold’s Hope Park which features picnic areas, campgrounds and nature trails.
Bukroe Beach is popular vacation spot and a great place to unwind. You can go for a swim to cool off on a hot summer day, cast your fishing line off of the newly built fishing pier, or enjoy reading a book with the sound of the waves crashing in the background. The beach is lined with food and ice cream vendors and has a playground along with kayak and pedal boat rentals in season. During the summer you will find an ongoing list of performances being held at the Bukroe Beach pavilion so keep on the lookout for what’s coming up.