Hampton was settled in 1610 after Captain Christopher Newport and his men arrived and first called the area Point Comfort in 1607. Although they would found Jamestown upriver prior to Hampton, Hampton is considered to be the oldest continuously inhabited town in the USA due to Jamestown's abandonment in 1699.
Hampton is also notable in that it is considered to be the start of the slave trade in America, when a ship called the White Lion brought indentured servants (though basically slaves) from the modern day area of Angola in 1619.
After British forces captured the defense works of Point Comfort in the War of 1812, the US army established Fort Monroe on the site, which would later become important in the Civil War, and as a place of imprisonment for Jefferson Davis following the war in a section called the Casemate.
Because Fort Monroe was largely held by the Union, emancipated or contraband slaves formed a colony at the location and subsequently developed a center of learning called Hampton University after ignoble beginnings beneath a tree called Emancipation Oak.
Today, Hampton is known as being the home for Langley Air Force Base.
- Interstate 64 travels through downtown Hampton. It intersects Interstate 95 in Richmond and Interstate 81 near Staunton.
Inter-city buses arrive and depart at the 1 Hampton Transit Center, 2 W Pembroke Ave (at N King St).
- Megabus. Service from New York City, Philadelphia, Newark, DE, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Richmond. Fares from $1 and up.
- 1 Fort Monroe National Monument, 41 Bernard Rd, ☏ . A large star fort dating from the early 19th century, where African Americans gathered nearby for protection during the Civil War and Jefferson Davis did time in an area of the fort now designated as the Casemate Museum. Free.
- 2 Fort Wool (only accessible by private boat).
- Emancipation Oak, historic tree on Hampton University campus where escaped or freed African American slaves convened as a center of learning during the Civil War era that would eventually evolve into the present day institution of Hampton University.
- St John's Episcopal Church, 100 Queen Way W, said to be the oldest continuously operating English speaking church in the US.
- 3 Virginia Air and Space Center. It has many aircraft and exhibits, and an IMAX Theater.
- 4 Hampton History Museum.
- 5 The Charles H. Taylor Visual Arts Center.
- 6 Aberdeen Gardens Historic Museum.
Parks and Natural Areas
- 7 Air Power Park. Where US military aircraft are on display.
- 8 Bluebird Gap Farm.
- 9 Buckroe Beach.
- 10 Grandview Nature Preserve.
- County Grill & Smokehouse, 26 E Mercury Blvd, bbq with cornbread muffins and collard greens and things.
- Surf Rider Restaurant, 1 Marina Rd, here you can have crab cakes and soup or flounder while you watch the boats pass by.
- Skrimp Shack, 73 N Mallory St, shrimp baskets and po boys and similar.
- The Deadrise, 100 McNair Dr, situated adjacent to Fort Monroe with exquisite views of the bay, this restaurant also features seafood, including the popular she-crab soup.
Downtown Hampton - During the summer months every Saturday night they close off Queen Street for "Block Party." It has live bands, four bars, inflatables for children, beer trucks serving Bud, Bud Light, and Mich Ultra, and other interesting treats like Smirnoff Ice Slushies and Winearitas.
Rosie's Gaming Emporium, 1996 Power Plant Pkwy. Casino with a restaurant and bar. Daily 8AM-4AM. +1 804-557-5600.
- The Landing at Hampton Marina, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, 700 Settlers Landing Rd, ☏ . Accommodations on the waterfront.
- Embassy Suites Hampton, 1700 Coliseum Drive, ☏ . A full-service hotel with 295 spacious two-room suites.
- Marriott Courtyard Hampton, 1917 Coliseum Drive, ☏ . Walking distance of the new Hampton Roads Convention Center and Hampton Coliseum.
- Extended Stay America - Hampton - Coliseum Hotel, 1915 Commerce Dr, ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: noon. An extended stay hotel with well-equipped kitchens, complimentary breakfast and free wi-fi Internet. $68 (Feb 2023).
- Magnolia House Inn Bed and Breakfast, 232 S. Armistead Ave (I-64 ( Exit 267 )), ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. The historic Queen Anne Victorian has 3 guestrooms.
|Routes through Hampton|
|Richmond ← Newport News ←||W E||→ Norfolk → Chesapeake|
|END ←||N S||→ Newport News → Chesapeake|
|Richmond ← Newport News ←||W E||→ Norfolk → Virginia Beach|
|END ←||N S||→ Newport News → Tarboro|