As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Mid-Atlantic region, Hampton Roads manages to entertain millions of annual visitors who often return again and again. Some are drawn to the Historic Triangle and Colonial Williamsburg, while others prefer soaking up the sun and strolling along the boardwalk at Virginia Beach. Many plan an extended trip that not only combines the best of both worlds, but adds theme parks and cultural attractions to the agenda. Residents of this lively region of natural and handcrafted beauty have the advantage of world-class attractions and leisure activities just beyond their front doorstep.

The Chesapeake Bay, the Atlantic Ocean, a multitude of creeks, rivers, lakes, inlets and tributaries all add up to the same abundant natural resource — water. Hampton Roads provides excellent facilities for every type of water sport or water-related activity, from windsurfing, jet skiing, and water-skiing to power-boating, sailing, kayaking, canoeing, and fishing.
Anglers will be especially enthralled with some of the out-of-the-way freshwater lakes, quiet coves, and rushing streams. Equally attractive to many is the chance to enjoy the sea breeze from a fishing pier or trawl for the “big ones” on the high seas. Since Hampton Roads brings together the cold-water species from the north and the warm-water varieties from the south, the area is unsurpassed for sport fishing.

Mild winters, spectacular autumns, lovely springs, and seemingly endless summers characterize the southeastern section of Virginia. Golf enthusiasts can choose from a complete selection of lush courses, both public and private, that include several championship layouts. With hundreds of public tennis courts, well-groomed ballfields, basketball courts, and private sports clubs from which to choose, an active lifestyle is easy to maintain.

Those who want to cheer at spectator sporting events will find year-round collegiate competition as well as professional teams for baseball and hockey. The Hampton Roads Admirals professional hockey team attracts enthusiastic crowds to the Norfolk Scope Arena. The Norfolk Tides, an AAA farm team to the New York Mets since 1969, is another local favorite, playing at home in the 12,000-seat state-of-the-art stadium at Harbor Park.

Soccer fans on the Peninsula can catch outstanding collegiate action at Christopher Newport University and Hampton University. The Portsmouth Invitational Tournament continues the college basketball tradition, providing fans and scouts with the finest of talent from across the nation. Many of today’s and yesterday’s sports stars once played in this tournament, held the week following the NCAA Final Tour. At the East Coast Surfing Championship, distinguished as the oldest continually running surfing event in North America, draws crowds surpassing 10,000 who gather to watch the nation’s most talented surfers compete for a share of the purse.

Family activities and adventures are virtually unlimited in the Hampton Rhodes region, from world-famous theme parks to cultural attractions just for the younger set. Many of the programs and facilities within the cities and counties are nationally recognized for their excellence. Neighborhood leagues for children offer instruction and competition at all skill levels in a variety of sports, from soccer and football to basketball, baseball, hockey, softball and T-ball. Area parks feature elaborate playgrounds and unique diversions, while the major cities have developed outstanding museums and cultural centers for children of all ages.

The Virginia Living Museum in Newport News combines a zoo with nature study and science exploration. The Children’s Museum of Virginia provides mesmerizing hands-on, interactive exhibits with a focus on science, art, music and technology. One of the most popular destinations for children and adults is Nauticus, the National Maritime Center in Norfolk. Virtual reality experiences include a navigational sonar sub hunt, oil drilling, time travel, reef diving and flight simulators. More than 300 animals are waiting at the Virginia Zoological Park, also in Norfolk.

Cultural events and the performing arts are well represented throughout the area. Within minutes from any Hampton Roads address are symphonies, community theaters, opera, ballet, Broadway hits, live stage performances, musicals, concerts, world-class galleries, and museums. Active arts groups work tirelessly to arrange for national and international talent on Hampton Roads’ stages and to support emerging talent in community theater, workshops, choral groups, and other artistic endeavors.

Housing options in Hampton Roads are as varied as the cities and counties that share the regional name. Even the long-established cities of Portsmouth, Norfolk, Newport News, and Hampton provide a full complement of styles and settings, from quaint historic districts to modern subdivisions or luxurious planned communities. Residential growth is always followed closely with expanded commercial activity that ensures quick access to fine restaurants, services, neighborhood plazas, and sprawling shopping malls.

The more rural areas provide the acreage and undeveloped resources that are so well-suited to new construction. Among the diverse selection are farms, three-acre farmettes, horse properties, country estates, golf-course communities, waterfront properties, and villages that combine single and multi-family dwellings. Whether you prefer the contemporary appeal and clean lines of modern architecture or the charm of a three-story Victorian surrounded by cobblestone streets and mature shade trees, Hampton Roads can bring your dream home into reality.

Throughout Hampton Roads, you’ll find a willingness to share and lend a helping hand, a spirit of cooperation, and a sense of regional unity. Even the larger cities have managed to retain the friendliness associated with much smaller towns, where strangers are quick to smile or wave hello or extend a warm greeting. In spite of its place at the apex of progress, Hampton Roads retains the true Southern hospitality and gracious hospitality of its roots. Few locales in the nation can rival Hampton Roads for the fine balance of yesterday’s glory with the sure promise of a brilliant future.

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