From the earliest settlers to the space explorers,
museums tell a continuous story of the importance of our region to history.
1. Air Power Park.
Vintage military jets, missiles, rockets and a children's playground. Sunrise-sunset daily. Free. 413 W. Mercury Blvd., Hampton. 727-1163. hampton.va.us/parks/parks_and
Artifact museum showcases the findings of the internationally known dig at historic James Fort. 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily. Adults $10, children (15 and under) free, includes admission to
and other parts of Colonial National Historical Park. Western end of Colonial Parkway,
. 229-1733. historicjamestowne.org
3. Casemate Museum.
The story of America's largest and most powerful stone fort, including its colonial precursors and the pivotal Civil War roles played by Robert E. Lee,
. 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily; closed major holidays. Free. 20 Bernard Road,
4. Chippokes Plantation/Farm and Forestry Museum.
Antique farm and forestry equipment, rural wares and antebellum plantation set on a working farm. Park open daily. 294-3625. Museum open April-October, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday and Wednesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. 294-3439. Route 634 off Route 10, Surry.
World's largest living history museum explores the history of Virginia's 18th-century capital through 301 acres of original and reconstructed Colonial buildings, gardens, period crafts, interpretive programs and costumed interpreters. Open daily. Tickets to buildings start at $36 adults, $18 children (6-17). Visitor Center on Route 132Y, off Colonial Parkway, Williamsburg. 229-1000. history.org
Bacon's Rebellion, Colonial botanist John Clayton and the county's role in the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and Civil War. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Free. Botetourt Building, 6539 Main St., Gloucester Court House. 804-693-1234.
7. Gwynn's Island Museum.
Period artifacts and documents showcase the island's long maritime history. Route 633, Gwynn's Island,
. 1-5 p.m. Friday-Sunday April-October. Free. 804-725-7949. gwynnsislandmuseum.org
8. Hampton History Museum.
Story of America's oldest continuous
-speaking settlement from
to the first astronauts. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Adults $5; seniors, active military, active
, children (4-12) $4. 120 Old Hampton Lane, Hampton. 727-1610. hampton.va.us/history_museum
9. Hampton Roads Naval Museum.
Explores landmark naval history of Hampton Roads from the Revolution through Gulf wars. Includes battleship USS
. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 12-5 p.m. Sunday. Free. Located on the second floor of Nauticus, The National Maritime Center, 1 Waterside Drive, Norfolk. 322-2987.
1913 bank building houses a country-store exhibit, Native American artifacts, a War Memorial Gallery and a video of the world's largest ham biscuit. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Free. 103 Main St.,
Tells the story of America's first permanent English settlement through indoor exhibits and living history recreations of early 1600s fort, Powhatan Indian village and three sailing ships. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily (with extended summer hours). Adults $14, children (6-12) $6.50. Annual passes and combination tickets available. Route 31 South near the Colonial Parkway, James City County. 253-4838.
12. Lightship Portsmouth Museum.
1915 lightship features re-created crew's quarters fitted out with artifacts, uniforms, photographs and ship models. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday (with extended summer hours). Adults $3, children (2-17) $1, includes Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum. Military and senior discounts. Water and London streets, Portsmouth. 393-8591. portsnavalmuseums.com
13. MacArthur Memorial.
Memorabilia, archives and film recount career of
. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Free (donations accepted). City Hall Avenue and Bank Street, Norfolk. 441-2965.
Virginia's oldest county museum displays Native American artifacts; military items; toys; personal effects and maritime, agricultural and industrial tools related to Middlesex history. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday and 12-3 p.m. Saturday. Other times by appointment. Free (donations accepted). 777 General Puller Highway (Route 17 business),
. 804-758-3663. middlesexmuseum.com
15. Norfolk History Museum at the Willoughby-Baylor House.
1794 house provides setting for exploration of Norfolk's colorful naval and maritime past and its legacy in furniture and silver. Open Wednesday-Sunday for scheduled guided tours. Free. 601 E. Freemason St., Norfolk. 441-1526. chrysler.org/WB_house.asp
16. Old Coast Guard Station.
Artifacts and audiovisual presentations tell the stories of the Life-Saving Service, Virginia shipwrecks and the
Battle of the Atlantic inside historic 1903 Life-Saving/Coast Guard station. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 12-5 p.m. Sunday. Adults $4, senior and military $3, children (6-18) $2. 24th Street and Boardwalk, Virginia Beach. 422-1587. oldcoastguardstation.com
17. Presidents Park.
Monumental outdoor busts trace the lives of America's presidents and the defining moments of the country. Call or check website for hours. Adults $11.75, children (6-12) $8. 211 Water Country Parkway, Williamsburg. 800-588-4327. presidentspark.org
18. Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum.
Ship models, uniforms, military artifacts and exhibits portray life in 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century Portsmouth and America's first and oldest naval shipyard. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Adults $3, children (2-17) $1, includes Lightship Portsmouth Museum. Military and senior discounts. 2 High St., Portsmouth. 393-8591. portsnavalmuseums.com
World-class collection of maritime artifacts, ship models, decorative arts and maritime paintings. Includes the famous Civil War gun turret of the
. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 12-5 p.m. Sunday. Adults, youth 13-17 $12;
, seniors, military, students $11; children 6-12 $7. 100 Museum Drive,
. 596-2222. marinersmuseum.org
Nearly 100 historic vehicles ranging from gun trucks and railroad cars to armored HUMVEES detail Army transportation from 1700s to present. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. Free. Besson Hall, 300 Washington Blvd.,
, Newport News. 878-1115.
21. Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.
Honors state's contributions to sports history. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday (with extended summer hours). Adults $7; military, seniors, AAA, CAA $6; children under 2 free. 206 High St., Portsmouth. 393-8031. vshfm.com
22. Virginia War Museum.
American military history unfolds through one of the nation's largest collections of military artifacts, uniforms, weapons and documents. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Adults $6, seniors and active duty military $5, children (7-18) $4, AAA discounts. 9285 Warwick Blvd., Newport News. 247-8523. warmuseum.org
23. Watermen's Museum.
Vintage artifacts, photographs and models recount the story of Virginia's working watermen. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday (weekends only Thanksgiving-March 31). Adults $5, military and seniors $4, students (K-12) $2. 309 Water St., Yorktown. 887-2641. watermens.org
Self-guided tours explore historic town's past through Native American tools and objects from the Colonial, Revolutionary and Civil War periods to 1900s. 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 1-3:30 p.m. Sunday. Free. Lower level of York Hall, 301 Main St., Yorktown. Plus seasonal satellite site, Museum on Main, at 408 Main St. 890-3508. yorkcounty.gov/ychm
Indoor exhibits explore the Revolutionary War and the
while living history displays recreate a Continental Army encampment and 1780s Tidewater farm. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily (with extended summer hours). Adults $9.50, children (6-12) $5.25. Annual passes and combination tickets available. Route 1020 near the Colonial Parkway, York County. 887-1776. historyisfun.org/yorktown/yorktown.cfm
26. Aberdeen Gardens Historic Museum.
Restored 1930s home features original furnishings and displays depicting life in a historic New Deal housing project built by blacks for black residents. Open by appointment. 57 N. Mary Peake Blvd., Hampton. 243-3452 hfag.org/museum.html
27. Bacon's Castle.
Built in 1665, the oldest documented brick house in English North America was the site of
's 1676 rebellion against English rule. April 1-October 31: 12-5 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 12-4 p.m. Sunday (weekends only in March and November). Also open by appointment. Adults $8, seniors $6, AAA $7, children (6-17) $5. 465 Bacon's Castle Trail, off Highway 10, Surry. 357-5976.
28. Boykin's Tavern.
Named after Maj. Francis Boykin, who served with
during the Revolution, this historic 1762 courthouse tavern was the long-time center of
County life. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday (closed in winter). Free. 17130 Monument Circle, Isle of Wight. 365-9771.
29. The Civil War at Endview.
18th-century house used as a Confederate hospital during the 1862 Siege of the Peninsula provides the backdrop for living history interpretations of life during the Civil War. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday and Wednesday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Adults $6, seniors $5, children (7-18) $4. 362 Yorktown Road, Newport News. 887-1862. endview.org
30. Fort Boykin Historic Park.
Originally constructed in 1623 and expanded during the Civil War, this seven-pointed earthwork includes a walking history and garden tour and picnic area. 8 a.m.-dusk daily. 7410 Fort Boykin Trail, Isle of Wight. 357-0115. smithfield-virginia.com/attractions.html
31. Historic Jamestowne.
Site of the New World's first permanent English-speaking settlement includes old
Church, National Park Service Visitor Center and archaeological museum. Features exhibits, films, glass blowing and ongoing archaeological excavations as well as walking and driving tours. 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily. Adults $10, children 15 and under free (includes admission to Colonial National Historical Park). Western end of Colonial Parkway, James City County. 229-1733. historicjamestowne.org
32. Hunter House Victorian Museum.
Changing interpretive exhibits and tours explore the Victorian period in this landmark 1894 structure. Tours 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 12:30-3:30 p.m. Sunday (April-December). Adults $5, seniors $4, children (6-18) $1. 240 W. Freemason St., Norfolk. 623-9814.
33. James River Plantations.
Colonial-period plantation houses, plus other structures of note. 804-829-2480. jamesriverplantations.org. Including:
•Shirley. The oldest continuous family-owned business and farm in North America dates to 1638. The 1738 mansion includes distinctive flying staircase, numerous original furnishings and period outbuildings as well as 19th-century slave quarters. 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily. Adults $11, seniors $10, youth (6-18) $7.50. 501 Shirley Plantation Road (off Route 5),
. 804-829-5121, 800-232-1613. shirleyplantation.com
. Historic 1726 mansion was the birthplace of
, signer of the Declaration of Independence, and
, 9th U.S. president. Colonists celebrated the first official Thanksgiving here in 1619. 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily. Adults $11, youth (13-16) $7.50, children (6-12) $6; 10% discount: AAA members, military, seniors. Route 5 and 12602 Harrison Landing Road,
County. 804-829-6018, 888-466-6018. berkeleyplantation.com
•Sherwood Forest. Home of
, Sherwood Forest is the longest frame dwelling in America and is still owned by Tyler's descendants. Historic gardens date to mid-1800s. Grounds open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. $10. House tours by appointment, $35. 14501 John Tyler Memorial Highway (Route 5). 804-829-5377. sherwoodforest.org
•Westover. This premier American example of Georgian architecture was completed by famed Virginia planter, scholar, author and wit
II around 1730. Grounds and gardens open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. Route 5, Charles City County. 804-829-2882. jamesriverplantations.org/Westover
34. Lee Hall Mansion.
Circa 1850 Italianate mansion served as Confederate headquarters during 1862 Siege of the Peninsula. Features seven period rooms and extensive Civil War exhibit. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday and Wednesday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Adults $6, children (7-18) $4. 163 Yorktown Road, Newport News. 888-3371. leehall.org
35. Moore House.
Site of negotiations that led to British surrender after the 1781 Battle of Yorktown. Hours vary by season. Admission included in Colonial National Historical Park ticket. Adults $10, children 15 and under free. Highway 238, Yorktown. 898-2410.
36. Moses Myers House.
Stately Federal dwelling and its extensive collection of original furnishings provide evocative picture of a prosperous Jewish family's life in post-Revolutionary War Norfolk. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 12-4 p.m. Sunday. Free. 331 Bank St., Norfolk. 333-1087. chrysler.org/Myers_house.asp
37. Nelson House.
Restored home of Revolutionary War patriot Thomas Nelson. Call for hours. Adults $10, children 15 and under free. Main Street, Yorktown. 898-2410.
38. Newsome House Museum and Cultural Center.
Restored 1899 home of prominent black attorney and publisher J. Thomas Newsome features changing art and cultural exhibits. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Free. 2803 Oak Ave., Newport News. 247-2360 or 247-2380. newsomehouse.org
39. Old Courthouse of 1750.
Restored brick structure is one of only four surviving arcaded court buildings from Colonial Virginia. Features distinctive semi-circular apse popular in English churches of the era. 1-4 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Free. 130 Main St., Smithfield. 357-5182. apva.org/isleofwight
40. Poor Potter Archaeological Site.
Archaeological remains of the William Rogers pottery factory believed to be the largest known enterprise of its type in Colonial America. Admission included in Colonial National Historical Park ticket. Adults $10, children 15 and under free. Read Street, Yorktown. 898-2410.
41. Riddick's Folly.
Restored 1837 Greek Revival house features permanent exhibits on Gov. Mills E. Godwin Jr. and Suffolk peanut industry, plus changing exhibits on history, art and antiques. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Adults $4, seniors and active military $3, children $2. 510 N. Main St., Suffolk. 934-0822. riddicksfolly.org
Imposing brick ruins of Colonial America's grandest mansion, built in 1725, plus visitor center exhibits and archaeology lab. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday. Adults $4, children (6-12) $2. Old Rosewell Lane, near Route 644, Gloucester. 804-693-2585. rosewell.org
43. St. John's Church.
America's oldest continuous English-speaking parish, founded in 1610. The cruciform-shaped 1728 structure is famed for colonial brickwork. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-noon Saturday. Guided tours. Free. 100 W. Queens Way, Hampton. 722-2567. stjohnshampton.org
44. St. Luke's Church.
Oldest surviving church building in America dates to 1600s. Summer hours: 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 1-4 p.m. Sunday. Free. 14477 Benns Church Blvd., Isle of Wight. 357-3367. historicstlukes.org
45. Smith's Fort Plantation.
18th-century brick house with original woodwork built on land given to John Rolfe as a dowry gift for his marriage to
. April 1-October 31: 12-5 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday (weekends only in November and March). Also open by appointment. Adults $8, seniors $6, AAA $7, children (6-17) $5. 217 Smith Fort Lane, Surry (off Highway 31). 294-3872. apva.org/smithsfort
46. Seaboard Station Railroad Museum.
Restored 1885 train station features large circa 1907 HO-scale model railroad display. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 1-4 p.m. Sunday. Suggested donation: adults $2, children (12 and under) $1. 326 N. Main St., Suffolk. 923-4750. suffolktrainstation.org
Site of the historic 1781 siege that ended the Revolutionary War. Features extensive earthworks, captured British cannon, tour roads and visitor center. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Admission included in Colonial National Historical Park ticket (adults $10, children 15 and under free). Eastern end of Colonial Parkway, Yorktown. 898-2410.
48. Yorktown Custom House.
Built by royal customs collector Richard Ambler around 1720 and restored by famed preservation architect Duncan Lee for the Comte de Grasse Chapter of the Daughters of the