Hampton Roads Outdoor Fun!
Fun Things to See & Do Throughout Hampton Roads
The birds are chirping, the flowers are in bloom and temperatures are rising…Summertime in Hampton Roads is just right around the corner! If you are looking for some fun ways to spend your time outdoors with your family and/or friends this season, here are some great suggestions for things to do throughout Hampton Roads!
- Head to the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk – Open daily from 10 am to 5 pm, the Virginia Zoo covers 53 acres and is bordered by the Lafayette River. You can see over 500 different animals (including endangered species) from around the world!
- Pack a picnic basket and take a trip to Mt. Trashmore in Virginia Beach! Mount Trashmore Park is 165 acres and is has two man-made mountains, two playgrounds, two lakes, picnic shelters with charcoal grills, volleyball courts, horseshoe pits, a skate park and vertical ramp, multi-use paths, vending machines and public restrooms. Also, Mt. Trashmore is the perfect spot to fly a kite, so don’t forget to bring yours with you!
- Load up your car with your kayak or bike and take a trip to the Dismal Swamp State Park in Chesapeake. The Dismal Swamp Canal Trail is open to all – walkers, hikers, boaters, bicyclists, and even horse owners! The 8.5-mile trail can provide a 17-mile biking loop or a leisurely 2-mile-up-and-back nature walk. This is a great spot for nature enthusiasts too!
- Take a ride on the Elizabeth River Ferry in Portsmouth to Norfolk! This fun and fast ferry only costs $1.75 and offers a unique view of the river and the waterfront. After hopping off, explore the Waterside Festival Marketplace in downtown Norfolk. All ferries operate every 30 minutes and every 15 minutes during the summer.
- Explore Fort Monroe in Hampton! Fort Monroe’s roots date back to the early days of our country… With beautiful grounds and scenery to tour, 8 miles of waterfront and 3.2 miles of beaches on the Chesapeake Bay, you will want to visit for sure. If you are into history, check out the great displays at the Casemate Museum!
- Step back in time and visit Colonial Williamsburg! Witness colonial reenactments, tour the various museums on site, take a stroll along Duke of Gloucester Street or head down to Merchant’s Square for some shopping and dining…You can visit for the weekend or just the day too!
Wake up and smell the roses… literally! The Botanical Gardens in Norfolk offer gardens year round, but there is no better time than spring and summer to witness millions of blooms such as rhododendron, peonies, roses, azaleas, and more. Offering several different themed gardens, there is much to see here!
- Visit Little Island Park in Virginia Beach. This 144-acre beach park is located in the Sandbridge area of Virginia Beach. The park has two separate beaches for swimming, a fishing pier, and an area for those who enjoy surfing. Also, the park has a brackish lake, which is a great spot for fishing and crabbing!
- Discover the Mariner’s Museum and Park in Newport News. This outdoor/indoor museum celebrates local maritime history featuring nautical exhibits, model ships from around the world, and interesting artifacts. Also, the park offers a great place to run, walk, and even boating on the park’s Lake Maury!
- If you like to golf, this is for you! Located within City Park in Portsmouth, the links golf-training center offers an 18-hole natural grass putting course and a 9-hole golf course, and a lighted driving range. They also offer a lot of teaching programs to those looking to improve their golf game!
- Check out the Farmers’ Market in Suffolk. Located on Main Street in historic downtown Suffolk, you can pick up some delicious locally grown vegetables and fruits, tasty baked goods, fresh eggs and milk, and many other artisan crafts goods. On special “Family Fun Days”, they also have live performers, petting zoos, workshops, crafts and more!
- For those with a green thumb, visit the Chesapeake Arboretum! Volunteer your time and help out with landscaping around the arboretum or partake in their Nature’s Classroom program, a non-profit organization that promotes horticultural and environmental awareness through education and displays. Or simply enjoy their mulched trail system, and go for a walk or run!
- Take a glimpse into the past and tour the battleship USS Wisconsin in downtown Norfolk. Take a guided tour of the ship or explore the main deck and sections of two upper decks on your own…. Don’t forget to take some photos!
- Spend the day with your family at Bluebird Gap Farm in Hampton. The kids can play on the playground, feed and pet the farm animals, or just run around and have fun. Make sure to pack a lunch so you can have a picnic at the Powhatan Pavilion.
- Venture over to Portsmouth and take a walk around River Front Park. Take in the scenic views while walking along the riverside or relax on one of the many benches. Visitors can fish from the piers, rollerblade on the sidewalks, and when the weather is nice, the park hosts many special events!
- Show some hometown pride and Catch a Tides game at Harbor Park in Norfolk! It’s a wonderful stadium with a great view of the Elizabeth River and there’s really not a bad seat in the house. Grab a hot dog and a cold one and cheer on the team….Go Tides!
- Take a stroll along the 3 miles of Virginia Beach’s oceanfront Boardwalk! If you are feeling a little more adventurous, there is a bike path for roller blading or taking a ride on your beach cruiser. Don’t forget to stop and pose for a picture with King Neptune!
- If you are a historian, you will love touring Endview Plantation in Newport News! Learn about the Civil War and the life of a soldier during that time period through exhibits, artifacts and a guided tour. Make sure to check the website’s calendar before you go so can witness a live reenactment!
- If you are looking for a more thrilling experience, (or a checkmark on your bucket list) check out Skydive Suffolk! This is not for the faint of heart…do a tandem jump with an instructor or take classes to become a licensed Skydiver.
20. Catch a sunset in style! Schedule a sunset cruise on the American Rover out of downtown Norfolk…you can sit back and relax an take in the sites, or if you a real sailor help with the sails or at the helm. Either way, this is a very pleasant ride and is great for all ages!