15 Free Things to Do in Hampton, VA

Free Things to Do in Hampton, VA
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Hampton, an independent city in Virginia, is blessed with miles of coastline and spectacular water scenery and is situated on the Chesapeake Bay's entrance.

The city is right in the middle of the East Coast and the Hampton Roads territory.

Hampton was founded in 1610 and is one of America's earliest cities; it is now one of the fastest-expanding areas.

Money magazine named Hampton one of the finest cities to live in, citing its pastoral rural charm, rich heritage, and status as a national leader in active citizenship and youth empowerment.

Hampton also offers a wide variety of sights and activities.

You may easily understand what makes Hampton a fantastic place to stay, work, and enjoy by taking a stroll through the streets of its thriving seaside neighborhood.

Here are 15 free things to do in Hampton, Virginia:

Soak up the Sun at Buckroe Beach and Park

Daytime view of Buckroe Beach and Park
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Revel in the beautiful scenery of Buckroe Beach and Park on 1st Street, where the Chesapeake Bay meets three-quarters of a mile of sandy beach.

Spend peaceful days soaking up rays or explore this unique coastal area; whatever you decide to do at Buckroe is an unforgettable experience.

Take a break, dip into the luxurious, fine sand of Buckroe Beach and Park, and relax in this tranquil paradise.

Experience the majestic sight as yachts pass by on their journey to distant shores while lifeguards stand guard from Memorial Day until Labor Day.

Pier at Buckroe Beach and Park
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Enjoy a sunny day at Buckroe Beach and Park, where kids can have fun on the playground while parents take in beautiful views along the boardwalk.

Stroll, jog, or bike down this scenic waterfront route.

You can also visit the nearby fishing pier to try your luck at catching a fish or two.

Swing bench at Buckroe Beach and Park
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Enjoy Birdwatching at the Sandy Bottom Nature Park

Comprising 456 acres of natural habitats, the Sandy Bottom Nature Park on Big Bethel Road is a wonderful destination for nature lovers and birdwatchers.

Here, you'll find miles of trails where you can go hiking and explore the park on foot or bring your bike along to pedal your way through the scenic landscape of woodland and marshes, coastal water, and lake shores.

In addition to its lush green scenery, this park also boasts an impressive array of birds, animals, and plant life.

With dozens of species of butterflies and colorful migratory birds, the Sandy Bottom Nature Park is a great place to go birdwatching in Hampton.

Bring your camera when you visit - you'll get some fantastic photos!

Breathe in the Serenity at the Matteson Trail

Escape the bustling city life and take a journey on Matteson Trail's three-mile loop outside Hampton Golf Course.

Tess Matteson, who played a vital role in the creation and upkeep of the path, is recognized with the name of the three-mile paved nature route.

You'll start your hike at the Police Training Center, as the Matteson Trail's lush surroundings come alive with each step along its picturesque track, open from dawn to dusk.

Enjoy stunning vistas of nature as you gently meander through its peaceful, wooded trails.

Rollerbladers, cyclists, parents pushing strollers, and dog owners regularly use the Matteson Trail since it is level, shaded, and paved the entire way.

A pleasant stroll is best enjoyed in good company, so grab a friend and enjoy this peaceful journey.

Check Out the Fort Monroe National Monument

Aerial view of Fort Monroe National Monument
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If you want to learn more about the history of Hampton, take a trip to Fort Monroe National Monument.

At least 400 years have taken place at this impressive historical site, home to a wealth of military exhibits and fascinating artifacts.

A must-see for any history or military buff, the Fort Monroe National Monument is an iconic piece of Hampton's heritage.

This natural deep-water harbor has open water was essential for commanding the Chesapeake Bay and gaining access to the colonial capitals of Virginia and Washington, D.C., via boat.

The walls of Fort Monroe National Monument
Zack Frank / Shutterstock.com

Fort Monroe, which bears James Monroe's name as the fifth President of the United States, took 15 years to construct.

In the beginning, slave labor was used, but military criminals eventually took their place.

The remaining building materials were provided by regional contractors, while the granite for the walls was mined from quarries in Virginia and Maryland.

Fort Monroe, which cost about two million dollars to build and spanned 63 acres of land with walls 1.3 miles long, was finished in 1834.

A building at Fort Monroe National Monument
Zack Frank / Shutterstock.com

Enjoy the Outdoors at Gosnold's Hope Park

Bring the family to explore Gosnold's Hope Park, Hampton's second-largest piece of paradise.

You can wander through 105 acres of gorgeous green landscapes and meandering trails before testing your sports skills on athletic fields.

Or better yet, relax in one of the picnic areas, complete with restrooms, campsites, and barbecue grills.

Kids will enjoy exploring the fun-filled playground, taking a spin on each intriguing piece of equipment!

Enjoy an adrenaline rush as you soar through the BMX track!

Whether you're a daredevil or an adrenaline junkie, Gosnold's Hope Park on Little Back River Road will satisfy your craving for adventure.

Enjoy Recreational Activities at Mill Point Park

Mill Point Park is the perfect destination for a fun-filled day.

It's a verdant oasis in the heart of Downtown Hampton, offering locals and visitors an array of outdoor recreational activities amid its lush gardens and scenic views.

It's a lovely place to visit for an evening walk and marvel at the magnificent views of the river, sailing boats, and fauna.

With its beautiful scenery, it hosts an array of exciting festivals and live concerts, providing endless entertainment for all ages.

The park's interior is gated off with monitored entry locations and equipped with electricity service for countless customers during a celebration.

Every day, Mill Point Park is freely available to the public.

Mill Point Park parking is free on the street or at the nearby Eaton Street Parking Garage.

Explore the Past at Fort Monroe's Casemate Museum

Exterior of Fort Monroe's Casemate Museum
Sherry V Smith / Shutterstock.com

Fort Monroe's Casemate Museum on Bernard Road is a great place to learn about the past and the museum's long-time role as an active U.S. Army post.

The Fort Monroe Casemate Museum, housed in the fort's old casemates, features a fascinating collection of exhibits and memorabilia that tell the story of Fort Monroe and its inhabitants through the past four centuries.

You can explore the fort's history, starting from the building of Fort Algernourne in 1609 to the Army's Training.

Facade of Fort Monroe's Casemate Museum
Sherry V Smith / Shutterstock.com

The Fort Monroe Casemate Museum also has a special exhibit highlighting the 1861's Contraband of War, where escaped enslaved people were welcomed and given sanctuary at Fort Monroe during the Civil War.

It is an excellent place for history buffs, and visitors of all ages will enjoy exploring its various exhibits.

Explore the Outdoors at the Grandview Nature Preserve

Visitors to Hampton are in for a treat, as the city's northeastern region is home to Grandview Nature Preserve.

You can enjoy hiking and exploring among lush flora and fauna, all free of charge!

Grandview Nature Preserve offers an incredible view of 475 acres of beautiful marshland, tidal streams, and the shimmering coastline of Chesapeake Bay.

Enjoy the stunning wildlife and beautiful beach at Grandview Nature Preserve.

Take a stroll along the sand while you admire some of nature's most exquisite creatures as you go.

You can capture special memories with your camera while searching for hidden treasures in every wave that rolls ashore.

Grandview Nature Preserve is located on State Park Drive.

Explore the Waterwalk Park at Coliseum Central

Witness the beauty of Waterwalk Park, located in Hampton's Coliseum Central, which was established in 2019.

The 2 1/4-mile journey is a must-visit for all Hampton's visitors, as you will walk from Power Plant's bustling commercial district to Air Power Park's landmark attractions.

Venture along the winding path at Waterwalk Park, an exciting multi-use walkway perfect for cyclists and pedestrians craving a safe yet thrilling journey.

If you're a dog lover and in search of some fresh air, Waterwalk Park is the perfect spot; you can unwind while taking in beautiful nature scenes with your furbaby.

Benches and bike racks are also available at various points along the waterfront, so feel free to take your time and enjoy this one-of-a-kind experience.

See Birds up Close at the Bluebird Gap Farm

A barn at Bluebird Gap Farm
Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock.com

Rarely seen in an urban setting, Bluebird Gap Farm invites curious visitors to a unique and exciting experience that provides an educational opportunity for everyone in the family.

Bluebird Gap Farm on Pine Chapel Road is a 60-acre haven for creatures, both great and small; it has over 150 different animals, including domestic breeds and wild species.

It's the perfect place to explore nature, from the well-loved farm favorites to wild animals like deer, alpacas, and llamas.

Swimming geese at Bluebird Gap Farm
Ciara Kimsey / Shutterstock.com

Explore Blue Gap Park and take advantage of the comfortably covered pavilion with 18 picnic tables and several more located around the park.

Fire up a big charcoal grill and cook something special while enjoying the fresh air!

A range of old agricultural and home items from over the past two centuries are displayed in the antique barn.

There are many spots with animal feed machines for those seeking a more "participatory" experience.

An emu at Bluebird Gap Farm
Ciara Kimsey / Shutterstock.com

Attend a Free Workshop at Charles H. Taylor Visual Arts Center

If you're interested in the arts, Charles H. Taylor Visual Arts Center is a must-visit spot on Victoria Boulevard.

Here, visitors can attend free workshops hosted by local artists and art enthusiasts from around the community who are passionate about sharing their skills with others.

Unleash your creative potential and join the unique artist career training program at Charles H. Taylor Visual Arts Center.

If you're looking to take your photography career to the next level, this seminar offers invaluable advice on how best to showcase artwork in galleries and find sponsorship opportunities.

Learn from industry experts as they guide participants through forging meaningful connections with professionals across the art world.

Attendees of this workshop will be able to soar through the art world with insights into publishing, protecting their rights as artists, and optimizing online marketing.

Have Fun under the Sun at Outlook Beach at Fort Monroe

With its picturesque shoreline and charming boardwalk, Outlook Beach is the perfect spot for a stroll along sandy shores.

Located in Fort Monroe, you can take in stunning sunsets while breathing in the fresh ocean air at Outlook Beach.

The shoreline rocks in Outlook Beach provide summer swimmers and waders with tranquil, gentle waves, perfect for families who want to enjoy quality beach time together.

Enjoy a dawn-to-dusk oasis at Outlook Beach, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxation!

During their winter migration, a pod of majestic humpback whales can be seen swimming in the shipping canal near Outlook Beach in Hampton.

February is an ideal time for whale watching; see these beautiful creatures on their incredible journey!

Travel Back in Time at the Hampton University Museum

Exterior of the Hampton University Museum
Douglas W. Reynolds, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Hampton University Museum on Frissell Avenue is an incredible repository of art from worldwidea captivating source of beauty, culture, and history.

Its assets form one of America's largest multicultural collections that draws visitors from near and far to discover its unique offerings.

For the first time in history, Hampton University Museum has put together a collection of African artwork by African-American artists.

This initiative was spearheaded by William H. Shepperd, making him the first ever to have amassed such an impressive array of art from the continent.

In 1894, the museum took a delightful turn and added The Banjo Lesson by renowned artist Henry Ossawa Tanner to its roster.

Since then, Hampton University Museum has become one of the most acclaimed centers for the Harlem Renaissance, heralding an era of prosperity in fine arts.

Immerse yourself in a kaleidoscope of global culture with 12,000 unique art pieces and artifacts from over 120 distinct cultures worldwide.

Enjoy the Scenery while Exploring Fort Monroe's Seawall Trail

You'll be in awe as you walk through Fort Monroe's Seawall Trail, which offers picturesque views of sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters.

This scenic trail is perfect for people who want to take a break from their busy schedules and enjoy some peace and quiet amid nature.

The Fort Monroe Seawall Trail offers a 3.9-mile journey through nature with the chance to spot some wildlife along the way.

Enjoy this lightly frequented out-and-back trail today for an unforgettable outdoor experience!

Take a walk on this picturesque trail that invites you to explore nature's beauty any time of year.

Whether running, walking, wildlife watching, or bird spotting, there is a fun activity for everyone here.

Furry friends can also come and share in all the fun; remember to keep them safe by keeping them close on a leash.

Immerse yourself in serenity while you disconnect, recharge, and appreciate all that mother nature has to offer!

Explore the Outdoor Museum of Air Power Park

Missile on the grounds of Air Power Park
Ciara Kimsey / Shutterstock.com

Step back in time and discover the fascinating air power history at the 15-acre Air Power Museum on Mercury Boulevard.

Visitors can admire vintage jet fighters, weapons systems, and rockets from the 1950s to 1960s that form part of prototype space launch technology.

As a special treat for aerospace enthusiasts, several exhibits are also related to nearby NASA Langley Research Center and Langley Air Force Base.

Daytime view of Air Power Park
Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock.com

Delve into the wonders of aviation at the Air Power Museum, home to over 325 models from various countries.

Then head outside for a peaceful stroll down its elevated wood boardwalk and enjoy picturesque views of Newmarket Creek, where herons, egrets, crabs, and more await.

An aircraft on the grounds of Air Power Park
Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock.com

Final Thoughts

Hampton is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for respite from everyday life.

Allow yourself to be mesmerized by its captivating beauty while indulging in Hampton's free things to do.

From its stunning shoreline to its picturesque trails, the city offers plenty of opportunities for visitors to relax in nature or explore something new.

Try these free things to do in Hampton, Virginia, for a memorable and budget-friendly trip!

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