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Beginning just east of Richmond and spanning to the beautiful coast of the Atlantic Ocean, Virginia’s Hampton Roads region features historic icons, classic theme parks and beautiful shorelines. It is the ideal destination for a classic coastal family getaway, satisfying history buffs, thrill seekers and beach loungers alike!
WHAT TO DO
- Rosie’s Gaming Emporium recently opened their newest location in Hampton, bringing thrilling gaming experiences to coastal Virginia visitors. Rosie’s is located in the Power Plant shopping district of Hampton Roads.
- Newport News will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Garden Club of Virginia and the 87th year for Historic Garden Week. The 2020 Newport News tour on April 22 will feature several historic Mennonite properties. In addition to the houses and gardens that overlook the Warwick River, tours will also be given of the historic Mennonite church and its cemetery.
- Lionsbridge Football Club, or Lionsbridge FC, is a new American soccer club based in Newport News. Groups can customize their game day experience with reserved seating, private catered meals, or vouchers for food trucks, a post-game on-field penalty kick competition and even a pre-game pep talk from Lionsbridge FC coaching staff.
- Celebrating its sixth anniversary in 2020, the One City Marathon – a Boston Qualifier – recently added a new component: a half marathon. As always, there are also options for a Marathon Relay, a Maritime 8K and a Nautical Mile Fun Run.
- Endview Plantation will debut a new permanent exhibition in Spring 2020 at the site’s 250-year-old main house. The exhibit will offer information on the history of the property, including photographs, artifacts and interactive exhibits on the Harwood Curtis family who settled the land nearly 400 years ago.
- The first annual Smithfield Arts Festival will celebrate visual, performing and culinary art in quaint and historic downtown Smithfield. The juried art show will be held Saturday, May 16, 2020. Artists, live music, performances and food will make this a fun and exciting event for all ages.
- Windsor Castle Park’s Manor House restoration will be completed in 2020.
- The Children’s Museum of Virginia in Portsmouth celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2020, with their anniversary celebration kicking off in March 2020. Special exhibits and programs are planned throughout the year.
- 2020 marks the 30th Anniversary of the Umoja Festival, the longest running African American Heritage Festival in Virginia.
- In February 2020, Portsmouth Living History will roll out a Living History program dedicated to Black History, with several actors portraying notable figures from Portsmouth’s past.
- Virginia Beach Sports Center will open in the fall of 2020, a state-of-the-art facility with a 150,000 sq. ft. column-free exhibit hall across the street, over 35 multi-purpose fields and 11,000 hotel rooms, that is scheduled to host a diverse roster of sporting events and tournaments.
- Zeiders American Dream Theater, a professional non-profit theater company, recently opened in Virginia Beach. Their mission is to provide artistic experiences to the community in a forum that fosters and introduces new, exceptionally gifted artists, composers and creative writers.
- Pharrel’s Something in the Water Festival returns for the second year to Virginia Beach in April 2020.
- Busch Gardens Pantheon®, the Fastest Multi-launch Coaster in North America, debuts in 2020.
- New gallery exhibits at Jamestown Settlement recently opened, providing information about everything from the census to cultural convergence of Powhatan Indian, English and African cultures. They also debuted a new 4D experiential theater and a new interactive exhibit that allows visitors to delve into Pocahontas’s life and legend.
- A “Military Through the Ages” event takes place March 21-22, 2020 at Jamestown Settlement. This one-of-a-kind event features a re-enactors presenting a military timeline, from the Vikings and Roman period through the Virginia Army National Guard.
- The “Forgotten Soldier” special exhibition at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown runs through March 22, 2020. The exhibit features the contemporary artwork by Titus Kaphar and tells often-overlooked stories of African Americans on both sides of the war, free and enslaved.
WHERE TO EAT & DRINK
- Ironclad Distillery Co. recently expanded their tasting room and added a cigar lounge.
- Harvest Restaurant in Virginia Beach will open a rooftop bar and restaurant in 2020 that will afford unobstructed views of the Atlantic Ocean.
WHERE TO STAY
- Simply Panache Place, a boutique hotel, recently opened in Hampton by the partners of Mango Mangeauxs, a nearby restaurant.
- Kiln Creek Golf Club and Resort just completed a renovation of its clubhouse and its boutique hotel, THE LODGE at Kiln Creek. As the leisure hub of the Virginia Peninsula, Kiln Creek Golf Club and Resort includes an 18-hole golf course, an outdoor saltwater pool, tennis courts, a golf shop, a fitness facility, newly renovated banquet space and a new restaurant called Nest Kitchen & Bar that provides in-house catering.
- The Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Hotel is set to unveil a new building color scheme and vibrant new signage in early 2020, as well as décor changes to the guest rooms, lobby area and the hotel restaurant. The Presidential Suite will have a fully-redesigned floor plan to include a large soaking tub overlooking the Norfolk Skyline,walk in master closet and swanky seating area for entertaining.
- Marriott Virginia Beach Oceanfront Hotel will open in March 2020, offering a breathtaking oceanfront venue for lodging, meetings and events.
- Delta Hotel Virginia Beach by Marriott Bayfront Suites is targeting an opening of July 2020.
IN OTHER NEWS
- Fashioned after the hugely popular 4 Taps 4 Cities challenge, Newport News Tourism recently introduced 3 Barrels 3 Cities Distillery Trail and will continue the initiative through 2020. Participants simply experience one distillery in Newport News, Hampton and Smithfield, get their pocket guide stamped at each establishment and then submit the completed guide to the Newport News Visitor Center to receive a Toast the Coast tasting glass.
- A new Interactive Bike Trails Map was just launched for cyclists to find a variety of bike trails in Newport News. The trails are separated into three categories: road biking, recreational biking and mountain biking, covering many miles of local terrain with varying degrees of difficulty. A brief description of the six trails talks about the scenic river views, wooded parks, historic homes, museums, lakefront areas, bridges and urban streets likely to be seen. Maps, available online or as downloadable PDF files, can be useful for planning routes in advance.