From the earliest settlers to the space explorers, Hampton Roads 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
2. Archaearium. 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 Historic Jamestowne and other parts of Colonial National Historical Park. Western end of Colonial Parkway, James City County. 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, Edgar Allan Poe, Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis. 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily; closed major holidays. Free. 20 Bernard Road, Fort Monroe. 788-3391. www.monroe.army.mil/monroe/sites/installation/museum/casemate_museum.aspx/
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. www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/chf.shtml
5. Colonial Williamsburg. 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
6. Gloucester Museum of History. 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. www.co.gloucester.va.us/museum/historyhome.htm
7. Gwynn's Island Museum. Period artifacts and documents showcase the island's long maritime history. Route 633, Gwynn's Island, Mathews County. 1-5 p.m. Friday-Sunday April-October. Free. 804-725-7949. gwynnsislandmuseum.org
8. Hampton History Museum. Story of America's oldest continuous English-speaking settlement from Capt. John Smith to the first astronauts. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Adults $5; seniors, active military, active NASA, 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 Wisconsin. 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. www.hrnm.navy.mil/
10. Isle of Wight County Museum. 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., Smithfield. 356-1223.
11. Jamestown Settlement. 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. www.historyisfun.org/jamestown/jamestown.cfm
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 Gen. Douglas MacArthur. 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. www.macarthurmemorial.org
14. Middlesex County Museum. 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), Saluda. 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 World War II 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
Never forget: History museums
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