Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Virginia Beach
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Since you are going to have some time, one other thing you might want to do is stop in at Fort Monroe as you pass by. It will be on your right as you make the turn out of the bay and into Hampton Roads. You'll be able to see the fort and the Old Point Comfort Light when you make the turn. There is an anchorage and marina on your right just before you go through the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel. The whole thing used to be an Army base, but was recently turned over to the state. The old fort is a good place to spend a couple hours. They have a nice museum there. This is the place where the Union troops staged up before the famous Peninsula Campaign against Richmond in the Civil War. This is also where Jefferson Davis was temporarily held at the end of the war. You are allowed to anchor overnight in the basin there.
Once you cross the bridge tunnel, there is a channel immediately on your right that runs parallel to the bridge that will take you right into downtown Hampton. The city dock is free and just a few steps away from the Air and Space museum. The museum is not free, but it is a nice museum. If you've been spoiled by the Smithsonian, you can probably skip this one, but otherwise its nice.
Once into Hampton Roads proper, you can take a detour to the left past the Naval Base and up the Elizabeth River into Norfolk. You can anchor at Hospital Point for free and dinghy over to Waterside at Norfolk or Tidewater Yacht in Portsmouth. Norfolk has Nauticus, the National Maritime Museum, which is worth a visit. Between Norfolk and Portsmouth there are tons of bars and restaurants within walking distance of the water.
I'm always traveling with kids, so we hit all the museums. Just ignore me if you aren't into that kind of thing.