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Published: August 18th 2008
Buckroe Beach in Hampton, VA
Hard to find, a little gritty but beats not bad compared to Virginia Beach!
As I have been working on the Peninsula Town Center
project in Hampton, VA and have fallen in love with the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, Jennifer came up for a long weekend of exploring the tourist attractions, dining, and shopping options. In addition to the natural beauty this area is also wonderful because of the significance in our country's history from early colonial times to the Revolution to the Civil War. We spent our time in Hampton Roads' Seven Cities
(Chesapeake, Norfolk, Newport News, Hampton, Suffolk, Virginia Beach and Portsmouth) and the Virginia Peninsula (Jamestown, Yorktown, and Williamsburg).
On our first day we spent visiting Hampton and had dinner and toured that evening with the Jordans. Hampton's claim to fame is that it is the first continuously inhabited English settlement in the continental US (Jamestown being the first non-continuously while St. Augustine is the oldest European continuously). Hampton is also the powerhouse of Virginia high school football, producing many greats to college and professional ball, they are Tech crazy in these parts. Finally, the city is known for its significant African American history and as the hometown of the predominantly black Hampton University with its famous Emancipation Oak where "freed" slaves were educated
Visiting Smitty's Better Burger
Also in Hampton, VA - the local drive up burger joint with 50-plus year history. Burger was not that good, onion rings okay, but we have been very sick for two days now and we can either blame it on this place or the hot dog stand in Phoebus.
against Virginia law.
We visited Buckroe Beach, once site of an amusent park which we agreed legitimately gives competition to the over-built, over-commercialized, and over-crowded Virginia Beach. Thanks to the York, Elizabeth, and James rivers the waters are not all that great and brackish, but a beach is a beach and Lake Erie sucks.
We also had lunch at Smitty's Better Burger, considered a local institution as drive-up burger joint for the last 51 years. Burgers weren't that good, Jennifer liked the onion rings but they have nothing on Hoggy's if you ask me.
Other than Virginia Beach itself, this is the other big tourist destination for the area, we spent our whole second day here to literal exhaustion. After Jamestown this was Virginia's capital before Richmond and the old town has been restored and rebuilt on original foundations and is now a living history museum with people living on-site in period costumes. A little Disney-esque but still a great place that gives an incredible exposure to our history at the time of the Revolution. We accidentally snuck into the Governor's Palace tour (saving us $24) and we can definitely certify it is not
Good Hope Plantation Kitchen
They are building this new farm near the Visitor Center of Colonial Williamsburg. Jennifer was getting ready to cook us up a good Colonial meal.
worth that extra money though it was interesting to tour nonetheless. The capitol was by far the most interesting building followed by the magazine.
We ate at some lousy place on site where one of the many Eastern European students whiling away their summer here recommended the barbecue pork sandwich but if that was the good stuff, I'd hate to taste the rest. They make their money on the knick-knack trade and foor around here.
The interesting thing I would say is that they are still doing excavations here, it has been authentically restored, and you can really learn about Colonial American history whether you want to or not because it is just in your face.
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