Living Here: Museums and historic sites

Museums and sites can help you track the story of our region. From the earliest settlers to the space explorers, Hampton Roads museums tell a continuous story of the importance of our area.

History museums

1. Air Power Park. Vintage military jets, missiles, rockets and children's playground. Indoor exhibits, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. Outdoor park, sunrise-sunset daily. Free. 413 W. Mercury Blvd., Hampton. 726-0650 or 727-8311. hampton.gov/Facilities/Facility/Details/Air-Power-Park-23

2. Archaearium. Showcases artifacts from historic James Fort. 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily. Included in admission to Colonial National Historical Park. $14 adults, free for children 15 and under. Western end of Colonial Parkway, James City County. 229-4997 or 229-1733. historicjamestowne.org/visit

3. Casemate Museum. The story of America's largest stone fort and such figures as Robert E. Lee, Edgar Allan Poe, Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis. 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. Free. 20 Bernard Road, Fort Monroe, Hampton. 788-3391. fmauthority.com/visit/casemate-museum

4. Chippokes Plantation/Farm and Forestry Museum. Antebellum plantation set on a working farm. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. daily. Free, but parking fee of $3 weekdays, $4 weekends. 294-3439. 868 Plantation Road, Surry. 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. Open daily. Exhibit building tickets start at $51.95 adults, $26.95 children 6-17, with online discounts. Visitor Center on Route 132Y, off Colonial Parkway, Williamsburg. 229-1000. colonialwilliamsburg.com

6. Gloucester Museum of History. Bacon's Rebellion, 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. gloucesterva.info/Tourism

7. Gwynn's Island Museum. Artifacts showcase 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. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday. $5 adults, $4 children 4-12. 120 Old Hampton Lane, Hampton. 727-1610. hamptonhistorymuseum.org

9. Hampton Roads Naval Museum. Explores landmark naval history of Hampton Roads. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Free. Located on second floor of Nauticus, The National Maritime Center, 1 Waterside Drive, Norfolk. 322-2987. hrnm.navy.mil

10. Isle of Wight County Museum. 1913 bank building houses a country-store exhibit, Native American artifacts, War Memorial Gallery. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Free. 103 Main St., Smithfield. 356-1223. co.isle-of-wight.va.us/historic-resources/isle-of-wight-county-museum/

11. Jamestown Settlement. Tells the story of America's first permanent English settlement. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily (with extended summer hours). $16 adults, $7.50 children 6-12. 2110 Jamestown Road (Route 31 S) near the Colonial Parkway, James City County. 253-4838. historyisfun.org/Jamestown-Settlement.htm

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. Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday beginning June 1. $4 adults, $2 children 2-17. Water and Front streets, Portsmouth. 393-8591. portsnavalmuseums.com

13. MacArthur Memorial. Memorabilia recounts career of Gen. Douglas MacArthur. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Free. City Hall Avenue and Bank Street, Norfolk. 441-2965. macarthurmemorial.org

14. Middlesex County Museum. Virginia's oldest county museum displays Native American artifacts, military items and more related to Middlesex history. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday. Free. 777 General Puller Highway, Saluda. 804-758-3663. middlesexmuseum.com

15. Norfolk History Museum at the Willoughby-Baylor House. 1794 house provides temporary setting for American art from the Chrysler Museum of Art. Noon-5 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday. Free. 601 E. Freemason St., Norfolk. 333-6269. chrysler.org/about-the-museum/historic-houses/willoughby-baylor-house/

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. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday. $4 adults, $2 children 6-18. 24th Street and Boardwalk, Virginia Beach. 422-1587. oldcoastguardstation.com

17. Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum. Ship models, uniforms, military artifacts and exhibits portray life in 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century Portsmouth. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. $4 adults, $2 children 2-17. 2 High St., Portsmouth. 393-8591. portsnavalmuseums.com

18. The Mariners' Museum. World-class collection of maritime artifacts, including gun turret and artifacts from Civil War ironclad USS Monitor. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday and Wednesday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. $12 adults, $7 children 6-12. 100 Museum Drive, Newport News. 596-2222. marinersmuseum.org