The Hampton Convention and Visitor Bureau shares quarters with the Hampton History Museum, 1919 Commerce Dr. (tel. 757/727-1610; www.hampton1610.com), where you can learn of the city's past. The visitor center is open daily 9am to 5pm; the museum, Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm, Sunday 1 to 5pm. Both are closed New Year's Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Admission to the museum is $5 adults, $4 seniors and children 4 to 12, free for kids 3 and under.
In its own air-conditioned pavilion next to the Virginia Air & Space Center, the Hampton Carousel (tel. 757/727-6381) is a painstakingly restored 1920s merry-go-round that anyone of any age will enjoy riding. The 48 original horses -- so intricately carved you can see their veins -- go up and down to the sounds of organ music. Rides cost $2. The carousel is open in summer Monday to Friday from noon to 5pm, Saturday 10am to 7pm, Sunday noon to 7pm. Off-season hours are Friday to Sunday noon to 5pm.
Saving with a Hampton Day Pass -- You can buy a Hampton Day Pass and visit both the Virginia Air & Space Center and the Hampton History Museum, take a Miss Hampton II cruise, and ride the Hampton Carousel for $31 adults, $21 for children 12 to 18, free for kids 11 and under. The attractions sell them, as does the Hampton Convention and Visitor Bureau.
Harbor Cruises -- The most popular harbor cruises in Virginia are on the Miss Hampton II, 764 Settlers Landing Rd. (tel. 888/757-2628 or 757/722-9102; www.misshamptoncruises.com), a 65-foot passenger boat that sails from downtown across Hampton Roads and within sight of the huge U.S. naval base at Norfolk. You'll pass the landing site of the Jamestown settlers and Blackbeard's Point, where the pirate's head was displayed in 1718, and the pre-Civil War Fort Wool, on a 15-acre island out in the Chesapeake. The narrated 3-hour cruises depart from the town dock, on Settlers Landing Road beside the Radisson Hampton hotel. Departures usually are Tuesday through Saturday at 10am and 2pm from Memorial Day through Labor Day; Tuesday through Saturday at 10am in April, May, September, and October; but call ahead to be sure. Fares are $23 for adults, $21 for seniors and military, $12 for children 6 to 12, free for kids younger than 6.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.