Chesapeake Avenue, Hampton
The City of Hampton, established in 1610, has its roots as America's first continuously occupied English-speaking settlement. That year, the settlers founded St. John's Episcopal Church, which remains the country's oldest Anglican church.
With a population of about 140,000, the city's location has the advantage of being midway between two Hampton Roads tourism meccas -- Williamsburg and Virginia Beach. Hampton is well known as the home of NASA Langley Research Center, the Hampton Coliseum concert venue and Hampton University.
Regionally, the city provides shoppers with the new Peninsula Town Center, the Peninsula's largest; major entertainment events such as Hampton Bay Days and the Hampton Jazz Festival; and sports draws including NASCAR races at Langley Speedway and the Hampton Cup Regatta.
Locals know about the city's more subtle charms: several beaches that remain relatively uncrowded, the beautiful downtown waterfront, and the historic area of Phoebus, newly streetscaped to highlight the quaint shops.
On the Chesapeake Bay, Buckroe Beach is a local favorite for sunbathing, swimming, and fishing.