Newport News is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia, United States. It is located on the Virginia Peninsula, between the James River and the York River. The city has an area of 120 square miles (311 km²) and a population of approximately 179,000 people, making it the fifth-most populous city in Virginia.
Newport News is home to several major military installations, including Joint Base Langley-Eustis, which is the home of the U.S. Air Force’s 633rd Air Base Wing and the U.S. Army’s 7th Transportation Brigade. The city is also home to the Newport News Shipbuilding, the largest shipbuilding and ship repair facility in the United States, which has been in operation since 1886.
The city has a diverse economy with industries such as shipbuilding, aerospace, military, and healthcare. Newport News is also home to Christopher Newport University, a public liberal arts university, and the Virginia Living Museum, which is a natural history museum and planetarium.
Newport News has a rich history, with roots dating back to the colonial era. The city played a significant role in the American Civil War and was also a major hub for the transportation of goods during the 19th century. Today, the city offers a mix of historic sites, cultural attractions, and outdoor recreational opportunities, making it a popular destination for visitors and residents alike.
Here are 30 fun things to do in Newport News City
- Visit the Virginia Living Museum – This natural history museum and planetarium features exhibits on Virginia’s native animals and plants, as well as interactive displays and live animal exhibits.
- Explore the Mariner’s Museum and Park – This museum features exhibits on maritime history and artifacts from the USS Monitor, as well as a 550-acre park with hiking trails, a lake, and a pier.
- Go fishing at Lee Hall Reservoir – This 286-acre reservoir is stocked with largemouth bass, crappie, and catfish, and offers opportunities for fishing, boating, and picnicking.
- Take a tour of the Newport News Shipbuilding – This historic shipbuilding facility has been in operation since 1886 and offers tours of its facilities and exhibits on the history of shipbuilding in the United States.
- Visit the Peninsula Fine Arts Center – This museum features rotating exhibits of contemporary art, as well as classes and workshops for adults and children.
- Take a stroll along the Newport News City Center at Oyster Point – This pedestrian-friendly shopping and entertainment district features restaurants, shops, and outdoor events throughout the year.
- Attend a concert or event at the Ferguson Center for the Arts – This state-of-the-art performing arts center hosts a wide range of concerts, plays, and other events throughout the year.
- Visit the Endview Plantation – This historic plantation dates back to the 18th century and offers tours of its historic home and grounds.
- Go birdwatching at the Newport News Park – This 7,711-acre park offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, and birdwatching.
- Take a kayak or paddleboard tour of the Warwick River – This scenic river offers opportunities for kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing.
- Explore the Anderson Park – This park features hiking trails, a fishing pier, and scenic views of the James River.
- Visit the Peninsula SPCA Petting Zoo – This petting zoo features a variety of animals, including goats, rabbits, and ponies, and offers hands-on experiences for children.
- Take a hike along the Noland Trail – This 5-mile trail winds through the Newport News Park and features scenic views of the park’s lakes and wetlands.
- Visit the Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center – This historic building houses a performing arts center and art gallery, as well as exhibits on African-American history and culture.
- Explore the Newport News Public Art Foundation’s sculpture park – This outdoor sculpture park features a variety of modern and contemporary sculptures by local and national artists.
- Visit the Fort Eustis Army Transportation Museum – This museum features exhibits on the history of the U.S. Army’s transportation corps, as well as a collection of military vehicles and equipment.
- Take a day trip to Virginia Beach – This popular beach destination is only a short drive from Newport News and offers opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports.
- Attend a baseball game at War Memorial Stadium – This historic stadium is home to the Peninsula Pilots, a minor league baseball team.
- Visit the Peninsula Japanese American Citizens League Memorial Park – This park commemorates the Japanese Americans who were interned during World War II and features a memorial and a garden.
- Go horseback riding at the Newport News Park – This park offers horseback riding trails and opportunities for horse shows and competitions.
- Visit the U.S. Army Transportation Corps Regimental Museum – This museum features exhibits on the history of the U.S. Army’s transportation corps, as well as a collection of military vehicles and equipment.
- Attend a festival or event at the City Center
- Visit the Newport News Green Foundation’s public gardens – This organization maintains several public gardens throughout the city, including the Newport News Victory Garden and the Pollinator Garden.
- Take a tour of the Virginia War Museum – This museum features exhibits on military history from the Revolutionary War to the present day, as well as a collection of military vehicles and equipment.
- Attend a show at the Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center – This performing arts center hosts a variety of concerts, plays, and other performances throughout the year.
- Go bowling at the AMF Bowling Center – This bowling alley offers 48 lanes, arcade games, and a sports bar.
- Visit the Newport News Aviation Museum – This museum features exhibits on aviation history and a collection of aircraft and artifacts from the U.S. Army Aviation branch.
- Take a bike ride along the Virginia Capital Trail – This 52-mile trail connects Jamestown and Richmond and offers scenic views of the James River and the surrounding countryside.
- Attend a wine tasting at the Tradition Brewing Company – This brewery offers a variety of craft beers, as well as wine tastings and food pairings.
- Go shopping at the Patrick Henry Mall – This indoor shopping mall features over 120 stores, restaurants, and entertainment options.