Virginia 250th American Revolution
Celebrating America’s 250th with Landmarks of Our Nation’s Beginnings in Coastal Virginia
Explore Virginia Beach and Norfolk, Virginia celebrating America’s 250th with Landmarks of Our Nation’s Beginnings in Coastal Virginia. From lighthouses, Battleships, to Naval Bases unfold the story of our nation's revolution.
Arrive in Coastal Virginia and check into your hotel.
Enjoy a welcome Dinner at a local Group Friendly- Chef-owned restaurant in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Learn the history and the comeback of the famous Lynnhaven Oyster, first documented by Captain John Smith.
Day Two – Virginia Beach, Virginia
Start the day with a visit to one of the smallest National Parks in the country. Here visit the First Landing Cross- marking the spot where the first permanent English settlers landed on April 26, 1607, before heading to Jamestown. The crew of 104 men and boys erected a wooden cross to mark their arrival. A granite cross was erected in 1935. Also located on this site is the Battle of the Capes Monument- honoring the Battle of the Chesapeake Bay between the French and British- one of the most significant battles, that helped clear the path for the creation of the United States. There is also a Statue of Admiral De Grasse, leader of the French Fleet.
Next up is the Cape Henry Lighthouse, the first federally funded lighthouse and the first public works project in the United States. Construction (1792) was authorized by George Washington and overseen by Alexander Hamilton. The Lighthouse is open to the public and guests can climb 191 steps to the top for a breathtaking view of where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. Located next door (not open to the public) is the New Cape Henry Lighthouse, still in use today, and is the tallest cast iron, fully enclosed lighthouse in the United States. A gift shop is located on-site.
Lunch today will be at Virginia Beach Town Center. With many restaurants and shops within walking distance, this will be a great stop for lunch on your own. Be sure to save room for dessert at the Royal Chocolate.
Our next stop will be the Naval Aviation Memorial Park. This compelling memorial honors the rich Naval aviation heritage so important to Virginia Beach’s history and culture. Virginia Beach is home to NAS (Naval Air Station) Oceana, the East Coast Master Jet Base. Look up and listen to the F/A-18 Super Hornets as they fly by. We call that the Sound of Freedom.
Our last stop today is the Military Aviation Museum. This museum is home to one of the largest FLYING collections of WWI and WWII-era military aircraft in the world. Explore 100 + acres of Museum Hangers, exhibits, an original WWII RAF Air Control Tower, and a WWI Hanger. Expert docents are available to tell the compelling stories of the men and women who built and flew these planes that helped shape our country. Groups can also enjoy a meal (lunch or dinner), flight demonstrations, and entertainment by the Doorway Singers
Tonight, enjoy the many restaurants within walking distance of your hotel and the sights and sounds of the majestic Atlantic as you stroll the Virginia Beach Boardwalk
Day Three – Norfolk, Virginia
Start the morning at Nauticus and step aboard the largest and last battleship, Battleship Wisconsin. Battleship Wisconsin was commissioned 75 years ago. She saw action during the Luzon Attacks in World War II and earned five battle stars. The battleship served as a training ship and engaged in active assignments several times up until Feb. 27, 1991, during Operation Desert Storm. It reached its final assignment on Dec. 7, 2000, when it docked in Norfolk to become a floating museum. Do not forget to stop on the second floor and visit the Hampton Roads Naval Museum. The Hampton Roads Naval Museum is an official museum of the United States Navy. The museum interprets the history of the U.S. Navy in and around Hampton Roads, Virginia from the American Revolutionary War to the present day for service members and the general public.
Stroll through Towne Point Park along the Elizabeth River on your way to lunch on your own at The Waterside District. Along the way, stop at the Armed Forces Memorial. The Memorial is dedicated to veterans who served in wars and conflicts from the American Revolutionary War through today’s Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. It consists of 20 cast-bronze letters, scattered across the memorial and beneath a flagpole. Each page is an inscription written about the respective war to a loved one at home by a U.S. Armed Forces servicemember who perished. The memorial included 20 letters from service members in the American Revolutionary War through the Persian Gulf War.
Spend the afternoon aboard the Victory Rover Naval Base Cruise for a two-hour narrated tour of Naval Station Norfolk, the world’s largest Naval Base. Cruise past the vessels that ensure our freedom – destroyers, submarines, air carriers, and more! The land on which Naval Station Norfolk is located was originally the site of the 1907 Jamestown Exposition. During this exposition, high-ranking naval officers were consulted and favored the idea that this site was ideal for a naval base. Immediately after the United States entered World War I in April 1917, the Secretary of the Navy was persuaded to purchase the property. A bill was passed for the purchase of 474 acres.
Enjoy dinner at Omar’s Carriage House. The building is a historic site in Norfolk. The original Carriage House was built in the early 1840s. Its patrons then were horses. From the first floor, if you look up at the center of the room, you’ll see the large opening where hay used to be loaded into carriages.
Day Four – Norfolk & Virginia Beach
Start the morning off with a tour of Fort Norfolk, the last remaining of 19 harbor-front forts authorized in 1794 by President George Washington. Although, private property at the time, the site of Fort Norfolk was first fortified by citizens of Norfolk during the American Revolutionary War in order to provide harbor defense. The fort includes earthwork embankments, ramparts, a dungeon, officer’s quarters, powder magazine, barracks, and a guardhouse. Most structures date to 1810 and the fort helped protect Norfolk during the War of 1812.
Then head over to St. Paul’s Church, built in 1739. The church is Norfolk’s oldest building and is the only structure remaining that predates the destruction of the city during the American Revolution. A cannonball fired by the British Fleet still remains lodged in the wall of the church. Tour the church and cemetery and see the actual cannonball.
Before you head back to Virginia Beach, stop for ice cream and a demonstration at Doumar’s, Home of the World’s First Ice Cream Waffle Cone. Founder Abe Doumar was selling paperweights at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. When he noticed an ice cream vendor closed because they ran out of paper bowls, he grabbed a waffle from another vendor, rolled it up, topped it with ice cream, and the waffle cone was born. Doumar built a four-iron waffle machine in 1905, that is still used today.
Finish the day with a Dream Workshop and tour of the Association for Research and Enlightenment, the international headquarters of Edgar Cayce, the most documented psychic of modern times. Learn the true meanings of your dreams. Gift shop on site.
This evening ends with a visit to the historic Cavalier Hotel (1927) and the Tarnished Truth Distillery. You will enjoy a tasting and guided tour of the only working distillery inside a hotel in the United States. Here you will learn the Virginia Bourbon story and how their spirits are crafted.
Before you depart for home visit the Thoroughgood House. This 1719 National Historic Landmark is one of the earliest examples of permanent Virginia architecture. Here you will learn the story of Adam Thoroughgood, one of Virginia’s first Colonists, and his relationship to George Washington and George Mason. Tours include a Foodways Tasting Program where you will learn for a certified Colonial Chef how culinary masterpieces were created with homegrown gardens, livestock, and native herbs. Tea Tastings are also available.
Depart for home.