Sail250® Virginia – June 19-22, 2026
2026 marks the 250th anniversary of our nation’s birth in 1776- The United States of America’s Semi quincentennial. International tall ships and military vessels will sail into the port of Virginia as part of Sail2025® America. 4,000 officers, cadets, and crews of more than 60 ships from 20 nations will engage in events along Virginia’s waterfront.
Tuesday - Day One - Coastal Virginia
Arrive in Coastal Virginia and check into your hotel.
Arrive late afternoon and visit the Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High School Museum. This museum is dedicated to the first high school built for African Americans in Princess Anne County (now Virginia Beach) This tribute to the students, faculty, and community includes original artifacts, oral histories, and interactive displays.
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.
Friday - 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 last stop today will be the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center. Explore 800,000 gallons of Aquariums. Enjoy hands-on exhibits and a marshland nature path. Travel an aquatic journey from the shore to the depths of the Atlantic Ocean and experience coastal habitats from around the world.
Tonight, enjoy the many restaurants along the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the majestic Atlantic as you stroll the Virginia Beach Boardwalk
Saturday - Day Three – Norfolk, Virginia
Begin your tour this morning at the Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum. Learn about the many shipwrecks that occurred off the Virginia coast and the history of the United States Lifesaving Service which would later become the United States Coast Guard. Also nearby is the Norwegian Lady Statue- commemorating the 1891 wreck of the Norwegian Ship, “Dictator.”
Lunch and shopping at Norfolk Premium Outlets. The outlets offer a great selection of name-brand stores, a food court, and a restaurant.
In the afternoon, head to Norfolk. The first stop of the day is the Perry Glass Studio. See artists from around the world blow glass art in a theater seating from noon to 1 pm. Then take a guided tour of The Chrysler Museum of Art. Make sure your tour includes two copies of works that celebrate famous moments from the American Revolution, Washington at the Delaware: Two copies pay homage to John Trumbull's Declaration of Independence and Thomas Sully's Passage of the Delaware.
End the tour with a narrated tram tour of The Norfolk Botanical Garden. Learn how the garden started a Works Progress Administration (WPA) grant for the Azalea Garden project. Since most of the male labor force was at work with other projects for the city, a group of more than 200 African-American women and 20 men were assigned to the Azalea Garden project. Today, Norfolk Botanical Garden includes 175 acres, with more than 60 themed gardens that can be viewed by tram, boat, or foot.
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.
Sunday - Day Four – Norfolk, Virginia
Start the morning at The MacArthur Memorial. The memorial museum and research center is dedicated to preserving and presenting the story of the life of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur. The Memorial also pays tribute to the millions of men and women who served with General MacArthur in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. A visit to the Memorial will allow you to explore the life of one of America’s greatest and most complex leaders.
Spend the rest of the day on the Virginia Waterfront at Sail2025® Virginia in downtown Norfolk, Virginia. 4,000 officers, cadets, and crews of more than 55 ships from 20 nations will engage in events along Virginia’s waterfront. A day of ship visitations, land and water events, food, and music.
Monday - Day Five – Virginia Beach, Virginia
Begin your morning with a Dolphin Watching Tour. Venture into the Atlantic Ocean in search of bottlenose Dolphins. Learn why Virginia Beach has the largest population of Bottlenose Dolphins on the East Coast (Whale Watching Tours are offered in the winter months)
Depart Virginia Beach with lasting memories.