The Virginia Peninsula is a diverse area, a true melting pot of culture and landscape. From the miles of sandy beach to the rich historical sites, the Peninsula is an amazing place to live and explore.
Learn more here with this overview of each of the major areas of the Peninsula.
Located on the north side of the Virginia Peninsula, the York River is York County’s northern border and the County contains many tributaries of the river. The County shares borders with Williamsburg, Newport News, Hampton, Poquoson, and James City County. York County is one of the oldest counties in the United States and is home to the site of the end of the American Revolutionary War. Now, York County hosts several important military installations including the Coast Guard Training Center and the Naval Weapons Station Navy Base. York County is home to the Yorktown Riverfront area, Yorktown Battlefield and Visitor Center, and Yorktown Victory Center.
Bordered by the Poquoson River on the north and Back River on the South, the city is surrounded by water on all sides. The inlets, deep water, and proximity to the Chesapeake Bay make it a boater and fisherman’s paradise. Poquoson offers a small town atmosphere with big city amenities. It is also home to Virginia’s largest salt marsh, Plum Tree Island National Wildlife Refuge.
Williamsburg/James City County
As the former capital of the Colony of Virginia, Williamsburg is rich in area history. Williamsburg is home to the 2nd oldest institution of higher learning in the nation, the College of William & Mary. The area also includes many of the Peninsula’s major attractions including Busch Gardens, Water Country USA, history museums, and top area wineries. Williamsburg also offers some of the best shopping, restaurants, and golf courses around.
Newport News is at the southeastern end of the Virginia Peninsula, with many miles of waterfront leading to the mouth of the James River. You can enjoy many scenic parks, hiking, camping, fishing, canoeing, golf and more here. The city is home to the expansive Newport News Shipbuilding, Fort Eustis Army Base, and Christopher Newport University.
Located on the southeastern end of the Virginia Peninsula, Hampton traces its history to the city’s Old Point Comfort, the home of Fort Monroe for almost 400 years. After the end of the American Civil War the historic Hampton University was established, and is still educating today. Hampton is home to Langley Air Force Base, NASA Langley Research Center, and the Virginia Air and Space Center. Hampton features many miles of waterfront and beaches. The city features a wide array of business and industrial enterprises, retail and residential areas, and historical sites.
Other Outlying Areas:
Smithfield/Isle of Wight
At the south end of Hampton Roads sits Smithfield. With big city amenities and a small town feel, Smithfield is full of historic sites such as 17th century churches, parks, and battle forts. It is also home to the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer, Smithfield Foods.
One of Hampton Roads most popular rural areas, Gloucester borders the York River and the lower Chesapeake Bay. The county is rich in farmland and important to the Virginia fishing industry. It is also known as the daffodil capital of the world. Gloucester’s retail center is located around its Main Street area.