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  • Writer's pictureWandering Wanda

A Friendly Welcome in Hampton

When I was planning to go into Hampton, it was merely to visit the Hampton University campus, one of the earliest black colleges in the country. It was founded in 1868 by black and white leaders of the American Missionary Association after the American Civil War to provide education to freed men. But once I arrived, I was greeted with a flashing marquee indicating that the campus was closed. All learning was being conducted online and the guard at the entrance gate looked mildly stern, so I turned around back out to the main street of Emancipation Drive unable to walk around the campus and get that good ole college feeling as I was hoping for. Since it was still raining, I wasn’t feeling like dosing my charm to get past the gatekeeper for a walk-around, so I continued into the town of Hampton, which turned out to be a nice, pleasant surprise.

After crossing the bridge over the Hampton River, I was greeted by a friendly sign welcoming me into the city of Hampton. The FREE parking garage situated next to the Hampton History Museum enticed me to continue and check out the area as a substitute for the University walk. By this time, it was late in the day nearing 4PM, so the museum was about to close but there were some adorable cobble stone and brick walkways, so I followed them and ventured down the path into the corridor of East Queens Way. From my view, the entire downtown area appeared to be less than a mile as I walked through the St. John’s church and cemetery onto the main street.

The tree lined streets were dotted with restaurants, pubs, art galleries, marinas, and parks, with picturesque views of the waterfront. But the rain and a bit of a chill in the air kept my on-foot wandering to no more than 30 minutes. The remainder of the exploration was by car as I drove around following the signs to the Little England Chapel. By now I had surpassed my 10,000-step goal for the day with my visits to the Hampton Roads town of Norfolk, Newport News and Hampton, so all was good.

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