On a whim, my family and I took the 30 minute drive “over the water” to Fort Monroe which is in Hampton.
Formerly an Army base, last fall, it was designated a national park. My husband, a former artilleryman loves any chance to teach the kids some military history, and luckily, he knew lots about what we saw because Fort Monroe once housed the Army’s coastal artillery school.
Old Point Comfort Lighthouse
One thing I found interesting about the base is that despite being in the middle of the south, it remained a Union stronghold. Fort Monroe was also known as Freedom’s Fortress as many escaped slaves found refuge there.
Fort Wool in the distance
The Algernoune Oak, one of the Remarkable Trees of Virginia, estimated to be nearly 500 (!) years old also calls the base home. It’s a beautiful and eerily quiet place now. There are still playgrounds, picnic tables and miles of beach and you can just imagine families enjoying themselves on weekends in the shadow of the beautifully decaying batteries.