The Best of Waterfront Activities in Newport News

waterfront activities in Newport News

Newport News, Virginia, is a hidden gem for waterfront activities, offering a variety of options for outdoor enthusiasts and families alike. From scenic parks and trails to fascinating museums and historic villages, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re looking to explore nature, indulge in some history, or simply relax by the water, Newport News has it all.

Key Takeaways

  • Huntington Park offers a beautiful beach and fishing pier, perfect for a day out by the water.
  • The Mariners’ Museum and Park provides a mix of history and nature with its extensive exhibits and scenic surroundings.
  • Newport News Park is one of the largest municipal parks in the United States, featuring hiking trails, boating, and fishing.
  • The Noland Trail is a five-mile walking trail that offers stunning views of the Mariners’ Lake.
  • Hilton Village is a charming historic district with unique shops and restaurants, ideal for a leisurely afternoon.

1. Huntington Park

Huntington Park Beach

Huntington Park Beach is a hidden gem in Newport News, offering a serene spot for sunbathing and swimming. The beach is well-maintained and provides a perfect escape for families and individuals alike.

Athletic Facilities

The park boasts a variety of athletic facilities, including the Brittingham-Midtown Community Center and the Denbigh Community Center. These centers offer a range of activities from swimming to gymnastics, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

Community Centers

Huntington Park is home to several community centers such as the Courthouse Way Community Center and the Doris Miller Community Center & Swimming Pool. These centers are hubs for local activities and events, fostering a strong sense of community.

Discovery Center

The Discovery Center in Huntington Park is a must-visit for those interested in learning more about the local environment and wildlife. It’s an educational experience that’s both fun and informative.

Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center

For those interested in the arts, the Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center offers a variety of programs and events. It’s a great place to explore local culture and creativity.

An Achievable Dream Tennis Center

Tennis enthusiasts will love the An Achievable Dream Tennis Center, which provides excellent facilities for both casual and competitive play. The center is a testament to the park’s commitment to promoting active lifestyles.

Huntington Park Tennis Center

The Huntington Park Tennis Center is another fantastic facility for tennis lovers. With well-maintained courts and a friendly atmosphere, it’s a great place to enjoy a game or two.

Parks & Trails

Huntington Park features numerous parks and trails, perfect for hiking, biking, and picnicking. The park listings include dog parks, skate parks, and more, making it a versatile destination for outdoor activities.

Programs & Activities

The park offers a wide range of programs and activities, from arts and culture to active lifestyles for those aged 50 and above. Whether you’re interested in classes, clubs, or trips, there’s always something happening at Huntington Park.

Huntington Park is a vibrant community hub that offers a diverse range of activities and facilities. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, engage in sports, or participate in community events, this park has something for everyone.

2. Mariners’ Museum and Park

Museum Hours

The Mariners’ Museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Plan your visit to explore a wide range of exhibits and activities.

Park Hours

The park is open daily from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., offering ample time to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and various outdoor activities.

Popular Park Destinations

Make the most of your visit by exploring the Noland Trail, Mariners’ Lake waterfront, and the forested areas of Mariners’ Park. These spots are perfect for viewing nature, spending time with family, and enjoying your favorite activities.

Easy Access Overlooks

Each of the four Noland Trail overlooks offers something special. If you’re short on time, the Monitor Overlook is the easiest to access.

The Mariners’ Lake

For decades, the local community has treasured this scenic lake. Early mornings are perfect for listening to its whispering waves, while late afternoons are ideal for observing the incredible wildlife. Visit The Mariners’ Lake and start creating your own memories today!

The Mariners’ Museum and Park is a place where you can find your connection to the world’s waters and to one another.

3. Newport News Park


Newport News Park is one of the largest municipal parks east of the Mississippi River, spanning over 7,500 acres. This expansive park offers a wide variety of activities, making it a perfect destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers.


Visitors can enjoy numerous activities such as hiking, biking, mountain biking, picnicking, paddleboating, canoeing, archery, and freshwater fishing. Year-round camping is available at 188 campsites, most of which include grills, electrical hook-ups, and concrete pads.


For those looking for an overnight outdoor adventure, Newport News Park offers modern campsites equipped with essential amenities. The park’s moderate climate and excellent location make it an ideal spot for camping.


Fishing is a popular activity at Newport News Park, especially during the warmer months. The park’s lakes are stocked with various types of trout, providing a great experience for anglers.

Whether you’re into hiking, fishing, or just enjoying the great outdoors, Newport News Park has something for everyone. Its vast expanse and diverse activities make it a must-visit destination in Newport News.


The park also hosts various festivals and events throughout the year, adding to its appeal as a vibrant community hub.


Conveniently located near Williamsburg, Yorktown, Hampton, Norfolk, and a short drive to Virginia Beach, Newport News Park is easily accessible and a great addition to any travel itinerary.

4. Noland Trail

Holly Tree Overlook

At the end of the Harvey Field parking lot, a paved road provides direct access to the Holly Tree overlook. Here, you can find picnic tables and a great view of the Lake! If you choose to enter the Noland Trail here, please be aware that steeper sections and water bars (wooden beams) are not as stroller-friendly as other areas in the Park.

Best Spot to Watch Wildlife

You can’t go wrong choosing a spot on the Noland Trail to view the Park’s flora and fauna. However, here are some of the top locations to view animals. (Please remember, do NOT feed or touch the animals!)

  • Bridge 2 – Turtle Bridge: Access from North Entrance

Popular Park Destinations

Along the Noland Trail, Mariners’ Lake waterfront, and in the forest of Mariners’ Park, there are many idyllic spots to view nature, spend time with friends and family, and enjoy your favorite activities.

Easy Access Overlooks

Each of the four Noland Trail overlooks offers something special. But if you’re short on time, these two overlooks are the easiest to access:

  • Monitor Overlook
  • Holly Tree Overlook

5. Virginia Living Museum

The Virginia Living Museum in Newport News is a unique blend of a zoo, science center, and nature park. It focuses on native Chesapeake region species, offering a rich educational experience for visitors of all ages. You and your family could spend hours experiencing it all.


The museum boasts a variety of exhibits ranging from the America’s Cup race history to Navy sea power and intricate miniature ships. Each exhibit is designed to be both informative and engaging, making it a great place for learning and fun.


Best of all, admission is just $1, making it an affordable outing for families and individuals alike. This low cost ensures that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy and learn from the museum’s offerings.


Visitors can enjoy a range of activities, from interactive science displays to observing live animals native to the Chesapeake region. The museum also offers special programs and events throughout the year, ensuring there’s always something new to see and do.

A good catch in Newport News, the Virginia Living Museum offers a comprehensive and enjoyable experience that combines education with entertainment.

6. Hilton Village

waterfront activities in Hilton Village, Newport News


Hilton Village is a treasure trove for shoppers. From vintage finds at Hilton Plantiques to unique clothing at Primrose, there’s something for everyone. Don’t miss out on Act ii Consignment for preloved clothing and Hilton Village Goldsmith for custom jewelry.


Foodies will love the variety of dining options. Indulge Bakery and Bistro offers fresh seasonal specials and homemade sweets, while Hilton Tavern Brewing Co is a community staple for casual meals and live music. For dessert, Hilton Creamery’s homemade ice cream is a must-try.

Nearby Attractions

Just outside Hilton Village, you’ll find Anna’s Pizza #2, known for its incredible pizza, and Village Bicycles, a local favorite for new and used bikes. Smoke offers amazing BBQ with a beautiful covered patio.

Hilton Village is more than just a place to visit; it’s a community experience that captures the essence of Newport News.

7. Chesapeake Bay

Bay Boating

Chesapeake Bay is a paradise for boating enthusiasts. Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or a novice, the bay offers a variety of boating experiences. From leisurely cruises to thrilling speedboat rides, there’s something for everyone. Don’t miss out on the chance to explore the bay’s scenic waterways.

Bay Fishing

Fishing in Chesapeake Bay is a must-do activity. The bay is teeming with a variety of fish species, making it a popular spot for both amateur and professional anglers. Grab your fishing gear and head out for a day of fun and relaxation on the water.

Bay Living

Living by the bay offers a unique lifestyle filled with water activities, stunning views, and a close-knit community. Whether you’re looking to move or just visit, Chesapeake Bay provides a serene and picturesque setting that’s hard to beat.

Chesapeake Bay is not just a body of water; it’s a way of life. From boating and fishing to simply enjoying the view, the bay offers endless opportunities for enjoyment.

Bay Places

Explore the charming towns and cities that dot the Chesapeake Bay area. Each place has its own unique charm and attractions, from historical sites to modern amenities. Make sure to visit some of these spots to get the full Chesapeake Bay experience.

8. James River

Scenic Views

The James River offers some of the most breathtaking scenic views in Newport News. Whether you’re looking to relax by the water or take stunning photographs, this river provides the perfect backdrop. Don’t miss the sunsets; they are truly spectacular.

Boating and Fishing

For those who love water activities, the James River is a haven for boating and fishing. You can rent a boat or bring your own to explore the river. Fishing enthusiasts will find a variety of fish species, making it a popular spot for both casual and serious anglers.

Wildlife Watching

The river is home to a diverse range of wildlife. From osprey and bald eagles to turtles and otters, there’s always something to see. The area around Lions Bridge is particularly good for bird watching.

Picnic Spots

There are several great picnic spots along the James River. Lions Bridge is a community favorite, offering shady areas under trees and sunny spots with stunning views of the river. It’s a perfect place for a family outing or a romantic picnic.

The James River is not just a body of water; it’s a hub of activity and a source of natural beauty that enriches the lives of those who visit.

Photography Locations

For photographers, the James River is a dream come true. The natural habitat and scenic views provide endless opportunities for capturing beautiful images. Whether you’re into wildlife photography or landscape shots, you won’t be disappointed.

9. King-Lincoln Park


King-Lincoln Park, located at the east end of Newport News, offers a variety of activities overlooking the Hampton Roads waterfront. This park is perfect for families and individuals looking for a mix of relaxation and recreation.


  • Tennis and Basketball: Enjoy a game on the well-maintained courts.
  • Picnicking: Numerous picnic spots are available for a delightful outdoor meal.
  • Playgrounds: Safe and fun playgrounds for children.
  • Saltwater Fishing Pier: Try your luck at fishing from the pier.
  • Interpretive Center: Open on summer weekends, offering educational exhibits.

Special Events

During the summer, the park hosts special events on an outdoor stage, making it a lively spot for entertainment and community gatherings.

King-Lincoln Park is a versatile destination that combines natural beauty with a range of activities, making it a must-visit spot in Newport News.

10. Riverview Farm Park

Riverview Farm Park is a gem in Newport News, offering a variety of activities for all ages. This family-friendly park is perfect for a day out with the kids or a relaxing afternoon by the water. The park features a large playground, picnic areas, and scenic walking trails that wind through beautiful landscapes. For those who enjoy sports, there are soccer fields and a baseball diamond available.

Playground and Picnic Areas

The playground at Riverview Farm Park is one of the best in the area, with equipment suitable for children of all ages. Nearby, you’ll find picnic areas equipped with tables and grills, making it easy to enjoy a meal outdoors.

Walking Trails

The walking trails offer a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life. These trails are well-maintained and provide stunning views of the surrounding nature.

Sports Facilities

Riverview Farm Park is also home to excellent sports facilities, including soccer fields and a baseball diamond. These facilities are well-kept and provide a great space for both casual and competitive play.

Riverview Farm Park is one of the many family-friendly attractions in Newport News that offer diverse activities for all ages. From parks to museums, there’s something for everyone. Explore and create lasting memories in this charming city.


Newport News is a treasure trove of waterfront activities that cater to all kinds of outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re into fishing, hiking, boating, or simply enjoying the scenic beauty, this vibrant city has something for everyone. With its moderate climate and convenient location near other popular destinations like Williamsburg, Yorktown, and Virginia Beach, Newport News is the perfect place to explore year-round. Don’t forget to check out the local hidden gems and participate in events like Newport News Restaurant Week to make the most of your visit. So, pack your bags and get ready to discover the best of waterfront activities in Newport News!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some must-visit waterfront parks in Newport News?

Some must-visit waterfront parks in Newport News include Huntington Park, Newport News Park, and King-Lincoln Park.

What can I do at the Mariners’ Museum and Park?

At the Mariners’ Museum and Park, you can explore exhibits from the ironclad USS Monitor, Chesapeake Bay small craft, and enjoy the scenic walking trails.

Are there any hiking trails in Newport News?

Yes, the Noland Trail is a popular hiking trail in Newport News, offering picturesque views and a serene environment.

Where can I go fishing in Newport News?

You can go fishing at various locations in Newport News, including Huntington Park and the James River.

Is there a place to learn about marine life in Newport News?

Yes, the Virginia Living Museum offers exhibits and educational programs about marine life and other natural wonders.

What activities are available at Newport News Park?

Newport News Park offers a variety of activities such as bird watching, cycling, mountain biking, boating, and disc golfing.

What makes Hilton Village a unique destination?

Hilton Village is a charming historic neighborhood with locally owned shops, restaurants, and a vibrant community atmosphere.

Can I find hidden gems recommended by locals in Newport News?

Yes, you can find a list of hidden gems from Newport News residents for more things to do, as well as places to eat and stay.

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