It’s a name that’s easily said without a second thought, but has come to be defined as so much more:
A great place to work. The bridge to the beach. Our summer getaway. Where it all began.
Every local, whether born and raised beachcombers or recent relocatees, has their own definition of what Hampton Roads means to them. But what actually makes Hampton Roads? Where do the history books get the name of the place we call home? The Hampton Roads Partnership’s 2008 Regional Cooperation Report illustrates that the etymology stems from a combination of geography, history, and unique regional qualities.
Hampton Roads refers to the unique body of water formed by the James, Elizabeth and Nansemond Rivers and the connection they forge between the northern and southern parts of southeastern Virginia, the Peninsula and the Southside. The region was colloquially called “Hampton Roads” among early nautical, maritime, shipping and naval communities as a shortened version of the 17th century-dated, less catchy, governor-given title “Southampton’s Roadstead”. However, it was only in 1984 that the name became widespread. A planning district and a metropolitan area merged and our region became one of the top 50. As a result, efforts were made to differentiate our region from becoming known as another shoreline where the tides came in: “There are many “Tidewaters” across the nation … but only one Hampton Roads” (source).
Our latest hashtag, #HomeSweetHamptonRoads, aims to showcase every aspect that makes our region one we can thrive in. By following @yptHRive on Instagram, you can engage with Hampton Roads’ industries, eateries, breweries, technology, families, history, localities, ecology, charities, and novelties, take a day trip through one glance at your phone, and be the first to enter the photo submission and other various contests.
Join the social media story, use your voice, and invest in furthering the definition of what Hampton Roads means to you.