The metropolitan region known as Hampton Roads connects to the United States and the world with established, advanced transportation infrastructure that includes the Port of Virginia — the best natural deep-water harbor on the East Coast. Rail giants CSX and Norfolk Southern connect with the port for cargo distribution throughout the East Coast and Midwest, and Amtrak provides daily rail passenger service between Newport News; Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia; New York; and Boston; and to the south to Atlanta and Miami.
The area also boasts modern interstate and state highway systems, with Interstate 64, a major east-west corridor, circling the metropolitan area and linking to north-south Interstates 85 and 95 at Richmond, 70 miles to the west. The Chesapeake Bay-Bridge Tunnel allows access to Hampton Roads from the coast. Many Hampton Roads travelers choose to drive, enjoying the scenery and historic sites.
Hampton Roads Transit’s public transportation includes light rail, bus and ferry services.
For those arriving by air, Hampton Roads has two major airports served by both major air carriers and smaller regional commuter lines. Most communities in the region are within a 30-minute commute from the airports.
Norfolk International Airport
2200 Norview Ave. Norfolk, VA 23518 757-857-3351
Norfolk International Airport is 10 miles northeast of downtown Norfolk, 20 miles west of the Virginia Beach oceanfront and 45 miles southeast of Williamsburg. The airport serves southeast Virginia, Virginia’s eastern shore and northeast North Carolina. Four major airlines provide arrivals and departures daily. An average of over 250 operations (landings and takeoffs) take place each day. This includes scheduled passenger and cargo airlines, general aviation, air taxi and charter flights. The airport often handles military flights when local base runways undergo repairs.
An expansive USO Welcome Center on the second level of the Arrivals Terminal near baggage claim provides a lounge for active-duty and retired military and their families to relax, read, watch television, play games, grab a snack and access the internet.
A Military Information Booth on the first level of the Arrivals Terminal near the rental car counters is staffed by uniformed naval personnel; they can help incoming military with questions about ground transportation to local bases as well as providing both military and civilians with local information. Check out https://tinyurl.com/yadllugs for additional benefits.
Eight car rental companies are available in the arrivals terminal, and James River Transportation Airport Connection is the authorized shuttle service for service throughout Hampton Roads. Eleven taxi companies, Lyft and Uber also do business at the airport.
Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport
900 Bland Blvd. Newport News, VA 23602 757-877-0221
The Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport is about a 15-minute drive from downtown Newport News and 20 minutes from Williamsburg and Hampton. American Airlines provides service to Charlotte-Douglas International Airport and Philadelphia International Airport, and Delta Air Lines flies to Atlanta-Hartsfield International Airport. Free Wi-Fi service is available throughout the terminal, which handled about 411,000 travelers in 2016.
The USO of Hampton Roads and Central Virginia next to the Welcome Center in the main airport terminal was named best in the nation by the 2015 Volunteer Satisfaction Survey. Come to the USO for light refreshments and snacks, computer access and free Wi-Fi, a TV area, a video gaming station, a children’s play area, reading materials, the United Through Reading program, comfortable recliners and leather sofas, and information about the area. See www.flyphf.com/terminal/services or call 757-969-5604 for more information.
Six car rental companies serve the airport as well as eight taxi cab companies, plus limousines and coaches.
Hampton Roads Transit
3400 Victoria Blvd. Hampton, VA 23661 757-222-6100
Hampton Roads Transit serves the cities of Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach. HRT services include more than 50 bus routes, The Tide — Virginia’s first light rail system — and the Elizabeth River Ferry, which serves Norfolk and Portsmouth.
HRT also offers paratransit services and TRAFFIX, a cooperative public service designed to promote transportation alternatives such as ridesharing.
Williamsburg Area Transport
7239 Pocahontas Trail Williamsburg, VA 23185 757-220-5493
Williamsburg Area Transport provides a transportation system to residents of James City County, the city of Williamsburg and the Bruton District of York County through eight fixed-routes for buses and a number of specialty routes — the Trolley, the William & Mary Green Line and the Surry Line, transportation service for the disabled.
Driving and Commuting
Within the Hampton Roads region, Interstate 64 is the major east-west route, extending its reach with the I-264, I-464, I-564 and I-664 spurs and bypasses. This looped system encompasses the cities of Hampton, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth and Newport News, and links to Virginia Beach on the coast.
Major north-south routes are U.S. Routes 13 and 17, connecting commuters to Hampton, Williamsburg and Cape Charles.
The Virginia Department of Transportation offers commuter information — including traffic cameras, road conditions, construction maps and more — at www.virginiadot.org/travel/hroads-main.asp.
Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles issues driver’s licenses, identification cards and vehicle registration and provides other driving-related services. Find many of the required forms and general information at the department’s website.
Military personnel and their spouses who are stationed in Virginia from elsewhere may continue to drive with a valid driver’s license from their home state, but in general, all Virginia residents who want to drive must apply for a driver’s license once residency is established.
If you decide to apply for a Virginia driver’s license, download the Virginia DMV’s Military Guide at https://tinyurl.com/y9e6u565 for more information.
The state of Virginia does not prohibit drivers from making calls on handheld wireless telephones while operating a motor vehicle. However, because localities are allowed to enact their own cellphone laws, making or receiving calls without a hands-free device is illegal in some towns. State law bans anyone under 18 years old from using a cell phone or any other personal communication device while driving. Using a cell phone without a hands-free device is prohibited on Joint Base Langley-Eustis.
Texting while driving is prohibited throughout Virginia.
Applications associated with driving and vehicle registration are available online at https://tinyurl.com/ycn4drl7, including DMV forms, requests for driving records and more.
DMV Offices in Hampton Roads
City of Chesapeake
813 Greenbrier Parkway Chesapeake, VA 23320
City of Hampton
8109 Roanoke Ave. Hampton, VA 23605
City of Newport News
12730 Patrick Henry Drive Newport News, VA 23602
City of Norfolk
Military Circle Customer Service Center
5745 Poplar Hall Drive Norfolk, VA 23502
Widgeon Road Customer Service Center
850 Widgeon Road Norfolk, VA 23513
City of Portsmouth
6400 Bickford Parkway Portsmouth, VA 23703
City of Suffolk
1040 Centerbrooke Lane Suffolk, VA 23434
City of Virginia Beach
Buckner Customer Service Center
3551 Buckner Blvd. Virginia Beach, VA 23453
Hilltop Customer Service Center
1712 Donna Drive Virginia Beach, VA 23454
City of Williamsburg
5235 John Tyler Highway Williamsburg, VA 23185
2348 York Crossing Drive Hayes, VA 23072
City of Smithfield
912 S. Church St. Smithfield, VA 23430
Virginia Department of Transportation
Visit the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Travel Center online to get information on traffic, incidents and lane closures and view highway cameras. Maps and information about commuting options, safety rest areas and interstate highways are also available.