Home > Hampton Roads Community Info > Newport News
- Select a city or county
for more information
- Isle of Wight County
- James City County
- Newport News
- Southampton County
- Virginia Beach
- York County
Newport News, located on the James River where it joins Hampton Roads, became a permanent settlement in 1621; just 14 years after the first settlers came to America and landed at Jamestown Island in May of 1607. The city that started out as a tiny fishing village has one of the finest natural harbors in the world.
Newport News, along with Norfolk and Portsmouth, constitutes the Port of Hampton Roads, which is part of the State Port Authority. The shipyard, established in 1886, can build large civilian liners and a variety of military vessels from large nuclear powered aircraft carriers down to relatively small nuclear submarines.
Newport News is named after Captain Newport who is said to have come ashore during one of his trips up the James to visit the Jamestown colonists. The first ironclad naval engagement between the Monitor and the Merrimac took place March 9, 1862 off the shores of Newport News. The Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel connecting Newport News with Suffolk and Portsmouth has been built near the site and named in honor of the historic battle.
Newport News is approximately 22 miles long and four miles wide. Fort Eustis located at the northern tip of the city is home to the US Army Transportation Corps. Newport News is home to one of the largest municipal parks (8,065 acres) in the United States. Hiking, biking, boating, fishing, archery and camping are all available in the park.
Newport News is also the seaboard terminus for the CSX railroad, with dock and loading facilities for coal and a variety of bulk and container cargo. Other industries include seafood processing, manufacture of automotive parts, windows for homes and offices, electronic parts and photocopiers.
Revitalization has been ongoing for several years with the building of a new town center, Ferguson Center for the Arts and the expansion of Christopher Newport University.