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Newport News is an independent city in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area of Virginia. It is at the south-western end of the Virginia Peninsula, on the north shore of the James River extending southeast from Skiffe's Creek along many miles of waterfront to the river's mouth at Newport News Point on the harbor of Hampton Roads.

Near the city's western end, a historic C&O railroad station, as well as American Civil War battle sites near historic Lee Hall along U.S. Route 60 and several 19th century plantations have all been protected. Many are located along the roads leading to Yorktown and Williamsburg, where many sites of the Historic Triangle are of both American Revolutionary War and Civil War significance. The first modern duel of ironclad warships, the Battle of Hampton Roads, took place not far off Newport News Point in 1862.

Recovered artifacts from the USS Monitor are displayed at the Mariners' Museum, one of the more notable museums of its type in the world. The Museum’s collection totals approximately 35,000 artifacts, of which approximately one-third are paintings and two-thirds are three-dimensional objects. The scope of the Museum's collection is international. Included are 10 permanent galleries, changing and traveling exhibits, and virtual galleries available through the museum website. The collection of over 600,000 prints and 35,000 maritime artifacts is international in scope and includes miniature ship models, scrimshaw, maritime paintings, decorative arts, carved figureheads, and working steam engines.

The Virginia War Museum covers American military history. The Museum's collection includes, weapons, vehicles, artifacts, uniforms and posters from various periods of American history. Highlights of the Museum's collection include a section of the Berlin Wall and the outer wall from Dachau Concentration Camp.

The Peninsula Fine Arts Center contains a rotating gallery of art exhibits. The Center also maintains a permanent "Hands On For Kids" gallery designed for children and families to interact in what the Center describes as "a fun, educational environment that encourages participation with art materials and concepts."

The U.S. Army Transportation Museum is a United States Army museum of vehicles and other U. S. Army transportation-related equipment and memorabilia. Located on the grounds of Fort Eustis, The museum reflects the history of the Army, especially of the United States Army Transportation Corps, and includes close to 100 military vehicles such as land vehicles, watercraft and rolling stock, including stock from the Fort Eustis Military Railroad. It is officially dedicated to General Frank S. Besson, Jr., who was the first 4 star general to lead the transportation command, and extends over 6 acres (24,000 m2) of land, air and sea vehicles and indoor exhibits. The exhibits cover transportation and its role in US Army operations, including topic areas from the American Revolutionary War through operations in Afghanistan.

The Ferguson Center for the Arts is a theater and concert hall on the campus of Christopher Newport University. The complex fully opened in September 2005 and contains three distinct, separate concert halls: the Concert Hall, the Music and Theatre Hall, and the Studio Theatre.

The Port Warwick area hosts the annual Port Warwick Art and Sculpture Festival where art vendors gather in Styron Square to show and sell their art. Judges have the chance to name art work best of the Festival.

The Virginia Living Museum is an outdoor living museum combining aspects of a native wildlife park, science museum, aquarium, botanical preserve, and planetarium.

Parks and Recreation

Newport News Parks is responsible for the maintenance of thirty-two city parks. The smallest is less than half an acre (2,000 m²). The largest, Newport News Park, is 8,065 acres (32.64 km2), the second-largest city park in the United States. The parks are scattered throughout the city, from Endview Plantation in the northern end of the city to King-Lincoln Park in the southern end near the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel. The parks offer a variety of services to visitors, ranging from traditional park services like camping and fishing to activities like archery and disc golf.

Newport News Park is located in the northern part of the city of Newport News. The city's golf course also lies within the Park along with camping and outdoor activities. There are over 30 miles (48 km) of trails in the Newport News Park complex. The park has a 5.3 miles (8.5 km) multi-use bike path. The park offers bicycle and helmet rental, and requires helmet use by children under 14. Newport News Park also offers an archery range, disc golf course, and an "aeromodel flying field" for remote-controlled aircraft, complete with a 400 ft (120 m) runway.

The city also supplies two public boat ramps for its citizens, Denbigh Park Boat Ramp and Hilton Pier/Ravine. Denbigh Park allows access into the Warwick River, a tributary of the James River. Denbigh Park also offers a small fishing pier. Hilton Pier offers a small beach at the location of the park in addition to a Ravine. Croaker and trout are the fish primarily caught during the summer months and the pier is accessible to visitors in wheelchairs.

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