Virginia Beach History Museums

The historic Thoroughgood House is open for FREE public tours! Advanced registration no longer required.

JUNE 8, 2021 UPDATE

Tours currently run every 30 minutes from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturdays. Admission remains FREE, but advanced reservations are no longer required. Tours will be open to the public on a first come, first served basis. Please call 757-385-5100 or email vbhistory@vbgov.com if you have questions about tours.

In addition to Saturdays, the Thoroughgood House will be open for free tours on Thursdays and Fridays starting June 17.

Tours on both Thursdays and Fridays will run every hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday tours will also run in the evenings every 30 minutes from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. THERE WILL BE NO THURSDAY EVENING TOUR ON JUNE 24.

During the first Thursday evening tours on June 17, visitors will also have the opportunity to experience a specially focused program called “The Enslaved Perspective.” In advance of Juneteenth, the celebration of the end of slavery in the United States, this program focuses on the history of the enslaved individuals who lived and worked on the Thoroughgood House property in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Saturday tours will continue but will move to every hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., instead of every 30 minutes, on July 3. If you have already reserved a Saturday tour slot online, your tour will proceed as scheduled.

In accordance with updated federal, state and local health and safety guidance, visitors who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will no longer have to wear a mask while visiting the Thoroughgood House. Visitors who have yet to be vaccinated, or are only partially vaccinated, will still be required to wear a mask or face covering during their tours.

The Thoroughgood House, built circa 1719, is one of the oldest surviving colonial homes in Virginia Beach and is a National Historic Landmark.

At this time, the Francis Land House and Lynnhaven House remain closed for restoration. Also, the Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High School Museum is located within the Virginia Beach City Public Schools’ Renaissance Academy, which is currently only open to students and faculty. Make sure to follow our website, and Virginia Beach History Museums on social media, for the latest updates.

Virginia Beach's rich heritage is represented in its variety of historic homes. Some of the oldest surviving brick houses in America are in Virginia, and two of those–the Thoroughgood House and the Lynnhaven House–are located in Virginia Beach. The Francis Land House is a larger, later example of plantation living in Princess Anne County. These houses offer visitors the opportunity to step back in time and discover stories of risk and opportunity, expanding definitions of equality, and the bonds of family and community.

Slavery and the efforts of people of African descent to fight injustice and adversity are part of our shared past. The best account of local African American history can be found in the Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High School Museum. The museum tells the story of the efforts, and ultimate success, of the African American community to build a high school for black children during the era of segregation.

Virginia Beach's history is surprisingly broad, and the Virginia Beach History Museums provide memorable experiences for those wishing to discover the true hidden treasures of the Atlantic coast.

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Featured Events

Our Museums

Thoroughgood House

One of the oldest surviving colonial homes in Virginia Beach.

Lynnhaven House

One of the most well-preserved examples of early Virginia vernacular architecture.

Francis Land House

Served as the home of Francis Land VI, a wealthy plantation owner.

Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High School Museum

The first high school for African Americans in Princess Anne County.

About Us

The City of Virginia Beach History Museums include the Thoroughgood House, the Francis Land House, the Lynnhaven House, and the Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High School Museum. They are part of the City’s Cultural Affairs Department.

As part of the municipal government of the City of Virginia Beach, the Cultural Affairs Department engages residents and visitors through meaningful arts, heritage, and cultural experiences to connect and strengthen communities.

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