STS062-089-001 JAMES RIVER; NORFOLK, VIRGINIA MARCH, 1994 This west-looking view shows the brown, turbid James River entering Hampton Roads, near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay (lower right). Hampton Roads is one of the best natural harbors in the U.S. and has been a major anchorage point since colonial times. In March of 1862, Hampton Roads was the site of the Civil War Battle between the Ironclad Monitor and Merrimack. The James River is still navigable for large ships to Richmond, Virginia, 100 miles (160 km) upstream. Norfolk, Virginia is the urban region developed along the southern shore of the James where it enters the Chesapeake Bay. North of Hampton Roads are the smaller cities of Newport News and Hampton. Near the right side of the image is the historic city of Williamsburg, located between the James and York Rivers
Other key features in this region include the Dismal Swamp, the dark region at center left. Though much larger in the past, the swamp has been drained and now covers a little more than 600 sq. miles (1554 sq. km). The southern tip of the Delmarva Peninsula is visible near the lower right corner. The linear feature crossing the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay is the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel that connects the Delmarva Peninsula (lower right) with the city of Norfolk on the mainland.