Virginia Beach Off The Beaten Path

  • Virginia Beach
    Virginia Beach
    by chewy3326
  • Cape Henry Lighthouses
    Cape Henry Lighthouses
    by tpangelinan
  • Visitors Centre
    Visitors Centre
    by bugalugs

Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Virginia Beach

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    Wildlife

    by bugalugs Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Visitors Centre

    After we had crossed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel we didnt really have any where in mind to visit, but I had read about the Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge and on leaving the Bridge its only a couple of miles up the road.
    However when we arrived it was early evening and the visitors centre was closed.
    The hours of opening are:
    April - October - Daily - 9.-4pm
    November & March - open daily 10-2pm
    December, January and February Open friday - Sunday only 10-2pm

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Birdwatching

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    Butterfly trail

    by bugalugs Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Butterfly trail

    I had read that there was a butterfly trail here, we parked, found the trail and started wondering down it. Telling the boys to be quiet as I didnt want the butterflies startled, we walked along silently with our eyes glued trying to see a butterfly. We had been walking for about 20 minutes and had not seen one!!!!! We then decided to head back to the car.

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    • Family Travel
    • Eco-Tourism
    • Birdwatching

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    At last!!!!!! Butterflies

    by bugalugs Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Butterfly

    As we reached the gardens around the Visitors Centre, our son said 'oh look' and yes you've guessed it, we at last saw some butterflies.
    Such lovely colours, you may want to click on the photo to see it better.

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    • Eco-Tourism
    • Family Travel

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    More butterflies

    by bugalugs Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    This refuge is also a huge area for migratory birds before they fly south.
    There have apparently been over 260 different species of birds here.
    There are lookout points and hides to see these birds.

    Here in the picture is another beautiful butterfly.

    I must add that when reading the web site of this place, one thing that I just cant agree with considering this place is a refuge for wildlife is that that have designated areas for hunting and killing white tailed deer!!!! The two just dont seem to go together.

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    • Eco-Tourism
    • Family Travel

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    FIRST LANDING STATE PARK

    by robertnavy Updated Mar 11, 2007

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    I visited first landing state park on 3/10/2007 and loved it...Hiked a little of the Nature trail thru bald cypress lagoons...this is all i have done for now will update later when explore more of it but read reviews and it seems to be nice...Has camping sites and also Cabin rentals also beach access and nature programs and tours

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    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park

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  • vikendall's Profile Photo

    Lighthouses

    by vikendall Written Jan 23, 2006

    Virginia Beach has 2 beautiful lighthouses, on the Ft. Story base, free, and easily accessible. You will need to get permission from the lighthouse keeper to step into the newer, functioning lighthouse, but it is worth the effort. Just stand in the center and look straight up. The geometric pattern created by the staircase is a work of art.

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    • Hiking and Walking
    • Backpacking

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    Virginia Beach in winter

    by chewy3326 Written Dec 26, 2005

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    Virginia Beach

    VA Beach may not be quite as exciting in winter, and you definitely won't be able to sit on the beach and relax (well, maybe with a heavy jacket you could...), but it's still worth coming in winter. Besides the very obvious plus that there are no crowds, you can still visit historic areas as well as take whale-watching tours. It's a different beach experience

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    • Beaches

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    James River Plantations on Rt 5 near Williamsburg

    by butterflykizzez04 Written Apr 6, 2005
    Tiffany & Noel on the James River near Westover

    We took a drive down Rt 5. We got on Rt 5 outside of Richmond and followed it along the James River. There are many plantations open to the public and many that are not.

    There are also alot of roadside markers letting you know the history that happened in this area including Civil War trail information.

    Very nice drive even if you don't stop at any of the plantations.

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    Visit Portsmouth

    by grandmaR Written Mar 28, 2005

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    Red Lightship behind bulkhead from Elizabeth River
    4 more images

    Portsmouth has been a ship building town from its founding in 1752. The Norfolk Naval Shipyard (which is here and not in Norfolk at all) was begun here in 1767, and it's repair record extends from nuclear powered submarines to the Confederate ironclad Merrimac. The first drydock built here in 1831 in still in use. Container ships regularly vist the docks between Pinner and Love Points.

    The Naval Shipyard Museum is in Portsmouth. But the shipyard is called the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. Which is confusing, at least to me. The name was chosen because at the time, there was already a Portsmouth Navy Yard in New Hampshire.

    "The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum offers a unique perspective on U.S. history, from Colonial to Civil War times and beyond. You’ll find beautiful ship models, uniforms, military artifacts and exhibits portraying life in 18th, 19th and 20th century Portsmouth."

    The Lightship PORTSMOUTH (the red ship in the picture) and the Naval Shipyard Museum are together in the same admisssion price.

    Winter Hours for both Museums:
    Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday; open on Mondays that fall on a holiday.

    Summer Hours for both Museums:
    Between Memorial Day and Labor Day;
    Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

    Admission:
    The $3 admission fee covers both the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum and the Lightship Museum.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel
    • Budget Travel

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  • grandmaR's Profile Photo

    "New" Cape Henry Lighthouse

    by grandmaR Updated Mar 28, 2005

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    Cape Henry Lighthouse reflected

    This is the 1881 replacement for the old Cape Henry lighthouse. It is NOT open to the public.

    It was was built to replace the older light only 357 feet away. The old lighthouse is open to the public and is maintained by the APVA.

    The New lighthouse is a 164-foot octagonal tower made up of cast iron plated inner and outer walls, with a masonry lining, making it the tallest such lighthouse in the U.S. It has a first-order Fresnel lens and is painted in black and white alternating vertical stripes. In 1923 the lantern was converted to electricity. The 1,000 watt light was automated in 1984 and has an intensity of 80,000 candlepower. Overlooking the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, its 20 second flashing light can be seen for only 15 miles out to sea because of the bright city lights.

    From the south, take I 95-N to 58-E to I 64-W. Take Exit 282 (Northampton Blvd) and follow Rt. 13 for four (4) miles. take the last exit before the bay bridge tunnel and bear right onto Rt. 60 (Shore Drive) and travel about five (5) miles. Ft. Story is a left turn at the flashing red light. After passing the guard house, take the first left, then your first right. This gate may be closed, if it is continue approx. 3 miles to the first stop light and take a left. This will lead you to the main gate. Continue straight approx 2 miles and you will see the Cape Henry sign on the right. You must show a picture ID at the gate.

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  • tpangelinan's Profile Photo

    CAPE HENRY LIGHTHOUSES

    by tpangelinan Written Mar 6, 2005

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    Cape Henry Lighthouses

    Take a ride up the coast out of the town north on route 60 to Fort Story Army Base, this is still an active Army Base so you need to go through an inspection of your car and show ID. There is no charge but you need to behave your self. There is also a public beach on the base just off to the right as you come on base. It's so neat to see both old and new lighthouses together and still standing. The Fort is about a 15 minute or so drive and well worth it, so check it out if you like lighthouses.You can find the full history about these light houses on my Lighthouses of the East Coast II album on our home page.

    583 Atlantic Ave.
    Fort Story Army Base
    Virginia Beach, VA

    November 1thru march 15 daily 10am to 4.m.
    March 16 thru October 30, daily 10am to 5pm

    7 Days a Week

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Museum Visits

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    First Landing State Park

    by Winch Written Feb 6, 2005
    First Landing State Park beach

    Hiking, biking and beaching. One of the gems of the Virginia park system, First Landing stretches from the beach to the salt marshes. Learn about nature from a ranger at one of the daily programs, fish the bay, explore secluded trails or just relax in your 2BR cabin.

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    • National/State Park

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    Jamestown Island

    by Goner Written Nov 21, 2004

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    Jamestown Island on the James River

    On May 14, 1607, 104 male passengers on three ships; Susan constant, Godspeed and Discovery landed on this island to begin a permanent settlement establishing an English colony. This landing predated Plymouth, Massachusetts by 13 years.

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    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park

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  • Beachfront Far From The Maddening Crowd

    by skierk8 Written Nov 14, 2004

    For a fascinating outdoor family activity, or a chance to just get out in the open, drive south of Virginia Beach down the coast, through Sandbridge to the Back Bay Wildlife Refuge. A wildlife enthusiast paradise. Wander the paths around large ponds teeming with indigenous fish and turtles. See wild ponies grazing around the education shack or flocks of migratory birds including swans. Walk the boardwalks through the marsh grasses to vistas of the backbay while spotting marsh birds and if your quiet, marsh mammals.

    Head over to the beach and see what Virginia Beach looked like before the hotels and beach front houses were built. Expansive white sand edged with sea grasses and dunes. Watch where you walk – no not for dog doo-doo (dogs aren’t permitted), during the nesting season from early June through August, sea turtles lay their eggs in the coastal sands of Virginia Beach. Five of the seven species of sea turtles that exist in the world today occur off Virginia’s coast.

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Birdwatching
    • Family Travel

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    Historic Williamsburg

    by Goner Updated May 31, 2004

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    Williamsburg

    Williamsburg isn't really off the beaten path as it's a very popular destination from Virginia Beach. It's the largest authentic Early American town that was the first capital of the US. No cars are allowed on the streets, all you see are horse and buggies. The buildings are the original buildings of the period and these building house the arts and crafts indicative of the era.

    The trip is less than an hour north of Virginia Beach and an easy day trip.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

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Virginia Beach Off The Beaten Path

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