Hotels in Chesapeake Bay

See These 13 Chesapeake Bay Attractions

Whether you're headed for the sterling Virginia beaches, a full day at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, or some of the historic sites, you'll have a memorable adventure on the Chesapeake Bay.

1. Naval Station Norfolk

Enjoy a tour of the largest naval station in the world when you visit Naval Station Norfolk. Accessed easily from I-564, Naval Station Norfolk is a popular attraction in the city of Norfolk – see 75 ships, 134 aircraft carriers, and 11 aircraft hangars. Enjoy a 45-minute tour conducted by Naval personnel – tour times vary throughout the year, so check ahead.

2. Norfolk International Airport

When you play your next visit to coastal Virginia, be sure to fly into Norfolk International Airport. The first permanent terminal at Norfolk International Airport was opened in 1940, and since then, it's grown into one of the largest full service airports in the region – it's a great way to start your exploration of nearby cities like Virginia Beach, and Williamsburg.

3. Ocean View Beach

Any summer visit to Norfolk should yield aquatic adventures at Ocean View Beach. Easily accessed from I-64, Ocean View Beach is a premier destination for those hoping to catch some rays, take a dip, or try some boating. Parking at Ocean View Beach is always free, the crowds are usually on the smaller side, and nearby restaurants offers some of the freshest and best seafood in the state. Explore Ocean View Beach on your next visit to Norfolk.

4. American Rover Tall Ship Cruises

Explore the Chesapeake Bay like few else can – aboard the Sailing Ship American Rover. Offering cruises to large public groups, and private selections as well, the American Rover Tall Ship Cruises is the premier service provider for Chesapeake Bay visitors who wish to be on the water. Make the drive in from Emporia and check the American Rover.

5. Sandbridge beach

When your travels have take you to Virginia Beach, be sure to spend some time at Sandbridge Beach. The Sandbridge Beach features the Atlantic Ocean on it's eastern shore, and the North Bay along it's western shore – twice the aquatic adventures are most beaches. Many Sandbridge Beach visitors enjoy surfing at all times of the year, while the Little Island Fishing Pier is a great destination for families and anglers.

6. Lynnhaven Boat Ramp & Beach

Boaters, anglers, jet skiers, para-sailing fans, and more head to the Lynnhaven Boat Ramp & Beach any time they visit Virginia Beach. With four boat launch lanes made of concrete, and several temporary mooring areas, you'll find it easy and efficient to get your boat out on the waters of the Chesapeake Bay – an ideal way to spend a summer day in coastal Virginia. There are nominal fees associated with launching a boat at Lynnhaven Boat Ramp, but nothing which should keep you from exploring the bay.

7. Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport

Another top airport in the area, the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport is an exemplary choice for air travel on your next visit to Chesapeake Bay. The Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport began servicing commercial airline flights in 1949, and was originally known as the Patrick Henry Airport. Plan your next visit to Newport News – be sure to fly in and land at the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport.

8. Busch Gardens Williamsburg

From March through December, Busch Gardens Williamsburg thrills and tantalizes visitors from across the globe. Roller coasters, themed rides, games, and plenty of fan fare await you and the family when you visit Williamsburg on the Chesapeake Bay. Enjoy any of the themed areas throughout Busch Gardens Williamsburg, like the Sesame Street Forest of Fun, San Marco, or the Banbury Cross.

9. College of William & Mary

Originally a private school from it's inception in 1693 through 1905, the College of William & Mary is a premier school on the Virginia coast. Head to Williamsburg and explore the campus with your soon to be high school graduate, or take in some of the sports action of the William & Mary Tribe – they compete in 23 men's and women's sports. The Plumeri Park is home to the Tribe baseball time, while the Zable Stadium hosts Tribe football games.

10. Colonial Williamsburg

Continue your tour of Williamsburg and get historic – check out Colonial Williamsburg on your visit. As one of the top historic attractions in the state, Colonial Williamsburg is a premier destination for all members of the family. A living-history museum and historic district, Colonial Williamsburg features a wide range of themed performances for any and all to view.

11. Battlefield Golf Club at Centerville

As you explore the city of Chesapeake, be sure to play a round 18 holes at Battlefield Golf Club at Centerville. Ideal for golfers who prefer the links-style challenge, Battlefield Golf Club at Centerville features tiered greens, wide, rolling fairways, and plenty of bunkers and water hazards to challenge even the best golfers. Beware of the 12th hole – it's a lengthy par 4 with a treacherous doglike right.

12. Chincoteague National Wildlife Refug

e At nearly 14,000 acres in size, the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge is home to a wide range of animals, most notably the Chincoteague Pony. When you visit the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge be sure to explore the Herbert H. Bateman Educational and Administrative Center. There are paths for hiking and walking, others for biking, and sanctioned areas for boat launching.

13. Chincoteague Island

It'll be tough to visit the Chesapeake Bay in southeastern VA and not explore Chincoteague Island. A charming and quaint town, Chincoteague Island was incorporated in 1908.

When you visit during the summer, you'll find a variety of beach-related fun, and top area attractions like the Refuge Waterfowl Museum, and the Museum of Chincoteague Island.

Beginning in mid-April and running through the summer, the Chincoteague Island Farmers Market is another exemplary attraction.

Chesapeake Bay fishing pier in Virginia

Chesapeake Bay Bridge Fishing Pier


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Top Things to Do

George Washington Birthplace in VA

See Washington’s Birthplace

America’s most famous president was born in the rural countryside bordering the Potomac River, and today that spot is preserved as the George Washington Birthplace National Monument. Visitors can walk through the Memorial House, see the historic home area, peer into Kitchen House, and stroll hiking trails to picnic spots. The visitors center has artifacts dating to Washington’s time, and the burial ground is the final resting place of many of the president’s relatives.

Maps for a road trip in Virginia

Hit the Road to See Chesapeake Bay

Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in America and an important driver of the region’s economy. It’s also the setting for secluded beaches and quaint towns and the perfect backdrop for an all-American road trip. Start in Norfolk and take the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel across (and under) a massive expanse of water, then explore small towns like Cape Charles and Wachapreague. For beaches, look no further than Assateague Island and Virginia Beach.

Coastal beach in Virginia

Sand and Surf Are Waiting in Chesapeake Bay

Chesapeake Bay is home to great secluded beaches and quiet backwaters. Grab a towel and sunscreen and head to urban beaches in Virginia Beach and Chic’s Beach or find a private patch of sand backed by Fort Monroe or Buckroe Beach Park. White sand is the rule at New Point Comfort and remote Bethel Beach. Enjoy small town charm with sand in your shorts at quaint Cape Charles and find end-of-the-road seclusion at Westland.

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