Sail Away to The Best of Chesapeake Bay

Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay shelters quaint small towns, bustling cities, quiet backroads, and plenty of ways to get on the water.

The urban heart of the region is Norfolk. Step aboard the restored U.S.S. Wisconsin, visit the Nautica, a waterfront maritime museum, and pay homage to war leader Douglas MacArthur at the MacArthur Memorial Museum.

Across the James River in Hampton you can play a round at the Hamptons Golf Course, hike at Sandy Bottom Nature Park, stroll past magnificent homes in the Victoria Boulevard Historic District, spread out a towel at Buckroe Beach Park, or explore centuries of history at Fort Monroe National Monument.

Chesapeake Bay fishing pier in Virginia

Chesapeake Bay Bridge Fishing Pier

Chesapeake Bay turns progressively more rural as you head north. Throw a crab pot into the water at Plum Tree Island National Wildlife Refuge, launch a kayak from Gloucester Point, engage with one of America’s most important historic moments at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown and Colonial National Historical Park, and find end-of-the-road seclusion at New Point Comfort Natural Area Preserve.

Bring your hiking shoes, your nose for history, and your sense of adventure – there’s tons to see and do in Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay.

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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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