As we turn the corner to the warmer days of spring, most of us are itching for the riot of colorful blooms to beckon us outdoors for springtime activities. Read on as we highlight a few of the enticing spring activities to be had in the Coastal Virginia region.

Spring Comes Alive: Experience Chesapeake’s Outdoors

With over 80 parks to choose from, Chesapeake provides a full slate of nature-enjoying possibilities. Warming temps and sunshine are cause for celebration (especially among water lovers), and our ample supply of aquatic attractions provides opportunities galore. The Intracoastal Waterways, with its combination of natural and man-made features, is perfect for exploration. The Dismal Swamp Canal alone has over 22 miles of passage for you to enjoy via watercraft. 

If that whets your appetite for more, check out KayaXpedition, held in June at Oak Grove Lake Park, where you can enjoy one of only a few limited opportunities to paddle on the 65-acre lake. 

A Birder’s Haven

Situated at the heart of the Chesapeake Bay region, this area boasts a rich mosaic of ecosystems, including marshes, forests, and waterways, which serve as a haven for a remarkable array of bird species throughout the year. 

One of the most renowned birding destinations in Chesapeake is the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, spanning over 112,000 acres of pristine wilderness. Here, visitors can explore a network of trails that wind through dense forests of bald cypress and tupelo trees, providing sanctuary to elusive species such as the prothonotary warbler and the barred owl. Additionally, the refuge's extensive wetlands offer excellent opportunities for observing waterfowl, including the majestic great blue heron and the striking wood duck.

Beyond the refuge, Chesapeake's diverse habitats host an impressive variety of migratory birds, especially during the spring and fall seasons. From the tranquil banks of the Elizabeth River to the winding Chesapeake Arboretum trails, birders can spot a multitude of species, including ospreys, bald eagles, and shorebirds like sandpipers and plovers. Chesapeake is home to the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail - South Chesapeake Loop which provides sanctuary to over 213 species of birds. Stops on the trail provide visitors the chance to catch a glimpse of resident species as well as traveling neotropical songbirds during the spring and fall migration seasons. Along the trail, visitors may encounter birds ranging from nuthatches flitting through the pines to prothonotary warblers nesting in hollow swamp trees and stealthy great blue herons hunting in the shallows.

Spring Events in Chesapeake

Spring brings a vibrant tapestry of events that celebrate the season's arrival. Among the highlights is the Chesapeake Jubilee, a beloved tradition that captures the essence of local heritage and entertainment. This family-friendly festival features live music, carnival rides, delicious food vendors serving up regional favorites, and a variety of arts and crafts stalls.

Another must-visit event on Chesapeake's spring calendar is the Chesapeake Spring Art Festival, where creativity takes center stage. This celebration of artistic expression brings together local and regional artists showcasing their talents across various mediums, from paintings and sculptures to pottery and photography. Visitors can stroll through the vibrant displays, engage with artists, and even purchase one-of-a-kind pieces to adorn their homes.

For those with a passion for outdoor adventure, Chesapeake's Bike Fest is a must-attend event that promises excitement on two wheels. With group rides and family-friendly activities, this event epitomizes Chesapeake's commitment to promoting healthy, active lifestyles and fostering a sense of camaraderie within the community.

Of course, you don’t need a special event to get out there and enjoy it all. Hiking, biking, paddling, and more are great anytime you get the urge!

Craft Brews and Culinary Delights

After a full day of fun, you can relax afterward for an al fresco meal and drink at one of our craft breweries. Big Ugly Brewing has almost ten years of concocting fine beers and regularly schedules live music with food trucks on site. Also check out The Garage Brewery, Wasserhund Brewing Company, and Studly Brewing Company for their selections of tasty libations.

Tee Off in Style: Golfing Getaways

Golfers will be delighted at the opportunities in Chesapeake. Battlefield Golf Club is a challenging course that will test your skills. Chesapeake Golf Club has captured several “Best of” awards throughout its 40-year existence with recent improvements to the Pro Shop, Club House, and Pool area.

As you can see, there are a ton of fun things to do in spring in and around Chesapeake. Enjoy our beautiful part of the world, and we’ll see you outside!