WanderLOVE: Into Chesapeake's Outdoors
Pack your bags, grab your car keys, buckle up, and take on the open road to experience Chesapeake's southern hospitality, unique cuisine, and natural beauty. Whether the leaves are changing colors or you find lightly falling snow, our views, hikes, and landscapes are a road trip can't-miss.
For travelers, in search of time off the land, grab your paddle and head to Chesapeake's Northwest River Park. Weave through historic waterways and catch sight of migrating warblers, all from the seat of your vessel. Once you've toweled off, explore the 763 acres of land, which includes mini-golf, volleyball nets, and hiking trails.
After a morning in the sun, quench your thirst at Big Ugly Brewing Company. Pull up a stool at Chesapeake's first microbrewery and ask for one of their famous beers. Sip Gose De Mayo or try any of the other creatively named beers on tap.
Hungry? Head a mile up the road to Off the Hook Seafood and Chophouse for mid-Atlantic seafood specialties like crab cakes, crab dip, and even crab mac and cheese.
Leave your screens in the car, and head out to the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge where over 112,000 acres of forested wetlands will keep you and your family entertained - naturally. Early birds can catch the sunrise along with an array of feathered friends like Wood Ducks and Pileated Woodpeckers. Once you're done spotting sparrows, hike one of the trails around the park, and bring your field guide to identify trees and brush unique to the region. Eagle-eyed visitors may also spot butterflies, white-tailed deer, and a variety of reptiles and amphibians.
After you've worked up an appetite on the trails, take a leisurely drive to Big Woody's Bar and Grill Great Bridge location. Here you can watch the sunset over the water alongside wings, wraps, and burgers. Plus, check their online schedule for opportunities to catch live local music.
For a post-meal Instagramable moment, head to Judge Eileen Olds Courtyard Park to see the Chesapeake edition LOVEworks, a six-foot wood-carved sign depicting some of the natural wildlife you're bound to come across during your travels. Once you've snapped your pic next to bears, otters, and crabs, make sure to post it using the hashtags #PeakeLOVE and #LOVEVA to let others take part in your adventure.
Still searching for expansive views and playgrounds too? We've got you covered. Spanning high above the Elizabeth River, the South Norfolk Jordan Bridge is sure to delight travelers who traverse it. Drive across or park your vehicle and take the three-mile round trip journey on foot before heading down to explore Elizabeth River Park. Once there, set up a picnic on the grass, visit the nautical-themed playground, or simply take in the breeze and the waterfront view from one of the many benches lining the river. Those who still have restless feet can hit the 1/2 mile trail or stroll along the pier to watch locals and visitors cast their lines in search of Red Drum, Spotted Seatrout, and of course hunt for crabs.
Whether, you're crossing bridges, gliding through canals, or hiking trails, there's plenty of nature to escape to in Chesapeake, VA. Get that road trip started!