Springtime Fun in Chesapeake

Hike, fish, stroll, and paddle, all while flowers around you bloom. With mild temperatures, stunning scenery, and tons of outdoor activities, springtime is the perfect season to visit Chesapeake, VA.

Day One

Roll down your windows as you drive into town, and head to your first stop at the Chesapeake Arboretum. Here, take part in the self-guided tree walk, where 3 miles of trees are labeled, so you can get to know some of the nature that surrounds you. Watch for the blooming Stewartia grove, which is only visible during the spring. 

Once you work up an appetite, be sure to check out the Court House Cafe, a Chesapeake mainstay since 1985. Start with their award-winning She Crab Soup, but be sure to save room for one of their tasty seasonal, homemade desserts. 

Once you’re ready, check in to your room at Hilton Garden Inn Chesapeake/Greenbrier for a wonderful night’s sleep. 

Day Two

Fill up with a hearty breakfast at your hotel, then make your way to the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail for an energizing morning outdoors. Formerly US Route 17, this multi-purpose trail accommodates all visitors including bicyclists, joggers, and even boat owners. It runs 8.6 miles adjacent to the Dismal Swamp Canal and threads through some of the most ecologically significant habitats in the United States. 

Cooldown and stop for a bite to eat at one of the picnic tables, and take in some of the sounds and sights of Virginia’s native ecosystem. 

Now that you’ve caught your breath, spend some time in search of creatures heading along the Atlantic Flyway. Having spent the winters in Central and South America, these neotropical birds are finally returning to find warmth again. With verdant forests and rich habitat, Chesapeake has several ideal places to spot some of the birds that make up this impressive migration, and Dismal Swamp just happens to be one of them. Look for Warblers, which can be the size of Sparrows or smaller. Still haven’t spotted one? Listen for their songs, which are considered to be some of the most diverse and unique in the world. 

For dinner, settle in for a meal at Tap It Local. With a fantastic selection of draft beers in constant rotation and a comfortable atmosphere, you’ll be tempted to hang out all night. The menu offers everything from shrimp to salad, but why not indulge in one of their mouth-watering burgers? Choose between ground beef, turkey, or veggie before debating which one of their scrumptious sides you’ll be adding to your plate. With offerings like blue crab mac-n-cheese and fried okra, you’re sure to find a winner or two.

Day Three

Wake up for a morning out on Chesapeake’s wave-free water at Great Bridge Lock Park. Grab breakfast at the hotel and head to the dock with your kayak for a paddle. Because of the gorgeous landscape of Cypress trees, incredible wildlife viewing, and 22 miles of almost untouched canals, the waterways of Chesapeake are often considered one of the top spots in the country for paddlers. 

Once back on land, make your way to lunch at Lockside Bar & Grill. Just because you’re out of the water doesn’t mean you can’t still have water-views. Grab a table on the patio and chow down on your choice of burgers, sandwiches, or some fresh seafood tacos. 

With a full belly and the open road ahead of you, you can make your way home with the Chesapeake spirit in your heart.

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