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Virginia Beach Adventures and Misadventures

Background

I’ve visited Virginia Beach a few times. These are some of my recollections. They are all from this century and some of them will show how much has changed over just a few years. I live 200 miles from Virginia Beach. That seems roughly the limit of how far people would be willing to travel to get to Virginia Beach. Virginia Beach seems it would be similar to many other tourist cities along the U.S. Atlantic seaboard. Hopefully readers will find some parts amusing, some parts instructional, and some parts a time capsule.

First Visit

Our firsts visit was on the Friday before Mother’s Day in 2001. The unofficial summer season begins on the Memorial Day weekend. This meant it was just before the peak season. We were going because my son was attending a sports tournament. We started our journey at 3 PM. This meant facing the teeth of the Washington DC metropolitan area rush hour traffic. At the time the speed limit was 55 mph (88 kph). For the first part of the drive speed limit signs were a dream. As we neared Virginia Beach the speed limit signs were a joke. We learned the next day there was a fatal car crash because someone was driving on the wrong way on the highway. The drive took 6 hours.

When we reached Virginia Beach, I noticed the people in the streets were mostly teenagers or young adults. This worried me because the young crowd tends to get rowdy. We didn’t have any trouble but I learned afterward our coach had a problem I feared. She was with her 8-year old daughter in the hotel room trying to sleep. High schoolers, who had rooms at the opposite ends of the hallway, decided to have a conversation by yelling to each other from their rooms.

After checking in the hotel our top priority was to find a place to eat. We went into the closest place to the hotel. They had a children’s menu and that was all that mattered. It was a nice place to eat. The hotel room had a small balcony and an ocean view. I loved watching the waves break in the darkness. On the second and final night of the visit there was rain. The lightning flashes over the ocean were a spectacular site.

Subsequent Visits

One time when we visited the hotel room wasn’t ready for us when we got there. My wife felt it was all good she would just lie on the beach under an umbrella and relax after the long drive. The fleet was apparently coming in and every few minutes a couple of jets would fly in. My son and I loved watching these planes as they flew overhead. My wife wasn’t happy that these aircraft were disturbing her relaxation.

The one visit we had that didn’t involve a sports tournament was during the peak season, summer. We didn’t make hotel reservations. The only hotel rooms we could find was in a dingy hotel about a block away from the beach. The rate was about $150 per day, this was circa 2009. Our plans were to go to Busch Gardens, Williamsburg, an hour’s drive from Virginia Beach, the next day. We decided to spend a few hours on the beach then drive to Williamsburg and try our chances at a hotel there. The gamble worked.

We visited a couple of times in early November. The city had some Christmas decorations. On the occasions we went the weather was mild. It was well past the peak season. Wintry weather is rare in early November, but it is possible.

The speed limit on the highway leading to Virginia Beach is now 70 mph (110 kph). This considerably shortens the time it takes to get there.

General Impressions

The hotels at Virginia Beach seems to be a popular place for prom parties. Driving in the late evening can present a problem since the hotels don’t seem to have enough parking spaces for their guests. There is limited parking in the beach area and many of the parking spaces are metered.

There are many hotels and so visitors can find one to suit their budget and demands provided they plan ahead. Prices vary greatly from peak season to off season. The beach is clean but the water is oily. Many would prefer a hotel pool over the ocean.

Dolphins may make an appearance at the beach. The usual caution against getting close to a wild animal. Visitors can rent surf boards. The Virginia Beach boardwalk is a cement sidewalk. It is a wide walkway. There is a bicycle lane adjacent to it. Visitors can rent bicycles. There are also double bicycles that seem fun for a group or family. They resemble a high-tech version of a Flintstones vehicle. There is a small amusement park and other entertainment places near the ocean.

There is the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center at Virginia Beach. It Is a fun and educational place to visit. The USS Wisconsin is docked at nearby Norfolk, Virginia next to the Nauticus Museum. They are both worth a visit.

There are many things to do for those who are staying for more than a weekend getaway. This tends to give me the feeling when I was there that I wished I could stay longer.

© 2019 Robert Sacchi

Comments

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on November 13, 2020:

Robert, glad to note that. You're welcomed. Enjoy the weekend.

Robert Sacchi (author) on November 13, 2020:

Thank you for reading and commenting. Unfortunately no. Some posts haven't been transferred to Maven. They still behave as they always have. The ones on the Maven sites don't have a comment option.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on November 13, 2020:

Thanks for writing about your memories. Wow! I can still leave a comment! Does this mean that they are opening up comments on older posts? I hope so!

Robert Sacchi (author) on November 13, 2020:

Thank you. I'm glad you stopped by and commented. I also write articles on places I've been, movies, television shows, among other subjects. Almost every experience is worth an article. I also wrote a few short stories.

Miebakagh Fiberesima from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA. on November 13, 2020:

Robert, I thought you mostly write on aviation. And so I wonder what you've got at the beach. The story is worth a read. Thanks.

Robert Sacchi (author) on May 14, 2019:

Thank you for reading and sharing.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on May 14, 2019:

Growing up along the waters of Virginia I am quite familiar with this location. I have passed through on my way to visit Virginia families but never spent the day at the beach there. I grew up along the Chesapeake in Deltavile VA which is not far from there and as a child spent many hours on our tiny beach there splashing and playing in the water with my friends. Thanks for sharing this Angels on the way ps

Robert Sacchi (author) on March 02, 2019:

Thank you for reading and commenting.

glassvisage from Northern California on March 02, 2019:

This was an enjoyable read! It made it easy to visualize all of the happenings you described! Thank you for sharing!

Robert Sacchi (author) on February 19, 2019:

Thank you for reading and commenting. Yes, the United States is a large country. Virginia Beach is on the Atlantic seaboard. Places are relatively close. Out west there are places where you can be 200 miles from nowhere. One day I drove from San Antonio, Texas to Little Rock, Arkansas. For almost the whole day I was driving through Texas.

RoadMonkey on February 19, 2019:

I am always amazed at the distances people in the USA have to drive. No point in Northern Ireland is more than 90 miles from another.

Robert Sacchi (author) on January 31, 2019:

Thank you for reading and commenting. There is a chance sighting from the shore. They also have dolphin boat tours. The web site also points out there is parasailing and kayaking where you may see dolphins.

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on January 30, 2019:

I'd love to visit Virginia Beach and stroll along the sandy shore. The dolphins you mentioned would be an additional attraction. Thanks for sharing this informative and delightful hub!

Robert Sacchi (author) on January 27, 2019:

Thank you for reading and commenting. Part of living on the Atlantic Coast is a hurricane hits every now and then. As my Physical Geography teacher use to say one of the disadvantages of living where there is nice scenery is the risk of a major disaster. Glad you cousin came through the hurricane alright.

Shyron E Shenko from Texas on January 26, 2019:

Robert, I love your description of VB I have a cousin who lives there and she will never leave. I remember when the hurricane hit and I worried about my cousin but she weathered the weather.

Blessings my friend.

Robert Sacchi (author) on January 24, 2019:

Thank you both for reading and commenting.

There was a hurricane that hit the area a couple of years before the pictures were taken. I'm sure there is some erosion but it is probably more evolutionary than the result of a single storm. The flatness is more likely a part of the manicuring of the sand,

I'm glad you like the Hub.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on January 24, 2019:

It looks like the beach area itself is very flat with no sand dunes judging from your photos. Has there been any erosion of the beach from storms in recent years? That can be a problem particularly if buildings are anywhere close to the water.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on January 24, 2019:

Hi Robert thank you for enlightening me about the area you enjoy, Great places to share and an informative hub with beautiful photos.

Robert Sacchi (author) on January 23, 2019:

Yes, it is me and my wife. Yes, there are many places of interest close to Virginia Beach. Virginia Beach is at the end of it. The highway going to Virginia Beach ends a couple of blocks from the ocean.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on January 23, 2019:

Thanks for introducing me to this part of our country. It sounds as though there are several things of interest that are in close driving proximity. Enjoyed your photos. I am assuming that the one taken by Jason is of you and your wife? A nice looking couple!

Robert Sacchi (author) on January 21, 2019:

Thank you for reading and commenting. I was trying to get a little beyond the travelogue,

Liz Westwood from UK on January 21, 2019:

This gives a fascinating insight into the area, with great tips based on your visits at various times of the year.

Robert Sacchi (author) on January 20, 2019:

I think you're right on both points. Will probably do an article or two on Williamsburg. I've never been to the Outer Banks but from what I hear it's a wonderful place to visit.

FlourishAnyway from USA on January 20, 2019:

I enjoyed your description and photos. I live close enough to Virginia Beach to make it a short day trip but we rarely do so. My daughter went with friends a lot in high school and loved having the beach being within close driving distance. The Outer Banks are our preferred location and Williamsburg is a better local place to stay overnight in my opinion, but I’m not complaining.