In Chesapeake, The Great Outdoors Is A Great Escape.

Any season is the perfect season to bring your friends or family to Chesapeake. Just minutes from the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, it’s an outdoor lover’s paradise with plenty of activities for those who need an escape from life’s stresses – or who simply love the outdoors.

With miles of shoreline, this part of Southeastern Virginia was made for paddleboarding, kayaking, sailing, canoeing and more. Paddlers can enjoy the Intracoastal Waterway, Elizabeth River and Northwest River.

In addition to boating, the Northwest River Park and Campground offers 763 acres complete with campgrounds, a putt-putt golf course and a certified disc golf course. 

Bring your camera. Take in the gorgeous cypress trees and paddle along Lake Drummond, located in the historic Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. This freshwater lake rarely exceeds six feet in depth and is known to have some of the purest water in the world. Don’t be fooled by the brown color; the tannins from the cypress trees darken the water while also killing live bacteria. Outfitter Adventure Kayak Tours leads guided kayak tours through the refuge. This tour is a great way to learn about the past while immersing yourself in a world that’s both mystical and historically significant.

If fishing is your passion, the Northwest River and the Elizabeth River have some wonderful bass and trout fishing when in season. Lake Lesa, located in the Northwest River Park and Campground, is stocked with trout, largemouth bass, crappie, pickerel and catfish. And yes – you need a fishing license.

Many visitors enjoy crabbing. The Elizabeth River Park and Great Bridge Lock Park on the Elizabeth River offer great crabbing. The Intracoastal Waterway, accessible by Great Bridge Locks Park, is also a good spot.

April through June, the daytime sky holds magic of its own, as more than 200 species of birds migrate home or simply pass through. A sanctuary for year-round birdwatching since the 1600s, birders flock to see Bald Eagles, Egrets, White-throated Sparrows, the Great Horned Owl, Acadian Flycatchers, and Red-eyed Vireos, just to name a few.

For those who prefer indoor pursuits, Chesapeake offers a diverse range of charming shops and boutiques and an array of great places to eat and drink. Every week Chesapeake features a Food Truck Series where food trucks gather in one of our parks – complete with children’s activities, live entertainment and a variety of fresh, local food.

Chesapeake is conveniently situated. It’s only a short, 20-minute drive to urban nightlife in Downtown Norfolk or a 30-minute drive to the Virginia Beach Boardwalk and beaches. Many visitors choose to stay in Chesapeake and benefit from affordable hotel accommodations, making us home base for their vacation.  

Whether you are looking for a relaxing vacation or an outdoor lover’s active getaway, Chesapeake has what you are looking for.

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Places to Go, Things to See: