Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Chesapeake, VA

  • Published 2022/09/27

Chesapeake, the second most populated city in Virginia, is famous for its stunning natural attractions and rich history.

It offers plenty of vast parks, trails, and well-preserved historical sites that travelers of every age can enjoy.

Whether you are traveling with your family for a relaxing getaway or would like to embark on an outdoor adventure with friends, there is something here for you.

For a memorable trip, check out the list of the 15 best things to do in Chesapeake, VA, below.

Have Fun at the Great Outdoors at Northwest River Park and Campground

Wooden bridge at Northwest River Park and Campground

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Are you a fan of the great outdoors?

If yes, then you are in luck because Northwest River Park and Campground offers lots of outdoor activities that travelers can participate in all year round.

Show off your putting skills at the 18-hole mini-golf course while enjoying the gorgeous view of Lake Lesa.

The waters of Northwest River Park and Campground

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Whether you are a beginner or an expert, you are sure to have fun at the disc golf course, the first disc golf course in Chesapeake, as it features a wooden course that can accommodate players of all levels.

If you are into birding, you can go bird watching at Northwest River Park, where you can see a wide variety of birds throughout the whole year.

For a more unique way of seeing the area, you can ride a boat and savor the cool breeze and the beautiful scenery as you paddle through Lake Lesa.

Totem at Northwest River Park and Campground

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Get Up Close with Nature at Chesapeake Arboretum

Chesapeake Arboretum, known as “Nature’s Classroom,” seeks to encourage guests to be more environmentally and horticulturally aware by letting them wander in its many themed gardens, greenhouse, and farmhouse.

This 48-acre paradise, which is open daily, features an extensive display of plants and research materials, perfect for those interested in learning more about urban forestry.

Boasting the finest trail systems in the state of Virginia, nature lovers will have the best time exploring the outdoors here as they also feature a forest filled with mature hardwoods and a lot of different native plants and trees.

There is a picnic area with tables available here as well, which is a great spot for relaxing and enjoying the beautiful scenery with your loved ones.

If you are planning an event and are looking for a place where you can enjoy some fresh air and lush greenery, you can rent Pecan Grove Gazebo, which can easily accommodate 75 people.

Embark on a Historic Tour at Great Bridge Battlefield & Waterways History Foundation

Daytime view of Great Bridge Battlefield & Waterways History Foundation

Tere Rottink, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you are a history buff, Great Bridge Battlefield & Waterways History Foundation is a site that should be part of your itinerary.

Step into the actual battlefield where Patriots were able to claim victory over the British Redcoats at the Battle of Great Bridge during the Revolutionary War.

The park showcases a large stone monument that celebrates the Patriot soldiers who became an integral part of American independence.

If you want to learn more about this significant piece of American history, the foundation also offers educational tours led by local volunteers who are experts in this field.

Spend Some Quality Time with Your Loved Ones at Great Bridge Lock Park

Another tourist attraction that exhibits the beauty of Chesapeake is Great Bridge Lock Park.

Nestled between the southern branch of the Elizabeth River and the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal, this 19-acre park offers a lot of family-friendly amenities that everyone can enjoy.

Let the young ones have fun with the other kids at the on-site playground.

Spend some quality time with your loved ones over a delicious meal at the picnic shelters.

For some alone time, you can go on a relaxing walk on the foot trail that is accessible at the park.

If you are into fishing, you’d be delighted to know that there are fishing and crabbing areas here as well.

Visit Hickory Ridge Farm for Locally Sourced Items

One of the best ways to spend your mornings at Chesapeake is going to Hickory Ridge Farm.

You can find locally sourced goods and the freshest crops here.

Just make sure to check their website before going to the farm, so you know what they are offering during your visit.

From late April to early June, they usually offer strawberries.

If you want some homemade goods, local produce, and fresh eggs, try going to the farm by June to early August.

There is pumpkin picking from mid-September to October, which is a fun activity for kids and those young at heart.

The farm can host birthday parties as well, so do not forget to inquire about this if you are interested.

Go to Chesapeake City Park on a Lovely Afternoon with Your Furry Friends

If you are traveling with your dogs, Chesapeake City Park is a must-see destination.

The park offers fenced areas, water fountains for dogs, poop-scoop bags, and covered trash cans, to ensure that you and your furry friends will have a hassle-free time here.

There are also benches available for dog owners, so you can relax while your pets have fun with the other pets.

Dog park membership is required to enter this area, but you can easily get this at Chesapeake Visitor Center or Parks, Recreation and Tourism’s Administrative Office.

Of course, dogs will not be the only ones who will be having fun here as the park offers plenty of facilities where you can unwind too.

If you want to break a sweat, there is an outdoor fitness center.

For skate enthusiasts, there is a skate park with a spine ramp, hip ramp, and three-quarter pipe.

Play with Your Kids at Fun Forest

True to its name, Fun Forest is truly an exciting place to be for kids.

It features a large playground with a dragon, a three-way underground telephone, a shaky bridge, and a dolphin tunnel slide.

The park offers lots of attractions that are handicapped accessible.

These attractions include paved paths, slides, swings, picnic tables, and benches to accommodate wheelchairs to ensure that all kids visiting the site will have a great time.

Plan a Family Outing at Chesapeake Planetarium

Chesapeake Planetarium is the first planetarium in Virginia that was built by a public school system.

This site was originally constructed as a teaching aid for the school system but is now enjoyed by the general public.

Visit the planetarium’s Sky Theater and enjoy the view of the heavens with the whole family.

The planetarium also offers free programs to the public.

In fact, if you go there on a Thursday night at 8 pm, you might be able to attend one.

These educational programs feature topics that vary each month, so make sure to check their website before visiting.

It is best to reserve a slot, though, if you really want to join a program as it has limited seating.

Paddle Around Lake Drummond

The waters of Lake Drummond

Kate Scott /

The best way to see Lake Drummond is by riding a boat around the beautiful lake.

Whether you are a solo traveler or traveling with your kids and family, this is a fun activity you should include in your itinerary when visiting Chesapeake.

For travelers who love to fish, you can find a lot of fish species here, such as crappie, yellow perch, flier, and bullhead catfish.

Please note that the PH levels of the water here are low, so there is a limited number of fish that can be found here at any moment.

For bird enthusiasts, you’d be delighted to know that there are bird-watching opportunities available here as well.

Ride a Bike with the Whole Family at Dismal Swamp Canal Trail

View of Dismal Swamp Canal Trail

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Revel in gorgeous views of lush trees as you walk along the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail.

A bike ride with the whole family on the trail is also a good idea for a more memorable experience.

The trail is also home to various kinds of native wildlife.

So be ready to spot one or two during your visit.

If you are lucky, you might be able to see more, perfect for kids or any traveler who loves animals and the outdoors.

After an exciting day exploring the trail, you can head to the trail’s picnic area and munch on some snacks with your loved ones.

There are restrooms here as well to ensure that visitors are comfortable during their stay.

Unleash Your Inner Artist at GLaZENFYRE

Are you into crafts or know someone who would love to get in touch with their creative side?

Then, go ahead and bring the whole gang with you to GLaZENFYRE.

Look for a piece of pottery that speaks to you the most and unleash your inner artist as you have fun and paint it the way you want to.

After painting your chosen piece, you can leave it at the studio and come back when it’s ready to be claimed.

There are also other activities that you can try at the studio, such as glass fusing and canvas painting.

Just make sure not to forget to inquire about the available activities at the studio before going to GLaZENFYRE for a fuss-free visit.

Shop ‘til You Drop at Greenbrier Mall

A vacation is more exciting when there is shopping involved.

Greenbrier Mall, a 900,000-square-foot property, features popular department stores such as Dillard’s, Macy’s, and JCPenney.

They also offer plenty of specialty stores, so you are sure to find what you are looking for.

However, if you are not planning on shopping, there are also plenty of restaurants here that you can enjoy.

While you are here, you may want to drop by Cinema Cafe, which is a great spot to watch a movie while eating some mouthwatering meals.

Schedule an Ice-Skating Session at Chilled Ponds Ice Sports Complex

Offering skating sessions to the public any time of the year, Chilled Ponds Ice Sports Complex is an ideal place to visit for those who want to spend some time on the ice.

Practice your skills in this state-of-the-art 90,000-square-foot complex that features two NHL skating rinks.

If this is your first time trying this activity, grab this opportunity to learn about the basics of skating in their “learn-to-skate” programs.

There are also programs available here for those who want to play hockey.

Visit their website for their updated skating sessions for the public.

Book a Tee Time at Chesapeake Golf Club

Book a tee time at Chesapeake Golf Club, which boasts one of the best greens in the Tidewater area.

They offer rates as low as $25 for an 18-hole course on weekdays and $28 on weekends.

For those who want to play on the 9-hole course, the rate starts at $19 on weekdays and $22 on weekends.

If you are planning to visit the golf club often, they also offer pool and golf club memberships that you can avail of.

Relax, Grab a Snack, and Watch a Movie at Cinema Cafe

The well-liked movie theater and cafe combined is known as the Cinema Cafe.

They blend watching movies with a casual eating experience that offers a large selection of cuisine and a complete-service menu.

Along with alcoholic drinks, including wine, beer, and mixed drinks, options include burgers, handcrafted pizzas, sandwiches, chicken wings, fries, starters, and salads.

Typical snack items like soft drinks, chocolates, and freshly popped popcorn are always available.

Their theater seating options include leather motorized recliners, high-back swinging office chairs with cup holders, and classic movie theater chairs with high backs and adjustable armrests.

DTS digital audio and the most recent projection technologies are featured in the theater.

Choose from Various Beer Options at the Garage Brewery

The Garage Brewery is a 7-barrel brewing place in the center of Chesapeake, Virginia’s Greenbrier neighborhood.

Ulyana Gomez, a local businesswoman and financier who also happens to be a craft beer enthusiast is at the core of the business.

The Garage Brewery was created and inaugurated in 2019, fulfilling her dream.

For the typical and experimenting consumer, 16 total taps spin a diverse range of beers.

Their huge and extremely cozy taproom reflects their architectural theme.

It was constructed with carefully chosen recycled and reused materials.

The bar displays designs of the structure and the production equipment, and the exterior patio stretches past the overhead door.

Parties and public gatherings work well on their mezzanine, which provides a birds-eye perspective of the entire area.

Host Your Upcoming Event in the Venue at Cahoon

Are you hunting for an excellent location for your upcoming occasion?

The Venue at Cahoon, a renowned indoor/outdoor event facility, is situated at the old Cahoon Plantation Golf Course and is available to organize your upcoming engagement, special occasion, or business party.

The Venue at Cahoon is ideal for small-scale or grand group gatherings in addition to intimate or lavish weddings.

The Pavilion accommodates 200 guests, while the Center Banquet room and Porch can hold 90 to 100 guests.

If both indoor and outdoor options are utilized, the total number of guests can reach 300 to 500.

Plan a visit to this fantastic location that is the talk of the neighborhood.

Feel Adventurous at DEFY Chesapeake

The DEFY Chesapeake trampoline facility is more than just a children’s playground; it is a dynamic entertainment with completely new attractions at every curve.

A mix of athletics, entertainment, and epicness make up DEFY Chesapeake.

They developed a completely new sort of trampoline park adventure.

Extreme dodgeball, battle beams, a ninja course, a zip line, stunt falls, and many more thrilling activities are available at DEFY Chesapeake.

It is packed with unique attractions intended to test your limitations, let you soar high, and simply let you have a great time.

If you need to recharge between those backflips or jumps into the foam pit, they have a selection of meals, snacks, and drinks you can buy.

Pamper Yourself at Relax the Feet

Grab the chance to take a break from your hectic schedule and experience complete relaxation.

Relax the Feet’s renowned reflexology therapies will assist you in calming your mind and body.

Relax the Feet wants to make you feel at ease, renewed, and revitalized to give you the finest treatment in a peaceful and soothing setting.

Sit back in a sizable, comfy chair while they massage your head, shoulders, and hands while soaking your feet in warm water and natural salts.

Get carried away by the natural sounds and the peaceful, relaxing music as experts start massaging you.

Reflexology is a powerful technique for lowering tension, discomfort, and worry.

It may also boost circulation while re-establishing your body’s natural equilibrium.

The reflexology experience will positively impact your complete body in addition to how wonderful it feels.

Final Thoughts

Do not let this city fool you with its small size.

It is packed with stunning bodies of water and landscapes that can leave any visitor in awe.

Also rich in culture and history, this city is a haven for those who want to be more educated and connected with the past.

All in all, Chesapeake offers numerous sites where you can enjoy different activities at any time of the year.

To ensure that you do not miss any of the city’s top attractions, check out this list when you are visiting Chesapeake, VA.

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