25 Best Things to Do in Chesapeake, VA

25 Best Things to Do in Chesapeake, VA

Embarking on a quest to uncover the best things to do in Chesapeake, Virginia?

In this comprehensive guide, we've melded insights from locals and travelers to present you with a mosaic of experiences that define this remarkable place. While we've highlighted some must-visit spots, it's imperative to understand that these recommendations are shaped by personal opinions and experiences.

There are countless other wonderful places awaiting your discovery. Our goal isn't just to point you to the well-trodden paths, but to inspire you to explore and truly immerse yourself in the city's essence.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the following individuals for their invaluable contributions to this article: Ralph Caron, Paul Franklin, Teresa Golden, Carlos Long, Mary Williams, Corine Moyer and James Pedrick.

Go Camping at Northwest River Park

Wooden bridge at Northwest River Park and Campground
Why Wait Live / Shutterstock.com

Every now and then, I feel the urge to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse myself in the tranquility of nature.

My go-to haven for such moments is Northwest River Park, a place where the serenity is as captivating as the activities are thrilling.

The park is open year-round, offering recreational activities like fishing, boating, camping, horse riding, putt-putt, and more.

My favorite spot in the park has to be Spot 1, purely for its proximity to the playground.

I'm one of those people who find joy in the laughter and playful antics of children, so this spot is just perfect for me.

And don't get me started on the showers and restroom facilities; while they can be a bit buggy, they are generally clean and conveniently situated within an easy walk from any campsite.

One thing I advise anyone planning a visit to pack is their longest water hoses.

The water here has shared hookups, and believe me; you don't want to be caught short.

You also won't find a black-tank hookup, but there's a Dump Station on site, which makes it quite convenient.

The waters of Northwest River Park and Campground
Why Wait Live / Shutterstock.com

And when it comes to rates, they are quite affordable at $30 per night.

However, I learned the hard way that it's essential to come fully equipped as the Camp Store doesn't stock typical camping items like small propane bottles, batteries, camp stove gas, charcoal, or even ice or firewood.

One of my favorite activities to do in the park is paddling.

The park offers canoe, kayaking, and paddle boat rentals, which are a fantastic way to explore the stunning lake and river.

The sight of the calm water under the clear blue sky is simply breathtaking, and the no-swimming rule just means there are fewer disruptions to the peaceful scenery.

Another thing that makes Northwest River Park remarkable is the friendly and helpful staff.

They always make me feel welcomed and appreciated.

They even have a little welcome and info center/gift shop where you can learn about the local wildlife and habitats or purchase things like canoe rentals.

Totem at Northwest River Park and Campground
Why Wait Live / Shutterstock.com

Have a Family Day at the Fun Forest Playground

Walking into the Fun Forest Playground at Chesapeake City Park is like stepping into a child's dream. I remember taking my kids there for a large family gathering.

The park, nestled in Greenbrier, is packed with amenities, including restrooms, a basketball court, small grills, picnic tables, and several shelters.

On a sunny day, the park is a hub of activity.

The wooden playground is large, resembling a fortress, offering endless fun for young adventurers.

The playground could use some updates, and the occasional litter can be a downside, but the thrill of exploration and play overshadows these minor flaws.

Surrounded by trees, the playground is a beautiful spot for families.

The shade provides a cool escape during the hot summer days.

The park often hosts birthday parties, and it's always a joy to see the excitement on the kids' faces as they run around and play.

What's more, there are fun trails nearby.

While the children play, parents can take a peaceful walk or even go for a wagon ride.

There's also a train nearby, which always captivates the little ones.

This park is bustling with activity, so be prepared to keep a close eye on your little explorers.

My niece adores this park.

There's something about the sprawling play areas under the canopy of trees that keeps her excited.

The Fun Forest Playground accommodates a host of children, ensuring fun for everyone.

A day spent here is a day filled with laughter, fun, and cherished family moments.

Embark on Journey Among the Stars at Chesapeake Planetarium

Ever since I was a child, gazing up at the vast, star-speckled sky, I've been enchanted by the mysteries of the universe.

And thankfully, right here in my hometown, we have our very own gateway to the cosmos – Chesapeake Planetarium.

My earliest memory of the Chesapeake Planetarium dates back to a school field trip.

The excitement of stepping into the domed theatre, and the awe-inspiring projections of celestial bodies, made a profound impact on me.

Over the years, my fascination with the is not just a tradition but an anticipation, a chance to learn something new about our universe.

The programs are as diverse as the cosmos itself, with each month featuring a different topic.

The Christmas Star show in December always brings festive cheer, while the April constellation tour is an annual spring highlight.

But it's not only about the shows.

On clear nights, the Planetarium becomes an open-air observatory with high-quality telescopes set up for visitors.

There's simply nothing quite like seeing Jupiter, Saturn, and our beloved moon with your own eyes.

What's equally impressive is the dedication of the Planetarium staff, especially the Director, Dr. Hitt.

His passion for astronomy is infectious, making each visit a memorable journey into the world of stars and planets.

And the best part?

All these experiences come without a price tag.

Experience the Magic of Shawn's Christmas Lights

Every year, as the holiday season approaches, a sense of anticipation fills the air in our neighborhood.

The reason? It's not just any ordinary Christmas event.

It's Shawn's Christmas Lights, a local gem that adds an extra sparkle to our Christmas celebrations.

Though relatively small in size, the charm of this festive display is in the magic it creates.

The twinkling lights, blinking in sync with the melodies flowing from a particular radio station, transform the setup into a mesmerizing spectacle.

Without the music, it might just seem like random lights flashing, but with it, the entire show comes alive, moving rhythmically and creating a delightful spectacle.

Sitting there, sipping hot chocolate on a chilly evening, and watching the lights dance to the tunes has become a cherished part of my Christmas tradition.

It's not just me, but the entire neighborhood shares this sentiment.

The joy and wonder that Shawn's Christmas Lights bring to our streets are immeasurable, especially during this season of cheer.

Have a Tranquil Escape to Oak Grove Lake Park

It was a day like any other when I decided to break the monotony of city life and immerse myself in the tranquility of nature.

And where else but Oak Grove Lake Park, the city's hidden gem.

The park a sprawling 65 acres of lush greenery featuring a crystal-clear lake and a well-maintained 1.5-mile path circling around it.

The moment you step into the park, you're greeted by the serene and sparkling lake.

The sight of it, reflecting the verdant surroundings, never fails to take my breath away.

Walking along the path, you're accompanied by the peaceful rustling of leaves, the chirping of birds, and the occasional scampering of a squirrel.

I love to take my time, taking in the serenity and losing myself in the utter calmness the park exudes.

The park has thoughtfully placed benches at regular intervals along the path, allowing you to sit down, rest, and simply drink in the panoramic view of the lake.

Oak Grove Lake Park is more than just a visual treat, it's a haven for fitness enthusiasts too.

Throughout the trail, you'll find outdoor exercise equipment, a feature I absolutely adore.

It's a fun way to break a sweat while breathing in the fresh air and enjoying the scenic beauty.

But what I love the most about my strolls in the park is the unexpected encounters with the local wildlife.

From fluffy squirrels to not-so-fluffy snakes, every walk is a mini wildlife safari!

A Day at Chesapeake City Park

Looking for a place to kick back and relax?

Look no further than Chesapeake City Park, a beautiful pine forest in our very own city, complete with open space for dog parks, skate parks, and an expansive playground for the kids.

One of my favorite features is the horseshoe pits, a great way to enjoy some friendly competition with friends and family.

The park is a haven, big enough to accommodate different groups without them disturbing each other - perfect for church gatherings, family picnics, or just a day out in the sun!

And what's great is you can bring your equipment, grill, and even a music system.

Also, the convenient mobile toilets scattered around the park and the water station make the day trips hassle-free.

I've had some of my best times watching groups belt out tunes on the stage in their exercise wear.

The sheds, numbered and scattered around, make for great picnic spots. And the playground?

It's every child's dream!

With different play structures and a sand play area, it's a safe and fun space for children while the adults can relax nearby.

Just make sure there's an adult keeping an eye out for the little ones.

There are some slight issues that I've noticed, like the sand play area not being as clean as it could be and some of the play structures being broken and boarded up.

However, it doesn't seem to deter the kids - they still have a blast!

The park also offers basketball courts, grills, and picnic tables, along with a few shelters, and a restroom.

It's a great place to have family gatherings or simply enjoy a game of basketball.

The shaded pavilions with tables are perfect for grilling some hot dogs or burgers (charcoal only, though!) or just sitting down and enjoying a quiet meal amidst nature.

I've hosted many family gatherings at the park, and each time, we've had a memorable time at Chesapeake City Park.

Every time I go, I appreciate the beauty and the versatility of our park, and I am sure you will too.

Walk Your Dog at the Stumpy Lake

The waters of Stumpy Lake
PumpkinSky, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Honestly, there's nothing quite like the serenity that washes over you when you're wandering along the trails of Stumpy Lake.

It's my own little escape, tucked away in the heart of VA Beach, and it's easily my favorite spot to connect with nature.

The two main trails here are perfect for dog walking. I typically choose between a .68-mile loop or a longer one that runs for about a mile.

You can expect to have the trail pretty much to yourself most of the time, adding to the sense of solitude and tranquillity that makes this place special.

Stumpy Lake is bordered by a stumpy swamp, which is quite a sight, especially with the morning sun casting long shadows over the wetland.

Just be sure to pack some bug spray during the summer months.

One thing to bear in mind is that these trails can be quite muddy, especially after heavy rain.

I've learned the hard way to always slip on a pair of waterproof shoes if the weather has been wet recently.

But the occasional puddle is a small price to pay for the beauty of the place.

While the trails are liberally dotted with tree roots (which I find rather charming by the way), it wouldn’t make for a great biking terrain.

On the brighter side, it’s an excellent location for bird-watching.

You might spot a Great Blue Heron, cormorants, ducks, and, if you’re lucky, even turtles!

Go Fishing at Elizabeth River Boat Landing and Park

I find myself returning to the Elizabeth River Boat Landing and Park almost every weekend.

A hidden gem tucked away in our bustling city, it's my ideal spot to unwind and reconnect with nature.

It's relaxing, to say the least, with stunning views of the Elizabeth River that can calm even the most stressed minds.

For those who have four-legged family members, there's a dog-friendly area fenced off just for them.

It's always fun to see my furry friend make new pals while I unwind by the river.

Elizabeth River Boat Landing and Park also features a boat landing and a pier perfect for a lazy afternoon of crabbing or fishing.

One of my favorite park features is the view of the Jordan Bridge.

Not only is it an architectural marvel, but it also provides us with a good amount of shade during the day.

Some days, I take a leisurely walk across the bridge and then head to the park at its foot, integrating exercise with relaxation.

The view from the bridge is breathtaking – a sight that's become an integral part of my routine.

The park is impeccably maintained, and it's evident at every corner.

From fishing spots to boat ramps and playgrounds, the park provides a wide array of recreational activities.

There's even a shop on the grounds, which comes in handy if you've forgotten to pack a snack.

And with plenty of picnic tables, it's an ideal location for a family outing or a quiet afternoon with a book.

Wander around Chesapeake Arboretum

A sunny Saturday morning and the chirping of birds beckoned me into the embrace of nature.

And there’s no better place to immerse in the tranquillity of nature than the Chesapeake Arboretum.

Nestled across 45 acres, this little slice of heaven offers a lovely retreat from the humdrum of city life.

I've always been amazed at how many people are still unaware of this stunning forested reserve in our city.

The park is beautifully carved into several trails that weave their way through the woodland area, a stark contrast to the bustling cityscape.

As I walked along these trails, I couldn’t help but admire the well-trodden paths, similar to those at First Landing, but with a more intimate feel.

A distinct charm of Chesapeake  Arboretum is the many little gardens and wooden bridges scattered across the trails.

Walking over these bridges and through the gardens feels like slipping into a fairy tale, the hustle and bustle of the city fading into a distant memory.

However, if you’re planning to pay a visit during warm months, be sure to come prepared for some rather persistent mosquitoes!

While the trails aren't as extensive as the ones at First Landing, and you may occasionally spot the backyard fences of residences, it hardly takes away from the overall experience.

If anything, it adds a quaint charm to the site.

The Arboretum is also home to abundant wildlife.

On different occasions, I've had the delight of spotting a raccoon and even a water moccasin. So, when you set out to explore, remember to tread cautiously.

A favorite spot for my family and me is the lake, adjacent to the beautiful rose garden.

We've spent countless pleasant afternoons with my husband and our puppy, simply admiring the vast lake and the stunning roses it reflects.

Have a Picnic at Great Bridge Lock Park

Whenever I need a breath of fresh air, I always find myself immediately thinking of the Great Bridge Lock Park.

It's located just a stone's throw away from my house, and I must confess, the convenience of it has been a blessing on more than one occasion.

The park is virtually an island, and it is every bit as enchanting as it sounds.

It's the kind of place where the kids are free to run and play, with a well-equipped playground to keep them entertained.

And for those of us who prefer a more laid-back approach, there are plenty of picnic shelters and observation beams to sit back and take in the beautiful scenery.

One of the Great Bridge Lock Park's biggest attractions is the fishing area.

I've spent countless serene afternoons there, rod in hand, patiently waiting for a bite.

The boat ramp always has a boat or two waiting in line, showcasing a variety of designs that never fail to catch the eye.

Moreover, the park is a geocaching hotspot. It's like a giant treasure hunt, and you never know what you're going to find.

I've discovered so many hidden gems there, it adds an extra layer of excitement every time I visit.

Immerse in Nature at Deep Creek Park

The first time I set foot in Deep Creek Park, I was captivated by its sheer vastness and beauty.

It was a typical day in Chesapeake, Virginia, and my family and I were looking for some outdoor fun.

Located along the George Washington Highway South, this park has always been an epicenter for locals who value nature and outdoor activities.

As I walked through the park, it was almost as if the city's hustle and bustle were miles away.

The lush greenery, wildlife, and tranquil serenity of the park provided a refreshing contrast to our daily routine.

We strolled along the walking trail, taking in the park’s unique features, such as the dedicated athletic fields, a fishing pond, and the children’s playground.

The children's laughter echoed as they frolicked in the playground while the athletes practiced in the distance.

On our trips to the park, we enjoyed watching numerous baseball games on the well-maintained fields.

On quieter days, I've found peace in casting a line into the fishing pond, waiting for a bite under the Virginia sun.

The park is also home to a dog park, where our furry friends get to have fun too.

I have shared many laughs and stories with other dog owners while our pets played and made friends.

No matter the season, Deep Creek Park has always offered us a chance to connect with nature.

I have witnessed the leaves changing color in fall and watched as the park transformed into a winter wonderland, making every visit unique.

Paddle at Paradise Creek Nature Park

Every now and then, when the drumming of daily life becomes too loud, I find solace in the serene embrace of Paradise Creek Nature Park.

Nestled along the Elizabeth River, this park offers a tranquil retreat from bustling city life.

The park, which you can find more about here, boasts meticulously restored wetlands, fitness trails that wind through the heart of nature, a kayak launch for those craving a bit of adventure, and a picnic area perfect for family outings.

What I particularly adore about this park is not just its bucolic setting but the careful attention paid to its maintenance, making every visit a pleasant experience.

The nature trails here are a favorite of mine.

They are quiet and well-tended, lending an air of untouched wilderness that is a joy to explore.

As I walk down these trails, I often pause to read the information provided on the signs scattered along the path.

One such sign even boasts a QR code that, when scanned, provides interesting details about the park's abundant foliage.

For the young ones - and the young at heart - there's a playground that never fails to be filled with laughter.

And if you're a dog owner like me, you'll be glad to know that our furry friends are welcome here, provided they're on a leash.

Perhaps the most awe-inspiring resident of Paradise Creek Nature Park is its 120-year-old elm tree.

Standing tall and majestic, this tree is a living testament to the enduring beauty of nature.

Walk through History at the Great Bridge Battlefield & Waterways Historic Park

Daytime view of Great Bridge Battlefield & Waterways History Foundation
Tere Rottink, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Did you know that I live right by a piece of America's rich history, nestled away in the heart of Chesapeake, Virginia?

Every day, I walk through the serene trails of the Great Bridge Battlefield & Waterways Historic Park, and each time, it's as if I am stepping back into a key event of the Revolutionary War.

What’s unique about this park is its combination of natural beauty and educational significance.

As I stroll by the Intracoastal Waterway, I can't help but imagine the intensity of the Battle of Great Bridge that unfolded here in 1775.

This battle was a decisive victory for the American forces and was instrumental in Virginia joining the cause for American independence.

Great Bridge Battlefield & Waterways Historic Park is not just for history enthusiasts like myself.

It boasts a stunning view of the surrounding waterway, a playground for the little ones, and picnic areas perfect for a family day out.

The Visitor Center is always my first stop - it's packed with interactive exhibits that bring historical events to life.

Get Fit at the Western Branch Park and Sports Park

Oh, how I love spending my weekends at the Western Branch Park and Sports Park!

My kids usually wake me up early, their eyes sparkling with anticipation.

Indeed, I would say that this park is our family's favorite weekend destination.

As soon as we step foot in the park, my kids dash towards the playground.

They can't resist the vibrant play structures, the exhilarating swings, and the thrilling slides.

I admire how well-maintained the equipment is, and I am always at ease knowing that my kids are safe playing there.

While they're lost in their world of make-believe, I usually set up our picnic spot.

Tucked under the shade of the trees, it's the perfect spot to unwind and watch the kids play.

I love how Western Branch Park and Sports Park offers plenty of seating - it's a simple yet thoughtful feature that truly makes a difference.

When it's time to burn off some energy, we head to the open fields. My son loves soccer, and my daughter enjoys flying kites.

The park has plenty of space for them to run freely and indulge in their favorite activities.

I often join in their games, and we end up laughing and creating unforgettable memories together.

One of my personal favorite features of the park is the walking trail. It snakes through the park, surrounded by lush greenery.

Sometimes we take a leisurely stroll or ride our bikes, soaking in the serene environment and the beautiful views.

The cherry on top of our day is usually a visit to the nearby Chuck E. Cheese.

After an adventurous day at the park, the kids are always thrilled to play arcade games and enjoy some delicious treats.

It's a great way to wrap up our fun-filled day at the Western Branch Park and Sports Park.

Unveiling the Hidden Wonders of Indian River Park South Side

Every weekend, rain or shine, I am drawn to the quiet serenity of the Indian River Park South Side.

Nestled in Chesapeake, this 91-acre haven boasts a beautiful array of forest trails that I never tire of exploring.

In my early visits, the multiuse trail with its mountain bike sections had me bewildered and lost a few times, but the more I explored, the more familiar the paths became.

Now, these mazes no longer confuse me but invite me to discover the park's hidden corners, all adorned with breathtaking natural canopies and scenic aesthetics.

On my solo expeditions at Indian River Park South Side, the absence of restrooms or shelters adds an element of adventure, but I always make sure I'm well prepared.

Though the trails are limited, each one tells a unique story, and the grandeur of the older trees towering above the swampy areas never fails to captivate me.

Their whispers, carried by the wind, surround me with an orchestra of natural sounds, providing a sense of tranquility that is hard to find elsewhere.

On days when my children accompany me, we make a beeline for the playground on the other side of the highway.

The 'Mommy & Me' swing, the teacup ride-like merry-go-round, climbing areas, slides, and coordination play areas create a world of fun for the little ones.

And then, there's the bike trail area that I've only driven past but is on my list of places to check out.

Have a Family Day Out at Deep Creek Lock Park

It's always refreshing to escape into the serenity of Deep Creek Lock Park.

Just a hop away from my home, this 25-acre waterfront haven is a haven against bustling city life.

I often find myself in the company of avid kayakers, their laughter echoing across the water as they navigate the gentle waves.

Rustling leaves and chirping birds are the usual soundtracks to my weekend strolls here.

The park's canoe launch serves as a beautiful spot to stare off into the distance or, for those more adventurous, a point of departure for a day out on the water.

The kids are always drawn to the playground, where the slides and swings provide hours of fun.

The picnic shelters are a favorite for family gatherings, and the volleyball courts are a hub of activity during the warm summer weekends.

The park never seems crowded, which adds to its peaceful charm.

The viewing towers are another highlight, offering panoramic views of the landscape.

The little cemetery is a mysterious yet intriguing feature, enclosed by a fence that ignites curiosity.

Deep Creek Lock Park’s trails, though not the conventional kind, offer an opportunity for exploration, even if they seem to lead nowhere.

I love the park’s convenience, too. It's within walking distance of essential establishments like a food lion, 7-11, and a Cisco fuel station.

It's also a nice place to recharge – literally.

With a dock that offers free power for up to 24 hours, it's the perfect spot for local boaters to dock and recharge their batteries.

Get Inspired at Portlock Galleries At Sono

Believe me when I say Portlock Galleries At Sono is quite the hidden gem in our city.

I stumbled upon this place while on a leisurely walk around the neighborhood and have since been a regular visitor.

Nestled in a historic 1908 schoolhouse, the gallery is brimming with character and creativity.

You can find it here if you're interested: Portlock Galleries At Sono.

The gallery regularly holds art exhibitions featuring the work of various talented artists.

The exhibitions are a feast for the eyes, and I often find myself lost in the depth and fascination of the displayed creations.

But that's not all; they also offer art classes and therapy sessions, which I find to be a wonderful stress reliever and a great way to tap into my creative side.

The building itself is spacious, yet it retains a certain intimate charm that makes it a perfect gathering spot.

There's something about the creaky wooden floors that adds a touch of nostalgia and warmth to the atmosphere.

The staff members at Portlock Galleries At Sono are always welcoming and helpful.

They have made every one of my visits smooth and enjoyable, answering all my queries and ensuring a pleasant experience.

No matter how many times I've booked classes or sessions, they've always been organized and efficient.

Bring the Little Ones to Sky Zone Trampoline Park

Oh, what a day it was at the Sky Zone Trampoline Park!

Picture this: 50 trampolines, launching decks, hoops, dodgeball, and foam pits, all under one roof.

It's just the ticket for making any day an adventure.

One of the best parts is the monthly VIP PASS, which is only $25 a person.

What a bargain for unlimited visits!

Not to mention Sky Zone Trampoline Park's ample parking and on-site facilities, including bathrooms and a snack bar.

I get to sit back on one of their comfy couches, sipping on a cool drink while the kids jump their hearts out.

But it isn't just about trampolines, oh no.

There's so much more!

The kids can test their mettle at dodgeball, swing on a trapeze bar and drop into a foam pit, or try their hand at the obstacle course.

There's even a high drop fall onto a giant air cushion - not for the faint-hearted, I can tell you!

On a side note, they also have a birthday party room for those special occasions.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Bike through the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

The waters of Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
Kate Scott / Shutterstock.com

If you ever find yourself in Southeast Virginia, an experience that should be on your bucket list is visiting the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.

It's a place that I have the privilege to explore time and time again.

Here, I've witnessed nature in its rawest form, from the chirping of various birds to the rustling of leaves as deer pass by.

One of my most memorable experiences was biking the entirety of the 16-mile trail with family and friends.

It's not just a simple bike trail; it's a journey through the heart of a 4000-year-old natural lake and the history that has been preserved within this refuge.

As we pedaled our way through, we saw others too, some on horses, others running or skating.

The diversity in activities, just like the ecosystem, is amazing.

Apart from the wildlife, the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge holds a rich tapestry of history.

Information boards have been placed along the trails, revealing fascinating facts about the swamp and its surrounding areas.

Turtles at Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
Scenic Corner / Shutterstock.com

Each time I visit, I learn something new, it’s like a living history museum.

But what truly makes this place special is the serenity it offers.

It's not every day that you encounter a cottonmouth snake or an owl in its natural habitat.

It's like an escape from the urban jungle to the real one, where you can't help but feel a connection with the earth.

But remember, as with any encounter with nature, come prepared.

During the warmer months, don't forget to bring along insect repellant.

Bald cypress trees at Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Hike the City View Park

I often find myself longing for a burst of fresh air and a spot of sunshine, especially during the weekends.

One of my go-to places when I feel this familiar itch is City View Park in Virginia Beach, which is just a short drive from my home.

This sprawling 43-acre green space is like a breath of fresh air in our hectic lives.

Whether it's a peaceful morning walk or an energetic game of basketball, there's something for everyone.  

My personal favorite is the walking trails.

These paths wind through the park and are shaded by tall trees, providing a cool respite even on the hottest summer days.

I also appreciate the park's attention to cleanliness and amenities.

The public restrooms are always spotless, and there are vending machines for when one needs a quick snack.

And let's not forget about the picnic shelters, complete with charcoal grills - perfect for a fun family outing or a quiet weekend barbecue.

City View Park also boasts four lighted softball fields.

While these fields are available for rental use only, it's always a treat to watch a game in progress.

Apart from these, there are multipurpose fields and a playground - an absolute hit with the kids.

The basketball courts are well-maintained, and it's not uncommon to see a friendly match going on.

The parking lot is spacious and clean, and I've always felt safe, even when I've stayed late into the evening.

For those with pets, the park also provides bags and plenty of trash cans to dispose of pet waste, which is a thoughtful touch.

Catch an Event at Town Point Park

Aerial view of Town Point Park
Kyle J Little / Shutterstock.com

Living in the heart of Norfolk, I'm just a stone's throw away from the beautiful Town Point Park.

It's a sprawling green oasis nestled on the river, complete with fountains and picnic spots.

What catches my eye every time is the huge ship anchored nearby - a part of local history that volunteers are always eager to share.

From my window, I can see people flocking to the park almost every weekend.

It has become a hub for local events and activities.

I remember one time when I went to an international festival held there – the park was teeming with performers showcasing their talents and food stalls offering a smorgasbord of international cuisines.

The air was vibrant with music and the aroma of delicious food. It was truly a cultural extravaganza!

One of the best times to visit the park is during the annual Harborfest.

I've been attending it for years, though I've noticed fewer tall ships in recent times.

Statue at Town Point Park
Anne Katherine Jones / Shutterstock.com

That doesn't stop us locals from enjoying the festival, though.

We have food vendors serving up a variety of dishes and artisan booths showcasing their crafts.

There's music resonating from different corners of the park, creating an atmosphere of joy and celebration.

And despite the large crowds, the presence of local police makes everyone feel safe and secure.

When I'm not attending events, I love spending quiet afternoons at the park with my family and friends.

We often bring a picnic and enjoy the view of the Elizabeth River. On warm days, the kids love playing in the water feature.

And when hunger strikes, we just take a short walk to Waterside for some great food options.

Town Point Park, indeed, is a gem in Norfolk's crown, a place to unwind and soak in the local culture and charm.

Signage of Town Point Park
LittleT889, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Snap Pictures of the Foliage at the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center

I make a point to visit the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center every season.

It's a scenic spot right in our backyard that never ceases to amaze me.

My favorite time to visit is the fall, when the trees put on a stunning show of colors.

The peaceful walking and cycling trails here are a treat for nature lovers.

I've always found Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center incredibly educational.

The gentleman manning the gate is a fount of knowledge about the local flora and fauna, and he's most willing to share interesting tidbits.

Be forewarned, though - being a swamp, it is home to bugs and snakes, which only adds to the sense of adventure.

If history is your cup of tea, then the little museum inside the Welcome Center is a must-visit.

I've spent many an afternoon poring over the fascinating nature exhibits and history displays.

They also have kayak rentals for those seeking a bit of adventure.

Perhaps one of the most endearing aspects of the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center is its quaint gift shop.

It's a treasure trove of delightful knick-knacks and souvenirs, including flint arrowheads.

If you are brave enough, the hiking trail is worth exploring, but be prepared for a tick encounter.

I remember a particularly eventful hike where we found ourselves in a tick-infested area.

It was a bit horrifying but also quite the adventure - a unique experience you won't forget!

Unleash the Kid in You at the Children's Museum of Virginia

Exterior of the Children's Museum of Virginia
Mojo Hand, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Walking into the Children's Museum of Virginia always feels like stepping into a world of wonder.

This visit was no different! My little one was instantly drawn to the multitude of interactive exhibits.

There's something incredibly heartwarming about watching your child explore and learn with such enthusiasm.

Each display is thoughtfully curated and engaging - from cities and space to music and the human body, this museum has it all.

We spent almost three hours on this visit, making several rounds and revisiting some exhibits because they were just too much fun to experience once.

One of the standout features of the Children's Museum of Virginia was the model train room.

The expansive and beautiful collection of model trains is something to behold.

And the working model train village is simply stunning.

My kid's eyes lit up like never before at the sight of it.

The new addition of the Daniel Tiger neighborhood has been an instant hit too.

We are eagerly looking forward to exploring the upper floor on our next visit.

But on a side note, if you're planning a visit soon, do remember that the ice cream shop around the corner is temporarily closed.

So, you might want to grab a bite before you head over.

Jog around Mount Trashmore Park

It's not every day that you find a place as unique as Mount Trashmore Park.

This place is not your ordinary park – it's a former landfill that's been transformed into a bustling recreational hotspot.

The park always has a lively, friendly vibe.

There are always people jogging, biking, walking, or just hanging out and enjoying the atmosphere.

Mount Trashmore Park is a fantastic place to get some exercise – you can run up and down the hill, take a few laps around the park, or even get in some strength training at one of the different workout stations scattered throughout the area.

The park is clean and safe, and there are several restrooms available for visitors.

One of the things I look forward to every year is the Water Lantern Festival.

Even though it had rained a few days before the event this year, the ground wasn't a swampy mess, which isn't something you can say about many places in Norfolk.

The venue itself is spacious and caters to everyone - kids, pets, and even provides some handicapped access for events.

For the adventurous, there's even a skate park, where you'll often find some truly talented skaters showing off their skills.

And let's not forget about the iconic hill. I've seen countless kids (and adults!) having the time of their lives rolling down that hill.

Final Thoughts

There is no shortage of activities to take part in and sights to see in Chesapeake, Virginia.

Whether you're a nature lover seeking the tranquility of places like the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge or an adventure seeker looking for a thrill at the Sky Zone Trampoline Park, Chesapeake truly has something for everyone.

With the variety of parks, museums, and recreational areas, Chesapeake is indeed a city worth exploring.

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