Last updated: 09:00 PM ET, Mon March 30 2015

City Pulse: The Only Guide to Chesapeake, Va. You Need

Destination & Tourism | Patrick Clarke | March 30, 2015

City Pulse: The Only Guide to Chesapeake, Va. You Need

We Say:

One of the 38 independent cities in Virginia and 41 nationwide, Chesapeake is often overshadowed by nearby Norfolk and Virginia Beach. Nonetheless, the city boasts some of the best things southeastern Virginia has to offer on top of being just a short drive away from Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.

In addition to being a nature lover and bird watcher's paradise, Chesapeake is home to the northeast section of the extensive Great Dismal Swamp, and the site of 1775's Battle of Great Bridge.

Situated on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Chesapeake was recently ranked among the 50 best cities in America by Bloomberg Businessweek, coming in at 21st in 2011.

They Say:

Consistently ranked among the country’s top 100 best places to live by Money magazine, Chesapeake’s unique blend of urban and rural settings offer a delightful array of shopping, dining venues, and cultural activities mixed seamlessly with historic sites, secluded waterways, and scenic natural wonders. Situated in the heart of Coastal Virginia, Chesapeake’s convenient, mid-Atlantic location is within 750 miles of two-thirds of the U.S. population, and close to neighboring destinations including downtown Norfolk, the Virginia Beach oceanfront, and Colonial Williamsburg. Chesapeake’s winning combination of accommodations, meeting venues, attractions, and outdoor recreational activities makes it a natural choice among meeting planners, group tour, and leisure travelers.- Visit Chesapeake



Current Traffic: Google Traffic

Airport: Norfolk International Airport

Public Transit: Hampton Roads Transit 

Bikeshare: None currently available

Walkability: 21 at Walk Score

Parking Options/Expense: Park Me

Best Accommodations: ( Highest Guest Rated w/ at least 50 Reviews)

Boutique: Aloft Chesapeake

High End: Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel

Mid Range: Hyatt Place Chesapeake

Bargain: Hampton Inn & Suites Chesapeake-Battlefield Boulevard

Foods to seek out:

The Cutting Edge Cafe: Whatever menu item you fancy, make sure you grab a side of sweet potato fries to go along with it.

BBQ & Seafood: Whether you're craving jerk chicken, fried shrimp or brisket, the Cutlass Grille is unlikely to disappoint.

She Crab Soup: Warm up for the main course with a cup or bowl at Ddeb's A Taste of Home.

Known for:

Nature & Wildlife: Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Dismal Swamp Canal TrailNorthwest River Park and Campground, Chesapeake Arboretum, Bells Mill Park

History: Great Bridge Battlefield, Chesapeake Veterans' Memorial, Lightship Museum, Naval Shipyard Museum

Military: Northwest AnnexNaval Auxiliary Landing Field Fentress

Sports Teams: (Within 10 miles)

AHL: Norfolk Admirals 

Triple-A: Norfolk Tides 

NCAA: Norfolk State Spartans 

NCAA: Old Dominion Monarchs 

Cool Attractions:


1. Unwind and decompress alongside nature at the Chesapeake Arboretum.

2. Visit the site of the Revolutionary War's Battle of Great Bridge at Battlefield Park.

3. Grab your clubs and book a tee time at Chesapeake Golf Club.


1. Stroll the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail and take in a rare combination of history and wildlife.

2. Shop and dine at Towne Place at Greenbrier. Nearby Greenbrier Mall and Chesapeake Square offer more shopping options on a rainy day.

3. Unleash your inner artist at GLaZENFYRE pottery studio.


1. Fish, play, bike, or picnic at Oak Grove Lake Park.

2. Weather permitting, take the kids to Fun Forest.

3. Spend the day on the other side of the Elizabeth River at the Children's Museum of Virginia.


1. Drinks/Music: Check out either two of the Big Woody's Bar & Grill locations.

2. Wine: Enjoy beautiful views of the Elizabeth River and a topflight selection of wine at Amber Lantern Restaurant.

3. Music Venue: Jam out at the nTelos Wireless Pavilion.

Chesapeake is:

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