Virginia Beach Journals

November Sands

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A November 2002 trip to Virginia Beach by Idler

The beach at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge Photo, Virginia Beach, Virginia More Photos
Quote: Virginia Beach, for me, has greater charm off season than it does during the summer. Leave the suntan lotion, bug repellant, and swimsuit at home and pack woolen socks, binoculars, and hiking boots. The shoals of tourists have departed, but the sun still rises each morning out over the ocean.

November Sands

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Overview

The beach at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge Photo, Virginia Beach, Virginia
Quote:
I have to confess that I’ve never once arrived at a beach, looked around, and exclaimed, "Oh, goody, it’s crowded!" There are those who like the beach under just about any circumstances and those who, like me, enjoy it only when conditions are right. My summer beach memories all involve biting sand flies, scorching sunburns, endless traffic, and boisterous crowds. A new set of memories was long overdue, but this required a change of season. My husband, a native Virginian and beach person to the core, came to the rescue by suggesting a Thanksgiving weekend trip to the beach. I hate cooking that turkey, so I readily agreed. It was time to drop my longstanding grudge against the At...Read More

Towneplace Suites Marriott Townplace by

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Hotel | "Marriott Towneplace Suites"

Towneplace Suites Marriott Townplace by Photo, Virginia Beach, Virginia
Quote:
"Is there anything to eat?" This is a question that parents of growing adolescents are all too familiar with. Simply put, they’re bottomless pits. This explains why I make an effort to find accommodations with a kitchen or at least a min-refrigerator whenever we travel. On long trips, we even have a plug-in cooler for the car, virtually eliminating the need for snack food pit stops. Budget travelers, too, know having access to a kitchen can save them a bundle. Thus, when I found out that Marriott has a fairly inexpensive chain of "extended stay" hotels for business travelers, it seemed a logical choice. When I found out that the ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 22, 2002

Towneplace Suites Marriott Townplace by
5757 Cleveland Street
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462
(757) 490-9367

Captain George's Seafood Restaurant

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Restaurant

Captain George's Seafood Restaurant Photo, Virginia Beach, Virginia
Quote:
Sometimes – and I can’t say this without blushing – it is a joy to be a glutton. Oh, I know it’s all the rage to nibble on crudités and then protest how full one is, but let’s get real. A groaning buffet table represents a cherished American ideal. This is especially true around Thanksgiving. The day after Thanksgiving, we have a belated holiday feast at Captain George’s Seafood Restaurant, an "everybody knows it" institution that attracts tourists and locals alike. A huge neon sign guides us to the sprawling restaurant on Laskin Road. With that blinding efficiency that’s the hallmark of good buffet restaurants, we are whisked to a...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 22, 2002

Captain George's Seafood Restaurant
1956 Laskin Rd
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23454
(757) 428-3494

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

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Attraction | "The Sounds of the Back Bay"

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge Photo, Virginia Beach, Virginia
Quote:
We’ve come out early this morning to explore Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, just a thirty-minute drive south of Virginia Beach. With 8,500 acres of beaches, dunes, woodland, and marsh, the refuge lies along the path of an astonishing range of migratory birds. To the west it is flanked by the marshlands of the Back Bay, while to the east lies the Atlantic Ocean. There are several trails starting from the ranger station, and we begin by walking along the short Charles Kuralt Trail. It cuts through a dense thicket of salt tolerant plants: wax myrtl...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 22, 2002

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge
4005 Sandpiper Road
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23456
(757) 721-2412

First Landing State Park

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Attraction | "Bidding autumn farewell, First Landing State Park"

First Landing State Park Photo, Virginia Beach, Virginia
Quote:
Of all seasons, I love autumn best. That air of impending melancholy combined with the defiant shout of fall colors and sweet smell of decay just sends me. Alas, my teaching job ensures that from September through December, I’ve little time to enjoy it. There’s a pause at Thanksgiving, but by that time the best of the season has passed. Or has it? Whereas at home in Maryland the palette in late November has been reduced to the muddy browns of oaks and mulberries, driving south we notice colorful foliage reappearing. What’s more, in the many parks and nature preserves near Virginia Beach, we find an interesting mix of both subtropical and temperate plants. ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 22, 2002

First Landing State Park
2500 Shore Drive
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23451-1415
(757) 412-2300

Virginia Beach & Boardwalk

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Attraction | "Biking the Boardwalk"

Virginia Beach & Boardwalk Photo, Virginia Beach, Virginia
Quote:
There’s a treat in store for us as we pedal our bikes along the boardwalk at Virginia Beach, but we don’t know it yet. We’ve spent Thanksgiving Day driving south from Maryland, with traffic crawling all the way from Washington to Richmond. It’s nearly four o’clock when we settle into our hotel, but I can’t stand the thought of just flopping back and watching the evening news. So, as we had brought our bikes along, I suggest taking a ride along the boardwalk. It’s been years since I was last in Virginia Beach. I remember a snarl of traffic along Atlantic Avenue, the main thoroughfare, and a motley parade of humanity roiling along the two-and-a-half mile stretch of concrete cal...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 22, 2002

Virginia Beach & Boardwalk
Throughout Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23451

Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center

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Attraction | "Virginia Marine Science Museum"

Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center Photo, Virginia Beach, Virginia
Quote:
"Why do I have to go to this stupid museum?" Our twelve-year-old son is in full-blown pout, having been rousted from the hotel earlier than he’d wanted. "You’ll like it," I assure him. "It’s full of stuff you’re interested in." He rolls his eyes theatrically, veteran of a hundred-and-one museum trips. Parents, of course, feel morally obligated to take their offspring to as many museums as possible. We’re no exception. We’re in luck in Virginia Beach, though, because there’s a museum here that really is something special. Much is made of "interactive" museum exhibits these days, but the dismal fact is that many displays billed as "hands-on" are a waste of space. Children...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 22, 2002

Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center
717 General Booth Boulevard
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23451
(757) 385-7777

The Gulls of Mount Trashmore

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Story/Tip

Lake Trashmore Photo, Virginia Beach, Virginia
Quote:
DO NOT FEED THE WILDFOWL (sign prominently posted at the edge of Lake Trashmore)Sunday’s quiet is rent by a cacophony of screeches, honks, and hisses. Hundreds of ducks, geese, and gulls are afloat and aflap on the surface of Lake Trashmore. We’ve come out early this morning, armed with a kite and curiosity, hoping to enjoy a family outing at Mount Trashmore, one of the country’s first experimental trash-based parks.Mount Trashmore is the product of what in retrospect was a blindingly obvious idea. Rather than continue to add to an unsightly and exp...Read More