Hadn’t been to Virginia Beach in 40 years so it was time. On last visit my girlfriend and I went in an effort to meet sailors. She brought a suitcase of shoes so we were destined to have fun, however all were out to sea on maneuvers and the town was sailor-less. Regardless it was a good time, just like this visit.
First stop: Visitors Center at the edge of town. Here an efficient gal armed me with maps and information guiding me to my next stop: LUNCH.
Here I dined on a delicious bowl of she crab soup and a salmon sandwich smothered with cheese and tasty herbs while gazing at the marina of Virginia Beach Fishing Center.
Next off to locate the area lighthouses which are on the Fort Story Base. To visit a photo id is required with inspection by military staff. Next the rules and regulations of the base visit are given and after a short bus ride the lighthouses appear.
The Old Cape Henry Lighthouse was the first US lighthouse authorized by congress and erected in 1791. In 1930 it was deeded to the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities. There is a $5 charge for visit, but worth the fee. Views from the top are amazing.
Never knew the lighthouse keeper position was so revered. To be a lighthouse keeper one needed strong political connections. George Washington and Alexander Hamilton appointed the first lighthouse keepers here. Their duties included recording the daily weather, shipwrecks, and the amount of oil used in the lantern. Salary: $400. per year. Here’s a picture of Pedro Belosa and wife, early 20th century keepers.
The new Cape Henry Lighthouse across the street continues to be used by the Coast Guard. All military except Air Force are present at Fort Story.
While there walk to the Battle of the Cape Memorial. Pictured below is Francois Joseph Paul de Grasse, a Frenchman, whose sailors prevented English ships from reinforcing Englishman Cornwallis ships thus expediting the end of the Revolutionary War. Beside Francois a view from memorial area.
Back to Virginia Beach
and a Boardwalk visit. Many statutes are along the 3 mile stretch.
The beach is beautifully maintained and of course true to her slogan, “Virginia Beach is For Lovers.”
Other things to do at Virginia Beach:
- Gift shops for the retail lover.
- Anything fishing.
- Minature golf sites.
- The Virginia Beach Aquarium and Adventure Park
- Military Aviation Museum
- Museum of Contemporary Art
- Motor World
- Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
Visit the Vibe District in town which is a short walk from the beach. Take in the vibrant and colorful artwork on the buildings. Here are a few..