Summer Fun Guide 2012

Summer Fun Guide

You won’t have to travel a great distance this summer to feel like you’ve journeyed to lands afar. Our Summer Fun Guide is filled with reasons to do some exploring during the months ahead without leaving Hampton Roads.

Any fantastic getaway begins with packing, so load up the basket and head out for a picnic. We know of a great little spot called the Sandy Bottom Nature Park that’s perfect for spreading out a meal or just a beach towel.

During your summer excursions, you may tire of the same old methods of moving, and if that’s the case, hop on a ferry to experience a more leisurely way of travel.

As many choose to travel to Hampton Roads as a vacation destination, you may want to migrate away from the crowds, and our Top 10 Locals’ List has plenty of options for ways to live “la vida local.” Of course crowds can’t be avoided in all cases, and OpSail Virginia is one event where we’d recommend breaking the “reclusive” rules.

You won’t even have to leave the house to learn the major differences between outlet and retail shopping since the research has been done for you, but you will have to drive just a bit to attend a few of the Virginia Arts Festival’s outstanding productions, which will leave you with the cultural mindset of having visited many different countries in just a couple months’ time. This summer, make it a point to get out—in Hampton Roads!


Dining Out(side)

Hampton Roads has the Perfect Places and Provisions for Afternoon Picnicking
By Beth Hester

It’s easy to picnic in Hampton Roads’ scenic vistas. Our region is shot through with rivers, creeks and inlets, and we’re surrounded by bay and ocean. Urban areas are punctuated by pocket gardens in historic districts and other equally delightful public spaces from which to view life’s rich pageant.

Whether your picnic is a simple sandwich washed down by a fizzy Orangina on a bench overlooking the oceanfront or a posh dockside affair with wicker hamper, hotel silver and toile napkins, one thing is certain: everything tastes better when eaten out-of-doors. Ideally a good picnic requires a little effort and a sense of adventure. The perfect nosh spot may be closer than you think.

A short hike in a previously unexplored section of a public park may uncover a remote dock with water view, a shady allée or a nice flat spot to unfurl your spread. Picnics can also be simple, unstructured affairs, so box lunches or grab-and-go meals are the perfect solution for spontaneous outings. To enhance your picnic pleasure, we’ve put together a compendium of local picnic resources. Here you’ll find purveyors of portable meals and sundry picnic related tackle and trim. Bon appetite!


Artisans Bakery & Café
711 Washington St., Portsmouth
Handcrafted breads and pastries in Historic Downtown Portsmouth.

Azar’s Natural Foods
Locations in Norfolk and Virginia Beach
Box Lunches with Mediterranean flair.

Bennett’s Creek Farm Market & Deli
3881 Bridge Rd., Suffolk
757- 484-9722
Smoky pulled pork and deli sandwiches, salads and more.

The Cheese Shop
410 West Duke of Gloucester St., Williamsburg
Sandwich shop of the cognoscenti. Call in advance, and they’ll have your order ready for pick-up.

Cuisine & Company at the Chrysler Museum
245 West Olney Rd., Norfolk
Enjoy in the museum garden, or take a short drive to picnic on the lovely grounds of the Hermitage Museum & Gardens.

Heritage Natural Market Cafe
Inside Heritage Natural Market
984 Laskin Rd., Virginia Beach
Grab ‘N Go sandwiches, salads and beverages. A large selection of natural and organic foods with plenty of vegan and vegetarian options.

Taste Unlimited
Six locations across Hampton Roads: Chesapeake, Newport News, Norfolk and Virginia Beach
A local favorites since 1973; wide assortment of sandwiches and other prepared foods including salads and beverages.

Woody’s Beach BBQ & Eatery
6700 Maddox Blvd., Chincoteague
Picnic around conveniently located tree stumps, grab a picnic table at nearby Maddox Family Campground, or take your food right to the beach.


Blue Ridge Mountain Sports
1624 Laskin Rd., Virginia Beach
Enhance the comfort of your next picnic with folding camp tables that seat four, Keltybrand Binto coolers and picnic food organizers, durable plates, wine glasses and picnic-perfect cutlery.

Wild River Outfitters
3636 Virginia Beach Blvd., Virginia Beach
Look for collapsible water jugs, snooze-friendly portable hammocks and the Grand Trunk Parasheet beach and picnic blanket.

The 18th Century Merchant
3591 Forest Haven Lane, Chesapeake
This shop can be counted on for a lovely array of seasonal luncheon and beverage napkins and coordinating designer picnic plates.


Locals’ List

Our Top 10 Ways to Have Fun, Avoid Crowds and Live La Vida Local this Summer By Ashley Schaefer

Hampton Roads comes alive in spring and summer, with residents excited to enjoy the sun and sand. Of course, the season also lures in a multitude of visitors, resulting in a huge benefit for our region’s economy but perhaps creating some obstacles for us locals. If you get the “can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em” syndrome every May, read on for a locals’ list of things to do this summer—long lines not included.

No, we don’t mean the Virginia Beach Oceanfront (even though we love it). Instead, hop across the Rudee Inlet Bridge to enjoy the much calmer beaches of Croatan, or stroll the secluded shores of East Ocean View in Norfolk.
As a local, you’re well versed in some of the major annual festivals. While those events are always a hit, opt for event series held weekly or monthly like those at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk or the Laser Light Nights at the Virginia Living Museum.
Delight in the big talent at these smaller venues like the Little Theater of Norfolk and the Ferguson Center for the Performing Arts in Newport News.
Lose yourself in the beauty—and peace and quiet—of our natural parks like the Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge in Cape Charles and the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia Beach.
Avoid the dinner crowd and channel your inner Guy Fieri by dining at local diners and dives like Icehouse Restaurant in Virginia Beach and Anderson’s Home & Garden Showcase in Newport News (yes, they have a café there, shhh!).
Local Produce
Our region is ripe with locavore goodies, so go berry picking at one of the family-owned farms in Pungo, or visit your nearest farmers’ market.
Use a rainy day as an excuse to visit a lesser-known museum like the Newsome House in Newport News or the Hermitage Museum & Gardens in Norfolk.
Root for our home team, the Norfolk Tides, during a weekday, after-work baseball game, or join a sports team yourself by checking out the WAAR (World Association of Adult Recreation) teams in your city.
Be a tourist in your own backyard by going on a weekender in some of the quieter cities in Hampton Roads like Smithfield or along the Eastern Shore.
For big-name band performances with that close-knit feeling of home, check out The NorVa in Norfolk. Of course, our local musical talent continues to impress, and museums like the Norfolk Botanical Garden or the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News show their appreciation during their annual summer concert series.

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