By Gretchen Pille, Storage.com
Storage.com takes pride in helping people move into their new homes, whether that involves providing a storage unit in between or by helping people discover more about their new city.
Chesapeake, Va., might be the most ideal place to live on the East Coast. It’s got a small town feel with big city opportunities. Mild weather, rich history, affordable housing, and gorgeous natural landmarks are only a few reasons Chesapeake is so special. If you are moving to Chesapeake or just planning a visit, here are 9 things to look forward to when you get there.
1. OUTDOOR ADVENTURE IS A WAY OF LIFE.
Being only fifteen minutes from Virginia Beach is nice, but Chesapeake contains part of the Intracoastal Waterway and inland water bodies like Lake Drummond and The Dismal Swamp that offer an outdoor experience like nothing else around. Spend a day or an entire weekend fishing, boating, or kayaking at Northwest River Park. If you want to kayak with an expert, outfitters like Adventure Kayak Tours can set up tours so you get the most out of your time on the water. Water sports not your thing? Hiking and birding are other popular outdoor activities in Chesapeake. The Dismal Swamp Canal Trail gives hikers 8.5 miles to take in Chesapeake’s natural beauty, including over 200 different species of birds.
2. AUTHENTIC SENSE OF COMMUNITY.
Ask a Chesapeake resident what their favorite thing about living in Chesapeake is, and they will likely tell you about the astounding sense of community. Like most cities in the Greater Coastal Region of Virginia, the folks are nice and the culture is laid back.You may not know everyone in this city of 230,000 people, but the hospitality of its residents when you visit any local establishment will make you feel right at home. Chesapeake Humane Society‘s Doggy Dash, an annual 5k/2k to raise money for animals in need – is just one of many events that allow the Chesapeake community to come together for a great cause.
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3. CHESAPEAKE LOVES THEIR LOCAL BUSINESSES.
Just ask Jim Lantry, the head brewer and co-owner of the city’s first craft brewery Big Ugly Brewing. From inception, the brewery was embraced and supported by both the city’s government and its residents. Though Big Ugly has been up and running a few years, the owners are still amazed by the incredible loyalty of his customers and the continual support from the city of Chesapeake. Nowadays, the only words Jim can use to describe the people who frequent his establishment are extremely loyal. Visiting this brewery is a must, but if you go on a weekend, plan to wait because Big Ugly Brewing is a popular Chesapeake destination.
Cotton Southern Bistro is another Chesapeake favorite that has some of the best comfort food in the Greater Coastal Region of Virginia. If you’ve got a passion (or just a curiosity) for artisanal olive oils, Experience Olives and Grapes is a fun niche Chesapeake shop to check out. And if you love to antique or get crafty, 3 Little Blackbirds is a gift shop that sells repurposed and vintage antiques and holds crafting classes on a regular basis.
4. CLIMATE INCLUDES FOUR DISTINCT SEASONS.
Summer highs in the area rarely exceed 87 degrees, and winters are relatively modest, with the lowest lows around 17 degrees. The people of Chesapeake are able to enjoy their beautiful outdoors every day of the year in four comfortable, distinctive seasons. Unfair? Absolutely. But it’s all the more reason to escape to Chesapeake every once in a while.
5. LEARNING EXTENDS BEYOND THE CLASSROOM.
Yes, a great public school system like Chesapeake’s is certainly a perk, but learning certainly doesn’t stop there. Both children and adults have unique opportunities to continue learning outside the classroom at little or no cost. Chesapeake Planetarium, for example, is an extension of Chesapeake Public Schools, and offers free showings every Thursday night at 8 p.m. for anyone interested in learning about astronomy.
Speaking of free, Chesapeake Arboretum has been deemed ‘nature’s classroom’ and you can visit any day of the year without paying an admission fee. Also, a fifteen minute drive to Norfolk will bring you to the Chrysler Museum of Art, one of the best art museums in the country that also happens to have free admission.
6. HISTORY BUFFS WILL LOVE LIVING IN CHESAPEAKE.
The Battle of Great Bridge, which reclaimed the Colony of Virginia during the Revolutionary War, occurred in what is now Chesapeake. Residents celebrate and honor their revolutionary heritage each year with a two-day reenactment of the battle, which also includes crafts and educational activities for everyone.
7. THE WINE IS OVERFLOWING.
Though Chesapeake does not have any itself, Virginia wineries have poured into the city every year for the last six years to take part in the annual Chesapeake Virginia Wine Festival, presented by the Chesapeake Rotary Club and Priority Automotive. People from all over the country flock to the event to enjoy the fresh air, great company, and of course, great wine.
8. FARM-FRIENDLY CITY.
This coastal city loves its farms! Bergey’s Breadbasket is a family-owned bakery, creamery, deli, and farm all rolled into one signature Chesapeake business. Mount Pleasant Farms is another great place to enjoy the crisp air and fresh peaches. Both farms hold special events throughout the year, like Bergey’s Corn Maze and Fall Festival at Hickory Ridge Farm. Visit one of these popular locations for lunch, or spend the day there with your family.
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9. STRONG MILITARY ROOTS.
The Hampton Roads region is home to nearly 20 different military facilities. As a result, this area is home to one of the largest military populations in the world, and Chesapeake is very supportive of those who serve. As a tribute to the American spirit and those who fight to defend our nation, construction on a 9/11 memorial featuring artifacts from the three different crash sites is underway in Chesapeake City Park.
What are some of your favorite spots to visit in Chesapeake? Let us know in the comments section!
If you’re moving to Chesapeake and need storage space to help with the transition, view Storage.com’s directory for self storage in Chesapeake.
All images have either been provided by a listed organization or are licensed under the Creative Commons.