So after a really fun week at the International Airstream Rally in Doswell, we traveled down to Virginia Beach to spend the week in town and visit some old friends and former neighbors, Joe and Eloise, and their daughter Catherine, who is around the age of our girls.
The KOA is a nice park close to the beach front area. Close enough the local city bus with their fun trolley making several stops right inside the resort to pick up riders for the Boardwalk area. They have bike racks on front for two bikes at a time.
Here are some photos of the resort – showing the outdoor game area, the Santa in July Set, some of the bikes and other equipment you can rent to ride around the resort, and one of the bath houses close to where we were parked.
The Virginia Beach oceanfront and boardwalk have a long and interesting history.
“Built in 1888, the boardwalk was actually made of boards or wooden planks that ran between 12th and 16th Streets in conjunction with the Princess Anne Hotel, one of the country’s most luxurious resorts at the time.”
Over the years and storm the boardwalk suffered damage of one form or another. “In 1962 when a Nor’easter produced 20–30 foot waves that crashed into the boardwalk, breaking up the concrete and eating away many sections of the walkways. It wasn’t until the 1990s that plans for a seawall came together so the boardwalk would be protected against the elements. ”
Today, it is a great way to stroll, roller blade, bike or rent a 4-person pedal carriage to ride up and down the area in a designated bike lane that runs the entire length from Rudee Inlet to 40th Ave N.
(image from virginiabeach.guide)
We had a lot of fun taking the trolley to the beach front with the bikes and riding up and down. The weather was hot, but not as hot as the first days up in Doswell the week before with temps in the high 90’s to low 100’s and humidity to drown you in. The nice breeze you get on the beach made it nice.
The weather actually turned very comfortable for the first night we were there, Saturday. We went with our friends to dine in one of the many restaurants on the beach called Lager Heads Restaurant. The boardwalk has many avenues that connect streets, and there are lot of spaces for artists and music to be heard. We had a great duo in one of the spaces playing guitars and singing for both our and the neighboring restaurants.
In buying a 3-day pass to the local bus system, we were able to take a trolley all the way up to Fort Story and the First Landing State Park on the Chesapeake Bay. This is a VA State Park with nice camping sites scattered around the area right by the beach. They seem to have electric and water for the most part. They have a nice, long 1.5 miles of beach front right on the bay. You can watch the big ships come and go over the bay bridge tunnel complex.
The park was named after the first landing of the Jamestown Settlers at Cape Henry in 1607. The park was built in part by AACCC (African American Civilian Conservation Corps) between 1933 and 1940 with many of the structures still in existence to this day. This park is considered a National Natural Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
We did a nice ride around the park and visited the beach front area.
Later in the week, we took a fun ride on the Rudee Rocket – a high-speed boat thrill ride in the ocean. We also visited the lifeguard station that is one of the oldest in the nation.
More in next post …
by Carl Newton