A timeline of summer in the Hampton Roads.
I have lived in the Hampton Roads for about a decade. This area of Virginia has given me direct access to Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, and surprisingly even North Carolina. Because I am so close to all these areas, each one of my summers has been both extraordinary and unique.
For the most part, Chesapeake is the giant suburb, that I happened to grow up in. Before I was able to drive, all my summers were spent biking throughout large neighborhoods with my friends and having huge pool parties. On just about every street in Chesapeake, someone is grilling, there are kids playing in a pool, or there is an over-obsessed neighbor cutting his grass for the second time that day. In this corner of Hampton Roads, summer is a time to forget about school and enjoy the 80-degree weather. For a kid, this is a dream location for summer vacation. However, once I made the transition from kid to a teenager with a license, things began to change.
As a teenager, getting your driver’s license is a huge milestone. Having the ability to drive almost anywhere has forever changed the way I spend my summers. Personally, I started to drive to the beach almost endlessly. The top four beaches that were permanent summer spots include the Boardwalk, Sandbridge, North End, and Chicks Beach. Every one of these beaches is unique and timeless. In Virginia, the summers can be viciously hot and humid. This makes the beach the perfect location to hang out. From boogie boarding to fishing, I tried to do it all no matter what beach I decided to go to that day. While having all this fun at the beach was great, the best part was the beaches ability to cost me nothing. As a teenager spending all my money on gas, I did not have extra cash to spend on anything else. Although, as I got older and worked a little more, my perspective on summer changed once more.
As a college student making a little bit of extra money, Norfolk is a great place to spend both summer days, as well as summer nights. With the beaches inability to stay open not much past the sunset, Norfolk has a way of coming alive on summer nights. Norfolk has a plethora of great restaurants, cafes, and events held only in the summer. One of the biggest events Norfolk sponsors is Harbor Fest. This is a weekend full of unique boats, vendors, great food, and spectacular fireworks. For those who don’t know, Norfolk is a city on a pier. During Harbor Fest, boats travel from all over the world to dock right outside of the city. This healthy mix of culture can make Norfolk one of the most appealing places to spend summer vacation.
Abraham Moreno-Riano is the Senior Editor for The Daily Runner.