As much as we love our mountains, it’s nice to be just a few hour’s drive away from the ocean. While I-64 is the fastest way to get to there, we usually opt to do a slower and more scenic drive on Rt. 5 once we’re east of Richmond.
Our first stop was at Lawrence Lewis, Jr. Park near Charles City on the James River. We’ve seen Bald Eagles here many times, and although we didn’t see them on this visit, it was still a beautiful day to be by the river.
Once we reached the Jamestown area, we waited for the ferry that would take us across to Surry County.
Just south of the busy and vibrant Virginia Beach oceanfront and the Sandbridge community is one of our favorite natural areas: Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
Back Bay is on one side of the parking lot…
…and a short walk in the other direction leads to spectacular ocean views.
We drove north to VA Beach, checked into our hotel, and then went to our favorite seafood restaurant!
The sunrise the next morning was stunning. Despite the chilly temperatures, we enjoyed being out on the balcony.
After checking out of the hotel and getting breakfast at Nick’s on Laskin Road, we got on I-64 West, went through the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, and then took Rt. 17 North. This allowed us to cross the York River and visit a new-to-us place, Gloucester Point Beach Park.
To our absolute surprise and delight, we arrived just in time to see dolphins swimming downriver towards the Chesapeake Bay!
I only managed to get a very short video, but it was so cool to see them!
There were also pelicans and two Great Blue Herons at Gloucester Point Beach Park.
The George Coleman Memorial Bridge that we crossed is quite unusual. While we’ve crossed many draw bridges in our travels, I’d never heard of a “swing bridge” before, much less a double swing bridge. Apparently this is one of the largest bridges of its kind in the world!
On our meandering trek home, we crossed the Mattaponi and Pamunkey Rivers near West Point, VA, stopped by Lawrence Lewis Jr. Park again on Rt. 5, and then we crossed the James River on Rt. 106 near Hopewell, VA.
We hopped on I-64 West for the final leg of the trip, thankful for all we’d seen and done in just over 24 hours. We love to travel, but it’s always nice when our beautiful mountains welcome us home. 🙂
Until next time,
Sharon & Wayne