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Relaxing on a dock in the Chesapeake Bay on the Virginia coast

Virginia

Virginia Beach, Virginia: Unique Ways to Sample the Chesapeake Bay Food Scene

By: Idoia Gkikas

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  • States:
    Virginia

Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay is considered one of the largest and most biologically diverse estuaries in the USA.

This region is famous for its fresh seafood and local fare and, lucky for you, there are many mouth-watering ways for sampling. These Virginia Beach culinary experiences will take you from farm-to-table dining to fresh seafood and hidden gems.

Oyster-Farming Boat Tour

Huge and salty, the Lynnhaven oyster was once a delicacy for presidents and royalty. With a revitalized Lynnhaven River and repopulated oyster reefs, the namesake oyster is making a comeback to fame – and the dinner table. Pleasure House Oyster Tours cruise to harvesting locations, where oysters are collected and served. You’re encouraged to bring your own wine.

Learning to harvest on a tour offered by Pleasure House Oysters

Learning to harvest on a tour offered by Pleasure House Oysters
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Hands-On Dining at New Earth Farm

Just minutes from the family vacation haven of Sandbridge Beach, New Earth Farm runs an 8.5-hectare sustainable farm that is the epitome of earthy freshness. Try one of the innovative classes designed to get you back to the land: Learn to shear sheep, can vegetables, make your own kombucha or take a cooking class from a top local chef. Children can take a farm-to-table class and hand-harvest food that they then cook and eat.

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Beachside Farmers Market

If you’re looking for locally sourced meat, pasture-raised eggs, still-warm bread, homemade pies and just-caught seafood, where do you go? When you’re in Virginia Beach, you go to Old Beach Farmer’s Market, which features dozens of eco-friendly vendors just six blocks from the beach. Shop for specialty ingredients, spend the day in the sun, then head back to your vacation rental to cook it all up for dinner.

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Cruise the Boardwalk

At nearly 5 kilometers long with a dedicated bike path, the Virginia Beach Boardwalk is made for cruising. Rent a bike and scope the boardwalk for quirky sights, such as the King Neptune and Norwegian Lady statues; mom-and-pop shops; and casual seaside restaurants. Waterman’s Surfside Grille is a sure bet for fresh seafood and beachy cocktails. Try the Orange Crush, a concoction of orange vodka, triple sec and Sprite.

Virginia Beach Boardwalk stretching nearly five kilometers

Virginia Beach Boardwalk stretching nearly five kilometers
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Kayak to Hidden Gems

Even for the uninitiated, kayaking is easy and guaranteed to soothe your soul. Ocean Rentals offers kayak tours through Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, a sanctuary for migratory birds on the Atlantic Flyway characterized by dunes, marshes, beach and woodlands. Paddle to Blue Pete’s, an off-the-beaten-path local favorite. Order some seafood, of course, and enjoy the river views.

Paddling along an off-the-beaten-path waterway

Paddling along an off-the-beaten-path waterway
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Getting There

After arriving at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), catch a connecting flight to Norfolk International Airport (ORF) in Virginia, which is about 20 minutes from Virginia Beach. Another option is to rent a car at Dulles and drive south for about 345 kilometers to Virginia Beach.

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The three arcing spires of the United States Air Force Memorial

Destination

Arlington

Another breezy day along the boardwalk

Destination

Virginia Beach