Archive for March, 2011


The Secret to the Best Beach Walk

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011 by Katherine Jackson

sanddollar3The secret to the best beach walk is simple: low tide. The beach is at its hardest and flattest just before and after low tide, which makes for an easy walk. Plus, that’s when I find the best shells and sea-glass – before they have time to wash up into the hands of other beachcombers. During low tide walks this past winter, I found more sand dollars than I have ever found before on my Croatan neighborhood beach, which is south of Rudee Inlet and accessible from the public parking lot at Camp Pendleton Even more rare: one day in late February, a live seahorse washed up at low tide. The poor little fella was lying on his side, wriggling his tail, and trying (I assume) to get back out to sea. We tossed him in and hoped for the best. Every summer when I was a kid, we visited a friend who lived at the beach in North Carolina. She had a tide clock, and every day, when the hand pointed to low tide, she put on her beach-walking shoes and asked who wanted to go. Ever since then, I always check the tide table, in the local newspaper or at http://hamptonroads.com/weather, and whenever possible, plan my treasure-hunting beach walks accordingly.


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Old Coast Guard Station: Lore & Lure of the Surfmen

Monday, March 28th, 2011 by Tina Fries

 

OCGS with signShipwrecks, disasters, rescues, heroes…even a ghost story? What’s not to like!

Soon after my daughter, Jennifer, and I walked through the doors of the Old Coast Guard Station Museum and Gift Shopat the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, we realized we were visiting a special time and place in Virginia’s history.  A time when surfmen, as these brave men were called, patrolled the beaches and stood watch day and night over Virginia’s coast. They were ready to spring to action and battle the sea to save lives should a ship and its crew get into trouble.

On a recent Sunday visit we caught up with volunteer docent, Miss Ann, a wealth of knowledge, already leading a young couple on a tour. She pointed out how communication devices, navigational aids and weather forecasting methods have come a long way since the early days (1874-1915) of the U.S. Life Saving Service, later renamed the U.S. Coast Guard.

Jennifer and I were captivated by the early lifesaving equipment, the surfboat and especially a small scale model demonstrating what was called the Breeches Buoy.

 

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The Beach Report – March 25, 2011

Friday, March 25th, 2011 by Teresa Diaz

ocean kayakWhile Virginia Beach is widely known as a family destination with miles of clean beaches, we are also a wildly-popular vacation spot for sports enthusiasts and those who desire more physical adventures.  With more than 18,600 acres of state parks and wildlife refuges, over 121 navigable miles of waterways and 35 miles of ocean and bay beaches,  Virginia Beach offers visitors of all fitness types a chance to explore the great outdoors and test their skills.

This week on the Virginia Beach – Live the Life Facebook page, viewers were invited to think outside the box when planning their next Virginia Beach experience.  One unique way to do just that is by kayak.  While a kayak trip may not be the first thing that comes to mind when planning your trip to Virginia Beach, it can become one of the most memorable.  Home to one of the last great salt marsh habitats on the East Coast, Virginia Beach has miles of waterways which take the form of rivers, bays, lakes, marsh areas and fingers of water that all flow into the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay. 

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The Beach Report – March 18, 2011

Friday, March 18th, 2011 by Katherine Jackson

ShoreLines welcomes Katherine Jackson, author of Walking Virginia Beach, a guidebook that details 20 walks throughout Virginia Beach and surrounding cities. Katherine “lives the beach life” by taking full advantage of what the resort city offers every season of the year and by finding anyway possible to get outdoors.  She’ll share her experiences with us on ShoreLines, and here’s her first post – enjoy!

 

Back Bay Beach

Back Bay Beach

Warm, spring-like weather in March lured me to the southern end of Virginia Beach, where walking opportunities abound at two remote natural areas: Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and False Cape State Park. What a perfect subject for my first post about walking in Virginia Beach. On a sunny Saturday morning, we walked a four-mile stretch of the beach – from the parking lot at the refuge to the northern edge of the state park — practically by ourselves. The hard-packed beach made for a perfect walking surface. Wind from the west-southwest pushed up the faces of the waves and caused rooster-tails to spray off the crests. Pelicans glided over the ocean looking for fish, hawks soared overhead and shorebirds skittered along the sand. It was beautiful. We stuck to the beach that day, but numerous trails for walking, biking, and wildlife-watching traverse the dunes, wind through the maritime forest, and stretch along the shore of Back Bay. Having such a solitary and peaceful place so close by is indeed a natural treasure.

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service


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This Stew Sham-Rocks and Rolls

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011 by Patrick Evans-Hylton

St. Patrick's Day Sham-rock StewSpring is here, and soon folks will be enjoying the surf and sand of Virginia Beach! But for now, there is still enough hint of coolness in the air to enjoy a warm soup or stew.  And what better than an Irish Lamb Stew, a great meal to celebrate the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon which includes the Anthem Half Marathon, TowneBank 8K and other events on March 19 and 20.

Our stew includes the rich flavor of lamb, an assortment of root vegetables and a bottle of good Irish Ale. If you want to substitute beef for lamb, you can and if you don’t want the ale in your stew (most of the alcohol burns off, leaving only the brew’s flavor), you can use an equal amount of water instead.

 

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The Beach Report – March 11, 2011

Friday, March 11th, 2011 by Teresa Diaz

kg nep and bikesWe made it!  The clocks spring forward this weekend, giving us a long-awaited extra hour of daylight each day - truly a reason to celebrate!!! 

 

Speaking of celebrations, Virginia Beach & Williamsburg are due huge “shout outs” this week!  Clearly, I’m biased but I have to share some great news about both places.  TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel site, released the winner’s of their 2011 Travelers’ Choice Family Awards.  These awards, based on the opinions of millions of travelers, identify the top family-friendly destinations around the world.  Williamsburg and Virginia Beach ranked first and second, respectively, in the category of Great U.S. Destinations to Discover.  This is a huge coup for both areas given the competition included destinations in the U.S., Europe, Canada, the Carribean and Mexico.  Congratulations to everyone in the industry who works tirelessly to keep Virginia Beach and Williamsburg desirable destinations for families all year long.  Excellent job!

 

 

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The Beach Report – March 4, 2011

Friday, March 4th, 2011 by Teresa Diaz

 

lgTmb_rudee3The sun is peeking out more regularly these days and I saw my first daffodil this week!  Spring has sprung in Virginia Beach.  If you’ve been to our city during the spring season, you know it’s one of the best times of the year to visit Virginia Beach.  The weather is mild and the options are many.

 

 

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