A staycation is one of the best ways to relax, unwind, and get to know your own backyard! Hampton Roads and Northeast North Carolina provide many options that allow you to have that vacation feel, even though you are in your hometown. With how bustling our area is in the summertime, it’s the perfect time to explore!
I’ve broken up Hampton Roads and Northeast North Carolina into four types of staycations; the city lover, the country relaxer, the history buff and the beachgoer.
For the city lover, there is nothing quite like Downtown Norfolk. Downtown Norfolk provides that city feel and is only a short drive away from your house.
Day 1. Start your staycation by checking into your stay at Hilton Norfolk The Main. After checking in, head to the 5th floor and grab a drink at Grain while you soak in those Downtown waterfront views. Enjoy dinner at one of Downtown Norfolk’s delicious restaurants. End the first night of your staycation with a Push Comedy Theatre show, located in the NEON District.
Day 2. The best way to kick off your morning is with brunch and Downtown is known for amazing options! Get to see Downtown Norfolk from another lens. Peruse the local shops in Selden Market, climb aboard the Battleship Wisconsin, take a guided art tour of the NEON District, bike, walk or run the ERT, or take in the art at the Chrysler Museum. Downtown has endless possibilities to explore while you’re on your staycation!
For the country relaxer, the one who just wants to sit on the front porch sipping on coffee in the morning and spend time recharging this one is for you.
Day 1. Check into your bed and breakfast or Airbnb in Pungo. Time moves at a slower pace in this Virginia Beach neighborhood. Meander down to West Neck Creek Trail, which is the perfect spot to take in nature. For dinner, grab a bite to eat at Pungo Pizza, a local’s favorite, and make sure to get ice cream while you’re there. End the day with your favorite drink on the porch while you get to soak up that country life sunset.
Day 2. Grab a morning coffee at Sawdust road, their front porch is made for grabbing a good book and soaking in the fresh air. For brunch walk over to the Bee and the Biscuit. After enjoying a delicious meal, you can casually pick strawberries, walk the Pungo Loop trail, or explore planes at the Military Aviation Museum. Just know whatever you decide to do, Pungo allows you to do it at your own relaxing pace.
For the history buff, I have two words for you… Colonial Williamsburg. The history is endless, so grab your petticoat or trousers and get ready to explore.
Day 1. Check into your stay at the Williamsburg Inn right in the middle of Colonial Willamburg. This quaint historic staycation will transport you right back to the 18th century. Explore in true 18th century fashion with a horse drawn carriage ride. Grab dinner in Merchant Square at one of their amazing restaurants, which is right in walking distance of Colonial Williamsburg.
Day 2. Start your morning off at the farmers market where you will be able to grab coffee and tasty treats. The farmers market leads you right into the cobblestone streets of Colonial Williamsburg. Hear the cannons roar, witness the blacksmiths create tools, watch the weaver weave, you’ll be transported back to the 1700’s. You can even meet the Nation Builders who portray real historic figures associated with 18th-century Williamsburg who made significant contributions to the American story. Dine at one of the many restaurants or cafes within Colonial Williamsburg. End your evening with a ghost tour, maybe you’ll even see Thomas Jefferson or Patrick Henry.
For the beachgoer, the one who loves their toes in the sand and enjoys sweet sweet summertime. Our beaches provide the perfect getaway.
Day 1. Your oceanfront hotel is calling and you have to answer. Once you check in, grab your essentials and don’t forget your towel, cooler, or sunblock. It’s time to hit the sand and breathe in the salty air. There is no time limit on how long you can bask in the sun but I recommend drying off and grabbing a bite to eat at one of the oceanfront restaurants so your view of the ocean remains the same. After dinner, walk the boardwalk and take in the colorful Virginia Beach sunset.
Day 2. Enjoy breakfast at Doc Taylor’s a local’s favorite. After breakfast, make your way to Atlantic Avenue and pop in and out of the local beach shops, or bike up and down the boardwalk. Relax on the beach with a good book or podcast, anything that puts you in that beach mode. End the day with Waterman’s world-famous orange crushes that are sure to have you feeling like you’re on a tropical getaway.
Day 1. Paradise on earth, right?! Grab the keys to your beach bungalow and get ready to be transported to an island in the sun. Climb Jockey’s Ridge and even go hang gliding, cool off with local ice cream shops, kayak, jetski or set sail, OBX has tons of activities for the whole family.
Day 2. Enjoy breakfast with a beach view at one of the many delicious seafood restaurants. Then grab your beach gear and relax! This day is meant to be spent digging your toes in the sand and building sandcastles. Don’t forget the sunscreen!
You have so much to see right in your own backyard. The city, the country, and the beach all have something to offer, you just have to get out and explore! A staycation is a perfect way to do that and to feel like you are away from home even though you are right around the corner.