United States Forums

Start a new topic Change Forum
Advanced search

Trip Report Richmond Va and Cape Charles Va Trip Report

Jump to last reply

My wife, 16yr old son and I drove to Richmond for one night, and then to Cape Charles for four nights, and then home. A short spring break. In Richmond we stayed at the Berkeley Hotel. A friend manages the hotel so our review is biased (but we liked it).

We arrived early and walked to Millie's Diner for lunch. Millie's has good food and really friendly servers who saw our maps and suggested what to see and how to get there and gave us a free homemade cd with traveling music (ie, Cold Kentucky Rain). Then we walked up Church Hill to St. John's Church where Patrick Henry demanded liberty or death. Then back to the hotel to watch basketball, then biked to Bell Isle where there was a festival for mountain bikers. That was fun to watch, jumps and tatoos and beer. I was about 40 years too old for all that fun. We had dinner at the hotel, and watched more basketball.

The next day we walked to the Gutenberg Cafe, looked at the train station, visited the Civil War Museum and explored town a little. We looked at brunch at the Jefferson (snazzy!) and drove through Carytown and the Fan. The James River in Richmond is central literally and figuratively, and a bike ride or walk along Tredegar to the civil war museum and Bell Isle is really fun. We didn't get to Hollywood Cemetery but wanted to.

Then off to Cape Charles via Norfolk and the Chesapeake Bay Tunnel Bridge. The tunnel bridge is fun and easy. The snack bar (per fodorite advice) is a good stop with great views and decent food. At least the toasted cheese was decent. But Cape Charles is fascinating. Cape Charles is like amber, like Pompeii almost. The town was the bee's knees in the early 1900's up until about 1950. The railroad brought people and freight to Cape Charles and then by ferry and barge to Norfolk. But then the ferry terminal moved. And the trains stopped. What's left is what the town was like 50 to 75 years ago. With sidewalks (by TA Goodwin), and Sears-built houses, and beautiful brick houses with grand porches facing the bay. And an old bank building converted to a pub. And a beautiful, sprawling, perfect, empty brick service station. Perfect for its time. Perfect for its glory days.

It was too cold to swim (April) but the bay beaches seemed nice and we had fun taking a kayak out. Wonderful sunsets. One day we golfed at the posh Bay Creek development. A beautiful course by the bay. Another day we drove down to the Nature Refuge by the bridge-tunnel and hiked. The visitors center there is interesting with friendly guides and a bird watching area. Another day we went to the diner in Exmore and looked at Oyster. It's a very interesting area, the eastern shore. It's not at all like Bethany Beach or Rehoboth. It feels very removed. We rented a little house. Our neighbors were crabbers. But there's wi-fi at the library (an old church). And the pub.

On the drive home we stopped at the new museum in Pokemoke. I like Pokemoke. The river is beautiful and, like Cape Charles, the history seems so present, so much a part of the present. You can see the shells of big old boats and big old buildings and feel the rich past, the glory days, all around you. Almost like ghosts.

14 Replies |Back to top

| Add a Reply

Sign in to comment.

Recent Activity

  • Announcements:
  • Writers Needed for Mexico
    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Jul 24, 14 at 12:19 PM
  • Writers Needed for Georgia Coast
    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Jul 18, 14 at 03:12 PM
  • Writers Needed for Rwanda and Uganda
    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Jul 18, 14 at 03:12 PM
View all United States activity »
  1. 1 Hiking Arches or Canyonlands National Park in fall?
  2. 2 Mesa Verde
  3. 3 Vail or Aspen in summertime?
  4. 4 Trip Report Long Beach Aquarium Trip
  5. 5 New England in the fall
  6. 6 Itinerary opinions
  7. 7 A tour of an Amish Community near Midland MI
  8. 8 Relocating Tips - Mild Weather, Good Schools, Low Cost of Living
  9. 9 Paved bike path near Bryce Canyon, through Red Canyon
  10. 10 Help w road trip from Huntington Beach to SF, skipping LA area
  11. 11 Recommendations for accommodation in San Diego?
  12. 12 Help on which island(s) for Scuba Divers
  13. 13 Washington/Oregon....trip ideas
  14. 14 Trip Report Trip Report - Santa Monica, Dinosaur, Steamboat, and Telluride
  15. 15 Heading to Maine in September - Where are the moose?
  16. 16 NYC Clubs for live music
  17. 17 relocating travel
  18. 18 Need help with Yellowstone and area starting in SLC
  19. 19 Seattle Hyatts
  20. 20 Trip Report Long Weekend in KY: Bourbon Trail and Mammoth Cave
  21. 21 Ideas for 1st time trip to LA/Santa Monica/Hollywood with 16 yr old
  22. 22 Big Island Fans - will we like Maui?
  23. 23 Another Southwest Airlines Early Bird Question
  24. 24 Bar Harbor Maine to Boston
  25. 25 Bath County, VA - anyone ever been?
View next 25 » Back to the top