Chesapeake is an independent city located in the state of Virginia. As of the 2020 census, the city has a population of 249,422. It is the second largest independent city in Virginia and the 10th largest city in the Mid-Atlantic region. It is the 90th most populous city in the United States.
Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
If you’re looking to experience a unique type of marshland, visit the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia. Located in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina, the refuge was established in 1974. The wetlands are nestled between Norfolk, Virginia, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina.
The marshland’s history reaches back to the time of slavery. It played a pivotal role in the Underground Railroad, as many freed slaves lived their lives in the swamp. Today, the marshes remain a stunningly beautiful place where you can observe the beauty of nature. You can walk the trails of the marshland from sunrise to sunset and see more than 200 species of birds. During the winter months, large flocks of migratory birds occupy the marshland.
The Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is comprised of nearly 113,000 acres of marshlands and wetlands. It contains two of the largest natural lakes in Virginia. The refuge is accessible via 40 miles of level trails. Many of these trails follow drainage ditches surveyed by George Washington in the mid-1700s.
The Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is home to many species of wildlife, from cute otters to fierce black bears. Its diverse habitat makes it an ideal place to observe and learn about the different species of mammals, birds, and reptiles.
Point Lookout Lighthouse
Point Lookout Lighthouse is reputed to be haunted. It is located on a needle-thin peninsula jutting into Chesapeake Bay. The lighthouse is a square, two-story cottage that sits atop the peninsula. Its location provides a spectacular 300-degree view of the bay.
Its history dates back to 1608. In 1608, a captain named John Smith surveyed the region for the British Crown. He discovered that the region was fertile and had abundant game and fishing opportunities. He also noted the strategic military value of the area. The lighthouse overlooks the confluence of the Potomac River with the Patuxent River and the Chesapeake Bay.
This point is a natural landmark and a great place to explore. You can walk along the bay, admire the historic lighthouse, and even take a trip to the lighthouse. Originally, the Point Lookout Lighthouse was a one-and-a-half-story wooden building with a signal light. Later, a two-story building was built to accommodate two lighthouse keepers. The lighthouse’s fog bell could not be heard by mariners, so it was replaced by a bell tower in 1889. Eventually, in 1927, the lighthouse was remodeled to become a duplex.
Point Lookout Lighthouse is a historic landmark that has been active for over 135 years. In 1965, it was purchased by the Navy, and an automated light was placed offshore. However, the lighthouse remained tenanted until 1981. Over the years, numerous paranormal experiences have been reported at the point. In fact, in a study done 20 years ago, internationally renowned parapsychologist Dr. Hans Holzer led a team of paranormal investigators to investigate the lighthouse.
Casemate Museum of Fort Monroe
The Casemate Museum of Fort Monroe is located on the historic site of the fort and gives visitors an insight into the social life of local residents and military leaders. It also highlights the history of the first Africans in English-speaking America, known as Contrabands. The museum is free and open to the public.
Open Wednesday to Sunday, the Casemate Museum provides an educational tour of Fort Monroe’s history. The museum is wheelchair accessible and is open from 10 am to 4:30 pm. The museum also features the cell where President Jefferson Davis was imprisoned for treason. The museum is also home to the Old Comfort Point Lighthouse, which stands 58 feet tall and is octagonal in shape.
While at the Casemate Museum, children can enjoy a beach visit to Fort Monroe and take a walk on the seawall. For adults, a self-guided tour of Fort Monroe’s history is available and features a number of locations within the fort’s walls. There is also a brewery at the Fort Monroe site, where you can enjoy a craft beer while overlooking Mill Creek.
Fort Monroe also includes several vantage points for wildlife watching. The Fort’s visitor center offers a map for visitors, and there are a few other points of interest that visitors should not miss.
Virginia Oyster Trail
The Virginia Oyster Trail offers a wide array of experiences for oyster lovers. For example, visitors can take a one-hour oyster-harvest excursion by boat with a traditional waterman. They can also take a class to learn how to shuck oysters.
Virginia is the nation’s largest producer of farm-raised oysters. Its oysters come from eight distinct regions and are famous for their distinctive flavors. Try the salty Eastern Shore oyster, or try a sweet one from the Rappahannock River. You can sample oysters at numerous locations along the Virginia Oyster Trail, including Ingleside, an artisanal member of the oyster trail. Ingleside also hosts a variety of oyster-related events throughout the year.
Virginia’s oysters have been an important part of the Chesapeake region’s culture for centuries. They brought wealth to some shrewd businessmen and provided a stable living to many. As a result, Virginia has become known as the Oyster Capital of the East Coast. Today, the state produces over 40 million oysters each year.
Aside from the oysters, visitors to the Virginia Oyster Trail can also experience the region’s rich culture. Many of the areas along the trail feature local art galleries. At the Allure Art Center, for example, you’ll see paintings of oysters and watermen. And there’s a pottery guild in town called Clay by the Bay.
Calvert Cliffs State Park
Located in Lusby, Maryland, Calvert Cliffs State Park is a public recreation area that protects a section of the cliffs. The park stretches for 24 miles along the eastern flank of the Calvert Peninsula on the west side of Chesapeake Bay. From Drum Point to the end of the park, the cliffs stretch out into the Bay.
One of the best things to do here is to spend a day fossil hunting. There are over 600 species of fossils to be found here. These include fossils of whales and other sea creatures, as well as land animals like peccaries and woolly rhinos. The most common fossil type is a fossilized bone fragment. Visitors are not allowed to dig for fossils on the cliffs, but are welcome to hunt for them on the beach.
The cliffs of Calvert Cliffs State Park offer spectacular views of the Chesapeake Bay. Visitors can walk along 13 miles of trails, passing by impressive geological formations and unique locations. While there, be sure to bring a shovel and plenty of patience.
The Calvert Cliffs State Park is a 1,460-acre wooded state park with views of the majestic Calvert Cliffs. The park is a great place to picnic, fossil hunt, and hike. It also features a two-mile boardwalk to the beach and a huge tire playground. The park is an excellent place to watch the local wildlife.
Battle of Antietam
“Three Cheers for the Chesapeake! History of the 4th Maryland Light Artillery Battery at Antietam in the Civil War” by Rick Richter is a popular and academic book about the Civil War. Richter is a native of Maryland and has received two Master of Arts degrees from the University of Notre Dame. He has lectured on the history of the Chesapeake Artillery before living history groups and battlefield preservation organizations. He has also appeared as a consultant on the Benner’s Hill episode of “Mysteries at the National Parks” television series. In addition, he has also been featured in B&O Railroad Museum’s exhibit, “The War Came by Train.”
The Battle of Antietam was one of the bloodiest days in American history. Approximately 23,000 soldiers were killed, wounded, or listed as missing. The Union won the battle and defeated the Confederates. The victory gave President Abraham Lincoln an opportunity to announce the Emancipation Proclamation.
The battle began early on September 17 with three Union attacks aimed at the Confederate left. The first attack was led by Gen. Joseph Hooker’s First Corps. The second attack was led by Gen. Joseph Mansfield’s Twelfth Corps, and the third attack was led by part of the Second Corps. However, McClellan’s battle plan fell apart due to the uncoordinated advance of the Union army. The three-hour stalemate led to the famous nickname, “Bloody Lane.”
Lee’s 41,000 soldiers were surrounded by a Union army of twice their size, and the Union forces held the field. By the end of the day, more than half of the 23,000 casualties were Confederate, and more than half of them were Union soldiers. The Union dead were buried at the Antietam National Cemetery, and many Confederate soldiers were buried in nearby Hagerstown.