Hampton Roads -- Images of Movement

Photos By Jeff Janas; Text and Captions by Jeffrey A. Rendall

HAMPTON ROADS, VA - Things are moving in the Mid-Atlantic.  Not a big surprise to the area's millions of inhabitants, but it might be a shock to those visiting the region for the first time (as far as expectations goes), or for those who've been away for a while.

In addition to the Mid-Atlantic's rapid population growth is the expansion of its tourism industry.  And there's no greater example of this movement than in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, which encompasses the municipalities of Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake and Hampton, to name just a prominent few (it also includes the Williamsburg area, but we've touched on that in other presentations).  What was formerly known as Virginia's Tidewater has become a widely popular destination for visitors seeking the best in beach, culture and recreational activities.

Golf may not be leading the effort to bring more vacationers to Virginia's shores, but it's hardly lagging behind.  In recent years, several prominent (and award winning) tracks have either been built or renovated.  And there's no shortage of star-power for the new layouts either, featuring some of the best golf course designer names in the business, Pete Dye, Arnold Palmer, Fred Couples (with Gene Bates) and Tom Clark of Ault, Clark & Associates, amongst others.

Northeastern golfers may think of Myrtle Beach, Pinehurst and Hilton Head when planning driving trips to reachable golf destinations, but they should also consider this rather sizeable chunk of the Old Dominion, which will save them hours of time in the car and probably some money from their wallets, without a corresponding drop in quality or accessibility.

And, as home to the United States' largest naval base, they'll have the opportunity to witness the nation's present military power and past history first-hand.  There aren't many places where you can walk outside your hotel room and across the street is a retired battleship (the USS Wisconsin, in Norfolk).  Additional many and varied historical sites and museums are convenient to just about anywhere you'll stay in the region.  In essence, there's plenty of shoreline, fine cuisine, recreation and entertainments to keep you busy.

Here are just a few of the sights you'll see in Hampton Roads -- some golf, some not:

Looking north from Cape Henry, you'll see the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Seventeen miles across is Cape Charles -- and in between contains a waterway providing access to a sizeable percentage of the United States population. Many of those folks are discovering the value of visiting this area.

The Signature At West Neck is the newest upscale golf addition to the region. It's got wide fairways, beach bunkers, lots of water and many smiling customers.

Cape Henry was the first North American landing place of Captain John Smith and his settlers on their way to Jamestown in 1607. They placed a cross on the spot, and here, the 'First Landing Cross' commemorates the momentous event for future generations.

The PGA Tour realized the potential of building a Tour quality facility in the Hampton Roads area, so they hired Pete Dye and Curtis Strange to design it. The result is TPC Virginia Beach, which hosts a Nationwide Tour event every May.

No visit to Hampton Roads should be without spending a few hours in downtown Norfolk. Norfolk contains the country's largest naval base, and one of its best 'living museums' in the USS Wisconsin. The great battleship is officially retired, yet looks like it could sail tomorrow, if called upon.

Arnold Palmer's leading a different kind of army in this photo -- but his partnership with Baymark Golf is also bringing new credibility to this region as a golf destination. Here, it's the Grand Opening at Bay Creek on Virginia's eastern shore.

Bide-A-Wee Golf Course in Portsmouth was recognized by Golf Digest for its upscale golf experience at an affordable price. Curtis Strange consulted on the renovation (along with Tom Clark), and the results show.


For Hampton Roads Information, contact the Hampton Roads Partnership at:
430 World Trade Center
Norfolk, VA 23510

Email: tourism@hrp.org

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