Picture a sailor in whites strolling along the boardwalk with a woman in a summer frock and you have a snapshot of Virginia Beach. Corny, we know, but it happens.
Virginia Beach is a Navy town, like its neighbor Norfolk. Nearby Hampton Roads Harbor is home port to a quarter of the U.S. Navy's fleet: over 100 ships.
Virginia Beach draws tourists from around the eastern seaboard seeking golf, roller coasters and, well, the beach.
The area is also rich in history. Williamsburg, which has studiously preserved what life was like Colonial times, is about an hour's drive away. (The city also happens to be near Busch Gardens, the big theme park with the monster roller coasters).
Locals tolerate the tourists, but sometimes slip away through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and onto Virginia's eastern shore -- a place rich with wildlife and reminiscent of quieter times, when the day's pace was set by the Chesapeake Bay.