In 2002, Mike Southard took a leap of faith worthy of The Dukes of Hazzard. He left a career in the elevator industry and decided to pursue his true passion: stock-car driving. Southard launched Try It Racing and On Track Racing Experience, determined to share with others the thrill he had felt many times in the victory lane of late-model stock-car races. His business has grown from a few humble events and clients each year to a fully packed schedule at some of the country's longest running and most renowned racetracks. Some things haven't changed, however—you can still find Southard behind the wheel of the two-seat ride-along car, taking patrons around curves and straightaways at top speed.
Adrenaline fiends satisfy their cravings while driving or riding around tracks such as Orange County Speedway, where industry legends Jeff Gordon and Scott Riggs have burned their share of rubber. A professional photographer and in-car video cameras can capture the excitement at each event, memorializing guests' wide-open eyes, exhilarated smiles, and high-intensity games of I Spy.
Bill and Katharine Davis opened Bill's Seafood House in 1980, unveiling mouthwatering plates of the ocean's bounty before loyal patrons for 17 years before passing the torch to employees Mike Dawson and Ken Earls. Mike, Ken, and their wives Jenny and Lisa all draw from their experiences working at Bill's to continue the restaurant's longstanding tradition of serving fresh shrimp, oysters, and flounder while maintaining long-lasting, friendly relationships with customers through gracious service and nautical-trade treaties. Guests perch atop cushy, leather booth benches, savoring the light, buttery taste of sautéed scallops or the spicy tang of pepper-jack shrimp. Sprays of zesty lemon kiss flaky filets of blackened tuna, and seaside comfort fare of crab cakes, clam chowder, and fried shrimp quell hunger pangs with their familiar flavors.
If you see it while driving down George Washington Memorial Highway, it'll certainly stand out?after all, it's not everyday there's a cactus on the side of a Virginia road. But it's not a real cactus, of course, just a neon beacon drawing hungry folks into Cactus Steakhouse. And it's definitely a symbol for the Southwestern-tinged food served inside, such as cowboy chili in a crock with cheese and onions and hickory-fired chicken with barbecue sauce and bacon. But steak is the menu's signature dish, served as a sirloin filet, rib eye, or prime rib with au jus. Dinner is hardly the only draw here, though, as the live-music lineup nabbed an award for Best Place to Hear Local Bands from Coastal Virginia magazine in 2014 and inspired a city-wide ban on earplugs.
Hampton Roads IcePlex caters to skaters of all experience levels, from tot lessons for 4- and 5-year-olds to its hockey league exclusively for polar bears. Youth and adult hockey leagues pit hockey enthusiasts against other local teams for exhilarating season play. The rink welcomes figure skaters of all backgrounds to lay claim to the ice as well, performing the simplest of two-foot spins to the most complex slam-dunks.
Created by a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef, Entrée Vous composes gourmet meals that can be served whenever hunger calls, eliminating the boring, time-consuming parts of cooking. Two regular-sized entrees serve about 2–3 diners each. Satiate with skewers of luau pork: tangy-glazed chunks of pork alternating with sweet pineapple and red peppers ($15.49). Health-conscious eaters can choose Tuscan-grilled shrimp, whose succulent tails are marinated in basil, garlic, and olive oil ($14.49). Entrée Vous's ready-to-go side dishes include succotash ($7.99), feta five-bean salad ($7.99), and creamy cheddar-cheese macaroni made with elbow pasta ($8.99).
The delectable eatery prides itself on its abundance of high-quality ingredients, its usage of certified halal meat, and its fresh, made-to-order dishes used to sate midday munchers and dinner diners alike. Rev up appetites with menu items such as the chat channa, a medley of legumes, veggies, and spices flanked with sweet-tinged chutney ($3.49). The aaloo wrap snuggles potatoes, tzatziki sauce, lettuce, onions, and tomatoes in a warm naan embrace ($4.49), and the beef-and-lamb tikka combo ($9.99+) grills up a duo of titular carnivorous offerings ideal for sharing with your mealmate or the ravenous stranger sitting uncomfortably close to you. Alight upon savory curry dishes such as the chicken tikka masala ($8.99) or the palak and paneer, laden with spinach and fried cheese ($7.99). Both are served with a choice of naan or rice.