In 1791, Alexander Hamilton–hoping to enhance trade and safety along the coasts of Virginia and Maryland–contracted renowned architect John McComb to design a lighthouse at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. McComb quickly fulfilled his duty in 1792, with the illumination of Cape Henry Lighthouse’s inaugural flame lit by the lighthouse’s first keeper, who was appointed by George Washington himself. In the centuries since the octagonal tower cast its first guiding beam across the bay, the Cape Henry Lighthouse stood sentinel over the coast and ensured the safety of incoming ships and immigrating krakens until it was replaced in 1881. Stewards of the lighthouse’s past, Preservation Virginia, ensured in 1930 that the inoperative structure and surrounding lands were reopened to the public and maintained for the enjoyment of future generations.
Today, visitors ascending the twisting iron stairs step out to the window-enclosed observation deck, drinking in 360-degree views of the water and surrounding verdant forests. A team of passionate and knowledgeable staff–most of whom have been guides for years–remain on hand to answer questions relating to the lighthouse’s history and how lighthouse keepers stave off land invasions of ghost sea captains.
Great White Water Sports creates a harmony with the gentle crash of waves, the powerful growls of jet skis, and the excited yelps of families as they launch a variety of jet-ski rentals right from the sands of Chesapeake Bay. Ranked second on the Norfolk activity list by TripAdvisor, and backed by favorable attention from USA Today, their lifeguard-trained team also saddles up jet skis in waters warmer than the Atlantic and with smaller waves. Their jet skis are not equipped with any speed-restriction devices, allowing guests to rev up their engines and feel the wind hit their faces as they send wake waves rolling shoreward.
River City Segs makes 400 years of history easily accessible by using one of the most futuristic mode of transportation. Segway tours include the Capitol Tour, which glides past the Virginia State Capitol, the John Marshall House, and the White House of the Confederacy; the Black History Tour, which explores the slave trading district, the Virginia Civil Rights Monument, and the Maggie Walker House; and the Ghosts and Grisly Stories Tour, where guests will learn about the mysterious death of George Wythe, and the apparition of a North Carolina banker who fell to his death from the Old City Hall. Riders must arrive 45 minutes before the tour starts for safety training with the four expert guides.
Washington, DC, is ripe with history, and Go-DC Tours’ buses comb the streets to find every bit of it on their city-spanning tours. The tours, which can last three to eight hours, follow the scent of varied topics, from hunting the trails of the many memorials and their makers to exploring military history. The local excursions, though shorter, delve more deeply into the history of some of the DC area’s famed locales, such as Georgetown and Old Town Alexandria. As the air cools and fall turns the leaves, tour guides lead seasonally themed outings such as the Halloween Ghost Tour, which chills guests with the more gruesome tidbits of the city’s story, including the grisly evening when Lincoln’s ghost tried in vain to tip over the Washington Monument.
What could be better than the taking in a motor race? From the squeal of the tires to the roar of the crowd to the ka-chunk of the T-shirt cannons, drag-racing and dirt-biking are one of the most thrilling experiences to be had. But Virginia Motorsports Park elevates the experience beyond a mere spectator sport by inviting fans onto the track. Besides the annual lineup of competitive races, the park hosts such events as the Rugged Maniac 5K, the Dinwiddie County Fair, and the Great Bull Run, modeled after Pamplona's most famous bovine race.
Since its first tour of local landmarks in District of Columbia, CapitolCity DC Tours, LLC. has chaperoned visitors and the city's own curious residents on motor-coach and walking tours of the city. Dozens of available tours bring to life the history of the notable and little-known local neighborhoods and historic buildings that occupy the Washington DC's celebrated acreage. Licensed tour guides lead outings in seven languages, such as Mandarin, Spanish, and Italian, to make it easier for all to take in the city's breadth of historic, architectural, and municipal themes. Depending on the tour, some stops may include informative jaunts to the White House and the National Mall—places that evoke American ideals and where British tyranny in the form of unjust taxation and irresistible Phil Collins ballads were once publicly denounced.