Before moving to Virginia, I was a die-hard ocean devotee. Then I met the Chesapeake Bay and fell in love. Still as majestic as the ocean, somehow the tidal marshes and rivers that rim the bay make it more accessible for me. The Lynnhaven River is a tidal estuary that flows into the Chesapeake Bay near its mouth in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and recently my husband and I discovered Pleasure House Point, a natural area that covers 118 acres along the Lynnhaven, just south of the bay.
Once slated for a waterfront development, the city of Virginia Beach together with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation worked to preserve Pleasure House Point as one of the largest undeveloped parcels of land along the river. The shallow estuaries provide a home to the Chesapeake Bay blue crab and the Lynnhaven oyster, and the point provides non-motorized water access as well as numerous walking paths for the pleasure of birders, photographers and nature lovers alike.
Thanks to conservation efforts and the cooperation of local agencies, what was once intended to be a 1,100-unit luxury housing development is now a quiet oasis of natural beauty. Instead, a maritime forest, marshes and sandy beaches all comprise this peaceful peninsula, and it’s available to everyone.