“A Local’s Guide”

Elizabeth Sims

Everywhere you go, you will find places that make you smile and other places that make you wonder how they are even still in business. Being in a college town is no different, with even more hole­in­the­walls and tourist traps to visit and experience. Here are some places and things you need to visit while at Wesleyan and places that are a complete waste of time and money.

Local Gems:
1. Lynnhaven Pub: This local pub is regionally famous for its vast selection of craft beers, averaging between 100 – 130 different beers every week. They also offer no cover charge at night, however, you only can enter if you are 21 years or older. Not of the legal age? No worries. This local favorite offers its delicious food starting at 11am.

2. Charlie’s Café: Don’t let the crazy and colorful exterior fool you, this is one of the most famous diners you can visit in Norfolk, thanks in part to Tom Hanks. That’s right. Tom Hanks the movie star. He visited the café in search of biscuits and gravy, leaving such a mark on the staff and restaurant that he has his own table and a biscuits and gravy platter named after him. They serve breakfast starting at 6 a.m. and stay open until 10 p.m., and even serve their own craft beer.

3. First Landing State Park: Want to connect more with nature? This state park is the place to do it. Encompassing over 3,000 acres of land untouched by development, you can camp, hike, and take guided tours of the pristine land that looks the same as it did when first discovered. 4. Brookdale Farm: Looking for food you can prepare yourself or some fresh produce that you can feel good about snacking on? Look no further than Brookdale Farm in Virginia Beach. Offering year around home grown produce, they also offer up creative recipes for the produce you purchase. Head out there during the summer for some of the best tasting berries you can get locally.

Tourist Traps:
1. MacArthur Mall: I say mall, and you hear fun times shopping with friends, but what you don’t know is how big of a rip­off this place is. Parking can be anywhere for $1 for an hour to $10, with no discounts for local or student IDs. And many of these stores are ones you can at closer malls such as Lynnhaven Mall or Military Circle Mall. Plus, it is always crowded with people looking for a good time, and not finding. On the flip side, they have the only Harry and David store for 50 miles, and everyone needs to try Moose Munch© at least once in their life.

2. The Virginia Aquarium: You’ll hear their obnoxious jingle on the radio, but have you actually seen how little their $22 ticket price gets you? 30 minutes of walking around and maybe a good educational IMAX feature. That’s it. The focus of this aquarium is the renewal and conservation of the Chesapeake Bay. You can see otters, wolves, and quite a large number of bugs, birds, and sea critters, but only if the exhibit is actually open. Most of the time, not all of them are open, leaving you feeling empty and ripped off.

3. Nauticus: Located in the Norfolk Harbor, you can pay $15 ­ $40 dollars to look at a boat. Granted, it’s the old and well­known Battleship Wisconsin, the last ever United States Battleship to be built. This overpriced boat tour is not worth the time spent listening to a three­hour lecture. You can do that in class here.

4. Captain George’s Seafood Restaurant: This place is the most clichéd, tacky, overpriced seafood restaurant in Tidewater. The only thing that separates this seafood buffet from a place like Golden Corral, is that Captain George’s has crab legs. Tough, overcooked crab legs. Plus, you’ll be paying triple the price for hideous décor and loud patrons.