Jul 26, 2010

Camping on Fort Story, Virginia Beach

Fort Story, NAS Oceana, JEB Little Creek, Camp Pendleton: A great place for a vacation.

I noted in one of my recent posts I would give a little info on our camping trip to Virginia Beach, so here goes. For those of you who hold a current Military ID card, camping is available at an extremely low rate. Where else are you going to stay in Virginia Beach for only $18 a night? Unless you have somewhere free to crash, $18 a night is pretty darn cheap. The best part about camping at Fort Story was the beach located right on base. They have lifeguards, but the hours state it closes at 6, so I am not sure if that means you have to leave or if they just post the sign due to safety. The beach area is really nice and there are two areas to pick from. The swimming beach is located on the Chesapeake Bay, while the Non-swimming beach is on the Atlantic side. The base is now known as JEB, or Joint Expeditionary Base, and maybe if your lucky you will see an amphibious exercise or an Airborne jump from a plane. We were lucky enough to see the later of the two. If you feel inclined to hang out on a different beach check, there is a beach right outside the main entrance. Park your car in a parking lot located about a block from the entrance, walk outside of the gate; turn left and you will see the entrance to the beach on your left. It is a residential beach, but it is open to the public.

If you are looking for a great place to boogie board and brave the waves (its not that bad - really) head to the other end of Virginia Beach - about 20 minutes away by car. Head out the entrance. Take a left onto Atlantic and then drive all the way down until it changes to General Booth Blvd. Take a left on Bird Neck road. The entrance to post is on your left. Show your ID and drive straight. Turn right at Jefferson and follow it down to the beach parking lot. This was one of our favorite spots to boogie board. We loved it and will be going back again!

Looking for something to do at night? Check out NAS (Naval Air Station) Oceana's or JEB Little Creek's $2 movie theatre where they have new releases 5 days of the week. They do not allow outside food or drinks and will rip you off if you try to buy anything inside - I guess they have to make money somehow. If you want a schedule head over to the Recreation Center across the street from the Shoppette on Fort Story aka JEB. Another great place is the Tap House. They have 30 plus drinks on tap and happy hour daily from 12-6. Drinks are $2 off and appetizers are half price, so if your tired from boogie boarding on Camp Pendleton, catch the Wave (City Bus) to the Tap House Restaurant. A max pass is only $2and is good until 2 am. You can purchase these passes from KOA, Sunsations, and a few kiosks located on the Boardwalk. Beware of the $2 snake bites at the Tap House. They definitly will bite you back.

NAS has a Commissary located off post, which is the first time I have seen this. It is located separately from the main base. The Commissary is very large and the prices were really good for Virginia Beach. We noticed several great deals. Some of which we would have purchased if we would have had a freezer with us.

Make sure to check out the JEB Little Creek's NEX (Navy Exchange). This place is massive. I think they must have made a mistake and built a huge department store on this post. Honestly, I have never seen a post exchange this large. The store contains what looked to be it's own Coach Purse Department, every makeup brand imaginable, and It even has it's own jewelry store. Madness. We have lived a lot of places and I have never seen a Post Exchange this large. Go check it out.

*I did read online that both the NAS Oceana and JEB Little Creek also have camping, but we did not get to see it. Let me know if you have any experience with these campgrounds.

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