Get the most out of life in Tidewater and beyond with this curated collection of places to go and things to see.
Raise your mini-golf game
By Erin Gifford
Take your mini-golf game to new heights at Perch Putt, located on the rooftop of the Capital One Center in Tysons. The 18-hole course is the main draw, but there’s more to enjoy, like bocce courts, a dog park, firepits, giant chess sets, live music, and spectacular views.
Retro-style food trucks—which were lifted by crane to the top of the building—serve street tacos and jerk chicken, and Rhum Roost offers classic tiki cocktails and fruity seltzers. Reserve a tee time online; a round of mini golf is $15 per person.
A week of garden tours across Virginia
By Larry Bleiberg
For 9 decades, Virginia has welcomed spring with Historic Garden Week, the nation’s only statewide house and garden tour.
From April 15 through 22 this year, visitors across the Commonwealth can admire more than 150 private homes and gardens, many of which are usually closed to the public. Special sites this year include Upperville, the Virginia home of philanthropist and horticulturist Bunny Mellon, who designed the White House Rose Garden in the 1960s.
Organized by the Garden Club of Virginia, the weeklong event attracts more than 25,000 visitors, and proceeds are used to restore historic public gardens. Visitors can choose from 29 tours, including ones to Olde Towne Portsmouth; the historic riverside community of Ware Neck; and Governor’s Land at Two Rivers, Williamsburg’s private country club community. Tickets start at $35 per person.
3 places to see glass art in Norfolk
By Lee Belote
Norfolk may be most famous for its mermaid statues and Navy presence, but it’s also home to a number of impressive glass-art collections.
In 1971, automotive heir and art collector Walter P. Chrysler Jr. donated more than 7,000 artworks—including an extensive glass collection—to the Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences. The museum was renamed in his honor, and Norfolk became a center for glass art. Here are 3 collections to check out, all with free admission.
Glass Light Hotel & Gallery
In the heart of downtown Norfolk, the Glass Light Hotel & Gallery—owned by Chris Perry, son of arts patrons Doug and Pat Perry—features accents that showcase Norfolk’s glass-art culture. A piece from the Perry glass collection decorates each of the 113 rooms and suites.
Look for the 6-foot glass bunnies—one in the lobby, another on top of the bar—crafted by renowned Dutch artist Peter Bremers. The 2-story glass-art gallery, adjacent to the hotel’s lobby and restaurant, is open to the public. Rates start at $149.
Barry Art Museum
Positioned at the southern entrance to Old Dominion University, Barry Art Museum invites visitors to explore what’s behind its 40-foot exterior glass wall. The museum’s glass collection features a Dale Chihuly chandelier and Howard Ben Tré’s bronze-and-glass Fountain of Knowledge, which projects more than 800 literary quotes onto the surrounding water.
Chrysler Museum of Art
The Chrysler boasts one of the world’s largest collections of glass art: 10,000 objects, some more than 2,000 years old. You’ll find lamps, leaded-glass windows, and pottery by Louis Comfort Tiffany; a first-century bowl signed by Ennion, one of ancient Rome’s most prominent glassworkers; John Northwood’s acclaimed Milton Vase, carved in 1878 with images based on John Milton’s Paradise Lost; and a growing collection of contemporary glass art.
Across the street, Perry Glass Studio—an extension of the Chrysler that opened in 2011 and is named for Doug and Pat Perry—offers free demonstrations, hands-on classes, studio assistantships, and seasonal workshops.
For more places to go and things to see in Tidewater, check out our editor-curated list of the best fairs, festivals, events, and more.
AAA travel alert: Many travel destinations have implemented COVID-19–related restrictions. Before making travel plans, check to see if hotels, attractions, cruise lines, tour operators, restaurants, and local authorities have issued health and safety-related restrictions or entry requirements. The local tourism board is a good resource for updated information.
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