Time is valuable. Don’t waste it.
Illustrations by Wes Watson
Eat something you can’t pronounce: Le Yaca French Restaurant (Williamsburg) | This favorite offers incredible food, patio dining and a reason to go to Williamsburg that doesn’t include watching some dude shoe a horse. Of course, if you’re not into driving from the south side, just hit the Virginia Beach location.
Eat something you can pronounce, but can’t afford: Byrd & Baldwin Bros. Steakhouse (Norfolk) | Steak so good, you’ll gladly take out a second mortgage.
Get an Old Fashioned: Saltine (Norfolk) | It may be new, but this bar has established itself as one of the best spots to damage your liver.
Get an old-fashioned drink: Voila Cuisine Internationale (Norfolk) | Looking for classic
cocktails made right? Just ask for Maggie (and a designated driver).
Get a new-fashioned drink: Venture Kitchen and Bar (Hampton) | Giving people all the reason they need to brave HRBT.
Buy some funky cheese: The Cheese Shop (Williamsburg) | For more than 40 years, this has been THE place to go for cheese that smells like feet.
Eat a collection of cheese: Saint Germain (Norfolk) | Great drinks, even better cheese and charcuterie.
Eat vegan (without hating it): Pasha Mezze (Norfolk) | A great meal with a clear conscience (and clean arteries).
Get the meat sweats (without regretting it): The County Grill & Smokehouse (Yorktown and Hampton) | Totally worth the angioplasty.
Get really good barbecue: North Carolina | Sorry, not sorry.
Drink expensive beer: The Birch (Norfolk) | Go see Malia, tell her what kind of beer you like, then sit back and enjoy. It is an experience.
Drink German beer: The Bier Garden (Portsmouth) | Enjoy a beer and a schnitzel.
Drink experimental beer: Benchtop Brewing Company (Norfolk) | With names like Wicked Lobstrosity and Isoelectric Shift, you know this beer will be different.
Watch a show indoors: The Commodore Theatre (Portsmouth) | This gem, opened in 1945, features a cool Art Deco style and a fun place to watch the latest movie.
Watch a show outdoors: Portsmouth Pavilion (Portsmouth) | No matter the music, this is a great place to enjoy it.
Watch the outdoors outdoors: Virginia Living Museum (Newport News) | Wanna see a bobcat without actually, you know … seeing a bobcat?
See a celebrity (if that celebrity is Terry O’Quinn): Commune (Virginia Beach) | Look, if Locke likes it, who are you to quibble?
See a celebrity (if that celebrity is Bruce Hornsby): Williamsburg | Just don’t challenge him to play hoops, unless you want to hear him sing “The way it is” as he drops jump shots on you. Some things will never change.
See a future celebrity: Governor’s School for the Arts (Norfolk) | Mary Faber, Grant Gustin, Zachary Knighton, Emmy Raver-Lampman. The list is long. The only question is,“Who’s next?”
Skydive (for cowards): iFLY Virginia Beach Indoor Skydiving (Virginia Beach) | You know, for those of us who have a healthy appreciation of gravity.
Skydive (for brave souls): Skydive Suffolk (Suffolk) | ’Cause sometimes falling feels like flying. For a little while, anyway.
Buy a Halloween costume: Echoes of Time (Virginia Beach) | When a DIY approach just won’t do.
Buy vintage vinyl: Birdland Music (Virginia Beach) | Not a bad spot to go if you want to hear how music is supposed to sound (apologies to Spotify).
Buy a hostess gift: Table Seven (Norfolk) | Looking for something special and Google not helping? Try these guys.
Make a Bloody Mary: Tortilla West (Norfolk) | Go ahead, make it as spicy as you want. And if you’re from the Midwest, they’ll find a pickle for you.
Make a flower arrangement: The floral design class at Norfolk Botanical Garden (Norfolk) | And fellas, this sure beats stopping off at the Harris Teeter on Valentine’s Day (you know who you are).
Make a fool of yourself: Push Comedy Theater (Norfolk) | Go ahead. You’ve been improvising at work for years.
Watch a sunset over water: Cape Charles Beach (Cape Charles) | Nuff said.
Watch a sunrise over water: Any beach, from the Eastern Shore to the Outer Banks | Requires a little more get up and go, but worth it.
Watch a sunset and a sunrise over water: Jockey’s Ridge State Park (Nags Head) | That is, if you really want to impress her.
Hit a ball with a club: Cahoon Plantation Golf Course (Chesapeake) | Great little track that offers country club maintenance for a nice public course price.
Watch someone else hit a ball with a club (on tour): Kingsmill Resort (Williamsburg) | The LPGA has discovered it. Now you should too.
Watch someone else hit a ball with a club (on horseback): The Virginia Beach Polo Club (Pungo) | Something you have to experience at least once. Bring a hat.
Dine on a rooftop: Leone’s Italian (Norfolk) | Great food and a great view of the transformation of downtown.
Dine by water: One Fish, Two Fish (Virginia Beach) | You don’t really need a reason to dine by the inlet, but this place sure gives you one.
Dine roadside: Manny’s Burger (Norfolk) | Sometimes you just gotta get your burger on, and where better than this little Lafayette Boulevard stop?
Get a cold drink on a hot summer night: Chic’s Beach Oyster Bar (Virginia Beach) | Great neighborhood. Great views. A must visit.
Get a warm drink to start your day: Café Stella (Norfolk) | Way better eats than any cool coffee spot deserves.
A Ghent favorite.
Take a great photo: First Hole at Lamberts Point Golf Course (Norfolk) | One of the highest points in town, this spot offers an incredible view of the Elizabeth River and the industry all around – and oh, the sunsets.
Make a piece of art: Classes at the Glass Studio, Chrysler Museum of Art (Norfolk) | One of the best spots in the country to see great glass art – and one of the best places to learn about it.
Get your “Ghost” on: Pottery class at the Peninsula Fine Arts Center (Newport News) | Make ’em nervous. Start singing Unchained Melody.
Learn to cook from a chef: A Chef’s Kitchen (Williamsburg) | Chef John Gonzales will feed you, teach you, entertain you. A seriously great experience.
Learn to write from a writer: The Muse Writers Center (Norfolk) | That is, if you think poets laureate and best-selling authors are people you might be able to learn from.
Learn to dance from a dancer: Arthur Murray (Virginia Beach) | You know that thing you do at the club? That ain’t dancing. Go here and you’ll see.
Have a staycation: Sandbridge (Virginia Beach) | Thousands of people come here every year from all over the country. Why not you?
Pop the question: Soaring Sports Balloon Rides (Chesapeake) | Some people are not that impressed by the kiss-cam at Harbor Park. May we suggest you go the extra mile (up).
Drool over real estate: The North End (Virginia Beach) | From gorgeous beachfront property to amazing houses on tree-lined streets, this is some of the best beach living there is.
Hang with your old best friend: Gosport Tavern (Portsmouth) | Lunch or dinner, this place is great. Wonderful beer selection and some of the best bar food in all of Tidewater. Try the Cuban. You’ll thank us.
Find a new best friend: SPCA (everywhere) | And really, can’t we all use more friends?
Eat with your old best friend and your new best friend: Dog-n-Burger (Norfolk) | Casual eats in a comfortable place with people you love. Get some.
Buy a new pair of shoes: MS Shoe Designs (Norfolk) | Your chance to zag. Everyone else might be sporting Maddens or Jimmy Choos, but that doesn’t mean you have to.
Save an old pair of shoes: Hall’s Shoe Repair (Norfolk) | You get what you pay for with shoes, so spend good money on good shoes and then have them repaired. Here.
Have a family hike: The Noland Trail (Newport News) | A vigorous 5-mile trek. Bring the dog – and a good pair of shoes.
Have a family adventure: Kiptopeke State Park (Cape Charles, Eastern Shore) | Worth the toll, the drive, the sunburn.
Get fresh bread: Bakehouse at Chelsea (Norfolk) | Addiction-worthy bread, and some of the best pizza in town to boot. A Chelsea staple.
Get quality meat: Pendulum (Norfolk) | We know you like the supermarket, but trust us: Give this place a try
Take a Sunday drive: Colonial Parkway (Historic Triangle) | Put down your phone and go for a ride.
Take a Sunday drive (off-road): Corova Beach (Outer Banks) | Remember to deflate those tires first.
Pretend to be a ’30s gangster: Gershwin’s (Norfolk) | Great drinks, awesome bar, and music that will make you dance the Lindy.
Pretend to be a pirate: Blackbeard Pirate Festival (Hampton) | Aaaaargh! It doesn’t happen again till June!
Pretend to be a kid again: The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium (Virginia Beach) | You never get too old to play in the trees.
Drink before noon (without being judged): Mimosas at The Bee & The Biscuit (Pungo) | The Bee has quickly become a must-visit location for foodies. But remember, it closes at 2 p.m.
Catch your supper: Waterman Sportfishing (Virginia Beach) | You can spend all day on the water catching your dinner, and then Waterman’s Surfside Grille will cook it for you. Beat that!