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Chesapeake Sights and Landmarks Guide, Virginia

There are a few sights located in Chesapeake that are a must see when you travel here.  One of these is the Chesapeake Arboretum, which is non-profit, so it is open every day free of charge.  This arboretum was founded in 1996, and right now it has a total of 3 acres dedicated to gardens with a farmhouse building as the headquarters.  Plus, the site is also the home of 42 acres worth of woodlands, having over 1.5 miles worth of trails made with mulch. There are bridges that extend across a stream of clear water that flows throughout the forest and are great spots where you can scan the ground for reptiles, like a Green Frog, Northern Water Snake, and various amphibians, as well as the metallic-green and black Ebony Jewelwing Damselfly.

During certain seasons, the Eastern Bluebird and Purple Finch can be seen.  Some of the common species that are seen in the forest include the Downy, Carolina Chickadee, other various Woodpeckers, the Brown Thrasher, the Northern Cardinal, the Carolina Wren, and the White-eyed Vireo.  Around the farmhouse headquarters, you will find flower and vegetable gardens that attract many butterflies, which include Fiery, Silver-spotted and Zabulon Skippers, Summer Azure, and the Black Swallowtail.  It is also fun to watch out for other species like the Little Wood Satyr and Zebra Swallowtail while you travel the trails.

Another cool place to visit is not located right in Chesapeake, but it is located about 15 miles southeast in Mount Pleasant.  This is Old Towne, and here you can see buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries, which give you a glimpse of the area's history.  You can go on a self-guided tour, but they also provide a trolley ride around the town that is narrated.

One of the greatest things that you can go see while you visit Chesapeake is the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.  This was founded in 1974 in order to help preserve and protect part of the swampland.  The refuge covers over 107,000 acres of parkland, and part of it spills over to North Carolina.  You can see an array of wildlife here, which include deer, otters, several breeds of snakes, and raccoons.  The water resources, varied species of wildlife, and native vegetative communities are all essential to the ecosystem of the Great Dismal Swamp.  This is one of the biggest wild areas that remains in the eastern part of the United States.

There are also more than 111,000 acres of wetlands and forests that are protected by the refuge, as well as a natural lake of 3,100 acres, which is located in the swamp's heart.  In total, there are 49,100 acres of land that were donated by the Union Camp Corporation in 1973 for the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.  There is so much to see here that you can't miss this site when you travel to Chesapeake, Virginia.

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