Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
- Seasons: Winter, Spring, Fall
- Site Contact: (757) 437-6340 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Site Access: Fee, Daily
- Visit Website
Site CSY05: Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center
Although not a formal stop on the Trail, you may want to stop at the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum (1113 Atlantic Avenue) on your way to the Virginia Marine Science Museum. It offers considerable wildlife viewing opportunities for birders and other wildlife enthusiasts. The museum is located in the de Witt Cottage, which is the oldest remaining structure on the City's oceanfront. Visitors can view the museum's art and artifacts that document migratory wildfowl that pass through Eastern Virginia or relax in the surrounding native seaside garden as they watch dolphins offshore or a variety of birds that visit the area. The Virginia Marine Science Museum contains a museum, aquarium, and interpreted wetland trail on the banks of Owls Creek. The far side of the creek is part of a 100-acre wilderness preserve maintained by the U.S. Navy, and is one of only two such sites in the country that the military has guaranteed not to develop. An elevated tower and several decks that extend out over the water enhance the views of the marsh, and the osprey nesting platforms. Portions of the boardwalk meander through pine/oak/maple woodland, where a number of land birds occur. Student docents provide interpretation during the summer peak season, and the museum has an active series of educational programs, side trips, and activities designed to foster conservation and appreciation of local natural resources. Guided marsh tours by boat are available at the dock in front of the museum. Whale watching tours are available from January through mid-March. Dolphin watch tours are scheduled from May through September. The Museum schedules trips to other local nature venues as well.
From Francis Land History Park, travel east for 0.9 miles on US 58/Virginia Beach Boulevard. Turn right on Lynnhaven Parkway/SR 414 and drive southwest for 0.5 miles. Turn left on the ramp and proceed east for 0.3 miles onto I-264. Continue on I-264 east for 4.9 miles. At the end of I-264, turn right on Pacific Avenue and drive south for 1.3 miles. Bear right onto General Booth Boulevard at the end of Pacific Avenue and travel southwest for 0.6 miles. The Museum is on the right. Fee: $10.95.