Exterior view of the outside. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 3rd Class Jared Aldape/ Released.)
Exciting news: twenty fully-furnished beach cottages on 67th Street in Virginia Beach are now available to rent by military and retired personnel! Virginia Beach is the most populous city in Virginia and the 39th most populous city in the United States. Considered a popular resort town with miles of beaches and hundreds of hotels, motels, and restaurants along its oceanfront, the city is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as having the longest pleasure beach in the world.
Roy Sr. on the beach facing the Atlantic Ocean nearby 67th Street, celebrating the arrival of the new cottages. Photo courtesy of Ann Crawford.
Virginia Beach is located at the southern end of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, which is the longest bridge-tunnel complex in the world. Another interesting tidbit: near the point where the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean meet, Cape Henry was the site of the first landing of the English colonists, who eventually settled in Jamestown, on April 26, 1607. With Colonial Williamsburg, Busch Gardens Theme Parks, the Chrysler Museum, Norfolk Botanical Gardens, the Virginia Zoological Park, and the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art nearby, Virginia Beach is the perfect place for a family vacation!
The Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek–Fort Story’s (JEBLCFS) project of vacation rentals located in Virginia Beach are the latest addition to Morale, Welfare, and Recreation’s (MWR) ‘Navy Getaways Destination’ inventory. According to the press release by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jared Aldape, the rentals “are designed to give service members, Retiree’s, DoD personnel and their families a much needed break near the heart of the renowned Virginia Beach resort and recreation area.”
Exterior view of one of the 67th Street townhomes. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 3rd Class Jared Aldape/ Released.)
There are a total of 20 townhouse-style cottages available for rent, 10 two-bedroom units and 10 three-bedroom units, and they are situated along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. The beach cottages are available to rent seasonally, during May–September and October–April. The rate structure is the following:
MAY – SEPT GUEST STATUS 2-BEDROOM 3-BEDROOM Active Duty/Reservist $150.00 $175.00 Retired $175.00 $200.00 DoD Civilian $200.00 $225.00
Interior of the coastal chic townhomes. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 3rd Class Jared Aldape/ Released.)
OCT – APR GUEST STATUS 2-BEDROOM 3-BEDROOM Active Duty/Reservist $125.00 $150.00 Retired $150.00 $175.00 DoD Civilian $175.00 $200.00
“Escape and relax, stay with us,” said Dan Barnthouse, MWR Director assigned to JEBLC-FS. “We want to brand the fact that MWR has these amenities available for a price you can’t beat anywhere.”
According to Barnthouse, the units blend in seamlessly with the chic beach homes among the coast. The location of the cottages is in close proximity of First Landing State Park, most known for its biking and walking trails. Other nearby leisure offerings include the Virginia Beach resort strip, local landmarks, recreational areas and boardwalk areas that play host to numerous cultural festivals throughout the year. Located on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia Beach is included in the Hampton Roads metropolitan area. This area, known as “America’s First Region,” also includes the independent cities of Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, as well as other smaller cities, counties, and towns of Hampton Roads.
Balcony view. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 3rd Class Jared Aldape/ Released.)
According to JEBLC-FS’s MWR press release, the check-in procedures are the following: “Upon checking into their ocean-side getaway, residents will get a key card for entry into their rental and will be assigned a code to activate a parking gate.” There are many amenities onsite, such as guaranteed parking spaces (two per unit), fully-furnished cottages (all one needs is food, coffee, and etc.!), and one can arrange with the MWR for bikes, kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddle boards, beach umbrellas, and chairs. Lodging prices will vary per time of the year and increase incrementally around peak tourist seasons. There is a 14-day maximum stay limit for all guests to have a chance to enjoy the 67th St. Townhomes. Reservations must meet a two night minimum during peak season 1 May through 30 September.
Conceived in March of 2006, the 67th Street Townhome project takes over the footprint once occupied by the Navy as an observation site during World War II and was later converted into the historic 67th Street Beach Club. The facilities later became a beach club/catering operation hosting weddings, retirements, and holiday parties. The site emerged as Navy Getaways recreational lodging began to take hold as a brand.
The 67th Street Townhome accommodations are an additional option to other locations DoD personnel are able to reserve in nearby JEBLCFS. “We call the former officer housing on Ft. Story the Bungalows. The rentals were once officer housing circa WW2 and not necessarily on the beach but close by the water,” explained Barnthouse. “Also, we have 17 log cabin style lodging units that sit back near the RV park campground that’s at Ft. Story in addition to the RV park campground at Little Creek.”
Navy Getaways’ and other MWR projects such as these provide leisure recreational opportunities for Sailors, Marines, Airmen, Coast Guardsman, Retiree’s and their dependents while continuing to generate revenue that will provide more amenities and opportunities for servicemembers and their families through the use of raised monies.
“Having been around MWR for 25 years and having been an active duty service member prior to that for nine, I can say that the Navy has had enough insight as to what people do and the types of activities they like to engage in,” said Barnthouse. “To see that they’re willing to invest in a property like this and create these opportunities is a great thing.”
Beginning February 2015, these units will be available for reservations via Navy Getaways online and phone central reservations system. Active duty, Reservists, Retirees, and DoD civilians may find these properties by searching www.dodlodging.net or by calling the central reservation system at 1-877-NAVYBED (628-9233). The local phone number is (757) 422–7601.
Contributed by Military Living® Publications
Reprint from Mar–Apr 2015 • Volume 45, No. 2