Cover Image: Dexter Press Virginia Map postcard c. 1962. Public Domain
The next time you stop at Stuckey’s in Chesapeake, Virginia, get out of the car and take a deep breath.
Ahhh! There’s nothing like stretching those legs and breathing in all that fresh air and the smell of the salty sea.
Well, that’s actually more than likely nearby Dismal Swamp you smell rather than the Chesapeake Bay. You see, Stuckey’s of Chesapeake is actually located 30 miles south of its eponymous bay on the Virginia/North Carolina Border.
Nevertheless, you’ll still find all your favorite road trip snacks and kitschy souvenirs you stopped for in the first place. So, go ahead. Load up on Stuckey’s Pecan Log Rolls and other pecan treats. And when you’re ready to hit the road again, be sure to check out these things to see and do near Stuckey’s of Chesapeake.
Military Aviation Museum & Jerrassic Park/Virginia Beach, VA
After collecting and restoring planes since the mid-1990s, Gerald “Jerry” Yagen decided to open a museum to showcase them all. In 2005, he founded the Military Aviation Museum and opened its hangars in 2008. Jerry started his collection with a Curtiss P40E Kittyhawk. However, today, the museum houses one of the largest collections of actual flying warbirds in the world.
Located on its own grassy airfield, the museum complex also features a replica World War I-era wooden hangar, three replica British World War II hangars, a replica 1937 Works Progress Administration maintenance hangar, and a restored authentic pre-WWII Luftwaffe metal hangar. You’ll also find a re-erected former 8th AAF World War II control tower from RAF Goxhill overlooking the complex alongside a large orange and white checked water tower, which is visible from a considerable distance and provides a useful landmark for both ground and air travelers.
For those who like to keep their feet firmly on the ground, Jerry started his own dinosaur park out near the entrance of the museum. “Jerrasic” Park (an obvious play on Jerry’s name) started with just one dinosaur, but like his aviation museum, the collection has soared since then. Today there are 13 or 14 dinosaurs ranging from a tyrannosaurus rex to a pterodactyl (it is in front of the aviation museum after all. All of the dinosaurs were created and installed by metal artist Gilbert Ramos.
For more on admission, hours, and other information on the museum and park, visit their website here.
The Birthplace of Mr. Peanut/Suffolk, VA
Everybody knows Stuckey’s is all about pecans. However, that doesn’t mean we’re adverse to peanuts. Take this stop in Suffolk, Virginia, for example, where a roadside marker tells the story of how Mr. Peanut was born right there in their little town.
In 1916, 13–year-old Antonio Gentile from Suffolk, VA won a Planter’s Peanuts contest to design their mascot. Antonio designed an anthropomorphic peanut with arms and legs, a smile, and a cane. He called his character “Mr. P Nut Planter”.
The company took Antonio’s design to commercial artist Andrew S. Wallach who added the goober’s monocle, top hat and spats. Planter’s also shortened his name to Mr. Peanut. Thus, an iconic mascot was born.
Antonio’s prize? Five dollars (which to the 13-year-old Antonio must have seemed like $150.51 cents because, well, that’s what five 1913 US Dollars is worth today). Still, it seems that Planter’s owner Amedeo Obici took a liking to Antonio, as he paid for both Antonio’s college and medical school. Unfortunately, after becoming a doctor and a surgeon, Antonio would die of a heart attack at the tender age of 36, half his lifetime away from designing Mr. Peanut.
Mount Trashmore Park/Virginia Beach, VA
Opened in 1974, Mount Trashmore Park (often simply called Mount Trashmore) is 165 acres made up of two man-made mountains. Hailed as a great environmental accomplishment, Mount Trashmore, the main mountain, was created using alternating layers of compacted solid waste and soil. The mountain “range”, which also includes the smaller Encore Hill and two lakes, is 60’ high and 800’ long.
There are picnic shelters, charcoal grills and benches available for family picnics and barbecues. Game equipment such as badminton rackets and birdies, corn hole boards and bags, footballs, Frisbees, horseshoes, rubber playground balls, soccer balls, volleyballs, and volleyball nets are available on loan for free with a valid driver’s license.
Kids will also enjoy the nearly 26,00 square feet Kid’s Cove Playground which features three distinct play areas built on a rubber surface: a giant play structure that includes a multitude of slides, elevated walkways, climbers and more. Many are even handicapped accessible including a one-of-a-kind wheelchair swing.
No boats, swimming or wading is allowed in the lakes, though kayaks are permitted at Lake Windsor. Outdoorsmen can go fishing in Lake Trashmore with a valid Virginia freshwater fishing license.
For more information, call 757-385-PARK.
Deep Creek Witch /Chesapeake, VA
Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane. No, it’s…a witch that’s crashed into an electric pole?
Yep, that’s right. Sometime in the early 2000s, a witch crashed her broom into a power pole on Washington Highway in Chesapeake and she’s been stuck there ever since.
Every once in awhile, somebody (nobody knows exactly who) will change her clothes. These days she seems to be dressed in a fiery red which is quite fitting for the upcoming holidays.
The next time you’re in the area, it’s worth the drive over here. After all, it’s not every day that a witch crashes into an electric pole and sticks around for a few selfies.
The First Waffle Cones / Norfolk, VA
As the story goes, paperweight salesman Abe Doumar was working at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis when, one night, he noticed that the nearby ice cream stand ran out of paper plates. With nothing to put ice cream on, the stand was nearly forced to close down early for the night. However, Abe noticed that another stand was making zalabia – a Syrian funnel cake-like desert that closely resembles waffles. Quick on his feet, Abe told the ice cream guy to hold off on closing the stand for a minute. He then went over to the zalabia booth, bought a waffle and rolled it into a cone shape. Finally, he asked the ice cream server to plop a scoop of ice cream into the cone and viola! The ice cream cone was invented.
People loved the warm, sweet taste of the waffle cone paired with that of deliciously smooth ice cream. As a result, the three spent the rest of the fair working together selling ice cream cones.
After the fair, Abe would build his own four-iron waffle machine and open up Doumar’s ice cream stands up and down the East Coast. Eventually he would settle in Norfolk as it was central to coastal ice cream operations.
Today, you can buy a lot of things alongside ice cream at Doumar’s from barbecue to fruit drinks. However, you’ll want to go for the ice cream cones still made with the same recipe and waffle cone machine that Abe Doumar built over 100 years ago.
From the Chesapeake Bay to the San Francisco Bay, wherever you’re headed this Christmas season, be sure to take some Stuckey’s along for the ride. Nothing helps get you where you’re going like Stuckey’s treats including our iconic pecan log rolls, chocolate gophers, and classic pecan pralines. And nothing travels with you like our flavored pecans or our Hunkey Dorey popcorn mix that are sure to please every road warriors palate.
Still looking for something for that special someone you’ll be spending the holidays with? Start with the 2022 Stuckey’s branded “Merry Christmas, Y’all” t-shirt. Of course, you don’t have to keep it seasonal because all of our Stuckey’s branded t-shirts and hoodies make great gifts all-year round.
Finally, if its surprises you’re looking for, it’ll be surprises all around when you get them the Stuckey’s Mystery Box. Maybe they’ll get that giant red, white, and blue Pennsylvania souvenir pencil they haven’t stopped thinking about since that family vacation to Philadelphia back in ’76 Bicentennial. Maybe it’ll be a new Stuckey’s Happy Family Travel Mug stuffed with a pair of rolled up Stuckey’s branded socks.
We can’t tell you what surprises await in your Stuckey’s Mystery box, but what we can tell you, however, is that every Stuckey’s Mystery Box comes with a pecan log roll and some Stuckey’s branded merchandise. Plus, the actual value of everything inside will exceed the price of the mystery box itself.
So, what will be in your Stuckey’s Mystery Box this year? There’s only one way to find out.
Order all of this and more today, only from www.stuckeys.com.
Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips (and Holidays) Fun Again!
Whether your next road trip is by car or by rail, it’s not really a road trip without taking Stuckey’s along. From our world famous Stuckey’s Pecan Log Rolls to our mouthwatering Hunkey Dorey, Stuckey’s has all the road trips snacks you’ll need to get you where you’re going.
For all of the pecany good treats and cool merch you’ll need for your next big road adventure, browse our online store now!
Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips Fun Again!