You have heard what we have to say about Bay Creek…now hear what our owners have to say…
For Susie B., there have always been signs pointing her toward Bay Creek. As the resident of Chesapeake, Va. makes her way up highway 13 to visit family in Philadelphia, she always catches a billboard in her peripheral urging to come and visit. They have been calling out to her for as long as she can remember.
“I kept seeing the signs for it,” says Susie about first discovering the community. “We’d been looking for a small vacation home for a while and I just kept seeing the signs for this place. I talked to my husband about going to see it. So we went and we just fell in love.”
That was 2009 and shortly after, Susie and her husband, Jerry, purchased their condo at Bay Creek and the love affair has grown stronger ever since. As full time residents of Chesapeake, Va., Jerry and Susie and their four children, twin boys, Jake and Josh, age 15 and daughters Maddie, age 12 and Lizzie, age 10 keep themselves pretty busy year round. Jerry, an anesthesiologist, works regularly and Susie does her best to keep up with the kids’ school and sports schedules in the spring, winter and fall or getting kids to and from camps come summertime. But that doesn’t keep them from making their escape at least once a month to their Bayside getaway just 60 minutes down the road.
“It’s only an hour away but you feel you’re at a faraway resort,” says Susie. “You cross that bridge and all your stress disappears. There’s no traffic when you arrive. There’s no schedule. I think that’s what we love about it. It’s just so convenient.”
And although there’s no set schedule that certainly doesn’t mean anyone has the time to get bored. “It’s great because they have the beach for me and the golf for my husband,” says Susie. “Just the perfect combination.” The girls, like mom, also love the beach for its paddleboarding, kayaking or just a simple stroll to find a seashell or two. Maddie and Lizzie also love taking a “spa day” over in Cape Charles or having a little retail therapy with mom.
Jerry loves playing golf at either the Nicklaus or the Palmer course with sons, Jake or Josh. And if the boys aren’t headed to the tee box, they usually are taking a bike ride either to the pier in Cape Charles for fishing or down to the tennis courts for some friendly competition on the clay.
“The kids definitely have a sense of independence here that has never existed anywhere else,” says Susie. “They can ride their bikes, play tennis and explore the community without there being any anxiety on our part. I’d never let them roam free anywhere else. I just feel comforted when they are there.”
Part of that security comes in knowing there are good people all around you. At Bay Creek, there’s a familiar face everywhere – at the restaurant, on the porch next door, out by the pool or playing in the foursome ahead of you at the golf course. Since purchasing at Bay Creek five years ago, the Bermans have made many friends from their weekend trips, summer excursions and holiday visits.
“It’s small enough that you really get to know people,” says Susie. “We’ve made some great friendships. And our children, they see the same kids in the summer. They all ride bikes, they go to the beach, they kayak together. It’s really fun.”
Between its small town charm and the long list of amenities, Bay Creek has a way of bringing people together to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Everyone here has a story for how they first discovered their place in the community. For Susie and her family, it was those highway signs calling out to her years ago, yearning for her to come and visit Bay Creek.
As she makes her way down highway 13, those familiar signs no longer have the same impact they once had on Susie. After all, she has already found the community. Today, there’s another sign that’s stolen her heart; and it simply reads, “Welcome to Bay Creek.”
With a champagne flute in one hand and his bride, Patsy, under his arm, Rob H. lays his head back on the couch and relaxes. It had been quite a party. The couple has hosted a few get togethers in the past, but this one was extra special. The family had just celebrated the marriage of their daughter, Kate.
The nearby town of Cape Charles was the site for the ceremony and the wedding party headed to King’s Creek afterwards for a big party to follow. It was one of many shin digs the family has hosted on property since they first fell in love with Bay Creek. Rob, a COO of a small technology company and resident of Virginia Beach, first discovered the community through playing golf there a while back.
Rob thought, “The golf sure is nice,” but when wife, Patsy, discovered it she completely fell in love.
“We had been living in Virginia Beach for about 20 years,” says Patsy. “Once the kids were grown, we wanted to find a second home.” Rob and Patsy looked in a number of places in and around the Northern Neck of Virginia including Irvington for an ideal location. Many of them were beautiful, but more suitable to boating with no beach. Beach was definitely high on their list of wants.
That’s when Rob recalled that at Bay Creek there was a beautiful beach he could see from various holes along the Palmer and Nicklaus courses. He suggested a visit so, they packed their bags, booked the trip and the rest, as they say, is history.
“We went to see Bay Creek and Patsy just fell in love,” says Rob. “Loved the beach and loved the town nearby. Cape Charles is so different from Virginia Beach. It’s so much smaller and laid back here.”
Patsy’s love affair would soon trickle down to the rest of the family, with their three children, two sons and one daughter, often enjoying the spoils of Bay Creek whenever they get a chance to visit. And of course, Kate, who will forever remember her special day in Cape Charles and the exciting reception that followed.
So what is it that makes Bay Creek so special? For one, it’s the beauty and the small town charm. “It’s such a beautifully landscaped area,” says Patsy. “There are roses and natural grasses throughout the community. It’s a wonderful getaway that feels safe and laid back. The town of Cape Charles is so charming and the fabulous sunsets on the beach are the icing on the cake.”
Outside the beauty and the charm, come the amenities. The golf, of course, is the main reason Rob and Patsy were lured to the community in the first place. The golf course has a beautiful practice area and according to Patsy, “the staff, they couldn’t be friendlier.” In fact, they played a crucial part in Kate’s wedding by helping to organize an outing prior to her big day.
“They are so accommodating for tee times,” says Patsy. “During the wedding weekend, they were able to get fifteen tee times for our group. They are just terrific with setting up tournaments and outings.”
Then there is the Beach Club that just opened last fall that the family recently joined. “The pools are gorgeous and the clubhouse is fantastic,” says Patsy. “It has a huge member lounge with games and televisions. You could host a party there if you wanted to.”
There’s also the large fitness center with top of the line equipment, tennis on two hard courts and the wonderful marina at King’s Creek. You can also find Rob and Patsy dining at the clubhouse on one of their regular weekend visits as well.
Finally, there’s the social aspect of the club and nearby Cape Charles. A big part of that quaint and laid back atmosphere comes from the people that Rob and Patsy have been privileged to meet during their time here. “We’ve met lots of neighbors who come in on the weekends,” says Patsy. “We have friends in town as well. We have developed our own little social life here!”
It all adds up to the fact that Bay Creek and Cape Charles is a great place for bringing people together. Certainly evident in the fact that daughter, Kate, chose the area for her most special day. And as Rob puts away his tux and says goodbye to a wonderful family memory; he looks forward to the next event that will bring family and friends together at their beloved beach home.
Until that time comes, Rob and Patsy should have plenty of gorgeous sunsets to keep them occupied.
“We’ve had probably a half a dozen friends that have come here, stayed with us and just fallen in love with Bay Creek,” says Cheryl, a recent property owner at the community of Bay Creek in Cape Charles, Va. “This community basically sells itself.”
Cheryl, a pharmacist, and husband, Rob, a urologist, are full-time residents of Richmond, Va. who make their way to Bay Creek often to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. The couple purchased their vacation home in the fall of 2013, and have entertained a number of friends and family since.
Rob and Cheryl are part of a growing number of people that are discovering the draw of the laid back lifestyle that exists at Bay Creek.
The arrival at Bay Creek was a bit of a surprise for Rob and Cheryl, who had not really considered property for a vacation home in the state of Virginia. “We didn’t look at a lot of communities in Virginia,” recalls Rob. “In fact, we played with the idea of finding places a lot further south.”
They considered coast, just not the coast within the state they resided.
Rob was first introduced as many Bay Creek property owners have been – a round of golf. In his experience, the course was “sort of a hidden gem.” But, he didn’t know much about the community outside of what Palmer and Nicklaus had created there. That’s when a coworker of his started sharing a little bit more with him about the quiet little community just a couple hours away. As a result, the Nelsons decided to give it a further look.
It only took a couple visits and soon Rob and Cheryl, along with daughter, Tanner (16) and son, Zhane (14) were hooked on the place. The family decided that Virginia did in fact have a spot to fit their vacation needs and they purchased a home in Plantation Pointe. Now, the Rob and Cheryl make their way to Bay Creek an average of 2 to 3 times a month for weekend visits.
“We’ve done a fair amount of entertaining since coming here,” says Cheryl about Bay Creek. “Friends come in a good bit and we even celebrated Christmas here last year. Everyone that has come to visit falls in love with the tranquility and the beauty of the area.”
It’s so beautiful, in fact, that the family encourages the bicycles stored in the garage as the main source for transportation while at Bay Creek. “It’s a garden oasis. The amenities here are great and the people are incredibly sweet,” says Cheryl. “The kids take the bikes and they’re gone for a couple of hours. They cruise the community, end up at the clubhouse and just have a great time.”
And when the family isn’t caught up in the beauty of Bay Creek, or stolen by the sunsets that grace the beaches overlooking the Bay, you can most likely find them exploring the streets of nearby Cape Charles.
“There’s quaint charm there,” says Cheryl. “My daughter loves to shop local for clothes and jewelry and Brown Dog is one of our favorite eat out spots while we’re in town.”
With so much to take in, the trips often end a little too soon for the family. Once those weekend visits come to an end, the family packs up and makes the short trip back to Richmond. In a few short hours, they will be back home getting ready to start a new week together.
But they’ll be back soon enough. And Bay Creek will be there waiting – ready to fall in love with all over again.
Some might say it takes a village to raise a child. Others will argue that the family is the influence. For young Antonia, she’s lucky to have a little bit of both worlds. Though she has two great parents, Dave and Karla, to look up to; the community of Bay Creek has certainly been a big part of the sprite, young 9 year old’s life since she first became a member of the club at the ripe age of 6 months old.
You can often spot young Antonia throughout the neighborhood – whether riding her bike and waving with her infectious smile, taking a golf lesson with her favorite pro, Zack at the practice facility or just sipping her juice at breakfast down at the clubhouse. “She literally learned how to ride a bike here,” says Dave. “She learned how to swim here, paddleboard, and kayak. She’s grown up in and around us. This is where she’s spent the majority of her time.”
Dave, a retired Navy SEAL of 32 years, and wife Karla, a restaurant owner, recently completed their beach front oasis at Bay Creek. However, the couple has been in love with the place far longer than that – having owned a condo since 2006. “We spent 40 weekends a year here,” says Dave. “It’s a fantastic place for leisure time.”
Those weekends turned to weeks when the family decided to move full time to the community and make the commute in to Norfolk for work and school. “It’s a real quick drive,” says Dave. “About 55 minutes from downtown Norfolk during which you cross the stunning Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. They say as you go across you can feel your blood pressure go down 10 points.”
It’s a lot like a suburb, really. In the morning, Karla gets Antonia ready for school and heads in to the city. Antonia goes to school and then it’s a few miles to Ghent where she prepares to open the doors to Luna Maya, the Latin American-themed restaurant that’s been in the family for 17 years.
By day, it’s work and school. And by night, it’s leisurely strolls down the country roads.
But unlike most suburbs, Bay Creek has a little something for everyone in the family to enjoy. For dad, there’s the incredible golf, which drew his interest to the community to begin with back in 2005 – two fantastic courses by Palmer and Nicklaus. A friend introduced the courses to Dave; which, in his opinion, are “a couple of the best in Virginia.” For Karla, she loves the Beach Club and Fitness Center with its spacious indoor cardio and strength area, member lounge and, of course, the two outdoor pools – one equipped with a splash pad and 52 inch slide that Antonia can enjoy.
“That amenity really changed things,” says Dave. “In fact, it was the construction of that amenity that helped Karla and I decide, we’re gonna pull the trigger on living here full-time.”
In the evenings, it’s common that Dave, Karla and Antonia can be spotted enjoying a nice family dinner at The Couch House Tavern. “The Clubhouse is fantastic,” says Dave. “There’s a really great grill in there and the chef is great. It’s a destination restaurant. It’s probably our favorite place to go if we’re going out to eat.”
But really, the sheer beauty of the place and the “country feel” of the neighborhood is something that the family just couldn’t live without. And the place ends up being a bit of a destination for anyone that comes to pay them a visit. “When folks come to visit us they rarely go back home the same day,” says Dave. “Guests often come to pay a visit and end up staying the night given the list of things to do here.”
And it isn’t just Antonia and her folks that have all the fun. Annually, Dave welcomes in the whole family, including his older daughters, Robyn and Rachael, for their annual family reunion. “We’ve been doing this since 2010,” says Dave. “Each family stays about 2 weeks and there’s a crossover in the middle.
After all, condo or home – it’s really the village that makes the difference for this family.