Marina Spotlights

Morningstar Marinas at Little Creek, VA

Marina Spotlight > Little Creek, VA

Elnicki Wade

MORNINGSTAR MARINAS AT LITTLE CREEK, VA, a great cruising destination, has reached a new level of excellence with major renovations that every boater along the Atlantic Seaboard will want to stop by and see.

Morningstar Marinas at Little Creek - marina spotlight - marinalife
Courtesy of Morningstar Marinas at Little Creek

After acquiring the marina, Morningstar received permits to not only replace all the wet slips with new Bellingham docks but also adjusted the configuration to better suit coastal boaters. The upgrades included widening the slips, installing full-length fingers, and achieving 100% clear main walks using tri-frames for dock box placement and cantilevered mid-basin power pedestal bump outs. When you consider they also replaced the fuel and electrical systems, Morningstar Marinas Little Creek will become a premiere marina on the East Coast.Morningstar will exceed all boaters' expectations by offering 350 dry storage spaces in its fully enclosed building, 180 wet slips ranging from 25' to 75' and 400' of side tie. Amenities include a bath house, laundry room, and showers. Other upgrades include a new Toyota forklift, Wi-Fi, pump out, and new fueling stations with ValvTect gasoline and diesel.

As a backdrop to all these improvements, the location is a dream for recreational boaters and anglers. "Being nestled in the back of Little Creek gives boaters a protected basin from weather, but they're only minutes to the Chesapeake Bay, Atlantic Ocean, James River and the entrance to the ICW," says Michael Quinn, General Manager.

Stony's Dockside Waterfront Bar & Grill allows our boaters to enjoy a wonderful meal within minutes of stepping off their vessel. Within walking distance are COVA Brewing Company, Longboards East Beach, and other local favorites. The warm waters at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay create a fishing paradise for anglers, and miles of easily accessible beaches entice visitors to dive in for a swim or just soak up the sun.

Morningstar Marinas at Little Creek - marina spotlight - marinalife
Courtesy of Morningstar Marinas at Little Creek

"The proximity to Norfolk and Virginia Beach's restaurants, shops and entertainment gives marina guests the conveniences of a big city backed up to an abundance of open water," notes Quinn. Regardless of whether you plan to stay annually or for a couple nights, a visit to Morningstar Marinas, next to Norfolk International Airport in the up-and-coming East Ocean View Section of Norfolk, presents endless opportunities and your gateway to all the Chesapeake Bay has to offer.

Make sure you schedule your trip around one of the many festivals in the area including Harborfest, Town Point Virginia Fall Wine Festival, and Neptune Festival. If you plan a spring visit, don't miss the Patriotic Festival Norfolk for family friendly activities, concerts with national performing artists, and celebrations for all branches of the U.S. armed forces.

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Champlin's Marina & Resort - Block Island, RI

AS YOU CRUISE into the Great Salt Pond along Block Island’s western shore, Champlin’s Marina greets you with cool blue waters and a warm welcome.

Owned and operated by TPG Marinas, the spacious marina boasts 100 wet slips and floating docks accommodating vessels up to 225’ with 15’ drafts, as well as a floating dinghy dock. Amenities include a fuel station, shower facilities, gas fire pits and a swimming pool that overlooks a stunning waterfront view.

Guests can enjoy a plethora of activities on the island from watersports to sightseeing. Rent kayaks, paddleboats, paddleboards and pontoon bikes to putter around the pond or cruise along the shoreline on single-rider or tandem bicycles. Play outdoor games with the kids or kick back at the pool bar.

The hotel offers 42 nautical-themed guest rooms with waterfront views and easy access to on-site eateries. Dine al fresco and enjoy fresh New England seafood at The Galley House restaurant, sip classic cocktails at Pier 76 dock bar and indulge in sweets, treats and libations at The Sugar Shack ice cream shop. Café Boutique coffee shop offers a quick stop for convenient grab-and-go items.

In 2021, the property went under a complete renovation, updated dining offerings and added new event space with a tent area alongside the charming pier. The marina also launched the new Champlin’s Choice Program, which offers members unlimited access to bike rentals and non-motorized watersports.

Experience true island life with a 25-minute walk into town to visit attractions and unwind at the beaches. Notable sites to visit include South East Lighthouse at Mohegan Bluffs, Block Island North Light and Rodman’s Hollow. Animal lovers should visit 1661 Exotic Farm and Gardens, Abrams Animal Farm or the Hodge Family Wildlife Preserve across from Clay Head Nature Trail.

The resort neighbors a variety of Block Island’s sandy shores such as Crescent Beach, Frederick J. Benson Town Beach, Mansion Beach and Scotch Beach. At the south end of the island, gorgeous views at Black Rock Beach, Vaill Beach and Mohegan Bluffs are minutes away.

“Champlin’s is a staple in the Block Island community,” says Dockmaster Bailey Ziobro. “Whether you choose to relax poolside, sip on a mudslide or listen to live music under the stars, we know we’ll leave you with memories to last a lifetime.”

Catch local events through the year including a farmers’ market on Wednesday and Saturday mornings in June, Blues on the Block concerts in July, movie nights on Tuesdays throughout the summer and the annual Run Around the Block Race in September.

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Port Personality: Leigh Diemert
Leigh Diemert, The Wharf

What in life prepared you for this job at The Wharf?

I started my career working on yachts and eventually earned my 100-GRT Master Captain’s license when I was just 20. I feel like my leadership as a captain prepared me to head an amazing team here at The Wharf, and my boating experience makes me well-equipped to run a world-class facility.

What’s new and exciting at The Wharf marina and waterfront district?

The Wharf Marina itself is new and exciting! The marina was just completed this past April. It’s a brand-new facility with amenities to match, including a club house, fuel dock with high-speed diesel, a dock shop and more!

What is the number one attraction you recommend for first-time visitors to the Washington, DC, area?

It may be too obvious of a choice, but definitely the monuments on the National Mall, especially during cherry blossom season. You can’t go wrong with any of the Smithsonian Museums either – but my favorite is Air and Space. Leigh Diemert General Manager The Wharf Marina Washington, DC What traits do you think every marina manager should possess? In this industry, adaptability is key, because every day has new challenges. I also think effective leaders know how to be assertive and kind simultaneously.

If you didn’t work at a marina, what would your dream job be?

A chef! I love to cook; it brings out my creative side. It also gives me so much joy when my family tries a new dish that I prepare, and they enjoy it. I just love how food gathers everyone together.

If you could own any type of boat or watercraft, what would it be?

Midnight Express. I love fishing and going FAST. So, they’re the perfect combo!

What is your favorite marine animal and why?

Blue sharks. They are highly migratory and can be found off the coast of every continent, except Antarctica. Unfortunately, they’re the most fished shark species, so we should do more to protect them. What are the advantages or challenges to being a woman in the marina business? In the travel field, we often see women in secondary roles, like stewardess, housekeeping, etc. As a young woman in this industry, it was a little intimidating for me to approach a yacht captain and ask questions about how I can be a captain one day. But I thank God every day that I did and that my captain was receptive — never questioning my ability because of my gender. However, not every man in this industry has believed in me as much as my first captain did. I’ve had my competency questioned countless times, and still feel like I have to work overtime to prove myself to my male colleagues. Ultimately, it’s made me better at my job. I’m confident that more women will occupy roles within the maritime industry as awareness increases.

What book do you believe every boater should read?

U.S.C.G. Safe Boating Regs

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River Dunes

Southern hospitality just got a bit cozier at this North Carolina marina community.

In the town of Oriental, River Dunes’ 28-acre inland basin marina boasts 126 slips with full-length finger piers for vessels up to 150 feet. The protected deep-water harbor along the Pamlico Sound and mouth of the Neuse River offers easy access from the ICW.

When you arrive at River Dunes, not only will you find upscale amenities and friendly customer service, but you also step into a bustling Harbor Village packed with provisions, shopping, activities and luxury accommodations.

Unwind in the 4,000 square-foot wellness and fitness facility overlooking views of Grace Harbor and the Neuse River, or have a spa day in the lounge offering three treatment rooms for massages, facials and relaxation.

Dine on-site at Yawl’s Café in the heart of Harbor Village, grab ice cream, snacks and shop retail at Grace Harbor Provision Company, or explore interior design at The Red Rickshaw home furnishings showroom. Enjoy activities such as biking, exploring beautiful scenery, paddling the backwaters and fishing at the Lakehouse. A fuel dock and concierge boating services are available.

River Dunes is pleased to announce that they were chosen as this year’s 2022 Southern Living Idea House, an annual tribute to home design. Gorgeous wrap-around porches, hardwood floors, hand-painted stairs and more than 4,000 square feet of art, lavish furniture and intricate details make up the design of this home.

“We’re honored that Southern Living chose River Dunes,” says President Ed Mitchell. “Their selected team; architect, interior designer, builder and many others came together to create a magnificent house.” “They’re familiar with River Dunes’ quality of architecture and design, and they wanted to put this year’s house in a community that shares those same standards as their publication,” says Mitchell.

Marina guests and visiting boaters can tour the Idea House Thursday-Sunday until December. Guests can witness the harbor transform into a holiday village as the Southern Living team will return in November to decorate the house with seasonal cheer. Take advantage of the River Dunes Harbor Club and Marina for a uniquely relaxing stopover on the ICW or a longer stay with monthly and annual leases also available.

Marinalife members can enjoy a 10% discount on Idea House Tours at; code: MARINALIFE.

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