Things to Do in Virginia Beach

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Virginia Beach is a vibrant coastal city that offers an array of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages. Whether you’re a beach lover, outdoor enthusiast, or food connoisseur, Virginia Beach has something for everyone. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the best times to visit Virginia Beach, top attractions, outdoor activities, and where to find the best food in the area. From the iconic Virginia Beach Boardwalk to the scenic First Landing State Park, this article will provide you with an in-depth look at everything this exciting destination has to offer. So, let’s dive in and discover the best of Virginia Beach!

What Is Virginia Beach?

Virginia Beach is a coastal city located in the state of Virginia, known for its pristine beaches, vibrant boardwalk, and rich maritime heritage.

The city’s coastal attractions draw tourists from around the world, offering a wide array of water activities such as fishing, surfing, and boating.

Virginia Beach’s historical significance is evident in landmarks such as the Cape Henry Lighthouse and the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center.

Its natural beauty is complemented by the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and the iconic Neptune Statue, making it an attractive destination for travelers seeking both relaxation and exploration.

When Is the Best Time to Visit Virginia Beach?

The best time to visit Virginia Beach varies across different seasons, offering distinct experiences and attractions throughout the year.

During the summer, Virginia Beach comes alive with its bustling boardwalk, vibrant festivals, and endless water activities adorning the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s the ideal time for sun-seekers, beach enthusiasts, and families looking for a lively beach vacation.

In fall, the city transforms into a picturesque landscape with mild temperatures, making it perfect for leisurely strolls along the waterfront or exploring the charming local businesses in a more relaxed atmosphere.

Winter brings a unique charm with its peaceful beaches and holiday events, offering a serene escape for those seeking a tranquil coastal getaway.

Spring brings back the energy with blooming flowers, outdoor events, and a rejuvenating atmosphere, making it an excellent time for nature lovers and adventure seekers to explore the diverse coastal ecosystem of Virginia Beach.

Summer (June-August)

Summer in Virginia Beach brings warm weather, lively beach activities, and a bustling atmosphere, making it an ideal time for sun-seekers and outdoor enthusiasts.

During the summer, the pristine beaches of Virginia Beach become host to a plethora of outdoor events and activities. Visitors can bask in the sun, indulge in beach volleyball, or ride the waves through exciting water sports. The coastal city’s boardwalk comes alive with live music, amusement parks, and tempting seafood shacks. Summer is the peak tourist season, welcoming crowds of vacationers eager to savor the vibrant beach culture and seaside charm of Virginia Beach.

Fall (September-November)

Fall in Virginia Beach offers mild weather, scenic foliage, and an array of cultural events, appealing to visitors looking for a relaxed coastal experience with fewer crowds.

The charm of autumn in Virginia Beach is heightened by the variety of seasonal events that take place. From the Neptune Festival to the International Sand Sculpting Championship, there’s no shortage of outdoor attractions and festivities to enjoy. Visitors can also bask in the tranquil ambiance of the coastal scenery, taking leisurely strolls along the boardwalk or exploring the area’s natural beauty.

Winter (December-February)

Winter in Virginia Beach provides a serene coastal escape, with milder temperatures, festive holiday celebrations, and opportunities for off-season exploration and relaxation.

During the winter months, Virginia Beach transforms into a charming holiday destination, adorned with twinkling lights and cheerful decorations that line the bustling boardwalk and shimmer along the expansive shoreline. The city embraces the festive spirit with various events, such as the holiday parade and craft markets, offering an array of unique gifts and locally made treasures.

Indoor attractions, including museums and galleries, provide a cozy retreat from the brisk outdoor air, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in art, history, and maritime heritage. The wintertime also offers the perfect opportunity to experience the tranquil coastal environment with peaceful walks along the beach or wildlife sightings at the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

Spring (March-May)

Springtime in Virginia Beach brings blooming flowers, outdoor adventures, and a rejuvenating coastal experience, making it an optimal period for nature enthusiasts and outdoor explorers.

With mild temperatures and longer daylight hours, spring offers an ideal opportunity to explore the natural beauty and outdoor recreational activities in Virginia Beach. From hiking and biking along the scenic trails to kayaking and paddleboarding in the serene waters, there are endless opportunities to immerse in the picturesque surroundings. The vibrant flora and fauna create a captivating backdrop for outdoor enthusiasts, while the refreshing coastal atmosphere adds an invigorating touch to the experience.

The Virginia Beach coastline provides a perfect setting for birdwatching, as migratory birds return to the area during spring. The variety of species and the tranquil ambiance make it a haven for bird enthusiasts and nature photographers.

What Are the Top Attractions in Virginia Beach?

Virginia Beach boasts a diverse array of top attractions, including the iconic Virginia Beach Boardwalk, the scenic First Landing State Park, the renowned Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, the historic Cape Henry Lighthouse, and the popular Virginia Beach Fishing Pier.

Each of these attractions holds its own unique appeal. The Virginia Beach Boardwalk stretches along the oceanfront, offering stunning views and a vibrant atmosphere with restaurants, shops, and entertainment.

First Landing State Park is steeped in history as the site where English colonists first arrived in 1607.

The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center provides an immersive experience, showcasing marine life from the Chesapeake Bay and beyond.

Visitors can explore the Cape Henry Lighthouse, a significant landmark that dates back to the late 18th century, and gain panoramic views of the coastline.

The Virginia Beach Fishing Pier is a hotspot for anglers and offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Virginia Beach Boardwalk

The Virginia Beach Boardwalk stands as an iconic oceanfront promenade, offering a vibrant hub for entertainment, dining, and leisure activities along the picturesque coastline.

Stretching three miles along the sparkling Atlantic Ocean, the Boardwalk boasts a myriad of attractions. Visitors can soak in the lively atmosphere as street performers entertain the crowds, while numerous beachfront stages host live music and events. For the adrenaline seekers, there are options for water sports, biking, and rollerblading.

The scenic views beckon for a leisurely stroll or a bike ride, with the refreshing ocean breeze and the salt-kissed air creating an immersive coastal ambiance.

First Landing State Park

First Landing State Park provides a tranquil retreat amidst nature, featuring diverse ecosystems, hiking trails, and the historic site of the first English settlers’ landing in 1607.

It offers a captivating blend of coastal habitats, including maritime forests, dunes, and marshes, attracting a rich variety of bird species and wildlife. Visitors can explore the serene Chesapeake Bay shoreline or embark on outdoor adventures such as kayaking, fishing, and camping.

The park showcases the 16th-century history of the region, with interpretive programs and exhibits illuminating the experiences of the pioneering colonists. This fusion of environmental and historical significance makes First Landing State Park a cherished destination for nature enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center offers an immersive marine experience, showcasing a variety of aquatic species, interactive exhibits, and educational programs for visitors of all ages.

Visitors can explore the Coastal Plain Gallery, featuring a stunning re-creation of the coastal habitat showcasing remarkable marine species like sand tiger sharks, stingrays, and loggerhead sea turtles.

One of the main highlights is the Restless Planet exhibit, which takes visitors on a journey through diverse ecosystems, where they encounter fascinating creatures such as octopuses, jellyfish, and seahorses.

The Virginia Aquarium offers impactful conservation initiatives to protect and preserve marine life, contributing to the welfare of various species and their habitats.

Cape Henry Lighthouse

The historic Cape Henry Lighthouse stands as a beacon of maritime heritage, offering panoramic views of the coastal landscape and insights into the region’s seafaring legacy.

Constructed in 1792, the lighthouse holds the distinction of being the first lighthouse authorized by the U.S. government. Its strategic location at the entrance to Chesapeake Bay has played a pivotal role in guiding ships along the treacherous coastline, earning it a revered place in maritime history.

The lighthouse’s architectural features, including its distinctive octagonal shape and towering height, continue to captivate visitors, providing a tangible link to the past. From the top, visitors are rewarded with breathtaking vistas of the Atlantic Ocean and the surrounding pristine beaches, underscored by the lighthouse’s enduring significance as a navigational aid.

Today, visitors can immerse themselves in the lighthouse’s rich maritime legacy through guided tours and interactive exhibits that shed light on its illustrious past. Whether admiring its iconic structure or learning about its crucial role in seafaring history, a visit to the Cape Henry Lighthouse promises an unforgettable experience that resonates with the allure of maritime exploration.

Virginia Beach Fishing Pier

The Virginia Beach Fishing Pier provides an excellent venue for angling enthusiasts, offering panoramic views of the ocean and opportunities for leisurely strolls and coastal photography.

The Fishing Pier is a haven for fishing aficionados. With its prime location along the Virginia Beach coastline, it attracts avid anglers seeking to reel in a variety of saltwater species such as flounder, striped bass, and red drum. As the sun rises over the horizon, casting a golden glow over the waters, visitors can indulge in the exhilarating experience of catching their own seafood feast. Apart from fishing, the pier also offers a perfect vantage point to capture stunning sunsets, observe playful dolphins, or simply enjoy the gentle sea breeze. Whether one seeks the thrill of angling or the tranquility of coastal scenery, the Va Beach Fishing Pier promises a memorable experience for all.

What Are the Best Outdoor Activities in Virginia Beach?

What Are the Best Outdoor Activities in Virginia Beach? - Things to Do in Virginia Beach

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Virginia Beach presents a plethora of outdoor activities, including beachfront experiences, water sports, hiking and biking trails, and world-class golfing facilities, catering to diverse interests and adventure seekers.

For beach enthusiasts, Virginia Beach’s 35 miles of coastline offer sun-soaked relaxation, swimming, and sandcastle building. Water sports enthusiasts can indulge in parasailing, jet skiing, and paddleboarding. Nature lovers can explore the First Landing State Park, complete with hiking and biking trails that wind through lush maritime forests and along tranquil waterways.

The area is renowned for its premier golf courses, attracting golf aficionados seeking a challenging round in a stunning coastal setting.

Beach Activities

The beaches of Virginia Beach offer a myriad of activities, including sunbathing, swimming, beach volleyball, and sandcastle building, providing a quintessential coastal experience for visitors of all ages.

Visitors can also enjoy a leisurely stroll along the iconic Virginia Beach Boardwalk, which is lined with restaurants, souvenir shops, and street performers, creating a lively and vibrant atmosphere.

Families can explore the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, where they can get up close with marine life through interactive exhibits and encounters.

For a more adventurous experience, water sports such as surfing and parasailing are popular choices, allowing thrill-seekers to embrace the ocean’s energy.

The King Neptune Statue stands proudly at the entrance to Neptune Park, serving as an iconic landmark and a great spot for photos.

Water Sports

Virginia Beach is a hub for water sports enthusiasts, offering opportunities for surfing, paddleboarding, jet skiing, and parasailing, catering to thrill-seekers and water adventurers.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced water sports enthusiast, Virginia Beach has something to offer. From the adrenaline-pumping experience of catching waves while surfing to the more serene activity of paddleboarding along the coast, the options are diverse. Rental services are readily available, making it convenient for visitors to indulge in these activities without having to worry about equipment. The coastal playground at Virginia Beach provides a stunning backdrop for these aquatic adventures, making it a haven for those seeking a perfect blend of thrill and natural beauty.

Hiking and Biking

Virginia Beach offers picturesque hiking trails and scenic biking routes, allowing nature enthusiasts and outdoor enthusiasts to explore diverse landscapes, wildlife habitats, and coastal panoramas.

With an extensive network of trails, Virginia Beach provides opportunities for hikers and bikers of all skill levels. From the serene pathways through marshlands to the more challenging terrain alongside the sand dunes, there’s a trail to suit every preference. The city’s trails are enveloped in the lush beauty of nature, offering glimpses of local flora and fauna along the way. Exploring these trails isn’t just about exercise; it’s an eco-friendly experience that promotes appreciation for the environment and its preservation.

Whether it’s the urban oasis provided by the Ashville Park Trail or the whimsical natural beauty of the False Cape State Park, visitors can savor breathtaking vistas that underline the unique natural splendors of this coastal city.

Golfing

Golf enthusiasts can indulge in world-class golfing experiences at Virginia Beach’s premier courses, featuring scenic fairways, challenging layouts, and upscale amenities for a memorable golf getaway.

With over a dozen top-rated courses, golfers can discover a diverse range of settings, from lush woodlands to picturesque coastal backdrops. The area boasts championship layouts designed by renowned architects, offering a blend of natural beauty and strategic challenges. Golfing facilities in Virginia Beach include pro shops, practice areas, and expert instruction, catering to golfers of all skill levels.

Coastal golfing in Virginia Beach provides a unique blend of seaside tranquility and exhilarating gameplay, making it a must-visit destination for avid golfers.

Where Can You Find the Best Food in Virginia Beach?

Where Can You Find the Best Food in Virginia Beach? - Things to Do in Virginia Beach

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Virginia Beach boasts an eclectic culinary scene, offering a diverse array of dining options, including renowned seafood restaurants, charming local eateries, and establishments featuring international cuisine, satisfying every palate and culinary preference.

The city’s coastal location ensures an abundance of fresh seafood, with oceanfront restaurants offering delectable crab cakes, lobster rolls, and succulent oysters. The vibrant Boardwalk is lined with quaint cafes and food stalls, where visitors can indulge in local delicacies such as she-crab soup and fish tacos. There’s also a proliferation of global flavors, from authentic Italian trattorias to bustling Mexican cantinas, catering to every taste bud.

Seafood Restaurants

Seafood restaurants in Virginia Beach offer an exquisite selection of fresh catches, local specialties, and coastal flavors, providing a delectable culinary journey for seafood aficionados and dining enthusiasts.

From the succulent crab cakes at Waterman’s Surfside Grille to the decadent lobster mac and cheese at Rockafeller’s Restaurant, Virginia Beach boasts a delightful array of signature seafood dishes to tantalize your taste buds. With iconic waterfront dining establishments such as Blue Pete’s and Lynnhaven Fish House, visitors can savor their favorite seafood delicacies with a mesmerizing view of the coast, immersing themselves in the city’s vibrant coastal gastronomic culture.

Local Eateries

Local eateries in Virginia Beach showcase a blend of regional flavors, comfort foods, and community charm, offering a delightful culinary exploration of the city’s culinary heritage and local dining traditions.

The diverse dining scene in Virginia Beach is a reflection of the city’s rich cultural influences, with offerings ranging from classic Southern barbecue to fresh seafood straight from the Atlantic. Visitors can savor the tantalizing aroma of genuine Chesapeake Bay cuisine or indulge in hearty farm-to-table dishes that capture the essence of the region’s agricultural roots. The communal dining ambiance creates a warm and inviting atmosphere, where locals and visitors alike come together to celebrate the city’s unique culinary identity.

International Cuisine

International cuisine options in Virginia Beach encompass a global feast of flavors, culinary diversity, and authentic tastes from around the world, catering to adventurous palates and international gastronomic exploration.

From savoring exotic Thai delicacies to indulging in traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremonies, Virginia Beach offers a rich tapestry of international dining experiences. Diners can sample fragrant Indian curries, savor crispy Japanese tempura, or delight in the vibrant spices of Mexican cuisine. The city’s diverse culinary landscape also showcases the artistry of French pastries, the robust flavors of Italian pasta dishes, and the complex seasonings of Moroccan tagines. With its bustling global food markets and fusion eateries, Virginia Beach truly embodies the essence of multicultural gastronomy.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some popular activities in Virginia Beach?

Some popular activities in Virginia Beach include visiting the boardwalk, going to the beach, exploring First Landing State Park, and trying local seafood restaurants.

Are there any free things to do in Virginia Beach?

Yes, there are many free things to do in Virginia Beach, such as visiting the Military Aviation Museum, walking or biking along the boardwalk, and attending outdoor concerts and events.

What is the best time of year to visit Virginia Beach?

The best time of year to visit Virginia Beach is during the summer months, from June to August, when the weather is warm and sunny. However, spring and fall can also be great times to visit with fewer crowds and mild temperatures.

What are some family-friendly activities in Virginia Beach?

There are plenty of family-friendly activities in Virginia Beach, including visiting the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, going mini-golfing, and taking a dolphin-watching boat tour.

What is the best way to get around Virginia Beach?

The best way to get around Virginia Beach is by car, as many of the popular attractions are spread out. However, there are also public transportation options available, such as the VB Wave trolley and the VB Wave shuttle.

Are there any historical sites to visit in Virginia Beach?

Yes, there are several historical sites to visit in Virginia Beach, such as the Cape Henry Lighthouse, the Adam Thoroughgood House, and the Old Coast Guard Station. These sites offer a glimpse into the city’s past and its maritime history.