Wondering where to take your family on vacation this year? Although you may be tempted to look for an all inclusive family package vacation, or a discount vacation destination, you may be better served to find a location that meets the needs and desires of the entire family – a la carte, and at a reasonable price.
Location – If your goal is a vacation packed with family fun with activities both parents and kids will
enjoy, consider Virginia Beach, Virginia. Located directly on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean, Virginia Beach is an easy two day drive from the southern tip of Florida or the Northern tip on Maine. Minutes from the Norfolk International Airport in neighboring Norfolk, Virginia Beach is easily accessible to all, allowing your family to spend the maximum number of days relaxing in the sun instead of traveling to get there!
Beaches – Complimenting the sun and relaxing fun on its miles of free public beach, Virginia Beach offers three miles of boardwalk to enjoy. In addition to the well-tended pavement, benches, and amazing views of the ocean, the 28-foot wide boardwalk includes a separate path for bicycling and rollerblading. Bicycles and surrey rentals are available from local vendors conveniently placed along the way.
Resort – Atlantic Avenue is the main road that travels the length of the resort strip and is occupied on both sides with hotels of every cost and level of luxury; restaurants offering fine dining, fast food, step up window service, and every variety in between. Dispersed between accommodations and eateries are many attractions you would expect from a coastal resort – surf and gift shops, fun photo boutiques, a retro style amusement park; and some you may not expect such as haunted houses, fine jewelry stores, and an art gallery offering amazing local talent.
Attractions – Slightly off the main resort strip, Virginia Beach offers other family friendly attractions such as the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center and Ocean Breeze Waterpark, Captain Jacks Pirate Ship Adventures, the Rudee Rocket speedboat thrill ride, and parasailing with Air America Parasail, and several large scale miniature golf courses.
In Season – Depending on the timing of your vacation, you and your family may enjoy one of several local’s favorite events including the Virginia Beach Patriotic Festival, the 55th Annual Boardwalk Art Show and Festival, Sandstock (think Woodstock but family friendly), Hardee’s Latin Fest, the Rock ‘n’ Roll 5k and the East Coast Surfing Championship to name just a few. The boardwalk area is also host to many free concerts, wine festivals, and local art displays through out the summer months.
Off Season – If you prefer to plan your vacation slightly off-season, the Neptune Festival in late September is great fun offering something for every member of the family. Usually scheduled the last weekend of September, it includes an annual International Sandsculpting Championship (you have to see it to believe it!), the Neptune Art and Craft Show, and open-air concerts to meet every musical taste. The entire boardwalk and beach area is transformed with tents and kiosks offering a variety of foods, crafts, and entertainment.
Consider Virginia Beach for your family vacation this year. Truly something for everyone – newlyweds or new parents wanting to start an annual family tradition, parents wrangling unpredictable toddlers, or weary parents trying to get a spark of emotion from sulky teens – Virginia Beach will meet your family vacation needs!
Information on Virginia Beach, Va gathered from vbbound.com, VB Neptune Festival, ECSC 2014, and 30+ years of being proud to call myself a local.