If you are planning a beach getaway as the weather gets warmer, Virginia Beach could be the perfect destination for you and your family. Virginia Beach is located in Virginia, on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. What makes Virginia Beach unique to other beaches on the east coast is its proximity to miles of distinctive beaches, hotels, restaurants and unique attractions. As part of “America’s First Region,” Virginia Beach is included in the Hampton Roads areas which include Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Suffolk, Norfolk and Portsmouth. With 38 miles of shoreline, Virginia Beach is ideal for both families and couples seeking a beach getaway.
Where to go and what to see
Ecotourism is vast in Virginia Beach with a number of State Parks, biking trails, and natural areas all over the city, and you don’t need to necessarily stay outdoors to enjoy nature with the Virginia Aquarium. The Virginia Aquarium features a new Adventure Park that includes 13 treetop trails for navigating, 107 crossings between trees, and zip lining. In addition to the park, the aquarium features 8000,000 gallons of marine life, an outdoor aviary and IMAX movies. If you are looking to take to the outdoors, consider visiting the former home of Native Americans, False Cape State Park, located between Back Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Beyond pristine untouched natural beauty, False Cape State Park also offers kayaking, biking trails, camping areas and six miles of shoreline. Visiting this State Park is ideal for families with a variety of interests because there is so much to do within one area.
The city of Virginia Beach is rich in history, dating back to Native Americans who lived there thousands of years ago before English colonists landed at Cape Henry in 1607 with the establishment of Jamestown colony. Virginia Beach is also home to the Adam Thoroughgood House, one of the oldest brick homes in America, and the birthplace of George Washington, located in the Northern Neck of Virginia. First Landing State Park, the site of the first landing of the Jamestown colonists in 1607, is one of Virginia’s most visited sites with 20 miles of trails and 1.5 miles of Chesapeake Bay beach line. Recreational activities and attractions include exotic habitats, seasonal exhibits, events in the outdoor amphitheater and the Trail Center. Finally, if you are a history buff when it comes to U.S. Military memorabilia, The Military Aviation Museum boasts one of the largest private collections of WWI and WWII era military aircraft in the world with over 60 planes from WWI to the 1950s.
If you are looking to just get out and enjoy the sun and surf, there are a number of options across Virginia Beach. Fishing and watersports are popular options and Virginia Beach offers inshore and offshore options, from fishing charters to pier fishing. Rudee Inlet is a popular area for watching boats come in, signing up for fishing charters, parasailing and paddle boarding, perfect for enjoying a number of watersports. You can even sign up for surfing lessons or take a boat tour, like Capt. Jack’s Pirate Ship Adventure, for a day on the high seas. Rudee Inlet also features a number of restaurants, shopping and entertainment. Virginia Beach is also home to a number of amusement parks, including Busch Gardens, Ocean Breeze Waterpark, Motor World, and Virginia Beach Amusement Park. And of course, there’s always golfing as a way to get and enjoy the beautiful Virginia Beach coastline. There are golf courses all over the Virginia Beach area, and vary by landscape and level of difficulty. Some popular courses in the area include Cypress Point Golf Club, Virginia Beach National Golf Club and Hell’s Point Golf Course.
Where to dine
It’s not hard to find somewhere to enjoy the local cuisine of Virginia Beach, and depending on the area, there are a number of beachfront options to also take in the view as well as the cuisine.
Angelo’s Murder Mystery Dinner Theater is a unique dining experience where diners can join the mystery and place a role in solving the case, while also enjoying a great meal. If you are looking for something a bit more laid back, consider one of the many oceanfront seafood options such as Neptune’s Restaurant, Ice House, or 22nd Street Raw Bar. If you are looking for the freshest seafood, check out Dockside or Waterman’s Restaurant where they will prepare your catch for you. And if seafood isn’t your thing, there are also a number of ethnic and diverse restaurants such as Ammos Greek restaurant, featuring belly dancing, and Abbey Road Pub and Restaurant, both ocean front options.
Finally, if you are a foodie with a taste for beer, check out the beach breweries and tours of Back Bay Brewing, Beach Brewing Co., or Young Veteran’s Brewery Company. These local breweries offer a number of beers including popular seasonal specialties, and most offer daily tours and pairings.
Where to stay
Hotels in Virginia Beach are known for having a wide variety of oceanfront offerings when it comes to accommodations and lodging. Depending on your preferences and budget, you can choose to stay right on the famous Virginia Beach Boardwalk, or in a more secluded area like Sandbridge Beacon, located just 15 miles south of the Resort Area. There are several areas of Virginia Beach that are unique and different. Some of these popular areas include the Chesapeake Bay Area, the Resort Area, Sandbridge, Great Neck and Little Neck. Depending on your preferences, you have many options to find the ideal lodging options.
If you are looking to be a part of the hustle and bustle of beach life, the oceanfront Virginia Beach Boardwalk is one of the most well-known Virginia Beach landmarks with over 40 hotels and resorts in addition to restaurants, shopping and various attractions. Finding a hotel on the overlooking the boardwalk is ideal for families with children, or for those looking to get involved in the culture of the area. If you are looking for a more secluded place to stay, there are also hotels and beach rentals that are right on the beach and just a short distance to the boardwalk and Resort Area, and Sandbridge and the Chesapeake Bay area are ideal for a more laid back, secluded place to enjoy the other side of Virginia Beach.