If you live anywhere in the Middle or South Atlantic US and you are looking for a beach vacation, head to the Chesapeake Bay region and book a stay at Virginia Beach.
This city is home to a number of beachside resorts, and gives you access to parks, museums, lighthouses, and all the area attractions. Let’s check out some of the best things to do on your trip!
Visit the Oceanfront.
The first thing you are going to want to do after you check in at your hotel is head right for the Oceanfront. Here, you can walk along three miles of boardwalk, looking out at the sea. Relax on the sandy beach, take in the sun, or go surfing on the waves.
Of course, if you are going to be making a day of it, you won’t want to get too much sun. Be sure to bring a canopy tent with you so that you can rest under some shade while still enjoying the views of the ocean and delighting in the fresh sea air.
Once you’ve head your fill of the sun, surf and sand, stroll along Atlantic Avenue where boutique shopping and vibrant nightlife experiences await. You’ll also find plenty of options for delicious seafood and other tasty cuisine. There is often plenty of live entertainment outdoors at the Oceanfront as well. So take advantage of all this iconic part of town has to offer.
Stop by Neptune’s Park for a show.
Speaking of live entertainment, your best bet for finding it along the Oceanfront is to visit Neptune’s Park. Not only can you enjoy a performance at Neptune’s Park, but you also can view the city’s famous bronze statue of Neptune.
Explore the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art.
If you are looking to step out of the sun for a little bit, drop by the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). Exhibits at MOCA frequently change, and feature mainly artists who are living today. Here, you can see everything from painting and sculpture to glasswork and photography.
There are also a variety of educational programs in which you can participate. Some are geared toward children, while others are aimed at adults or families.
View sea life at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center.
This is one of the best-known aquariums you can visit in Virginia. Here, there are hundreds of different species of fish, reptiles, birds and mammals to view. Collectively, the exhibits contain 800,000 gallons of water. Some of the species you can view include loggerhead sea turtles, sandbar sharks, harbor seals, sand tiger sharks, komodo dragons, and more.
The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center also boasts the claim of having the largest movie screen in the entire state. Other activities include the Adventure Park, boat trips and nature paths. There truly is an adventure for everyone.
Virginia Living Museum
If you enjoy aquariums, you also won’t want to miss out on the Virginia Living Museum. This is actually located over in Newport News, a short drive away from VA Beach.
This is a smaller set of exhibits than the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center contains, but it is a particularly enjoyable and highly-rated museum experience. More than 250 species of fish, birds, reptiles and animals call the museum home, including injured and orphaned animals.
Discover the area’s history by visiting the Cape Henry Lighthouse.
This famous lighthouse is not only an iconic landmark, but it offers a glimpse into the early history of the US. In fact, it has the distinction of being the nation’s first federally funded public works project.
Take a walking tour in and around the lighthouse to learn about four centuries of history. You can also attend a Dune Talk from a trained interpreter, and stop by the Cape Henry Memorial which commemorates the 1607 landing of the first colonists from England.
Tour the USS Wisconsin BB-64.
Fascinated by military history? You will definitely want to visit the USS Wisconsin BB-64 while you are in VA Beach. This huge WWII-era vessel is just waiting to be explored. You can either tour it at your own pace, or you can take a formal, guided tour to learn even more about its history.
Visit the Military Aviation Museum.
If you love planes as much as you do ships, you’ll also want to plan a tour of the Military Aviation Museum. This museum houses planes from WWI and WWII. Quite a few of them are so well-preserved that they could still fly today.
Escape from the crowds at False Cape State Park.
Had enough of the hustle and bustle? Even though the boardwalk along the Oceanfront as well as the many museums, shops, restaurants, and live entertainment venues of Virginia Beach can be a lot of fun, sometimes you need a breather from the crowds.
To get that breather, just head to False Cape State Park. This rare undeveloped coastal park offers trails for hiking and the opportunity to relax on the beach or pitch a tent to camp. You also can go on a guided kayak trip to learn more about the history and ecology of the park.
Relax at Sandbridge.
Between Virginia Beach and False Cape State Park, you’ll discover Sandbridge Beach. This is another relatively secluded stretch of beach where the crowds are thinner and you can pitch your canopy tent for a day of sand and surf. It is considered one of the area’s most romantic destinations.