There 10 Must-Do Activities At Virginia Beach
A study in contrasts, Virginia Beach is home to everything from a neon-lit Boardwalk to peaceful beachfront state parks. The city’s bustling Oceanfront sector, with its high-rise hotels, mini-golf courses, and souvenir stores, tends to draw the greatest number of tourists to the region. The city’s booming culture and artistic sector, as well as its craft breweries and miles of beautiful hiking trails, will appeal to an even wider range of adventurous tourists.
You may be looking for adventure, traveling with children, or just wanting to relax in the sun, but here are some of the top things to do in Virginia Beach no matter what your interests may be.
On the Virginia Beach Boardwalk, you can embrace the kitsch.
The 3-mile-long Boardwalk, which is loud, crowded, and lined with lively stores and restaurants overlooking the city’s huge public beach, is the epitome of Virginia Beach at its most iconic. The Boardwalk, which stretches from 2nd to 40th streets along the Coastal, has a designated bike lane that is popular with bikers and rollerbladers, as well as four oceanfront stages where live music is often performed during the warmer months. Continue inland a few blocks or so to find even more restaurants, pubs, arcades, mini golf courses, and music venues, as well as other entertainment options.
The Cavalier Hotel is a tribute to opulence from the past.
The Cavalier Hotel, which opened its doors in 1927 and has lately been restored to its former glory, has housed everyone from presidents (10 of them!) to celebrities such as Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor. The completely refurbished hotel and beach club, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is home to the farm-to-table restaurant Becca as well as the more rustic Hunt Room restaurant.
The distillery, located in the hotel’s basement, has received several honors for its whiskey, moonshine, and gin products. If you’re staying at the hotel, you may take use of the pool and beach club, which are designed in the manner of South Beach.
At the Virginia Aquarium, you can get a taste of aquatic life.
It is home to hundreds of species, including everything from seals and sea turtles to Komodo dragons, snakes, and otters. The Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center is located in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Special activities such as Sensory Friendly Mornings and Sharks After Dark may be found on the event calendar. In addition, after you’ve gotten your fill of fish, walk outdoors to the Aquarium’s Adventure Park, where you can go zip lining through trees or climbing ropes courses.
Visit the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) to see contemporary art.
The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA for short) is a non-collecting art museum, which means that the exhibitions and gallery spaces on display here are always changing. Admission is free, and new shows are added to the schedule on a bimonthly basis. A diverse spectrum of talent is represented at MOCA, from young local upstarts to globally known artists like as sculptor Maya Lin. You may explore the work of an inspirational range of talent at MOCA.
Pungo is a great way to get away from the city.
Despite the fact that it is just a few kilometres from the city center, bucolic Pungo seems like a planet apart. It is possible to select your own vegetables or flowers in this agricultural town, which has over a dozen farms where you may do so; berry season is particularly popular in this area.
Even for its famed breakfast, which includes the Bay Crab Benedict and a flight of mimosas, The Bee & The Biscuit, housed in an 1880s cottage, is well worth the trek from the city center. Make a point of stopping by Pungo Board House to receive the latest information on the greatest local surf breaks.
Take in the scenery from the Cape Henry Lighthouse.
The Cape Henry Lighthouse, which was built in 1792 on the site of the “first landing,” when English colonists landed on their way to Jamestown, is the fourth-oldest lighthouse in the country and the first lighthouse authorized by the United States government.
In reality, following the Revolutionary War, George Washington personally ordered the building of the lighthouse, with Alexander Hamilton serving as the project’s project manager and superintendent. Another lighthouse was erected nearby in 1881, and tourists may view both lighthouses today at the Fort Story military post, which is still operational.
It is possible to climb the historic Cape Henry lighthouse, which is available to the public seven days a week for tourists aged 5 and above.
Take a stroll along the Virginia Beach Beer Trail and drink your way across the city.
There are plenty of local breweries in Virginia Beach to satiate your demand for alcoholic drinks, whether you’re searching for a midafternoon pint or a fun night out on the town. The dog-friendly Smartmouth Pilot House, located near the Oceanfront, is housed in a renovated post office and is famed for its “Nostalgically Ridiculous” line of beers – imagine sweet cereal in beer form – and other unique offerings. Commonwealth Brewing at Chic’s Beach boasts plenty of outdoor space and a relaxed neighborhood ambiance, while Vibrant Shore in the Vibe District specializes in daring microbrews.
Commonwealth Brewing is located in Chic’s Beach. Back Bay Brewing has two locations: an industrial-style tasting room on the Oceanfront, and the Farmhouse, a gorgeous setting with lots of space to stretch out and enjoy the surrounding gardens. Back Bay Brewing is owned and operated by the Back Bay Brewing Company.
At First Landing State Park, you can sleep on the beach.
First Landing State Park, Virginia’s most visited state park, has a long and illustrious history that dates back to 1607, when English colonists first set foot on this land. During the War of 1812, armies guarded the waterways, and during the Civil War, military patrolled the waterways. Legend has it that the pirate Blackbeard took sanctuary at Narrows State Park in the 1700s.
Today, it serves as a haven away from the city, with 20 miles of paths and a diverse range of ecosystems, including swamps, lagoons, and coastal forests. Campers may pitch their tents directly on the beach or in one of the park’s cottages or yurts, but there is a catch: the park is situated next to a military training complex, and visitors should be prepared to encounter “strange sights and sounds” at any time of day or night.
Go on a hike up Mount Trashmore!
The fact that this park is a complete dump is part of its appeal. Mount Trashmore was the first landfill park in the United States, having been constructed in the 1960s. What was once a 640,000-ton mountain of junk has been transformed into a cherished local green area that includes two big hills, two lakes, a water-wise garden, a skate park, and an immense playground for kids of all ages. Running the perimeter track and mounting the steep steps are favorite activities for local fitness enthusiasts, who can be seen in the park on most mornings.
View the latest offerings in the Vibe Creative District.
Virginia Beach’s Vibe Creative District is the ideal antidote to the city’s tourist-heavy Oceanfront region, and it serves as a showcase for the city’s burgeoning cultural scene. You could easily spend the whole day here, beginning with a Pungo latte and Texas breakfast tacos at Three Ships Coffee and working your way down the street.
Visit stores like North End Bag Co., a small-batch bag manufacturing firm, and the Old Beach Farmers Market, which is open every Saturday to discover the work of local artists and craftspeople. Eat something delicious and drink some natural wines at the Instagram-famous Pink Dinghy, and then finish your Vibe journey with ice cream from local institution Lolly’s Creamery to top out your Vibe adventure.