Virginia Beach is much more than a place where water meets sand. It’s the essence of beach life, a celebration of nature’s bounty and beauty, a culture of artistic expression and military heroism. Conveniently located within a half-day drive from most of the mid Atlantic, Virginia Beach offers a vast number of attractions for beach fun. Here are some favorites that you can mix and match to personalize a Virginia Beach vacation to your individual interests.
Outdoor & Eco-Adventures in Virginia Beach
With many miles of beautiful coastline, warm sun and ocean breezes, outdoor and fitness activity is a natural favorite in Virginia Beach. Wide sandy beaches and rolling waves are near beach perfection! Surfing is wildly popular, as well as kite-boarding, wind-surfing and every other kind of water sport imaginable. The famous three-mile boardwalk in the heart of the resort area is a favorite of visitors and locals alike. Cruising the boardwalk on rental bicycles or pedal surreys, strolling and skating are prime activities in this laid-back beach vibe.
At First Landing State Park, you can climb the Cape Henry Lighthouses, learn how to catch a crab and hike the trails to scenic views of where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. In the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, a guided kayak adventure or eco-wildlife safari by tram lets you explore the seemingly undiscovered world of the marshes. The Virgina Aquarium’s Conservation Quest tour gives visitors the ultimate nature experience where you can interact in the water with harbor seals, learn about sea turtles and watch shark feedings. With all of these incredible natural resources, Virginia Beach is very careful to conserve and preserve. The city is the first Virginia Green Destination with dozens of restaurants, hotels and attractions meeting or exceeding the Virginia Green certification requirements.
Culinary and Agriculture Focus in Virginia Beach
Coastal cuisine in Virginia Beach is a union of fresh seafood that comes from the ocean daily and flavorful produce that comes from the local fields and farms. The “eat local” movement is a tasty testament to the area’s local flavor. Foodies enjoy visiting the year-round Farmers Market and the open-air Old Beach Farmers Market (May-October). Visitors can take a mini-course in Organics 101 or visit local farms to meet the farmers and pick some juicy Pungo strawberries. Over 250 restaurants in Virginia Beach, from intimate alfresco cafes to stylish hotel establishments, offer award-winning seafood as well as many different ethnic cuisines to celebrate the bounty of the land and sea.
Arts and Culture in Virginia Beach
Creativity and expression thrives in Virginia Beach. The Boardwalk Art Show & Festival in June is one of the best art and design shows in the country, where hundreds of artists show and sell their unique artwork in open-air booths along the boardwalk. This is a must-see three day event for every art lover! The Sandler Center for Performing Arts offers professional stage performances and aspiring actors can enjoy backstage tours to meet the cast and crew. The Mystery Dinner Playhouse and the Little Theater of Virginia Beach also give entertaining thespian performances. The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art showcases rotating exhibits and visitors can express their own creativity in a travel journal workshop.
Military and History in Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach is home to thousands of sailors and airmen who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. As an integral part of Virginia Beach, military history is celebrated in several visitor attractions. The Naval Air Station Oceana is the master jet base of the U.S. Navy where some of the world’s most sophisticated aircraft can be seen on the Sound of Freedom tour (subject to availability and current security restrictions). At the Military Aviation Museum, view one of the largest collections of WWII Military Aircraft in the world and meet Rosie the Riveter or a Mustang Fighter Pilot. In Norfolk, visit the USS Wisconsin battleship, the interactive maritime science center Nauticus and the MacArthur Memorial. At the Old Coast Guard Station on the oceanfront, hear tales of shipwrecks and brave rescues by the surfmen. The sacrifice and commitment of military personnel is highly respected by the local community and a personal thank you to those who serve is always well-received.
These are just a small sample of the wealth of activities available in Virginia Beach. There are special events every month like music festivals, marathons, the East Coast Surf Championship, a magical sand sculpting contest, the Polar Plunge – the list goes on and on! To find out more or to plan your beach getaway, please contact the beach savvy vacation advisors at Covington Travel today.
All images courtesy of Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau and may not be reused without their expressed permission.