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Best Things to Do in Virginia Beach

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Posted on June 21, 2023

Nestled along the mid-Atlantic coast of southeastern Virginia, Virginia Beach is a vibrant destination that's filled with adventure, culture, and relaxation. Offering a diverse array of activities that cater to all ages and interests, this charming city promises a visit that's nothing short of memorable.

Whether you're a nature lover, history buff, culinary enthusiast, or simply someone in search of a great beach, Virginia Beach has it all. Let's explore some of the best things to do in Virginia Beach when you visit.

What Are the Best Things to Do in Virginia Beach?

Virginia Beach Boardwalk and Beachfront

Boardwalk and beach in Virginia Beach

Stretching three miles along the Atlantic Ocean, the Virginia Beach Boardwalk is the heart of the city. Perfect for a stroll, bike ride, or a rollerblading session, the boardwalk also features numerous landmarks, including the iconic 34-foot bronze statue of King Neptune. Children and adults alike can find joy at the beachfront, building sandcastles, splashing in the water, or simply basking in the sun.

The Oceanfront area is the epicenter of Virginia Beach's tourism scene, offering a number of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. Explore the boutique shops and art galleries, savor a seafood feast at a local restaurant, or simply sit on a beachside bench and watch the waves roll in. At night, enjoy live music, vibrant nightlife, and exciting street performances.

More Beaches, Watersports and Parkland Fun

Virginia Beach main beach

With its unique location along the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay, Virginia Beach is a haven for watersport enthusiasts. Opportunities for surfing, kayaking, and paddleboarding abound. Surf schools and rental shops are available for beginners, while experienced surfers can hit the swells at First Street Jetty or Sandbridge Beach.

Sandbridge Beach

If you’re looking for a retreat away from the crowds, head to Sandbridge Beach. Located to the south of the main resort area, this five-mile stretch of golden sand provides a serene setting for sunbathing, swimming, and picnicking. Bordering Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and False Cape State Park, it's a natural gem that provides an idyllic backdrop for relaxation and family fun.

False Cape State Park

For an even more secluded outdoor experience, False Cape State Park is an ideal choice. Accessible only by boat, foot, or bicycle, the park boasts unspoiled beaches, woodland trails, and marshes. The park's isolation makes it a prime spot for birdwatching, fishing, or just simply escaping the hustle and bustle.

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, covering over 9,000 acres, is a sanctuary for a rich variety of wildlife. Bird watchers will especially enjoy this spot, as it serves as a critical habitat for migrating and wintering waterfowl. The refuge offers trails and scenic overlooks, where visitors might catch a glimpse of loggerhead sea turtles, bald eagles, and a variety of waterfowl and songbirds.

First Landing State Park

First Landing State Park Virginia Beach

As the site where English settlers landed in the New World in 1607, this state park is steeped in history. Aside from its historical significance, First Landing State Park offers 20 miles of trails and a mile of Chesapeake Bay beachfront, making it an excellent place for hiking, biking, or beach lounging.

Fishing in Virginia Beach

With its wide variety of freshwater, saltwater, pier, and deep-sea fishing opportunities, Virginia Beach is a fisherman's dream. Charter a fishing boat for a day of deep-sea fishing or cast a line from the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier.

Virginia Beach fishing pier

Virginia Beach Historical and Educational Options

Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center

The Virginia Aquarium showcases a fabulous diversity of marine life from all over the world. The two main exhibits, the Bay and Ocean Pavilion and the Marsh Pavilion, introduce visitors to over 800 species, including harbor seals, Komodo dragons, and a rich assortment of fish species.

Adjacent to the Virginia Aquarium, The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium is definitely among the best things to do in Virginia Beach - an aerial forest park and perfect for thrill-seekers. With 15 different tree-top trails of varying levels of difficulty, this park offers zip lines, bridges, and other fun challenges. There's even a special course for younger kids, ensuring an exciting day for the entire family.

Military Aviation Museum

world war 2 aircraft in Virginia Beach

Home to one of the largest collections of World War I and World War II aircraft in the country, this museum is a must-visit for history enthusiasts. Many of the planes are still in flying condition, and the museum occasionally hosts airshows where visitors can witness these vintage machines take to the skies.

Visit Cape Henry Lighthouse

Standing on the Fort Story military base, the Cape Henry Lighthouse has been guiding seafarers through the entrance to Chesapeake Bay since 1792. After climbing the winding steps, you'll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the Bay and Atlantic Ocean. The lighthouse is an important piece of history, marking the first federal construction project under the United States Constitution.

Virginia Beach's Thriving Culinary and Cultural Scene

Foodies will savor Virginia Beach's diverse dining scene. Fresh seafood is, of course, a highlight, with local eateries serving up mouthwatering crab cakes, oysters, and the famed Lynnhaven oysters. But it's not all about seafood; the city is also renowned for its farm-to-table restaurants, global cuisines, and exciting food festivals. For a true taste of the region, take a trip to one of the local wineries, breweries, or distilleries.

Get a Taste of the Local Craft Beer Scene

Virginia Beach boasts a thriving craft beer scene, with an array of breweries offering their unique brews. Places like Commonwealth Brewing Company and Back Bay Brew House provide tours where you can learn about the brewing process and taste a variety of beers.

Explore the ViBe Creative District

Discover the lively local culture of Virginia Beach in the ViBe Creative District. This neighborhood is a hub of creativity, filled with art studios, unique shops, and farm-to-table restaurants. Visit during a First Friday event when the district comes alive with special performances, pop-up vendors, and local art on display.

Visit the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art

The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) showcases rotating exhibitions of contemporary works by local, regional, and international artists. In addition to its exhibits, MOCA offers a variety of programs and workshops, making art accessible to visitors of all ages.

Nightlife in Virginia Beach

As the sun sets, Virginia Beach comes alive with a wonderful nightlife scene. From beachside bars with live music to dance clubs and comedy venues, there's a spot for every kind of evening outing. Catch a live band at Neptune's Park or take a moonlit walk along the boardwalk.

Feeling the Need for a Virginia Beach Timeshare?

With every breath of fresh, salty air and every barefoot step on the sandy beach, you’ll be falling more in love with Virginia Beach. From the fun of the boardwalk to the tranquility of the natural parks and refuges, the best things to do in Virginia Beach offers a spectrum of experiences waiting to be explored.

Its charming blend of history, natural beauty, cultural vibrancy, and a palpable sense of adventure guarantees a unique experience in Virginia Beach. From dawn till dusk, there's always something to see, do, or discover in this dynamic coastal city.

A Virginia Beach timeshare makes this all possible. With some of the most desirable accommodations in the entire region, timeshares in Virginia Beach provide a terrific beachfront vacation experience.

You’ll see that Hilton Grand Vacations now dominates the Virginia Beach timeshare scene following its acquisition of Diamond Resorts, so check out our list of the top Virginia Beach timeshare resorts based on the offers and inquiries we received from our clients:

Beach Quarters