Awarded by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's longest stretch of pleasure beach is the popular 38 mile-Virginia Beach. This all-year travel destination is suited for all ages and has abundant recreational activities and attractions to visit. Virginia Beach is located where the Atlantic Ocean meets the 200 miles of Chesapeake Bay watershed. Annually millions of tourists visit Virginia Beach and in 2017 a record-breaking 19 million tourists visited, a testament to its popularity and vacation thrill.

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What to do, see or visit at Virginia Beach

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Nestled on the eastern border of the Atlantic Ocean and Back Bay's western border, the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge has 9200 acres of dunes, woodlands, marshes, beaches, and farm fields. This wildlife refuge is a birding paradise with nearly 300 documented bird species. These include waters birds like the waterfowl, shorebirds, and other threatened ones. During winter migration snow geese, ducks, LeConte’s sparrow, yellow-rumped warbler, and tundra swans swarm the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Endangered species like the piping plover, bald eagles, and peregrine falcon are found there too. River otters, feral horses and pigs, raccoons, white-tailed deers, and bobcats reside here plus reptiles like the cottonmouth snake and endangered loggerhead sea turtles.

Back Bay National Wildlife refuge is open daily but is closed during holidays except for Memorial and Labor Days. It can be explored by walking on the nature trails, kayaking, biking, boating, or using a tram. From April 1 to October 31 entry fee is $5 and it is free during the winter migration.

Pungo Agricultural Community

Pungo is 8000 acres of farmland with 16 pick-your-own farms just a few minutes' drive from Sandbridge Beach. In this farming community, visitors can pick their fresh berries and wildflowers in this naturally therapeutic and serene rural environment, away from the bustling Virginia Beach Oceanfront. Every memorial day weekend there is the Pungo Strawberry Festival. This alcohol-free family event celebrates Pungo's agricultural heritage and its treasured strawberries.

There are 50 strawberry delicacies available at this festival. The festival also pays tribute to the region's military service members, their families, and the sacrifices they made. There is live entertainment, carnival, parade, and many more fun events. Festival admission is free but each car gets charged a $10 parking fee.

ViBE Creative District

The ViBE Creative District near the Virginia Beach Oceanfront is an arts and culture along Hampton Roads hub worth touring. It supports small businesses and local arts and creative industry thereby boosting the local economy. Visitors to the district get to watch artists in their studios crafting wood pieces, creating designs, murals, handbags, sound art, and other products. There also are museums, fitness centers, art galleries, coffee shops, restaurants that serve fresh food from farms, and a weekly farmers' market. Some musicians also perform live music at the ViBE Creative District on special occasions and festivals.

Virginia Aquarium

To understand marine conservation research, visitors can tour the 800,000 gallons capacity Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center. It has 10,000 aquatic and land wildlife representing over 300 species. Different snake, turtle, and frog species, plus Komodo dragons, ornate uromastyx lizard, and Tomistoma crocodile are housed there. The Virginia Aquarium also has mammals like the harbor seal, lesser hedgehog tenrec, and the North American river otter plus invertebrate species like the Atlantic purple sea urchin, the knobbed whelk, and marsh periwinkle snail species.

Boat trips are organized from Virginia Aquarium to the Atlantic ocean to watch dolphins and whales at a cost. Virginia Aquarium has the Adventure Park where visitors including children zipline and course climb on the different obstacle-filled aerial trails there.

Tickets to Virginia Aquarium have to be booked on the website in advance.

  • Adult 12-61 years - $24.95
  • Seniors 61+ years - $22.95
  • Children 3-11 years-$19.95
  • Infants are free but must have a reserved ticket

The Adventure Park

For 3 hours of recreation at The Adventure Park the cost of general admission tickets are as follows if booked online or bought on arrival:

  • Ages 14 and over $58 (if booked online) to $63
  • Ages 7-13 $49 (if booked online) to $59
  • Ages 5-6 $34 (if booked online) to $37

Kayak and Stand Up Paddleboard

Virginia Beach has over 121 miles of waterways where tourists can paddleboard and kayak. These waterways are tranquil and nestled in unspoiled landscapes away from disruptions of modern civilization. Visitors can bring their paddleboards or kayaks or rent from local service providers who also offer guided tours to see dolphins.

Guided tours with local service providers are suited for first-timers to get the best exploration experience. The calm and low traffic waters of 'The Narrows' waterway are ideal for first-timers kayakers and stand-up paddleboarders. Kayaking trips can take over 2 hours or more depending on the kayakers' experience. Kayak and Paddleboard costs at Virginia Beach depend on the service providers.

Two of the service providers that provide kayak and paddleboard services at Virginia Beach charge as follows:

Cost

  • Kayak Nature Tours charges $53 for 2.5 hours tours and $62 for dolphin tours per person and costs include equipment charges.
  • VB Surf Sessions charges $60 for an hour of stand-up paddleboarding lesson plus guided tours and $80 for two hours of the same, per person.

Other water recreational activities at Virginia Beach are:

  • Surfing
  • Parasailing
  • Fishing
  • Jet Skiing
  • Wave running

For the activities above, there are service providers that offer them.

Virginia Beach Festivals

The many festivals in Virginia Beach attract many tourists. Among these festivals are as follows:

  • Winter Wildlife Festival
  • Chocolate Festival
  • Oktober Brewfest
  • Fair Trade Festival
  • Virginia Arts Festival
  • Patriotic Festival
  • FunkFest Festival
  • Virginia Beach Neptune Festival
  • Atlantic Coast Kite Festival
  • Virginia Beer Festival
  • Virginia Wine Festival
  • Caribbean Music Festival
  • Oceana Air Show

First Landing State Park

The historical 2888 acres of First Landing State Park is located in Cape Henry in North Virginia Beach. This is where a group of English men established the first English settlement at Jamestown back on April 26, 1607.  Today visitors to First Landing State Park can swim, bike, and hike on trails, fish kayak, boat, camp, and picnic. There are also cabins that visitors can book and stay in while on vacation. The park's ground and trails are open daily from 8 Am until dusk for day visitors.

Cost

  • $4 Per Vehicle Weekdays
  • $5 Per Vehicle on Weekends

NEXT: 5 Touristy Things To Do In Virginia Beach (5 Off-The-Beaten-Path)