Virginia Beach is a coastal city that is situated where the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean meet. It makes for a great summertime destination because, in addition to having sand and surf, Virginia Beach can accommodate a wide range of interests.
The Oceanfront In Virginia Beach
Virginia Beach is divided up into districts, with The Oceanfront being a hot beach spot in the summer months.
It’s also the location of the Virginia Beach Boardwalk, a three-mile-long promenade open to pedestrians, joggers, and bicyclists. Amid other statues, the boardwalk’s key attraction is the King Neptune Statue, which holds court with his 26-foot-tall frame. He also makes for a popular photo stop. Atlantic Avenue, which runs adjacent to this beachfront area, is a resort strip with a vast assortment of hotels and restaurants.
The Virginia Fishing Pier makes for nice people watching or, hopefully, some good catches for fishermen. Nearby, Grommet Island Park is a playground with wheelchair-accessible entrances, a sensory board for autistic and visually impaired children, and sculpted figures that youngsters can also interact with.
If looking for a meal, there are a good amount of restaurants along or close by The Oceanfront. Ocean Eddie’s Seafood Restaurant is noted for its dinners and chowder, while Waterman’s Surfside Grille is known for its orange crush, a Virginia Beach cocktail. The Shack on 8th is an open-air venue with lawn games to play in between your food or drink orders.
ViBe Creative District
As another popular neighborhood, the ViBe Creative District brings out Virginia Beach’s artsy side. Here, you can see public murals and creative illustrations, and businesses led by working artisans and crafters. Throughout the year, various community projects have taken place to bring forth new works, including "Unity in the Community Art Walk," which was held in commemoration of Juneteenth 2022. Every August, the annual MuralFest has ten artists “live-painting” new outdoor scenes on local buildings. The district also is the location for the Old Beach Farmers Market, taking place on certain Saturdays throughout the year. Shop for artisan-made products at the 17th Street Marketplace or see vintage-inspired signage at Igor's Custom Signs & Stripes. Find many options for caffeine at coffee shops such as Three Ships Coffee or dining choices including Prosperity Kitchen and Pantry, an offshoot of a favorite local restaurant, Common.
Surf’s Up In Virginia Beach
Did you know that Virginia Beach has a long history with East Coast surfing? Held in August, the East Coast Surfing Championship is touted as the world’s longest-running surf competition; it brings many surfers to Virginia Beach to compete for titles and prizes. Other activities include a Boardwalk 5K Fun and street skate and ramp contests.
The beachfront is also the site of the annual Virginia Beach Funk Festival in late August, where attendees can groove to R&B, jazz, gospel, and blues artists.
Find Farm Life In Pungo
There’s more to Virginia Beach than sand and surf. It has a small agricultural community called Pungo, where you can get the experience of farm living through roadside stands and pick-your-own ops at farms. Be sure to come during Virginia Beach's Strawberry Season. Make a beeline to eat at The Bee & The Biscuit, a popular breakfast and lunch spot.
Spend Much Time Outdoors In Virginia Beach
There are other ways to experience nature in Virginia Beach. First, the Cape Henry Lighthouse is the first federally funded public works project under the then newly-formed United States of America. Climb up to the top for views of the Chesapeake Bay.
Based at the south end of Oceanfront, Rudee Inlet is a small fishing haven where fishing charters, the Virginia Beach Fishing Center, and seafood restaurants can be found. Fans of amusement parks can head to Atlantic Fun Park for rides and attractions.
The Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge has a topography as diverse as its wildlife, with dunes, freshwater marshes, and beaches. As one of two state parks, First Landing State Park along Cape Henry is where you can do everything from swimming to hiking to having a picnic. It’s also got a quiet stretch of sand amid the Chesapeake Bay. The second is False Cape State Park, a mile-wide barrier in southern Virginia Beach spit between the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and the Atlantic Ocean.
Do some local shopping at the Virginia Beach Farmers Market, open daily within the Inland District.
Hit The Beach In Town
Of course, spending time at the beach in Virginia Beach is a must. Along with the Oceanfront’s Resort Beach, check out Sandbridge, a reclusive beach community with beloved spots such as Margie & Ray’s Seafood, Crab & Raw Bar. Within Sandbridge, Little Island is a beach park with a fishing pier and beach.
Go Get Some Ice Cream In Virginia Beach
Cool off in Virginia Beach with some ice cream from these popular spots. The Blue Cow makes some deliciously interesting artisan flavors and good scoop amounts. The Richmond-founded Gelati Celesti has locations within Virginia Beach and a ton of choices, from almond to vanilla. Pungo Pizza & Ice Cream offers both scoops and pies. Aqua S is an Australian import known for turning soft serve ice cream into edible art creations. And The Yard is a top-notch milkshake bar.
If you’re feeling overheated or facing a touch of bad weather, Virginia Beach has some good indoor attractions.
The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center is full of aquatic life with residents from coastal and marine habitats in various exhibits; think sharks, rays, fish, and reptiles. There’s also an adjacent Adventure Park providing ropes climbing and zip lining fun.
The Military Aviation Museum showcases quite the collection of military aircraft used in World War I and II. The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art holds ever-changing exhibitions with contemporary works that are thought-provoking. And the Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum dives into the area’s coastal legacy.