15 Things to Do in Virginia Beach, Virginia
Virginia Beach, Virginia is a coastal city in Southeast Virginia. It lies where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. It is an amazing place to visit in the summer where you can spend the day sun bathing on the beach. It does get cold in Virginia during the winter, but it’s pretty mild. January and February are the coldest months, but the city offers a wide array of activities to keep you busy all year long! Below you will see a list of my top 15 things to do in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
3 years ago, I surprised my husband with a trip to iFLY. If you have ever wanted to go skydiving, but want to try a safer version first, you have to schedule a visit. When you arrive, you are greeted by an instructor who teaches you how to communicate with them in the wind tunnel, as well as several motions/movements that will help you get the most out of your flight. Once you step into the wind tunnel, relax, and enjoy the ride. You even have the option to fly high in the tunnel. It is definitely worth it! iFLY has several locations around the U.S. as well as international locations. Children can be as young as 3 to fly. FYI…you will want to try the real deal after this experience. I’m hoping to for my 40th birthday in July! https://www.iflyworld.com/virginia-beach/
Ziplining is what Adventure Park is all about! The park spreads through about 6 acres of the tree canopy just north of the Marsh Pavilion. From the main platform, climbers have the choice between 16 different trails that are color-coded to indicate the degree of challenge they offer. Trails are marked just like ski-runs, with some suitable for novice, some for intermediate, and some for advanced climbers. These trails include more than 165 challenging crossing made of rope, cable, and wood. Among these crossing are more than 25 zip lines. The most challenging trails are up to 55 feet above the ground. Their longest zip line runs 315 feet and crosses Owl Creek. You will definitely get a good work out in after a day at the Adventure Park! https://virginiabeachadventurepark.com/
The mission the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center is to inspire conservative of the marine environment through education, research, and sustainable practices. Some of the major exhibits include harbor seals, komodo dragons, tomistoma crocodiles, sharks, ray touch pool, and a Chesapeake Bay aquarium. In the winter you can go on whale watching tours; in the summer dolphin watching tours are available. They even have an Imax theatre for educational documentaries. https://www.virginiaaquarium.com/Pages/default.aspx
Ocean Breeze Waterpark
Ocean Breeze is Virginia Beach’s only waterpark. It offers 17 waterslides, a million-gallon Runaway Bay Wave Pool, the Buccaneer Bay Water Playground, a quarter-mile Adventure River, and other fantastic attractions. You can even rent sunbrella canopies as well as full-sized cabanas (this can and should be done online as they sell out fast). Be sure to buy your tickets and food voucher’s online to save money. Parking is also free at Ocean Breeze. https://www.oceanbreezewaterpark.com/ (All pictures are from the Ocean Breeze Waterpark website.)
ViBe Creative District
Nestled within the oceanfront area is Virginia Beach’s cultural arts enclave – The Vibe Creative District. “It is a hub for artists and spirits, roasters and restaurants, workouts and wares, museums and more, the ViBe is where creative businesses have set up shop to share their passion and inspire a sense of discovery in locals and visitors alike.” – ViBe Creative District https://vibecreativedistrict.org/ (All pictures are from the ViBe Creative District website.)
Old Beach Farmers Market
The Old Beach Farmers market is a fresh outdoor marketplace in the heart of the resort area, just six blocks from the ocean and one block from the Virginia Beach Convention Center, in the parking lot of Croc’s 19th Street Bistro. They feature seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, eggs, seafood, cheeses, a wide assortment of baked goods, artisanal breads, savory foods from local chefs, soap, and flowers. They are open the second Saturday of every month. http://www.oldbeachfarmersmarket.com/
Virginia Beach Farmers Market
The Virginia Beach Farmers Market is open year-round and features a variety of agriculturally inspired shops and related businesses that offer seasonal, fresh vegetables and fruit in addition to many other products. Some of the shops include a butchers shop, seafood market, dairy and ice cream, florist, candy store, bakery, full-menu restaurant, home, garden and specialty stores, offer a unique and varied shopping experience. The Market is located at 3640 Dam Neck Rd. https://www.vbgov.com/government/departments/agriculture/farmers-market/Pages/default.aspx
Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)
“The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art is a non-profit institution which exists to foster awareness, exploration, and understanding of the significant art of our time.” (MOCA) Their regularly changing exhibitions feature painting, sculpture, photography, glass, video and other visual media from internationally acclaimed artists as well as artists of national and regional renown. https://virginiamoca.org/
Cape Henry Lighthouse
Cape Henry Lighthouse is the first federally funded public works project of the newly formed United States government. It was authorized by George Washington and overseen by Alexander Hamilton. The Lighthouse is situated near the “First Landing” site where English settlers first set foot on their way to settle in Jamestown. Built with the same Aquia sandstone as much of Washington, D.C, the lighthouse guided sea travelers to safety for almost 100 years. The distinctive black and white striped “New” Cape Henry Lighthouse was built in 1881 but remains closed to the public. During your visit you can enter the lighthouse and climb to the top. https://preservationvirginia.org/historic-sites/cape-henry-lighthouse/ Please check the website before visiting as it is currently under renovations (January 2020).
Spend the Day at the Beach
The Guinness Book of World Records has awarded Virginia Beach the title of “Longest Pleasure Beach.” Virginia Beach offers 35 miles of coastline waiting to be explored. Be sure to check out the King Neptune Statue on 31st St. The bronze statue was sculpted by Paul DiPasquale.
There is also a 15,000 square foot beach park that features wheelchair-accessible entrances and an incredible playground that includes poured-in-place surfacing, raised sand tables for sandcastle building at an accessible height, a sensory board for children who are autistic and visually impaired, and a sway boat. https://www.vbgov.com/government/departments/parks-recreation/parks-trails/city-parks/Pages/grommet-island.aspx
Kayaking at the Beach
While visiting the beach, be sure to book a kayak trip with one of the local rental shops in the area (link provided below). Many of these shops will take you on dolphin tours where you may come eye to eye with these magnificent creatures. We did a tour a few years back and was instantly hooked. We now own kayaks and frequently take them to the beach. http://www.vbsurfsessions.com/VB_Surf_Sessions___Kayak.html
While Virginia Beach is predominantly flat, there are many gorgeous trails to hike and enjoy nature! https://www.visitvirginiabeach.com/blog/post/experience-virginia-beach-hiking-trails/
World-renowned Mount Trashmore Park encompasses 165 acres and is comprised of two man-made mountains, two lakes, two playgrounds, a skate park and vert ramp, and multi-use paths. The main mountain, Mount Trashmore, now 60 feet in height and 800 feet long, was created by compacting layers of solid waste and clean soil. Recognized for its environmental feat, this former landfill features a water-wise garden that boasts xeriscaping which requires minimal water. The park also features a smaller mountain, Encore Hill, and two lakes. Lake Windsor (located along South Blvd.) is brackish water fed by Thalia Creek. Lake Trashmore (located along Edwin Drive) is freshwater and hosts various species of fish. Fishing is permitted from land only and requires a Virginia freshwater fishing license. Anglers must adhere to all State regulations regarding creel and size limits. No boats, swimming or wading is allowed in the lakes. Kayaks are permitted at Lake Windsor. https://www.visitvirginiabeach.com/listing/mount-trashmore-park/44/
Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheatre
Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheatre is a 20,000-seat outdoor concert venue that offers music of all genres. See some of your favorite bands during the summer at this hot spot. https://www.livenation.com/venues/14474/veterans-united-home-loans-amphitheater-at-virginia-beach
The Town center area is Virginia Beach’s slice of city life. Visit many popular shops and restaurants and enjoy live entertainment in front of Bravo’s. In the summer, take advantage of YNOT Wednesday free summer concert series. https://www.sandlercenter.org/events/free-events
COMING SOON 2020! The Wave VB and Wavegarden Cove
The image below is a conceptual rendering of The Wave Virginia Beach surf venue being developed by the Venture Realty Group and supported by Pharrell Williams. The plan proposes a 2-acre Wavegarden cove that provides up to 1000 waves per hour, right and left waves, multiple surfers at the same time, great for pro surfers and beginners, and open year-round! There will be an area for live entertainment, as well as 150,000 square feet of dining and retail space. https://www.surfparkcentral.com/the-wave-vb/
These are my top 15 things to do in Virginia Beach, but I am sure that I left out a few other places. If you have visited Virginia Beach, what were your favorite things to do? What on my list sounds interesting to you? Let me know in the comments below.