8 Things to do in Virginia Beach, VA – 2024 Ultimate Guide

Things to do in Va Beach

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Welcome

Welcome to Virginia Beach, Virginia, a vibrant coastal city that offers a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. With its pristine beaches, lively boardwalk, and an array of exciting activities, VA Beach is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a memorable seaside getaway. Whether you’re a beach enthusiast, a nature lover, or a foodie looking to indulge in fresh seafood, there are endless things to do in Virginia Beach, VA that cater to every taste and interest. Join us as we explore the top attractions, hidden gems, and local favorites that make Virginia Beach a truly special destination. Plan your trip today and get ready to experience the best that this charming coastal city has to offer.

Popular Experiences and Attractions

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center:

Guide to Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center: A Must-See Place

The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center in VA Beach, VA, is a premier destination that offers a fascinating glimpse into the underwater world. With a mission to inspire conservation of the marine environment through education, research, and sustainable practices, this aquarium is a must-see for nature lovers and families alike.

Visitors can explore a variety of exhibits showcasing marine life from the Chesapeake Bay to the Atlantic Ocean. From playful otters and majestic sea turtles to colorful tropical fish and awe-inspiring sharks, there is something for everyone to enjoy. The aquarium also features interactive displays, educational programs, and behind-the-scenes tours that provide a deeper understanding of marine ecosystems and conservation efforts.

With its commitment to environmental stewardship and public engagement, the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center stands out as a top attraction in the region. Whether you’re a marine enthusiast, a curious traveler, or a family looking for a fun and educational outing, this aquarium offers a memorable experience that highlights the beauty and importance of our oceans.

Ideal Visitors for Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center: Is It for You?

The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center is perfect for nature lovers, families, and anyone interested in marine life and conservation. Visitors of all ages will find something to enjoy, from interactive exhibits and animal encounters to informative presentations and hands-on activities. Whether you’re a local resident looking for a weekend outing or a tourist exploring VA Beach, this aquarium offers a unique and engaging experience that is both entertaining and educational.

Expert Tips for Visiting Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

– Plan your visit during weekdays to avoid crowds and make the most of your experience.
– Check the official website for current opening hours and any special events or exhibitions.
– Purchase tickets online in advance to skip the lines at the entrance.
– The aquarium is located at 717 General Booth Blvd, Virginia Beach, VA. Use GPS for accurate directions.
– For inquiries, contact the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center at (757) 385-FISH.
– Facilities include restrooms, gift shops, cafes, and wheelchair accessibility.
– Allocate at least 2-3 hours for your visit to explore all the exhibits and activities.

First Landing State Park:

Guide to First Landing State Park: A Must-See Place

First Landing State Park, located in Virginia Beach, VA, is a breathtaking natural oasis that offers a perfect blend of history, recreation, and scenic beauty. Established in 1936 as a part of the Civilian Conservation Corps, this park holds significant historical value as it marks the site where English colonists first landed in 1607 before settling in Jamestown. With over 2,800 acres of pristine forests, marshes, and beaches, First Landing State Park is a must-see destination for nature lovers, history enthusiasts, and outdoor adventurers alike.

Visitors to First Landing State Park can explore a variety of activities such as hiking, biking, kayaking, and swimming. The park features 20 miles of trails that wind through diverse ecosystems, offering opportunities to observe wildlife and enjoy peaceful nature walks. The park’s Chesapeake Bay shoreline provides a picturesque setting for picnicking, sunbathing, and birdwatching. History buffs will appreciate the park’s educational programs and exhibits that showcase the area’s rich colonial past.

Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, embark on a wilderness adventure, or learn about Virginia’s early history, First Landing State Park has something for everyone. With its tranquil atmosphere, natural beauty, and historical significance, this park is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by visitors of all ages.

Ideal Visitors for First Landing State Park: Is It for You?

First Landing State Park is ideal for nature enthusiasts, history buffs, families, and outdoor adventurers seeking a peaceful retreat surrounded by natural beauty. If you enjoy hiking, biking, birdwatching, or simply relaxing on the beach, this park offers endless opportunities for exploration and recreation. History lovers will appreciate the park’s historical significance and educational programs that delve into the area’s colonial past. Whether you’re looking for a day of outdoor fun or a weekend getaway immersed in nature, First Landing State Park is the perfect destination for a memorable experience.

Expert Tips for Visiting First Landing State Park

– Plan your visit during the park’s operating hours, which are typically from sunrise to sunset.
– Admission fees may apply, so be sure to check the park’s website for current pricing information.
– First Landing State Park is located at 2500 Shore Dr, Virginia Beach, VA 23451.
– For directions and contact information, visit the park’s official website or contact their visitor center.
– Facilities at the park include picnic areas, restrooms, and parking lots for visitors’ convenience.
– Depending on your interests, activities, and pace, a visit to First Landing State Park can range from a few hours to a full day of exploration. Be sure to allocate enough time to fully enjoy all that the park has to offer.

Cape Henry Lighthouse

Guide to Cape Henry Lighthouse: A Must-See Place

Cape Henry Lighthouse, located in Virginia Beach, VA, is a historic landmark that offers visitors a glimpse into the past while providing breathtaking views of the surrounding area. Built in 1792, this iconic lighthouse served as a guiding light for sailors entering the Chesapeake Bay for over a century. Today, it stands as a symbol of maritime history and a must-see attraction for history buffs and nature enthusiasts alike.

Visitors to Cape Henry Lighthouse can explore the grounds, climb to the top of the lighthouse for panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, and learn about the rich history of the area through interactive exhibits and guided tours. Whether you’re interested in maritime history, architecture, or simply enjoy stunning views, Cape Henry Lighthouse has something to offer everyone.

Ideal Visitors for Cape Henry Lighthouse: Is It for You?

Cape Henry Lighthouse is perfect for history enthusiasts, families looking for a fun and educational outing, and nature lovers seeking stunning coastal views. If you appreciate historical landmarks, enjoy learning about maritime history, or simply want to experience the beauty of the Virginia coast, then Cape Henry Lighthouse is the perfect destination for you.

Visitors of all ages can enjoy exploring the lighthouse grounds, climbing to the top for unparalleled views, and immersing themselves in the stories of the past. Whether you’re a solo traveler, a couple, or a family, a visit to Cape Henry Lighthouse promises a memorable experience filled with history, beauty, and adventure.

Expert Tips for Visiting Cape Henry Lighthouse

– Check the opening hours before your visit to ensure you have enough time to explore the lighthouse and surrounding area.
– Admission fees may apply, so be sure to have cash or card on hand for ticket purchases.
– Cape Henry Lighthouse is located at Fort Story, easily accessible by car or public transportation.
– For more information or to inquire about guided tours, contact Cape Henry Lighthouse directly.
– Plan to spend at least a couple of hours at the lighthouse to fully experience all it has to offer, including the museum and gift shop.

Military Aviation Museum

Guide to Military Aviation Museum: A Must-See Place

The Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach, VA, is a captivating destination for aviation enthusiasts and history buffs alike. Home to an impressive collection of vintage aircraft from various eras, this museum offers a unique glimpse into the evolution of military aviation. Visitors can explore meticulously restored planes, learn about their significance in wartime history, and even witness thrilling flight demonstrations.

Stepping onto the grounds of the Military Aviation Museum is like stepping back in time. The attention to detail in preserving these aircraft is truly remarkable, making it a must-see attraction for anyone interested in aviation history. From World War I biplanes to iconic World War II fighters, each aircraft tells a story of bravery and innovation.

Whether you are a seasoned aviation enthusiast or just curious about the world of military planes, a visit to this museum promises a memorable experience. The knowledgeable staff and volunteers are passionate about sharing the stories behind each aircraft, adding depth and context to the displays. With interactive exhibits and engaging tours, visitors of all ages can immerse themselves in the world of military aviation.

Ideal Visitors for Military Aviation Museum: Is It for You?

The Military Aviation Museum is perfect for aviation enthusiasts, history lovers, families, and anyone with a curiosity about military aircraft. If you have a passion for aviation history or simply enjoy exploring museums with unique collections, this is the place for you. Visitors looking for an educational and immersive experience will find the museum both informative and entertaining.

Exploring the Military Aviation Museum is a great way to gain insight into the evolution of military aircraft and the pivotal role they played in various conflicts throughout history. Whether you are a solo traveler, a couple, or a family with children, the museum offers something for everyone to enjoy and appreciate.

Expert Tips for Visiting Military Aviation Museum

– Plan your visit during the museum’s operating hours to ensure you have enough time to explore the exhibits fully.
– Check the admission fees and any discounts available, especially for seniors, students, and military personnel.
– The museum is located in Virginia Beach, easily accessible by car. Be sure to check the directions beforehand to avoid any confusion.
– For more information or to inquire about special events or group visits, contact the museum directly through their official website.
– Allocate at least a few hours for your visit to fully appreciate the extensive collection and take part in any guided tours or demonstrations.

Ocean Breeze Waterpark

Guide to Ocean Breeze Waterpark: A Must-See Place

Located in Virginia Beach, VA, Ocean Breeze Waterpark is a premier destination for water lovers of all ages. This sprawling waterpark offers a wide range of attractions, from thrilling water slides to relaxing lazy rivers. With its tropical-themed setting and exciting rides, Ocean Breeze Waterpark promises a fun-filled day for the whole family. Whether you’re seeking an adrenaline rush or a leisurely day in the sun, this waterpark has something for everyone. Dive into the cool waters, soak up the sun, and create lasting memories at Ocean Breeze Waterpark.

Ideal Visitors for Ocean Breeze Waterpark: Is It for You?

Ocean Breeze Waterpark is perfect for families, thrill-seekers, and anyone looking to beat the summer heat in a fun and exciting way. Families with children of all ages will enjoy the variety of attractions, including kid-friendly splash zones and family-friendly rides. Thrill-seekers can get their adrenaline pumping on high-speed water slides and exhilarating attractions. Whether you’re a waterpark enthusiast or a first-time visitor, Ocean Breeze Waterpark offers something for everyone.

Expert Tips for Visiting Ocean Breeze Waterpark

– Plan your visit during weekdays to avoid crowds and long lines.
– Check the official website for current opening hours and any special events.
– Purchase tickets online in advance to save time at the entrance.
– Ocean Breeze Waterpark is easily accessible by car, located at 849 General Booth Blvd, Virginia Beach, VA.
– Contact Ocean Breeze Waterpark at (757) 422-4444 for any inquiries or assistance.
– The waterpark offers various facilities, including restrooms, changing rooms, and dining options.
– A typical visit to Ocean Breeze Waterpark can range from half a day to a full day, depending on your preferences and the crowd levels.

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge:

Guide to Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge: A Must-See Place

Nestled in the heart of Virginia Beach, Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. This pristine sanctuary spans over 9,000 acres of protected land, offering a diverse range of habitats for both wildlife and visitors to enjoy. As you wander through the refuge, you’ll be surrounded by picturesque marshes, woodlands, and sandy beaches, providing the perfect backdrop for a peaceful retreat into nature.

The refuge is home to an abundance of wildlife, making it a haven for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts alike. Keep your eyes peeled for a variety of bird species, including herons, egrets, and even the majestic bald eagle. If you’re lucky, you may also spot deer, foxes, and other native animals roaming freely in their natural habitat.

For history buffs, Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge has a rich past dating back to the early 20th century when it was established as a refuge for migratory birds. Today, it stands as a testament to conservation efforts and serves as a vital sanctuary for both wildlife and people to enjoy.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat, a birdwatching paradise, or a place to reconnect with nature, Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge is a must-see destination that promises a memorable and enriching experience for all who visit.

Ideal Visitors for Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge: Is It for You?

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge is perfect for nature lovers, birdwatchers, photographers, and anyone seeking a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. If you appreciate the beauty of untouched landscapes and the serenity of the great outdoors, this refuge is tailor-made for you.

Visitors who enjoy hiking, wildlife spotting, and immersing themselves in nature’s wonders will find Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge to be a paradise waiting to be explored. Whether you’re a solo traveler seeking solitude or a family looking for a fun and educational outing, this refuge offers something for everyone.

If you have a passion for conservation and a desire to support efforts to protect and preserve natural habitats, a visit to Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge will not disappoint. Come and experience the beauty and tranquility of this hidden gem on the Virginia coast.

Expert Tips for Visiting Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

– Plan your visit during the refuge’s operating hours, which are typically from sunrise to sunset.
– Admission to Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge is free, making it an affordable destination for all visitors.
– The refuge is located at 4005 Sandpiper Road, Virginia Beach, VA. Follow signs for easy access.
– For more information or inquiries, contact the refuge at (757) 301-7329.
– Facilities at the refuge include restrooms, picnic areas, and hiking trails, so be sure to come prepared for outdoor activities.
– Depending on your interests, allow at least 2-3 hours to fully explore the refuge and appreciate its natural beauty.

One-day trip to Colonial Williamsburg:

Guide to One-day trip to Colonial Williamsburg: A Must-See Place

Embark on a journey through time with a one-day trip to Colonial Williamsburg, a living history museum located in Virginia Beach, VA. This immersive experience allows visitors to step back in time to the 18th century and witness firsthand the daily life of early American colonists. From historic buildings to costumed interpreters, every detail in Colonial Williamsburg transports you to a bygone era. A must-see place for history enthusiasts, families, and anyone seeking a glimpse into America’s past.

Ideal Visitors for One-day trip to Colonial Williamsburg: Is It for You?

The one-day trip to Colonial Williamsburg is perfect for history buffs, families looking for an educational outing, and anyone interested in experiencing life in colonial America. Visitors will have the opportunity to explore restored buildings, interact with historical interpreters, and participate in hands-on activities that bring history to life. Whether you’re a solo traveler seeking a unique cultural experience or a group looking for a memorable day trip, Colonial Williamsburg offers something for everyone.

Expert Tips for Visiting One-day trip to Colonial Williamsburg

– Plan your visit during the week to avoid crowds and make the most of your time.
– Check the official website for current opening hours and any special events happening during your visit.
– Purchase tickets in advance to skip the lines and ensure entry to popular attractions.
– Colonial Williamsburg is located at 101 Visitor Center Drive, Williamsburg, VA. Follow signs for easy access.
– For inquiries or assistance, contact Colonial Williamsburg at (800) HISTORY or visit their website for more information.
– Facilities such as restrooms, dining options, and souvenir shops are available throughout the historic area.
– Depending on your interests, budget at least 4-6 hours to explore Colonial Williamsburg thoroughly.

One-day trip to Busch Gardens Williamsburg:

Guide to One-day trip to Busch Gardens Williamsburg: A Must-See Place

Located in Williamsburg, Virginia, Busch Gardens is a renowned theme park that offers a perfect blend of thrilling rides, live entertainment, and beautiful scenery. This must-see attraction is known for its European theme, with sections dedicated to countries like Italy, Germany, and France. Visitors can experience a wide range of attractions, from roller coasters to cultural shows, making it a top destination for families, thrill-seekers, and culture enthusiasts alike.

One of the main reasons to visit Busch Gardens Williamsburg is its rich history. The park first opened in 1975 and has since evolved into a world-class entertainment destination. With beautifully landscaped gardens, authentic architecture, and immersive experiences, guests can step into a different world as they explore the various themed areas.

In addition to the historical charm, Busch Gardens offers a plethora of thrilling rides and attractions. From the iconic Loch Ness Monster roller coaster to the high-speed InvadR wooden coaster, there is no shortage of adrenaline-pumping experiences for thrill-seekers. Families can also enjoy a variety of kid-friendly rides and entertainment options scattered throughout the park.

For those interested in live entertainment, Busch Gardens features a diverse lineup of shows ranging from musical performances to acrobatic displays. The park’s talented performers bring each show to life, creating memorable experiences for guests of all ages.

Ideal Visitors for One-day trip to Busch Gardens Williamsburg: Is It for You?

Busch Gardens Williamsburg is ideal for families, thrill-seekers, and culture enthusiasts looking for a fun and immersive experience. Families with children of all ages will appreciate the wide range of attractions, from gentle rides for little ones to thrilling roller coasters for older kids and adults. The park’s themed areas offer a unique opportunity to explore different cultures and enjoy a variety of experiences in one place.

Thrill-seekers will find plenty to keep them entertained at Busch Gardens, with a selection of high-speed coasters, water rides, and other adrenaline-pumping attractions. Whether you’re a fan of loops and drops or prefer a more leisurely pace, there’s something for every level of thrill-seeker at the park.

Culture enthusiasts will also enjoy the immersive experience of stepping into different European countries as they wander through the themed areas of Busch Gardens. From authentic architecture to live entertainment, the park offers a taste of Europe right in the heart of Virginia.

Overall, if you’re looking for a day of fun, excitement, and cultural exploration, Busch Gardens Williamsburg is the perfect destination for you.

Expert Tips for Visiting One-day trip to Busch Gardens Williamsburg

– Check the park’s official website for current opening hours and any special events happening during your visit.
– Purchase tickets online in advance to save time at the entrance and potentially benefit from discounts.
– Busch Gardens Williamsburg is located at 1 Busch Gardens Blvd, Williamsburg, VA. Use GPS or follow the directional signs to reach the park easily.
– For any inquiries or assistance, you can contact Busch Gardens Williamsburg at (757) 229-4386.
– The park offers various facilities, including restrooms, dining options, and souvenir shops, ensuring a comfortable visit for guests.
– Plan to spend a full day at Busch Gardens to fully experience all the attractions, shows, and rides it has to offer.

Food and Cuisine

She-Crab Soup

Why is it so special:

She-Crab Soup is a beloved dish in Virginia Beach due to its rich and creamy consistency, made with crab meat, crab roe, heavy cream, and a touch of sherry. The dish has historical roots in the region, dating back to the early 1900s. The addition of crab roe gives the soup its distinctive flavor and a vibrant orange hue, making it a must-try for seafood lovers.

Where to Try It:

For a classic and authentic She-Crab Soup experience, head to local favorites like Waterman’s Surfside Grille or The Back Deck. For a more upscale dining experience, try the version served at Terrapin Restaurant, known for its exquisite seafood dishes.

Hampton Roads Crab Cakes

Why is it so special:

Hampton Roads Crab Cakes are a local delicacy made with fresh crab meat, breadcrumbs, herbs, and spices. What sets these crab cakes apart is the generous amount of lump crab meat used, giving them a meaty and succulent texture. The cakes are typically pan-fried to a golden brown perfection, showcasing the sweet and delicate flavor of the crab.

Where to Try It:

For the best Hampton Roads Crab Cakes, visit local seafood joints like Dockside Restaurant or Rockafeller’s Restaurant. For a more upscale dining experience, try the crab cakes at Catch 31 Fish House and Bar, known for its fresh seafood offerings.

Virginia Beach Rockfish

Why is it so special:

Rockfish, also known as striped bass, is a popular local fish in Virginia Beach known for its mild and sweet flavor. Often prepared grilled, blackened, or pan-seared, the fish pairs well with various seasonings and sauces. Virginia Beach Rockfish is a must-try for seafood enthusiasts looking to savor the fresh flavors of the region.

Where to Try It:

To enjoy a delicious serving of Virginia Beach Rockfish, head to local seafood establishments like The Atlantic on Pacific or Surf Club Ocean Grille. For a fine dining experience, dine at Catch 31 Fish House and Bar, where you can indulge in expertly prepared Rockfish dishes.

Events and Festivals

Neptune Festival

The Neptune Festival is a popular annual event in Virginia Beach celebrating the city’s coastal culture. It features a sand sculpting competition, art and craft shows, live music performances, and a grand parade along the boardwalk. Tourists can enjoy delicious seafood from local vendors, shop for unique souvenirs, and take part in various family-friendly activities.

American Music Festival

The American Music Festival is a Labor Day weekend tradition in Virginia Beach, showcasing a diverse lineup of musical performances across multiple stages along the oceanfront. From rock and country to jazz and blues, there is something for every music lover to enjoy. Visitors can soak up the sun, dance on the beach, and experience the vibrant atmosphere of this exciting music festival.

Pungo Strawberry Festival

The Pungo Strawberry Festival is a beloved event celebrating the sweet and juicy fruit that grows abundantly in the Pungo area of Virginia Beach. Visitors can indulge in all things strawberry, from fresh-picked berries to strawberry shortcake and strawberry-themed treats. The festival also features a parade, carnival rides, arts and crafts vendors, and live entertainment, making it a fun-filled event for the whole family.

Interesting Facts

– Virginia Beach is home to the longest pleasure beach in the world, offering 35 miles of coastline for visitors to enjoy.
– The city holds the Guinness World Record for the longest stretch of pleasure beach in the world.
– Virginia Beach is not just a summer destination – it also boasts a vibrant cultural scene, with numerous museums, art galleries, and theaters to explore.

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