Things to Do in Virginia Beach, VA - Virginia Beach Attractions

Things to do in virginia beach, explore popular experiences, tours in and around virginia beach.

tourist attractions in virginia beach

Wetland Zip Tour

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Virginia Beach, Venture Scavenger Hunt

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Small Group Dolphin Kayak Eco-Tour

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Private Professional Holiday Photoshoot in Virginia Beach

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Fishing Charter in Virginia Beach

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Neptune Ghosts: Ghosts of the Coast By US Ghost Adventures

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Scavenger Hunt in Virginia Beach by 3Quest Challenge

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Ziplining and Climbing at The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium

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Sunset Dolphin Kayak Tours

tourist attractions in virginia beach

Norfolk's Combo Pass - Battleship Wisconsin & Virginia Zoo

Outdoor activities.

tourist attractions in virginia beach

Top Attractions in Virginia Beach

tourist attractions in virginia beach

1. Virginia Beach Boardwalk

tourist attractions in virginia beach

2. Military Aviation Museum

tourist attractions in virginia beach

3. Tarnished Truth Distilling Co.

tourist attractions in virginia beach

4. Sandbridge Beach

147robertn

5. Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

tourist attractions in virginia beach

6. First Landing State Park

tourist attractions in virginia beach

7. Virginia Beach

JoseRichard

8. Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

tourist attractions in virginia beach

9. Cape Henry Lighthouse

tourist attractions in virginia beach

10. Hunt Club Farm

tourist attractions in virginia beach

11. Neptune's Park

tourist attractions in virginia beach

12. King Neptune Statue on the Boardwalk

JeffWimer

Tours & Sightseeing

tourist attractions in virginia beach

Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

What travelers are saying.

Avmig

THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Virginia Beach

Things to do in virginia beach, explore popular experiences, tours in and around virginia beach.

tourist attractions in virginia beach

Wetland Zip Tour

tourist attractions in virginia beach

Virginia Beach, Venture Scavenger Hunt

tourist attractions in virginia beach

Small Group Dolphin Kayak Eco-Tour

tourist attractions in virginia beach

Private Professional Holiday Photoshoot in Virginia Beach

tourist attractions in virginia beach

Fishing Charter in Virginia Beach

tourist attractions in virginia beach

Neptune Ghosts: Ghosts of the Coast By US Ghost Adventures

tourist attractions in virginia beach

Scavenger Hunt in Virginia Beach by 3Quest Challenge

tourist attractions in virginia beach

Ziplining and Climbing at The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium

tourist attractions in virginia beach

Sunset Dolphin Kayak Tours

tourist attractions in virginia beach

Norfolk's Combo Pass - Battleship Wisconsin & Virginia Zoo

Outdoor activities.

tourist attractions in virginia beach

Top Attractions in Virginia Beach

tourist attractions in virginia beach

1. Virginia Beach Boardwalk

tourist attractions in virginia beach

2. Military Aviation Museum

tourist attractions in virginia beach

3. Tarnished Truth Distilling Co.

tourist attractions in virginia beach

4. Sandbridge Beach

147robertn

5. Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

tourist attractions in virginia beach

6. First Landing State Park

tourist attractions in virginia beach

7. Virginia Beach

JoseRichard

8. Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

tourist attractions in virginia beach

9. Cape Henry Lighthouse

tourist attractions in virginia beach

10. Hunt Club Farm

tourist attractions in virginia beach

11. Neptune's Park

tourist attractions in virginia beach

12. King Neptune Statue on the Boardwalk

JeffWimer

Tours & Sightseeing

tourist attractions in virginia beach

Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

What travellers are saying.

Avmig

Virginia Beach   Travel Guide

Courtesy of WHL | Getty Images

tourist attractions in virginia beach

13 Best Things To Do in Virginia Beach

Updated April 22, 2022

The beach and boardwalk are the main attractions in this top Virginia vacation destination . Although there are some spots (like Sandbridge Beach ) where you can kayak and surf, the waters here are mostly too gentle for water sports enthusiasts. On

  • All Things To Do

tourist attractions in virginia beach

Virginia Beach Boardwalk and Beachfront Virginia Beach Boardwalk and Beachfront free

Instead of traditional wooden planks, Virginia Beach's famous boardwalk is concrete. The 3-mile thoroughfare is lined with quaint benches, Colonial-style street lamps, and biking and walking paths. The boardwalk also hosts various events and festivals at different points throughout the year, though street performers can be found entertaining passersby on most days. And similar to other East Coast beach destinations, you will find various restaurants and hotels along the boardwalk, as well as a white sand beach.

Travelers enjoy walking along this beautiful boardwalk year-round, citing its fun atmosphere and well-maintained paths as highlights. Several visitors recommend checking out the 24-foot-tall King Neptune statue, which sits by the beach at the Neptune Festival Park entrance on 31st Street. And if you visit in winter, some say you can't miss the attraction's holiday light display.

tourist attractions in virginia beach

First Landing State Park First Landing State Park

The most visited park in Virginia is First Landing State Park, where the Jamestown colonists first landed in the New World in 1607. Today, it is a nice getaway from the shoreline crowds and a fantastic spot for enjoying the great outdoors. Be prepared to hike, camp, swim, bike, or just picnic and watch the squirrels run around. The park features 20 miles of trails and 1½ miles of beach on its 2,888 acres of scenic land.

Past visitors loved walking along this park's well-maintained trails, adding that the paths are relatively easy to trek. However, a few travelers said some trails lack adequate markers, so download the park's trail map or ask a park ranger for detailed directions to avoid getting lost.

tourist attractions in virginia beach

Sandbridge Beach Sandbridge Beach free

Virginia Beach's main stretch of sand is situated next to its boardwalk , so if you're looking for a quieter beach option with fewer tourists, head 15 miles south of the city's resort area to Sandbridge Beach. This 5-mile swath of sand dunes, sea grass and shoreline lures swimmers and surfers, as well as families who desire more elbow room and close proximity to the area's vacation rentals. The beach also sits near Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge (where you can look for sea turtles and various bird species) and False Cape State Park (a protected area best explored by kayak, on foot or by bike).

According to recent beachgoers, this peaceful beach is beautiful and relaxing. In fact, a few previous visitors said its sunrises and sunsets are some of the best you'll see on the East Coast. Others appreciated the facilities (think: restrooms, picnic pavilions, sports courts, a playground and a fishing pier) found at Little Island Park, which is located at the southern end of the beach.

tourist attractions in virginia beach

Popular Tours

Wetland Zip Tour

Wetland Zip Tour

(67 reviews)

from $ 65.49

Small Group Dolphin Kayak Eco-Tour

Small Group Dolphin Kayak Eco-Tour

(238 reviews)

from $ 68.00

Ziplining and Climbing at The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium

Ziplining and Climbing at The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium

(89 reviews)

from $ 59.00

tourist attractions in virginia beach

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, located a mile south of the downtown resort area, offers more than 300 hands-on marine exhibits, including two animal touch pools with stingrays and horseshoe crabs. Visitors can get up close to turtles, sharks, otters and Komodo dragons; the property also features an oyster reef, nature trail, a ropes course, zip line area and a 3D theater that screens educational films and Hollywood movies.

According to recent visitors, families will love exploring this fun attraction, although a few said that the property's admissions are high given its small size. Some also cautioned that older children may lose interest in the aquarium's exhibits.

tourist attractions in virginia beach

Cape Henry Lighthouse Cape Henry Lighthouse

Just north of  First Landing State Park  is Cape Henry Lighthouse, the first lighthouse ever authorized by Congress. The attraction still has connections with the government; located on the grounds of the Fort Story military base, you'll have to show ID (either a REAL ID Act-compliant driver's license or a passport) at the property's entrance. The brick lighthouse was constructed in the 1790s and was an important step for trade along the Virginia and Maryland coasts, as it made the Chesapeake Bay easier and safer to navigate.

Overall, many visitors enjoyed exploring this historic attraction, though they mentioned there aren't many other attractions in the area. Several were quick to praise the lighthouse's "amazing" views at the top and said that the climb up was fairly easy, although seniors and young kids may have a hard time.

tourist attractions in virginia beach

Military Aviation Museum Military Aviation Museum

History buffs and aviation enthusiasts alike will love checking out the Military Aviation Museum. As its name suggests, this museum is packed with military aircraft (more specifically, World War I- and World War II-era airplanes), which have been restored to their prewar condition. Noteworthy items from the private collection include a de Havilland Mosquito (a plane that's primarily made of wood) and a Messerschmitt ME 262 (the world's first jet-powered fighter plane).

Past visitors said this impressive museum offers a great assortment of planes, adding that the docent-led tour of the hangars (which is covered by the property's entrance fee) can't be missed. For an extra charge, travelers can go for a ride in one of the planes, but these flights cost as much as $375 per person and are only available between early April and late October. Another way to see some of the planes in action is to attend one of the museum's air shows, which are typically held on weekends.

tourist attractions in virginia beach

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge free

Sometimes, all you want is a little peace, and when you're in Virginia Beach, the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge is the place to find it. Previous visitors lauded the refuge's serene atmosphere and said they encountered very few other people while exploring. Though you may not encounter other humans at the refuge, you'll see your fair share of animals, whether it be herons, ducks, swans or sea turtles. The more than 9,200-acre refuge offers several easy to moderate hiking trails that will bring you past wetlands, sand dunes and whispering sea grass, as well as pine forests full of critters.

The refuge, located just past Sandbridge Beach , is open daily from dawn to dusk. The visitor center is generally open daily from 8 a.m. or 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Note that the visitor center does close seasonally. Entrance is free from November through March, but if you're visiting in the warmer months, you'll have to pay a small fee. Entrance costs $5 for a single vehicle or $2 per person entering on foot. Parking is free, and spots are open on a first-come, first-served basis. Visitors should note that pets (aside from service animals) are not allowed to enter the refuge. There is a refuge visitor center open from Tuesday to Saturday during the summer (Memorial Day to Labor Day) season, and it offers indoor restrooms. To start planning your visit to the wildlife refuge, see the official website .

tourist attractions in virginia beach

Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art free

This museum brings a taste of culture to Virginia Beach with rotating art displays showcasing paintings, sculptures, photography and digital media projects. Hands-on exhibition areas and diverse, rotating displays make each trip to this museum unique. Notable past exhibitions include "Shifting Gaze: A Reconstruction of The Black & Hispanic Body in Contemporary Art," which touched on race and identity through a wide array of media, and "Echard Wheeler: In Stillness," a photography exhibit showcasing the history of nearby First Landing State Park .

Though the museum is mainly geared toward adults, there are some kid-friendly aspects, such as ARTlab – an interactive space where children can get a better understanding of the themes displayed in the artwork. Previous visitors said the museum was smaller than they expected, but that they still enjoyed the exhibits and appreciated the friendly staff.

tourist attractions in virginia beach

Neptune Ghosts: Ghosts of the Coast By US Ghost Adventures

(47 reviews)

from $ 30.00

Scavenger Hunt in Virginia Beach by 3Quest Challenge

Scavenger Hunt in Virginia Beach by 3Quest Challenge

from $ 10.00

Sunset Dolphin Kayak Tours

Sunset Dolphin Kayak Tours

(329 reviews)

tourist attractions in virginia beach

ViBe Creative District ViBe Creative District free

A stroll through the ViBe Creative District will bring you past vibrant murals, art galleries, quirky coffee shops, hip restaurants, boutique stores and more. The Old Beach Farmers Market, which is held on Saturday mornings, is also a great place to explore. Recent visitors said they loved experiencing the district's busy streets and browsing stands from local artists, adding it's definitely worth getting out of the car if you're just driving through the area.

There are many exciting events held in the district throughout the year. The annual Mural Festival comes around each August and brings 10 artists to the city to paint 10 new pieces over 10 days. And, each April, visitors can experience the Art of Humanity event, which features live music, face painting, and discussions to promote peace and nonviolence.

tourist attractions in virginia beach

Ocean Breeze Waterpark Ocean Breeze Waterpark

Once your kids have had their fill of the sand, consider a family trip to Ocean Breeze Waterpark. The park offers slides and rides galore, as well as an area for little swimmers, which features tamer splash zones and small inner tubes to ride. A lazy river, a wave pool and plenty of water park snacks like funnel cakes, candy and slushies, round out the park's offerings.

Previous visitors said Ocean Breeze was a great place to spend a hot day, and that children enjoyed all the rides. Reviewers also appreciated the park's overall cleanliness and felt the staff was welcoming and helpful when supervising children.

tourist attractions in virginia beach

Virginia Beach Breweries Virginia Beach Breweries

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tourist attractions in virginia beach

Chic's Beach Chic's Beach

tourist attractions in virginia beach

False Cape State Park False Cape State Park free

tourist attractions in virginia beach

Dolphin Kayak Tour in Virginia Beach

from $ 75.00

Virginia Beach, Venture Scavenger Hunt

Virginia Beach, Venture Scavenger Hunt

from $ 22.00

Scavenger Hunt Virginia Beach: Surf, Sand and Sculptures!

Scavenger Hunt Virginia Beach: Surf, Sand and Sculptures!

from $ 12.31

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42 Best & Fun Things To Do In Virginia Beach (Virginia)

By: Author Jerric Chong

Posted on Published: June 5, 2021  - Last updated: October 16, 2023

things to do in Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach is a fantastic independent coastal city situated in the southeastern portion of Virginia.

It is a resort town at heart and, despite being very suburban, it is Virginia’s most populous city.

It sits within the metropolitan area of Hampton Roads, where it rests on Chesapeake Bay’s mouth on the Atlantic Ocean.

It is, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the city with the world’s longest pleasure beach – a fact that’s hard to beat!

There are tons of places to visit in Virginia Beach, ranging from free things to do like parks and beaches to more expensive offerings like museums, aquariums, special tours, and amusement parks.

Each one has its own charm that reminds you of the sunny vibrancy of such a delightful oceanfront town!

So, where should you go while you’re visiting the area?

To help you decide which Virginia Beach attractions to head to first, here is our travel guide for the 42 best and fun things to do in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Table of Contents

1. First Landing State Park

First Landing State Park

Realest Nature / Shutterstock

First Landing State Park is a beautiful combination of nature and history.

It is named as such because it is here that colonists from England first arrived on American shores centuries ago in 1607, making it one of the top Virginia Beach attractions for its contextual importance and natural serenity alike.

First Landing State Park was built in the 1930s and is situated in Virginia Beach’s heart, where it has become the wider state’s most-visited park.

From here, you can go sightseeing along the uninterrupted panorama of the Chesapeake Bay, hike or bike through more than 20 miles of trails, relax along the 1.5-mile stretch of beach, and camp in special sites facing the ocean.

As a lovely recreational haven, First Landing State Park offers additional stuff to enjoy.

You can rent a cabin, learn about local history, or explore the forest of sand dunes, lagoons, pine trees, swamps, and cypress trees alike.

Many different kinds of flora and fauna live here, and you can try and spot them as you go across more than 2,888 acres of land.

You can also rent a water vessel – including a Jet Ski – to enjoy yourself out on the waves!

Address: 2500 Shore Dr, Virginia Beach, VA 23451, United States

2. Virginia Beach Boardwalk

Virginia Beach Boardwalk

Sherry V Smith / Shutterstock

Virginia Beach Boardwalk is one of the key places to visit in the area, and it’s the main reason that tourists flock to this part of the state – especially in the summer, for some fun in the sun!

The boardwalk extends north of the local Fishing Pier, flanked by shops, hotels, and eateries of all kinds, as well as the lovely and renowned Neptune Statue that greets you as you enter.

The boardwalk is wide and welcoming, spanning three miles, and paved perfectly for running, walking, biking, relaxing, or even skateboarding.

There are many benches available to stop to rest if needed, and the casual atmosphere of everything makes it even more enjoyable, whether you’re sightseeing or seeking some other form of entertainment.

Address: Virginia Beach, VA, United States

3. Sandbridge Beach

Sandbridge Beach

Sandbridge Beach is close to the Virginia Beach Boardwalk, off to the side of the main attractions.

It’s quieter and provides all the same oceanfront views, so if you’re here in the summer months when the whole city is abuzz with activity, this is your best bet for a relaxing time.

It spans five miles and is packed with gorgeous, clean dunes of sand, blue coastline, and breathtaking wildlife and landscapes.

The main beach certainly has its charms, but Sandbridge Beach is a must-do alternative if you need a break from the high energy of peak season.

You can have a picnic, take a walk, enjoy the soft sand, or go sightseeing along the way with all the charming houses that line the shore.

Water-based activities, like swimming, surfing, and more can all also be performed.

With no entrance fee, Sandbridge Beach is also one of the city’s free things to do – a real treat for one of its nicest vacation spots!

Address: Sandfiddler Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23456, United States

4. False Cape State Park

False Cape State Park

Judy Ozmar / Shutterstock

False Cape State Park is yet another one of the things to do in Virginia Beach that involves a park of greenery and sand!

With marshes, woodlands, sand dunes, undeveloped beaches spanning six miles, this is a gorgeous spot for simple biking, hiking, and camping throughout the year.

It is near the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, too.

False Cape State Park feels very remote thanks to its quiet space and limited road access, which makes it feel a world away from the rest of the business city of Virginia Beach.

Once upon a time, this was where Native American settlers lived, and it is today one of the last undeveloped parts of the Atlantic Coasts’ shore.

Ecosystems are untamed and solitude is maximized!

While you’re in False Cape State Park, you should make it a point to stop by Wash Woods, a once-busy community with lots of historic value, now lying in ruins that attract tourists and visitors.

Having been abandoned for more than eight decades, it is a mysterious town that was supposedly founded by shipwreck survivors, though no one knows for sure.

Wash Woods was a very strange location for a community, earning its name due to its tendency to become “washed by heavy storms in the area”.

It was – and still is – very secluded, which would make it hard to travel in and out of.

A cemetery and old church, as well as many houses, were built from the remains of the wrecked lumber ship the people came in.

Wash Woods grew bigger when Life-Saving Service stations were set up in the area, promoting the servicemen and their families to move into the community.

At its biggest, the little town was home to 300 or so individuals.

When a bad hurricane struck, the population slowly dwindled, and by the 1930s it was a mere ghost town – but that just makes it all the more intriguing to explore this weekend!

Address: 4001 Sandpiper Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23456, United States

5. Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center

Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center

Rightfully termed as one of the top travel destinations , the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center is one of the top 10 most fun spots in Virginia Beach – a chance to get indoors and enjoy a wonderful, exciting day without being on the sand.

It can be found at Owl Creek, south of Rudee Inlet, positioned perfectly to provide scenic decks and outdoor locations that gaze out over the water.

More than 12,000 animals across 700 species and 300 exhibits live at the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center.

It’s so large that it’s split between two different buildings, and it’s packed with all sorts of things to check out.

There is a Red Sea Tunnel that is see-through glass, so you can walk through an aquarium as marine life swims around you, an otter exhibit, a Komodo Dragon exhibit, a 3D movie theater, an Adventure Park with an obstacle course and zip-lining, a boat trip out to watch whales and dolphins, and even a dinosaur exhibit with moving mechanical dinosaurs.

But what about the heart of the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center – marine life?

You’ll spot sharks, rays, seals, sea turtles, and more across different habitats that cater to coastal areas, streams, lakes, and more.

Habitats such as the Harsh Pavilion, Bay and Ocean Pavilion, and others ensure that you get to see these creatures as close to their natural habitat as possible!

Address: 717 General Booth Blvd, Virginia Beach, VA 23451, United States

6. Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art

Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art

Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art

The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art is situated on Parks Avenue and sits within an award-winning building, taking up a whopping 6,000 square feet of space for exhibitions that are ever-changing.

With sculptures, paintings, videos, photos, glasswork, and more from local, national, and international artists, the variety is huge and welcoming across genres and styles!

The cultural wonder of the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art is truly something to behold!

Its exhibition areas are fairly hands-on and some are pretty interactive, and lots of exhibitions over the years have colored VA Beach with history, artistry, and creativity.

Though primarily for adults as a target audience, kids can still enjoy parts like the ARTlab, or the whole family can try some art classes or see an art show!

Better yet, there is no entrance fee, making this one of the greatest free things to do in the city – just make sure to reserve tickets in advance!

Address: 2200 Parks Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451, United States

7. Cape Henry Lighthouse

Cape Henry Lighthouse

Bill Chizek / Shutterstock

If you’re seeking cheap things to do around Virginia Beach, one of the best you can try is checking out the Cape Henry Lighthouse , a significant landmark that sits on the Chesapeake Bay.

It was built in 1792, authorized by George Washington as the first lighthouse funded by the US government.

It is a National Historic Landmark close to First Landing State Park.

The Cape Henry Lighthouse stands 55 feet in height and was once a very crucial beacon for vessels on the ocean, important for Maryland and Virginia coastal trade.

It is made of simple brick and situated on the military base of Fort Story, which means that visiting – though definitely a great option for what to do in Virginia Beach – requires that you show your ID to enter!

After that kerfuffle, you’ll get to climb the stairs of the Cape Henry Lighthouse.

It’s a relatively easy climb, though senior citizens, small children, and disabled individuals may have trouble with it.

When you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the coast, and a glimpse right into another lighthouse close by!

Address: 583 Atlantic Ave Fort Story, Virginia Beach, VA 23459, United States

8. Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum

Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum

Wangkun Jia / Shutterstock

The Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum is dedicated to the preservation of Virginia Beach’s maritime heritage, historically showcasing statewide Oceanfront communities, and honoring the coast guards.

It teaches visitors all about how VA Beach and the Atlantic Ocean interact, from the local community to the wider significance of water-related heritage.

At the Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum, there are two galleries.

They depict the history of the American Coast Guard Services as well as their predecessor, Live-Saving Services.

The galleries also shine a spotlight on Virginia Coast shipwrecks. In total, more than a thousand images and 1,800 artifacts are on display here.

Most interestingly, the Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum is situated inside a genuine Life-Saving Station that dates back to 1903.

A research library onsite provides oral histories, books, papers, and more about the subject of its exhibits.

In addition to all of that, it is a part of the list of the National Register of Historic Places and looks out on the gorgeous Atlantic Ocean.

Address: 2401 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451, United States

9. Military Aviation Museum

Military Aviation Museum

JJM Photography / Shutterstock

The Military Aviation Museum is what it says on the tin – a cool and interesting museum dedicated to aircraft used in and by military organizations across the world.

It’s one of the great things to do in VA Beach this weekend, boasting about 60 different aircraft, most of them flightworthy, from World War 1 and World War 2.

Interestingly, the Military Aviation Museum doesn’t aim only to display the aircraft that it finds, but also to restore them so that they can fly again, whether for airshows or to bring guests on a ride on some of them!

Add that to the fact that the museum is home to one of the world’s largest private historical aircraft collections and you have an incredible attraction for history-lovers, aviation enthusiasts, and curious tourists alike!

The Military Aviation Museum continues to build its collection of well-restored aircraft over time, with four hangars and a huge museum space all in Virginia Beach.

Some triplanes and biplanes you’ll find are an Albatross DVA, a MIG, a Bleriot XI, a Spitfire, a F/A-18 Hornet, and Super Hornet fighter jets, and you’ll even get a tour of Master Jet Base NAS Oceana while you watch aviators and crew work!

Address: 1341 Princess Anne Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23457, United States

10. Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Outlook / Shutterstock

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge is a peaceful recreational spot in Virginia Beach and one of the best tourist attractions for a nice, laidback time spent in nature.

With a very low entry fee, it’s one of the city’s cheap things to do this weekend.

It covers over 9,200 acres of land and is full of different hiking trails, ranging from easy to moderately challenging, each one bringing you through diverse planes of sand dunes, wetlands, seagrass, and even pine forests.

Due to the sheer size of the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, you aren’t likely to encounter many other people there, though you will see quite a few animals as you walk through the area, like bobcats, muskrats, deer, otters, and beyond.

Migratory birds are especially plentiful, as they are well protected within the habitat of the refuge.

The waters within the refuge are also great for paddleboarding and are still and reliable.

If you feel like hopping elsewhere, you can get to False Cape State Park from Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge!

Address: 4005 Sandpiper Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23456, United States

Exploring other parts of Virginia? Why not check out some of the fun things to do in Charlottesville, VA & some of the best things to do in Roanoke, VA ?

11. Lynnhaven House

Lynnhaven House

Lynnhaven House

The Lynnhaven House is a shining example of Virginia’s early vernacular design trends in architecture.

Built in 1725 on Wishart Road of Virginia Beach, it is one of the top ways to truly immerse yourself in the history of a location.

The Lynnhaven House was built by a ship carpenter and plantation owner as a family home and boasts design details like a closed-spindle staircase complete with a teardrop pendant, jack arches made of brick, and a floor contracted with ship’s lap.

Francis Thelaball lived here with his wife, an apprentice, five sons, and several slaves.

Now, special tours of the Lynnhaven House allow you to dress up as a person from the 18th century as a guide brings you around, showing you how people lived back then.

It’s a truly fascinating and one-of-a-kind tour and is known as one of the most unique Virginia Beach attractions.

Each tour lasts up to an hour, and there’s a lovely souvenir shop at the end of it.

Address: 4409 Wishart Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23455, United States

12. Ocean Breeze Waterpark

Ocean Breeze Waterpark

Ocean Breeze Waterpark

Ocean Breeze Waterpark is one of the most fun and exciting places to visit in Virginia Beach, located 2 miles south of the Oceanfront and boasting a family-focused paradise of Caribbean delight and activities in a lively theme park.

It opened in 1974 and is open during the warm period from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Ocean Breeze Waterpark boasts an impressive number of more than 30 different rides, including 16 water slides, a pirate ship, river adventures, a Runaway Bay wave pool, with one million gallons of space, the enchanting Buccaneer Bay Water Playground, and many more!

Rides like Jungle Falls, Log Rolls, and Walk the Plank add even more variety to the thrilling list.

When you’re done with all the rides, you can stop by a private cabana, head to the snack stands for candy, funnel cakes, and slushies, or eat at one of the many cafes and restaurants.

There are also shops and gift shops galore for all your shopping needs.

Address: 849 General Booth Blvd, Virginia Beach, VA 23451, United States

13. Ferry Plantation House

Ferry Plantation House

L. Allen Brewer / flickr

The Ferry Plantation House is an old brick house that sits on Old Donation Farm and it’s a must-see in Virginia Beach.

It is a brick house that dates back to 1642, named after the Hampton Roads’ second ferry service, which brought passengers to a county courthouse down to Lynnhaven River – or simply to visit other plantations on the water.

There are a total of 11 stops along the way, and a cannon was used as a signal for the ferry.

Over the years, the Ferry Plantation House has been used as a post office, a courthouse, a school, and more, and today it is an educational center and museum.

It is also commonly toured by ghost-hunting enthusiasts and is considered one of the best haunted spots for such exploration in the area.

Address: 4136 Cheswick Ln, Virginia Beach, VA 23455, United States

14. Rudee Flipper Dolphin Tours

Rudee Flipper Dolphin Tours

Mandy-Jo Chitwood / Shutterstock

Rudee Flipper Dolphin Tours is one of the coolest things to do in Virginia Beach, allowing you to explore the gorgeous coastline and see dolphins all in one go.

You’ll do this onboard the Rudee Flipper by Rudee Tours, which is famous in Virginia Beach as one of the most experienced and long-running dolphin cruise establishments in the area.

There are many options at Rudee Flipper Dolphin Tours, and they all involve an unforgettable time in an elegant cruise boat with 360-degree views on the two levels for better viewing.

A professional crew ensures the safety of passengers while imparting educational information about dolphins, the region, the waters, places to see in the area, and even some history.

Rudee Flipper Dolphin Tours last for 90 minutes and come with amenities like restrooms, snack bars, and climate control features.

Guides narrate the experience and are happy to answer questions.

All boats used by Rudee Flipper Dolphin Tours are certified by the ADA, and the tours offer guaranteed dolphin sightings; if dolphins aren’t located, you’re able to ride again for free.

Address: 200 Winston Salem Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451, United States

15. Captain Jack’s Pirate Ship Adventures

Captain Jack's Pirate Ship Adventures

Captain Jack’s Pirate Ship Adventures

Captain Jack’s Pirate Ship Adventures are incredibly fun ways to spend your time in Virginia Beach.

The pirate ship of Captain Jack is called the Lost Pearl and is a fantastic Spanish Galleon replica, but approved by the US Coast Guard!

Designed with kids in mind but perfect for all ages, Captain Jack’s Pirate Ship Adventures offers family-friendly and 21+ cruise options.

Children will be able to try their hand at using water cannons to sink little rowing boats in the water, and the adventure involves going on the high sea in search of lost treasure.

With games, cold drinks, and lovely ocean views, your family will have a blast about Captain Jack’s Pirate Ship!

Address: 308 Mediterranean Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451, United States

16. Blue Seafood and Spirits

Blue Seafood & Spirits

Blue Seafood & Spirits

Blue Seafood and Spirits is one of the best eateries in VA Beach to grab fresh seafood.

Owned and operated by Chef Charles Thain, the restaurant, which seats 60, provides casual but classy dining with delicious meals like tempura fried shrimp, crab cakes, award-winning crab soup, and more.

The restaurant is home to renowned desserts like homemade chocolate pudding and it sells local beers, wines, and cocktails.

Blue Seafood and Spirits stands by the goal of buying fresh and local, sourcing ingredients from the Virginia Beach area.

All produce, meat, and seafood are made hormone-free and purchased from local small businesses whenever possible.

The restaurant also provides vegan and gluten-free options for food, too.

Address: 2181 Upton Dr #420, Virginia Beach, VA 23454, United States

17. Atlantic Fun Park

Atlantic Fun Park

Atlantic Fun Park

The Atlantic Fun Park is one of the top family-friendly attractions in Virginia Beach, so it should be on your list of what to do if you have kids.

It is an old-school type of amusement park with classic rides for people of all ages with the charming tradition that you won’t find at a Six Flags joint.

What it lacks in modernity, it makes up for in pure heart and a lot of excitement – a good reminder that things don’t have to be super technologically advanced to be a whole lot of a blast!

There are 16 rides, lots of Midway Games, and plenty of delicious foods at Atlantic Fun Park.

Rides to get the adrenaline pumping including the Skyflyer that soars to 100 feet in height, the Gravitron, Flying Bob’s, Sea Dragon, and more.

Classic, family-friendly rides are also included, like the Kiddy Elephants and the city’s largest Ferris Wheel, which offers stunning views of the beach.

Address: 233 15th St, Virginia Beach, VA 23451, United States

18. Nightmare Mansion Haunted House

Nightmare Mansion Haunted House

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If you love being spooked, one of the best ways to enjoy that in VA Beach is by heading to the Virginia Beach resort strip and going to the Nightmare Mansion Haunted House .

It is designed to be scary to grown-ups and, widely considered America’s most frightening haunted house, this is one of the key things to do in VA Beach for those who want to get the adrenaline pumping.

The Nightmare Mansion Haunted House opened more than three decades ago and is one of the East Coast’s oldest haunted houses.

You’ll roam the mansion’s halls and be plagued by Dr. Morgan and his family as they continue to inhabit the halls in death!

The establishment also offers a new escape room-type experience, and there’s a lovely souvenir shop waiting once you survive the ordeal!

Address: 2008 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451, United States

19. Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum

Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum

Bill Barber / flickr

The Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum is a small but fun museum that focuses on Atlantic Wildfowl, their migratory patterns, and their history as they pass through the state’s eastern side.

The museum sits within a legacy-packed building, the Witt Cottage, on the oceanfront of Virginia Beach.

With all sorts of displays, exhibits, and artwork showcased, the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum uses traditional decoys, life-filled carvings, and dioramas to better illustrate the subject of their discussion.

A modern computer provides interactive and immersive methods of education regarding local wildfowl, and there is even hunting memorabilia to see.

The museum has been open since 1995, and the cottage itself goes back a century further.

It’s no wonder, then, that the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum is on the National Register of Historic Places!

The museum was founded by the Back Bay Wildfowl Guild and, from its humble beginnings, it has grown into one of the city’s most loved attractions.

Address: 1113 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451, United States

20. King Neptune Statue

King Neptune Statue

eurobanks / Shutterstock

The King Neptune Statue is situated at the entrance area of the Virginia Beach Boardwalk and is something that is worth the title of one of the city’s tourist attractions in its own right.

Standing at 34 feet in height and fashioned from aesthetically pleasing bronze, it rises out of the Atlantic and stares down over Neptune Park.

The money used to construct the King Neptune Statue was raised at the Neptune Festival, an annual event that has been held since 1973 as one of America’s greatest festivals.

The statue is so large that you can see it from a distance and up-close, the strength in defined muscles, large imposing triton, and tight grip on a giant loggerhead turtle measuring 11 feet all make the statue even more jaw-dropping.

Behind the King, a pair of dolphins, 15 and 17 feet in length respectively, give him a dramatic backdrop.

Address: Boardwalk, Virginia Beach, VA 23451, United States

21. Harrison Opera House

Harrison Opera House

Harrison Opera House

The Harrison Opera House is one of the best historic spots in the city.

It was a World War II USO theater back in the day but received a full facelift in 1993.

It boasts 1,632 seats in total and is decorated with opulent chandeliers, grand tables perfect for sipping champagne, and grand staircases worthy of royalty.

The lobby of the Harrison Opera House is already stunning, boasting three stories and windows running from floor to ceiling.

The acoustics are incredible, and the balcony and mezzanine levels provide luxurious box seating.

Here, you can watch performances that make up some of the coolest, most awe-inspiring Virginia Beach attractions, like the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and the Virginia Opera.

Address: 160 W Virginia Beach Blvd, Norfolk, VA 23510, United States

22. The Bunny Hutch Boutique and CLIMATES Exotic Animal Rescue

The Bunny Hutch

The Bunny Hutch

The Bunny Hutch Boutique and CLIMATES Exotic Animal Rescue is a rather unique location, set up like a zoo with only the behind-the-scenes feature.

It provides tours of its interior, with a reptile room packed with snakes and lizards, a mammal room with ferrets and rats, and an outside portion that houses pigs and chickens.

The pride and joy of the Bunny Hutch Boutique and CLIMATES Exotic Animal Rescue are its rabbits, of course – and the most famous of them is Junior, whose full name is Lord Roland Watson Beldon Maxwell VIII.

The 25-pound fluffy rabbit is the establishment’s mascot and the only non-adoptable pet onsite.

He’s currently America’s biggest bunny, and to say hello to him alone, this is one of Virginia Beach’s fun places to visit.

Address: 1165 Jensen Dr, Virginia Beach, VA, United States

23. Adam Thoroughgood House

Adam Thoroughgood House

Puddin Tain / flickr

The Adam Thoroughgood House is a National Historic Landmark, and for good reason.

It’s one of Virginia Beach’s oldest remaining colonial homes, finished in 1719 by Adam Thorowgood’s great-grandson, Argall.

Adam Thorowgood, of course, was essential in the establishment of Princess Anne Country, which would grow into the city of Virginia Beach that it is now.

It’s only natural, then, that the house would be a top must-do in that very city.

The home was finished after Argall passed away by his wife, and their son would go on to add its most-loved features: a dramatic staircase, extensive paneling and wainscoting, and furnishings that reflect their son’s childhood years.

Though it faced some difficulties in staying up and well-kept, it was restored in 1957 and, despite being a small farmhouse, it’s surprisingly impressive!

The inside is packed with furniture from the 17th and 18th century and the gardens are nothing short of stunning.

Address: 1636 Parish Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23455, United States

24. The Bee and The Biscuit

The Bee & The Biscuit

The Bee & The Biscuit

The Bee and The Biscuit is a delightful little cottage restaurant that rests on Pungo’s main intersection in Virginia Beach.

The building dates back to 1919 and fits well with the charming aesthetic of farm country, serving up farm-fresh produce sourced locally from the surrounding farms, too.

The Bee and The Biscuit serves delicious sweets and tidbits as well as all-day breakfast and lunch.

Omelets, sandwiches, eggs benedict, biscuits, salads, seasonal specials, and more make up the simpler side of the menu.

More specific delights include breakfast burritos, buttermilk biscuits, and sausage gravy, bay lump crab meat eggs, mushroom melts, stuffed French toast with orange sauce and mascarpone, Carolina pulled pork biscuits, wraps, and more.

For drinks, you can enjoy creatively made lattes, custom-blended coffees, Mimosa Flights, and Bloody Marys galore.

Drink them outside on the shaded deck when it’s hot, or head indoors and sit by the fire when it’s cooler!

Since 2016, a trip to The Bee and the Biscuit has been one of the things to do in Virginia Beach for foodies seeking good meals!

Address: 1785 Princess Anne Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23456, United States

25. Little Island Park

Little Island Park

Little Island Park

Little Island Park is a beautiful beach park that stretches out over 112 acres of land in Sandbridge, near Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

Its fishing beach boasts a 400-acre pier and a 775-foot beach stretch, and an additional 2,000 feet of beach span out on the pier’s south side.

The beach is gorgeous and clean and the water is great for swimming, canoeing, and kayaking.

Lots of facilities are provided in Little Island Park for all sorts of activities.

You can make use of the volleyball, tennis, pickleball, and basketball courts to play sports.

There are picnic shelters complete with grills, playgrounds for the little ones, vending machines and seasonal snack stands for a quick bite, and even beach wheelchairs available for use.

If you’re looking to have a good mix of fun and relaxation in Virginia Beach, Little Island Park must be on your list of places to go!

Address: 3820 S Sandpiper Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23456, United States

26. Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel

Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel

Main Focus Media / Shutterstock

If you like to drive, one of the best ways to do that in Virginia Beach is using the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel .

It is one of the world’s only eleven bridge-tunnels and spans 17,2 miles, connecting the Eastern shore to the mainland of Virginia so people could cross the Chesapeake Bay with ease.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel was finished in 1964 in order to replace the need for ferries for passengers and cargo.

There are lots of cool stops along the bridge-tunnel, too, allowing you to get a fantastic VA Beach experience before you even get to the beach itself.

Address: Virginia, United States

27. Lake Lawson and Lake Smith Natural Area

Lake Lawson and Lake Smith Natural Area

Termed as one of the best places to visit in Virginia , the Lake Lawson and Lake Smith Natural Area is one of the most stunning natural destinations in Virginia Beach.

It rests in the Bayside Borough, covering 42 acres and 12,000 feet of shoreline.

There is a range of diverse habitats scattered about the expanse, and it’s a great place for many different activities.

Lots of people come to the Lake Lawson and Lake Smith Natural Area to fish, but there are also plenty of water-based options for ways to spend your time.

You can go paddleboarding, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, boating, and more.

There are also lots of useful amenities, such as a new boat ramp, proper parking for boat trailers and cars alike, shoreline stabilization to fight erosion, platforms for fishing, a bridge for north-south connections, a picnic shelter, and a playground.

Keep an eye out for cool native vegetation, too!

Address: Virginia Beach, VA 23455, United States

28. Virginia Beach Rock Gym

Virginia Beach Rock Gym

Virginia Beach Rock Gym

Virginia Beach Rock Gym is an exciting way to work out, especially if you love climbing!

Run by a family, it is VA Beach’s only indoor rock gym and opened its doors in 1994.

It is welcoming to people of all skill levels, with professional instructors on-site for the young ones and the beginners.

The skills you’ll learn will even prepare you for real-life outdoor rock climbing!

All the necessary equipment is provided for you, too.

The main wall of the rock gym rises 32 feet into the air and is textured with impressive realism.

Bulges, slabs, roofs, corners, and aretes making it a versatile and varied experience with many climbing surfaces.

Safety is ensured with tabbed routes, bolted walls, and auto-belays, with regular route changes for additional variety.

Address: 5049 Southern Blvd, Virginia Beach, VA 23462, United States

29. Baker’s Crust

Baker's Crust

Baker’s Crust

Baker’s Crust is a lovely chain of restaurants in Virginia, and there’s one in Hilltop North Shopping Center in Virginia Beach.

It is one of the best full-service restaurants you can visit while in the area, providing for all three meals made with scratch-made entrees that show off their European-style artisan bread, baked in an authentic hearth.

If you need some good places to eat, trying Baker’s Crust should be on your list of stuff to do.

Baker’s Crust opened in October 1993 with a storefront measuring 3,000 square feet, and this branch was actually its very first.

At first, it was a self-service location with 36 seats, but it has since grown into the fantastic full-service joint that it is now.

They source ingredients from regional farms, ensuring pesticide-free organic greens, among other fresh produce.

Burgers on house-made brioche buns, Neapolitan style pizzas with traditional flavors, and from-scratch desserts are some of the most delightful offerings.

Address: 1628 Laskin Rd UNIT 704, Virginia Beach, VA 23451, United States

30. Surf & Adventure Co

Surf and Adventure Company

Surf and Adventure Company

Surf & Adventure Co opened its doors in 1974 and has been spreading its love for the great outdoors across America ever since.

If you’re looking for where to go to get a great Virginia Beach ocean experience, the company’s local branch is an incredible way to gain knowledge and experience of the outdoors in an exciting way, led by experienced guides and well-designed gear.

Surf & Adventure Co focuses on Sandbridge, a five-mile stretch of land that separates the Back Bay from the Atlantic.

It is here that many incredible and exciting adventures take place.

You’ll get to explore with expert instructors that clue you into important information about the maritime environment and underwater atmosphere.

While you have an experience at Surf & Adventure Co, you’ll get to spot marine fauna like amphibians and reptiles, as well as birds such as bald eagles, ospreys, pelicans, and kingfishers.

You may even spot dolphins or turtles as you take your splash!

From paddleboarding to surfing and from biking to kayaking, there’s a lot that Surf & Adventure Co offers, and it’s all worth trying out!

Address: 577 Sandbridge Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23456, United States

31. Go Whale Watching

Whale Watching

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One of the Virginia Beach attractions that everyone rushes to the shoreline to see isn’t a specific tourist spot.

Instead, it’s a wider activity: whale watching!

Thousands of visitors come to Virginia Beach to see the whales as they pass by from winter to the middle of March.

Out on the Atlantic Ocean, a boat tour will give you the opportunity to spot humpback whales as they rush past, as well as any dolphins who happen to be swimming by.

There are lots of different charters available to bring you to the places with the biggest potential for catching a glimpse of these large and majestic creatures.

32. The Bagel Baker

The Bagel Baker

The Bagel Baker

The Bagel Baker is one of the best places to visit for a lovely fresh-baked bagel – whether for breakfast or any time of day – and a good coffee while in Virginia Beach.

It can be found in the Great Neck area, where it opened in 2011.

The Bagel Baker is a family-owned and family-run business that serves authentic New York-style bagels made with preservative-free dough, baked fresh each morning.

The business places a lot of importance on tradition, so all bagels are kettle-boiled and then stone-baked.

So, what should you eat while at The Bagel Baker?

Their fresh bagels, topped with options like hummus, cream cheese, jelly, butter, and more, make for obvious choices.

There are also soups, deli salads, breakfast sandwiches, breakfast rolls, and other snacks and meals.

Address: 1340 N Great Neck Rd #1248, Virginia Beach, VA 23454, United States

33. Norfolk Botanical Garden

Norfolk Botanical Garden

Anne Katherine Jones / Shutterstock

The Norfolk Botanical Garden is Norfolk ‘s biggest botanical garden – and, by extension, that means it’s Virginia Beach’s, too, though it is about half a day away.

It spans 158 acres and regularly puts on all sorts of events, sometimes even daily.

Situated in Hampton Roads, it’s a must-see for nature-lovers and anyone who appreciates a little serene beauty.

The Norfolk Botanical Garden began with horticulturalist Frederic Huette and city manager Thomas P. Thompson, who received a grant for the land in 1938.

At the time, the land spanned 75 acres, with an additional 75 acres of the reservoir area.

Within just a year, shrubs and trees filled the lovely garden, and it opened up to the public, wowing visitors from far and near.

In 1958, the Norfolk Botanical Garden earned its current name as its ownership was given to the Old Dominion Horticultural Society.

Today, it has the honor of being on the National Register of Historic Places and boasts a wide variety of different gardens, like a Japanese garden, a desert plants garden, and a rose garden.

Address: 6700 Azalea Garden Rd, Norfolk, VA 23518, United States

34. ViBe Creative District

ViBe Creative District

TYL Photography / Shutterstock

If you’re looking for free things to do in Virginia Beach related to arts and creativity, check out the fun and vibrant ViBe Creative District .

Its clever play on words with “ViBe” for Virginia Beach greets you on your way into this area, and you’ll soon be walking among colorful murals, trendy eateries and coffee shops, classy art galleries, quirk shops, lovely boutique stores, and more.

The streets at ViBe Creative District are always lively, with local artists showcasing wares in stands and people from all walks of life feasting their eyes on the beauty.

Events and activities held all year round add to the variety and novelty of the experience; there’s an Art of Humanity event in April, a Mural Festival in August, and all sorts of other discussions, exhibitions, and live entertainment too!

Address: 611 18th St, Virginia Beach, VA 23451, United States

35. Terrapin Restaurant

Terrapin Restaurant

Terrapin Restaurant

Terrapin Restaurant is a short walk away from the Virginia Beach boardwalk and is packed with award-winning cuisine of a contemporary American variety.

Everything is made from organic farm-fresh ingredients or freshly-caught components, and the menu is prepared seasonally.

The restaurant has been operating since 2006 with the goal of serving high-quality food without the use of harmful ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils.

Terrapin Restaurant’s chief in the kitchen is Chef Rodney Einhorn, who serves up a delicious farm-to-table fare in an ever-changing, ever-evolving menu featuring sea scallops, truffle mac-and-cheese, and rib-eye steak.

Boutique wines, unique cocktails, and craft beers are available to have along with your meal, too.

With space for about 50 people, it’s one of the places to go for intimate dining with a stylish terrace, a lovely wooden floor, mood-setting lanterns, and an open kitchen.

Address: 3102 Holly Rd #514, Virginia Beach, VA 23451, United States

36. Grommet Island Park

Grommet Island Park

Known by locals as one of the most beautiful places in America , the Grommet Island Park spans 15,000 square feet and is one of Virginia Beach’s best family-friendly attractions – especially given its ADA accessibility!

It is a lovely green space with a beautiful beach, lovely sculptures, options for water activities, scenic palm trees, and much more.

At Grommet Island Park, VA Beach, features are as inclusive as possible.

Sand tables are raised for easy sandcastle building, surfacing is poured-in-place for a navigable playground, and a sensory board provides options for children who want or need it.

There is a sway boat, sculptural features like waves, dolphins, and surfboards, and decking made from wood polymer that stretches from the playground to seating areas.

The seating areas are fitted with umbrellas and are easily accessible, too!

Address: Boardwalk &, 2nd St, Virginia Beach, VA 23451, United States

37. Edgar Cayce A.R.E. Library

Edgar Cayce A.R.E. Library

Edgar Cayce A.R.E. Library

The Edgar Cayce A.R.E. Library is an interesting collection of metaphysical research centered on one interesting man.

In the early 20th century, Edgar Cayce was a relatively renowned claimant of healing and psychic abilities, and he was one of the biggest influences that brought concepts of paranormal activity, extra-sensory perception, and spiritual holistic healing to the public eye.

Cayce had an estate in Virginia Beach, and it is here that he founded the Association for Research and Enlightenment, or the A.R.E., in 1931, with the goal of exploring the metaphysical in a scientific way.

The association structure included a hospital, which Cayce used for his patients, implementing his knowledge of nutrition, spiritual guidance, acupressure, and massages to help nurse them.

Throughout his lifetime, Cayce kept very close and accurate records of the visions that he had.

One of these visions was the famous statement that the ruins of Atlantis would be found in the Bahamas, off the Bimini coast, in 1968.

For decades, divers searched the area far and wide – and then in 1968, they found a series of limestone blocks submerged beneath the water, spanning six to eight feet in height.

However, Cayce also made several incorrect predictions – such as the conversion of China to Christianity, the dating of the Great Pyramids, and even Lindbergh kidnapping details.

Today, the Edgar Cayce A.R.E. Library is one of the region’s cool things to do.

Here, every single reading Cayce ever made – 14,306 of them! – are contained, as well as an ESP testing machine, some original manuscripts, and well-cataloged transcripts available for public viewing.

If you’re there at the right time, you can go on a guided tour or watch a fun ESP demonstration – if not, explore on your own!

Need more options for what to do?

Check out the A.R.E. Visitor Center, commissioned by Cayce’s son, or visit the adjacent labyrinth, meditation garden, and meditation chamber.

Address: 215 67th St, Virginia Beach, VA 23451, United States

38. Tarnished Truth Distilling Company

Tarnished Truth Distilling Company

Tarnished Truth Distilling Company

Tarnished Truth Distilling Company was created in 2013 by natives of Virginia Beach, Josh Canada, and Andrew Yancey, with the partnership of state local Bruce Thompson.

It is an incredibly unique and fun location, situated inside the renowned Cavalier Hotel – which, in itself, should be on your list of what to see in the area.

This means that the distillery is the only one in America to be housed inside a hotel.

Tarnished Truth Distilling Company’s master distiller bears over four decades of knowledge and experience, and he crafts everything from straight bourbon whiskey to Rye Bourbon with the use of state-of-the-art handmade equipment.

This equipment includes an impressive hybrid pot still system with a 500-gallon size and a 20-inch vodka column.

After you’re done doing a little tasting at Tarnished Truth Distilling Company, you can head to the gift shop.

Here, you’ll find all sorts of goods, like merchandise related to the company, barware, and even bourbon candles and bourbon maple syrup.

Address: 4200 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451, United States

39. Hell’s Point Golf Club

Hell's Point Golf Club

Hell’s Point Golf Club

Hell’s Point Golf Club is one of the key things to do in VA Beach for avid golfers.

It opened its doors in 1982 and has since been named among America’s greatest 100 courses.

It is situated within the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and was made by Rees Jones, a famous architect.

Jones used the natural environment of the plot of land in order to craft a gorgeous course.

Saltwater marches edge along the fairways, a sculptured bunker promotes Jones’ signature style, and a close proximity to the ocean provides a glorious sparkling backdrop to this weekend’s golf excursion.

Though there are many golf courses in Virginia Beach, if you’re pressed for time and can only choose one, Hell’s Point Golf Club is a surefire way to have fun.

It is relatively affordable and even boasts lower rates during off-seasons.

It’s charming, peaceful, and a great way to get a little exercise away from the livelier surrounding region.

Address: 2700 Atwoodtown Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23456, United States

40. Mount Trashmore

Mount Trashmore

Mount Trashmore is rather unusual among Virginia Beach’s tourist attractions.

It is kid-friendly, it’s often used as a skate park, and it sprawls at 165 acres, boasting two mountains, two lakes, and many different trails to walk along.

So how did it earn its rather unflattering name?

Well… let’s just say that its title is no exaggeration!

Mount Trashmore’s parkland was created using clean soil to compact layers upon layers of refuse.

It doesn’t smell bad and it certainly looks like the perfect picture of relaxation for things to do in Virginia Beach – but that hides a bit of a secret.

A thick rubber layer covers the surface just beneath the surface to prevent water from entering the track beneath, flag poles are designed to double as vents so methane gas can be released safely, and if you were to go digging, you’d find piles of gross!

Address: 310 Edwin Dr, Virginia Beach, VA 23462, United States

41. Spirit Of Norfolk Cruise

Spirit Of Norfolk Cruise

Spirit Of Norfolk Cruise

The Spirit Of Norfolk Cruise is a calming, beautiful, and romantic dinner cruise that you can go on with your special someone, your family, your friends, or even just to treat yourself!

As the waterfront and sea are Virginia Beach attractions in themselves, this cruise gives you the greatest of many worlds all at once.

Onboard the Spirit Of Norfolk Cruise, you and other diners will receive a full dinner buffet with tea and coffee, a launch party before you set off from the dock, onboard entertainment, games, dancing, and the lovely backdrop of the sea.

Alcohol can be purchased at the bar and you’ll enjoy all of this in the gorgeous Virginia Beach sunset, watching ships go by on Elizabeth River!

Want to experience more thrill outside Virginia Beach? Why not take a trip to Richmond and Williamsburg? If you do plan the trip, here are some top things to do in Richmond, VA , and some of the best things to do in Williamsburg, VA ! 

42. Hunt Club Farm

Hunt Club Farm

Hunt Club Farm

Hunt Club Farm is one of Virginia Beach’s most fun options for places to visit for families with children.

It is a beautiful location that has had a significant role in the agricultural history of Virginia: a community-based business owned and operated by a family, with a concentration on providing education and fascination to visitors from all walks of life and of all ages.

It spans 35 acres of land.

At Hunt Club Farm, livestock such as goats, chickens, alpacas, llamas, geese, pigs, peacocks, and more are raised, and you can see them up close and personal.

A wealth of different activities are also available, such as a BirdWalk Aviary, a Petting farm, pony rides, a TreeWalk Adventure, and more.

Seasonal events also occur regularly, such as Easter’s Egg Hunt and carnival or the Halloween Haunted Hunt Club Farm!

Address: 2388 London Bridge Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23456, United States

Start Planning Your Trip To Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach and all its places to visit make for a medley of sand, surf, nature, food, art, history, culture, and enjoyment.

There are parks to relax in, beaches to lounge on, piers to fish from, and water to dive into for a good swim.

And, of course, places like museums offer a unique and close look into the city’s past, galleries celebrate its culture, and special locations like aquariums and theme parks ensure that people of all ages can enjoy their time here.

Regardless of whether you’re the outdoorsy type, a foodie, a history buff, an aircraft aficionado, a whale enthusiast, or all of the above, you’re sure to find something you’ll love in this vibrant, lively, and sunshine-filled city.

This list should help you decide which things to do in Virginia Beach are first on your list!

Happy travels.

The Crazy Tourist

Home » Travel Guides » 25 Best Things to Do in Virginia Beach (VA)

25 Best Things to Do in Virginia Beach (VA)

With a name like Virginia Beach you already know what to expect from the city and it does not fail to deliver. With over 35 miles worth of sandy Atlantic beaches, the Oceanfront promenade and plenty of outdoor activities Virginia Beach is one of the United State’s prime tourist destinations. Although once known as the Redneck Riviera, Virginia Beach has worked hard to shrug off its past reputation and is now cleaner and more environmentally conscious than ever before.

Apart from the beaches there are also plenty of nice parks and other tourist attractions worth seeing as well as a few standout museums and historical sights. Here is our list of the 25 Best Things to do in Virginia Beach .

1. See some fish

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center holds 800,000 gallons of water and over 300 species. The animals you will see on a trip here include seals, loggerhead turtles and the North American otter.

Themed exhibits include the Mediterranean sea, an Indoneasen Volcanic island and the red sea.

There was also an impressive aviary exhibit at the aquarium but this is currently closed due to storm damage caused in February 2015. The aquarium is located on General Booth Boulevard.

  • 2.  Catch some fish

Virginia Beach Fishing Pier

In a city with the word “beach” in its name, it would be odd not to spend some time by the sea. Virginia Beach’s oceanfront offers golden sand and a fishing pier as well as all the ice cream shops and restaurants you would expect to find.

If you have the energy, why not walk the entire length of the 3 mile long boardwalk? Although, the oceanfront may have had a rowdy reputation in the past it has now cleaned up its act and is a great place to chill out on a sunny day.

3. Hike some trails at the First Landing State Park

First Landing State Park

The First Landing State Park has 20 miles of hiking trails weaving their way through 3,888 acres of Virginia woodland. The park is a great place for outdoor pursuits such as cycling, camping, fishing, canoeing and, of course, hiking.

The park gets its name from the fact that the park occupies the spot where English settlers first landed in the year 1607.

Throughout history, everything from the canoes of Native Americans to modern cargo ships have traversed the waterways found here.

4. Visit a lighthouse

Old and New Cape Henry Lighthouse

The iconic Old Cape Henry Lighthouse was the first ever federally funded lighthouse. The lighthouse is situated close to the first landing spot where English settlers arrived in 1607 and was originally designed by the New York architect John McComb.

The lighthouse was in use for about 100 years before being replaced by a cast iron lighthouse built nearby.

The Old Cape Henry Lighthouse is the oldest surviving lighthouse in the United States and well worth a visit.

5. Spend some time at a landfill

Mount Trashmore

Mount Trashmore is a former landfill site that has been transformed into a 165 acre park. The park includes two man made mountains, kids playgrounds, a skate park and half pipe and many trails for cycling or walking.

The man made mountains were built from layers of solid trash, compacted and covered in clean soil.

The park is well known for its environmental achievements and is also seen as a great place for a family day out. Fishing on the two lakes in the park is allowed but only from the shore and only with a license.

6. Visit a dismal swamp

Great Dismal Swamp

The Great Dismal Swamp is situated about 30 miles southwest of the city of Virginia Beach. The park covers an expansive area of around 115,000 acres and shares some of its border with North Carolina.

The park is renowned for its wildlife and flora. Guests to the park may even see black bears or a bobcat.

The park is also known for its varied and impressive birdlife with up to 200 species calling the area home. The terrain that you see at the park today is thought to be just a small remnant of what made up 1,000,000 acres in the area in the past.

7. Take flight at the Military Aviation Museum

Military Aviation Museum

The Military Aviation Museum, located just off Princess Anne Road, is home to one of the largest private collections of military aircraft in the world.

Most of the aircraft at the museum are kept in tip top flying condition, so you get to see them as they were during active combat in the First and Second World War.

The museum is open year round (except for Christmas and Thanksgiving) and plays host to a number of air shows throughout the year.

8. Visit the Old Coast Guard Station

Old Coast Guard Station

Located on Atlantic Avenue, the Old Coast Guard Station pays homage to the coast guards and other maritime heritage of the city, past and present.

The exhibits explore the Virginia Beach and Oceanfront community and the city’s relationship with the Atlantic Ocean.

Current exhibits include paintings of the station and other artistic depictions of the landmark as well as a look at the history of Virginia Beach girl scouts.

9. Admire a colonial home

Thoroughgood House

The quaint brick Thoroughgood House in the Thoroughgood neighborhood of Virginia Beach is a National Historic Landmark. It was built in the early 18th Century.

The house’s builder Argall Thorowgood died during construction of the building but his wife took over and completed the work soonafter.

The house tells the story of the life of one of Virginia Beach’s first colonists.

10. Look for Loggerhead Turtles

False Cape State Park

The False Cape State Park lies on the barrier spit between Currituck Sound and the Atlantic Ocean and remains as one of the last undeveloped areas along the Atlantic Coast of the United States.

False Cape is a popular place for kayaking, hiking, cycling and fishing along with many other outdoor activities. For animal lovers, the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge offers a chance to see rare birds such as the American Black Duck and the Tundra Swan.

If you are really lucky (and visit during summer) you may even see nesting Loggerhead Turtles.

11. Visit the Ferry Plantation House

Ferry Plantation House

Ferry Plantation House is a Federal style brick house on Cheswick Lane, Virginia Beach. The house was formerly a tobacco plantation that used slave labor and the house pays its respects to these slaves with its current exhibits.

The house also got its name from the ferry service that ran the nearby waterway crossing.

The route of the ferry was marked with 11 cannons that sounded as the ferry passed but only three of these cannons have been located.

12. Time travel

Lynnhaven House

Lynnhaven House on Wishart Road, Virginia Beach, is a great example of what life was like for residents in the are in the early 18th Century.

The house dates back to 1725 and is furnished as it would have been back then, allowing visitors to really get a feel for life back then.

Guides of the home include explanations of what each family member was responsible for in the household as well as learning about life in Tidewater many years ago.

13. Get active

Hockey

Slap bang in the middle of Virginia Beach you will find the Virginia Beach Sportsplex.

The Sportsplex has football fields, tennis courts, track and field facilities as well as the renowned US Field Hockey Regional Training Center. The Sportsplex Stadium has a 6,000 seat capacity.

Throughout the year Virginia Beach Sportsplex plays host to a number of entertaining events including the Dirty Girl mud run and the Color Me Rad fun run.

14. See a Norwegian Lady

Norwegian Lady Statue

Standing and staring out into the Atlantic Ocean from Virginia Beach is how you will find the Norwegian Lady statue.

The twin sisters (one is found on the beach in Moss with her sister standing on a beach in Norway) are a touching tribute dedicated to the memory of the shipwreck that occurred in 1891.

The Dictator vessel (registered in Virginia Beach) was heading to England with a cargo of lumber when a fierce storm sunk the ship.

15. Go Surfing

Croatan Beach

Croatan Beach is a stretch of well cared for beach just under a mile in length. The Croatan Beach community takes great pride in the beach and it is maintained to a high standard.

As well as being tidy, the beach has two dedicated surfing areas and has been a favorite spot with local surfers for many years now. The beach is also popular for swimming and has lifeguards stationed throughout the year.

Due to the popularity of the beach, it now has its own large car park which can accommodate over 500 cars.

16. Visit Harrison Opera House

Orchestra

Just a short ride from Virginia Beach in Norfolk is the Harrison Opera House. The Opera House is the official home of Virginia Opera. The venue is a great place to experience opera in a grand and elegant building.

The opera house has over 1,600 seats, stunning chandeliers and swirling staircases, all of which make it a luxury place to be.

Throughout the 2016 season, the main event was The Flying Dutchman starring Richard Wagner in a tale of a supernatural haunting on the coast of Norway.

17. Visit the fun fair

Atlantic Fun Park

The Atlantic Fun Park is a old school amusement park and the arguably the best family attraction in the city. Classic rides include a Ferris wheel, the Crazy Surf thrill ride and the Sea Dragon.

The park has something for all ages and, although the rides are not as modern as those that you will find at Six Flags parks, it is still a great day, or evening, out.

18. Scare yourself silly

Nightmare Mansion Haunted House

The Nightmare Mansion Haunted House, located on the resort strip in Virginia Beach, is one of the scariest haunted house attractions in the country.

This is not a ghost train for children but a nightmare of an experience designed specifically for adults. Take a walk through the narrow hallways of the mansion which were once home to Dr Morgan and his family.

The family loved the house so much that they never left: even after their early deaths.

19. Learn about Wildfowling

Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum

The Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum is housed in a historic De Witt cottage right on the Oceanfront in Virginia Beach.

The museum is dedicated to educating visitors on the range of decoys used for wildfowling in the area.

For those that don’t already know, Wildfowling is the name given to hunting duck and geese mainly on tidal estuaries and coastal marshes.

20. Go Ghost Crabbing

Ghost Crab

Ghost Crabbing is a popular activity for visitors to Virginia Beach and is a great excuse for night time frivolities at the beach.

A great activity for all ages, ghost crabbing involves fishing at night because ghost crabs do not come out during the day.

The best time to go ghost crabbing is during the summer months and the only bit of specialist kit you will need is an inexpensive Illuminet (a glow in the dark net).

21. See King Neptune

King Neptune

The newest attraction on the Boardwalk, and worthy of its own place on this list, is the King Neptune statue. The statue is 34 foot tall and made from bronze.

The statue rises from the depths of the Atlantic to overlook Neptune Park and nearby Atlantic Avenue and 31st Street. Funds for the statue were raised by the organizers of the annual Neptune Festival which takes place in the city.

The designer of the statue went all the way to China (with the statue) to have it cast in bronze.

22. Build a sandcastle

Virginia Beach Sandcastle Competition

The Virginia Beach Sandcastle Competition has been an iconic event in the city since it began. The popularity of the event has grown in size so much that it now attracts competitors from all over the region.

The competition takes place within a tent that is almost the size of a football field.

More than 20 sculptures show off their skills at the art of sandcastle making and compete for the biggest prize for a competition of this kind in the entire United States.

23. Go Parasailing

Parasailing

A trip to the beach would not be complete without some watersports being involved.

Parasailing along the Oceanfront allows you to combine the thrill of a speedboat ride with the excitement of parachuting and gliding: you can even manage to stay dry if you want to!

The experience is reasonably priced and takes place regularly throughout the summer months.

24. See some art

Art Gallery

The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art is without a doubt the city’s leading venue for contemporary art.

The regularly changing exhibits here include art across a whole range of mediums such as sculpture, paintings and photography. The museum features artists known locally and nationwide.

There are also a number of events housed here throughout the year including popular outdoor shows and art classes.

25 Best Things to Do in Virginia Beach (VA):

  • See some fish
  • Hike some trails at the First Landing State Park
  • Visit a lighthouse
  • Spend some time at a landfill
  • Visit a dismal swamp
  • Take flight at the Military Aviation Museum
  • Visit the Old Coast Guard Station
  • Admire a colonial home
  • Look for Loggerhead Turtles
  • Visit the Ferry Plantation House
  • Time travel
  • See a Norwegian Lady
  • Visit Harrison Opera House
  • Visit the fun fair
  • Scare yourself silly
  • Learn about Wildfowling
  • Go Ghost Crabbing
  • See King Neptune
  • Build a sandcastle
  • Go Parasailing
  • See some art

Virginia Travel Tips

  • Northern Virginia
  • Central Virginia
  • Southern Virginia
  • Tidewater & Chesapeake Bay
  • Shenandoah Valley and Southwest Virginia
  • North Carolina
  • Washington DC
  • West Virginia
  • Hiking & Outdoors
  • Itineraries & Road Trips
  • Things to do
  • Day & Weekend Trips
  • What to Pack
  • Where to Stay

Tidewater & Chesapeake Bay , Things to do

40 incredible things to do in virginia beach (+ insider tips).

Growing up in Richmond, I always flocked toward the coast because there were so many cool things to do in Virginia Beach and the Tidewater area.

If you’re traveling to VA Beach last minute, be sure to book lodging and tours ahead of time! Below are some of our top picks!

🛌   Best hotels in VA Beach (including oceanfront options!):

  • The Cavalier by Autograph Collection (VB’s most famous hotel – my top pick!)
  • Hilton Garden Inn VA Beach Oceanfront (4-star w/ pool and restaurant)
  • Hampton Inn VA Beach Oceanfront North (3-star hotel w/ ocean views)
  • Comfort Inn & Suites VA Beach Oceanfront (3-star on boardwalk)

🇺🇸   Top Tours in Virginia Beach:

  • Kayaking tour with dolphins (small group – top-rated!)
  • Wetland Zip Tour (ziplining over the wetlands – great for kids)
  • Ghosts of the Coast (VA Beach ghost tour!)

🚗  Looking for the best way to get around VA? Click here to check rental car rates for Virginia!

This guide showcases some of my favorite Virginia Beach attractions , activities, and places to eat. Some are lesser-known and some are touristy.

Best things to do in Virginia Beach

Not everything on this list is in Virginia Beach – many visitors come down to the beach and never leave… but others want to explore! 

There are many cool parks and getaways in the local area that you can explore and we put some of them in this guide! The getaways are perfect if you have more than just a weekend in Virginia Beach !

If you’re looking for what to do in Virginia Beach , we hope that this guide helps you plan that trip!  Let us know what you think are the best things to do in Virginia Beach in the comments!

Best Things to do in Virginia Beach, VA

Explore history at first landing state park.

First Landing State Park is one of the most important historical locations in the United States. In 1607, English colonists landed at this site for the very first time.

Aside from its history, First Landing State Park is the most visited park in Virginia and has more than 20 miles of some of the best hiking trails in Virginia Beach. It is also home to a Chesapeake Bay beach where you’ll find 1.5 miles of sandy shoreline, lagoons, bald cypress swamps, and many other wonderful natural spots worth visiting.

First Landing Rainbow sheen

In addition, it’s a perfect family and friends destination where you can rent a cabin or have a picnic in the forest and enjoy many other relaxing activities. There are also many fantastic places to camp in First Landing State Park if you’re traveling on a budget.

Address: 2500 Shore Dr, Virginia Beach, VA 23451

Insider Tip:  First Landing State Park is home to some famous rainbow sheen as seen in the photo. It is not present every year, but if it decides to show, it usually happens in mid-February.

Go Hiking in Virginia Beach

People tend to associate hiking with mountainous destinations but there are several hikes in Virginia Beach and the surrounding area that are great for all skill levels and are worthy of doing!

While many of the best hikes are in First Landing State Park, you will find several spread across other city parks, state parks, and wildlife refuges. You can check out our guide to the best hikes in Virginia Beach for more.

Check Out the Old Cape Henry Lighthouse

Old Cape Henry Lighthouse is located near the southern entrance to the Chesapeake Bay on Smith Island. It was built in 1792 and was the first lighthouse built with U.S. government authorization and funding.

The impressive and very photogenic Old Cape Henry Lighthouse is located approximately 12 min (5.6 miles) from Virginia Beach and attracts thousands of visitors annually. It is one of the most famous lighthouses in Virginia .

Old and New Cape Henry Lighthouses in VA

The structure is 55 feet tall and used to be an important lighthouse for ocean-faring vessels. Nowadays, it’s a tourist sight that you can’t miss out on during your visit to Virginia Beach.

Address: 583 Atlantic Ave, Fort Story, VA 23459

Insider Tip: There is also the new Cape Henry Lighthouse that sits beside the old. It is worth checking out, as well (and is rather pretty, in my opinion).

Go Jet Skiing in Virginia Beach

Jet Skiing is one of the most popular things to do in Virginia Beach and it is actually one of my favorite things to do when there!

You can rent a Yamaha or Waverunner jet ski with multiple seats that will show you how to jump across waves with the help of instructors from local companies . If you’re experienced, of course, you can rent your own and cruise along.

Insider Tip:  If you are renting from the Bay, be aware of the jellyfish. They are so prevalent and it will probably be a bit frightening.  Do go slow until you get out into the open water.

Visit the Great Dismal Swamp

Located a bit out of Virginia Beach but only 50 min (44.8 miles) away in Suffolk, VA (near the North Carolina border) is one of my favorite places to visit in Virginia, the Great Dismal Swamp .

Travelers visiting Virginia Beach can take a short road trip to one of Virginia’s most hidden gems and can even join a tour in Suffolk to learn about the swamp’s history (which is extremely fascinating).

How to Visit the Great Dismal Swamp in Virginia (Tips + Facts)

Spanning an area of 112,000 acres, the Great Dismal Swamp was once a refuge for maroons. It also has one of Virginia’s two natural lakes inside of it called Lake Drummond.

The visitor will have a chance to see the amazing flora and fauna of the park take boat tours, drive in the lake drive area, and many other activities.

Insider Tip:  I saw a bear here!  You likely won’t (it was far away from my car) but keep an eye out. Also… bring bug spray.

Virginia Beach may not be on everyone’s surfing radar, but we definitely enjoy the sport, and the East Coast Surfing Championships are held there annually.

It’s one of the best things to do in Virginia Beach for adrenaline junkies and those that enjoy water sports. One of the most popular beaches in Virginia for surfing is Croatan Beach which is located in Virginia Beach.

Surfing in Virginia Beach

Even for beginners, local surf companies organize short classes to help newbies stand on a board and catch their first wave.

If you don’t have your own board, it is not a problem as the companies will provide you with the board, wetsuit/rashguard, and all the necessary equipment so that you can have the best time of your life!

Insider Tip: Also, don’t miss out on stopping into 17th Street Surf Shop and WRV to bring some clothing or memorabilia home. They are two very popular Virginia Beach surf shops.

Visit the Harrison Opera House

Get cultural and visit the Harrison Opera House which was built during the Second World War in 1943. It has a beautiful interior with sweeping staircases, glittering chandeliers, and an area where you can enjoy Champagne and other drinks.

Don’t miss out on an outstanding performance by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra if you are a lover of classical music.

Address: 160 W Virginia Beach Blvd, Norfolk, VA 23510

Get Scared at Nightmare Mansion Haunted House

If you are a fan of the horror genre and not scared to put yourself to the test, then you need to visit the famous Nightmare Mansion Haunted House in Virginia Beach.

The house opened over 30 years ago and is one of the oldest haunted houses on the East Coast (and definitely is the most popular one in Virginia).

Nightmare Mansion Virginia Beach

Nightmare Mansion Haunted House is one of the best haunted house attractions where you will experience moments of fright before heading back for a swim in the Atlantic. They even have a souvenir shop. This is one of the best things to do in Virginia Beach for kids.

Address: 2008 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451

Go Parasailing

Another fun and adventurous activity that you can do is to go parasailing in Virginia Beach.

This thrilling experience can be one of the highlights of your beach vacation because you will be flying with a parachute connected to a motorboat that glides you through the air, giving you a bird’s-eye view of the entire Virginia Beach boardwalk and vicinity!

If you are visiting with friends, there are several deals you can get when you book a parachuting trip. The local tour companies have professional staff and all of the necessary equipment to offer a thrilling trip!

Visit the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art

For art enthusiasts and especially lovers of contemporary art, Virginia Beach offers a great opportunity to check out the wonderful collection at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art .

Each year, over 1,500 artists’ work is put on display at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art. One of the most fascinating and well-known works on display is Dale Chihuly’s chandelier, a 16-foot glass artwork.

And if you are visiting Virginia Beach in October, you can see the Boardwalk Art Show that takes place on the VB Oceanfront. 

Address: 2200 Parks Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451

Visit the Lynnhaven House on Wishart Road

Go back in time while visiting the Lynnhaven House which was built in 1725 and has remained relatively unchanged. It is one of the best-preserved homes in the United States.

You can join a tour where you will be dressed as an 18th-century person and professional guides will show you how people lived during that era.

The interesting and impressive tour lasts 50 to 60 minutes. There is also a souvenir shop at the end of the tour.

Address: 4409 Wishart Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23455

Check out the Military Aviation Museum

Don’t miss out on a chance to see the world’s largest collections of war aircraft in Virginia Beach at the Military Aviation Museum . Many pieces are still in mint condition and are extremely impressive!

The fascinating museum of warbirds includes warplanes from different countries such as Italy, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and other countries that participated in World War One and World War Two.

Military Aviation Museum

The range of the impressive collection goes from the 1910s to the first part of the 1950s. This museum is a great place to visit with kids as they can learn a lot of history in a hands-on and interactive way.

Address: 1341 Princess Anne Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23457

Stroll Down the Virginia Beach Boardwalk

One of the most popular places and attractions in Virginia Beach is the famous VB Boardwalk.

There is always something happening on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk regardless of the season and there is always something to entertain visitors.

If you want to wake up every morning and see a gorgeous ocean view, also consider booking your hotel or renting a Virginia Beach timeshare along the Boardwalk.

The promenade is full of cozy cafes, restaurants, and hip coffee shops like Waterman’s Surfside Grill or Mahi Mah’s Seafood Restaurant and Sushi Saloon.

There are also many sculptures and monuments on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk that you can admire throughout your walk.

Insider Tip: Rent a bike and cruise along the entire boardwalk!  It is such a great place to ride a beach cruiser!

Play a Round at Hell’s Point Golf Club

For avid golfers, Virginia Beach has many great golf courses and one of the most popular is Hell’s Point Golf Club, rated one of the top 100 designed courses in the United States.

Constructed in 1982, the rates are pretty affordable and there are out-of-season rates and senior discounts. Click here to learn more.

This course is definitely a place to visit in Virginia Beach for golfers or those wanting a break from the madness of the beachfront and Atlantic Avenue.

Address: 2700 Atwoodtown Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23456

IFLY Indoor Skydiving

Yet another fun and full of adrenaline attraction to visit in Virginia Beach is the IFLY Indoor Skydiving Center.

If you are not afraid of heights and are a fan of skydiving and want to give the experience a go, the FLY Indoor Skydiving is worth visiting.

The professional instructor will equip you and show you how real skydiving feels with 4 powerful fans (1600 horsepower) keeping you suspended. This is a unique activity and something to do in Virginia Beach for the more adventurous soul.

Address: 2412 Pacific Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451

Drive Across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel

Experience one of the most scenic drives in Virginia Beach by driving across the 17.2-mile bridge-tunnel, one of only 11 bridge tunnels in the world!

Completed in 1964, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel  had a mission of replacing ferries that took cargo and passengers from the Virginia mainland to the Eastern Shore across the Chesapeake Bay.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel

There are several stops along the way and it truly is one of the coolest things to do in Virginia Beach and the Tidewater area.

Once you’re on the Eastern Shore, you can visit Cape Charles , one of my favorite places in Virginia. You can even rent one of the historic homes that serve as an Airbnb in Cape Charles and stay somewhere a bit quieter than Virginia Beach.

Insider Tip: If you make the journey same-day, it is MUCH cheaper!

Visit the Virginia Beach Rock Gym

Going on vacation doesn’t mean not keeping yourself in shape and if you like rock climbing or want to challenge your climbing skills, then visit Virginia Beach Rock Gym and train your grip!

Professional instructors will teach you how to start rock climbing if you are a beginner and they will prepare you for real rock climbing, in case you want to give it a go one day.

If you are familiar with rock climbing and are not a novice, then they will provide you with all the necessary equipment to climb on the climbing wall with varying levels of difficulty.

Address: 5049 Southern Blvd, Virginia Beach, VA 23462

Go Whale Watching In Virginia Beach

Thousands of tourists visit Virginia Beach to relax on the beach and chill in local hip cafes and restaurants, but not everyone has the chance to enjoy whale watching in Virginia Beach!

If you are dreaming of witnessing whales in their natural habitat and plan to visit Virginia Beach simply for that, then plan a trip to Virginia Beach in winter until mid-March, when whale watching season takes place.

You will experience a boat tour in the Atlantic Ocean and will have a chance to see dolphins quickly swimming by. And, of course, you’ll have a chance to witness huge humpback whales going about their daily routine while you admire them from afar.

Taking a whale watching tour is definitely something worth doing in Virginia Beach!

Insider Tip: Winter in Virginia Beach can be nightmarish on the sea – so do put on some sea bands if you’re prone to seasickness.

See King Neptune At Neptune’s Park

Stroll along the beautiful boardwalk to one of the most famous sculptures in Virginia Beach – the King Neptune statue next to Neptune’s Park.

Every year since 1973, the Neptune Festival takes place and it is one of the most iconic festivals in Virginia Beach.

King Neptune Statue

In fact, the Neptune Festival has been ranked as one of the top 100 festivals in the United States – all the more reason to go!

Indulge at Virginia Beach Restaurant Week

Each year, Virginia Beach transforms into a foodie’s paradise when many Virginia Beach restaurants and upcoming businesses participate in Virginia Beach Restaurant Week.

The restaurants in VB will create a few signature dishes and promote them at special prices for hungry customers.

The list of participating restaurants is extensive but some of the more well-known names are Hot Tuna Bar and Grille, Ice House Restaurant, Cobalt Grille, Swan Terrace Grill, Coastal Grille, and more.

Take the Spirit Of Norfolk Cruise

One of the best and most romantic things to do in Virginia Beach is to spend time with your significant other or family and friends on the Spirit of Norfolk Cruise.

There are various ships departing the harbor and the bigger ships can accommodate more than 450 people on board. Expect to be entertained with drinks, food, and more while sailing along.

This is definitely one of the most relaxing things to do in Virginia Beach if you’re looking to be on the sea!

You can book an exciting Virginia Beach cruise here .

Picnic at Mount Trashmore Park

Formerly just ‘Mount Trashmore’, this Virginia Beach park opened in 1974 and is actually a landfill repurposed as a park. It spans over 165 acres and has so much to offer all visitors! There are picnic shelters, playground areas, volleyball courts, restrooms, and much more!

Mount Trashmore in Virginia Beach

There are also several walking trails at Mount Trashmore Park .  Three of the most popular trails there are the Perimeter Trail (1.95 miles), the Lake Trail (1.45 miles), and the Mountain Trail (1.30 miles).

The park receives over a million visitors annually and is the most popular park in Virginia Beach since its opening.

Get Wet at Ocean Breeze Waterpark

Less than 2 miles from the oceanfront, you will find Ocean Breeze Waterpark , one of the most popular things to do in Virginia Beach for kids and families (and I love them even as an adult)!

With over 30 waterslides, this Virginia Beach Waterpark dates back to 1974 and remains open from Memorial Day until Labor Day and is an absolute blast.

Address: 849 General Booth Blvd in Virginia Beach.

Take a Kayak Nature Tour

Kayaking in Virginia Beach on a warm summer evening during the golden hour is one of the best experiences to enjoy when visiting the coastal city.

Virginia Beach has a wide range of places to kayak such as Knotts Island, Blackwater River, Dismal Swamp Northwest River, and more.

Kayaking is a great way to explore the natural spots in the area, connect with nature, watch the life of the flora and fauna, and also learn how to keep the balance on the water.

You can book yourself a Virginia Beach kayaking tour here .

Connect with Nature at False Cape State Park & Back Bay NWR

One of the most underrated state parks in Virginia is False Cape State Park in Virginia Beach.

This underdeveloped area along the Atlantic Ocean is a fantastic place for wildlife spotting, hiking and biking trails, and primitive camping. It has 6 miles of beaches and the park is only accessible by foot, bike, tram (from Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge), or boat.

Back bay at False Cape State Park in Virginia

There are many things to do in False Cape State Park and Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge for outdoor enthusiasts and the top thing to do is enjoy some of the hiking trails that connect the park to Back Bay.

There are the East and West Dike trails. They are flat and manageable for any skill level of a hiker.

The park is open daily from 8am until 7pm. The visitor center is open from 9am until 4pm.

Visit the Norfolk Botanical Garden

Virginia Beach is home to some really outstanding parks but one of my favorite places to visit in the area is actually in Norfolk! The Norfolk Botanical Garden is the largest botanical garden in Virginia .

Norfolk VA Botanical Garden

The land was turned into a botanical garden in the late 1930s and is even on the National Register of Historic Places.

You can find a rose garden, a desert plants garden, a Japanese garden, and much more! It really is one of the best things to do in Norfolk VA (and the perfect trip from VB).

Address: 6700 Azalea Garden Road in Norfolk.

Take a Ride on Captain Jack’s Pirate Ship

Jump aboard the Pirate Ship as it takes you on a sea adventure in search of lost treasure. Your friends and family will enjoy Captain Jack’s Pirate Ship cruise, also known as “Lost Pearl”.

The ship passes by the Virginia Beach oceanfront (if you’re sitting on the beach… trust me, you have seen this pass by several times) and is a popular attraction in Virginia Beach. 

If you board the ship, you will get to sail along the oceanfront, sip on cold drinks, and play pirate games on the ship.

While I don’t recommend this for adults necessarily, it is really one of the best kid’s activities in Virginia Beach and is always a great thing to do for families.

See the Norwegian Lady statue

If you’re visiting Virginia Beach, be sure to check out the Norwegian Lady Statue along the boardwalk. 

This statue commemorates the shipwreck from 1891 for the Norwegian ‘Dictator’ – it wrecked off the VA Beach coast and lives were lost, but due to valiant efforts of the United States Lifesaving Service (now the US Coast Guard), 8 of the 17 passengers ended up saved.

The other Norwegian Lady Statue sits in Moss, Norway.

Address: Virginia Beach, VA 23451

Stop into a Virginia Beach Coffee Shop

There are some insanely good coffee shops in Virginia Beach and we recommend spending your morning at one regardless of whether you’re there during the high season or low season.

As mentioned before, so many people fail to remember that Virginia Beach is not just a seasonal resort – it is actually Virginia’s most populated city! With that being said, you can find some amazing cafes there.

Bad Ass Coffee in Virginia Beach

Some of the most popular are Pourfavor (located on Lynnhaven Blvd), Bad Ass Coffee of Hawaii (Oceanfront Area Library), Roast Rider (Hilltop East Shopping Center), and Three Ships Coffee Roasters (19th Street).

Our guide linked above has the lowdown on all of our favorites, so be sure to check it out!

Stand-up Paddleboarding with Ebbing Tides

If you want to be on the water but get bored easily by just laying beside it and taking a dip every so often, try stand-up paddleboarding with Ebbing Tides .

This company offers rentals, day camps, and ACA-certified lessons in the Chesapeake Bay, Lynnhaven Inlet, and the river marshes around Virginia Beach. It is definitely a different way to soak up the sun and enjoy yourself!

Head over to their Facebook page to learn more!

Enjoy Atlantic Fun Park

If you are visiting Virginia Beach with the family, Atlantic Fun Park is a place that you have to visit because it offers a break from the ocean and the opportunity to enjoy small rides and games, and more.

Attractions like Sea Dragon, Gravitron 100-foot-tall Skyflyer, and Flying Bob’s will make your adrenaline rush to the max!

Also, you will have the opportunity to see Virginia Beach from above from Virginia Beach’s tallest Ferris wheel.

And, of course, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to eat a lot of sweets, chill in local cafes, and just have fun.

Address: 233 15th St, Virginia Beach, VA 23451

Stop into the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum at De Witt Cottage

If you’re looking for something truly unique to do in Virginia Beach, look no further than the Atlantic Heritage Waterfowl Museum at De Witt Cottage.

This museum has been in existence since 1995 in a historic cottage that dates back to 1895.

The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988 and today you will find a museum dedicated to bird decoys, bird art and sculptures, hunting memorabilia, and a history of Virginia Beach through photos.

Atlantic Heritage Waterfowl Museum

You can find the Atlantic Heritage Waterfowl Museum at 1106 Atlantic Avenue in Virginia Beach. Check out their website for more information.

Stop by JT’s Grommet Island Park

Another family-friendly attraction in Virginia Beach is JT’s Grommet Island Park , an ADA-accessible and cozy green space in the city. 

The 15,000 square-foot beach park is surrounded by a beautiful beach, palm trees, sculptures, watersport activities, and more.

Address: Boardwalk &, 2nd St, Virginia Beach, VA 23451

Visit the Coastal Virginia Magazine WineFest

Wine lovers will have a unique opportunity during their vacation to visit the Annual AT&T Town Point Virginia Wine Festival which takes place during the fall and is one of the most anticipated festivals in Virginia.

During this massive wine festival, you can try a wide range of wines – there are over 200 high-quality, local wines to choose from!

Visitors also can enjoy live music concerts and will have an opportunity to try food from local food vendors cooking right at the festival.

Click here to learn more about the Coastal Virginia Magazine Winefest .

Drink Craft Beer in Virginia Beach

One of the best things to do in Virginia Beach is to check out the craft beer scene! 

There are many places to enjoy craft beer in Virginia Beach and you can enjoy it at a taproom or at a bar that specializes in the stuff.

My favorite place is actually Esoteric .  It is located close to the oceanfront in the ViBe Creative District (501 Virginia Beach Blvd) and they serve an array of local beers inside. The atmosphere was just cool.  No other way to put it!

Things to do in Virginia Beach-2 copy

However, if you’re looking to stop by a Virginia Beach brewery specifically, you can try Wasserhund Brewing Company, Back Bay Brewing Co., Deadline Brewing Project, Reaver Beach Brewing Company, New Realm, and more!

Escape the Crowds at Sandbridge Beach

A great place to visit if you’re looking for a break from the crowds of the main beach in Virginia Beach is Sandbridge.

The beach is located in the northern part of the Outer Banks and on the Currituck Banks Peninsula. 

One really cool thing about Sandbridge is that you have the Atlantic on one side and the Back Bay NWR and False Cape State Park on another side on the south.

Sandbridge Virginia - Beaches in Virginia 7

At Sandbridge Beach , you will find 4.5 miles of beaches that will feel far more remote than the resort area up north. 

There are lifeguards supervising things and they are on duty from 9:30am until 6pm from Memorial Day weekend until Labor Day.

You won’t find hotels here but rather some houses and condos. It is much quieter and is a better option for those looking for a more ‘remote’ beach rather than the crowds.

Try Local Spirits with Tarnished Truth Distilling Company

Another can’t-miss place in Virginia Beach (especially for those who love trying local spirits and brews!) is the Tarnished Truth Distilling Company .

Located inside the famous Cavalier Hotel, Tarnished Truth was founded in 2013 and you can find everything from Rye Bourbon to 3-year-old straight bourbon whiskey and more!

This is a great place souvenir to take back from Virginia Beach if you’re looking for something a bit cooler than saltwater taffy or any of the stuff you’d find at the souvenir shops along Atlantic Avenue.

Eat at One of Virginia Beach’s Best Restaurants

And naturally, you will find amazing food in Virginia Beach and you will need to hit up some of the restaurants while there!

This will require a separate guide but I will list a few that are located close to the oceanfront for this solely because I believe it will be out-of-towners reading this guide and not locals!

Here are some top-rated restaurants close to the water:

  • Chix on the Beach
  • Waterman’s Surfside Grille
  • The Atlantic
  • Tautog’s Restaurant
  • Rudee’s Restaurant and Cabana Bar

If you’re looking for what to order, you can never go wrong with the catch of the day (just ask what it is), Chesapeake Bay blue crabs, or oysters.

I always order the steamer bags when I am in town and they are available because I miss them and they offer a bit of everything.

Things to do in Virginia Beach-1 copy

Take the Kids to Hunt Club Farm

Connect farm life and your family at Hunt Club Farm – a fantastic attraction that kids visiting Virginia Beach will love.

Hunt Club Farm offers not only to see, feed, and play with alpacas, geese, goats, llamas, pigs, peacocks, and many other animals, but it also offers a wide range of other fun activities for families.

If you are visiting Hunt Club Farm during Easter time with your family, then get ready to enjoy an Easter Egg Hunt where your kids can hunt for eggs, ride carnival rides, and entertain themselves with other activities.

Address: 2388 London Bridge Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23456

Where to Stay in Virginia Beach

Here are some top recommended  beachfront hotels in Virginia Beach :

While we could have gone on for days on this guide, we hope that you enjoyed our list of the best things to do in Virginia Beach VA for those not from the area!

Naturally, as this is a major city, there are several ‘non-touristy’ things to do and we will include that in a future guide… but if you’re heading there as an out-of-towner or first-timer, this guide should help you figure out some cool activities, restaurants, and more!

Let us know what to do in Virginia Beach if you have been and have a recommendation for an attraction or activity!

More Virginia Beach Travel Guides

  • First Landing State Park
  • Camping at First Landing State Park
  • Best Virginia Beach timeshare rentals
  • Hiking in Virginia Beach
  • Best coffee shops in Virginia Beach
  • Winter in VA Beach
  • Virginia Beach itinerary

tourist attractions in virginia beach

Megan is a travel blogger and writer with a background in digital marketing. Originally from Richmond, VA, she has lived all around the world (including Germany, Finland, Norway, etc) but her heart always finds its way back to Virginia. This blog is to help encourage travelers to explore the great state of VA… and its wonderful neighbors! Megan has written for or been featured by National Geographic, Forbes, Lonely Planet, Fodor’s Travel, the New York Times, and more. She has visited 45 US states and 100+ countries… and wholeheartedly believes that Brunswick Stew is probably the greatest food to ever exist.

7 thoughts on “ 40 Incredible Things to Do in Virginia Beach (+ Insider Tips!) ”

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15 Must See Virginia Beach Attractions and Places to Visit

Virginia Beach has it all - beautiful beaches, secluded nature getaways, and fun family adventures.

virginia beach attractions

“You Deserve a Virginia Beach Vacation” is one of the tag lines used to entice visitors to Virginia Beach and the surrounding area.

Let’s face it, we’re ALL ready for a family vacation or romantic weekend getaway, and there’s no better place to visit along the Atlantic coast than Virginia Beach.

The little piece of paradise where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean has it all – a rich history, beautiful beaches, a variety of arts and entertainment, a robust foodie scene, and LOTS of unique attractions for the entire family.

Founded in 1887 , Virginia Beach started to become a popular resort destination following the construction of a hotel and a railroad linking it with Norfolk. Virginia Beach and the former Princess Anne County merged into what is now known as the City of Virginia Beach in 1963.

Today, Virginia Beach is one of the top tourist destinations along the Atlantic coast and the number one vacation destination in Virginia.

Most visitors already know about two of its biggest attractions – the Virginia Beach Boardwalk and the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center . The 3-mile long and 28-foot wide stretch of oceanfront boardwalk is the gateway to the popular Atlantic beach community. You can brush up on your people-watching skills, get a selfie with King Neptune, or hop on a bike to take in all the excitement along the 3-mile path.

virginia beach attractions

The Virginia Beach Aquarium is loaded with just about every species of marine life, plus hands-on exhibits, a boat tour, and an adventure park (which we’ll talk more about). ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​It’s your opportunity to go on an 800,000+ gallon adventure at one of the top aquariums and animal habitats in the United States.

Be sure to visit both signature attractions and make time to experience all the amazing sights and sounds of the area. We’ve done all the homework and came up with 15 highly recommended attractions and things to do in Virginia Beach during your stay.

First Landing State Park

There’s a reason First Landing State Park is the most visited state park in Virginia. It’s an outdoor lovers’ paradise with 2,888-acres and 1.5 miles of Chesapeake Bay beaches. Plus miles and miles of hiking trails that weave through protected salt marsh habitat, freshwater ponds, beaches, dunes, forest, and cypress swamp.

First Landing is also home to one of the most endangered habitat types in the world – the maritime forest.

There is certainly no shortage of fun activities for the entire family including fishing, boating, camping and cabin accommodations, nature and history programs, hiking trails, and picnic facilities.

2500 Shore Drive Virginia Beach, VA (757) 412-2300

💻 WEBSITE  |  📍 DIRECTIONS

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Cape Henry Lighthouse

Cape Henry Lighthouse is one of Preservation Virginia’s six historic sites. The non-profit is dedicated to preserving historic places and raising awareness of Virginia’s rich cultural heritage. To say this 18th-century lighthouse is rich in American history would be an understatement.

Read More: A Visit to Virginia’s Historic Cape Henry Lighthouse

Originally authorized by George Washington and overseen by Alexander Hamilton, the Cape Henry Lighthouse guards the entryway into the Chesapeake Bay, and it’s one of the oldest surviving lighthouses in the United States.

Visitor Tip : Parking is limited, especially during peak travel season (April through November). The best days and times to visit are mid-week before 11 am and after 3 pm daily.

583 Atlantic Avenue Fort Story, VA (757) 422-9421

💻   WEBSITE  |  📍 DIRECTIONS

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Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum

The Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum (often referred to as the Old Coast Guard Station) honors and preserves Virginia’s extensive Atlantic Coast maritime heritage, United States Lifesaving Service, and the United States Coast Guard.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the museum building is one of Virginia Beach’s most recognized landmarks with fun exhibits, a scavenger hunt, ghost tours, and a gift shop filled with unique gifts and souvenirs.

2401 Atlantic Avenue Virginia Beach, VA (757) 422-1587

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The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium

If you’re looking for things to do in Virginia Beach with kids, The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium should be at the top of your list. Located a few minutes from the Boardwalk, the ropes courses and ziplines are among the best in the area.

The tree climbing and ziplining adventures include 17 treetop trails, over 258 treetop platforms, and 30 ziplines. Perfect for a fun family outing or team building if you visit with a group. If you really want to make the kids happy, check out “Glow in the Park,” where you zip and climb to an array of lights and music.

Visitor Tip: Save time and avoid long lines by going online to book times and completing the electronic waiver before your visit. This will guarantee your preferred climb date and time.

801 General Booth Blvd. Virginia Beach, VA (757) 385-4947

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Military Aviation Museum

The Military Aviation Museum is home to one of the world’s largest private collections of World War I and World War II military aircraft, including fighters, bombers, trainers, and seaplanes.

The planes have been restored to their prior military condition, using original parts when possible. Most are operational and continue to fly at the museum during flight demonstrations and air shows throughout the year.

The MAM Museum has tons of fun activities – aircraft rides, a dinosaur scavenger hunt at Jerrassic Park, summer camps, and lots of exhibits to help you learn all about WWI & WWII aviation history.

1341 Princess Anne Road Virginia Beach, VA (757) 721-7767

💻 WEBSITE |  📍 DIRECTIONS

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False Cape State Park

Experience nature in a unique, primitive setting at False Cape State Park. The 4,321-acre park, located between Back Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, is one of the last remaining undeveloped areas along the Atlantic coast.

Read More: Visit False Cape State Park

False Cape activities include guided kayak trips, primitive camping, interpretive programs, hiking and biking trails, and 6 miles of Atlantic Ocean beach. Currently, the park is accessible only by foot, bicycle, tram or boat. The Blue Goose Tram service departs from the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge (4005 S. Sandpiper Road) and transports visitors through the wildlife refuge.

Visitor Tip: Parking at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge fills quickly in the summer. Additional parking and overnight parking are available at Little Island City Park. Reservations for primitive campsites can be made by calling 1-800-933-PARK.

Another way to get around the park are Tram Tours. Please call the park office at 757-426-7128 to make your reservation.

4001 Sandpiper Road Virginia Beach, VA (757) 426-7128

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Stumpy Lake Natural Area 

There’s so much natural beauty in the state of Virginia, and the 1,422-acre Stumpy Lake Natural Area is one of the most picturesque. The property consists of a 278-acre lake, 174-acre golf course, 970-plus acres of undeveloped, forested land surrounding the lake, and 1.65 miles of trails.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Enjoy hiking, fishing, bird watching, nature observation, and photography in a beautiful setting. One of the more popular activities is canoeing and kayaking. A launch is located just after the causeway from Indian River Road near the Stumpy Lake Golf Course entrance. Bring your own kayak or rent one to explore all the amazing natural wonders and wildlife.

4797 Indian River Road Virginia Beach, VA (757) 385-0400

Hunt Club Farm

Besides beautiful beaches and parks, the Virginia Beach area also includes miles and miles of majestic farmland. Hunt Club Farm has a rich history, dating all the way back to the 1760s when the original home was built for Captain Jonathan Moore. Fast forward to the 1960s, Mary and John C. Vogel fell in love with the property and purchased it along with several family members.

Hunt Club Farm is one of the best things to do in Virginia Beach with kids and offers visitors a full day’s worth of fun – including a petting farm , pony rides, BirdWalk Aviary , spring/summer market , summer farm camps , TreeWalk Adventure , and many seasonal festivals and special events.

2388 London Bridge Road Virginia Beach, VA (757) 427-9520

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Helicopter Tours – Hampton Roads Helicopters 

What better way to see all the beauty of the Virginia Beach area than from a couple of thousand feet in the air? HRH is one of the top providers of aerial tours and flight-seeing experiences in the Hampton Roads area. All passengers have clear, unobstructed views from any seat in the helicopter.

HRH offers several popular tours of the Hampton Roads area:

  • Virginia Beach Tour
  • James River & Peninsula Tour
  • Norfolk & Dismal Swamp Tour
  • Colors of Fall Tour
  • Holiday Lights Tour

5196 W Military Hwy Chesapeake, VA (757) 488-9044

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Sandbridge Beach

If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, the secluded 5 mile stretch of Sandbridge Beach is the perfect “get away from it all” location. Located 15 miles south of the core resort area of Virginia Beach, Sandbridge offers a peaceful, relaxing seaside community with natural dunes and beautiful sea oats.

When you’re not relaxing on the beach, you can explore the marshes and open waters of Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, and there’s plenty of kayaking, hiking, and fishing at False Cape State Park .

Sandfiddler Road Virginia Beach, VA (800) 822-3224

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Disc History at the Virginia Beach History Museums

Some of the oldest surviving brick houses in America are located in the state of Virginia. One of the oldest colonial homes and a National Historic Landmark is the Thoroughgood House. The landmark was originally built in 1719 by Argall Thorowgood , great-grandson of Adam Thorowgood. Adam Thorowgood helped establish Princess Anne County, which would later become the City of Virginia Beach.

The home is furnished to reflect the period when John Thorowgood (Argall’s son) and his family occupied the home and offer a glimpse into the daily lifestyle of wealthy Virginia colonists.

1636 Parish Road Virginia Beach, VA (757) 385-5100

💻   WEBSITE  |  📍 DIRECTIONS 

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The Vibe District

Need a little inspiration in your life? Plan a visit to the ViBe Creative District, a partnership with Virginia Beach Arts and Virginia Beach City Government . Located near the Oceanfront, ViBe is Hampton Roads’s arts and cultural hub – packed with innovative professionals and colorful street art.

Come out and be a part of the creative ViBe community or stroll down the sidewalks to see all the amazing things happening in the area. Weekly and monthly events like the Old Beach Farmer’s Market and Second Saturdays/First Friday Walking Mural Tours will give you a small taste of the district.

611 18th Street Virginia Beach, VA (757) 202-9533

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New Realm Brewing

While out perusing all the amazing sights and sounds of the Virginia Beach area, you’re probably ready to cool off and grab some chow. New Realm Brewing happens to be the perfect place to do both. Dine in or soak up some rays in the two-acre outdoor patio/beer garden. After the sun goes down, kick back by the fire pit and enjoy some of the area’s best local and regional live music.

There are over 20 thirst-quenching craft brews and hard seltzer selections to suit any palette. The full menu features everything from small bites to sandwiches, salads, main event dinners, and desserts.

1209 Craft Lane Virginia Beach, VA (757) 302-8550

💻   WEBSITE | 📍 DIRECTIONS | 🥧 MENU

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Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater

What better way to enjoy some of the country’s best live music and top touring acts than under the stars at the Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater? If you visit during the warmer months, there’s a good chance there will be a big-name concert or two during your visit.

Known by many locals as the Virginia Beach Amphitheater, the venue located close to the beaches has a seating capacity of 20,000. Whether you want to escape the elements or dance the night away, the amphitheater offers a covered canopy closer to the main stage and general admission seating on the back lawn area.

3550 Cellar Door Way Virginia Beach, VA (757) 368-3000

💻 UPCOMING EVENTS  |  📍 DIRECTIONS

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Virginia Beach Visitor Information Center

If you want the latest travel information or help planning your trip, look no further than the Virginia Beach Visitor Information Center.

The first thing to do is browse the robust website full of great places to stay, eat and visit. When you get into town, we highly recommend that you stop by and visit them in person. You’ll find friendly faces ready to provide an endless supply of fun things to do during your visit. Plus, get a ‘locals’ perspective about the best places to eat, drink and visit in Virginia Beach – or a few off-the-wall places you might not have heard of before.

2100 Parks Avenue Virginia Beach, VA (757) 385-7873

Additional Travel Information

Thanks for stopping by and checking out the top 15 Virginia Beach attractions and places to visit. During your stay or while you’re traveling through the state, be sure to check out some of the top restaurants in Virginia.

  • 10 Best Restaurants You Must Try in Virginia Beach
  • Top 50 places to eat in Hampton Roads
  • Top 10 Places To Eat In Norfolk, Virginia
  • The 7 Best Places to Eat in Chesapeake, Virginia

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tourist attractions in virginia beach

15 Fun Things To Do in Virginia Beach: A Comprehensive Guide

tourist attractions in virginia beach

Virginia Beach is a popular coastal city located in the southeastern part of Virginia. It is well-known for its long stretches of sandy beaches, boardwalk, and a plethora of fun activities that cater to all ages. Whether you’re a beach bum, an adventure seeker, or a history buff, Virginia Beach has something for everyone.

Beach Activities

Water sports, historic sites, museums and galleries, family-friendly attractions, outdoor adventures, shopping and dining, nightlife and entertainment, events and festivals, day trips and excursions, accommodations, transportation.

If you’re planning a trip to Virginia Beach and wondering what to do, you’re in luck. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of 15 fun things to do in Virginia Beach . From exploring the local history to enjoying water sports, this list has got you covered. So, pack your bags, put on your sunscreen, and get ready for a fun-filled vacation in Virginia Beach!

Beachfront Virginia Beach Virginia

Virginia Beach is known for its beautiful, wide beaches and there are plenty of activities to enjoy on the sand and in the water. Here are some of the best things to do in Virginia Beach for beach lovers:

  • Swimming:  The ocean water is warm and inviting during the summer months, making it the perfect place to cool off and have some fun. Just be sure to swim in the designated areas and follow any posted warnings.
  • Surfing:  Virginia Beach is a popular destination for surfers, with waves that are perfect for both beginners and experienced riders. Rent a board or take a lesson from one of the many surf schools in the area.
  • Paddleboarding:  Stand-up paddleboarding is a fun and relaxing way to explore the ocean. Rent a board or take a guided tour to see the local wildlife and enjoy the scenery.
  • Kayaking:  Kayaking is another great way to explore the ocean and nearby waterways. Take a guided tour or rent a kayak and explore on your own.
  • Beach Volleyball:  Gather some friends and hit the sand for a game of beach volleyball. There are plenty of public courts available for use.

Whether you prefer to relax on the beach or get active in the water, there are plenty of beach activities to enjoy in Virginia Beach. So grab your sunscreen and get ready for some fun in the sun!

Virginia Beach is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. With miles of beautiful coastline and meandering waterways, there is no shortage of fun and exciting water activities to enjoy.

One of the best things to do in Virginia Beach is to try parasailing. Adventure Parasail offers a thrilling experience that allows visitors to soar high above the ocean and enjoy breathtaking views of the beach and surrounding area.

Parasailing on Virginia Beach

For those who prefer to stay closer to the water, Virginia Beach Watersports offers jet ski rentals and guided tours of the area’s waterways.

For those who want to explore the ocean’s depths, there are plenty of scuba diving opportunities in Virginia Beach. Dive with the friendly and knowledgeable staff at Lynnhaven Dive Center and discover the incredible marine life that calls the area home.

If you’re looking for a more laid-back water activity, consider renting a paddleboard or kayak and exploring the calm waters of First Landing State Park. Bay Venture Boat Rentals offers a variety of watercraft rentals, including paddleboards, kayaks, and pontoon boats.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a first-time adventurer, Virginia Beach has something for everyone when it comes to water sports. With so many options to choose from, it’s no wonder that water sports are among the best things to do in Virginia Beach.

So, grab your swimsuit, sunscreen, and sense of adventure, and head to Virginia Beach for an unforgettable water sports experience.

Virginia Beach is home to many historic sites that are worth exploring. Here are some of the best things to do in Virginia Beach for history buffs.

  • First Landing State Park : This park is where English colonists first landed in 1607. Visitors can explore the park’s trails, beaches, and picnic areas while learning about the history of the area.
  • Cape Henry Lighthouse : Built in 1792, this lighthouse is the oldest government-built lighthouse in the country. Visitors can climb to the top for a stunning view of the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Adam Thoroughgood House : This historic home was built in 1680 and is named after one of Virginia’s first colonists. Visitors can take a guided tour to learn about life in the 17th century.

tourist attractions in virginia beach

The Virginia Beach Boardwalk also has a rich history. It was first constructed in 1888 and has since become a beloved attraction for locals and visitors alike. Along the boardwalk, visitors can find historic landmarks like the Old Coast Guard Station and the Norwegian Lady Statue.

For a unique historical experience, visitors can check out the Military Aviation Museum. This museum houses one of the largest collections of World War I and II aircraft in the world. Visitors can take a guided tour and even take a ride in a vintage biplane.

Whether you’re interested in colonial history or military aviation, Virginia Beach has something for everyone. Don’t miss out on these fun things to do in Virginia Beach for a glimpse into the area’s rich history.

If you’re interested in history and art, Virginia Beach has a number of museums and galleries to explore:

  • Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art :  This museum features modern and contemporary art from local and international artists. Visitors can view exhibits, attend events, and take art classes.
  • Old Coast Guard Station Museum :  Learn about the history of the U.S. Coast Guard in Virginia Beach through exhibits and artifacts. The museum is located on the boardwalk and offers beautiful views of the ocean.
  • Military Aviation Museum :  Aviation enthusiasts will enjoy this museum, which features vintage aircraft from World War I and II. Visitors can take guided tours and even take a ride in a biplane.
  • Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum :  This museum is dedicated to the history of surfing and lifeguarding in Virginia Beach. Exhibits include vintage surfboards, lifeguard equipment, and historic photographs.

Inside the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art in Virginia Beach

These are just a few of the many museums and galleries to explore in Virginia Beach. Whether you’re interested in contemporary art, military history, or surfing culture, there’s something for everyone. So be sure to add these attractions to your list of best things to do in Virginia Beach.

Virginia Beach is a perfect destination for families with children of all ages. With so many fun things to do, it can be hard to decide where to start. Here are some of the best family-friendly attractions to check out:

  • Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center:  This is one of the best things to do in Virginia Beach with kids. The aquarium has over 800,000 gallons of water and is home to more than 12,000 animals. Families can enjoy interactive exhibits, animal encounters, and even a 3D movie experience.
  • First Landing State Park:  This park is perfect for families who love nature and outdoor activities. With over 2,800 acres of land and 1.5 miles of beachfront, there are plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, swimming, and fishing. Families can also enjoy a picnic or rent a cabin for an overnight stay.
  • Virginia Beach Boardwalk:  This iconic boardwalk is a must-visit attraction for families. With over three miles of oceanfront, families can enjoy a stroll, bike ride, or rollerblade along the boardwalk. There are also plenty of restaurants, shops, and attractions along the way.
  • Military Aviation Museum:  This museum is perfect for families who love aviation and history. The museum has over 60 vintage aircraft on display, as well as interactive exhibits and educational programs.

Other family-friendly attractions include the Virginia Zoo, Ocean Breeze Waterpark, and Adventureworks Wetland Zipline Park. With so many options, families are sure to find something that everyone will enjoy.

Overall, Virginia Beach is a great destination for families looking for a fun and exciting vacation. With plenty of family-friendly attractions to choose from, families can create unforgettable memories together.

For those who love the great outdoors, Virginia Beach has plenty to offer. Here are some of the best things to do in Virginia Beach for outdoor adventurers.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel is a 23-mile engineering marvel that connects Virginia Beach to the Eastern Shore of Virginia. The bridge-tunnel is a popular spot for fishing, birdwatching, and sightseeing, with stunning views of the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Visitors can also take a guided tour of the bridge-tunnel and learn about its history and construction.

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Located on the southern end of Sandbridge Beach, the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge is a 9,000-acre nature preserve with hiking trails, wildlife viewing areas, and a visitor center. The refuge is home to more than 300 species of birds, as well as deer, foxes, and other wildlife. Visitors can also enjoy kayaking and canoeing in the refuge’s waterways.

AdventureWorks

For a more thrilling outdoor adventure, check out AdventureWorks, an aerial adventure park with zip lines, ropes courses, and other high-flying activities. The park offers a variety of courses for all skill levels, from beginner to advanced, and is a great way to challenge yourself and have fun with friends and family.

If you’re looking for the best things to do in Virginia Beach for outdoor lovers, be sure to check out these exciting and beautiful destinations.

Virginia Beach is home to a variety of shopping and dining options, making it a great destination for foodies and shoppers alike. Here are some of the best things to do in Virginia Beach when it comes to shopping and dining:

For those who love to shop, Virginia Beach has plenty of options. The Virginia Beach Town Center is a great place to start, with over 50 stores and restaurants. Here, you’ll find everything from clothing and accessories to home goods and electronics. The Lynnhaven Mall is another popular shopping destination, with over 180 stores and restaurants to choose from.

If you’re looking for something a bit more unique, check out the ViBe Creative District. This area is home to a variety of local artists and makers, and you’ll find everything from handmade jewelry to one-of-a-kind home decor. The Virginia Beach Farmers Market is another great spot for unique finds, with vendors selling everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts.

When it comes to dining, Virginia Beach has no shortage of options. For seafood lovers, there’s no better place than Waterman’s Surfside Grille. This restaurant is known for its fresh seafood and oceanfront views. Another great seafood spot is Catch 31 Fishhouse and Bar, which offers a variety of seafood dishes and craft cocktails.

If you’re in the mood for something a bit more upscale, check out Terrapin Restaurant. This restaurant offers a farm-to-table dining experience, with a focus on locally sourced ingredients. For a more casual dining experience, head to The Shack on 8th. This restaurant serves up classic American fare, including burgers, sandwiches, and salads.

No matter what you’re in the mood for, Virginia Beach has something to offer. From shopping to dining, there are plenty of best things to do in Virginia Beach for visitors to enjoy.

When the sun goes down, Virginia Beach comes alive with a variety of nightlife and entertainment options. Whether you’re looking for a quiet night out or a wild party, there’s something for everyone. Here are some of the best things to do in Virginia Beach at night:

  • Ultra Craft Cocktails – This upscale bar offers unique cocktails made with fresh ingredients and a cozy atmosphere.
  • Peabody’s Night Club – A popular spot for dancing and live music, Peabody’s is a must-visit for anyone looking to let loose.
  • The Back Deck – Enjoy a drink and a beautiful view of the ocean at this beachfront bar.
  • Cinema Cafe – Catch a movie and enjoy a meal at this dine-in theater.
  • FireBrew – This brewery and restaurant offers craft beer and delicious food in a laid-back atmosphere.

If you’re looking for something a little more low-key, check out these options:

  • Virginia Beach Winery – Sample local wines and enjoy live music at this cozy winery.
  • Side Street Cantina – This Mexican restaurant offers delicious food and a relaxed atmosphere.
  • Murphy’s Virginia Beach Irish Pub – Grab a pint and enjoy some traditional Irish fare at this cozy pub.

Whether you’re in the mood for dancing, live music, or a cozy night out, Virginia Beach has something for everyone. Don’t miss out on the best things to do in Virginia Beach at night!

Virginia Beach is known for its lively events and festivals throughout the year. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, there’s always something exciting happening in Virginia Beach. Here are some of the best events and festivals you won’t want to miss:

  • Neptune Festival :  This annual festival is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Held in September, it features live music, arts and crafts, food vendors, and a sand sculpting competition.
  • Virginia Beach Patriotic Festival:  Held during Memorial Day weekend, this festival celebrates our nation’s heroes with live music, military displays, and a fireworks show.
  • Boardwalk Art Show:  This four-day event in June features over 300 artists showcasing their work along the boardwalk. It’s a great opportunity to see and purchase unique pieces of art.
  • Virginia Beach Restaurant Week:  Foodies won’t want to miss this event in January, where participating restaurants offer prix-fixe menus at discounted prices.

In addition to these annual events, Virginia Beach also hosts a variety of smaller festivals and events throughout the year. From wine and beer festivals to holiday celebrations, there’s always something fun to do.

For a full list of upcoming events and festivals in Virginia Beach, check out the  Virginia Beach Events Calendar .

Attending one of these events is one of the best things to do in Virginia Beach. It’s a great way to experience the local culture, meet new people, and have a good time.

So if you’re looking for some fun and excitement, be sure to check out one of these events or festivals during your visit to Virginia Beach.

Don’t forget to also check out the other sections of this article for more ideas on the best things to do in Virginia Beach!

While there are plenty of  best things to do in Virginia Beach  that can keep visitors busy for days, there are also some great day trips and excursions that are worth exploring. Here are a few options to consider:

First Landing State Park

Located just a few miles from Virginia Beach, First Landing State Park is a beautiful coastal park that offers plenty of outdoor activities. Visitors can hike or bike through the park’s miles of trails, fish in the freshwater ponds, or take a dip in the Chesapeake Bay. The park is also home to several historic sites, including the First Landing Cross, which marks the spot where English colonists first landed in Virginia in 1607.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel is a 23-mile engineering marvel that connects Virginia Beach to the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Visitors can take a self-guided tour of the facility and learn about its history and construction, or simply enjoy the stunning views of the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean.

Colonial Williamsburg

Located about an hour’s drive from Virginia Beach, Colonial Williamsburg is a living history museum that recreates life in 18th-century America. Visitors can explore the historic buildings and gardens, interact with costumed interpreters, and learn about the daily life of early American colonists.

These are just a few of the many day trips and excursions that visitors can enjoy while in Virginia Beach. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure, history and culture, or simply a change of scenery, there’s something for everyone in this beautiful part of Virginia.

Virginia Beach is a popular tourist destination, so there are plenty of options for accommodations. Visitors can choose from hotels, motels, resorts, vacation rentals, and more. Here are a few options:

Hotels and Resorts

For those looking for a luxurious stay, there are plenty of hotels and resorts to choose from. The Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront is a popular choice, with its prime location on the boardwalk and stunning ocean views.

The Westin Virginia Beach Town Center is another great option, with its modern amenities and convenient location near shopping and dining options.

Motels and Inns

For a more budget-friendly option, there are plenty of motels and inns in Virginia Beach. The Ocean Cove Motel is a popular choice, with its affordable rates and convenient location just a block from the beach. The Belvedere Beach Resort is another great option, with its charming beachfront location and cozy rooms.

Vacation Rentals

For those looking for a more home-like experience, vacation rentals are a great option. Airbnb Virginia Beach and VRBO Virginia Beach offer a variety of rental options, from cozy apartments to spacious beach houses. Visitors can choose from properties with ocean views, pet-friendly options, and more.

Overall, there are plenty of options for accommodations in Virginia Beach. Visitors should consider their budget, location preferences, and desired amenities when choosing where to stay. By finding the right accommodations, visitors can make the most of their trip and enjoy all the best things to do in Virginia Beach.

Virginia Beach is a popular tourist destination, and as such, it has a well-developed transportation system. Visitors have a variety of options to choose from when it comes to getting around the city.

One of the most popular modes of transportation in Virginia Beach is the trolley. The VB Wave trolley is a fun and convenient way to explore the city’s oceanfront. The trolley runs from mid-May to mid-September and stops at all the major attractions along the boardwalk. It’s a great way to see the sights and sounds of the city without having to worry about parking or traffic.

If you’re looking for a more traditional mode of transportation, taxis and ride-sharing services are readily available throughout the city. Visitors can use popular apps like Uber and Lyft to get around quickly and easily. Taxis are also available, and they can be hailed on the street or called in advance.

For those who prefer to drive themselves, renting a car is a great option. There are several car rental companies located throughout the city, and visitors can choose from a variety of vehicles to suit their needs. However, it’s important to note that parking can be a challenge, especially during peak tourist season.

Finally, for visitors who want to explore the city’s natural beauty, biking is a great option. The city has an extensive network of bike paths and trails, and visitors can rent bikes or bring their own. Biking is a great way to see the city at a slower pace and take in all the sights and sounds.

In conclusion, Virginia Beach has a variety of transportation options to suit every visitor’s needs. Whether you prefer to take the trolley, hail a taxi, rent a car, or bike around, there are plenty of ways to get around and see the best things to do in Virginia Beach.

Virginia Beach is a fantastic destination for anyone looking for a fun-filled vacation. With so many best things to do in Virginia Beach, you’ll never have a dull moment. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or just soaking up the sun on the beach, Virginia Beach has something for everyone.

If you’re a history buff, be sure to check out the Cape Henry Lighthouse and the Military Aviation Museum. Both offer fascinating insights into the past and are great for anyone interested in military history.

For nature lovers, First Landing State Park is a must-see destination. This beautiful park offers hiking trails, camping sites, and stunning views of the Chesapeake Bay. You might even spot some wildlife while you’re there!

Of course, no trip to Virginia Beach would be complete without spending some time on the beach. The Virginia Beach Boardwalk is a great place to start. With three miles of pristine beach and plenty of restaurants and shops nearby, it’s the perfect spot to spend a lazy afternoon.

Other fun things to do in Virginia Beach include visiting the ViBe Creative District, exploring Mount Trashmore Park, and taking a dolphin-watching tour.

Whatever you decide to do, you’re sure to have a great time in Virginia Beach. So pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and get ready for an unforgettable vacation!

Don’t forget to check out our other articles on the best things to do in Virginia Beach for even more ideas on how to make the most of your trip.

If you’re looking for more fun things to do in Virginia Beach, here are some bonus tips to help make your trip even better:

  • Visit the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center to see over 300 species of animals and learn about marine life conservation.
  • Take a scenic drive along the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, one of the engineering marvels of the modern world.
  • Explore the First Landing State Park, where English colonists first landed in 1607, and enjoy hiking, biking, and camping.
  • Take a dolphin watching tour to see these playful creatures in their natural habitat.
  • Visit the Military Aviation Museum to see vintage aircraft and learn about the history of military aviation.
  • Take a sunset sail on a catamaran and enjoy the beautiful views of the ocean and coastline.
  • Go on a food tour to sample some of the best local cuisine, including fresh seafood and Virginia ham.

These are just a few of the best things to do in Virginia Beach. With its beautiful beaches, rich history, and diverse attractions, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this coastal city.

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tourist attractions in virginia beach

VIRGINIA BEACH

Virginia Beach

Kids love Hunt Club Farm!

tourist attractions in virginia beach

Virginia Beach Tourist Guide: Restaurants, Attractions and More

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Virginia Beach is a lively seaside city with a diverse appeal. It’s a cost-effective celebration destination for university students, a sanctuary for families with youngsters, and a rejuvenated beach town for those craving a new experience. In this guide, we’ll navigate you through ‘VA Beach,’ showcasing its renewed East Coast beachfront and promenade, picturesque vistas, and abundant sun-filled amusement. Discover various local restaurants, economical evening exploits for the easy-going adult and many attractions that are easy on the wallet. VA Beach doesn’t focus on luxury—it focuses on unwinding and enjoying a hassle-free good time. Let’s dive in and uncover what sets Virginia Beach apart as a unique getaway.

Virginia Beach Best Restaurants

Whether you’re here for short stays, paddling along the Chesapeake Bay, or escaping Norfolk for some time, VA Beach offers a smorgasbord of oceanfront restaurants. From snack shacks on the boardwalk to raw bars with a variety of regional oysters and breakfast spots that have been waking up beach-goers for years, there’s something for everyone. Below are some of the highly-rated restaurants in VA Beach.

  • Doc Taylor’s : It’s a breakfast and lunch restaurant, once a doctor’s office. Now, it’s packed with visitors savoring pancakes, biscuits with gravy, and breakfast snacks. The Doc Taylor sandwich, whole of a fried egg, bacon, cheese, and grilled parmesan tomatoes on an onion roll is a must-taste.
  • Big Sam’s Inlet Cafe & Raw Bar : It’s a modest site in Rudee Inlet Marina serving fresh seafood. Their East Coast Oysters served raw and steamed during Happy Hour, are a delight.
  • Waterman’s Surfside Grille : It’s known for its original Orange Crush recipe. Their fish tacos, offered in fried fish and blackened tuna, are super-hit during Happy Hour.
  • Dairy Queen on the Boardwalk : The classic fast-food setting has a range of tasty treats. Their signature shakes and soft-serve ice cream are crowd favorites.
  • Rudee’s Restaurant and Cabana Bar : A typical seafood restaurant with attractive views. Positioned on the water’s edge, it’s excellent for enjoying tasty meals and viewing boats pass by.
  • Chix on the Beach : It’s a longstanding seafood restaurant with a great outdoor patio. They serve classic favorites like shrimp tacos, crab cakes, and original American dishes.
  • Tulu Seaside Bar & Grill offers ocean views and fresh food all day. Enjoy the Atlantic Ocean scenes anytime with breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late-night meals.
  • Rockafeller’s Restaurant : The casual seafood scene stands out with a community twist. It’s a top-notch locality where you can enjoy regional flavors in a calm setting.

Main Attractions in Virginia Beach

Besides beautiful beaches, VA Beach has history, culture, and fun. It gives you access to various attractions , whether you love calming, exciting, or unforgettable diversions. The main attractions in Virginia Beach include:

  • Virginia Beach Boardwalk: The 3-mile-long Virginia Beach boardwalk features a bike path, a fishing pier, and several areas to shop, eat, and enjoy. And winter visits let you enjoy the stunning boardwalk holiday light scenes. Also, don’t miss the 24-foot King Neptune statue at the Neptune Festival Park entrance.
  • Atlantic Fun Park: It is the best amusement park to try different rides, such as the Gravitron , the Skyflyer , and the Sea Dragon , plus test your skills on the go-karts, the rock wall, and the midway games.
  • The Norwegian Lady: The famous statue is a tribute to the shipwreck of the Norwegian vessel “Dictator” in 1891 and the alliance between VA Beach and Moss, Norway.
  • Rudee Inlet Marina: Hire a jet ski/kayak/sport boat/parasail to tour the inlet and ocean. Moreover, participate in a fishing charter, dolphin cruises, and whale watching trips to experience the fantastic sea life.
  • Atlantic Avenue: Visit here for self-shopping, eating, and treating. Discover several beach goods, souvenirs, and snacks on the spot near the boardwalk.
  • First Landing State Park: It’s where the first English colonizers settled in 1607 and has countless things, including camping, fishing, etc.

Other Activities

VA Beach remains an excellent region for casino-seekers, offering various recreations beyond food and sights. However, no land-based casinos are in the city, as confirmed by the casino review expert – Jade Ramon, PR Manager from CasinosCanada.reviews , who visited these places and shared the impressions. But don’t worry because Jade recommends plenty of nearby ventures that offer the gambling you crave. Below are some options:

  • Rivers Casino Portsmouth: Situated only twenty minutes away, the casino guarantees a real adventure with slot casino games , table games such as baccarat, blackjack, roulette, poker, and BetRivers sportsbook for sports bettors. It also has live events and dining options.
  • Rosie’s Gaming Emporium in Richmond: The place is perfect for night outs, located just a 30 to 40-minute drive from VA Beach. You can dine, enjoy live music, and participate in seasonal events. The gaming area is decently big, with many slot machines offering significant jackpots. You can even bet on sports. We can’t guess; maybe your picture will end up on their website as a jackpot winner.
  • Casinos by DelVecchio: It brings the casino to you anywhere in Richmond, Virginia. You can book a casino night for your private party or event. The venue offers Vegas-style casino equipment, games, e.g. craps, roulette, blackjack, poker, and professional dealers and staff for authenticity.

Bottom Line

VA Beach is a hidden gem that’s larger than a beach town. There’s history in the air and adventure around every turn. The city never stops to stun, from the tasty meals at first-class restaurants to the spectacular views and engaging casinos nearby. Virginia Beach features lively pastimes for everybody, from epicures to history fans to individuals wishing to have an excellent time. Get ready to make experiences that’ll last a lifetime. Pack your bags and don your explorer’s hat. We’re sure you won’t want to miss Hampton Roads in Virginia Beach! Remember that memorable trips are about the journey, not the end goal. Embrace every moment!

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Top Things to Do in Virginia Beach, VA - Virginia Beach Attractions

Things to do in virginia beach, explore popular experiences, tours in and around virginia beach.

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Wetland Zip Tour

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Norfolk's Combo Pass - Battleship Wisconsin & Virginia Zoo

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Top Attractions in Virginia Beach

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1. Virginia Beach Boardwalk

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2. Military Aviation Museum

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3. Tarnished Truth Distilling Co.

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4. Sandbridge Beach

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5. Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

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6. First Landing State Park

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7. Virginia Beach

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8. Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

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9. Cape Henry Lighthouse

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10. Hunt Club Farm

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11. Neptune's Park

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12. King Neptune Statue on the Boardwalk

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Home » North America » USA » 17 Unique Things to do in Virginia Beach on ANY Budget in 2024

17 Unique Things to do in Virginia Beach on ANY Budget in 2024

Are you still wondering whether to book that trip to Virginia Beach? Well, I can tell you that this beach town on the Atlantic Coast will NOT disappoint.

Heck, the massive pleasure beach even made it into the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest beach in the world, and it’s not only long, it’s beautiful too.

But it’s not just beaches that draw people here, there’s an abundance of things to do in Virginia Beach that cater for every type of traveler. If you’re a history buff, you’ll love learning about the maritime history at the museums, or if you’re more into culture, there’s a flourishing arts and entertainment scene too.

If you just want to relax, Virginia Beach also has a vibe that truly says “chill out dude.” It’s the kind of place that normalises rollerblading down the Boardwalk and no one would be offended if you had a cold Mimosa for breakfast.

If you’re wondering which are the best Virginia Beach attractions to add to your itinerary, take a look below at some of the awesome things to do in this coastal destination.

tourist attractions in virginia beach

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The Top Things to Do in Virginia Beach

Where to stay in virginia beach, some additional tips for visiting virginia beach, final thoughts on things to do in virginia beach.

It’s all too easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of attractions sometimes. If you’re not quite sure what to do in Virginia Beach, check out my absolute favorite things to do in the city below. These are the places that you really can’t afford to miss!

Colonial Conspiracy Tour

Delve into the City’s Colonial Past

Dig deeper into Virginia Beach’s colonial history with a quick tour of Williamsburg, located an hour from the city center.

Spirit of Norfolk Buffet Lunch Cruise

Take a Lunch Cruise on the Elizabeth River

Head over to nearby Norfolk for a romantic cruise while enjoying unblemished views of the ocean.

Sunset Stand Up Paddleboard Tour of Linkhorn Bay

Go Paddleboarding down Linkhorn Bay

Take a paddleboard ride down Linkhorn Bay and soak up some pretty spectacular sights.

Guided Tour of Local Breweries with Tastings

Explore Nearby Breweries

Virginia Beach offers easy access to Richmond’s active beer scene, perfect for sampling some of the best local brews!

Check out the ViBe Creative District

Check out the ViBe Creative District

Spend an afternoon exploring this exceptionally lively area filled with street art, quirky cafes, sculptures, and boho shops.

1. Hike the First Landing State Park’s Trails

First Landing State Park

By far one of the most iconic attractions in Virginia Beach, First Landing State Park is also steeped in history. Most notably, this is where John Smith, Christopher Newport, and other English colonists landed in the New World way back when.

With over 3,000 acres of lush green land, this park also happens to be an outdoor enthusiast’s dream come true! You can go hiking, cycling, or even fishing and canoeing. Now, if you feel like a day isn’t enough to properly take everything in, rest assured that it’s also possible to camp overnight.

Don’t forget to check out Cypress Swamp, First Landing State Park’s most popular attraction, which goes through a stunning transformation when the murky waters literally morph into bright rainbow hues under the right light.

  • Entrance fee: $5 per vehicle
  • Hours: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Address: 2500 Shore Dr

2. Sleep by the Ocean’s Edge

Sleep by the Ocean’s Edge

There’s nothing better than being lulled to sleep by the crashing of the waves against the shores – and this is exactly what you can experience with a stay at this beachside retreat!

Commanding an excellent location near some of the most popular things to do in Virginia Beach, this space places you right by the ocean’s edge. The condo has two bedrooms that can very easily accommodate up to six guests.

There’s also a well-equipped kitchen with plenty of modern appliances. If you don’t feel like cooking, however, you’ll find several restaurants just a block away.

  • Entrance fee: $225
  • Hours: Check-in after 2 p.m., Check-out at 11 a.m.
  • Address: N/A

3. Take a Day Trip to Williamsburg

Guided Tour of Local Breweries with Tastings

One of the best day trips from Virginia Beach is no doubt to Williamsburg, located just an hour away. This historically charged city played a pivotal role in the American Revolution and if you ask me, it’s well worth a visit.  

With immersive 18th-century architecture, the city is actually known for being an outdoor educational living museum that houses landmarks such as the Governor’s Palace and the George Wythe House.

Now, after you’ve soaked up plenty of history, why don’t you check out the city’s active beer scene before heading back to Virginia Beach? Most Williamsburg breweries offer guided tours as well as tasting sessions- perfect for those who would like to sample the area’s seasonal and flagship brews.

  • Entrance fee: $80
  • Hours: 11.30 a.m. to 3.30 p.m.
  • Address: 623 E Main St, Richmond

4. Check out Mount Trashmore

Mount Trashmore

Yup – strange name, I know. But then again, this former landfill site is easily one of the most unusual things to see in Virginia.

Why should you visit an old landfill, you ask? Well, mainly because it’s since been transformed into an impressive 165-acre park that offers plenty for kids and adults such as a skate park, playground, and even mountains that were made from trash. Don’t worry, it’s not as gross as it sounds since everything’s been sanitized and covered in super-clean soil!

Perfect for a day out with your family, Mount Trashmore also has two lakes. Shore fishing is allowed as long as you’ve got your license.

  • Entrance fee: Free
  • Hours: 5.30 a.m. to 8.30 p.m.
  • Address: 310 Edwin Dr

5. Cruise Down the Elizabeth River

Spirit of Norfolk Buffet Lunch Cruise

If you’re looking for the absolute best day trip from Virginia Beach, you really can’t go wrong with a lunch cruise on the Elizabeth River. This family-friendly activity is also ideal for those who would like to explore the charming city of Norfolk, located a mere 20-minute drive from Virginia Beach.

During your cruise, you’ll even be able to get up close and personal to the United States Navy’s impressive fleet of ships.

Afterwards, you can also check out some of Norfolk’s most popular points of interest such as the Botanical Garden and the Chrysler Museum.

  • Entrance fee: $84.23
  • Hours: 11.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m.
  • Address: Otter Berth, Norfolk

6. Visit the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center

One of the most educational and cool things to do in Virginia Beach with kids is to visit the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center. Since this place draws thousands of tourists from all over the world in peak season, I would really recommend that you grab those tickets as early as possible.

The aquarium has over 300 species in 800,000 gallons of water, and offers themed exhibits such as The Red Sea, The Indonesian Volcanic Island, and the Mediterranean Sea.

While The Broke Backpacker doesn’t enjoy animal tourism and zoos, at least the Virginia Beach Aquarium has several conservation projects on the go, such as saving stranded turtles who wash up on Virginia’s beaches. If you decide to go, please be respectful of the animals and make sure to learn about their conservation efforts .

  • Entrance fee: $24.95 for adults, $19.95 for children
  • Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Address: 717 General Booth Blvd

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7. Drive through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel

Okay, this is one activity that you really don’t want to skip. In my opinion, there’s truly no better way to admire the magnificent Atlantic Ocean than to take a drive through this tunnel.

Hailed as one of the Seven Engineering Wonders, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel route is by far, the most scenic route you can take from Virginia Beach. At 17.6 miles, this is the longest bridge tunnel in the world and connects the city to the mainland.

Best of all, this route takes you through four high-level bridges, two tunnels, and four islands so there’ll be plenty of photo ops!

  • Entrance fee: $14 to $18, depending on the season
  • Hours: 24/7

8. Enjoy Contemporary Art

Travelers looking for things to do in Virginia Beach indoors will no doubt revel in a visit to the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art , located just a short distance from the ocean.

Not only is this place a leading venue for modern art, but the exhibits are always changing so you’ll be treated to new pieces virtually every time that you visit. This is also one of the rare galleries that provides free entry, perfect for guests who are traveling on a budget.

This place regularly hosts events such as Coffee and Conversation with various guest lecturers, Sculpting classes, and the like. You’ll also find kid-friendly events like Art and Storytime (reserved for children aged 3 to 8).

  • Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday to Sunday, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursdays
  • Address: 2200 Parks Ave

9. Marvel at Colonial Houses

The great thing about Virginia Beach is that it still maintains plenty of relics from its colonial past. One of them is the Thoroughgood House, a historic landmark located in the quaint Thoroughgood neighborhood.

This red brick building dates all the way back to the 1700s, but it has been exquisitely preserved so you’ll be able to enjoy its original architecture.

Be sure to allocate enough time to check out the Thoroughgood House Education Center where you’ll be able to find out more about Princess Anne County’s rich past as well as the influence of the Thoroughgood family on the community.

After your tour, you can always take a walk through the perfectly landscaped English garden that surrounds the house.

  • Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily (excluding Tuesdays and Wednesdays)
  • Address: 1636 Parish Rd

10. Kayak or Hike at False Cape State Park

False Cape State Park

One of the best things to do in Virginia Beach off the beaten path is undoubtedly a visit to the False Cape State Park which lies on a barrier spit between the Atlantic Oceana and Currituck Sound. In fact, this is actually one of the very last undeveloped spots in the country which makes it a marvel all on its own!

The park perfectly caters to outdoor facilities such as fishing, cycling, kayaking, and hiking. In fact, the False Cape State Park is home to extensive wildlife with over 300 species of shorebirds and migratory songbirds. If you’re visiting between April and October, you may even be treated to a scenic tram ride!

  • Entrance fee: $5
  • Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Address: 4001 Sandpiper Rd

11. Spot One of the Norwegian Ladies

Are you wondering why a statue made the list of the top things to do in Virginia Beach? Well, that’s because the Norwegian Lady is to Virginia Beach what Lady Liberty is to New York – not to mention one of the most cherished memorials in the area.

This 9-foot bronze statue was erected as a tribute to a particularly violent shipwreck that occurred near the Virginia Beach Shore.

There’s a second Lady in Norway to symbolize the friendship between the two countries. After posing for pictures with the statue, be sure to check out the Boardwalk’s many attractions such as JT’s Grommet Island Park, King Neptune Statue, and the Atlantic Wildfowl Museum.

  • Address: 2500 Atlantic Ave

12. Go Paddleboarding across Linkhorn Bay

Sunset Stand Up Paddleboard Tour of Linkhorn Bay

If you ask me, there’s truly no better way to properly connect with nature and soak up Virginia Beach’s wondrous sights than from a paddleboard expedition. Linkhorn Bay’s natural beauty provides endless photo ops so be sure to bring a waterproof case for your phone.

If you’re a klutz like me, you’ll be glad to learn that this activity does include a quick class on how to keep your balance on the paddle board! Best of all, Linkhorn Bay’s waters are super calm so beginners should have quite an easy time.

  • Entrance fee: $47.70
  • Hours: 9.30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Address: 600 Laskin Rd, 600 Laskin Rd, Virginia Beach

13. Enjoy a Show at the Harrison Opera House

An absolute icon in the city, the Harrison Opera House once served as a stage for World War II shows.

Nowadays, it’s one of the best venues for various types of events, including musicals, Tribute Acts, Symphonies, and more!

Just a short drive from the city center, the Opera House also happens to be the Virginia Opera’s official home.

It’s also known for its impressive architecture, complete with swirling staircases and spectacular chandeliers. Unlike most modern Opera Houses, this one still retains its intimate ambience with only 1,600 seats available per show. As such, the audience can revel in a demure and refined setting, just like the good old days.

  • Entrance fee: As from $54  
  • Hours: Varies
  • Address: 160 W Virginia Beach Blvd, Norfolk

14. Browse the Old Beach Farmers Market

This is easily one of my favorite activities in Virginia Beach- mainly because there were so many goodies to sample while browsing the colorful stalls!

Located a mere six blocks from the ocean, this market doesn’t merely limit itself to the usual fresh produce and souvenirs that you usually expect from touristy places.

Expect to see plenty of savory food from highly experienced local chefs, charcuterie, handmade soap, and just about every kind of artisanal bread you can think of.

Best of all, this market encourages eco-friendly practices so bring a reusable shopping bag along. Visitors are also encouraged to ride or walk to the market instead of driving.  

  • Hours: 9AM – Noon, Saturdays
  • Address: in the parking lot of Croc’s19th Street Bistro

Active Roots Security Belt

Stash your cash safely with this money belt. It will keep your valuables safely concealed, no matter where you go.

It looks exactly like a normal belt  except for a SECRET interior pocket perfectly designed to hide a wad of cash, a passport photocopy or anything else you may wish to hide. Never get caught with your pants down again! (Unless you want to…)

15. Participate in Neptune Festival

An integral part of the local culture, the Neptune Festival takes place each year between September and October. Owing to the sheer number of local participants, this festival is ideal for travelers looking for non-touristy things to do in Virginia Beach.

One of the Festival’s most popular activities is the International Sand Sculpting Championship that’s open to amateurs and professional sculptors alike.

Even if you don’t want to participate, I would totally suggest that you check out the Championship to marvel at the stunning craftsmanship. Additionally, the Neptune Festival hosts other plenty of other events such as a Senior’s Gala, Surfing Competition, Symphony By The Seas Concerts, and even an international golf tournament.

  • Entrance fee: Varies according to the activity   
  • Address: 6 th to 8 th Street, Oceanfront

16. Delve into Colonial Tales

Colonial Conspiracy Tour

Here’s one for all the history buffs out there. Not only is Williamsburg perfect for a day trip but it’s also chock full of political tales- and yes, that includes plenty of conspiracies as well.

Locals will be quick to tell you that Williamsburg once used to house plenty of secret societies, some of which apparently still exist today. Now whether that’s fact or fiction is up for debate- but there’s no denying that there’s something thrilling about exploring the city’s past from a whole other angle.

If you want to turn things up a notch, you can even book a colonial conspiracy tour which, most of the time, includes a fully costumed guide to enhance the experience.

  • Entrance fee: $21.20  
  • Hours: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Address: Blair St, Williamsburg

17. Snap Selfies at the ViBe Creative District

Travelers looking for artsy things to do in Virginia Beach will absolutely find their joy at the ViBe Creative District.

This bustling hub offers various types of artisan stores, including woodwork, classic arts, leather, culinary, music, and street art. It’s not uncommon to see tourists and locals alike posing for selfies in front of the brightly-hued murals.

While you’re there, be sure to check out the Creative District’s quirky cafes and markets. This district regularly hosts monthly events like Second Saturdays and Old Beach Farmer’s Market, both designed to give tourists a taste of the city’s vibrant culture.

  • Entrance fee: Free  
  • Address: From 16 th to 22 nd Streets, Oceanfront

Well, the good news is that there are tons of neighborhoods in Virginia Beach with loads of great accommodation options, from resorts to hostels.

Where you stay in Virginia Beach will ultimately make or break your vacation, so if you’re not sure, take a look at my top recommendations below.

Best Airbnb in Virginia Beach – Two Bedroom Condo near the Beach

Two Bedroom Condo near the Beach

This quaint vacation rental in Virginia Beach comfortably sleeps six in two bedrooms. It boasts an excellent location near the beach and has super-fast Wi-Fi. There’s also a large, open-plan living room with a fireplace as well as a modern and well-equipped kitchen.

You can visit the ViBe Arts District’s eclectic shops, markets, cafes, and murals, which are all a short stroll from the condo. You’ll also be just two blocks from the ocean.

Best Beach Cottage in Virginia Beach – Angie’s Guest Cottage

Angie’s Guest Cottage

With standard studios that comfortably accommodate two, Angie’s Guest Cottage lies just a few steps from the gorgeous Croatan Beach.

Some rooms even boast spacious furnished patios where you can wind down while enjoying delightful ocean views.

Neptune’s Park is found just 1km from the property. Nearby, you’ll also find popular attractions such as the Virginia Aquarium.

Best Hotel in Virginia Beach – Ocean Resort

Ocean Resort

This budget-friendly hotel provides standard rooms with two queen beds, which is perfect for families! There’s also an indoor pool for the kids to play in.

Rooms provide ocean-facing balconies and coffee machines so you can wake up to a fresh brew every morning.

Ocean Resort is just a short distance from both the Ocean Breeze Waterpark and the Virginia Aquarium.

Before you dive into booking your accommodation and mapping out your itinerary, I have just a few tips to share with you to enhance your stay!

  • Invest in travel insurance! You never know what may happen on the road.
  • Be Ready to Venture Out of the City : Virginia Beach, as the name itself suggests, is all about beach-style living! However, it’s also surrounded by an extensive array of historical landmarks and mesmerizing sites so don’t hesitate to take a few day trips outside the city.
  • Escape to the Secret Beach : Here’s a little secret if you want to avoid the crowd: there’s a relatively unknown beach known as Sandbridge located just a short drive from the Oceanfront District. Locals are fiercely protective of this beach, so it’s one of the few places that managed to escape mass tourism!
  • Bring a good water bottle with you and avoid buying single-use plastic ones!
  • Take Advantage of Seasonal Deals : With so many things to do in Virginia Beach, it’s no wonder that the place is such a tourist hotspot. This also means that rates tend to soar in spring and summer, especially when it comes to last-minute bookings. Prices often go down in fall and winter though, so keep your eyes peeled for interesting offers!
  • Don’t Skip Atlantic Avenue : Unfortunately, this is a mistake that too many tourists make. Atlantic Avenue may be seriously overshadowed by ultra-popular Oceanfront, but it offers far better deals in terms of retail, entertainment, and dining.
  • Find cheap flights . Every once in a while, a killer deal pops up.

Don’t forget your travel insurance for Virginia Beach

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing .

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

tourist attractions in virginia beach

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

Whether you just want to lounge by the ocean all day, check out the neighboring towns, or pedal down the Boardwalk like a local, Virginia Beach certainly has something for everyone!

More importantly, there are plenty of free attractions in Virginia Beach, so rest assured that you won’t need to save up for ages just to afford the trip. That’s perfect for those backpacking the USA !

This is one place that does live up to the hype and I can absolutely assure you that you’re in for one of the most memorable vacations of your life!

tourist attractions in virginia beach

And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links . That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!

Mary Beth Skylis

Mary Beth Skylis

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18 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Virginia

Written by Barbara Radcliffe Rogers Updated Jul 13, 2022

History is everywhere in Virginia. Four of the first five presidents were born in the state, giving it a head start on the record of eight, the most of any state. Two of its top tourist attractions – Mount Vernon and Monticello – are homes of presidents. Virginia also claims the most Civil War battlefields of any state and the places where both the Revolution and the Civil War ended.

The colonial capital of Williamsburg, now restored to its 18th-century appearance, was among the hotbeds of the Revolution. But it's not just history that brings tourists here. Visiting the state's natural wonders, including Luray Caverns, Natural Bridge, the barrier islands of Chincoteague and Assateague, and Shenandoah National Park, are some of the top things to do.

The mountains are prime places to visit for hiking and other outdoor sports, and the long golden beaches are popular summer destinations. Plan your visit to this fascinating state with our list of the top attractions in Virginia.

1. Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive

2. colonial williamsburg, 3. virginia beach, 4. arlington national cemetery, 5. mount vernon, 6. monticello and charlottesville, 7. jamestown and yorktown, 9. virginia museum of fine arts, 10. luray caverns, 11. busch gardens, 12. the battleship wisconsin & nauticus, 13. steven f. udvar-hazy center, 14. richmond, 15. natural bridge of virginia, 16. chincoteague and assateague islands, 17. virginia aquarium & marine science center, 18. manassas national battlefield.

Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive

In the center of Virginia, Shenandoah National Park protects portions of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which range in height between 2,000 and 4,000 feet. Along their crest and running the length of the park is the Skyline Drive, the northern continuation of the Blue Ridge Parkway, with stopping points to enjoy the views and attractions, including President Hoover's summer residence and the old Cave Cemetery below Dark Hollow Falls.

The beautiful hiking trails are some of the park's main attractions. Flowering trees and shrubs are at their finest in spring and summer, but the park is best known for its autumn colors in October. Only a short drive west from the Skyline Drive on US 211 are Luray Caverns containing magnificent formations of stalactites and stalagmites.

The Governor's Palace in Colonial Williamsburg

Few places can recreate a setting for the period of the American Revolution as well as Williamsburg, where the original 18th-century buildings are either still standing or have been faithfully reproduced on their original foundations. Here, you can stand where Patrick Henry gave his stirring speech, walk the same streets as Thomas Jefferson, and savor a meal where George Washington enjoyed seafood dinners.

Williamsburg was the capital of Virginia from 1705 and throughout the Revolution, and the final battle of the war was fought nearby, so it was a hotbed of the independence movement, along with being one of the most prosperous and politically active colonial capitals.

Costumed interpreters help show what life was like for the gentry, the farmers, and the slaves that lived and worked here, and frequent re-enactments add color and action that makes Williamsburg a fun place to visit for all ages. In addition, you can visit two outstanding museums of folk and decorative arts and dozens of authentically recreated colonial gardens.

King Neptune statue at Virginia Beach

Named for the wide expanse of golden sand that stretches from just east of Norfolk, Virginia Beach is a very popular and often crowded resort town with the expected hotels, amusements, and a long boardwalk . If the Atlantic Ocean is not warm enough for the children, take them to the 19-acre Ocean Breeze Water Park , with Caribbean-themed waterslides, a wave pool, and water playground.

The Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Museum explores the climate, sea floor, and fauna of the coast, with an 800,000-gallon aquarium, hands-on exhibits, and a touch tank. Outdoors is an aviary, nature trail, marshlands to explore, and an adventure park.

More than 9,000 acres of coastline has been protected in the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge , where you'll find walking and hiking trails and picnic facilities at the visitor center. This is a favorite spot for birders, as more than 10,000 birds visit annually, including snow geese, falcons, ducks, and piping plovers.

The Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum displays historical and contemporary waterfowl decoys. To visit the 1791 Old Cape Henry Lighthouse , which opened up the Chesapeake Bay area to safe navigation, and the nearby New Lighthouse built in 1881, you will need to pass through security at the Fort Story Military Base.

Between Virginia Beach and Norfolk is the entrance to the 20-mile-long engineering marvel Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, which spans the entrance to Chesapeake Bay, connecting the mainland to Virginia's Eastern Shore.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Virginia Beach

Arlington National Cemetery

Spread across 600 acres overlooking Washington, D.C., Arlington National Cemetery is where some of the most famous people in the United States are buried. The most visited are the grave of President John F. Kennedy and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Kennedy's grave is marked by a slate headstone covered with Cape Cod fieldstone and contains inscriptions of his 1960 inaugural address carved in marble, as well as an eternal flame.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is carved of white marble and watched over by an honor guard 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. It contains the remains of soldiers from both World Wars, the Korean Conflict, and the Vietnam War.

The third site tourists look for is the famous Iwo Jima Memorial , the Marine Corps War Memorial depicting the Joseph Rosenthal photo of five marines and one sailor raising the flag on Mount Suribachi. Other notable monuments include the Seabees Memorial , sculpted by former Seabee Felix de Weldon who also created the Iwo Jima Memorial, and the Women in Military Service for America Memorial , a tribute to all women in the US military.

Arlington House was built in the early 1800s by George Washington Parke Custis as a tribute to his step-grandfather, George Washington. However the house is most famous for being the residence of Robert E. Lee and his wife for 30 years until they abandoned it during the Civil War.

Lee was commander of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia during the American Civil War. The house has been restored and now serves as a memorial to him. Near the mansion is the tomb of Pierre L'Enfant , who designed the city of Washington, D.C. His original city plan is etched in stone, and his burial spot commands a beautiful view of the city he planned.

The mast of the Battleship Maine is incorporated into a memorial to the casualties of the ship that sunk in Havana Harbor in 1898, leading to the Spanish-American war.

Mount Vernon

George Washington's home from 1754 until his death 45 years later, Mount Vernon was a work in progress under Washington's close supervision, even while he was leading the Continental Army during the Revolution. The architectural design, construction, and even interior décor in each renovation and addition received his personal attention, resulting in the gracious 21-room plantation house you see today.

You may be surprised at the vivid paint and wallpaper colors throughout the house, but these shades were popular in the late 18th century - the bright green walls in the "New Room" were Washington's favorite. Unlike many historic homes, Mount Vernon is filled with personal reminders of George and Martha Washington: family portraits, crests, and the couple's belongings.

The grounds and gardens overlooking views of the Potomac River were a great pride of the first president, and again he took a personal part in their planning and care. He chose a less formal and more natural plan than his predecessors, reshaping the lawns and paths and planting native species of trees and shrubs.

The outbuildings have been preserved or reconstructed, and you'll often see the many skills used on the plantation demonstrated: blacksmithing, plowing, sheep shearing, weaving, even grinding grain at the water-powered gristmill.

Address: 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy, Mount Vernon, Virginia

Official site: www.mountvernon.org

Thomas Jefferson's Monticello

One of the finest country houses in the United States and one of the most visited presidential homes, Thomas Jefferson's Monticello is a Palladian-style mansion he designed himself, inspired by a villa outside Vicenza, Italy. He continued altering and improving it over a period of forty years, from 1768 to 1809.

Throughout the house, you'll see several of Jefferson's inventions, which show another facet of the versatile man's talents. To the rear of the house are the extensive historic gardens, also designed by Jefferson, and below is the family cemetery with an obelisk marking Jefferson's grave.

An interesting outdoor exhibit, Landscape of Slavery: Mulberry Row at Monticello , sheds light on the lives of the people who worked and lived on the 5,000-acre plantation. The Monticello Visitors Center has more than 400 items on display, an introductory film, and hands-on activities for children.

Jefferson founded the University of Virginia in 1819 and also designed its red-brick buildings. Be sure to see the outstanding Rotunda; fans of Edgar Allan Poe can see his room in the West Building. The university's Art Museum has a permanent collection of American, European, and Asian art.

Not far from Monticello is Highland , the country house of President James Monroe, with beautiful period gardens. At Michie Tavern , built during Jefferson's time, you can dine in 18th-century surroundings.

Address: Thomas Jefferson Parkway, Charlottesville, Virginia

Official site: www.monticello.org

  • Read More: Top-Rated Things to Do in Charlottesville

James Fort in Jamestown

Colonial National Historic Park encompasses both Jamestown and Yorktown, where the Revolution ended. Jamestown is the oldest British settlement on North American soil, established in 1607 by Captain John Smith.

Only the foundations of the 1639 church tower, the churchyard, and the outlines of a few other buildings remain of the original settlement, but you'll find a re-creation of a Powhatan village based on contemporary drawings and archaeological finds, and replicas of the three ships that brought the settlers from England: Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery .

Jamestown Settlement was built in 1957 to commemorate the 350th anniversary of Jamestown's founding. A museum and exhibition galleries focus on England's colonization in the New World, the history and culture of the Powhatans, and Jamestown's first 100 years.

The statue of Pocahontas by William Ordway Partridge was erected in 1922 in memory of her role in smoothing relations between the Native Americans and the settlers. The statue of John Smith by William Couper was erected in 1909.

Triangular James Fort is a re-creation of the one constructed by the colonists, with thatch-roofed structures representing Jamestown's earliest buildings. Although none of the original buildings are still standing, the foundations are still in place, and you can see them on a half-mile walk through New Towne , part of Colonial National Historical Park.

Cannons at the Yorktown Battlefield

It was at Yorktown Battlefield that the English Army under Lord Cornwallis surrendered to the combined American and French Armies, paving the way for American Independence. The events on the battlefield are well documented and easy to understand from the interpretive displays and dioramas. Park Ranges also guide frequent tours, and you can see the early 18th-century Moore House where Cornwallis surrendered.

Nelson House, which has a cannonball lodged in the wall near the upper window, is well-restored and an excellent example of Georgian architecture. Grace Episcopal Church has been standing since 1697 despite the ravages of war during the sieges of Yorktown in 1781 and 1862 and despite the fire of 1814. Communion silver dating from 1649 is still in use.

Address: Colonial National Historical Park, Yorktown, Virginia

Maymont

Walking through the landscaped and manicured gardens of Maymont, It is hard to imagine this 100 acres as the pastures and fields of the dairy farm it was before James and Sallie Dooley acquired it in 1886.

The opulent mansion was completed in 1893 and for the next 30 years, Mrs. Dooley worked with a team of top landscape designers and horticulturalists to surround it with gardens and an arboretum, turning into a showpiece worthy of any Gilded Age millionaire.

Hundreds of rose bushes, beds of annuals, and perennial borders bloom throughout the seasons, and exotic trees from around the world shade garden paths. Highlights are the Japanese Garden and the spectacular terraced Italian Garden, with its fountains, cascade, pergola, and stonework of Petersburg granite. The mansion is a blend of Romanesque Revival and Queen Anne styles, its restored interior complete with original furnishings and collections from the Dooleys' travels.

Address: 1700 Hampton Street, Richmond, Virginia

Official site: https://maymont.org/

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

The more than 22,000 works in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts are largely focused on modern and contemporary art, especially European art after 1900, American art after 1950, and 21st-century art worldwide. Within that, several special collections stand out.

The Ludwig and Rosy Fischer Collection of German Expressionist Art includes works in all mediums - paintings, woodcuts, etchings, and lithographs - with a particular focus on the Die Brücke artists. The growing collections of works reflecting African American experience and expression includes works by African, African American, and African Diaspora artists.

A suite of five galleries display the largest public collection of Fabergé and Russian decorative arts held by an American museum, including silver, enamels, and an exceptional group of five Fabergé easter eggs made for the last two Russian czars.

Other noteworthy collections feature Art Nouveau and Art Deco works; French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art; and significant holdings of African, Asian, ancient, pre-Columbian, and Native American art.

Address: 200 N Arthur Ashe Blvd, Richmond, Virginia

Official site: https://www.vmfa.museum

Luray Caverns

Luray Caverns contain breathtaking examples of calcite formations within an extensive underground system that sometimes feels more like an alien landscape than a terrestrial natural landmark. Visitors can walk through the caves and admire these limestone crystals, which have, over the centuries, formed an impressive landscape.

Among the highlights are Titania's Veil; the giant Double Column; interior lakes, which magnify the scene; and a one-of-a-kind musical instrument called the Great Stalacpipe Organ, which creates music using the stalactites themselves.

In addition to the caves, visitors can also enjoy other attractions as part of the admission. The Luray Valley Museum explores the history of the Shenandoah Valley throughout a seven-acre 19th-century village, which is filled with both authentic and reproduction buildings and artifacts. The Car & Carriage Caravan Museum features historic vehicles, including an 1897 Mercedes Benz, and Toy Town Junction is home to an antique train set and toy collection form the 1940s.

Address: Luray Caverns, 101 Cave Hill Road, Luray, Virginia

Official site: https://luraycaverns.com

Waterfall in Busch Gardens

Taking Europe as its theme, this lively adventure park evokes southern Germany in its entertainment area with dirndl-costumed dancers and a traditional Bavarian band, while rides and roller coasters themed to the Loch Ness Monster, the Alps, and the ruins of Pompeii provide thrills for the whole family.

For quieter moments, you can watch Border Collies herd sheep as they do in Scotland or share time with exotic birds in an interactive aviary. Special sections are designed for younger children, with rides appropriate to their thrill level.

Address: One Busch Gardens Boulevard, Williamsburg, Virginia

Official site: https://buschgardens.com/

USS Wisconsin Battleship in Norfolk, Virginia

One of the largest ever built by the U.S. Navy, the Battleship Wisconsin is also one of the last launched in December of 1943 at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. World War II was at its height, and the Wisconsin was immediately deployed to the Pacific, into the midst of some of the heaviest sea combat of the war, earning five battle stars.

Mothballed after the war, the Wisconsin was recommissioned for the Korean War, and in 1951 became the flagship of the Seventh Fleet in the Pacific. On a self-guided tour, you can visit the deck, or explore further on a tour guided by former Navy personnel.

The Wisconsin is berthed at Nauticus, a maritime discovery center with interactive exhibits and programs that also includes the Schooner Virginia , a sailing center, and museum. In December, Winterfest sees the Wisconsin covered in colored lights.

Address: 1 Waterside Drive, Norfolk, Virginia

Official site: https://nauticus.org

Space Shuttle Discovery at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is an extension of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., and is home to thousands of artifacts and aircraft which inspire awe in visitors. Perhaps the most impressive of these is the Space Shuttle Discovery, the centerpiece of the space science exhibits.

Within two immense hangars, the center houses a wide variety of aircraft which represent every aspect of aviation, from the earliest years of flight through modern commercial craft, including a Concorde on display.

Other aircraft include examples of both U.S. and foreign military vehicles from the WWII era as well as military craft and technology from the Korean and Vietnam wars, the cold war, and modern military craft. The museum is also a working restoration center, and visitors can watch staff from a mezzanine as they repair and preserve more artifacts and craft.

The center is also full of interactive exhibits and demonstrations, including the unique Discovery Stations which as mobile exhibits manned by staff who are ready to answer questions and engage younger visitors. The center's IMAX theater presents a range of films about aviation and space exploration, history, and nature.

Aspiring aviators and amateurs will want to take flight in an interactive flight simulator, and those hoping for an adventure will want to hop aboard the motion capsule ride simulator which offers a range of themed immersive experiences.

Address: 14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway, Chantilly, Virginia

Official site: https://airandspace.si.edu/udvar-hazy-center

Richmond State Capitol

Among the skyscrapers of Virginia's modern capital city are some reminders of Richmond's great past as a center of the American independence movement and capital of the Confederacy from 1861 to 1865. The imposing State Capitol was built in 1785-1788, designed by Thomas Jefferson, and to its south is the start of Canal Walk , which runs along the James River-Kanawha Canal, built at the suggestion of George Washington.

The Church Hill Historic Area preserves about 70 antebellum houses that give some impression of what Richmond was like before the Civil War. The district is named after St. John's Episcopal Church in which Patrick Henry made his famous "Give me liberty or give me death" speech. The 1737 Old Stone House is the oldest building in Richmond, now housing the Edgar Allan Poe Museum (Poe lived in Richmond for several years).

Richmond National Battlefield Park illustrates more than five years of campaigns to capture this key city during the Civil War. That era is also illustrated at the White House of the Confederacy , restored to its wartime appearance and displaying hundreds of Civil War artifacts.

Several of the historic homes are of particular interest: John Marshall House is one of the few remaining Federal homes built in this area and is filled with the distinguished Supreme Court Justice's family relics and furniture.

The Wilton House Museum is a beautifully restored plantation home built in the mid-18th century, and Maymont is an elaborate mansion restored to show the grandeur of life here in the late 1800s. Its extensive gardens include an arboretum and 100-acre park with a carriage collection.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Richmond, VA

Natural Bridge of Virginia

Towering more than 215 feet high with a span of 90 feet, the Natural Bridge is one of America's oldest tourist attractions and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. During the 18th and 19th centuries, it was one of the two most popular sights for European visitors, ranking with Niagara Falls.

It was formed by the collapse of a cavern through which the Cedar Creek flowed. The legend that George Washington surveyed the bridge for Lord Fairfax gained credence when a rock with his initials and survey mark was discovered in 1927. Thomas Jefferson owned the land for some time, building a log cabin here as a retreat.

In 2014, Natural Bridge became a state park. Stroll along Cedar Creek Trail from Cascade Falls, under the bridge, and to Lace Falls, visiting an exhibit on the Monacans, the local Native American tribe, and a saltpeter mine used during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. US Route 11 runs over the top of the bridge.

Nearby are Natural Bridge Caverns , where you can go 34 stories underground to see the Colossal Dome room, Mirror Lake, and the stalactites and stalagmites. Natural Bridge Zoo is known for its work in breeding rare and endangered species and for the chance for visitors to interact with some of the animals.

Address: 6477 South Lee Highway, Natural Bridge, Virginia

Chincoteague and Assateague Islands

Assateague is a 38-mile-long barrier island to the east of Chincoteague Island, which it protects from the Atlantic Ocean. The entire island of Assateague, which is partly in Maryland and partly in Virginia, is protected as a wildlife sanctuary.

The southern end of Chincoteague is protected by a National Wildlife Refuge with 14,000 acres of shoreline, fresh and saltwater marshes, wetlands, and forest habitat for more than 320 species of shorebirds and waterfowl.

But the two islands' most famous residents are the wild ponies . Partly because of these ponies and partly because Assateague Island is lined by one of the most beautiful beaches on the entire Atlantic Coast , these islands get about one-and-a-half million visitors each year.

Along with watching the wild ponies, you can swim, walk nature trails, take wildlife tours by boat or bus, watch birds, visit the famous lighthouse, kayak, go fishing, and collect seashells (up to a gallon each day).

  • Read More: Top Tourist Attractions in Norfolk, Virginia

Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

The Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center provides a wide range of exhibits and activities for the entire family and is one of the most popular family attractions in Virginia Beach.

Aquarium residents include several varieties of turtle, including Loggerhead Sea Turtles and Green Sea Turtles, water-dwelling reptiles like Komodo dragons and tomistoma, predators including sandbar sharks, and entertaining mammals including harbor seals and otters. The center also has a variety of educational exhibits and activities for all ages, as well as a six-story theater, which has regular showings of 3-D nature films.

For those who want a more interactive experience with nature, there are outdoor recreation options as well, including a six-acre zipline adventure park for ages five and up. All ages can enjoy one of the center's various boat excursions, which spot wildlife including bottlenose dolphins, a variety of whales, and many types of sea birds.

Address: 717 General Booth Blvd., Virginia Beach, Virginia

Manassas National Battlefield Park

Two key battles in the Civil War were fought near Manassas, Virginia in 1861 and 1862. The site has been preserved as Manassas National Battlefield and is described exceptionally well, so visitors can understand and even picture those battles.

The first battle, also known as the Battle of Bull Run, was the first time the two armies clashed, and the second engagement on the plains of Manassas ended in a solid victory for the Confederates and marked the height of their strength in a war that would drag on for three more years.

Today, the park is not only a historic site but an important haven for more than 160 species of resident and migratory birds.

Address: 12521 Lee Highway, Manassas, Virginia

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Washington, D.C.: Many of Virginia's most popular tourist destinations complement the historic and political attractions in and around Washington, D.C. , a metropolis which has spread well into its neighboring states. In addition to iconic landmarks like the Capitol Building, the Washington Monument, and the Lincoln Memorial, the District of Columbia is home to some of the most legendary museums in the world, the Smithsonian Museums. This makes the nation's capital one of the most visited family destinations, and tourists can find a wide variety of places to stay in and around D.C.

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Maryland : The small coastal state of Maryland sits on the other side of the District of Columbia, bordering the capital city on three sides and sharing a long border with Virginia. It is home to the city of Baltimore , known for its extensive museums, historic landmarks, and cultural riches. Nearby, you will also find the smaller but charming Annapolis , which is full of things to see and do, from historic sites to spectacular sailing.

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Delaware: Also within a reasonable drive from northern Virginia, the tiny state of Delaware provides a refreshing retreat along the Atlantic. Delaware is well known for its maritime history and cultural attractions, but equally popular for its abundance of fine beaches , revered for their calm waters along the protected shores of Delaware Bay . As a result, the state has become a top summer vacation destination for families and couples, and offers a variety of excellent resorts .

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More on Virginia

Virginia Travel Guide

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Is Virginia Beach a foodie city?

geographic-faq

Virginia Beach is a vibrant coastal city in southeastern Virginia, known for its beautiful beaches and thriving culinary scene. With its location on the southern tip of the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia Beach offers a seafood-centric culinary culture, boasting a wide array of unique restaurants and delectable fare. Whether you’re a seafood lover or craving southern-style cuisine, Virginia Beach has something to satisfy every foodie’s palate.

What food is VA Beach known for?

Virginia Beach is known for its iconic dishes that you have to try:

  • Lynnhaven Oysters
  • She-Crab Soup
  • Orange Crushes
  • Soft Shell Crab
  • Fresh Pungo Berries

Why is Virginia Beach so popular?

Virginia Beach is popular for its vibrant coastal atmosphere, rich history, and a variety of arts and entertainment experiences. The city caters to year-round visitors with its beautiful beaches, family-friendly activities, and a blossoming culinary scene. Whether you’re looking to relax by the ocean, explore cultural attractions, or indulge in delicious food, Virginia Beach has something for everyone.

What food is Virginia known for?

When it comes to Virginia cuisine, the state is known for its southern-style fare. Some of the famous foods in Virginia include oysters, peanuts, BBQ, country ham, blue crabs, trout, apples, and Brunswick stew. These dishes embody the rich culinary traditions of the region and are a must-try for food enthusiasts visiting Virginia.

What kind of city is Virginia Beach?

Virginia Beach is a resort city with miles of beautiful beaches and a thriving tourism industry. The city is home to numerous hotels, motels, and restaurants along its oceanfront, offering visitors a wide range of accommodation and dining options. With its coastal charm and vibrant atmosphere, Virginia Beach has become a popular destination for tourists and a desirable place to live for residents.

Virginia Beach Restaurant: 9 Best Restaurants in Virginia Beach

Discover the top-rated restaurants in Virginia Beach, offering a diverse range of culinary experiences:

[Restaurant 1]

[Restaurant 2]

[Restaurant 3]

[Restaurant 4]

[Restaurant 5]

[Restaurant 6]

[Restaurant 7]

[Restaurant 8]

[Restaurant 9]

Is Virginia Beach nicer than Ocean City?

Both Virginia Beach and Ocean City offer unique beach experiences. Virginia Beach is known for its laid-back and nature-focused atmosphere, making it ideal for those seeking a more relaxed vacation. On the other hand, Ocean City, Maryland is a lively and bustling beach destination with a wide range of entertainment options. The choice between the two depends on personal preferences, whether you prefer a quieter beach getaway or a vibrant and energetic beach town.

Is Virginia Beach a nice city?

Virginia Beach is a fantastic city to live in, known for its stunning coastal beauty, family-friendly attractions, and a thriving job market. The city offers a high quality of life with its beautiful beaches, diverse culinary scene, and a wide range of recreational activities. Whether you’re a nature lover, a food enthusiast, or looking for job opportunities, Virginia Beach has something to offer for everyone.

What’s Virginia’s most popular food?

Virginia is known for its delicious cuisine. Here are some of the iconic foods to try in Virginia:

  • Shrimp & Grits
  • Mac & Cheese
  • Brunswick stew

Why is Virginia known for lovers?

The famous slogan “Virginia is for Lovers” originated from an advertising campaign that highlighted the state as a romantic destination. The slogan first appeared in an ad in Brides Magazine, depicting Virginia as a place for lovers. The campaign aimed to showcase Virginia’s romantic attractions, picturesque landscapes, and rich history, making it an ideal destination for couples and lovers.

What place in Virginia is named for food?

Cukes in VA is a place in Virginia named after food. Some believe this name was chosen for its many magnolia trees, commonly known as “cucumber trees” due to their fruit’s resemblance to cucumbers.

Is Virginia Beach nicer than Myrtle Beach?

The beach experience may vary between Virginia Beach and Myrtle Beach. Virginia Beach offers a wider and nicer beach in comparison to Myrtle Beach. However, Myrtle Beach is known for its lively and bustling beach town atmosphere with a plethora of entertainment options, restaurants, and attractions. The choice between the two depends on personal preferences, whether you prefer a quieter beach or a more vibrant and energetic beach destination.

How white is Virginia Beach?

Virginia Beach has a diverse population. In 2021, there were 3.3 times more White (Non-Hispanic) residents in Virginia Beach than any other race or ethnicity. However, Virginia Beach is also home to a significant Black or African American (Non-Hispanic) population and a growing Asian (Non-Hispanic) community, making it an ethnically diverse city.

Is it worth going to Virginia Beach?

Virginia Beach is definitely worth visiting for its beautiful beaches, family-friendly attractions, and thriving culinary scene. The city offers a wide range of entertainment options, from cultural experiences to outdoor activities. Whether you’re looking to relax by the ocean, indulge in delicious seafood, or explore historical sites, Virginia Beach has plenty to offer for a memorable vacation.

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Happiness is just a walk in the sand away when you vacation in Virginia Beach, where the easy pace of beach living will have you saying yes to all kinds of new experiences. Rejuvenation is a given here, as you let the sun deliver its vitamin D therapy in any dose you like. Whether you’re into hours of relaxation on the shore or take your sunshine between excursions to area shops and museums , the options for fun and fulfillment are plenty. From the daily oceanfront entertainment of Live! On Atlantic to taking in a show at the Sandler Center , you won’t run out of things to do.

Love the Moment in Virginia Beach

Walk the trails of  First Landing State Park , kayak the quiet waters of  Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge  or join a  boat tour  in search of dolphins – Virginia Beach rewards nature lovers with unforgettable experiences. Coastal birds are always willing to put on a show, both at the oceanfront and along our inland waterways.

Explore Virginia Beach’s storied history, from the earliest English speaking settlers to the military might of today. The  Military Aviation Museum  boasts a spectacular collection of beautifully restored WWI and WWII aircraft. Visit the  Virginia Aquarium’s Restless Planet  exhibit for a natural history view of the area.

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COMMENTS

  1. Things to Do in Virginia Beach

    Things to Do in Virginia Beach, VA - Virginia Beach Attractions Things to Do in Virginia Beach Popular things to do Top Picks Tours & Sightseeing Points of Interest & Landmarks Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours Private Drivers Beaches Walking Tours Shopping Passes & Offers Historic Sites Ports of Call Tours Tours in and around Virginia Beach

  2. Things to Do in Virginia Beach

    Whether you're looking for playgrounds and mini golf or nightlife and brewery tours, pet-friendly attractions or paddling tours, you'll find new things to love and great ways to connect in our welcoming destination. Thing To Do With Kids Budget-Friendly Nightlife Arts & Entertainment Museums & History Pet Friendly Tours Vacation Guide

  3. Discover the Best Virginia Beach Attractions

    Boardwalk Cape Henry Light House Aquarium Town Center Year Round Fun Explore our vibrant coastal districts and everything Virginia Beach has to offer. There is something for everyone in the family, no matter the season. Free Things to Do The best things in life - including these wonderful attractions and experiences - are free. Let's Go

  4. THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Virginia Beach

    THE 15 BEST Things to Do in Virginia Beach Things to Do in Virginia Beach Popular things to do Top Picks Tours & Sightseeing Points of Interest & Landmarks Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours Private Drivers Beaches Walking Tours Shopping Passes & Offers Historic Sites Ports of Call Tours Tours in and around Virginia Beach

  5. 13 Best Things to Do in Virginia Beach

    #1 in Virginia Beach Beaches, Free, Sightseeing TYPE 2 hours to Half Day TIME TO SPEND Instead of traditional wooden planks, Virginia Beach's famous boardwalk is concrete. The 3-mile...

  6. 13 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Virginia Beach

    1. Virginia Beach Boardwalk & the Oceanfront Virginia Beach Boardwalk and Resort Beach | Photo Copyright: Lana Law During the summer, most vacationers come to Virginia Beach to enjoy the glorious beaches. The city's most popular stretch of beach runs north of the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier, in front of a long line of hotels.

  7. 42 Best & Fun Things To Do In Virginia Beach (Virginia)

    2. Virginia Beach Boardwalk Sherry V Smith / Shutterstock Virginia Beach Boardwalk is one of the key places to visit in the area, and it's the main reason that tourists flock to this part of the state - especially in the summer, for some fun in the sun!

  8. 25 Best Things to Do in Virginia Beach (VA)

    Here is our list of the 25 Best Things to do in Virginia Beach. 1. See some fish. Source: Sherry V Smith / shutterstock. Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center. The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center holds 800,000 gallons of water and over 300 species.

  9. Visit Virginia Beach

    Virginia Beach Attractions The Boardwalk: Where the Good Life Happens Cruise around this laid-back community by fat-tire bike or wander the wildlife refuge. Head Out Hotels & Resorts The right hotel will put you in that perfect Virginia Beach mindset, and it all starts with the perfect hotel choice. Let's Go A Beach for All Seasons

  10. 40 Best Things to Do in Virginia Beach (+ Insider Tips)

    The Cavalier by Autograph Collection (VB's most famous hotel - my top pick!) Hilton Garden Inn VA Beach Oceanfront (4-star w/ pool and restaurant) Hampton Inn VA Beach Oceanfront North (3-star hotel w/ ocean views) Comfort Inn & Suites VA Beach Oceanfront (3-star on boardwalk) 🇺🇸 Top Tours in Virginia Beach:

  11. 15 Must See Virginia Beach Attractions and Places to Visit

    Most visitors already know about two of its biggest attractions - the Virginia Beach Boardwalk and the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center. The 3-mile long and 28-foot wide stretch of oceanfront boardwalk is the gateway to the popular Atlantic beach community.

  12. 17 Fun Things to Do in Virginia Beach, VA

    Best places to visit in Virginia Beach, VA Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center. Love all things aquatic and looking to learn some more? Get your fill of marine life, education, and inspiration at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center.. With community-centric events including Sharks after Dark, Creek Clean-ups, and a conservation-specific speaker series, Virginia Aquarium & Marine ...

  13. Top 20 Virginia Beach Attractions & Things To Do You Shouldn't Miss

    However, be sure not to miss the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center, the Cape Henry Lighthouse, or First Landing State Park, which all are terrific Virginia Beach attractions.

  14. 15 Fun Things To Do in Virginia Beach: A Comprehensive Guide

    Family-Friendly Attractions. Virginia Beach is a perfect destination for families with children of all ages. With so many fun things to do, it can be hard to decide where to start. ... Virginia Beach is a popular tourist destination, so there are plenty of options for accommodations. Visitors can choose from hotels, motels, resorts, vacation ...

  15. Virginia Beach Attractions

    (27)listings Fishing (3)listings Golf (4)listings Gyms (1)listing History (11)listings Museums (14)listings Parks

  16. Virginia Beach Boardwalk

    The Virginia Beach Boardwalk, at the Oceanfront, is a 28-feet wide marvel that stretches three miles from 2nd to 40th Street and features a separate bike path, ideal for strolling, rollerblading and biking. Entertainment is offered nightly during the summer months and four oceanfront stages at 7th, 17th, and 24th and 31st Streets provide live ...

  17. Virginia Beach Tourist Guide: Restaurants, Attractions and More

    Also, don't miss the 24-foot King Neptune statue at the Neptune Festival Park entrance. Atlantic Fun Park: It is the best amusement park to try different rides, such as the Gravitron, the Skyflyer, and the Sea Dragon, plus test your skills on the go-karts, the rock wall, and the midway games.

  18. THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Virginia Beach

    First Landing State Park. Virginia's most popular state park, attracting one million visitors annually, it is located near the site of the first…. 7. Virginia Beach. It is the Kayak Dolphin Tours, Kayak State Park, Tours Bike Tours, Surf Lessons and Kayak Rentals Founded in 1996 to….

  19. 17 Unique Things to do in Virginia Beach on ANY Budget in 2024

    Visit the Website. 1. Hike the First Landing State Park's Trails. By far one of the most iconic attractions in Virginia Beach, First Landing State Park is also steeped in history. Most notably, this is where John Smith, Christopher Newport, and other English colonists landed in the New World way back when.

  20. 18 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Virginia

    Virginia Beach 4. Arlington National Cemetery 5. Mount Vernon 6. Monticello and Charlottesville 7. Jamestown and Yorktown 8. Maymont 9. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts 10. Luray Caverns 11. Busch Gardens 12. The Battleship Wisconsin & Nauticus 13. Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

  21. Official Virginia Beach Visitors Guide: Plan Your Dream Vacation

    Discover the best of Virginia Beach with our official visitors guide. Plan your perfect vacation with insider tips, top attractions and more!

  22. Top 10 Best Tourist Attractions in Virginia Beach, VA

    Reviews on Tourist Attractions in Virginia Beach, VA - Wild Horse Adventure Tours, Cape Henry Lighthouse, The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, Neptune's Park, Currituck Beach Lighthouse

  23. Is Virginia Beach a foodie city?

    The beach experience may vary between Virginia Beach and Myrtle Beach. Virginia Beach offers a wider and nicer beach in comparison to Myrtle Beach. However, Myrtle Beach is known for its lively and bustling beach town atmosphere with a plethora of entertainment options, restaurants, and attractions.

  24. Visit Virginia Beach

    Looking for Virginia Beach trip ideas? Get help from the local experts. Find inspiration, things to do, attractions, museums, outdoor recreation, events, restaurants, places to stay and more to plan your Virginia Beach vacation.