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The Best Things to Do in Virginia Beach, VA

When you're in Virginia Beach, you'll quickly find that there's no shortage of activities to keep you entertained. You could start your day lounging on the sandy shores and then move on to exploring historic landmarks like the Cape Henry Lighthouse. For those who enjoy water sports, surfing and paddleboarding are readily available. The Virginia Beach Boardwalk is a must-visit, offering a scenic three-mile stretch filled with dining, shopping, and entertainment. Museums like the Military Aviation Museum add a touch of history and culture to your trip. What else could make your visit even more memorable?

Key Takeaways

  • Relax on Virginia Beach's 35 miles of beautiful sandy shoreline, perfect for sunbathing and water activities.
  • Stroll along the 3-mile Virginia Beach Boardwalk, offering ocean views, dining, shops, and entertainment.
  • Explore historic Cape Henry Lighthouse, one of the oldest lighthouses on the East Coast.
  • Enjoy water sports like surfing, paddleboarding, kayaking, and sailing, with rental shops conveniently located.
  • Visit the Military Aviation Museum and Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum for enriching historical experiences.

Best Time to Visit Virginia Beach, VA

The best time to visit Virginia Beach is from September to November or from March to May, when you'll enjoy mild weather and fewer crowds.

During these months, Virginia Beach offers a perfect balance of warmth and comfort, making it ideal for exploring the best things the city has to offer. In the fall and spring, you can stroll along the sandy shores, take part in outdoor festivals, and savor local seafood without the summer rush.

Summer might be the peak tourist season, but Virginia Beach can get quite hot, with temperatures soaring into the mid-80s and low 90s. While the summer sun can be inviting, the crowds can be overwhelming.

If you crave a more relaxed experience, stick to the shoulder seasons. The city still buzzes with activity, but you won't feel crowded out.

In the winter, Virginia Beach remains a pleasant escape. With temperatures averaging between 37°F and 52°F, it's mild enough for outdoor activities like hiking and biking.

Plus, the city's moderate climate, with about 45 inches of annual rainfall, allows you to enjoy the outdoors year-round. Festivals like the Virginia Beach Neptune Festival in September and the Virginia Beach Patriotic Festival in May add even more allure to your visit.

What to Know Before Visiting Virginia Beach, VA

Before heading to Virginia Beach, familiarize yourself with its diverse coastline and vibrant local events to maximize your experience.

Virginia Beach boasts 35 miles of coastline, offering everything from bustling boardwalks to tranquil shores. You'll find the perfect spot whether you crave excitement or peace.

Don't miss out on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk, a 3-mile oceanfront promenade with restaurants, shops, and entertainment options. It even has a dedicated bike path for walkers, joggers, and cyclists.

Make sure to check out First Landing State Park, which spans 2,800 acres and offers a plethora of outdoor activities. Visitors can enjoy camping, hiking, and water sports, all set against a backdrop of lush greenery and scenic trails.

This park is a must-visit for anyone who loves the great outdoors.

Virginia Beach also hosts several annual events that draw large crowds. The Virginia Beach Neptune Festival, for example, attracts over 500,000 visitors each year with its lively parades, arts and crafts shows, and sand sculpting competitions.

Plan your trip around these events to experience the local culture at its finest. Knowing these details will help you make the most of your visit.

Best Things to Do in Virginia Beach, VA

When you're in Virginia Beach, you'll find plenty of fun activities to keep you entertained.

Relaxing on the beautiful sandy beaches is a must, but don't forget to explore the historic lighthouses and enjoy some thrilling water activities.

You can also visit local museums and experience the lively boardwalk with its dining, shopping, and entertainment options.

Relax on Beaches

Boasting 35 miles of sandy shoreline, Virginia Beach invites you to find your perfect spot for relaxation or adventure. Whether you're seeking the soothing Ocean Breeze or a lively beach atmosphere, there's something here for everyone.

You can unwind on the soft sand, soak up the sun, or plunge into exciting water sports like surfing, kayaking, and paddleboarding. Lifeguards patrol the beach during the summer, ensuring a safe environment for visitors of all ages.

Prefer a leisurely pace? Take a stroll or jog along the beachfront, enjoying the scenic views and the invigorating Ocean Breeze. The 3-mile boardwalk is perfect for grabbing a bite, with plenty of dining and snack options.

Plus, there are beach bars where you can sip on a cool drink while watching the waves crash.

If you're into sports, join a beach volleyball game or set up a picnic area for a relaxing meal by the sea. With varying widths and crowd sizes, Virginia Beach offers the freedom to choose your ideal spot, whether you crave solitude or socializing.

Plunge into the beach life and make the most of every moment!

Explore Historic Lighthouses

Discover the rich maritime history of Virginia Beach by exploring its historic lighthouses.

Start your adventure at the Cape Henry Lighthouse, one of the oldest on the East Coast. Built in 1792, it stands as a landmark to early American engineering and resilience. This lighthouse guided countless ships safely to shore, playing a vital role in the nation's maritime history.

Next, visit the newer Cape Henry Lighthouse, constructed in 1881. Though it's just a short distance from the original, its towering black and white stripes make it a striking landmark. Both lighthouses offer a glimpse into the past and the technological advancements that have shaped navigation along the East Coast.

Climbing up the original Cape Henry Lighthouse provides a panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean and Chesapeake Bay. From this vantage point, you can almost feel the salty breeze and imagine the countless sailors who relied on these beacons. Don't forget to bring your camera, because the view from the top is nothing short of spectacular.

Enjoy Water Activities

Why not plunge into the myriad water activities Virginia Beach has to offer, from surfing and paddleboarding to kayaking and sailing?

Whether you're a seasoned water enthusiast or just looking to try something new, Virginia Beach has got you covered. You can find numerous rental shops along the beach, offering everything you need for an exciting day on the water.

Surfing is a popular choice, with the Atlantic waves providing the perfect conditions for both beginners and pros alike.

If you'd rather stand tall on the water, paddleboarding is a fantastic way to explore the coastline and enjoy the serene surroundings.

For those who prefer a more leisurely pace, kayaking offers the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. You can paddle through First Landing State Park's waterways and marshlands, soaking in the natural beauty around you.

If you want to feel the wind in your hair, consider sailing. Charter a boat and experience the thrill of cruising the open waters.

Additionally, don't miss out on the opportunity to join a dolphin-watching tour. These guided excursions let you witness these majestic creatures up close in their natural habitat.

Virginia Beach's varied water activities guarantee there's something for everyone.

Visit Local Museums

After enjoying the waves and waterways, you can enrich your visit by exploring some of Virginia Beach's fascinating local museums.

Start with the Military Aviation Museum, where you'll find an impressive collection of World War II and vintage aircraft. Over 60 planes, including icons like the Spitfire and P-51 Mustang, are on display. It's a thrilling glimpse into aviation history and a must-see for any enthusiast.

Next, head over to the Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum. Situated in a historic building, this museum dives deep into the history of surfing and lifeguarding in the area. You'll learn about the evolution of surfboards and the advancements in lifeguarding techniques. It's a fantastic way to connect with the local culture and understand the ocean's impact on the community.

For a different perspective, the Cape Henry Lighthouse offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay. Built in 1792, it stands as a beacon of history. The museum on-site provides insights into its construction and significance, and the gift shop offers unique souvenirs.

Visiting these museums not only deepens your knowledge but also adds a rich layer to your Virginia Beach adventure.

Experience Boardwalk Fun

Strolling along the Virginia Beach Boardwalk, you'll find a vibrant mix of ocean views, eateries, shops, and entertainment that makes it a must-visit destination.

Stretching three miles from 2nd Street to 40th Street, this 28-foot-wide promenade offers something for everyone. Whether you're walking or biking, the separate paths guarantee a safe and enjoyable experience.

Imagine the freedom of feeling the salty breeze as you glide past the stunning ocean. The boardwalk's eateries offer everything from quick snacks to full meals, with seafood being a popular choice.

Shops line the path, perfect for picking up souvenirs or beach essentials.

Entertainment is never far away. Throughout the year, the boardwalk hosts various events and festivals, including the famous Virginia Beach Neptune Festival. These events infuse the area with energy and fun, making your visit memorable.

The boardwalk is well-lit at night, guaranteeing a safe and enjoyable experience no matter when you visit.

Whether you're a local or a traveler, the Virginia Beach Boardwalk stands out as one of the top destinations to experience. It's a place where you can truly unwind and enjoy the best of what Virginia Beach has to offer.

How Virginia Beach, VA Compares to Other Cities

Virginia Beach stands out from other cities with its unique blend of coastal charm and vibrant urban life.

As we explore Virginia Beach's popular destinations, we notice a perfect mix of family-friendly attractions and exciting activities for all ages. The miles of stunning beaches invite us to relax and soak up the sun, while the bustling boardwalk offers endless entertainment, from street performers to local shops and eateries.

Compared to other coastal cities, Virginia Beach manages to retain a laid-back vibe without sacrificing the excitement of urban amenities.

We can venture to the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center for an educational yet fun experience, or take a stroll through the First Landing State Park to immerse ourselves in nature. Unlike some other crowded tourist spots, Virginia Beach provides ample space for everyone to enjoy, whether we're looking for adventure or relaxation.

What truly sets Virginia Beach apart is its commitment to being a welcoming destination for families.

With attractions like Ocean Breeze Waterpark and the Adventure Park, there's something for every family member to enjoy. This city doesn't just cater to tourists; it embraces them, making it a standout choice among coastal cities.

What Makes Virginia Beach, VA an Interesting Place to Live?

Living in Virginia Beach offers a vibrant community with a perfect balance of coastal beauty and urban convenience.

Picture starting your perfect day with a sunrise walk on the beach, feeling the sand between your toes and the ocean breeze on your face. Virginia Beach is one of those places where you can feel the freedom of wide-open spaces and still enjoy the benefits of a lively city.

The Town Center is the heart of it all, offering a mix of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. You can grab a coffee from a local café, browse unique boutiques, and catch a live performance—all in one day. The area is designed to be walkable, making it easy to explore without needing a car.

Beyond the beach and the Town Center, the community is rich with parks, trails, and recreational facilities. There's always something to do, whether it's kayaking on the bay, biking through First Landing State Park, or attending a neighborhood festival.

Living in Virginia Beach means you're never far from nature or excitement. It's a place where you can truly have it all, every single day.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Virginia Beach Best Known For?

Virginia Beach is best known for its stunning 35 miles of sandy shoreline.

You can enjoy various beaches, each with unique widths and crowd sizes.

The iconic Cape Henry Lighthouse, built in 1792, offers breathtaking 360-degree views after climbing 199 steps.

Surfing is huge here, with many surf schools and competitions.

The city's rich history and thriving arts scene make it a must-visit destination.

How Do I Spend a Day in Virginia Beach?

Start your day at the Virginia Beach Boardwalk, where you can enjoy stunning sunrises and oceanfront views.

Next, head to the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center to explore interactive exhibits and watch a 3D movie.

Take a relaxing break at Sandbridge Beach for some peace and quiet.

Explore First Landing State Park's hiking and biking trails.

What Part of Virginia Beach Is Best to Stay In?

Virginia Beach attracts over 19 million visitors each year.

If you love action, stay in the North Beach area for its bustling vibe and proximity to attractions.

For a laid-back experience, Chesapeake Beach offers a family-friendly atmosphere.

Prefer peace and quiet? Sandbridge's secluded charm is perfect.

If you're into nature, Seashore State Park is ideal for camping and outdoor fun.

Choose what fits your vibe!

What Is the Number One Beach in Virginia?

The number one beach in Virginia is the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.

You'll love its 35 miles of coastline, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing.

The 3-mile boardwalk offers restaurants, shops, and entertainment.

Families, couples, and solo travelers find it welcoming with picnic areas, restrooms, and showers.

The beach is clean and safe, with events like the Neptune Festival featuring live music and sand-sculpture competitions.

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Matt Zimmerman, creator of ZimmWriter, applies his multidisciplinary skills to deliver results-oriented AI solutions. His background in SEO, law (J.D.), and engineering (B.S.M.E.) helped create one of the best AI writers in the world. Matt prioritizes continuous improvement by balancing his passion for coding with part-time work at the United States Patent and Trademark Office and his family responsibilities.