The 27 Best Things To Do In Virginia Beach, Virginia (2024 Guide)

Wondering what activities and attractions you can’t miss in VB? Our guide to the best things to do in Virginia Beach is just what you need!

Virginia Beach is a charming local town on the East Coast of Virginia. This beautiful area combines rich wildlife and untouched coastal scenery with bustling boardwalks and world-class museums. There are so many amazing things to do in Virginia Beach that suit a range of interests and travel budgets!

Start at Virginia Beach’s Boardwalk, where you can admire the views of Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Check out historic landmarks like the Cape Henry Lighthouse and First Landing State Park, or see seabirds in their natural habitat at a wildlife refuge.

For more urban excitement, head inland to Norfolk to attend the opera, tour a botanical garden, or go on a river cruise. No matter what your interests may be, Virginia Beach has it all!

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17 Best Things To Do In Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach’s wonders range from historic lighthouses and statues to pristine beaches, forests, and marshes. From seeing wildlife and natural wonders in Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge to surfing or sunbathing along Virginia’s eastern shore, here are some of the top things to do in Virginia Beach!

Heading to the state capital next? Check out the best things to do in Richmond while you’re there.

1. Stroll along the Virginia Beach Boardwalk

Stretching along the Virginia Beach coastline, no visit to this beautiful place is complete without stopping at the Virginia Beach Boardwalk.

Extending for three miles, the Virginia Beach Boardwalk is a bustling hub of activity, with its wooden planks providing a scenic path for walkers, joggers, and cyclists. Lined with an array of shops, restaurants, and attractions, the boardwalk is a focal point for both locals and tourists alike. The lively atmosphere is enhanced by street performers, live music, and the inviting aroma of freshly prepared seafood wafting through the air.

One of the standout features of the Virginia Beach Boardwalk is its stunning ocean views. The wide sandy beaches on one side and the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean on the other create a picturesque backdrop for strolls or simply soaking in the sun.

The Virginia Beach Boardwalk is also home to the iconic King Neptune statue, a towering figure that adds a touch of grandeur to the landscape. Whether enjoying a casual bike ride, sampling local cuisine, or simply taking in the breathtaking scenery, the Virginia Beach Boardwalk is one of the area’s top attractions.

King Neptune Statue
The King Neptune Statue is an iconic landmark on Virginia Beach.

2. Immerse yourself in nature at False Cape State Park

Sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and Back Bay, False Cape State Park is a pristine and secluded natural oasis on the southern tip of Virginia Beach.

Spanning over 4,000 acres, False Cape State Park is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Accessible only by foot, bike, or boat, False Cape State Park is the perfect place to explore scenic hiking trails that wind through forests, sand dunes, and marshes.

False Cape State Park is also a haven for birdwatchers, as it serves as a crucial migratory stopover for a variety of bird species.

One of the distinguishing features of False Cape State Park is its commitment to preserving the natural environment. With no vehicular access, the park maintains an untouched wilderness where visitors can appreciate the unspoiled beauty of coastal ecosystems.

Primitive camping is available within the park, allowing travelers to experience the tranquil sounds of nature and the brilliance of starlit nights. False Cape State Park is one of the top Virginia Beach attractions for anyone looking to immerse themselves in nature.

3. Glide along the Elizabeth River on a Norfolk Cruise

Another one of the best things to do in Virginia Beach is go for a boat cruise! With so much water surrounding this beautiful area, travelers can experience a new way of sightseeing by getting out on a boat.

The best place to embark on a river cruise is the nearby city of Norfolk, Virginia. Located just 20 minutes inland from the heart of Virginia Beach, the Norfolk Harbour is home to scenic boat cruises that depart daily.

As the cruise gently glides along the water, passengers are treated to panoramic views of Norfolk’s waterfront, adorned with a mix of modern skyscrapers and historic naval vessels. The Elizabeth River provides a unique perspective of Norfolk’s rich maritime heritage and allows you to appreciate the history and beauty of Virginia.

4. Tour the Virginia Beach Surf and Rescue Museum

The Virginia Beach Surf and Rescue Museum serves as a tribute to the rich maritime history and the heroic efforts of surf and rescue personnel in the region.

Housed in the historic DeWitt Cottage, the Virginia Beach Surf and Rescue Museum explores the evolution of beach safety and the important role played by lifeguards, shipwreck rescuers, and the United States Life-Saving Service.

Exhibits showcase vintage rescue equipment, surfboards, and artifacts, providing visitors with a comprehensive view of the challenges and triumphs faced by those dedicated to preserving safety along the Virginia Beach coastline.

Through engaging displays and historical narratives, the museum not only educates visitors about the local maritime heritage but also honors the bravery and commitment of individuals who have safeguarded the shores for generations.

5. Soak in the waterfront views at Chesapeake Bay Beach

Visiting Chesapeake Bay Beach, situated along the western shore of the Chesapeake Bay, is another one of the best things to do in Virginia Beach. The soft sandy shores offer a perfect setting for relaxation and recreation, making it an ideal destination for beachgoers seeking a tranquil escape.

With its calm waters and scenic views of the expansive bay, Chesapeake Bay Beach is the perfect place for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying water activities. The bay’s gentle waves create a family-friendly environment in Virginia Beach that suits people of all ages.

One of the distinctive features of Chesapeake Bay Beach is its stunning sunset views. Visitors can appreciate the colorful sunsets while strolling along the beach or from one of the waterfront restaurants.

Beyond its natural beauty, the Chesapeake Bay Beach area also offers opportunities for boating, fishing, and exploring nearby parks, creating a well-rounded Virginia Beach experience for those seeking a peaceful and scenic getaway.

Read next: The Ultimate 7 Day West Virginia Road Trip Itinerary

6. Visit the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Located on the coast of southeastern Virginia, Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge is one of the most incredible places in the area. Encompassing over 9,000 acres of diverse habitats, Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge is a vital link in the migratory path of numerous bird species, making it a haven for birdwatchers.

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge features marshes, woodlands, dunes, and open waters, providing a home for a variety of species, including waterfowl, songbirds, and elusive marshland creatures. Visitors can explore a network of trails that wind through the refuge, offering glimpses of the unique flora and fauna that thrive in this coastal ecosystem.

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge provides a peaceful retreat for outdoor recreation and environmental education. The Little Island City Park, located within the refuge, is a lovely sandy beach along the Atlantic Ocean that gives visitors a place to sunbathe, swim, and fish.

Educational programs and interpretive exhibits further enhance the visitor experience, shedding light on the importance of conservation and the delicate balance of ecosystems. Whether it’s birdwatching, hiking, or simply basking in the natural beauty, exploring Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge is one of the best things to do in Virginia Beach.

7. Bring the whole family to Atlantic Fun Park

Atlantic Fun Park in Virginia Beach is a lively and family-friendly amusement park that embodies the spirit of summer fun along the Atlantic coast. With a prime oceanfront location, the park offers a mix of classic and thrilling rides that cater to visitors of all ages.

From the iconic Ferris wheel that provides breathtaking views of the coastline to the exhilarating roller coasters and traditional carousel, Atlantic Fun Park creates an atmosphere of excitement and enjoyment.

The park’s vibrant boardwalk setting adds to the overall experience, with the sounds of laughter, the scent of cotton candy, and the lively energy of visitors creating a festive ambiance in Virginia Beach.

Atlantic Fun Park also features a variety of games, arcades, and concessions, making it a comprehensive entertainment destination for families and groups. Whether it’s a classic game of Skee-Ball or trying your luck at winning a prize at one of the many carnival-style games, there’s something for everyone at this beachside amusement park.

8. Learn, hike, and explore in First Landing State Park

Nestled along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia Beach, First Landing State Park encompasses over 2,800 acres of diverse ecosystems, including beaches, sand dunes, marshes, and forests.

The park’s name pays homage to the arrival of English settlers led by Captain John Smith in 1607, marking their first landing in the New World. Visitors can explore a network of hiking and biking trails that wind through First Landing State Park, providing opportunities to observe the rich biodiversity of Virginia Beach.

The park’s freshwater ponds, cypress swamps, and salt marshes contribute to a varied and picturesque landscape, offering a tranquil retreat for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

First Landing State Park is not only a haven for hikers and nature seekers but also a popular destination for water-based activities. First Landing State Park features a wide sandy beach along the Chesapeake Bay, providing a scenic backdrop for swimming, fishing, and beachcombing.

Additionally, First Landing State Park has plenty of cabins and campsites for those who want to stay longer and immerse themselves in the natural beauty and historical significance of the area.

First Landing State Park
With its combination of history and nature, First Landing State Park has so much to offer visitors in Virginia Beach.

9. See the Old Cape Henry Lighthouse

The Old Cape Henry Lighthouse, a historic maritime landmark located at Fort Story in Virginia Beach, stands as a testament to the early days of navigation along the Atlantic coast.

Constructed in 1792, this octagonal sandstone tower served as one of the first lighthouses authorized by the U.S. government in Virginia Beach. Its original purpose was to guide ships safely into the entrance of the Chesapeake Bay, warning them of the treacherous shoals and shallow waters along the Virginia Beach coastline.

The Cape Henry Lighthouse played a crucial role in maritime navigation for over a century before it was replaced by a taller, cast-iron lighthouse nearby in 1881.

Today, the Cape Henry Lighthouse remains a captivating piece of American maritime history. Visitors can climb the spiral staircase to the top, where they are rewarded with panoramic views of the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.

Cape Henry Lighthouse is part of Fort Story, a military installation, and its historical significance is complemented by the adjacent Cape Henry Memorial, which commemorates the arrival of the first English settlers to Virginia Beach in 1607.

The Old Cape Henry Lighthouse stands not only as a symbol of navigation but also as a tangible link to the nation’s early maritime heritage. It’s definitely one of Virginia Beach’s top landmarks!

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10. Try local crafts at the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum

The Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum in Virginia Beach serves as a captivating tribute to the rich tradition of wildfowl carving and the coastal culture that has shaped Virginia Beach.

Housed in the historic de Witt Cottage, the museum showcases a diverse collection of decoys, artifacts, and artwork that highlight the intricate craftsmanship of local and nationally recognized carvers.

Visitors can explore the museum’s exhibits, which delve into the history of wildfowl hunting and the evolution of decoy carving as both an art form and a functional tool. The museum’s commitment to preserving and promoting this unique cultural heritage provides insight into the importance of wildfowl and the artistry associated with their representation.

In addition to its exhibits, the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum hosts workshops, demonstrations, and special exhibits that provide opportunities for visitors to engage with the artistic process. The charming setting of the de Witt Cottage, surrounded by lush gardens and located in the heart of the historic Virginia Beach Oceanfront, enhances the overall experience.

Connecting with the coastal traditions and artistic legacy at the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum is a fun way to spend a few hours while visiting Virginia Beach!

11. Explore Norfolk

Exploring the nearby waterfront city of Norfolk is one of the best things to do while visiting Virginia Beach. Situated along the Elizabeth River, Norfolk has long been a crucial naval hub, and evidence of its maritime influence is visible in the world-class Norfolk Naval Station and the Nauticus Maritime Museum.

The city’s waterfront is a bustling area, featuring the iconic battleship USS Wisconsin, waterfront parks, and a dynamic array of dining and entertainment options. Norfolk’s Mermaid City nickname is a testament to its artistic spirit, with mermaid sculptures scattered throughout the city as part of public art initiatives.

The city’s downtown, particularly the Granby Street corridor, is a lively district with a mix of shops, theaters, and restaurants, creating a vibrant atmosphere for locals and visitors alike.

Beyond its maritime charm, Norfolk boasts a diverse cultural scene and a strong sense of community. The Chrysler Museum of Art showcases an impressive collection spanning centuries, while the NEON District is a dynamic arts district featuring murals, galleries, and innovative public art installations.

The Virginia Zoo is another top attraction for the whole family. So if you’re craving the excitement of a bigger city while visiting Virginia Beach, head over to Norfolk and explore the museums, gardens, and landmarks.

12. Check out the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel is a remarkable engineering marvel that spans the mouth of Chesapeake Bay, connecting the Delmarva Peninsula with southeastern Virginia. Stretching for just over 17 miles, this complex infrastructure project includes a series of bridges, tunnels, and causeways that traverse both open water and man-made islands.

Completed in 1964, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel accommodates both vehicular and maritime traffic, with four man-made islands serving as resting points for travelers to admire the views.

As one of the Seven Engineering Wonders of the Modern World, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel offers not only a vital transportation link but also an unforgettable experience for those who traverse it. Traveling across the bridge tunnel provides breathtaking panoramic views of the Chesapeake Bay, the Atlantic Ocean, and the surrounding coastal landscape.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel incorporates fishing piers, scenic overlooks, and even a restaurant! Whether you’re just driving across it or coming to check out the views and attractions, seeing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel remains one of the best things to do in Virginia Beach.

13. Have a blast at Ocean Breeze Waterpark

A fun way to spend a day in Virginia Beach is by visiting the Ocean Breeze Waterpark. This Virginia Beach waterpark offers a thrilling array of water attractions, slides, and activities suitable for visitors of all ages.

From the heart-pounding excitement of water slides like the Hurricane, with its twisting and turning tunnels, to the more laid-back Lazy River and Wave Pool, Ocean Breeze Waterpark provides a refreshing escape from the Virginia Beach summer heat. The park’s extensive collection of water features also includes kiddie pools, splash pads, and a dedicated area for the little ones, ensuring a diverse and enjoyable experience for families.

Ocean Breeze Waterpark boasts a lively atmosphere with shaded cabanas, concession stands, and picnic areas for relaxation and refreshment. As the perfect place to bring kids on a summer day, this Virginia Beach waterpark has become a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

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14. Find street art in the Vibe Creative District

Situated in the heart of Virginia Beach, the Vibe Creative District is a dynamic area that celebrates creativity, innovation, and community spirit. This vibrant neighborhood in Virginia Beach emerged as a hub for local artists, entrepreneurs, and cultural enthusiasts, creating a lively space that fosters artistic expression.

The streets of the Vibe Creative District are adorned with colorful murals, street art, and eclectic storefronts, creating an inviting atmosphere that reflects the local commitment to embracing diversity in artistic styles and mediums.

Events, festivals, and gallery exhibitions pop up frequently throughout the year as well. The ViBe Mural Festival, for example, brings artists together to create large-scale murals that enhance the visual appeal of Virginia Beach. The district’s galleries, studios, and boutiques showcase the work of local artists, providing a platform for the community to engage with and support the thriving arts scene.

The Vibe Creative District has become a must-visit destination for those seeking a unique and enriching cultural experience in Virginia Beach.

15. Catch a performance at the Harrison Opera House

Try something new and attend an opera performance at the Harrison Opera House! Located in Norfolk, this grand and historic venue is dedicated to the performing arts, particularly opera and classical music.

Built in 1943, this elegant building is part of the Virginia Arts Festival and has undergone several renovations to maintain its architectural splendor. The Harrison Opera House is renowned for its exceptional acoustics and intimate setting, making it a premier destination for opera enthusiasts and lovers of classical music.

With a seating capacity of around 1,632, the opera house provides an immersive and engaging experience, allowing audiences to connect intimately with the performers on stage.

Home to the Virginia Opera, the Harrison Opera House hosts a diverse range of productions, from classic operas to contemporary works, showcasing the artistic prowess of both established and emerging talents. Seeing a performance here is one of the best things to do in Virginia Beach.

16. Visit the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center

The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center is a premier destination that focuses on education, conservation, and entertainment. Opened in 1986, the Virginia Aquarium has since evolved into a comprehensive marine science center, featuring exhibits that showcase the rich marine life found in Virginia’s coastal waters and beyond.

The facility houses over 12,000 animals, including sea turtles, sharks, otters, and a variety of fish species, allowing visitors to explore and appreciate the wonders of the underwater world.

One of the standout features of the Virginia Aquarium is the Stranding Response Program, which focuses on the rescue and rehabilitation of injured and stranded marine animals. The center’s commitment to environmental education is evident through interactive exhibits, live animal encounters, and immersive experiences that highlight the importance of marine conservation.

With its engaging presentations, hands-on exhibits, and a 3D IMAX theater, the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center offers a dynamic and educational experience for visitors of all ages in Virginia Beach. The insitution also fosters a deeper understanding of marine ecosystems and the need to protect and preserve the world’s oceans.

17. Go whale watching in Virginia Beach

Whale watching in Virginia Beach offers a thrilling and immersive experience as visitors have the opportunity to witness the majestic migration of whales along the Atlantic Coast.

Typically occurring during the winter months, from December to March, the waters off Virginia Beach become a temporary home for humpback and fin whales as they journey south to warmer breeding grounds.

Numerous local whale watching charters operate during this season, providing travelers with the chance to witness these magnificent creatures up close. Knowledgeable guides on these excursions offer valuable insights into the whales’ behavior, migration patterns, and the marine ecosystem, enhancing the educational aspect of the experience.

The whale watching tours departing from Virginia Beach often venture into the Atlantic Ocean, where sightings of breaching whales, tail slaps, and spouting are common occurrences. There is no better way to see majestic whales in their natural habitat!

Heading south? Check out these fun things to do in Asheville, North Carolina.

18. Take a day trip to Williamsburg

History buffs should consider taking a day trip to Williamsburg while staying in Virginia Beach. At about an hour away, a day trip here will open your eyes to the rich colonial history and American heritage of Virginia.

As the heart of the Historic Triangle, which also includes Jamestown and Yorktown, Williamsburg played a central role in the establishment of the United States. The city is home to Colonial Williamsburg, a meticulously restored and interactive living history museum where visitors can immerse themselves in the daily life of a colonial town.

From costumed interpreters and historical reenactments to beautifully preserved 18th-century buildings, the atmosphere of Colonial Williamsburg transports visitors back in time, offering a glimpse into the early days of American history.

Embark on a colonial history guided walking tour to learn about the most interesting facts and stories from a local guide!

Beyond its colonial charm, Williamsburg is full of fun things to do. Merchants Square, adjacent to Colonial Williamsburg, is a bustling area filled with shops, restaurants, and galleries. Williamsburg seamlessly blends the past and the present, making it a fun place to visit near Virginia Beach.

Williamsburg Virginia
Explore early US history in Williamsburg!

19. See historic aircraft at the Military Aviation Museum

The Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach is a remarkable institution that pays homage to the history of military aviation with a vast collection of meticulously restored vintage aircraft.

Home to one of the largest private collections of World War I and World War II aircraft in the world, the Military Aviation Museum is a must-see for history and engineering enthusiasts.

Visitors can marvel at the sight of iconic warplanes, including fighters, bombers, and reconnaissance aircraft, all of which played pivotal roles in the history of military aviation. The museum’s commitment to authenticity is evident in the meticulous restoration process, which often involves sourcing rare parts or rebuilding aircraft from the ground up to their original specifications.

You can also attend airshows and events at the Military Aviation Museum. During these events, the roar of vintage engines fills the air as these historic aircraft take to the skies, offering a living history lesson on the evolution of military aviation.

The Military Aviation Museum serves as a living tribute to the men and women who served in the armed forces, allowing visitors to gain a deeper appreciation for the technological advancements and sacrifices made in the pursuit of air supremacy.

20. Stroll, sunbathe, and swim at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront

Of course one of the best things to do in Virginia Beach is spend time on the oceanfront. From the expansive sandy beaches, to the lively Virginia Beach Boardwalk, to the various recreational and entertainment options, you could spend your whole vacation in this one area!

Go surfing in the Atlantic, play beach volleyball and build sandcastles, or grab a bite at a waterfront eatery. Soak in the sunshine and breathe in the fresh, salty air. The Virginia Beach Oceanfront is what draws visitors to this area in the first place, so make sure you have ample time to enjoy it!

A fun way to see a new perspective of the oceanfront is by joining a haunted ghost walking tour! Meet your tour guide at the iconic King Neptune Statue by the Virginia Beach Boardwalk and learn about the pirates, witches, and sea creatures that supposedly haunt Virginia’s east coast.

21. Surround yourself with greenery at Norfolk Botanical Garden

Check out the largest botanical garden in Virginia at the stunning Norfolk Botanical Garden! Established in 1938 in Norfolk, the garden has grown into a horticultural haven that showcases a wide variety of plant species, including azaleas, roses, camellias, and tropical plants.

The garden is particularly celebrated for its themed sections, such as the Bristow Butterfly Garden, the World of Wonders Children’s Garden, and the Renaissance Garden, each offering a unique and immersive experience for visitors.

With over 60 themed gardens, Norfolk Botanical Garden provides a serene and educational escape for nature enthusiasts and families alike.

One of the distinguishing features of the Norfolk Botanical Garden is its extensive network of waterways, including serene lakes and canals. Visitors can explore these water features by boat, providing a picturesque perspective of the lush greenery and vibrant blooms.

Additionally, the garden hosts seasonal events, educational programs, and workshops, further enhancing its role as a community resource for horticulture, conservation, and environmental education. Norfolk Botanical Garden offers a harmonious blend of natural beauty, educational opportunities, and relaxation for visitors in the Virginia Beach area.

22. Have fun in the sun at Grommet Island Park

One of the best Virginia Beach attractions is Grommet Island Park. This one-of-a-kind park is specifically tailored to accommodate individuals with disabilities, offering wheelchair-accessible play structures, sensory-rich elements, and a universally designed environment.

The park’s centerpiece is a large, colorful play structure known as the Grommet Island Park Playground, where children of all abilities can engage in imaginative play and physical activity. The park’s commitment to inclusivity extends to its beachfront location, allowing everyone to enjoy the sun, sand, and surf without barriers.

In addition to its accessible play structures, Grommet Island Park features a vibrant sea-themed mural, picnic areas, and shaded pavilions, creating a welcoming space for families and caregivers. This is a super important attraction in Virginia Beach because it prioritizes inclusivity and accessibility for all.

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23. Admire a diverse range of artworks at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art

The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art is another one of the best Virginia Beach attractions.

Housed in a modern building with striking architecture, the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art offers a vibrant space for both established and emerging artists to display their innovative works. The museum’s exhibitions cover a wide range of media, including painting, sculpture, photography, and new media, reflecting the diversity and evolution of contemporary artistic practices.

Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art actively engages with the community through educational programs, workshops, and events that aim to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of contemporary art.

Whether through thought-provoking exhibitions or engaging educational initiatives, the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art is a vital contributor to the cultural landscape of Virginia Beach, enriching the community with the latest trends and ideas in the world of contemporary artwork.

24. Learn about animals and agriculture at Hunt Club Farm

A unique way to spend a day in Virginia Beach is by mingling with animals at Hunt Club Farm. Perfect for animal lovers and people of all ages, Hunt Club Farm covers over 23 acres and hosts a number of fun activities and attractions.

The petting farm allows guests to interact with a variety of animals, from goats and sheep to rabbits and chickens, providing a hands-on and educational experience about farm life.

Beyond the barnyard, Hunt Club Farm features seasonal events, including the popular Harvest Fair and Halloween Festival, where families can enjoy hayrides, pumpkin picking, and a variety of festive activities.

Hunt Club Farm boasts beautifully landscaped gardens, a butterfly house, and a plant nursery. The farm also hosts educational programs and field trips, offering a unique opportunity for school groups and organizations to learn about agriculture, horticulture, and animal husbandry.

With its commitment to providing a wholesome and entertaining environment, Hunt Club Farm has become a cherished destination in the Virginia Beach community.

25. Escape the crowds at Sandbridge Beach

Beach lovers have to add Sandbridge Beach to their list of the best things to do in Virginia Beach! Stretching for over five miles, this pristine beach is characterized by its natural beauty, with expansive dunes, uncrowded shores, and a laid-back atmosphere.

Sandbridge Beach has lots of vacation rentals, beachfront cottages, and stunning waterfront homes that provide a more relaxing alternative to the busy Oceanfront of Virginia Beach.

The beach is bordered by the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, providing a scenic backdrop and opportunities for wildlife observation. Sandbridge Beach offers a range of outdoor activities, including kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing in the nearby Back Bay or the Atlantic Ocean.

The absence of commercial development contributes to the area’s natural charm, making Sandbridge Beach a favorite among nature lovers, families, and anyone seeking a serene escape along Virginia’s coastline.

Sandbridge Beach Sunrise
Sandbridge Beach is the perfect place to connect with the ocean and relax.

26. Enjoy the outdoors at Mount Trashmore Park

Mount Trashmore Park is a unique and innovative recreational space that has transformed an old landfill into a vibrant and eco-friendly community hub. Covering over 165 acres, the park is characterized by its distinctive 60-foot-high mound, which was created by compacting layers of solid waste and covering it with clean soil.

This reclaimed site has become a popular destination for outdoor activities, featuring expansive green spaces, walking trails, and playgrounds. The park’s centerpiece is the scenic Lake Trashmore, which provides a serene backdrop for picnics, fishing, and paddle boating, offering a peaceful retreat in the midst of urban surroundings.

Mount Trashmore Park is designed for active recreation, with amenities such as basketball and volleyball courts, a skate park, and an extensive playground for children. The park’s commitment to sustainability is evident in its eco-friendly features, including recycling stations and initiatives to promote environmental awareness.

The park hosts a variety of events throughout the year, from concerts and festivals to fitness programs, fostering a sense of community engagement and enjoyment. Mount Trashmore Park showcases impressive urban planning and is one of the best things to do in Virginia Beach.

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27. Tour the Ferry Plantation House

Another one of the best things to do in Virginia Beach is check out the Ferry Plantation House, a historic gem that traces its origins back to the 18th century. Originally constructed in 1830, the plantation house served as the residence for the brickyard owner, Thomas Williamson.

The name “Ferry Plantation” reflects the property’s historical use as a ferry crossing point on the Lynnhaven River. The house has witnessed centuries of change, including its role as a Confederate headquarters during the Civil War and later as a schoolhouse.

Today, the Ferry Plantation House stands as one of the few surviving examples of colonial and antebellum architecture in the region, offering visitors a glimpse into the area’s rich history.

Guided tours provide insight into the house’s storied past, sharing tales of its former inhabitants and the events that shaped the region. The Ferry Plantation House is like a Virginia living museum that invites visitors to explore the layers of history woven into its walls.

Where To Stay in Virginia Beach, VA

Now that you know all the top Virginia Beach attractions, you’ll need a place to stay. Luckily there are some great accommodation options for your Virginia Beach vacation that will suit all types of travel budgets!

Best Budget Accommodation: Surfbreak Oceanfront Hotel

It’s rare to find a budget hotel room for $100 USD per night that’s right on the beach! But Surfbreak Oceanfront Hotel on Virginia Beach is just that. If you’re looking for a humble and cheap place to stay in Virginia Beach that’s within walking distance from the ocean, this is the perfect place!

Located on Atlantic Avenue, this hotel has rooms with balconies and ocean views, a 24/7 help desk, air-conditioning, a swimming pool, and more. From the hotel, you can walk to the beach, the boardwalk, and local restaurants and shops.

Best Mid-Range Hotel: Hilton Garden Inn Virginia Beach

The Hilton Garden Inn Virginia Beach Oceanfront is one of Virginia Beach’s best waterfront hotels. Also located on Atlantic Avenue, all of the best Virginia Beach attractions are nearby.

Aside from the excellent location, the Hilton has cozy rooms, a fitness center, a swimming pool, on-site parking, and incredible service. For those who want a comfortable, upscale stay in Virginia Beach that won’t break the bank, this is a great option.

Best Luxury Accommodation: The Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club

For the ultimate luxury stay in Virginia Beach, book the Historic Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club. Centrally located on Atlantic Avenue, this 4-star hotel has free bikes, a pool and fitness center, a business center, and 24/7 service.

This exclusive hotel has historic architecture and furnishings so you really feel like you’re staying somewhere special. Relax at the pool, enjoy a delicious breakfast, and set yourself up for success while you explore Virginia Beach!

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Alesha and Jarryd

Hey! We are Alesha and Jarryd, the award-winning writers and professional photographers behind this blog. We have been travelling the world together since 2008, with a passion for adventure travel and sustainable tourism. Through our stories and images we promote exciting off-the-beaten-path destinations and fascinating cultures as we go. As one of the world's leading travel journalists, our content and adventures have been featured by National Geographic, Lonely Planet, CNN, BBC, Forbes, Business Insider, Washington Post, Yahoo!, BuzzFeed, Channel 7, Channel 10, ABC, The Guardian, and plenty other publications. Follow our journey in real time on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

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