With so many beautiful locales and enjoyable activities, Virginia Beach is a modern paradise
Happiness is just a stroll in the sand away when you visit Virginia Beach, where the easy pace of beach living will have you saying yes to all forms of new experiences. With an iconic three-mile boardwalk, bustling beachfront resort area, three distinctive beaches, 18,600 acres of parks and a lively downtown area, Virginia’s largest city is the perfect locale for all members of your group.
Located where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean, Virginia Beach holds a significant position in the country’s history. It was the location where the first settlers landed and is only an hour away from Yorktown, Jamestown and Williamsburg. Amid the historic buildings, groups will find modern touches, cultural gems, an array of cuisine and, of course, beautiful outdoor spaces.
Pristine beaches and aquatic fun await
With miles of coastline, Virginia Beach offers visitors a wide variety of aquatic fun. Groups can sign up for parasailing and get a bird’s eye view of life on the beach as they dangle hundreds of feet in the air. Those seeking to stay closer to the water can hop on a surfboard. After all, Virginia Beach is the birthplace of East Coast surfing and it offers beginners and seasoned wave-riders ideal conditions to learn the sport or improve their skills.
One of the best ways to experience Virginia Beach’s coastline is from the water and taking a boat tour is a fun way to take in the beauty of this place. Rudee Tours offers dolphin- and whale-watching tours that are fun for the whole group. Experienced guides narrate the trip, offering their knowledge of the area and these amazing creatures. Groups can also opt to explore on their own and rent vessels from places like Bay Venture Boat Rentals.
Water activities in Virginia Beach are not merely limited to the ocean. This coastal city is a great salt marsh habitat, and there are miles of waterways to explore. The best way to do that? Hop on a standup paddleboard and propel yourself along the lakes and rivers and take in the natural beauty of Virginia Beach that can only be seen from the water. You can also opt for a kayaking experience and row along the lakes and rivers … or journey into the ocean and search for dolphins.
Virginia Beach Boardwalk
The famous Virginia Beach boardwalk at the oceanfront is a 28-foot-wide marvel that stretches three miles and features a separate bike path. Entertainment is offered nightly during the summer months and four oceanfront stages provide live musical acts. At Adventure Park at the Virginia Aquarium, take to the trees at the largest adventure course on the East Coast with 13 trails of zip lines and aerial rope obstacles soaring up to 40 feet in the air. While you’re at the aquarium, explore over 800,000 gallons of sea life as well as hands-on exhibits, an outdoor aviary, nature trail and marshlands.
Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum, located in the historic de Witt Cottage, provides groups the chance to learn about the city’s early history and wildfowl preservation. Walk just blocks from the beach to sample craft beers at Back Bay Brewing Co., named after the city’s wildlife refuge and decorated from salvaged materials.
Chesapeake Bay Beach
Beachgoers seeking kinder, gentler waves can visit Chesapeake Bay Beach, which is revered for being a fisherman’s paradise. The Chesapeake Bay is brimming with fish of all sorts, which means there’s plenty of fishing fun to be had. For those who need some fishing guidance, there are several options for full or half-day private charter tours. Or you can easily set up shop on one of the fishing piers, kick back with a cold beverage and soak in the sun. Watch the sunset over the water and dig into a seafood feast at one of the tie-up-and-eat restaurants where fishing boats drop their catch at the dock, just feet away from guests’ tables. Tour Cape Henry Lighthouse, the first lighthouse commissioned by President George Washington, completed in 1792.
At First Landing State Park, groups can hike the park’s seven different ecosystems—from pine forests to marshes and estuaries—exploring the same land the Jamestown colonists first saw when they arrived in the New World in 1607. Groups of up to 12 can climb aboard with Pleasure House Oysters to tour their working oyster farm, learn the history of Virginia Beach’s famous Lynnhaven oysters and restoration efforts in the Chesapeake Bay, and sip the wine of their choice as they slurp bivalves straight from the water.
Located 15 miles south of the Resort Area of Virginia Beach, Sandbridge is a secluded beach hideaway of five miles of pristine sand dunes and dancing sea oats. The beach’s secluded, grassy sand dunes are nestled between the shore of the Atlantic Ocean and Back Bay Wildlife Refuge, an 8,000-acre fresh water refuge with maritime forests, fresh water marshes, ponds, ocean beach and large impoundments for wintering wildfowl. Book a guided tour with Blue Goose Tram Tour through the refuge and False Cape State Park to the historic Wash Woods site.
Groups can glide through the marshes to get up close and personal with otters, deer, nutria, raccoons and thousands of migratory birds that frequent the Back Bay Wildlife Refuge during the winter. Arrange a beachfront Crab Feast; let the Virginia Beach CVB help arrange a crab feast with all the fixings at one of the beautiful oceanfront rental homes, one of their “Live the Life Adventures” experiences. Your group will enjoy great food, beautiful views and hear how blue crabs have been caught commercially in the Chesapeake Bay since the 19th century and are integral to the local economy.
Located just 15 minutes from the beaches, Town Center covers 17 city blocks and offers an eclectic mix of shopping, dining and entertainment options. Businesses like Anthropologie, Free People, Bevello and Monkee’s can all be found at Town Center, along with a wide variety of men’s and women’s fashion, gifts, eyewear, books, music, art and much more. When you get hungry, grab your friends and head out for an amazing dinner at Bravo Cucina Italiana, McCormick and Schmick’s or Ruth’s Chris Steak House. However you like to dine, Town Center has a food option for you.