Boardwalk hotel

virginia beach boardwalk hotelThere is no substitute sometimes for being right on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk. Mention the Va Oceanfront or Virginia Beach Oceanfront hotel and two things people picture are the sand and the Virginia bch boardwalk. For many the Boardwalk is part of the experience so being right on the boardwalk near the beach is the biggest criteria for hotel or motel selection.

Finding the Best Boardwalk Hotel on the Oceanfront According To Google

I cannot list every hotel here that you might frequent in your quest to be only footsteps from the pavement of the Virginia Boardwalk. There are too many hotels. There are too many ratings. And there too many opinions. So I will pull a few hotels and pick ones with good or great ratings

I am picking a hotel from what people consider to be the main area of the Oceanfront, the area from in the 20s block. Virginia Beach has incredible hotels for miles more as you head North but this is a heavily trafficked section, and our focus here

One Of Many Top Rated Beachfront Hotels: Virginia Beach Comfort Inn Suites

Virginia Beach Comfort Inn Suites

Rated over 4 stars at the time this was written the Comfort Inn is a Boardwalk Oceanfront hotel with a lot to offer at a good price point. In addition to the consistency of a being a national chain I saw some unique things which stood out.

They are:

  • Breakfast with a view
    Hot buffet Breakfast with a view of the Oceanfront (great view= always a plus)
    Boardwalk Overlook
  • There is a hot tub indoors that overlooks the Boardwalk

 

Another Nearby Boardwalk Accommodation: Marriott Courtyard

A few blocks down is another highly rated chain hotel. The Marriot Courtyard is sort of a guaranteed excellence type hotel where you know certain elements will be there giving you piece of mind when you check in. The most obvious is the big lounging area. The other is the large breakfast in the morning. Coupled with clean rooms this is always a good choice and consistently ranks 4 out of 5 on Google

virginia beach boardwalk hotel amenitiesInstant Attractions Very Close To Boardwalk Located Hotel

Both hotels sit near the Naval Aviation Monument Park as well as 24th street park on the Boardwalk which has some fantastic entertainment annually including:

  • She Crab Soup Festival
  • Pan Festival
  • Salute to summer music bash
  • And lots more
  • And this is in addition to the things you can do at the beach, Boardwalk and around town

Virginia Beach Boardwalk And Oceanfront Topics

Family Restaurants Virginia Beach Oceanfront

Oceanfront Boardwalk

Boardwalk Pet Friendly hotels

 

Commonwealth Brewery in Virginia Beach: Craft Beer in Chick’s Beach

 craft beer chicks beachChicks Beach: Virginia Beach Locals Love Commonwealth Brewing Company

In the laid-back community of Chic’s Beach where there is sand dusted on the streets, small cottages filled with locals and delicious seafood restaurant’s on every corner, sits a fun and tasteful brewery, on the aptly named Pleasure House Road, called Commonwealth Brewing Company. The brewery is housed in a fully renovated former fire and rescue station, welcoming Beach locals and tourists alike. Their blue brick exterior, large logo and fun dripping lights attract anyone from the street who is passing by. Along with their custom cornhole boards, food trucks circling in and out and their picnic tables filled guests socializing and sipping flights of craft beer, this truly is a local gem. If you love craft beer, like my husband and I do, this place truly will wow your palate.

virginia beach locals

My husband and I enjoying out flight of craft beer.

An Activity For Virginia Beach Couples

As a newcomer to the craft brew scene, I am open to trying new things whether it is a new dish, a bottle of wine or a craft brew—you name it I am game. So when my husband who, by thetim thumb way, loves any and all craft beer, asked me if we could go to this new local brewery, I jumped at the opportunity. As a new parent we are always looking for things we can do as a couple in the Virginia Beach Resort area. We found a sitter for our daughter (grandparents are truly the best) and took a much-needed parents day out. On a warm sunny day, we headed to Commonwealth Brewery.

His palate is a bit broader than mine, so when we came up to the long, wooden, funky bar he was eager to try all of them. I, on the other hand, didn’t know where to start. I said, “I will follow your lead.” So we ordered two flights, “containing a huge assortment of beer, especially when you are a new mama…”who has not drunk any booze in awhile. We found a spot outside and looked down at our list of beers, slightly wet from the condensation on our flight glasses. As we tried to guess which beer was which, we sipped on ale’s, different Saison’s, and many others.

Commonweath Brewery Favorite Beer: The Wealth

My favorite was The Wealth a crisp light Saison. Commonwealth brewery describes it as a multi-layered Belgian Saison filled with notes of fruit, spices and bread mingle and its carefully cultivated yeast strain’s help to achieve this dry, Belgian-style ale. Its alcohol per volume is about 5%, which is nice as it’s not too heavy, especially for a mama who is watching her alcohol intake due to breastfeeding. A nice warm up back into the adult beverage seat.

Meet The Owners!

 

commonwealth-brewery-couple

Commonwealth’s Owners Are Virginia Beach Natives Too

Commonwealth Brewing Company is the brainchild of owners Jeramy and Natalie, a husband and wife craft brewing duo whose love for creating unique craft beers has been a passion of theirs for years. Their passion brewed up in 2001 when Jeramy was visiting Natalie while she was studying abroad. They visited a German and Austrian brewery and beer hall and fell in love with all things beer. It wasn’t until 2012 after starting a family, and after many stove top experimentation, that they began seriously pursuing the idea of starting a brewery. Once the idea was set in stone, Jeramy began creating lots of test batches, and then their business plan soon followed. Finding a building that suited the characteristics, space, and fun location that they envisioned was not an easy feat at first.

Commonwealth Brewing Company at the beginning.

Commonwealth Brewing Company at the beginning.

They toured many warehouses and other brewery-like locations for over a year before finding the old Chesapeake Beach Volunteer Fire and Rescue station. It was love at first sight and soon became Commonwealth Brewing Company.

 

Contact Information

Address: 2444 Pleasure House Rd
Virginia Beach VA 23455

Telephone: 757-305-9652

Facebook

 

 More Virginia Beach Craft Beer Articles

Virgina Beach Craft Beer Festival

 

 

Commonwealth Brewing Company: Craft Beer in Chick’s Beach

 

 Tasteful, local craft beer offering up numerous choices for the experimental palate.

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Chicks Beach: Virginia Beach Locals Love Commonwealth Brewing Company

In the laid-back community of Chic’s Beach where there is sand dusted on the streets, small cottages filled with locals and delicious seafood restaurant’s on every corner, sits a fun and tasteful brewery called Commonwealth Brewing Company. The brewery is housed in a fully renovated former fire and rescue station, welcoming locals and tourist alike. Their blue brick exterior, large logo and fun dripping lights attract anyone from the street who is passing by. Along with their custom cornhole boards, food trucks circling in and out and their picnic tables filled guests socializing and sipping flights of craft beer, this truly is a local gem. If you love craft beer, like my husband and I do, this place truly will wow your palate.

My husband and I enjoying out flight of craft beer.

My husband and I enjoying our flight of craft beer.

An Activity For Virginia Beach Couples

As a newcomer to the craft brew scene, I am open to trying new things whether it is a new dish, a bottle of wine or a craft brew—you name it I am game. So when my husband who, by the way, loves any and all craft beer, asked me if we could go to this new local brewery, I jumped at the opportunity. As a new parent, we are always looking for things we can do as a couple in the Virginia Beach Resort area. We found a sitter for our daughter (grandparents are truly the best) and took a much-needed parents day out. On a warm sunny day, we headed to Commonwealth Brewery.  His palate is a bit broader than mine, so when we came up to the long, wooden, funky bar he was eager to try all of them. I, on the other hand, didn’t know where to start. I said, “I will follow your lead.” So we ordered two flights, “containing a huge assortment of beer, especially when you are a new mama…”who has not drunk any booze in awhile. We found a spot outside and looked down at our list of beers, slightly wet from the condensation on our flight glasses. As we tried to guess which beer was which, we sipped on ale’s, different Saison’s, and many others.

Commonwealth Brewery Favorite Beer: The Wealth

timthumb

The Wealth photo credit Commonwealth Brewing Company

My favorite was The Wealth a crisp light Saison. Commonwealth brewery describes it as a multi-layered Belgian Saison filled with notes of fruit, spices and bread mingle and its carefully cultivated yeast strain’s help to achieve this dry, Belgian-style ale. Its alcohol per volume is about 5%, which is nice as it’s not too heavy, especially for a mama who is watching her alcohol intake due to breastfeeding. A nice warm up back into the adult beverage seat.

Meet The Owners!

commonwealth-brewery-couple

photo credit Commonwealth Brewing Company

Commonwealth’s Owners Are Virginia Beach Natives Too

Commonwealth Brewing Company is the brainchild of owners Jeramy and Natalie, a husband and wife craft brewing duo whose love for creating unique craft beers has been a passion of theirs for years.  Their passion brewed up in 2001 when Jeramy was visiting Natalie while she was studying abroad. They visited a German and Austrian brewery and beer hall and fell in love with all things beer.  It wasn’t until 2012 after starting a family, and after many stove top experimentations, that they began seriously pursuing the idea of starting a brewery.  Once the idea was set in stone, Jeramy began creating lots of test batches, and then their business plan soon followed.  Finding a building that suited the characteristics, space, and fun location that they envisioned was not an easy feat at first.

Commonwealth Brewing Company at the beginning.

Commonwealth Brewing Company at the beginning. photo credit Commonwealth Brewing Company

They toured many warehouses and other brewery-like locations for over a year before finding the old Chesapeake Beach Volunteer Fire and Rescue station. It was love at first sight and soon became Commonwealth Brewing Company.

 

Contact Information

Address: 2444 Pleasure House Rd
Virginia Beach VA 23455

Telephone: 757-305-9652

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More Virginia Beach Craft Beer Articles

Virgina Beach Craft Beer Festival

 

Hampton Coliseum and a Night of Cirque du Soleil

Just a short trip from the beach, find world class entertainment.

 

The most amazing Chinese yo-yo act I've ever seen.

The most amazing Chinese yo-yo act I’ve ever seen.

 

The Hampton Coliseum audience anticipating the beginning of OVO.

The Hampton Coliseum audience anticipating the beginning of OVO.

If you decide to venture out from the boardwalk on your Virginia Beach vacation, be sure to take a trip across the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel. In the city of Hampton, you will see a very peculiar looking building right off Interstate 64. This is the Hampton Coliseum. This crown-shaped building is actually an arena that has tons of fun events happening all year long. From sporting events, to concerts, to conventions—the Hampton Coliseum has something for everyone.

But this fall, 2016, a very special production made its way to the circular arena. Crowds packed in to see a performance by the famed Cirque du Soleil. If you’ve never gone to a Cirque show, put that on your bucket list. It’s worth every penny.

This year’s production from Cirque du Soleil was called OVO, the Portuguese word for egg. The story centered around a community of insects discovering a strange egg within their midst. Although the story was compelling and often humorous, that’s not the real draw of a Cirque du Soleil show.

Amazing acrobatics, contortionists and high flying acts that take your breath away are the norm for this traveling group of performers. Each show contains original music that’s moving and rhythmic. As you watch the incredible acts, you can’t help but wonder about the training and dedication of these performers. Each act is flawless. For example, one act contained a group of about 10 “bugs,” balancing round discs on their feet. In perfect unison with the music, they rotated their props, tossed them to each other and threw them high in the air.

 

ovo-3

 

As I sat watching the show, I was amused at the young woman sitting in front of me. As the performers in the high flying act zipped across the stage, being thrown and caught by other performers, she gasped and laughed and clapped. It’s common for the audience to have an emotional reaction to a Cirque du Soleil show.

The Hampton Coliseum was a perfect venue to contain the show’s wonderment. The lighting, staging and arena-style seating allow each member of the audience to experience this amazing show. It doesn’t matter if you’re up front or in the nose-bleeds, each seat offers a great view.

Be sure to make Cirque du Soleil a regular event on your yearly calendar.

CLICK HERE to read more about Cirque du Soleil’s OVO.

 

For More Information

ovo-1Hampton Coliseum

Cirque du Soleil

 

Cirque Du Soleil’s OVO at the Hampton Coliseum

Tickets are on sale now for Cirque du Soleil’s OVO

 

OVO 1

 

The fall performing arts season is starting out with a bang in Hampton! The Coliseum is welcoming Cirque du Soleil this September 7–11, 2016 with OVO. This newest touring show from the famed Cirque du Soleil has thrilled millions of people worldwide since its premier in Montreal in 2009. The Cirque du Soleil arena shows are as captivating and mind boggling as one would expect from these avant garde artists. They also give more people the opportunity to enjoy these mesmerizing productions in their own hometowns.

More About OVO

OVO means “egg” in Portuguese. This production centers around a mysterious egg that appears in the midst of a colorful, insect ecosystem. These bugs fill the stage with energy and movement–working, eating, fighting, loving and more! The awestruck insects investigate this iconic object that represents the cycles of their lives.

OVO’s cast is comprised of 50 of the top performing and acrobatic performers from across the globe. Audiences will ooh and aah at the feats performed on the Hampton Coliseum stage. Including an incredible Flying Act where scarabs soar above the stage.

Be sure to check out this amazing show at the Hampton Coliseum, here for a limited time.

ovo 2Cirque du Soleil OVO Information:

WHERE:    

Hampton Coliseum
1000 Coliseum Dr, Hampton, VA 23666

WHEN:

September 7–11, 2016

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS

Falling for iFLY: My Indoor Skydiving Experience in Virginia Beach

 

Indoor Skydiving at iFLY in Virginia Beach is an experience I will never forget!

 

My first flight at iFLY VA Beach!

My first flight at iFLY VA Beach!

 

I am scared of heights. Full stop. Period. But I hate the idea of limiting myself. So I have always pushed myself to move past this fear. Whether it be looking down when I’m at the top of a skyscraper or battling obstacles in the treetops at the Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium, I don’t want a fear of heights to determine what I can and cannot do.

That’s why my fiancé, Danny, and I decided to go to iFLY at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. Danny is a lot more adventurous than I am. He’s always up for an adventure, and has been my partner in many exciting excursions. We went on a beautiful summer day, but because iFLY is an indoor facility, this adventure would be perfect for rainy days or to get away from the scorching heat.

 

Indoor Skydiving? What’s That?

 

I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew that doing indoor skydiving involved a high powered wind tunnel, but that’s about it. At iFLY, they use a vertical wind tunnel to simulate what it feels like to skydive. Guests float, fly upwards and as they become more advanced, do amazing tricks in midair. These tunnels are used to by skydivers to train and hone their skills before actually jumping from a plane. The popularity of these wind tunnels has created a new sport called bodyflight, which involves performing freestyle and formation flying.

 

Coming Early, Prep for Flight

 

The pros practicing their skills.

The pros practicing their skills.

We were told to arrive about an hour early to do our “pre-flight training.” This entails checking in and signing a waiver. On the wall were touch-screens that allowed us to electronically read through the instructions and warnings and sign our names. The staff was incredibly friendly. They welcomed us and immediately put us at our ease. 

As Danny read the warnings, he realized that there is a danger if you’ve ever dislocated a shoulder. The high powered wind puts pressure on your arms and shoulders. Even though he is very active, he suffered many dislocated shoulders when he was a teenager. Surgery fixed this for the most part, but he alerted the staff to the danger. They were caring and concerned and said to make sure to tell our flight instructor. After we signed the waiver, we were told to head upstairs to the wind tunnel, our instructor would meet us there.

 

Flight Training

 

We went upstairs, and there it was! The wind tunnel looked as it did in the pictures I saw online, and yet, more impressive. It was much taller than I expected, stretching at least two stories tall. There were guests in the tunnel. They were obviously beginners, just trying out their newly taught skills.

After they finished, the pros jumped in. I had no idea everything a person could do inside the tunnel. I thought it was just a bunch of floating. These wind acrobats did tons of flips and turns. Then, unexpectedly they shot to the top of the tunnel. That’s when I started to get nervous. I thought we’d be floating gently just a few feet off the ground. I had no idea it was even possible to go that high. I told myself, maybe it’s just the pros that do that.

Danny practicing the proper body position.

Danny practicing the proper body position.

Then our flight instructor, Jason, found us. Jason led us to the training room. Since it was both Danny and my first time, he put on a basic instructional video. When you indoor skydive, there is a basic position you are to keep your body in. You lie on your stomach as you float with your hands above your head and your legs slightly bent extended behind you. We were also taught hand motions that our instructor would use if he needed us to adjust our body position. Because of the high wind in the tunnel, he would be unable to give us verbal instructions, so the hand motions were very important.

When Jason returned, he was extremely friendly and helpful. With the help of a padded table, he demonstrated the body position, and asked us if we wanted to practice. I appreciated the fact that Jason did it first, making me feel less foolish when I jumped up to try out the moves.

Danny told Jason about his past dislocations, and he was instructed to let Jason know if he started feeling any discomfort. Jason looked at our tickets and told us that our passes were special passes which allowed him to take us to the top. At that moment, my fear of heights kicked in. But when he asked if we wanted to, I meekly said yes. Next step, the tunnel!

 

Jason at iFLY was friendly and informed. He made our experience unforgettable.

Jason at iFLY was friendly and informed. He made our experience unforgettable.

 

Suit Up and FLY!

 

Getting geared up.

Getting geared up.

Our flight suits fit easily over our street clothes. We were told to wear lace up shoes, but these we had to remove and put back on to get the suit on. It was obvious that safety is a high priority at iFLY. We were given ear plugs to protect us from the high intensity wind, as well as safety goggles and helmets.

After we were dressed, Jason directed us to the tunnel. It’s completely enclosed in glass and consists of two entrances. The first leads you to the bench where those waiting to fly are seated. The next is your gateway into flight, leading directly into the wind tunnel.

I was up first. As soon as I stepped in, I got into the body position and began to float. It was unlike anything that I have ever experienced, and easier than I expected. For our first flight, Danny and I would just be practicing the basics, flying in a stable body position with minimal help. We were allowed two sessions with Jason in the tunnel. And each time, both Danny and I had huge smiles on our faces. It was so much fun! The sensation of flying is something I’ve always dreamed of! Jason helped us to learn how to go higher and lower and move around.

At the end of my second session, Jason gave me a hand signal letting me know we were about to go up. He grabbed my hands and off we flew. Circling around and around we jetted to the top of the tunnel and back down again. I definitely was not thinking of my fear of heights. I couldn’t help but laugh and woot! The whole ride was exciting and fun.

 

Danny takes to the sky at the end of his session.

Danny takes to the sky at the end of his session.

 

Post Flight and Future iFLY Excursions

 

Jason certifies that we completed our first flight!

Jason certifies that we completed our first flight!

After our flight, Jason gave each of us a certificate, stating that we had completed our training and gone through the first session successfully. He told us we did great, and encouraged us to come back.

Each time you return to iFLY, you are taught new skills like back flying, flips, cartwheels, jetting up to the top and more! Danny and I agreed that we would both love to come back!

iFLY is an amazing activity here in the Virginia Beach area. Whether you are a visitor or local, be sure to check out this unforgettable experience.

 

 

Check Out My Flight & Danny’s Flight

 

 

 

CLICK HERE to receive a HALF OFF deal for iFLY from Local Deal House.

 

Contact Information:

 

iFLY VA Beach

2412 Pacific Avenue, Virginia Beach, VA

757-754-4359

WEBSITE

 

Celebrating the Fourth of July in Virginia Beach 2016

 

Here’s your guide to the best
July 4th Parties in VA Beach

 

 

The Fourth of July is a special time of celebration across the United States. No matter where you go, communities come together to commemorate our nation’s independence. But if you’re a visitor to Virginia Beach, you probably don’t know where to go. Don’t worry! Read on to find out where the best local celebrations and fireworks displays are happening in Virginia Beach and nearby Chesapeake and Norfolk.

 

Celebrate Freedom
WHEN: Sunday, July 3, starting at 5 p.m.
WHERE: Chesapeake City Park • 900 City Park Drive, Chesapeake, VA
PHONE: 757-382-6411
WEBSITE

The City of Chesapeake is starting out the celebrations a day early. Come out to Chesapeake City Park for great music, children’s activities, concessions and more! And right before the fireworks display, the U.S. Army TRADOC Band will come up to perform rousing patriotic numbers.

 

4th of July Celebration at First Landing State Park
WHEN: Monday, July 4, 9 a.m.–10 p.m.
WHERE: First Landing State Park • Chesapeake Bay Beach, off Shore Drive
PHONE: 757-412-2300
WEBSITE

First Landing State Park has arranged a day full of fun and family friendly activities. The day begins at the end of the main boardwalk on the beach. And that night, a stunning fireworks show.

 

 

July 4th Celebration at Mount Trashmore
WHEN: Monday, July 4, 4–10 p.m.
WHERE: Mount Trashmore Park • 310 Edwin Drive, Virginia Beach, VA
PHONE: 757-385-2990
WEBSITE

The whole family will love this annual July 4th celebration! Live entertainment, vendors, lots of kids’ activities. Then as night descends, the sky will come to life with fireworks.

 

34th Annual 4th of July Great American Picnic & Fireworks
WHEN: Monday, July 4, 5–10 p.m.
WHERE: Town Point Park • Downtown Norfolk, VA
WEBSITE

Want to go to a cookout where you don’t have to do any of the work? Then come out to this yearly July Fourth celebration. Purchase traditional American favorites—hamburgers, hotdogs and more! Then grab a seat on the lawn and enjoy the patriotic tunes of an Army Band. At 9:30 p.m. is the main event, fireworks!

 

Stars & Stripes Explosion
WHEN: Monday, July 4, starting at 7 p.m.
WHERE: 3 Locations
•The beach at 24th Street
•Dairy Queen Grill & Chill 17th Street Park
•31st Street Park
WEBSITE

Live performances at three locations at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront celebrate the spirit of America. Let these varied bands get you into the mood before watching an incredible fireworks show.

 

Fourth of July Boat Parade & Fireworks
WHEN: Monday, July 4, starting at 6 p.m.
BOAT PARADE LOCATION: Osprey Bay, North of Sandbridge at Teal Crescent in Virginia Beach,  the parade will travel south to Mill Pond 
FIREWORKS LOCATION: On the Pond • Sand Bend Road & Back Bay Crescent
PHONE: 757-288-0372
WEBSITE

See beautiful boats decked out to celebrate the fourth in this annual Sandbridge tradition. Your family will love watching over 40 boats decorated in their finest—the theme this year is “American Heroes.” Then at 9:10 p.m., everyone will gather at the Pond to watch the dazzling fireworks.

 

 

Adventures at the Adventure Park: Fun for Amateurs & Advanced

 

Whether you’re a newb who doesn’t get out much, or an avid outdoorsman, the Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium is the perfect day of fun and challenges.

 

Preparing for our Adventure Park adventure.

Preparing for our Adventure Park adventure.

 

I’ve been to the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center at least a dozen times. I love the serenity of watching the turtles swim or walking through the Red Sea tunnel surrounded by fishies above and beside me. But since I haven’t been there in the last couple of years, I didn’t know about the aquarium’s newest, and most exciting attraction to date.

Our first view of the Adventure Park peeking through the trees.

Our first view of the Adventure Park peeking through the trees.

Walking the path between the aquarium’s main building and the Marsh Pavilion used to be a simple nature walk between the exhibits, enjoying the sights and sounds of Owl Creek. Now, adventure is just around the corner. As you walk through the forested area, platforms, wires, zip lines and wood bridges connect the trees together in an intricate web of obstacles and challenges. This is the Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium.

When making my Adventure Park plans, I decided to take my boyfriend, Danny. Danny is definitely outdoorsy. From climbing trees and getting into scrapes as a kid to pursuing an active lifestyle now, he loves a good adventure! Camping in Shenandoah, surfing, kayaking and experiencing physical challenges! His love of outdoor pursuits led to current job at the Virginia Beach Rock Gym. I knew he would love the experience, and it made me feel better knowing I’d be with someone who knew what they were doing.

It’s not that I’m not active. I love trying new things! If Danny wants to go camping, climbing or hiking, I’m up for the challenge. I’m just not…the best at outdoor pursuits. Mostly from a lack of experience. I also have a pretty ferocious fear of heights. But as soon as I heard about the Adventure Park, I knew this would be the perfect place for Danny and I to try something new together.

 

Rebekah’s Experience: Adventure Park for Beginners

Safety First
Our guide, Aidan, prepares us for our adventure.

Our guide, Aidan, prepares us for our adventure.

Upon our arrival at the Adventure Park, we were given a harness and gloves and asked to wait for our guide. Aidan soon appeared and asked us to follow him. That’s when I saw the aerial playground that was waiting for us. I knew that the Adventure Park was in the trees, and I wasn’t scared at the idea of it. I wasn’t scared…until I actually saw how high we would be climbing. How high I would be climbing.

Aidan was extremely friendly and professional. He took Danny and I through the ropes, literally. He tightened our harnesses, showed us the clips, then took us step by step through how to use their “double-clipped-on” technology. These two clips ensure that we were always clipped in to one wire, even when switching to another wire or obstacle.

Aidan explained everything very well, but I started to have an internal panic attack. Danny understood exactly what was being explained, but it started to sound like another language to my anxious mind. Thankfully, there’s a mock course on the ground that we walked through to simulate the wires and clips we’d find in the trees. Danny sped through it, so my competitiveness to do as well as him kicked in. Everything Aidan had explained began to make sense, and the clipping system became second nature.

Danny's harness gets fitted.

Danny’s harness gets fitted.

Up in the Trees
We start out on the Green Fern Gully course.

We start out on the Green Fern Gully course.

The Adventure Park has six levels of difficulty. Purple and Yellow for beginners and young children, Green and Blue for intermediate climbers and Black and Double Black for the advanced and the daring. But to start, we had to get to the main tree platform which required climbing the first ladder. I clipped in and started to climb. That’s when I realized that this was going to be harder than I expected. I sit at a desk most days, and my arms started burning almost immediately. It was at that moment that I decided I was going to stick to Purple and Yellow, especially for my first climb. Danny had a different idea.

Let’s start with green,” he said.

Being competitive and not wanting to drag him down. I cautiously agreed. I thought that being that high in the trees, with only a couple of clips and a wire keeping me from death and injury would intimidate me. But the first trail was exhilarating! I have excellence balance and very long legs, so I was able to breeze through some of the more challenging bridges. I loved balancing on the spinning logs, or stretching from one board to the next to make my way from platform to platform. Some obstacles required upper body strength—these were the most challenging for me. But I finished, and was so proud of the accomplishment.

 

It Gets Harder
Each obstacle is different and challenging.

Each obstacle is different and challenging.

Blue next,” said Danny.

Umm… I wasn’t so sure about that one. At first I said no. But after some sweet talk and some assurances that he wouldn’t rush on ahead, I agreed. This course was a lot trickier. Some bridges made me feel like a tightrope walker, with handholds above my heads. Others rolled and wobbled so much that the only way to get through was to use your arms to steady yourself on the handholds. Honestly, there were moments when I didn’t know if I could finish, but I kept pushing myself.

One bridge in particular kicked my butt. Wobbling boards that swayed back and forth as you attempted to reach the next one. My arms were tired and I was afraid of falling. That’s when I remembered that I was clipped in. I sat down in my harness and pulled myself to the next platform. Not the most graceful thing I’ve ever done, but it got the job done.

The course ended with an auto-belay that lowered climbers from the top of the tree to the forest floor. My fear of heights was screaming at me. Climbers must step off the platform, trusting this wire to gently lower them. If there had been any other way down, I would have taken it. Danny patiently waited for me to confront my fear. I closed my eyes, and I stepped off. The auto-belay was actually fun! I enjoyed the slow descent.

Let’s do the black one,” said Danny.

A great day of conquering fears and overcoming challenges.

A great day of conquering fears and overcoming challenges.

Oh no! The Black course is the second hardest. But we heard from other climbers there that day that it was the most fun—having two zip lines that take you across Owl Creek. I spoke to a guide and asked if my lack of upper body strength would hinder me. He was friendly and honest. He told me that if I could conquer the first three obstacles, I’d be set! They almost did me in. A wobbly ladder that swayed as you climbed, a rolling log bridge and finally triangular foot holds that swung as you made your way across them. But after that, the obstacles were similar to those that I’d already encountered.

The zip line was one of the best outdoor experiences I’ve ever had! Both Danny and I agreed that it was our favorite part. I felt like I was soaring high above the creek. As we approached the end, Danny said that we would have to take another auto-belay to get out of the course. The platform we would be stepping off from was higher and this auto-belay was faster. Yet again, I freaked out a little. But after some deep breaths, I closed my eyes and stepped off. Easy peasy.

 

Danny’s Experience: Adventure Park for the Advanced

A great experience for even experienced climbers like Danny.

A great experience for even experienced climbers like Danny.

As someone who’s done a lot of outdoor activities and also works at a rock climbing gym, Danny’s experience was quite different than mine. While I was stressing listening to Aidan explain the clips and wiring system during safety training, this was just a refresher for Danny. He’d used equipment like this before, so it was nothing new. He still appreciated Aidan’s thorough and matter of face safety instructions.

The Green course was not much of a challenge for him, though he thought it was a good way to start—a warm up for the more challenging levels. Even the Blue course only held a few obstacles that actually were difficult for him. The Black course was definitely the most challenging part of the day. But where I was pushed to the limits of my capability, he was well within his range of comfortability.

But just because he didn’t feel as challenged as I did, he still loved his time at the Adventure Park. He appreciated the creative challenges, and thinking about how he would complete each one. He also loved the fact that each obstacle was different, not just a repetition of the same thing over and over again.

 

The Bottom Line

The Adventure Park is a great experience! The obstacles are challenging, but not so challenging that the average person can’t do them.

At the end of the day, both Danny and I were sore, tired but exhilarated. I was pumped that I had conquered my fears and overcome challenges that I didn’t know I could. Danny loved getting outside and doing what he loves.

We will both definitely come again. But next time, Danny will tackle a Double Black course. Me? We’ll see about that.

 

Contact Information:

 

Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium

801 General Booth Boulevard
Virginia Beach, VA

757-385-4947

Website

 

 

SNAPSHOT: Escape Room Virginia Beach

 

An engaging, interactive experience that keeps you on your toes. Photo Credit: Simon Media

An engaging, interactive experience that keeps you on your toes. Photo Credit: Simon Media

 

There is always so much to do when visiting Virginia Beach. The boardwalk and oceanfront, exciting restaurants and bistros and tons of area attractions. But if you want to get away from the same old, same old, why not try something fun and different? Escape Room is a newer Virginia Beach attraction that caters to those who are looking for something exciting and challenging to do.

 

What is Escape Room Virginia Beach?

 

Photo Credit: Simon Media

Photo Credit: Simon Media

Escape room Virginia Beach is an interactive group activity. Locked in a room with other people, you have to work as a team to find a specified item in the room that will allow you to escape. Look around and observe, search for clues and solve puzzles. The puzzles tend to be quite difficult, so they suggest that players be over the age of 14. However, kids have solved puzzles which stump adults.

The Escape Room concept actually began in Asia. But it quickly made its way over to the States and is now a huge phenomenon. The owner of Escape Room Virginia Beach experienced this activity at another location and knew that he needed to bring it to Virginia Beach.

Even if someone arrives timid, not knowing what to expect, by the time the game is through they’re ready to play again! Players must use their mind in ways they never expected. The challenge appeals to people.

 

Why Escape Room Virginia Beach?

 

Photo Credit: Simon Media

Photo Credit: Simon Media

There are a ton of reasons you should come to Escape Room Virginia Beach!

•Vacationers looking to get out of the sun or the rain
•Family bonding times
•Company team-building
•Gamers looking for a fresh challenge
•If you like to solve puzzles
•Those seeking to engage with others while having fun
•Events, like birthday parties, reunions, etc.
•Marriage proposals
•And more!

 

Escape Room Virginia Beach opened in 2015, and the Virginia Beach community has embraced the concept! People love interacting with each other during their experience. It’s pushed people to try creative way to solve problems.

Escape Room Virginia Beach has several room scenarios, all created in house. But they will continue to create new puzzles and games. That means you can go back to Escape Room Virginia Beach over and over again, and play new and exciting games.

It’s all about the experience at Escape Room Virginia Beach. It’s their highest priority that each person has fun while being challenged!

 

 

Contact Information:

 

Escape Room Virginia Beach

408 Investors Place #107
Virginia Beach, VA

(757) 228-7577

Website

 


 

Virginia Beach is a happening place. Click here to see some other great area business Snapshots!

SNAPSHOT: Topgolf in Virginia Beach

 

Topgolf is fun! Period.

Topgolf is fun! Period.

 

In December 2015, an exciting new attraction opened up in Virginia Beach. Topgolf! Topgolf was made to help hardcore golfers improve their game. But the idea took off, and now the majority of those who love Topgolf would describe themselves as “non-golfers.”

That’s because FUN is Topgolf’s core value. From the time you walk in the door, to the friendly and helpful staff, to the game itself, Topgolf wants to make sure you have a fun experience.

A friendly face greets you when you walk in the door, the workers accommodate all your needs and questions, the server brings your food with a smile on their face–everyone has the same mentality. They know you are spending your hard earned money with them, so their goal is to help you create lasting memories of having the best time.

 

Fun for Everyone–From Golfers to Kids

Snapshot-TopgolfBaysTopgolf was invented by two brothers from London. They were at a driving range, bored, wishing they could tell how far their balls were going, or how close to the pins they were. From this desire, Topgolf was born.

Topgolf isn’t just a driving range, it’s an interactive game that allows players to compete against each other. The entertainment complex has three stories and 102 hitting bays. Each golf ball has a microchip that can tell how far you hit it. Charge is hourly per bay, and each game allows you to hit 20 balls. But during your time, you can play as many games as you want.

Golfers love improving their game. Even kids and adults who have never picked up a golf club, love playing the games and picking up a new sport. Most non-golfers claim they’re just there to “watch,” but they pick up a club just for the heck of it. Time flies, and they’ve had an amazing time!

Delicious meals like the famous Mac Daddy Burger or Pickle Fries are just the start.

Delicious meals like the famous Mac Daddy Burger or Pickle Fries are just the start.

Each bay can have 6 players at any given time, but as many as 10 people hanging out. The bay also has a table and chairs, scoreboards, a flat-screen TV and a personal server. The food is amazing, and players can also order from the full bar.

Every bay at Topgolf is filled with awesome times! Moms and dads having special times with their kids. Groups of friends hanging out. Work events or birthday parties. Different types of people and different ages all loving their experience!

 

Virginia Beach Loves Topgolf

As soon as Topgolf opened, the community embraced the concept, and it’s quickly becoming a top area attraction. You can play all year long! During the winter, there are heaters. And the covered bays mean that you can stay dry if it’s raining or stay cool if you need some time out of the hot sun.

If you’re a visitor to Virginia Beach, be sure to check out this exciting new activity. It’s sometimes hard to think of activities the whole family will enjoy. But everyone loves Topgolf. Imagine a day where everyone is getting along, smiling and laughing. That’s what happens when fun is a core value!

 

Topgolf Fun

Snapshot-TopgolfBarHere are some activities and amenities to look forward to when coming to Topgolf:

•Rooftop terrace with bar and firepits
•Fun & Games for non-golfers (Xbox, pool, shuffleboard, foosball, etc.)
•Fun weekend activities (DJ, games on terrace and in the bays, prizes and more)
•Platinum membership with perks for avid golfers
•2 to 4 person leagues
•Week long summer camp for kids (starting June 13)
•Great events happening throughout the year!

CLICK HERE to take a virtual tour!

 

Contact Information:

 

Topgolf

5444 Greenwich Road, Virginia Beach, VA • (757) 544-9217 • Website

 

Snapshot-TopgolfEntranceHOURS:

Monday–Thursday: 9 a.m.–Midnight
Friday: 9 a.m.–2 a.m.
Saturday: 8 a.m.–2 a.m.
Sunday: 8 a.m.–Midnight

 

COST:

(Price/Bay):

Open–Noon: $25/Hour
Noon–5 p.m.: $35/Hour
5 p.m.–Close: $45/Hour

Playing Card:

$5 (one-time fee)

 

 


 

There are tons of local businesses and attractions that you should visit while vacationing in Virginia Beach. CLICK HERE to read more!