14 Unique Shops from Virginia Beach to Williamsburg

candy kitchen candies fudge taffy
1.  Candy Kitchen:
1800 B Atlantic Ave.
757-422-9964.
www.candykitchens.com
Homemade Salt Water Taffy, Fudge & Candies Since 1937

edgar cayce
2.  Edgar Cayce’s:
215 67th St. and Atlantic Ave.,
Virginia Beach, VA 23451.
757-428-3588.
EdgarCayce.org
“Mandalas” By Local Artist Kathy Rose, Available in sizes from pendants to wall art. Priced at $20 and up.

either ore jewelers
3.  Either Ore Jewelers Strawbridge: 
Strawbridge Market Pl. 2165 General Booth Blvd.
Ste. 146. 757-430-8116.
www.eitherorestrawbridge.com
“The Dolphin Collection By Denny Wong Designs” Denny Wong has captured the spirit of the dolphin in three dimensions.

jodys popcorn
4.  Jody’s Gourmet Popcorn:
205 Laskin Rd.
757-425-5639.
www.jodyspopcorn.com
26 Flavors of Gourmet Popcorn

macys department store
5.  Lynnhaven Mall:

701 Lynnhaven Pkwy.
757-340-9340.
www.visitmacysusa.com/visitors/savings.cfm
Get your 10% off

megs swimwear
6.  Meg’s Swimwear:

307 Laskin Rd.
757-428-7945
Sun N Sand Beach Tote. Women’s Bathing Suits, Clothing, Bags, Jewelry, Shoes, Gifts and More!

military aviation museum
7.  Military Aviation Museum:

1341 Princess Anne Rd.
Virginia Beach, VA 23457.
757-721-7767.
www.MilitaryAviationMuseum.org
Open seven days a week, 9am-5pm. Themed World War I, Hand Painted Russian Nesting Bowls $50.

moca
8.  MOCA Contemporary Art Center of Virginia:

2200 Parks Avenue.
Virginia Beach, VA 23451.
757-425-0000.
www.virginiamoca.org
The Museum Shop at MOCA Has Something For Everyone!

pembroke mall
9.  Pembroke Mall:

4554 Virginia Beach Blvd.
Ste. 201. 757-497-6255.
www.pembrokemall.com
A great place to spend your day with a variety of shops, stores and restaurants.

richard stravitz gallery
10.  Richard Stravitz Fine Art Gallery:

3004 Pacific Ave.
Virginia Beach, VA 23451.
757-961-7509.

OR 1217 Laskin Road.
Virginia Beach, VA 23451.
757-305-9411.
www.sculpture-bronze.com
“Salacia at Rest” King Neptune’s bride Salacia in lost wax cast bronze by Master Sculptor Richard Stravitz. Limited edition $2,500

sunsations
11.  Sunsations:

Your Beach Department Store!
9 locations along Atlantic Ave.
www.sunsationsUSA.com
See Our Ad or Coupon to Receive Your Free Sunsations Bag, Mug or Taffy!

new balance
12.  New Balance:

Marketplace at Hilltop.
729 First Colonial Rd., Ste. 103.
Virginia Beach, VA.
757-422-1776.
New Balance 990v3 for men. Cushioning and stability in all the right places for an overpronating runner.

virginia beach antique mall
13.  Virginia Beach Antique Mall:

3900 Bonney Rd
Ste 111. Virginia Beach, VA 23452.
757-390-3244.
Kralik Pink Art Glass Bohemian Czech Pitcher Seaweed Flame Threaded Top 1930’s, $109

williamsburg premium outlets
14.  Williamsburg Premium Outlets:

5715 Richmond Rd.
Williamsburg, VA 23188.
757-565-0702.
Premiumoutlets.com
Legendary Brands, Abundant Selection, Real Savings…Over 135 Stores.

Swimwear Trends

Summer 2014 is finally here!  Are you ready to dive into summer activities and make it the best summer ever?  Warm weather and great beaches are waiting and all you need to do is create your new beach ensemble. And don’t say you dread shopping for a swimsuit. With all the possibilities of style, color, and size this year, swimsuit shopping should be as simple as a walk on the beach.

Swimwear for 2014 is better and prettier than ever. There are endless options for all ages and figure types—even yours!  If you haven’t shopped for a suit in a while, you will be pleasantly surprised by the array of sizes, shapes, colors, and patterns available. Truly there is a suit for everyone.

Now, let’s talk swimsuit shopping. Most importantly, choose a shop that has a large selection of styles and sizes. It increases your odds of finding just the right swimsuit. There are so many options now in choosing your suit. Styles range from two-pieces, tankinis and one-pieces with hundreds of variations on each type. Size ranges have never been more accommodating—there is a size and style for everyone. Most two-piece suits are sold as separates, so it is possible to buy different size top and bottom according to your needs. Tops even come cup-sized if that’s what you need. While browsing all these options, make sure you ask for assistance. There’s a lot to see and a good salesperson will be able to narrow your choices and make helpful suggestions. Even if you think there is no hope of finding a suit for your specific needs, you will be pleasantly surprised by the options that can fulfill your needs.

Some of the biggest trends:
• AMAZING COLORS: Pink is the top color choice with variations of coral, salmon, watermelon and magenta. If you’re into green, choose from pistachio, seafoam, grass or lime. The blue color story is rich with shades of indigo, royal, aqua and deep turquoise.
• NAUTICAL INFLUENCE: You’ll see lots of navy and white stripes in suits this year. This lends a very crisp, clean look to make you absolutely ship-shape.
• THE PIN-UP LOOK: Think ‘40s glamour girl with a constructed bandeau top and high-waisted bottom. It’s not a look for everyone, but it’s a fun one to try.
• RASHGUARDS: The newest addition to your swimsuit wardrobe, a rashguard is part swimsuit, part cover-up. It’s really just a T-shirt made of swimsuit fabric that protects more of your skin from the sun.
• BOARDSHORTS: Like rashguards, board shorts can be a swimsuit/cover-up. They are typically made of nylon and can be worn for swimming as well as sunning. The most important thing to remember when checking out the trends for 2014 is that the most important trend is the one that looks the best on you. When you shop for your suit, ask for help and suggestions. Be prepared to try on a number of suits so you can get a better idea of your most flattering style. With all this variety, we see a great summer wardrobe in your future.

-By Meg of Meg’s Swimwear

Shopping in Virginia Beach

From the Oceanfront to Virginia Beach Town Center and beyond, the city has a great variety of shops, boutiques and shopping malls.

Seasoned shoppers agree—few places can compare to Virginia Beach and the fantastic variety of unique merchandise available. From malls to boutiques, art galleries to gift stores, you are bound to find much more than you can carry home in a single shopping bag.

In the Oceanfront resort area there are dozens of souvenir shops with everything you’ll need for the sun, surf and sand as well as a great variety of souvenirs to take home for your loved ones. A few blocks up from the beach, you’ll find a number of quality surf shops, offering surf boards and boogie boards, bathing suits and board shorts, surf-style clothing, sandals, jewelry, wetsuits and all the great surf brands.
Several art galleries also dot the Oceanfront and surrounding areas and showcase the works of local and national artists, including glassworks, crafts, paintings, ceramics and jewelry. Discover the newly widened and landscaped Birdneck Road that connects Laskin Road and General Booth Boulevard, where you’ll find eclectic shopping, international dining and more.

For upscale merchandise, check out the gift shops and clothing boutiques at 31 Ocean near the new Oceanfront Hilton, or venture up to
La Promenade or Hilltop, both only a five-minute drive from the beach. There you will find more than 120 stores and restaurants all within a few blocks of each other, featuring high-end clothing, jewelry and home accessories.

Just a few more miles away from the beach is Lynnhaven Mall, one of the largest malls on the East Coast and a not-to-be-
missed shopping destination. Nearly 1.4 million square feet of shopping galore awaits you, with more than 180 great stores. The shopping center also includes a complete food court, full service restaurants, a children’s play area, a movie theater and free parking.

Near Sandbridge Beach, the retail area of Red Mill continues to grow into a major shopping district. Major big box stores mingle with smaller boutiques, restaurants, ice cream shops and more, all with the atmosphere of an outdoor mall.

And still, there is more shopping to be done in Virginia Beach! The Town Center of Virginia Beach and surrounding Pembroke area features a diverse array of shopping opportunities covering 17 city blocks, including national chains and several locally-owned boutiques with designer clothes and accessories. You’ll also find many popular places to stop for lunch or dinner.

For truly one-of-a-kind gift items, check out the gift stores at some of Coastal Virginia’s finest museums—the Virginia MOCA museum shop has everything from ceramics and collectibles to art books and tote bags.

The Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center has two stores with unique marine-themed merchandise. Find jewelry, toys, IMAX DVDs, souvenirs, clothing and much more. And the best part—the proceeds from gift sales support the aquarium and its efforts to conserve and educate the public about marine life.

For an even greater shopping adventure, explore other parts of Coastal Virginia, like downtown Norfolk’s MacArthur Center Mall and Olde Towne Portsmouth’s quaint antique shops and galleries. You surely won’t want to leave empty-handed. But there are enough shops, galleries and boutiques here in Virginia Beach to keep you more than satisfied. So get out your walking shoes and credit card and make a day (or two) out of it!

Consumed with Craft

 

Virginia’s Microbrewing Industry Provides Tasty Libations for Local Restaurants

craft beer

Craft Beer Sample

Beer was a very common beverage in 18th-century Virginia. George Washington loved his porter—but only if it was brewed in America—and Thomas Jefferson considered beer one of the necessary “table drinks.” But it wasn’t just a drink for the elite; it was the everyday beverage for most people.

It also wasn’t unusual for most folks to brew their own; there were limited commercial brewers in Virginia at the time, and many households created their own beer with ingredients we’d recognize today: grain, water, hops and yeast.

But malted barley wasn’t easy to come by in Colonial Virginia, so brewers improvised with what they had at hand like pumpkin, molasses and sometimes even spruce and pine. Small batch brewing like that of our forefathers is still hot. Craft brewing is a real trend—the number of small, independent craft brewers has skyrocketed. It is the highest number in 100 years, when Prohibition and consolidation of breweries after Prohibition’s repeal drove it down.

Today there are more than 60 breweries in Virginia that are turning out America’s drink and riding the wave of excitement for reclaiming fine-quality, small-batch beers. Check the beer menu at a local restaurant to see what Virginia beers are offered, and taste a delicious sample of history.

–Patrick Evans-Hylton contributed to this article

Best Places to Imbibe
When you visit the fine restaurants of Virginia Beach, be sure to ask for their local beer selections, and drink in some of Virginia’s tastiest brew.

11th Street Taphouse
Drink as the locals drink when you visit this exceptional watering hole offering over 30 draft beers including micro, craft and macrobrewed selections. This summer, they’ll feature four weekly rotating draft taps, so there’s always something new to try. Enjoy scenic dining on the outdoor patio as you try their house-made wing sauces, gourmet burgers and amazing desserts.

Abbey Road
When you have 101 international beers to choose from, how do you ever make a decision? This isn’t a question you have to ask yourself at most places, but at Abbey Road Pub & Restaurant, the options are nearly endless. Whether you choose a selection from Australia, Bavaria, Belgium, Brazil, England, France or Scotland—or a classic selection from the U.S.—you’ll expand your palate to a world of flavor at Abbey Road.

Lager Heads
It doesn’t get much more local than this; they offer six local beers on tap, five local beers by the bottle and several selections from Virginia wineries to go along with their fabulous selection of handmade burgers, signature steaks and fresh seafood.

Taste Tidewater Tour
The last thing you want to worry about while on vacation is finding a designated driver so that you can enjoy the area’s finest sips carefree. With Taste Tidewater Tours, you can have a responsible DD—plus, you’ll have someone to personally take you to the best places to imbibe. They’ll safely take you from farms to restaurants to wineries and breweries as you sit back, relax and drink it all in.

Sensible Seafood

 

Promoting seafood choices that make sense for a healthy marine environment

Although Virginia Beach is known for its tremendous selection of seafood, there are some oceanic species that are underpopulated and therefore shouldn’t be fished year-round to protect the ocean’s natural ecosystem. To make locals and visitors more aware of this, the Virginia Aquarium created the Sensible Seafood Program.

The program educates people about the different seafood available in our area and which ones are the best to choose to help sustain the environment. Sensible Seafood has published a color-coded pocket guide, which lets the general public know which seafood is the best buy compared to others.

By creating awareness among consumers, the program will help the mid-Atlantic region purchase seafood that is harvested from the area without disrupting the habitat. Sensible Seafood also supports the local fishers, shrimpers and crabbers who make their living

See here for 3 simple steps to take when buying local seafood in Virginia Beach.

flounder in Virginia Beach

Flounder caught in Virginia Beach

The Sensible Seafood board meets annually to discuss the most current statistics to keep the program up-to-date with the most accurate measurements. The pocket guide is a great companion to a shopping list and is a good helper for deciding a dish when dining out. Many restaurants in Virginia Beach even contribute to the program, offering to only serve seafood that is approved by the pocket guide.

In conjunction to local restaurants, the Virginia Aquarium also pledged to the environmentally friendly program by following the Sensible Seafood guidelines. Considering Virginia is the third largest producer of seafood in the country, it’s a sensible program that aims to keep locals in the loop about the area’s habitat and safety.

Download the Sensable Seafood Pocket Guide here.

Local & Loving: Delicious Eats in Virginia Beach Part 1

Farm-to-fork and tide-to-table dining. Take advantage of the fabulous dishes that area chefs bring to the table, using their creative license to create distinctive dishes combining ingredients from local farms and seafood.

Catch 31 takes pride in featuring oysters, shrimp, tuna, cobia and striper that they get from mid-Atlantic coast watermen each morning. You can always expect to find a tempting selection from their daily fresh catch options, and their divine signature entrees are served with seasonal vegetables.

Mahi Mah’s serves up fish grilled, broiled, blackened or bronzed—or wrapped around sushi rice and wasabi. Their crab cakes are made with hand-picked Virginia blue crab, and they make their own specialty chowders and bisques each morning. Add to this a Wine Spectator’s award-winning wine list and a large selection of beers, and you have a meal to remember.

Another place to find great seafood is Chix Sea Grill & Bar. Choose from selections like flounder stuffed with Chesapeake Bay crabmeat, shrimp and crab nachos or oysters on the half shell. Check out their happy hour specials and signature drinks to complement your meal!
Check out Nautilus Restaurant for options like their famous creamy She-crab soup, deep sea scallops, chicken Rockefeller and stuffed jumbo shrimp with crab imperial. Their seafood buffet includes seasonal chef specialty salads, a raw bar with cocktail shrimp and raw oysters and a fine selection of seafood.

At Shoreline Grill guests can experience spectacular oceanfront dining on the boardwalk patio. Feast on entrees such as shrimp burgers, homemade North Carolina style shrimp served with lettuce, tomato and red onion, or the catch of the day served blackened, broiled or fried and with a side of veggies.

Perhaps you’d like a little music with your meal. Dine at Abbey Road on 22nd Street for good food, good times and 101 international beers available inside this popular Beatles-inspired restaurant. You’ll love their selection of beef, seafood and vegetarian entrees as you listen to Beatles hits and browse the grand assortment of nostalgic memorabilia.

Savor a meal at Chop’s Seafood and Steaks, offering seafood and naturally juicy steaks. Choose from a menu of specialty dishes like their potato encrusted crab cakes with Mediterranean couscous and Dijon pesto or their wet aged king cut fillet accompanied by truffle and parmesan Brussels sprouts, broccolini or their famous bacon mac and cheese.

At Cotton Southern Bistro, Executive Chef Jeff Brown uses familiar recipes and farm-to-table ingredients to create a menu that’s extraordinarily local. Favorite selections include fried green tomatoes layered with herbed goat cheese and drizzled with roasted red pepper coulis, Southern, golden brown fried flounder and chicken n’ biscuits, tender chunks of boneless breast stewed with celery, carrots, onions and peas and served over homemade biscuits.

 See here for more tasty treats in Virginia Beach!

Virginia Golf Courses

Get Ready to Tee Off At Some of the Best Courses On the Eastern Coast of Virginia

Summon your inner PGA Pro and tee off at one of the many first-rate golf courses in Virginia Beach. As the largest city in the Commonwealth, Virginia Beach is home to more than a dozen golf courses, each with a distinctive layout and atmosphere. From the coastal marshes and sand dunes of Sandbridge to the farmland and forests further inland, Virginia Beach’s varying terrain creates a wonderful canvas for any golf architect. Famous course designers such as Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Freddy Couples, Curtis Strange, Pete Dye and more have all lent their talents molding this seaside landscape into stunning fairways and greens, creating championship courses and many memorable holes.

There are, as a matter of fact, more than 198 holes across the city, many with fairways framed by towering pines, coastal wetlands, lakes, rivers and streams. Don’t be surprised if you are joined by herons, deer and other wildlife, even just a few miles away from the bustling boardwalk. The natural beauty of this area shines through at all area courses, providing a serene environment for total relaxation.

But don’t get too relaxed. There are definitely some challenging holes throughout all of Virginia Beach’s golf courses—challenging enough that golfers keep coming back again and again to lower their handicap. Of course, most courses were designed with both the professional and beginner in mind, so even a first-time golfer can enjoy a day out on the links at nearly all of the nearby courses.

Most courses also offer golf lessons for every level of golfer. Whether you need to tweak your swing or get a full introduction to the game, onsite pros are there to help. Club rentals are also available.

Top quality service and club houses are standard at area courses, so if you can’t get your game up to par—or under par, we should say—stop in at the clubhouse for a tasty beer and meal. Then explore the pro shop and find top-of-the-line clubs, clothing, shoes and everything you need to live the golfing lifestyle.

Perhaps the best part about golfing in Virginia Beach? It’s a year-round pastime. With average winter temperatures in the 50s, there’s never a down season for golfers.

So try one, try all—Virginia Beach golf is an experience all visitors should enjoy. Keep in mind that most courses require scheduled tee-times, so it is best to call ahead.

Virginia Beach Arts and Entertainment

Day or night, rain or shine—Virginia Beach provides visitors with enough entertainment to overflow any well-planned travel itinerary. When the sun goes down and the energy rises, nothing says “vacation” like getting all dolled up and going out for a night on the town.

Stage Performances
For the best live performances, take a stroll along the oceanfront for fantastic venues offering a wide variety of entertainment through Beach Street USA. There’s always something happening at Neptune Park on 31st Street. Start your evening off right by seeing performances by local bands. At the 24th Street Stage, visitors will be delighted to partake in thrilling events such as Sandstock—A Tribute to Rock & Roll held June 20–22 and the Stars & Stripes Explosion on July 4 occurring at three stages along the oceanfront. One event that draws huge crowds each year is the American Music Festival held Aug. 29–31 at 5th Street Stage, 17th Street Park, 24th Street Park and 31st Street Park. The festival brings the sounds of rock, jazz, country, R&B and more to the Oceanfront for one of the largest outdoor music events on the East Coast featuring national, regional and local acts. With thrilling performances nearly every night of the week, there’s enough outdoor entertainment to keep you busy all summer long.

A new stage is coming soon to 34th Street! The 12-foot high, circular stage will feature small acts which will provide entertainment to two restaurants along the boardwalk—Lager Heads (a brand new establishment) and the existing Tortugas Café & Tiki Bar. The new stage will be slightly smaller than the 7th Street stage but will provide a similar atmosphere. Guests can expect to hear Jimmy Buffett-inspired hits and other acoustic tunes free of charge!

Local & National Music
Whether it is a neighborhood beach bar featuring a live local band or a large outdoor venue delivering the latest up-and-coming rock stars, Virginia Beach certainly does not lack in the music department. Dive into the local music scene with a live band at the Oceanfront. There are plenty of hot spots offering delicious pub grub and an entertaining blend of folk, alternative, hard rock and acoustic acts. For an evening of music under the stars, head to the Farm Bureau Live Amphitheatre, a grand outdoor venue that provides cheap lawn seating to worth-every-penny front row seats and showcases the summer’s hottest musicians.

Museums & Art
This summer, the Virginia MOCA (Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art) will include a new exhibition called Multiplicity, featuring more than 80 prints by outstanding modern and contemporary artists.

Local collections of art are always available, and they are the best way to bring some of Virginia Beach’s culture home with you. One of the places visitors can admire these local treasures is at Richard Stravitz Sculpture and Fine Art Galleries on Laskin Road and Pacific Avenue. The gallery features paintings as well as prints and jewelry, all reflective of the oceanfront’s artistic talents. This pair of galleries has won a variety of awards to include one for “Best Sculpture.”

You don’t necessarily have to visit a gallery to find some bright, cheery art pieces to liven your day. Simply by stepping out on the beach visitors will be delighted to see a colorful makeover for the lifeguard stands and storage containers that hold beach chairs and umbrellas available to rent. The installation, titled Project LifeguART will transform 42 lifeguard stands and 37 storage containers along a 3-mile stretch from 1st to 40th Street. The stands and containers will be painted in a variety of different colors and fun scenes. The project is both fun and functional; not only will the pieces add a whimsical flair to the beach, but they’ll also be helpful for visitors—especially children who may have gotten separated from their parents—to have a better reference of where they are.

Aside from art, there are plenty of other museums near the Oceanfront such as the Old Coast Guard Station Museum and Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum, which provide an exciting, yet educational activity for all ages. Another inspiring museum is the Virginia Aviation Museum, where planes tower over visitors and hold historic tales of sky-high flights and aerial battles. The Military Aviation Museum is home to one of the largest private collections of World War I and II era military aircraft in the world, each restored to its prior military condition. People of all ages can enjoy the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center featuring marsh, bay and ocean exhibits, a harbor seal tank, nature trails, an IMAX Theatre and one stellar gift shop.

Parasailing, Swimming, Surfing Paddleboarding and Beyond

Other Water Sports to Try
There are so many different water sports to take advantage of from parasailing to swimming, surfing, stand up paddle boarding and beyond. Whatever adventures you pursue, you can be sure that you and your family will have a wet, wild, watery adventure that you’ll remember for years to come!

Parasailing:
You know that dream where you’re flying? Well, you can quit dreaming now and make it come true with parasailing. Hop on board a speedboat and soar 800 feet in the air with an activity that sweeps you off your feet—literally. This trip is invigorating as you sail above the water and watch the people drift underneath you. Venture down to Adventure Parasail, which has a perfect track record for all their flights. Cast your cares to the side, and let the exhilarating experience take control. Adventure Parasail also offers kayak rentals, banana boat rides and waverunner rentals!

Waverunners:
You see them gliding over the waves as you relax on the beach, but now it’s your turn! Head over to Rudee Inlet Jet Ski Rentals for an exhilarating ride on the ocean waves. Rudee Inlet provides one, two and three-seated waverunners with no minimum age for passengers!

Surfing:
Surfing has been one of the most prominent sports at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront for over 100 years, meaning it’s time for you to learn how! Take a lesson from one of the area’s professionals, and you’ll be gliding on the waves in no time. VB Surf Sessions offer surf camps from the end of May through September, allowing visitors to gain the “Surfer’s Knowledge,” which includes water safety, surfing etiquette, terminology, meteorology, oceanography and more! They also offer paddle board lessons, kayaks for rent and wetsuits for rent or purchase. There will also be many exciting surfing contests throughout the summer to commemorate this gnarly activity, so mark your calendars, and get ready to rip some waves!

Kite Surfing:
Kite surfing (or kite boarding) is a magnificent combo of surfing, wakeboarding, windsurfing and paragliding. Try to conquer the waves as you rip and run over the majestic water, and feel the rush from hanging mid-air even if it’s for a few moments before you’re greeted by the splash of the water beneath you.

Stand Up Paddleboarding:
Take to a new form of transportation by learning the popular pastime of stand up paddleboarding. The tranquil waters near the Chesapeake Bay are ideal for a relaxing tour that allows you to reconnect with nature as well as view some of the beautiful waterfront homes throughout the area, and in the hidden treasure of Sandbridge.

Fishing:
It’s important to support the restaurants that provide local seafood to patrons, and one way to guarantee that the seafood is local is to catch it yourself! Virginia Beach is known as the striped bass capital of the world, and there are plenty of other local catches here including rockfish, tautog, flounder and tuna. To feel “one” with nature, head down to Back Bay, a nature refuge with astounding flocks of geese, birds, fish and turtles, perfect for a day of fishing on your own! (Read Dr. Julie Ball’s Virginia Beach Sport Fishing Report)

Diving:
Sure, there are plenty of chances to see gorgeous scenery while out on the water, but have you ever been curious to know what’s beneath the surface? Experience the watery world below with a diving excursion. There are many sites to choose from, and you can either use your own diving gear or rent what you need.

Don’t let these few ideas limit you. There are dozens of ways to let loose in Virginia Beach, so throw caution to the wind, and you could wind up having an absolute blast!

Virginia Beach Family Fun Filled Water Activities

While Virginia Beach is absolutely one of the most relaxing coastal vacation locales around, it can also be one of the most exciting. It’s peaceful to soak up some sun while listening to the water crashing along the shore, but for a truly memorable vacation, get out on the water and make some waves of your own!
Imagine being surrounded by nothing but tranquil waters and pristine landscapes, far away from the crowds, cars and technology. Kayaking is a blissful way to get in touch with the beauty of Virginia Beach’s nature with no engines or propellers. There are plenty of places to rent a kayak, canoe or paddleboat, and most places offer guided tours, which are extremely recommended for first timers and for those who want to get the most out of their experience.
With over 121 navigable miles of waterways and 35 miles of ocean and bay beaches Virginia Beach is teeming with kayak destinations. Pick a spot, and get ready to make some memories!

For a peaceful afternoon of paddling, head to First Landing State Park. You’ll have the opportunity to explore lagoons, large cypress trees and other plants as well as a varied assortment of birds including mocking birds, osprey, finch, egrets, heron and woodpeckers—as well as bald eagles on a rare occasion. After you get tired of paddling, pull over for a gorgeous hike on one of the park’s trails and enjoy a picnic lunch before getting back out on the water.
Another peaceful spot is in the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. As the title suggests, you’re likely to see a lot of wildlife here, including deer, river otters, loggerhead sea turtles and a variety of birds including the tundra swan, ducks, gannets, gulls and more. Back Bay is also home to unspoiled beaches and dunes, which help to protect some of the wildlife here. This is one outing that you’ll want to be sure to bring your camera.

If you’re looking for more of an adventurous journey, set out on the ocean at Virginia Beach’s north end, away from the boardwalk and crowds. For this trip, you’ll most likely travel in a sit-on-top kayak so that the waves won’t flood your space. However, you should note—you most certainly will get wet! It’s completely worth it just for the sights you’ll see. Be prepared to gaze across the water at bottlenose dolphins as many of the kayak tours in the area offer dolphin tours, which are wildly popular. Also on this journey you may come across sea turtles or cownose ray.