Things to Do in Virginia Beach
Must-Do Activities in Attractions in Virginia Beach
While Virginia Beach is absolutely one of the most relaxing coastal vacation locales around, it can also be one of the most exhilarating. From Cape Henry to Sandbridge, you will find that Virginia Beach has an incredible amount of adventurous activities that are both fun and safe. Whether you spend the day parasailing over the beautiful Atlantic Ocean, kayaking through scenic marshes or zip lining from one treetop to the next, there is always an exciting way to spend your time in Virginia Beach that every family member can enjoy.
Water Activities in Virginia Beach
It’s peaceful to kick back under an umbrella with your toes in the sand, but for a truly memorable vacation, get out on the water and make some waves of your own!
Kayaking and Stand-Up Paddleboarding
With over 121 navigable miles of waterways and 35 miles of ocean and bay beaches, Virginia Beach is teeming with kayak and paddleboard destinations. Imagine being surrounded by nothing but tranquil waters and pristine landscapes, far away from the crowds, cars and technology. There are plenty of places to rent a kayak, canoe or SUP. Many offer guided tours, which are highly recommended for first-timers and those who want to get the most out of their experience.
Waverunners and Jet Skis
You see them gliding over the waves as you relax on the beach, whipping around in sharp 360-turns. Now it’s your turn! If you are looking for an exciting day on the water, you can find waverunners and jet ski rentals up and down the beach. Let the breeze blow through your hair as you hit speeds of up to 45 miles per hour. Choose from one-, two- or three-person jet skis to take out into the open ocean for some serious fun!
Another way to spend some time on the water is through one of the professional surf schools offering top-notch instructions to visitors of all ages and needs. The instructors make every lesson fun, safe and an experience of a lifetime. Some schools even offer surf camps for the kiddos. Virginia Beach is the birthplace of East Coast surfing so get out there and catch a wave.
Boat Tours & Dolphin Tours
Get an up-close look at Virginia Beach’s amazing wildlife and incredible sights. Cruise along the coast in search of playful dolphins, lighthouses and gorgeous sunsets! Your relaxing ocean excursion is narrated by an experienced crew, who will share their knowledge and answer your questions. Your skilled guide will navigate the waters to get you the best look at Virginia Beach’s marine locals. Many boats include a climate-controlled cabin and some may have a snack bar and a full adult beverage bar.
The most exhilarating views of Virginia Beach can be found 800 feet above the sand and surf. Hop on board a speedboat and feel the exhilaration of flying through the air. Parasailing adventures are both exciting and safe, and there are many places in Virginia Beach to take advantage of this extreme activity. You can fly single, double or even triple with a family member or friend, and either stay dry throughout the whole ride or get dipped—it’s completely up to you!
What better way to indulge in fresh, local seafood than to catch it yourself! Virginia Beach is called the “striped bass capital of the world,” but you can also find rockfish, tautog, flounder, tuna and more! There are no limits to the types of fishing you can do, from pier to deep sea charter, saltwater to freshwater. With fishermen-friendly piers and charter boats, cast your line and reel in a catch that will have a story to remember.
Explore Virginia Beach’s Districts
While there’s so much to do on the captivating boardwalk, don’t be afraid to venture beyond the Oceanfront and discover all of Virginia Beach. The city has a number of unique districts that hold their own charm.
Sandbridge and Chic’s Beach
Sandbridge Beach is a local secret. Trade the hustle and bustle of the boardwalk for rolling sand dunes and a more subdued beach. Or, head to Chesapeake Bay Beach, known to locals as Chic’s (or Chick’s) Beach. Chic’s Beach is perfect for splashing around the shallow waters or grabbing a meal on Shore Drive.
Virginia Beach has much more to offer than the miles of coastline. Visit Pungo, the city’s farming community, where locally-cultivated appeal is around every rural corner. Be sure to visit one of the many farm stands to support local growers.
In contrast to Pungo, Virginia Beach’s Town Center may look like a busy downtown area but it’s very pedestrian-friendly. Town Center is a hot spot for modern shopping, dining and entertainment in Virginia Beach.
Click here to read more about Virginia Beach Town Center.
Virginia Beach’s art scene comes alive at the ViBe Creative District, located near the Oceanfront. Local artists create while locally-owned restaurants serve up some of the best farm-to-table dining in the city. The ViBe District is also home to a number of shops, museums, galleries and a weekly farmer’s market.
Click here to read more about the ViBe District.
Entertainment in Virginia Beach
Day or night, there’s always something going on in Virginia Beach. Hit the streets, follow the sound of music and see what Virginia Beach’s entertainment scene is all about.
Live! On Atlantic
If you’re looking for a way to spice up your nights be sure to take advantage of the live music playing up and down the boardwalk all summer long. Find every genre of music on stages from 5th Street all the way to 34th Street, courtesy of Live! On Atlantic. You will also find a variety of entertainment like clowns, acrobats, theatrical performances and more that the whole family will enjoy.
Live Music in Virginia Beach
Not far from the Oceanfront is the Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheatre that features the hottest bands and artists visiting Virginia Beach. You can also find live musicians, bands and performers at a number of venues in Virginia Beach, including Neptune Park, the Sandler Center for Performing Arts and local clubs and restaurants.
Click here to read more about Virginia Beach’s entertainment scene.
Spend a Day at Virginia Beach’s State Parks and Nature Preserves
First Landing State Park
With over 2,800 acres and a wide range of outdoor activities, this local state park is a great place to start your adventurous vacation in Virginia Beach. This nature retreat nearby urban Virginia Beach features a relatively uncrowded beach and tons of fun, seaside activities. Explore lagoons and scenic trails with cypress trees as well as a varied assortment of area wildlife. The park also features fishing locations, a boat ramp, swimming, biking, hiking and even camping.
False Cape State Park
Tucked between Back Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, False Cape State Park is one of the last remaining undeveloped areas along the Atlantic Coast. Take a tram from Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge to get to the park. Along the way, observe nature at in its purest form. When you arrive, explore six miles of beaches, 15.3 miles of trail for hiking and biking and 12 primitive campsites. Take a guided kayaking tour or go freshwater and saltwater fishing in the Back Bay.
Back Bay Wildlife Refuge
This 4,589-acre refuge, is home to a variety of habitats including beach, dunes, agricultural fields, woodlands and emergent marshes. There are over eight miles of scenic trails where you can witness these habitats firsthand. Venture out for some freshwater and surf fishing then go bicycling. Go kayaking, canoeing or boating through the bay and explore nature up-close and personal.
Virginia Beach’s Family-Friendly Activities
Virginia Beach is the perfect destination for people of all ages. While the whole family will enjoy playing in the surf and sand, there’s so much more to see and do.
Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center
Virginia Beach’s own world class aquarium is located just a few miles from the Oceanfront. The aquarium features over 80,000 gallons of the best marine and animal habitats in the country, hands-on exhibits, outdoor aviary, nature trails, marshlands and a National Geographic 3-D Theater. The whole family will love spending the day learning about the habitats and wildlife around us.
The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium
This exhilarating “aerial forest park” is the first of its kind in Virginia and is a must-do outdoor experience that the whole family can enjoy! After being securely attached to the safety lines, guests of all ages are welcome to challenge themselves as they walk across wooden platforms at different heights, zip from tree to tree on a zip line or navigate from one bridge to the next. The park is a fun and safe activity that gives everyone the chance to experience nature from new heights.
Biking Down the Virginia Beach Boardwalk
A great way to spend an afternoon by the shore is riding a bike or roller blading down the Oceanfront boardwalk. Not only will you get a little exercise, but you will also experience the heart of Virginia Beach in a fun and relaxing way. Rent bikes, tandems, family bikes, in-line skates and surreys at affordable prices. Then, cruise the three-mile boardwalk and take in the sights and sounds of Virginia Beach.
Click here to read about the monuments on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk.