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.
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.