Atlantic Avenue in Virginia Beach

The Heart of the Oceanfront

By Arielle Patterson

Atlantic Avenue is a hub for activity, attractions, shops, restaurants and hotels at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. Extending from the Jetty, near Rudee Inlet, all the way up to the North End, Atlantic Avenue is the perfect place for visitors to begin their Virginia Beach vacation. Just off the boardwalk, Atlantic Avenue provides access to it all.

From Atlantic Avenue, you can find one of Virginia Beach’s most notable sights, the King Neptune statue. The 34-foot bronze statue welcomes all to the city. Snap a few photos in front of the God of the Sea then explore more of Atlantic Avenue.

Family friendly and full of fun, Atlantic Avenue has attractions and activities for all ages and interests. Visit one of the local museums, housed in historic buildings, with exhibits that will educate and entertain. There are also arcades, themed mini golf courses and so much more.

Entertainment abounds on Atlantic Avenue. Live! on Atlantic brings festivals featuring live music, delicious food, craft beer, holiday fun and more, throughout the year. During the summer, ending Labor Day weekend, find nightly entertainment on Atlantic Avenue. You’ll love the street performers that dot the sidewalks on Atlantic Avenue, including puppeteers, musicians, jugglers, costumed characters, stilt walkers and so much more.

Find the perfect souvenir to remember your time in Virginia Beach at one of the stores on Atlantic Avenue. Purchase decorated apparel, jewelry, keychains and more from nearby souvenir shops. Looking for a new bathing suit, or maybe some beach toys, towels and more? Atlantic Avenue has a number of conveniently located stores that carry all of your beach essentials, just one block away from the surf and sand.

One of the highlights of Atlantic Avenue is the array of dining and imbibing options available. You can have a meal overlooking the boardwalk and ocean, while sipping a handcrafted cocktail or refreshing Orange Crush. Atlantic Avenue has restaurants for every type of diner, from bar bites and beach fare to family-friendly eateries, succulent seafood and fine dining. Don’t forget to finish your meal with a sweet treat from one of the nearby candy shops or ice cream parlors.

Experience all there is to see, do and taste on Atlantic Avenue.

A Salute Along the Shore

Pay Tribute to Virginia Beach’s Military Past and Present

By Arielle Patterson

A trip to Virginia Beach has plenty offer. From spending time on the beach to exploring the city’s diverse neighborhoods, the options are virtually limitless. While Virginia Beach is known for the surf and sand, the city is home to so much more. Virginia Beach and all of the Coastal Virginia region are recognized for the area’s military installations.

The Coastal Virginia statistical area, which encompasses the Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Newport News metropolitan areas, has the largest concentration of military personnel outside of the Pentagon. Over 86,000 active-duty military personnel, representing every branch in the Armed Forces, call this region home.

Nine major military installations, from the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, NATO, Marine Corps and Navy, are based out of the region. That jet noise you hear overhead comes from Naval Air Station Oceana. The Navy’s East Coast Master Jet Base is home to F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet squadrons. Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, also located in Virginia Beach, is a major East Coast operation for Overseas Contingency Operations and provides support and services to 18 home-ported ships and shore-based resident commands. The other military installations include Naval Station Norfolk, Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Join Base Langley-Eustis in the Hampton/Newport News area, Coastal Guard Base in Portsmouth, Training Center in Yorktown and Naval Air Station Oceana Dam Neck Annex.

While you might not be able visit these bases, you can learn more about the region’s military history through engaging museums and free-standing monuments.

Driving through southern Virginia Beach, in the Pungo area, you may hear and see biplanes in the sky. These planes are housed at the Military Aviation Museum, home to one of the largest private collections of World War I- and World War II-era military aircrafts in the world. Tour the museum and browse the assortment of historic planes. The Military Aviation Museum even flies the planes in demonstrations and also allows visitors to hop in and go for a ride.

Located along the Virginia Beach Boardwalk is the Naval Aviation Monument Park, on 25th Street. Learn the history of the aircrafts, ships and people who dedicated their lives to the defense of our nation through bronze statues and granite storyboards. The elaborate monument park, dedicated in 2006 by the Hampton Roads Squadron of the Naval Aviation Foundation Association, tells the story of naval aviation history through three historic times.

Begin with the start of naval aviation with the flight of Eugene Ely. The civilian pilot was the first to take off from a ship in 1910, right here in the waters of Coastal Virginia. The next display showcases the “greatest generation” of naval aviators. WWII air crewmen emerge from a ship’s hatch to man their aircraft aboard a carrier. The final display depicts today’s “modern force”—naval aviation in the 21st century. This is also the first monument to feature a female combat pilot.

Just ahead on 38th Street is the Navy SEAL Monument. This six-foot-tall statue of the Naked Warrior stands at the center of the monument. The SEAL depicted is a WWII Underwater Demolition Team swimmer. Instead of making the statue larger than life, like many others on the boardwalk, the Naked Warrior is purposefully life-sized. The SEAL reputation was not made by supermen, but by ordinary people who do extraordinary things for their country.

From the water, in the air and on land, Virginia Beach’s decades of military history offers a lot to uncover. As you learn more about the heroism that these sailors, soldiers and airmen exhibited, take time to pay tribute to their bravery and sacrifice.

Virginia Beach Public Art

Image courtesy of Andrezza Haddaway

Behold the Artistic Side of Virginia Beach

There’s so much to see when you visit Virginia Beach. As you explore the city, you’ll probably notice the eye-catching public art. Wall murals, statues, sculptures and more can be found all across Virginia Beach, from the Oceanfront to Town Center and other inland neighborhoods. There are nearly 50 public art installations in Virginia Beach. How many can you find while you’re here?

Types of Public Art in Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach has several types of public art, including murals, sculptures and environmental pieces.

Find engaging murals across Virginia Beach. They adorn the walls of several businesses at the Oceanfront, especially within the ViBe Creative District. The ViBe District encourages local artists to create these masterpieces. 2019 introduced 10 new murals during the ViBe Mural Festival. The ViBe’s 18th Street Parklet fence also displays over 55 plywood murals.

Atlantic Avenue, along the Oceanfront, also has colorful wall murals, designed by local students in the “Love! On Atlantic” art contest. Headed to Mount Trashmore for a walk? Climb the steps embellished with a mural titled, “Helping Hands.”

Virginia Beach’s most famous work of art, the statue of King Neptune, can be found along the boardwalk. Also on the boardwalk and nearby are a number of sculptures and monuments. These sculptures pay tribe to Virginia Beach’s ocean life, military heritage and local legends.

A trip across the Lesner Bridge offers a view of two sculptures, The Canoes and Terrapin Basin.

These are just some of the many works of public art in Virginia Beach. Even more can be found at local public parks, libraries and recreation centers. In addition to viewing the free public art, plan a trip to one of the local museums where can find even more art.

Map Legend

Map courtesy of the Virginia Beach Cultural Affairs Department

  1. Anticipation, Sculpture by Richard Stravitz, (2010) JT’s Grommet Island Beach Park and Playground at Jetty
  2. Seashore Cathedral, Mural by Giuseppe Percivati, (2018) Walkway connecting Marina to 4th Street lot
  3. Prismatic Play, Mural by Aimee Bruce, (2019) Rudee Loop
  4. World Below the Brine, Placemaking Sculpture by Work Program, Architects and Piece of Cake Productions, (2018) 4th Street at Atlantic Avenue
  5. Dolphins Atop Globes, Sculpture by Bartlett A. R. Teachout, (1993) 5th Street and Boardwalk
  6. Leatherback Sea Turtles, Sculpture by Philip L. Balsley, (1993) 6th Street and Boardwalk
  7. Fantasy Fish, Sculpture by Bartlett A. R. Teachout, (1993) 8th Street and Boardwalk
  8. Mallards, Sculpture by David H. Turner, (2006) Near the Boardwalk between 11th and 12th Streets
  9. Beach Balls, Sculpture by Larson Design Group, (1993) 17th Street and Boardwalk
  10. Barreled, Placemaking Sculpture by Hive Public Space, (2020) 17th Street & Pacific Avenue
  11. Broken Current, Mural by Navid Rahman, (2020) 17th Street and Pacific Avenue
  12. John Wareing Monument, by Robert Bricker, (2004) 17th Street Park
  13. Birds in Flight, Sculpture by Bartlett A. R. Teachout, (1991) 18th Street Park
  14. Monument to Naval Aviation, by Michael Maiden, (2006) 25th Street and Atlantic Avenue
  15. Norwegian Lady, Sculpture by Ornulf Bast, (1962) 25th Street and Boardwalk
  16. Shells, Larson Design Group, (1993) 26th Street Park and Boardwalk
  17. Bob Mervis Memorial, Sculpture by Linda Gissen, (2002) 27th Street and Boardwalk
  18. School of Fish, Sculpture by Bartlett A. R. Teachout, Lee Knoll Ltd., (1993) 28th Street and Boardwalk
  19. Hermit Crabs & Boulder Clusters, Sculpture by Larson Design Group, (1993) 29th Street Park
  20. King Neptune, Sculpture by Paul A. DiPasquale, (2005) 31st Street and Boardwalk
  21. The Wave, Sculpture by Jeff Laramore, (2013) Given by the Public Art Virginia Beach Foundation, Laskin Road at Roundabout
  22. Delight, Sculpture by Mike Cunningham, (1992) 33rd Street and Boardwalk
  23. Virginia Beach Law Enforcement Memorial, by Paul DiPasquale, (2012) 35th Street and Boardwalk
  24. Sandcastle, Sculpture by Bartlett A. R. Teachout, (1995) 36th Street and Boardwalk
  25. The Naked Warrior, Navy SEAL Memorial donated by the National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum, (2017) 38th Street and Boardwalk
  26. Tidewater Veteran’s Memorial, Concept by local students, Edward Davis, Audrea Powell and Martha Ellen Clark; Joseph A. Miller, designer, (1988) Virginia Beach Convention Center, 1000 19th Street
  27. Dolphin Play, Sculpture by Bartlett A.R. Teachout, (1997) Visitor Information Center, 2100 Parks Avenue
  28. Virginia Beach Fire & EMS Memorial, by Hans E. C. Wachtmeister, (2006) Virginia Beach Fire & EMS Training Center, 927 Birdneck Road
  29. Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, 717 General Booth Blvd. Lookdown Fish, Sculpture by David H. Turner, (1986) River Otters, Sculpture by David H. Turner, (1995)
  30. Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, 2200 Parks Avenue People and Plants, Mural by Maser, (2017) Museum’s south-facing exterior Mille Colori, Glass Chandelier by Dale Chihuly, (2003) Rodriguez Pavilion The Voyage, Sculpture by Masayuki Oda, (1989) West Parking Lot Island Poetic Object Series: Knowledge, Sculpture by Michael Manjarris, (2001) North Parking Lot Island Olympia, Sculpture by Steven Lesser, (2001) North Parking Lot Island Mano Hermano, Sculpture by Steven Lesser, (1999) North Parking Lot Island Curled Up C, Sculpture by Lila Katzen, (1979) North Parking Lot Island Something in the Water Art Walk Murals, by Victoria Weiss, Hampton Boyer, and Tommy Mitchell, (2019) North Parking Lot 
  31. The Canoes, Sculpture by Donald Lipski, (2018) Given by the Public Art Virginia Beach Foundation. Pedestrian overlook of Lesner Bridge at Shore Drive
  32. Terrapin Basin, Sculpture, Benjamin Heller, (2018) Pleasure House Point, 3663 Marlin Bay Drive
  33. Portraits from a Place of Grace, Sculpture by Richard Hollant, (2019) Future home of the African American Cultural Center of Virginia Beach, Newtown Road and Hampshire Way
  34. Helping Hands, Stairway Mural by Aimee Bruce, (2018) Northeast staircase at Mount Trashmore Park, 301 Edwin Drive
  35. Children Playing, Sculpture by Robert Cunningham, (2004) Virginia Beach Court Complex, 2425 Nimmo Parkway
  36. Light Garden, sculpture by Dale Eldred, Reconfigured and reinstalled by Keith Oliver, (2012) Princess Anne Commons Gateway Park, Princess Anne Road at Dam Neck Road
  37. Glass Fireplace, by Rob Kuster, (2015) Inside the Joint-Use Library, 1700 College Crescent
  38. Town Center, Independence Boulevard and Virginia Beach Boulevard Untitled, Sculpture by Toshio Iezumi, (2009) Main Lobby of the Sandler Center, 201 Market Street Wings, Sculpture by Lin Emery, (2011) Given by Tom and Juanita Felton. Sandler Center for the Performing Arts Plaza, 201 Market Street The Kiss, Sculpture by Gary Alsum, (2007) Given in memory of W. Breck Wood by his wife, Deborah Wood. Columbus Street by Central Park Trio of Herons Fountain, Sculpture by David H. Turner, (2007) Town Center Fountain Plaza, Central Park Avenue at Main Street Town Center Garage Murals by Richard Nickel, (2017) Town Center Block 4 Parking Garage
  39. Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library, 4100 Virginia Beach Boulevard Pennant, Sculpture by Lin Emery, (1989) Outside library entrance Parataxis, Sculpture by Ken Daley, (1995) Given by the Old Dominion University Research Foundation, the Virginia Beach Public Library Endowment Foundation and the Friends of the Virginia Beach Public Library, along a rear wall inside the library
  40. Kempes Landing Park, 524 Kempsville Road Good Game, Sculpture by Richard Stravitz, (2015) Friendship Anchor, (2015) acquired from The Mariners’ Museum and Park in Newport News, VA
  41. Bayside Recreation Center Mural, by Navid Rahman, (2019) 4500 First Court Road
  42. Great Neck Recreation Center Mural, by Rosemarie Spracklin, (2019) 2521 Shorehaven Drive
  43. Princess Anne Recreation Center Mural, by Aimee Bruce, (2019) 1400 Nimmo Parkway
  44. Parallel Migrations XXV, Installation by Anne Dushanko Dobek, (2019) Lake/Lake Smith Natural Area, 5381 Shell Road

Historic Attractions in Virginia Beach

Here are some historic sites and attractions in Virginia Beach that you won’t want to miss.

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Something in the Water 2020 Map

Event organizers recently released an initial map with the layout of the festival.

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2020 Shamrock Marathon

Spend your St. Patrick’s Day weekend racing along the Oceanfront during the Shamrock Marathon.

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Top 5 March Events in Virginia Beach

Here are our top five events happening in Virginia Beach during March. 

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Things to Do this Spring Break in Virginia Beach

Spend Your Spring Break in Virginia Beach

Spring Break is the perfect time of year for all ages to visit Virginia Beach. Whether you’re a family with children, a group of teenagers or young adults, this coastal destination has something for every interest. You’ll find countless things to do during your spring break vacation in Virginia Beach.

Click here to read about tips for planning spring break in Virginia Beach.

Things to Do this Spring Break in Virginia Beach

Here are some of our suggestions on things to do during spring break in Virginia Beach.

Click here to read more about things to do in Virginia Beach.

Attend a Local Festival and Event

From late February to mid-April, Virginia Beach has plenty of events. There’s sure to be something happening during your spring break vacation. Mark your calendar for one of the food festivals, arts and crafts shows, races and more.

Also, check out which national artist or band is coming to perform at the Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater. Virginia Beach’s outdoor concert venue is the perfect place to hear your favorite performer live.

Spend the Day at a State Park

Everyone knows that Virginia Beach is famous for its sandy coastline, but did you know that the city offers plenty of outdoor activities away from the beach? Visit one of the local state parks for hiking, biking, kayaking and more. First Landing State Park, False Cape State Park and Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge are also perfect destinations for some fun in the great outdoors.

Click here to read more about outdoor attractions in Virginia Beach.

Cast a Line for Flounder

Virginia Beach is an angler’s paradise year-round. However, spring is when flounder start biting again. Head to a dock along the Chesapeake Bay, or one on the Oceanfront or Sandbridge, where you can reel in one of the more than 300 species of fish that call these waters their home.

Click here to read about pier fishing in Virginia Beach.

Have a Meal Outside

When the weather warms up, you’ll want to spend as much time as possible outside. Virginia Beach has a number of restaurants with outdoor patio seating and several that are right on the water. Enjoy the fresh seafood catch of the day while overlooking the Atlantic Ocean or Chesapeake Bay.

Click here to read more about Virginia Beach restaurants on the water.

Toast to Your Spring Break

Spring breakers age 21 and older will love having a beer, wine or cocktail at one of Virginia Beach’s local bars, breweries or wine bars. Many of these locations have outdoor seating so you can enjoy your drink in the sunshine.

Click here to read about the best bars in Virginia Beach.

Click here to read about the Virginia Beach Beer Trail.
 

Something in the Water 2020 Tickets

Get your tickets so you can experience the week-long festival.

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Something in the Water 2020 Lineup

This year’s week-long festival will have an even bigger lineup filled with award-winning musical performers as well as guest speakers and special appearances.

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