Museums Near the Virginia Beach Boardwalk

Stop by one of these unique museums after a long day on the beach!

There is so much to do in Virginia Beach and if you’re looking for a day of education and culture, we’ve got you covered. Virginia Beach is home to a variety of museums offering incredible exhibits, history, art and much more— all of which the whole family can enjoy! If it’s a rainy day or you are looking to take a break from the sun, visiting a museum is a great way to while away the hours! Take a look at the exciting museums located on or near the Virginia Beach boardwalk.

Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum

2401 Atlantic Ave., Virginia Beach, VA • 757-422-1587 • Website

Dedicated to protecting the history of the Virginia Beach community and Virginia’s oceanfront, the Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum is your one-stop-station featuring a variety of Virginia maritime and coastal exhibits and special events. Located along the boardwalk on 24th and Atlantic Streets, it has been a part of Virginia Beach history since 1903. The building itself is a Life-Saving Station that houses a collection of 1,800 artifacts and 1,000 photographs of the United States Life-Saving and Coast Guard Services as well as the community of Virginia Beach. The museum is also home to a research library containing various books, papers and oral histories. Click here for a coupon.  

MOCA: Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art

2200 Parks Ave., Virginia Beach, VA • 757-425-0000 • Website

Located just a few blocks away from the Virginia Beach resort area, Virginia MOCA is a nonprofit organization that strives to protect, explore, foster and understand the modern art of today’s world. With their unique, ever changing exhibits and educational programs, MOCA offers plenty of opportunities to get to know all types of art.

 Military Aviation Museum

1341 Princess Anne Road, Virginia Beach, VA • 757-721-7767 • Website

Check out the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach’s rural area. Home to the largest collection of World War I and World War II era military aircrafts, the Military Aviation Museum offers a chance to witness real life military planes, flight demonstrations, air shows and even a chance to fly in one of the planes yourself.

Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum

1113 Atlantic Ave., Virginia Beach, VA • 757-437-8432 • Website

Located in the Dewitt Cottage, the oldest building at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum is dedicated to preserving the heritage and history of mid-Atlantic wildfowl. This museum is free of charge and gives visitors a sense of the natural beauty that Virginia Beach possesses. You can also witness wildfowl arts in action by observing the museum’s volunteer carvers.

 Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center 

717 General Booth Blvd., Virginia Beach, VA • 757-385-3474 • Website

A stop not to be missed on your trip to Virginia Beach is 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. Click here to read more about this amazing aquarium.

 Cape Henry Lighthouse / First Landing Cross

583 Atlantic Ave., Fort Story, VA • 757-422-9421 • Website

Come to one of the oldest surviving lighthouses in the United States. This historic monument was authorized by George Washington to guard the ships passing in and out of the Chesapeake Bay. After catching the view from the top, walk the short distance to the First Landing Cross, the granite replica of the original cross planted by the English settlers upon their arrival in 1607 to the New World. Click here to read about my trip to the Cape Henry Lighthouse. 

The Historical Houses of Virginia Beach

Thoroughgood House: 1636 Parish Road, Virginia Beach, VA • 757-460-7588 • Website

Francis Land House: 3131 Virginia Beach Blvd., Virginia Beach, VA • 757-385-5100 • Website

Lynnhaven House: 4409 Wishart Road, Virginia Beach, VA • 757-385-5100 • Website

Take a peek into the long history of Virginia Beach by visiting one of the area’s historic houses. The Thoroughgood House, the Francis Land House and the Lynnhaven House were all built in the 18th and early 19th centuries and provide invaluable information about what life was like when our nation was birthed.

 Princess Anne County Training School/Union Kempsville High School Museum

5100 Cleveland St., Virginia Beach, VA • 757-648-6006 • Website

When segregation sadly reigned in the south, Princess Anne County Training School was established to give African American students a proper education. Now, preserved as a museum, come share the story and the struggle of a community who strove to impart to their children the importance of education.

Stuck indoors because of the rain? Click here for some rainy-day ideas for your Virginia Beach vacation.