See a different side to the city as you explore all of Virginia Beach’s diverse districts!
When you first think of Virginia Beach, your mind escapes to a coastal paradise with our three-mile boardwalk as the centerpiece. The resort area provides incredible options for shopping, dining and entertainment. Beyond the Oceanfront, however, our beautiful beaches and diverse districts provide a deeper look into the unique personality of this destination.
Virginia Beach Oceanfront (Resort Beach)
The Virginia Beach Oceanfront is the epicenter of your vacation experience. No matter where you are in this area, you almost always have a view of the public beaches. Lounge in your beach chair in the sand, enjoy the serenity from the three-mile boardwalk or cast a line off the Virginia Beach Fishing Pier. This beach is busier and also has more water traffic, as many tour boats and fishing charters depart from the Rudee Inlet and into the Atlantic. You’re just steps away from restaurants, shops and lodging accommodations, making it the perfect spot for a visitor to kick back and relax.
Chesapeake Bay Beach
Just north of the Oceanfront, off Shore Drive, is the Chesapeake Bay Beach area, known to locals as Chic’s (or Chick’s) Beach. From floating in the shallow waters to kayaking or paddleboarding through the marshlands, enjoy all of your favorite beach activities right here while also finding ways to dive into history. Spend the day at First Landing State Park and explore the 19 miles of hiking trails or visit the Cape Henry Lighthouse where you can climb to the lantern room and capture sweeping views of the water. Just over the Lesner Bridge, the Brock Environmental Center celebrates the area’s pure, coastal setting through sustainability and education. Park at the Brock Center and explore the miles of wooded and beach trails that are free and open for everyone to enjoy. Pleasure House Point Natural Area boasts 188 acres of waterways to launch a stand-up paddleboard or kayak into.
North End Beaches
Also off Shore Drive, the North End Beaches are nestled between Chesapeake Bay Beach and the Oceanfront (Resort Beach) in the higher numbered streets. This beach is one of the widest in the city and often has smaller crowds than the resort area. It’s the perfect middle ground between secluded and crowded and you’ll often see schools of dolphins swimming by in the distance.
Ride the waves in Croatan, which is considered the go-to spot for many surfers. This beach is at the end of the resort area, right across from the Rudee Inlet, and typically isn’t as crowded as the Oceanfront. The beach is open to the public and has an on-site parking lot and accessible restrooms for beachgoers.
Just 15 miles south of the resort area is a quiet retreat comprised of rolling sand dunes on miles of pristine beach. Sandbridge Beach used to be a local’s secret hideaway, but with numerous stunning beachfront properties, it has become a refuge for both locals and visitors looking to escape the bustling boardwalk and even the perfect spot for a second home. Spend a day at Little Island Park at the southern end of Sandbridge Beach. The 2,000-foot swimming beach will give your family plenty of room to have some fun in the surf and sand. Fish off of the 400-foot fishing pier or head to the nearby Back Bay for more fishing and crabbing.
Heart of the Resort Area
A hub for accommodations, dining, lodging and entertainment, the Virginia Beach Oceanfront has everything you need for a successful vacation. From sunrise to sunset, you’ll see both locals and visitors alike biking, jogging or walking along the boardwalk. Whether they’re getting some exercise, grabbing a bite to eat or listening to live music, the Virginia Beach Boardwalk always has something going on. Over 100 restaurants tempt your tastebuds, day and night and nightly entertainment abounds with live music on the Oceanfront parks and stages, as well as street entertainment along Atlantic Avenue. Visit one of the local museums, housed in historic buildings, with exhibits that will educate and entertain. Stop for ice cream at one of the many creameries or hop on an amusement ride and the resort area’s boardwalk fair-style amusement park.
ViBe Creative District
Vibrant, creative and one of a kind, the ViBe Creative District is Virginia Beach’s arts and cultural neighborhood. Just blocks from the Oceanfront, the ViBe District is a playground for local artists and a centerpiece for locally owned restaurants, shops, museums and more. The ViBe District aims to promote, support, connect and inspire Virginia Beach’s arts and creative industries.
Want to know more about the ViBe?
Click here to read about Getting to Know the ViBe
Click here to read about Feelin’ the ViBe
(ViBe Photos below by Chris Murphy)
Shore Drive is a road filled with dining and shopping options when you visit Chesapeake Beach. It is a popular spot for local nightlife, as many restaurants feature live entertainment and bars and nightclubs line the street. Stop in to a late-night venue and dance the night away, or go bar hopping and experience what locals have coined as the “Shore Drive Shuffle.”
As you drive to Virginia Beach from I-264, it’s nearly impossible to miss the tallest building in the state of Virginia. The Westin Tower stands as a beacon in Virginia Beach’s Town Center. Escape the sand for the tree-lined, pedestrian-friendly streets and modern flair of Town Center. Browse through chic, locally owned boutiques selling the latest designer wear, an art gallery, family-friendly entertainment center and much more all within a few city blocks. Take in a movie at the nearby theater or indulge in an amazing meal at one of Town Center’s many restaurants. The scene doesn’t quiet down once the sun sets either. Town Center has vibrant nightlife, with plenty of people hopping from place to place. Most guests frequent a cocktail bar, Irish pub, pizza place or comedy club into the wee hours.
Click here to read more about things to do at the Virginia Bech Town Center.
Simplicity at its finest, Pungo is a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of Virginia Beach’s tourist areas. Conveniently located from NAS Oceana and Sandbridge, Pungo is filled with locally cultivated charm. You probably wouldn’t even guess that you are so close to the beach when venturing through the rural land. Amidst the acres of farmland, this area is known for farm-to-table dining, pick-your-own produce opportunities and locally owned shops. Past the paved roadways are inlets, marshes and plenty of country to explore. Take a day trip to Pungo, in southern Virginia Beach, for homegrown goodness and adventure in this laid-back community.